Sunday, March 18, 2012

We may all be different fish, but in this school we swim together!

It's a beautiful day in upstate NY.... BUT I'm glued to my computer working on the literacy workshop I'll be presenting this week. Maybe I'll move my work station to the balcony :)

I don't know about your students, but mine have been obsessed with tattling and getting each other in trouble. I have done mini lesson after mini lesson modeling and discussing this and we even have a tattle box! Any tips?

Going along with the issue of tattling, we talked about how we are a family and a team. We made this cute bulletin board to go along with our recent conversations about sticking together and loving one another.

And if you haven't heard yet, Love to Teach is having a super great giveaway. Who wouldn't want an Amazon and Scrappin' Doodles gift certificate??


Wednesday, March 14, 2012

Spelling City!

I've been busy preparing a literacy workshop that I will be presenting next week so I haven't been doing much blog stalking this month. I hope I didn't miss anything super spectacular! 

Anyways, I was given a membership to Spelling City in exchange for writing a review. I'm sure many of you have heard of it. I admittedly knew it existed but never gave it a try until recently and boy were my students missing out! 

Spelling City gives you the option of uploading your spelling lists so that your students can practice their words by playing fun games. The teacher can create a username and password for each child and a report keeps track of what the students are doing and their scores. I have 3 different spelling groups and it only takes me about 5 minutes each Friday to upload the new lists. 

Recently my school was given laptops so I sign out 3 laptops each day for my students to use during daily 5. Students who choose "word work" have the option of using the laptops for Spelling City. Inevitably, this has been a popular choice. Even with Spelling City's popularity, I have had NO interruptions to explain or help my students navigate the site. It's 100% user friendly for my second grade students. They even like it so much they sign into Spelling City from their home computers too!

My only con to Spelling City is that I wish I could designate my lists to specific students without "creating assignments." What I have done instead is I group my spelling lists and my students know what group they are in and where to find their current list. I just didn't like the idea of students and parents being able to look at the other lists, but thus far it has not been an issue. 

Spelling City can be utilized for free, however, for the great benefits and student tracking I would highly recommend purchasing an annual subscription. It's well worth it! 

Feel free to comment with questions or ways that you use Spelling City in your classroom :)