How I Use It
One teacher at our school agreed to input all of our spelling words for the year. Then, all of the 6th grade teachers introduced Spelling City and the various activities to students. (You can introduce students to the web-based site or the app, depending on the technology available at your school or in student homes.) I always like to take students to our computer lab and let them play around with new sites before asking them to do anything at home. The students found the website easy to navigate.
Spelling City offers free activities and activities for those who pay for a subscription. We found that the free version was more than enough for our needs.
After the initial introduction, I allowed my students to use the program on an as-needed or as-desired basis. One ELD student with a great desire to improve his English used this program to learn and practice his spelling words before I even assigned them (students can see word lists in advance)! When I identified students who struggled with spelling and the weekly tests, I would share this site with their parents. We found that students were willing to spend more time studying spelling words when they could play games than when they were just doing a packet. Also, I found the TestMe activity great for students without a lot of home support; they could take practice tests even if no one was at home to help them. This program is also great for English learners who need to repeatedly hear the pronunciation of words; they can use the "Teach Me" function and hear the word, the letters, and the word in context.
If I had enough computers for everyone in my class, I would have them play Spelling City games as an opening activity, a center, or an activity to do when they finish early. Since I don't have access to a lot of technology on a daily basis, I used Spelling City to supplement pen and paper activities and allow students to complete independent practice at home.
One teacher at a school can enter all of the grade-level spelling lists and then all teachers/students can access them. A great way to provide extra spelling practice for students. Kids love the games. It makes studying more fun. It took a while to set up (entering all the words), but once it was set up, you can use it for years!