Hey there everyone! How are you doing this lovely Sunday? I'm here to share a new series of posts on how we've been saving time (and paper) in our classroom during Spelling and Word Work.
Welcome to Part One!
So. We've been using Spelling City for years and years now...the free version that is. It really has been a priceless tool for my students--especially for my newcomer English Language Learners. I love all of the audio and practice it provides.
Recently, I decided to take the plunge and invest in the whole Spelling City package, which means Vocabulary Spelling City! *This is not a review, I purchased this myself after recommendations from some wonderful blogging colleagues.
Let's getting to the saving time and paper part, which is the point of this post!
Aside from all of the wonderful features the full Spelling City offers (and there are many I'm very happy with) I really did purchase it for the online testing option.
Since my class is comprised of half EL newcomers and half mainstream students, we have quite a range of spellers within our diverse community.
Which means multiple spelling lists. Which means, come Friday, a series of spelling tests.
This is fine, except it gives me a weekly panicked I-hate-the-amount-of-instructional-time-this-is-taking feeling. Ya know?
Soooo...NOW we have the fantastic option to take a virtual spelling test, with instant results...all at the same time! It took about 12 minutes this week and this was everyone trying the test for the first time.
Once finished, I am left with instant scores, all tabulated by student...
It is simply incredible!
There's only one tiny problem.
I like to give my students five challenge words each week and I didn't want to lose that option. Vocabulary Spelling City will add up the scores, but I don't think it factors in extra points.
So I must confess, we do use a little paper after all (it's 1/4 the size of the test papers we used previously, so it is technically paper-saving still, right?).
It looks like this...
I cut the papers into fours, passed them out, took the Challenge portion of the test in the seven minutes before recess.Then I just recorded the points from the virtual test, added any challenge points earned, and wrote the final score. This also gives me something to send home to the families each week.
I had those babies graded and entered in the rank book before the kids could race to the basketball hoops outside!
And the best part of all? I felt like I had SO much more instructional time that Friday. We had taken care of one of our major routines in a matter of minutes and could move on to other important areas of learning.
I love it!!!
In case you are doing something similar with Vocabulary Spelling City, or would like to in the future, I have a copy of our Challenge Words sheet available for download right here (just click on the preview below)...
I hope this was of some kind of help to some of you out there, my dear readers! Stay tuned for Part Two, coming soon...