Common Sense


Spelling Apps for Students

From iPhone to iPad and Android tablets, and from preschool to middle school and high school, these spelling apps and games are great for students. Being skilled at spelling may help improve vocabulary and reading comprehension; for English language learners, knowing how to spell helps teach the parts that make up words and makes it easier to learn grammar. Check out these apps to help students learn how to spell new words by playing games, experimenting with word construction, and taking quizzes using premade or custom lists.

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Montessorium: Intro to Words

Well-crafted app lets emerging readers and writers develop reading skills through word building

Bottom line: Basic reading skills are developed through word building, word play, and letter-sound recognition.

Gappy Learns Reading - Teach Kids Spelling and Reading With Letters & Sounds - Educational Sight Word Games for Kindergarten

Simple spelling game hones in on specific reading skills

Bottom line: A basic -- if somewhat limited and tedious -- letter-sound matching game for early readers and spellers.

Word Wagon - by Duck Duck Moose

Charming objects and animals turn spelling into play

Bottom line: Word Wagon is fun to use with students at various spelling skill levels.

Freefall Spelling

Cute, colorful app offers solid early spelling practice, custom lists

Bottom line: Bright images, three modes of play, and custom options combine for a good first digital spelling practice experience.

Avokiddo ABC Ride

Inventive letter-learning activities take kids on a near-perfect ride

Bottom line: A fun way for kids to play thoughtful games and explore letters and words. A few small changes could really beef up letter learning.

Rocket Speller

Fun, easy-to-use game makes spelling fun

Bottom line: Great mix of spelling, phonics, and fun.

Word Wizard for Kids

Super-structured spelling support and word-building free play, too

Bottom line: Helps kids improve spelling through pre-made or custom lists and word building.

Sight Words - An early reading & spelling adventure!

Repeatedly identify, spell sight words in fun, semi-customizable games

Bottom line: A variety of kid-friendly activities gives students lots of exposure to and practice with commonly used sight words.

Tiggly Doctor: Spell Verbs and Perform Actions Like a Real Doctor

Practice spelling while practicing medicine

Bottom line: G-R-O-S-S spelling fun brings shock value to spelling and vocab.

Spelling Shed

Drill-based practice caters well to teachers, less so to kids

Bottom line: When teachers use the whole program, including the offline materials like printables, there's potential here for a comprehensive if traditional approach to spelling drills.


Subscription-based, student-facing app fine for independent practice

Bottom line: A potentially more engaging -- although uneven -- option for your students, if you've got a Premium membership.

Mystery Word Town Spelling

Old West crime-fighting takes kids on a spelling adventure

Bottom line: A challenging and really fun way for kids to practice spelling.


Well-designed, kid-empowering spelling list creator

Bottom line: It's a quality app but needs some oversight; it would be nice if you could track multiple students' scores at once.

A+ Spelling Test

Spelling practice app meets expectations, doesn't exceed them

Bottom line: An option worth considering for students needing to build their spelling skills at home or in the classroom.


Scrabble meets Choose Your Own Adventure in a dueling of (s)words

Bottom line: While it could use more gameplay variety, students will enjoy this game's Adventure Time-inspired take on vocabulary and spelling.

Osmo Words

Versatile word game challenges across content areas and abilities

Bottom line: Fun game-like way to review spelling or content vocabulary.

Spelling Bee

Functional flashcard and quiz tool links to impressive video library

Bottom line: Hard level words make excellent SAT vocab practice, but look elsewhere for more targeted practice.

Scribblenauts Remix

Vocab-building word puzzles inspire creative problem-solving

Bottom line: Wide-open problem solving builds creativity, vocabulary, and spelling skills, but controls can be tricky.


Beautiful, challenging vocab app is quite fun but riddled with ads

Bottom line: There's no doubt it's fun and features some nice vocab and spelling practice, but spring for the paid version and make sure students play thoughtfully.

SAT Vocab by MindSnacks

Variety is key in charmingly effective SAT vocab app

Bottom line: Upgrading to the full version gets you great games and a thorough word list for SAT vocab prep.

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