Friday, September 4, 2009
SpellQuizzer Give Away!
Do you remember this spelling rule?
I before E
except after C,
or when sounded like A
as in neighbor and weigh.
This week I've been checking out software for a spelling program called SpellQuizzer. SpellQuizzer is a spelling program for helping children master their spelling and vocabulary. The kids and I tried this one out and have found it to be an excellent resource for helping them practice their spelling words.
Frankly, I really hate calling out my kids spelling words to them every day. You have to do it every day or they don't learn their words well enough. But I have trouble keeping my eyes open listening to the same words over and over and over. I tried pawning it off on the kids and having them call out their words to each other but that usually wound up with accusations of mispronunciation and deliberate sabotage. If we run out of time to get all our schoolwork finished, spelling is the first thing to be shelved for the day. And spelling always winds up being their lowest score on their end of the year tests.
SpellQuizzer makes spelling practice a lot easier! I only have to call out the words one time - to the computer - and then the kids can take it from there. With SpellQuizzer, you enter in the spelling word and then record yourself saying the word with a sentence. For example, for the word "siege" I recorded myself saying, "Siege. The castle came under siege. Siege." When Ben needs to study his spelling, he listens to my melodious voice calling out his spelling words and then just types in the correct spelling. If he misspells it, a woman's scream of terror rings out (it's pretty funny to watch their expressions the first time that happens). If they get all the words correct, they get a round of applause.
The fun part is recording all the words. Ben has forty words in his weekly spelling list. The girls and I recorded them for him while he was sleeping. We made some pretty funny sentences that we knew would get his goat. Katie recorded, "Aggressor. Ben is usually the aggressor when we argue. Aggressor." Of course, with words like hygiene, conceit, and irritable in his list, it would have been too easy for the girls to fall into a Ben-bashing fest, so we kept it fairly nice. We did try to make the sentences fun and silly. Sometimes we talked in funny voices and sometimes we were laughing so hard we couldn't understand the sentences when we were through. Luckily they are easy to re-record.
You can upload your own spelling lists, or there are pre-made spelling lists you can download and use from the SpellQuizzer website. It was not designed to go along with any one spelling program, so it can be used with any curriculum. They have Community Forums where you can ask questions and talk with other parents of students. The spell checker even warns you if you enter a word incorrectly when you are creating a list. The SpellQuizzer website also gives instructions on how to boost your microphone's capabilities.
Dan Hite, the creator of SpellQuizzer has offered to give away SpellQuizzer for free to one random person who reads my blog. Just leave a comment and I will random.org to choose a lucky winner this weekend!