Contrary to the belief of many students, the existence of spellcheck does not negate the need to learn how to spell. If you don’t know how to begin to spell words like antidisestablishmentarianism, there’s no way that spellcheck will help you when you type in antidysestabishtarnism or some other variation of the word. That being said, teaching children, especially older children, how to spell is often difficult and far from exciting. In our quest to make spelling more exciting, we've found a few great online resources to use in your classroom.
VocabularySpellingCity allows teachers to sign up for free and premium accounts to manage spelling lists and turn them into interactive lessons, games and other activities. What made this resource great for my students is that it combines spelling with vocabulary and writing practice. While students can play simple games of hangman and complete word searches, there are also a selection of activities that incorporate some of the best practices when it comes to teaching spelling, such as unscrambling sentences that contain the words or write sentences using the words, which improves their understanding. My students also had fun with the “TeachMe” feature that pronounces each word, spells it and recites the definition.
AAASpell has options for uploading spelling and vocabulary lists. It has a very simple interface which makes it easy for teachers and students to use. Additionally, students can practice the alphabet or study re-made spelling lists.
Spelling Training has teachers or students upload a list, and then gives them a variety of games to play to practice those words. They include basic games like hangman and more involved games such as spelling shark, animals friends, and flying flashcards.
Catch the Spelling introduces learners to days of the week, Dolch sight words, and other common words through a simple game. Learners catch the letters to gather the given words.
Alpha Bot features a grid of letters and has learners pick out the correct spelling of the word they hear. You can't upload your own lists, but there are three different levels.
Visual Thesaurus Spelling Bee gives learners the chance to compete against spellers from around the world as they spell words on themed word lists.
How to Spell offers free lessons, tests, and other resources to improve speller confidence. Words are grouped into lists by common spelling conventions.
The traditional spelling test structure, where you give students a list, they study it, then take a test, is not effective at getting students to enjoy the process of spelling. Online resources make spelling interactive and reward students for spelling correctly, making it fun and helping them remember how to spell key words better than traditional spelling instruction.
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