As an administrator, parent or colleague upon entering a classroom, you are most certain to find large chart paper posted throughout the room. What role does this chart paper have in the classroom? They are used as academic visuals for students. Educators will call these visuals word walls. Word walls are organized collections of words that promote group learning. Designed to guide children as they develop sight words, word families, and rhyming words as a way to incorporate into their writing. Punflay has miraculously taken this concept for early elementary students and applied it to your Apple device. It is very simply named, Word Wall.
As you guide your students to become fluent readers and competent writers, group learning centers that involve activities like: See, Hear, Say and Write will be evident. A fifth center can now be added, a mobile learning center for further reinforcement. Word Wall is very student friendly, interactive, graphically appealing, and age appropriate for a large group of individuals. Whether you are a kindergarten, ESL/ELL, or special needs teacher or parent, this educational app is an excellent addition to your curriculum.
To begin exploring this educational app, simply tap a word cloud. Users should be encouraged by a parent or teacher to choose first one side of the rainbow – writing abc’s or writing words. It is here that learning can begin with letters and their sounds, vocabulary development with pictures and words, while also introducing word families. As they progress, users will be introduced to over 75 sight words, and 12 word families. Activities are differentiated to meet various learning styles from the tactile learner to those that are spatial or visual leaners. With very clear and concise directions users will begin to develop necessary reading skills as they build a collection of reinforcement word families or letters. Through this mobile learning center, users will slowly become confident as they learn to read through similar paper activities of seeing, hearing, saying and writing. Whether your child wants to continue reinforcing or repeated exploration is necessary, Word Wall can successfully meet your student and child’s needs. Once a child’s comfort level with letter recognition, sound and word families, users are encouraged to challenge themselves.
Apply previous learning to four additional activities: See and Find, Hide a Word, Bubble Words and Jigsaw Words. As students apply their new knowledge, their learning will be disguised through repetitive interactive activities. See and Find offers two modes of play: easy and hard. Developing readers will play a memory card game. Simply match ten illustrations with its word. A note to the developers, would it be possible to slow the timing down between an incorrect match. Although the answer is incorrect, shouldn’t it be the user that makes the realization rather than the device. Hide a Word puts the user in the dark. With their finger acting like a flashlight, users must find ten hidden words. No matter what your finger control may be, the spotlight is manageable. Just be patient as you play, some words are more difficult to find than others. Bubble Words reinforces those sight words or word families learned earlier through a spelling game. Simply catch the correct letter bubble and drag it into place. Words are dropped onto what looks like lined paper. As this activity develops ones spelling, it is also reinforcing how letters should be written – the difference between upper and lower case letters. The last activity, Jigsaw Words, breaks words learned into pieces. Visually, a user will need to discriminate initially what each puzzle will form. To guide a struggling learner, additional support is also provided as pieces have both words and its illustration. In addition there is a shadow board which guides users in building each word. Regardless of which reinforcement activity is played, users will earn stickers for every ten stars collected. Stickers are stored on “My Wall.” Your wall is a place to stamp and create a picture that can be saved to your photo gallery app on your Apple device.
Overall, Applicable2U gives Word Wall a thumbs up for an effective educational app that can accompany a home schooling or early elementary setting. Word Wall app is an alternative method of posting words learned, the important thing is that children are exposed to a print rich environment that provides them with the tools they need to read and write more effectively. If technology will also provide them these tools, then why not!!! If you would like to learn about this app and others by Punflay, then visit their website here. If developing reading skills is your need, then begin downloading Word Wall from your iTunes library here.