As a member of the TOS Crew, I was given access to a website associated with Time4Learning called Spelling City. This site offers interactive games to help students learn their spelling words, and allows students to practice their words and take tests online! Parents can create their own spelling lists and usernames and passwords for their children. The children then log-in, and play! Many of the activities on Spelling City are free, but for a premium membership, (24.99 per year for up to 5 students) you can gain access to more games, and online grading and tracking of results!
To sign-up, you simply enter your name and email. Once you log-in you will be directed to your list management page where you set up your spelling lists for your children. Your children can then access this list by searching for it on the list page by entering your name. The website also includes pre-made lists of Dolch Words, compound words, sound-alike words etc. etc. that you could choose words from. Once students find their list, they are able to practice the words by clicking on the “Teach Me” button. When they do this, a REAL human voice says the word, spells it, then uses it in a sentence. There are a variety of games children can play to learn their words including “hang mouse” , word search, matching, unscramble, and many more. The premium membership gives you access to more games, including Letterfall, which was one of my kids favorites.
There are games appropriate for all ages. My seventh grader preferred the more difficult games like Word Search and Sentence and Paragraph Writing Practice, while my 4th grader liked Letterfall, Hang Mouse and Unscramble. There are also audio games as well. My boys would spend about 15 minutes on the computer each day, first going through the “teach me” portion of the lesson, then playing a few games. On Thursdays, I had them take their pre-test online. I will say that this made spelling practice MUCH easier and more fun than just filling in a workbook, and my younger boy, for whom spelling is difficult, did much better on his end of the week tests!
As a premium member, I had access to the Teacher Toolbox which allowed me to set up an account for each one of my boys. They would log in with their own username and password and play. I was able to track their activity when I logged in, as well as see their scores on their pre-tests. For the sentence and paragraph writing that my older son did, I was able to pull the writing up and grade it as well. This is a nice feature, as I could easily see how they were doing and what they needed to work on. Spelling city also has printable handwriting activities and writing activities you can use.
For those of you who are technology shy, Spelling City has teacher training videos which show you how to use the website. With a premium membership you also get access to live tech support! We all enjoyed using Spelling City as part of our school day. In the past, spelling practice resulted in rolled eyes and complaints, but both of my boys genuinely enjoy using Spelling City 🙂 I appreciated being able to log in and check on my kids progress. For $24.99 per year, I think you definitely get your money’s worth! You can check out the website here: