EDucation ToGoBox

a kid & her mom just trying to help out a little!

There’s nothing better than an online game that has educational value. But when that game is completely customized to your child’s weekly spelling list and practice requirements, let’s just say 10 birds, one stone. SpellingCity.com

Spelling tests made easy

Start out by checking for a list of words uploaded by your school/teacher found under “find a list”. If none, just type in your current spelling words and get started. Parents, this is a great thing for you to do to avoid a situation where your student types in the initial list incorrectly and practices the wrong spelling!

Next, have your child click on “Teach Me” to listen to a thorough pronunciation and spelling of each word. You can also click to hear the word read aloud in context of a sentence. Regardless of whether teacher has your student study definitions, understanding a word within context gives kids the opportunity to recall each and every time they have seen, read or spoken that word. Recognizing its purpose helps students become better spellers as they make the connection between reading and writing.

Spice things up with a few games. Click on “Play a Game” to see a series of interactive games that include alphabetizing, scrambles, missing letters, audio word match and word search. A friendly grid allows you to determine how many words are required to make the game possible as well as whether the game can be printable and taken “offline”.

hang_mouse

After a few rounds of games, it’s time to test yourself! Here, students are asked to spell each of the words they submitted as a list (or those chosen on a provided list). An audio button prompts you to type in each word and can be repeated as many times as needed. For extra help, they can click on a sentence button to hear the word in context (useful for homophones). After the test, your child can “Print a Report or Certificate” to take to school or hang on the fridge. The report is useful as it reviews mistakes and gives corrections. Carefully studying errors is a great way for some learners to focus on proper spelling.

SpellingCity.com features many other tools to help build spelling skills. The “Resources” page features articles about how the brain learns to spell as well as popular spelling lists. If your student’s teacher uses a spelling program that will not integrate well with SpellingCity.com, use it as a supplemental tool. My daughter uses a Latin-Roots vocabulary/spelling program at school. However, some of her basic sight words are spelled incorrectly in daily writing. We will use the “Contractions” and “Plural Nouns” lists over holiday break to catch up on some missed spelling lessons.

Educators and interested parents can visit a “Forums” page to share lists, discuss practice tips and give feedback on games.

If your student is required to write their spelling list as a handwriting exercise, you can use a teacher-uploaded list and convert to a  handwriting. Here, you choose print or cursive and a size of print and writing guide lines.

handwriting

Ads? Yes, right below the menu tabs and large, click-able image for “FreeRealms” chat and video download site on homepage.

Login Required? No. Students can type in name to personalize worksheets/certificates.

Navigation? Medium.

Audio? Yes and necessary to learn, take test and some games.

Membership? Optional for premium game(s) at $25 per year. Sample word lists available to try out premium games. Activity tracking.





4 Comments to “Watch Out Akeelah! I’m Up on SpellingCity.com”

  1.   Kathleen McGeady | January 23rd, 2010 at 2:46 AM     

    I am a Grade Two teacher in Australia and love using Spelling City with my students! I initially introduced it to them on the Interactive Whiteboard before allowing them to independently practise their spelling words on the classroom computers. Many of my students have loved this program so much, they have voluntarily used it at home!
    Thanks for your excellent review of this site. I didn’t realise there were other features such as forums and resources too!
    Kathleen McGeady

  2.   bigsissy | January 23rd, 2010 at 8:50 AM     

    @Kathleen..it is a well-known tool by teachers, but sometimes we don’t have the time to go back and check on whether online resources add new features or start charging for their services. I hope to write posts that give teachers the latest and are written so that you can easily send a link to the parents of the kids in your class. This way, you don’t have to write all about it in your newsletter! Thanks for the feedback.

  3.   Kathleen McGeady | January 23rd, 2010 at 5:28 PM     

    Great! This year I’m hoping to give parents more information on tools they can use at home so I look forward to reading more of your blog!
    Kathleen

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