SuperSpell - 4 Mation

Reviewed by C. J. Warner
University of Derby

The program is packaged on three 31/2" discs and includes instruction manual, User Guide and sample student worksheets/diagnostic tests. This is a fairly comprehensive package to test a child's ability in spelling and can be used to diagnose problem areas, for example speed of recall, structure patterns etc.. The words are categorised in a complex way and this includes blends, plurals, suffixes, homophones and commonly misspelt words.

Word Memory

This activity uses the LOOK, COVER, WRITE and CHECK method.
Here the child is shown a word from the 'teacher chosen' list, asked to look at it, click when ready, then asked to type in the word either on the keyboard or by clicking on a screen display of the alphabet. A very pedestrian approach is adopted in the progression of difficulty - I am sure 'Wayne' would agree if asked about this!
A tally is kept of the number of words the child has attempted , the success score and the number of attempts the child has had, as a percentage.

Word Speed

An identical approach to that used in Word Memory but this time with the challenge of the child being asked to work against a pre-decided time limit, say ten seconds for each word. A tally is kept of the results, as in Word Memory.

Word Splash

This is a traditional, good fun, Hangman type activity which challenges the child to use established word structures to solve the letter composition for each word. Great fun!!

Rocket

A supplementary activity to Word Splash. A novel variation on the theme of Hangman. The child having to decide the letters which compose a given word. In both Word Splash and Rocket the teacher can change or select the word list to focus on a particular blend or digraph.

Word Find

This is an activity using a complex form of a word search. The words are displayed to read in all directions, except diagonally backwards. This is a very challenging activity which may well only be fully useful with older or more advanced children. Great fun though, if frustration doesn't set in first! Additionally there is the facility to create or edit the word lists making it possible to 'tailor-make' lists to support particular topics, activities or visits etc.. A very useful program to be used sparingly as part of a structured approach to spelling strategy. The Word Find will usefully occupy a place as a supplementary activity in any topic based project.

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