(Honest, I wrote this Monday and scheduled it to post but.... Grrrrr! Well, better late than never, right?)
Getting a first grader to practice his spelling words can be nothing short of a battle sometimes. This year though, I found a way to make it easier on both of us! My son uses the workbooks from Explode the Code which introduces new a phonics concept in each lesson and provides practice isolating, reading, and writing words with each digraph or blend. At the end of each lesson, I enter the words he's been practicing and our current sight words into a great app called Spellosaur that sells for only $3.99.
Because of our co-op classes, we have a four day school week at home so he completes 1 level each day. Level 1: Listen and Choose is pretty self-explanatory. Level 2: Complete the Word shows the word with a couple of blanks where missing letters are chosen by the student. Level 3: Unscramble the Word shows the user the spelling word and then breaks the word apart into separate letter tiles that are then rearranged back in order. Level 4: Spell the Word simply states the word and the student spells each one completely independantly. If a word is missed, it is highlighted in red for him to see until he finishes the list and can try again.
The voice used in the app can have some difficult-to-understand pronunciations, but the great perk... I can record the words in my own voice so I'm sure each word is communicated clearly. This has been working so well for my little man and his spelling and reading have both drastically improved! Check this out if your kids are looking for the nearest exit any time you mention spelling.