On Fridays I like to share a resource or discussion that I’ve found to be incredibly helpful or thought provoking. While I will often pull in a resource from another website, today’s Friday message comes from a recent post on the Tech Savvy Ed Forum here on the site.
Johnegood, a new member of the forum, shared a fantastic spelling practice website called Spellingcity.com that he has apparently had some hand in creating. While I don’t usually write about posts, press releases, or e-mails that people have written to me in order to promote their specific product, I had a few minutes to spare this morning, and played around with Spelling City. That coupled with johnegood’s casual, no-pressure post made me want to share the site with all of the readers.
While on the surface, SpellingCity appears to be a simple tool to create an online spelling list, I found at least 3 reasons that this site is much more than a digital worksheet, and could really lend itself well to improving vocabulary.
1. Play a Game – After typing your spelling list into the boxes it provides (you can add as many boxes as you need), you can play a spelling game in which every word is given with it’s pronunciation and used in a sentence. NOT textually, but verbally; actual people have made actual recordings of the words you put in, so you can click on a button and hear a human voice say the word, and even hear them use the word correctly in a sentence, very much like a spelling bee. If you get words wrong, you can always try the “Teach Me” button, and the site will spell out the words you missed while also giving you the sentences they’re used in.
2. Share Spelling Lists – The site is completely free (which is awesome), and teachers can create their own accounts to create and share lists with their students. You can create as many lists as you want, and students can find them easily without having to have a login. They simple have to type in the first or last name of the teacher or the name of the list, making it simple for them to find lists. Once they’ve found a list they can take a test, have the list “taught” to them with a review, play the game, or print off the list to work with it in the real world.
3. Lists of the Month – If you’re a competitive type, or just want some recognition for your wickedly difficult spelling lists, you can nominate your list(s) for “List of the Month.” When I checked the most recent lists, I found vocabulary words from the first chapter of “Lion, the Witch, and the Wardrobe”, soccer terms, and 3rd grade homophones.
Apparently, there’s more in store for the website, with more games coming online in the near future. With just the one game, I can see how students might quickly become complacent with the repetitive recordings; clicking on the sentence or pronunciation button yields the same recording each time. This is definitely a site worth checking out for elementary and middle school students.