Making spelling exciting and interactive can be a tough job. I just want to point out a few ideas and sites I’ve come across that might make it easier and I’m going to start with a fantastic website called Doorway Speller. It has a number of different levels,with sets of words covering vowel sounds, blends etc. and also covers topic related vocabulary and common words. It uses the Look, Cover and Write method and you can even set the delay you would like on the look or ‘peek’ feature. The layout is lovely and clear and the activity uses a super child friendly font. If you’ve not tried it before and have been looking for something to use give it a whirl!
For those of you with older computer systems (up to Windows XP) you might like to try installing a freeware program called RnR Spelling. This also uses the Look, Cover and Write system and you can create your own word lists. You can go back and correct errors at any time and there is no limit to the number of times you can retry each word. The program has a clear layout and can be successfully installed on a network (we have done this at school and added lists of all the high frequency words to it). Although not quite as appealing as the Doorway Speller this is, nonetheless, a handy thing to have installed on your system.
The more adventurous speller might require more of a challenge, in which case I’d suggest looking at The Times Spelling Bee challenge area. There’s three levels of difficulty, clues for words (letting you know if the word is a noun, adjective etc.) and an option to listen to the words more than once. The game does required the use of headphone or speakers and is quite fast paced. To extend the activities children could check words they haven’t come across before in dictionaries to research meanings and extend their vocabulary. The robot character adds a fun element and I, for one, a already addicted.