Friday, August 5, 2011

More Friday Spelling - Spelling City: A Cool Tool

Fed up with the same tired spelling drills? A great resource for early readers and writers is Spelling City, a free website that allows students to learn and practice early spelling and decoding skills in a fun, motivating way.

After registering as a teacher, parent, or student, users can enter and save their own lists of words or work from pre-existing lists entered by other users. To use the words for practice in spelling and other literacy skills, a multitude of games are available, including the perennially popular Hangman spin-off “Hang Mouse.” The graphics and sound effects are simple but appealing, and students will enjoy the change of pace in their spelling practice.

One particularly valuable feature of the website is the "Spelling Test" option. Students can take a test in which the word will be dictated to them and presented orally in a sentence. Once they’ve completed the test, any words they’ve spelled incorrectly will be marked, with the correct spelling written next to it and a “Teach Me” option next to the error. After relearning the word, the student can choose to take another test, either with all the words or focusing only on incorrect responses. Spelling City can be used as a collaborative teaching tool as well. If a list is made public, others can search for it by name and play games with the words on it. This is particularly valuable when teachers enter words lists for their students to use, helping to bridge the gap between school and home.

Premium memberships, available for $24.99 a year, allow users access to even more features, like vocabulary tests and flashcards for the words on a user’s personal lists.

Photo used under Creative Commons by woodleywonderworks

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