Saturday, September 27, 2008

A Simple Way to Practice Spelling

studying for your weekly spelling test has never been easier.

I am of the opinion that memorizing lists of random spelling words is not the best way to learn how to be a good speller. Will anyone ever learn all the words in the English language this way? Learning spelling patterns and rules and rule breakers seem to be a much better way to learn the intricacies of spelling. However, I think that the most important thing that a person needs to know related to spelling is that they have to be able to look at their own writing, recognize which words may not be spelled or used correctly, and then know what to do to check and correct their work. This is the done in the editing phase of writing. I don't think memorizing spelling lists really helps us become better editors.

Spelling lists are here however and they are a good indicator of who studies, who are the good spellers, and who has a difficult time spelling words. Is there even a carry over to a student's writing after they have memorized a spelling list? Some teachers even think spelling tests are not necessary. Don't even get me going on those teachers my own children sometimes have had who force the class to copy dictionary meanings for all of their spelling or vocabulary lists each week and other such "busy" work that is always a nightly homework assignment in some brain paralyzing and time-consuming form.

If you do have spelling lists and you have a few students that may need or like some practice with the words you may find Spelling City helpful. A teacher, parent, or child can enter a list of words on the site (or choose lists already posted). Students can take practice tests, be taught, or even play a game based on their words. Words and sentences are read out loud to the student. The human voices are real humans, not synthesized speech. It may be a good confidence builder for a student that needs a little practice to master their weekly spelling lists. Students with computers can use it at home or it can be used in school.

I read this blog entry out loud to myself and found two simple spelling mistakes. I ran the spell checker and found three more. I would have got all five words correct on a spelling test. We do need to have strategies to check our own written work! If anyone finds mistakes in my blog let me know. I could use a few good partner editors!

You can click here to get started on Spelling City. It is a free website.

Learn to spell it right at Spelling City!

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