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Tuesday, October 29, 2013

VocabularySpellingCity Schoolhouse Crew Review

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I have never been a very good speller, but my daughter Delaney loves spelling and vocabulary words. She is 11, but she spells better than her older sister and is actually spelling at a high school level. I think she spells so well because when she was younger I would catch her writing words in the air with her finger as she spoke or if someone else was speaking. I hate to admit it, but if we have a lot of things come up in our school week spelling lists are the last thing we work on. We have been using VocabularySpellingCity Premium Membership and now the girls can just log in and work on their spelling and vocabulary words completely on their own.

There are actually two versions of VocabularySpellingCity. They offer a Basic Membership that is free and a Premium Membership that costs $29.99 for a one year subscription for up to five students. Both ways you have access to teacher resources, you can import spelling lists, print worksheets, and test spelling words. The Premium membership adds so much more to the program. VocabularySpellingCity is recommended for K-12 grades, but anyone needing to improve their vocabulary or spelling could benefit from it.
From the Teacher/Parent account you can manage your students, input spelling/vocabulary words, manage your word lists, assign word lists, and games for each student and track their progress. You can also try the games out for yourself to see how they work.
The first thing I did was create my own word lists. I use Spelling Power with my girls, so it was very easy for me to enter the words lists for each of their levels. I can name my lists and enter the grade level for each one. I have been adding the rule that is included with Spelling Power in the instructions for my kids. I don't know if there is a maximum number of words that you can add to one list, but one of Delaney's lists had 25 words. The first list I entered went a little slow, but then I figured out that you can just click enter after typing each word and it will automatically move to the next line or add another line if all the numbers are already full.
After saving my lists I can choose the definition. It automatically defaults to the most popular, but other parts of speech or definitions can be chosen.
After creating word lists you must assign the list to a student. You may choose up to 10 activities for the assignment from 6 categories. They include Tests, Teach, Spelling, Writing, Vocabulary, and Language Arts. Some of the activities you may assign are Flashcards, Spelling Tests, Vocabulary Tests, LetterFall, Word Search, Missing Letter, Sentence & Paragraph Writing, Vocabulary Matching, Word-O-Rama, Parts of Speech, Alphabetize, and so much more. 

Each student has their own login & once they are in their account they can access the activities that were assigned to them. The activities can be completed in any order the child wants to work on them.

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The flashcards will show you the word and the definition. The student can always see what number of flashcard they are on & they have the option to print each card.
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In Word-O-Rama we are given a sentence or a definition in the grey box. We have four words to choose the correct answer from, if the wrong answer is chosen the student can have another chance.
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In the LetterFall game you are given a word and then it is used in a sentence. You will use the mouse to click on the arrows in the green circle to move the bucket under the next letter in the word. The letters that have already been caught are displayed in the bottom left of the screen.

One of the best things about the Premium Membership is that I can check the progress of each of my kids. I can see what activities were completed, the date and the time spent on each one. Some activities are graded, so on those activities I can see their grade and the words that they missed. On one spelling test Delaney missed several words. When I asked her why she missed them she said, "I was trying to type instead of looking at the keyboard and it didn't work so well."

I have been using the Premium Membership with all three of my girls ages 8, 11, & 12. I only added a couple of spelling tests at a time, but it would be much easier to sit down and add a bunch of them at once. Alaina (age 8) likes to play HangMouse the best, Delaney (age 11) loves writing sentences and taking the spelling tests, and Amber (age 12) likes to take the spelling test first to see what words she needs to learn to spell, so she doesn't waste her time working on them.

VocabularySpellingCity Premium Membership is a big time savor and can make learning vocabulary & spelling words fun for the kids.
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