2010 was my first year of teaching at Terwilliger Elementary and I can vividly remember how I practiced word building with my Second graders. The curriculum guide suggested that each student have their own set of cut out letters to manipulate on their desk and make into words. After running the copies of each and every letter I was painfully forced to watch the clock slowly tick away while they took FOR-EV-ER (movie clip from The Sandlot) to cut out each small letter square. After waiting for them to cut out the squares I watched in agony as some pieces were blown or brushed from their desktops, slowly drifting to the floor. I was soon to discover that the letters that actually survived the entire process of copying, organizing, cutting, and bagging would not long after, somehow disappear into thin air. After just several days I came to the grim realization that each student had been reduced from the entire alphabet to only a handful of useless letters; I thought to myself, "There has got to be another way!!!"
Thankfully there is now a fun and interactive solution! (phew!) Utilizing the iPad, word building is now completely headache free! So now you ask, "How can that be?!"... drum roll please ... Chicktionary!
Among all of our Apps, Chicktionary has definitely become one of the class favorites (mine as well, for obvious reasons!). I love that Chicktionary has a very simple format, making it extremely easy to use and wildly entertaining for my students. When you begin a new game there is an empty egg carton at the top and several chickens with letters on their tummies below. To create words, all you have to do is touch a chicken and an egg (with corresponding letter) pops out, allowing you to create a word that is displayed in the carton above.
My students LOVE to (gently) shake the iPad, when this is done the chickens cluck frantically and jump to a new location leaving a mess of feathers floating through the air! When the chickens resettle, the letters on their bellies are replaced with a new set of available letters for the students to choose from. Chicktionary also provides several other features that permit the children to get a free answer "Free Bird" or provide additional letters for a helpful hint "Beak Sneak". Chicktionary's difficulty level can be adjusted in order to better suit the needs for spellers of any level. There you have it folks! This App will certainly be in my education toolbox for years to come!