Spelling City
Spelling City is an amazing resource for students, parents, and most of all teachers. The primary focus is for spelling and vocabulary.

Resources
http://www.spellingcity.com/
http://www.spellingcity.com/how-to-videos.html
http://www.spellingcity.com/fluency.html
Academic Word list
SWOT Analysis
Strengths:
· FREE (but not the whole site)
· Anyone can upload spelling lists for students to log in and practice.
  • Once words have been uploaded, the program gives the option to the students to have the words read aloud and spelled letter per letter (in the "Teach Me" section) in order to ensure proper pronunciation and spelling.
  • The website also uses the words in sentences to show students how it is applied in conversation.
  • Can be used for academic vocabulary
  • Students can take a practice spelling test online where the program says the words and uses them in sentences (just like it would be done in the classroom).
· Interactive (audial and visual) games for students to help practice and mastery their spelling words and vocabulary words.
  • Game options include a version of Hangman that can be played with the entire class.
· Has vocabulary for all spelling, math, and science with interactive games to provide mastery of the concepts.
  • Word lists are archived and organized by school, state, country, or American military for easy sharing and retrieval.
· Forums where users can discuss any topic or issue they may be having.
· Video tutorials to help guide you through specific content areas to get you started.
· Provides writing instruction and grammar.
· Site word lists that can be imported to your desktop
· Printable versions of activities are available of spelling, handwriting, and vocabulary.
· Reports and certificates are available to print.
· Flash cards for students to practice and retain vocabulary and spelling words.
· Free lesson plans for teachers, including pre-made video lessons on a variety of topics ranging from analogies to verb tenses.
  • A free activity includes unscrambling sentences. With this activity, students try to form sentences that are grammatically correct.
* Enrichment activities for differentiation.
* Some activities/games focus on syllables, analogies, and synonym/antonyms.
* Great activity for students to do for homework to practice spelling words.
*Students can have different spelling lists and it is easy for teachers to implement in the classroom.
*Spelling City has a new iPad app that is wonderful and coming soon!
*Premium membership gets you:

  • 25 student logins
  • Automatic record keeping
  • Student activity tracking
  • More games
  • No commercials
  • Grouping of class option for better differentiation
  • Different word lists assigned based on groups and their readiness level
  • Practice parts of speech and writing practice
  • Tests can be taken online to save teachers hand grading and time
  • Teacher printed reports
  • Writing assignments can be submitted online. When grading teacher can use emoticons and comments on assignment.
*Can be used at home (doesn't need to be on an intranet to be used).
  • The website is user friendly
  • The website can be downloaded as an app on any iOS device (iPhone, iPad, or iPod) to help students learn vocabulary and spelling through interactive games and activities. This type of educational website is extremely useful while traveling to keep children busy for extended periods of time.


Weaknesses:
  • Some activities and resources are available only with paid memberships
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  • Paid Membership fees:
    • Families Up to 5 students $29.99
    • Classrooms Up to 30 students $49.99
    • Schools 26-299 students $1.95/student
    • 300-999 students $1.75/student
    • 1,000 - 4,999 students $1.55/student
  • Free membership does not allow for teacher monitoring of student work, activities, etc.
  • Some links take students outside the website onto google.
  • Difficult using this site as a homework assignment due to lack of computers at homes in certain situations.
  • Commercials can be a distraction for students and possibly have links within them that will take them off the website.
  • The Web site can be improved to become more user friendly for students with disabilities. For example, the text is very small on some pages, which is a disadvantage for students with visual impairments.

Opportunities:
  • Great opportunity for students who have difficulty with spelling and vocabulary to practice and retain the words.
  • Teachers have access to many printable worksheets and lessons for free.
  • This is a great site for ESOL students to learn spelling and vocabulary.
  • Helpful for ESE/SLD students who struggle with spelling or phonemic awareness.
  • Integrate additional user friendly tools and or software to the website to meet the needs of students with disabilities.
  • This website would benefit from allowing students to enter their weekly vocabulary words and their definitions. Activities or games could then be played to practice matching the words with their definitions.

Threats:
· Advertisements that are displayed through free membership could distract children, and potentially lead them to sites that are inappropriate.

    • Websites like this could have advertisement that contains spyware and adware. This could create problems for students at home or for the networks at schools.
    • Some adds are disguised in links labeled "Spelling Test" or "Spelling Games." which could confuse a child, and easily lead them to a different spelling site that has not been evaluated by the teacher.
Ideas for the Classroom

Great resources for students to use independently during small groups during reading.

· Students can use this at home or access this site from anywhere to practice
Students may access their words to learn proper pronunciation and practice for Spelling Bee



  • Use as whole group activities with the weekly spelling words on the SMARTboard to prevent students from clicking on advertisements.

Examples of Use in the Classroom: (A. Todd)


My Experience with Spelling City
To help Middle School students prepare for upcoming class Spelling Bee, I will generate 3 class lists; one per grade (I teach grades 6-8). I will allow students to access this as a warm up exercise at the beginning of each class. Using the variety of games, students will increase their knowledge by learning the definition, proper usage, and spelling of each word. I will also post the link to our class website so they may access this site from home.