“A synonym is a word you use when you can’t spell the other one.”

As I mentioned earlier in another of my posts, I am currently doing my first practicum. This week, my assigned teacher was really upset because the students had failed to study their vocabulary list for their weekly review. She was explaining me that she had put a lot of efforts for the students to learn them, giving them extra time to work in class and offering them to stay with her at recess for help. As she told me this, I looked outside and it was sunny, a perfect arrival-of-Spring day! Then, I thought that no matter how much these kids liked English, it would be hard to convince them to stay in when they could go out and play with their friends after dinner. That’s when Vocabulary Spelling City comes in.

This website was created exactly for that purpose: to make vocabulary learning easy and fun! Basically, us, teachers, can go on the website, choose from existing lists of vocabulary, save the ones we want and let the kids choose the online game they want to help them learn the words! Seems too good to be true, right? In fact, this website was designed for first language teaching, but it is also useful for second language teaching. If you can’t find a list from the ones offered, there is also the possibility for you to create your own and save it. Students can then go directly on the website to get yours from school or from home!

The free version of the website offers 12 different games like HangMouse, Sentence Unscramble  and Word Search. The “premium version”, offers 14 more games and some other interesting features such as student progress tracking and vocabulary development activities. Teachers can register to the website really easily. Another interesting thing about it is that parents can also have access to it (especially useful in the premium version) and can follow along to see the progress of their kids.

Not so long ago, I attended a conference where one of the speakers talked about the inevitable spreading of the iPads and similar technologies into the classrooms. When I heard that, I started to realize that eventually, the school material will have to be completely rethought! Keeping that in mind, I think it’s really important for me to think wisely when I choose the tools I’m going to use in my classroom for the future. This brings me to look into tools like Vocabulary Spelling City, which, in addition to being really helpful and interactive, have the big advantage of being available for iPads and iPhones (and apparently soon for Androids as well).

On another note, since I believe that home school is going to become increasingly popular in the years to come, I often find myself navigating on some blogs related to it and I found one where the author is completely addicted to this tool! She also provides an interesting list of pros and cons which gave me a valuable opinion of someone who is actually using it on a weekly basis.

Also, as mentioned on Teaching Blog Addict, the fact that the website provides different levels of difficulty is interesting because the students could learn with the same tool every year through their whole elementary school! That is, of course, if the teachers of the school communicate with each other and decide to use the tool cooperatively.

To leave you on a good note, I couldn’t resist the temptation to post this poem, found on a website where you can find useful vocabulary lists already prepared:

“Spelling tests got you down?

You must’ve gone to Misspelling Town.

Your spelling test can make you giddy,

If you take a trip to Spelling City!”


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