iCan Spell Phonics App

Friday, November 27, 2015

Are you looking for an app to help your child or students in your class with their phonics skills? Then I suggest you check out the iCan Spell Phonics app. This app is great for kids 5-7 years old, ESL, Remedial and/or Special Needs. It is designed for children to use independently.

The app store's description of iCan Spell Phonics states:

Kids learn phonics at the same time as learning to read and spell 150 commonly used words. Spelling words are taught in meaningful context, but are also broken into “phonic chunks” and sounded out. 

It’s like training wheels for spelling success!

Beginning with two letter words, CVCs, short vowel sounds and simple rimes, before moving on to consonant blends and common digraphs, including: sh, ch, th, ck, oo, ee, ar, ir, or, er, ow, ay, ou, ai, and oa.

iCanSpell is easy to use. There are no complicated screens of function buttons to learn. Students can immediately concentrate on learning words instead of learning the app!

All you need to know is how to ‘tap’ - and how to ‘drag’.

Tap “Play”, then pick one of the five words to start (from easy to hard).

Each 10-word-lesson is made up of four activities.

Activity 1: Tap on the “phonic chunks” to build and sound-out each spelling word.
Activity 2: Name the pictures: Drag the vowels, beginning letters, rimes or digraphs to complete the words. (This may be completed strategically, or by trial and error.)
Activity 3: More “phonic chunks”, but this time the spelling words are in proper whole language context, with engaging sentences and vibrant photographs.
Activity 4: Choose between two reward activities: “Match the Pairs” or “Word Search”.


Words are sounded out every time the child spells them by tapping the ‘phonic chunks’. This improves phonemic awareness, and models - very explicitly - the ‘good speller’ habit of sounding out words as you spell them.

iCanSpell only shows correct word images, never exposing learners to incorrect spellings, which can hinder visual assimilation of the correct letter sequence.

iCanSpell is purely educational, but peppered with just the right amount of cartoons, so it never seems like a chore!

No ads – No in-app purchases – No web links – No worries!


The iCanSpell app requires no setting up, apart from choosing your voice accent the very first time you use it. There are USA, UK and Australian speech options. (You may change voice accent at any time in ‘Settings’ via the cog icon on the front screen.)

A specific word list may be selected for the lesson. Students can practice just CVC words, or concentrate on a specific short vowel sound, or on particular digraphs.
Playing through numbered Word Lists 1 to 15 allows students to progress through all 150 words, beginning with 2 and 3 letter words, right through to words of 4 to 6 letters.
Completed lists get a star, so you know where students are up to.

iCanSpell is a highly effective and enjoyable spelling app for beginners. It does not include irregular words, silent letters, split digraphs/magic E, and other more difficult ‘phonic chunks’. There is no typing, and there are no spelling tests. 
* All of these will all be introduced in our later apps! 
(Please also note, you cannot add your own words.)

As well as being a useful tool for the early years classroom, iCanSpell is also suitable for older students needing more help with phonics. The activities are not babyish, and can be completed quickly or slowly at the students’ own pace.

Literacy intervention teachers will find that students who struggle with most literacy tasks will thrive on iCanSpell.


Whether you are buying this app for your four year old who has already mastered the sounds of the alphabet, or for your eight year old who still struggles to read, iCanSpell will provide them with intensive phonics practice which is easy, fun and effective.

There are many leveled word lists available within the app. An example of one of the activities is that students piece together the phonemes to make a word.

First, students are shown the word. The word is read aloud.

Then the word is broken up by phonemes that need to be pieced back together. I like how the phonemes are color coded and sounded out individually when you tap each.

Once the word is pieced together correctly, it appears at the bottom of the screen, read aloud again and a magical sound is played!

It takes about 7 minutes to complete a 10 word lesson which is made up for 4 different activities.

Check out the app in action:

I encourage you to download this app and check it out! It is only $2.99. For the purchase of quantities of 20+, you get a 50% discount ($1.49). If you like it, then check out their deal below about a FREE site license to their Windows version:

If you like the iPad app...
Simply write a short review for the app store, and nominate
your school to receive a FREE Windows site license until 2017.

CLICK HERE to get "i Can Spell with Phonics" for your school!

Click {HERE} to take you to the app store to download :)


  1. Thanks for sharing this app! I'm going to purchase it for my kindergartener at home:-)