Sunday, September 30, 2012

Vocabulary Spelling City - How Do I Love Thee? Let Me Count The Ways!

With apologies to Elizabeth Barrett Browning let me tell you about Vocabulary Spelling City!  Why do I love this resource so much?  Take a look at the image  on the left.  This wonderful website offers engaging activities that help students master spelling and vocabulary.  My students love to practice their words by playing "Hang Mouse" on their computers at home, but they especially love to practice their spelling words with this activity on the Smart Board at school!  They also enjoy "Word -O-Rama" and "Letter Fall". While it's wonderful that my students can enjoy the online interaction I also like that I can print many different activities as handouts for student practice. 

During the week I generally assign a spelling practice activity each day for homework and these are all taken from Vocabulary Spelling City.  I have posted all my spelling lists on this site.  Students simply go online, select the list they are working with and select an activity to work on.  Students may complete crossword puzzles, unscramble words, practice alphabetization, or vocabulary. 

As a fifth grade teacher I want my students to practice cursive writing.  I know that soon they will develop their own distinctive styles of handwriting and I know that they will use keyboarding skills even more extensively as they grow older.  But, I feel that at this point it's important that they learn how to read and write cursive.  Then they can choose whether and when they wish to use it.  So, each week I always introduce the spelling words with a handwriting practice page from Vocabulary Spelling City.  Students can see the proper formation of letters and how they join.  They can trace each word before practicing it independently.  I think it makes a wonderful introduction to each week's lesson.  All I have to do is click on the list for the week and select  "handwriting worksheets".  This opens a dialogue box which lets me format the words to my specifications.  I choose cursive, but you may also select print or D'Nealian models, select the size, and whether or not you wish to display guide arrows to assist students.

Teaching spelling and vocabulary is so easy with this great resource!  I also love that students can take final or practice spelling and vocabulary tests right online.  Not only that but there are two tiers of use offered.  Many activities are free but there is a Premium Membership which allows automated student record keeping.  My students are thrilled when I tell them that for homework they need to go on the computer and practice their spelling.  I can later go to the Vocabulary Spelling City myself, log in and check out who has done the assignments and when they did them in addition to seeing their scores.

So, really, what's not to love about this site?

1 comment:

Cara Whitehead said...

You have summed up everything I love about VocabularySpellingCity!

Teaching...My Calling