@Reks: Educational iOS Applications

Build A Word Exprss Easy Spelling Enhances Curriculum And Learning Experience

Jenni Swanson Voorhees

Jenni Swanson Voorhees Academic Technology Coordinator, Sidwell Friends School Washington, DC

“One of the most significant aspects of this app [Build A Word Express – Practice spelling…] that I like is that there is an option to choose the kind of word list you would like the children to work on.  There are lists for all of the following and more: beginning blend sounds, double consonants, short vowels, long vowels, Dolch word lists for grades preprimer to third and 1-3 letter word lists all the way to 6+ letter word lists.  This feature really allows for differentiation within one classroom while it also enables teachers to use this app across the grades as well. ”  iPad Adventures at Lower School blog at http://sfsipads.blogspot.com/2012/08/build-word.html



Jenni Swanson Voorhees is currently the Coordinator of Academic Technology at Sidwell Friends School in Washington, DC. With her teaching team, she is writes the iPad Adventures at Lower School blog, which has had International attention.  Jenni and her team were having a blast testing apps this summer for their first grade students. The blog’s entry from August 16th, 2012 reviews Build A Word Express – Practice spelling and learn letter sounds and names application by @Reks. The spelling app designed for iPhone, iPad, iPod Touch and iPad Mini is praised for its content and its educational value.


“The other feature I think is beneficial about this app is that when you tap the letter, the exact letter sound is given.  This is wonderful repetition at all ages and helps build letter-sound correspondence in emerging readers without a teacher needing to sit with each child individually.  I really like that only the letter sound is given such as “d” verses “da” for the letter Dd.  It is also not over-congratulatory and doesn’t take much time away from the actual work whether the child is right or wrong.  There is an opportunity to learn the “rule” (aka long a) for each list, then to practice it and finally to take a test.  In both the “learn” and “practice” stages of this game the player cannot put the wrong letter in the wrong spot and continue on.  In the “test” portion, however, the player is completely on his/her own to sound out the word and spell it correctly.  If the child gets it right, he/she will simply get a smiley face and sad face for getting it incorrect.”  iPad Adventures at Lower School blogat http://sfsipads.blogspot.com/2012/08/build-word.html 

Jenni Swanson Voorhees and her team would be happy to know that Build A Word Express – Practice Spelling and learn letter sounds and names App was updated with the exact feature she and her team wanted the app to have: OPTION TO TRACK STUDENTS’ PROGRESS. The History Button in the upper left corner of the home screen takes to the test results.

Build A Word Express - Practice spelling and learn letter sounds and names By @Reks


Jenni Swanson Voorhees is currently the Coordinator of Academic Technology at Sidwell Friends School in Washington, DC. She was a classroom teacher at Sidwell Lower School for 24 years before becoming Lower School Technology Director and coordinating Academic Technology for the PK-12 program. She received her MA in Educational Technology Leadership from George Washington University. She created a successful iPad implementation in Kindergarten last year, which is expanding to first and fourth grades this year. With her teaching team, she is writes the “iPad Adventures at Lower School” blog, which has had International attention. Jenni speaks and runs workshops about learning with iPads, digital citizenship and media literacy, online learning, and other topics in area schools and at conferences. She is currently the chair of the NAIS 21st Century Curriculum/Tech Task Force, an advisory group for the National Association of Independent Schools, and serves on the AIMS (Association of Independent Schools in Maryland) Technology Committee.

Go to Blog : sfsipads.blogspot.com/

Follow Jenni on Twitter: https://twitter.com/jsvoorhees 

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