Friday, April 11, 2014

Featured App and Giveaway: Smiley Sight Words

Sight words are an important feature of reading instruction. Knowing sight words helps children build confidence in their blossoming reading skills. They provide a foundation for kids beginning to attempt more challenging words. Sight words can also give a child clues to the meaning of a sentence.  Smiley Sight Words teaches high frequency sight words to your child. It is perfect for use in classrooms too as you can input as many as 40 users. Teach over 1,600 common sight words arranged from Dolch, Fry, Pinnell-Fountas, UK, Australian and many other commonly used sight words lists. Create up to ten custom lists and ten shared custom lists. This is a well designed app with awesome customization features at a very reasonable price. Download it now or enter to win a free copy courtesy of the developer, 24x7digital LLC.

If you would like to download Smiley Sightwords (iPhone/iPad, $1.99), please support Smart Apps for Special Needs by using the handy link below:

No ads or in-app purchases.  External links to social media and the app store under the help tab.


Smiley Sight Words is a flashcard app, but the attention to detail and customization features make it so much more. Under settings you will find a set of Parental Controls. You can set a passcode and prevent users from changing lists or changing settings. This is a great feature for teachers as well as parents.

Up to 40 different players can be added each with their own custom settings. You can distinguish players by choosing from different smiley face options or use the camera to take a picture of each student. There are several flashcard options to choose from before selecting a flashcard set. You can mute or turn up the sound effects for correct verses incorrect responses and determine if you want spoken word function on or off. There are seven different font choices including D'Nealian which is what we use in my district. There are even twelve color choices for your sight words. Turn off the auto-swipe that automatically moves to the next sight word or change the setting in half second increments up to 3 seconds. Flashcards that have been read correctly 3 times can be "hidden" from the list and marked as "learned" if you choose.

I was impressed by the number of words lists available and in the organization of the lists. The top 1000 sight word are divided into 40 lists by frequency. You can also select Dolch Words, Dolch by frequency, Fry Words, UK Words and AU Color-Coded Words. In addition, there are lists by number of letters up to 10 letters and words divided by category including: letters, numbers, colors, shapes, months, days of the week and more.

To play, the app displays a sight word from the selected list. If the child responds correctly, the smiley face is tapped. If they do not respond or respond with the incorrect word, the frowny face is selected. Ideally, an adult would be present, but if you enable the spoken word feature a child could assess themselves or just go through a list for practice.

This app provides great data collection. Under settings, it tells you how many words are in a set, how many have been learned (labeled correctly 3 times) and how many words have been hidden. A Progress Report can be accessed by tapping on the Progress button within a set of flashcards. There is also an option to save a picture of the progress report to your camera roll.

I also love when I can customize an app for a specific student. This app features ten customizable lists for each student and another ten shared customizable lists. I use these custom boards to make lists of target words for a specific speech sound. Player settings can quickly and easily be reset at any time. The Help tab also contains a manual with step-by-step instructions for everything under "Settings".

Any parent or teacher working with beginning readers should consider adding Smiley Sight Words to their reading toolkit! Enter to win your own copy in the rafflecopter below.

The giveaway will end on April 19th at 5 pm EST. Winners will be posted on Facebook and notified through the email associated with the Rafflecopter entry. 

Sarah is ready to see some smiley faces because her kids have been sick all week.

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