Grading Differentiated Spelling Tests

June 29, 2013

Grading Differentiated Spelling Tests

June 29, 2013
Hi and welcome to another week of Optimum Organization!! Elizabeth and I have so enjoyed reading everyone’s ideas and we hope you have as well!
This week, I would like to share how I organize something that can get a little complicated…or at least messy.

Differentiated spelling tests.
During any given year I can have between 3 and 4 different spelling lists going at once. And things can get a little hectic when it comes to Friday’s testing and grading.
However, thanks to a multitude of technology resources, it isn’t so bad anymore!
Here’s my system (please click on any of the green links for more information and files to share)…

    1. I put all spelling lists on Spelling City.

    I don’t really know where I’d be without Spelling City! This year I splurged and purchased the full license, allowing my students to access the vocabulary games and…
    to test out as well! 
    Oh wait, that’s step two…
    2. Students take their tests on their device (we are a BYOD school).
    Which means all of my students, regardless of their spelling list, can take the test at the same time. Not only does this save us tons of instructional time, but it also gives my students an instant score.
    3. Students take the Challenge Words test.
    For this part I do use paper…I like to have a place to record the score to send home to my families. Plus there isn’t a way to score bonus points on the Spelling City tests. Unless I missed it.
    4. Students number and highlight their Challenge Words papers.

    5. I sort and grade the papers.

    Once the papers are in number order, I go to Spelling City and record the scores from the tests…

    and add up any extra points from our Challenge Words test.

    6. I enter them in my gradebook (this is my favorite part!)

    I know I’ve already gone on and on about my favorite app, iDoceo. Well, it just takes a moment to go through the lists (since they are in ordering according to my gradebook) and add the scores…
    (that’s just a sample page for the visual)
    And that’s it! It looks like a lot of steps written out but it takes very little time.
    The best part? Even though I’m sorting through a lot of differentiated work, this system allows it to be quick and easy for me and, more importantly, for my students.
    Would you like to link up with us? Elizabeth and I would love to have you join in the organizational fun!


  1. Diane R June 29, 2013 at 5:36 pm

    When I was doing Words Their Way, I LOVED Spelling City. It made everything so much easier, and the kids love it because it's fun and it goes at their pace!

    Fifth in the Middle

  2. Stacey @ Riedmiller's Room June 29, 2013 at 5:52 pm

    Wow! If my kids all had devices like that I would love to do this method. I already use spelling city and I had about three lists going at a time this school year.. I loved it AND hated it all at the same time. Loved that my kids were getting just what they needed, but I felt like I was being punished with a lot of work to manage for doing something good.

    This could help me. Maybe I can manage to get Lab time on a Friday this year and they could do it then.

    Thanks for the suggestions! Love this series!

  3. Stephanie @ 3rd Grade Thoughts June 29, 2013 at 5:55 pm

    Sigh…. It's like I put a request out into the world and you pick it up and explain it all so well 🙂 I love this post and think I have just discovered how I will do spelling next year. Thank you for helping me check off that huge to-do! Happy July 🙂 🙂

    3rd Grade Thoughts

  4. Elizabeth S. June 29, 2013 at 6:42 pm

    I love your system. If I were teaching ELA next year, I'd be using it for sure (I will be sharing it with our ELA teachers). It is a perfect way to differentiate spelling, which is so important. I'm always learning so much from you. Have a great week, friend!


    Fun in Room 4B

  5. Erin B June 29, 2013 at 9:28 pm

    I've just recently heard of Spelling City. I love this idea as I'll be teaching grades 2/3 next year and will certainly have to differentiate activities. Do they all have access to the app through an account login? How does that work, exactly? This is definitely something I'll have to look into!

    Mrs. Beattie's Classroom

  6. Amber Aslakson June 30, 2013 at 3:56 am

    I have used Spelling City here and there over the years, but I think this year it will be great to implement it in this fashion. I have multiple spelling lists and limited time with students. This would allow my students to take tests on their own and could happen during times they are working in centers or with my paras.

  7. isewell June 30, 2013 at 1:31 pm

    Great post! I've used the free version of Spelling City for years and it's been a great help. Parents can access my lists and I can print out the words and have kids practice their handwriting at the same time. After reading your post, I'm thinking that I might splurge and buy the premium license. If you get the chance, will you elaborate on how you use iDoceo in your classroom? thanks!

  8. The Wild Rumpus June 30, 2013 at 2:58 pm

    Kristen–I remember when you first posted about spelling city, and I as so excited to try it out. Now that it's summer and I can take the time to get my act together, I'm loving this. I've thought about the upgrade from the free version, and you've convinced me it's worth a go. Thanks as always!

  9. Leave a Reply


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