Magnetic Alphabet December 9, 2011

Whether you are building sight words with preschoolers, or manipulating compound words with fourth graders these magnets are just like the ones you use on the fridge.

The good news is, you can find a magnetic alphabet for any tablet device. From the Android Market to the iTunes App Store you will definitely find something. Unfortunately, you won’t find much for free. Typically you will get the alphabet A-Z in capital letters only. The app makers hold back numbers, symbols and lower case letters. You won’t have to pay much to get a fully functioning set of magnet letters ($0.99-$2.99) and for your purchase you may get up to 1,000 magnets.
Knowing that you don’t get much for free, the features of a magnetic alphabet app will help you decide which one to choose.  In two I downloaded, Magnetic Board Lite and ABC –Magnetic Alphabet, I could easily save a picture of the word I built. For a teacher, this has potential. Students can capture a word list and review it later in the photos area. One other feature of a ‘virtual’ magnetic alphabet is the infinite supply of letters. Students aren’t limited with what they can spell out like they are with actual magnets. A final feature to look for is the ability to lock in app purchases, or the ability to rotate the letters. Note: both Magnetic Board Lite and ABC –Magnetic Alphabet allow you to rotate the letters with pinching and turning your fingers; a tricky skill for little fingers. I did not discover if you can lock out in-app purchases.
If you are looking for a word building tool with ready made letters, a magnetic alphabet app may be just for you. Here is the full list of magnetic alphabet apps I downloaded for this review.
Magnetic Board Lite – A-Z caps only in the free version, rotate letters and save your images.
ABC –Magnetic Alphabet – A-Z caps only in the free version, rotate letters and save your images.
Spelling Board (free version only provides 5 images to spell. This is more of a try before you buy.)
Letters Board –provides a limited number of letters like the actual magnets on your fridge.
I’m sure there’s more out there and maybe you’ve come across one of them. If you have, drop me a line I’d love to hear from you!