Stop Grading Those Spelling Tests!


I hate spelling. ​​Not the actual act of spelling a word... I hate to give out spelling assignments and even more, I hate to grade them!

So, about halfway through this last school year, I decided to stop. Just cold turkey. The kids (and probably the parents too) thought I'd gone crazy.

But I had my reasons!

Here are the problems I was having...

  • Some of the kids consistently misspelled words when copying the list into their agendas or wrote so sloppily, they couldn't even read the words to practice them.

  • Some of the kids never even looked at the words until Thursday night... right before their test.

  • The good spellers already knew how to spell most of the words and the poor spellers continued to be poor spellers because they didn't want to practice. (But do spelling lists and tests actually improve spelling ability? Hmm...)

  • Giving and grading spelling tests takes up a lot of valuable time that could be better spent actually teaching.

I should also mention that I do not assign spelling homework because I'd much rather them spend time reading a book.

So I had to come up with a solution. I was not going to be the only third grade teacher out of 7 to skip the spelling part of our reading program.

​​Enter my dream come true... Spelling City! ​​

I know many of you are aware of this website. But did you know you can set up your entire year of spelling in one shot and then not really think about it again?

You can even use it for your spelling tests... with NO PAPERS TO GRADE!

Here's how it works...

First, register for a free account if you don't already have one. Super simple, no explanation necessary.

Now, go to "List Management" on the menu. That will bring you to this page...

At the bottom are some blue buttons. If your school uses one of a few reading programs, you can just click the one that says "Import Lists" and then choose your program and grade.

Hint: If you try to "import group" for your reading program, it will tell you that's a premium feature. Click the arrow to expand your selection and you can import each week's list one at a time instead.

If your reading program is not on the list, you'll want to to choose the "Create a New List" option. That will bring you here...

Enter a name for your list (like Week 1) and put in your words. Then save.

Now here's where you can save yourself a ton of time throughout the year. Go ahead and put in your lists for every week NOW. It will take a bit of time but it is sooooo worth it!

When you're finished, you can go back to the List Management page and hide all but your first week's list from view. Click "visibility" next to each list and then you can choose "None: Not visible to anyone."

This will keep your students from accidentally working on the wrong set of words.

After you create a list, the site generates the part of speech and a sentence for each word. Check it over to make sure you don't need to edit anything.