Spelling has always been one of those homework tasks that children (and parents) either love or hate. Thankfully with the growth of technology, gone are the days of rote learning letters and using a look-cover-write-check method. Here at Compass Madinat Khalifa we value not just the ability to arrange letters correctly but also the understanding of the word and how the word can be used in different contexts. In order to help our students become better at not just remembering, but using and applying their spelling strategies we have introduced www.SpellingCity.com to all our students.
On SpellingCity children are assigned a spelling list coupled with a compilation of games by their class teacher. The children can login using their login details either through the website on any device or through the app that can be easily downloaded.
Differentiation is at the heart of our spelling program. Each child has been assigned a list derived from the English National Curriculum that is in tune with their current ability level. The game-based element allows students to learn their spelling words within a fun environment. With instant feedback, students can now take ownership of their learning. Students respond well to the timed-based competitive games which allows them to see the top scores of their classmates as they try to gain a place on their class leader-board. SpellingCity has a fantastic collection of phonic games which is ideal for our younger learners, students who are learning English as an additional language and children who struggle with letters and sounds. Our older children can complete crosswords, type their own sentences for their spellings and work on matching definitions and identifying the grammatical use of the spelling words.
Research shows that rote memorization of words the night before a spelling test does not work as these words are soon forgotten after the test is complete. As a spelling aid, children should therefore practise one spelling game every day rather than doing all their spelling activities in one day. This will promote deep learning and retention of vocabulary rather than relying on memorization. Parents have the ability to track their child’s progress and support with words or sounds they might be finding tricky.
Our overall aim as teachers this year is to ensure spelling, which is an essential skill, is a homework task children can’t wait to begin. With full engagement on SpellingCity, student’s literacy skills across the curriculum will show rapid improvement.
I will be introducing SpellingCity at the Parental workshops for Year 1-6 over the coming weeks. In the meantime if you have any questions about the changes to our spelling homework or the use of SpellingCity please contact your child’s class teacher.
Mrs. Ann Firth
Leader of Learning for English