SpellQuizzer spelling software from TedCo is a very handy piece of classroom technology. It’s a minimalist approach (read, it’ll work on your elderly classroom computer) that does just exactly what you need it to and no more.
Here’s a screen shot. Let’s go through the top row first, left to right. The first option is “Quiz me on a list!” Students click on this and hear spelling words, with a clue either read to them or printed on the screen, and they type in the word they hear. They receive immediate feedback when they make an error, and have the option of retrying the missed words. When they finish, they get an automatic result, and an opportunity to try again.
Given the limited value of traditional spelling tests, the fact that SpellQuizzer cuts down on class and grading time for the tests makes it worthwhile even if it did nothing else. You can download premade lists for each grade, for holidays, lists of words brought to English from particular languages, and lists focusing on particular topics. Set them up in your computer center and have students take the tests in a few minutes at their convenience.
But SpellQuizzer does more than automate a task. Move on to “Create a Spelling List” on the screenshot above. Here you can type in your list of words, read each one into your computer microphone to record the sound, add your own example sentences or other clues, and save the list. SpellQuizzer has a built-in spellchecker that recognizes both US and UK spelling and warns you if you have a typo.
Think of all the things you can do with this:
- Prepare all the spelling tests from your spelling book at once instead of taking time all semester.
- Create lists in any language.
- Create matching tests for information, such as as the atomic weight of isotopes or the century in which an artist lived.
- Have students create their own lists of their own personal spelling demons (words they tend to misspell).
- Make spelling lists to go with particular books.
The next option is “Edit spelling lists,” so you can update lists, make small changes, and create cumulative lists. You could also re-record premade or shared lists if the accent was quite different from what your students are used to, in order to avoid distracting students.
In the bottom row, you can see the buttons for sharing lists: you can export your list so other owners of the software can use it, and import other people’s lists. What a time savings! This could also provide fun opportunities for foreign language classes. Imagine recording words in your native language and swapping with a class that speaks the language you’re studying.
Finally, there’s a help button. But this software is so easy to use that you will probably never need it. Check out the online video demonstrations to see just how it works, download an examination copy to try it for yourself, hook up with other users at Facebook, and — here’s the most exciting part — enter our contest to win a free copy for yourself. Just go to our brand new forum and share your best tip for teaching spelling. The contest closes on January 31st, when we’ll choose the best tip and send along the software.
SpellQuizzer will send a single-computer license to teachers requesting one from their school email, and offers nice discounts for site licensing for schools. Homeschoolers, enter to win your copy, and also visit SpellQuizzers homeschool spelling software page.