Saturday, October 02, 2010

Online Learning Activities

This year, we will be using several online learning activities such as SpellingCity, XtraMath, and History Alive. Each of these sites provides extra practice for students in spelling, math, or social studies, and sometimes students will be asked to practice at one of these sites as a homework assignment.

SpellingCity is a website that helps students learn their weekly spelling words while having fun at the same time. As a teacher, I will put up my weekly spelling lists on SpellingCity and your children can review the words, and play spelling games with their words to reinforce the learning process. Simply go to to see how the site works. You can find our class spelling lists by simply clicking on “Find a List” and typing mrsdub (all one word in lower case letters) in the search box. OR, you can simply click on the link found in the sidebar at the right of this page. The lists will appear and your child can immediately start using them to practice his or her words.

Next week we will practice the words in Lesson 6, the first review lesson encompassing words from each of the first five units. There are fifty words in the list, but students should center their studies on the focus of each week's lesson. The focus of the first five lessons has been:

Lesson 1 - words with sk, sp, and st - the generalization is that some words have two consonant letters blended together

Lesson 2 - words with ng, nk, and th - the generalization is that some words have two consonants pronounced as one sound

Lesson 3 - words with kn, mb, gh, and st - the generalization is that some words have consonant pairs that are pronounced as one sound

Lesson 4 - adding s and es - the generalization is to add s to most base words but some words require es

Lesson 5 - adding ed, ing, er, est
- the generalization is that when adding these endings to a base word, the spelling may change in several different ways

Some students learn to spell easily but other students need much practice and benefit from using successful strategies to learn their spelling words. One strategy is to "discover the problem parts" of a word. This strategy helps students figure out what makes a particular word difficult for them to spell. It calls upon use of the visual modality by suggesting that the user focus on the problem part and commit to visual memory the correct spelling of that part.

Try this:
  • Think about the word and mark the problem part.
  • Picture the word, focus on the problem part
  • Try spelling the word again