How to Manage 14 Spelling Lists a Week, Stress Free!


When I started teaching 12 years ago, it was my passion to differentiate as much as I could, but that was back in 2007 and the technology wasn't there to help me with my mission. I tried... oh, did I try to be innovative and have many different spelling lists going at once, but it was still so difficult to manage and it took FOREVER!

Fast forward to 2015 and bring Seesaw into the mix and BOOM! life was better for me and my students when it came to giving each of them what they needed, in terms of spelling support (and much more)! Several times during the year I could have had 14 lists going in my classroom at one time and it took me less than 15 minutes to manage it all. Let me share with you how I did it:

You should know:

- We used Words Their Way at this time (I love the program, but it is in SEVERE need of an update, let me tell you) so if you use another spelling program, you will have to be creative in your set-up and delivery, but don't let that discourage you! It is worth the thought process and mistakes and will change your life, PROMISE!

- My students were taught HOW the first week of school using the SAME words. It took a couple of weeks (and even more for some) to understand the procedures- but totally worth it! After that, no matter what, my students knew what to do and where to go to get their lists. They even knew where to go get their own baggies to store their words. These were 6 and 7 year olds!

Step 1: Get a FREE Seesaw account.

- We were a Seesaw School (which costs money), however, you can create a FREE Teacher account by going to and creating an account today.

- There are TONS of PD in your PJ's tutorials from Seesaw on YouTube. Click THIS to be taken to their channel. 

Step 2: Decide on a system for you and your students.

- As mentioned in my video below, we used Words Their Way, but you could differentiate all sorts of lists using Seesaw. I made 50 copies of EACH sort and they were organized in a file cabinet at the students' height. They logged into Seesaw each Monday, first thing. They would see the sort they were on on Seesaw and then go to the drawer and get their sort for the week. THESE WERE 6 and 7 year olds, my friends! They CAN do these things! 

- Also mentioned in the video, there is some back end work (in the video, I said front end, because I was nervous) to do to prepare for these procedures, but again, TOTALLY worth it.

Step 3: Watch this video, where teach you how to create video 'activities' in Seesaw to use all year:

- In the video, I run through the simple process of using G Suite and Seesaw Activities to differentiate any list from any curriculum that you want to.  Depending on the spelling curriculum you use, you'll have to decide how you will assess their understanding of the list each week.  You can decide what form and how you deliver your assessments. I would suggest using a separate 'Activity Collection' titled "Spelling Tests" so that they are easier to find. (Forgot to mention "Activity Collections" to organize all of your lists/tests! Ugh!)

- Activity Collections are simply 'folders' you can use to organize all of the activities you create in Seesaw.



Step 4: Give me feedback and ask questions. 

- If this video only helps you partly and you have more questions, let me know in the comments or email me at 



Amber HarperComment