About Us

VocabularySpellingCity® is dedicated to helping students, teachers, parent-teachers, and school systems. VocabularySpellingCity is an award-winning site with ongoing introduction of new features, many based on input from existing users. Our mission: efficient game-based study of literacy skills using any word list. VocabularySpellingCity prides itself on making a significant contribution to education and being amongst the best values in education.

VocabularySpellingCity has been a pioneer in helping students retain the vocabulary that enables them to succeed in comprehending what they read.  For most students, vocabulary words enter their long term memory through a four week cycle involving 12-14 encounters with the words involving multiple contexts and modalities. VocabularySpellingCity has helped districts, schools, and teachers break their learn-it-for-Friday-forget-it-by-Monday habit by promoting a simple method of providing this retention cycle to their students. For more information on this approach and the research behind it.

Interested in Premium Membership for your school or district?

Please contact us at sales@spellingcity.com or call  800-357-2157 x 220 to discuss funding options or to coordinate training for your staff.


A Little History of VocabularySpellingCity

The site was launched on the web as SpellingCity in 2008 and has grown primarily through word of mouth. SpellingCity immediately went viral and had millions of users in the first school year when it was really just a spelling practice utility.  In January 2011, SpellingCity became VocabularySpellingCity to reflect the addition of significant vocabulary capabilities.

In 2011-12, VocabularySpellingCity enhanced its Teacher Resources and added Writing Practice Activities.

In August 2012, VocabularySpellingCity launched its first mobile app which was downloaded 200,000 times in the first two months.

In 2015, VocabularySpellingCity introduced new technologies (patent pending) for building phonics and phonological skills. Also, pictures for many words were added to the learning activities.

In 2016, McREL International conducted an efficacy study of VocabularySpellingCity. The results of the study confirmed the power of our program, showing a measurable and significant impact on reading comprehension and vocabulary retention.

In 2017, we announced a new sister site, WritingCity®. WritingCity is a comprehensive writing and grammar program for K-5 designed to deliver confident and capable writers.

In 2018, VocabularySpellingCity merged with Learning A-Z, part of Cambium Learning. The Cambium Learning Group is a leading educational solutions and services company committed to helping all students reach their full potential. The company’s award-winning brands provide breakthrough technology solutions for students and teachers—including best-in-class intervention and supplemental instructional programs; gold-standard professional development; valid and reliable assessments; and products that enable access to learning for all students.

VocabularySpellingCity is dedicated to creating “game-changing” educational systems. Key components of our mission:

  1. Pioneer software by creating new applications that are considerably easier to use, more effective, and/or less expensive than existing applications.
  2. Rely on proven best practices from education. Our contribution to this is the incorporation of existing best practices into our program, rather than trying to reinvent education.
  3. Recognize that the real need of teachers, parents and students is for educational solutions, not pieces. The web is full of many great educational games which rarely have any real impact on education. Our mission is to create games and software that transform the overall curriculum and educational experience.
  4. Constant process improvement. Listen to the users. Update and improve. Keep it fun, make it meaningful, and look beyond getting through the next test or hitting any short-term financial goals.

The LearningCity Programs include:

VocabularySpellingCity – a K-12 supplemental literacy tool that provides spaced and repeated practice to build vocabulary retention and reading comprehension. 40+ activities help students hear, say, write, break down and play with words.


Science4Us – a K-2 hands-on science program designed specifically for the way primary students think and like to learn, using the inquiry-based 5E Model. The program helps K-2 teachers maximize their class time by integrating math and literacy skills into every lesson.


WritingCity – a K-5 standards-aligned writing and grammar curriculum built on best practices, like the 6 traits of writing and Writers Workshop. It offers daily offline and online writing lessons through a user-friendly digital platform.


John Edelson is the “Mayor” and founder of VocabularySpellingCity. He has a long involvement in interactive software, games, and simulations, starting with his years at Silicon Graphics in the late ’80s and early ’90s. At the 3DO Company in the early and mid ’90s, he was involved in the generational video game transition from 2D sprite graphics to games with real-time 3D photorealistic graphics and physics engines.

Mr. Edelson was the producer on Croc, Legend of the Gobos, a Sony Playstation game that went Platinum. He was the turn-around manager at Argonaut – a 100-person diversified games and technology company in London. He managed it for two years, improving quality, growth, and profitability. He spun-out and joined ARC, a new company in the semiconductor intellectual property industry. Mr. Edelson, as Senior Vice President of ARC, helped the company grow from 10 to 300 people. He consulted to Vcom3D, an educational software company for the deaf and hard of hearing, as well as Time2Read, an educational software company providing standards-based online programs to elementary school systems. Mr. Edelson has previous professional experience at MID Consulting and Price Waterhouse.

John Edelson has a BA from Yale, graduating cum laude and an MBA from Harvard. He served in the Peace Corps in West Africa for two years. As the proud father of three children, Mr. Edelson has a deep interest in improving education through technology.
John Edelson, President & Founder, 954-357-1150 or toll free at 800-357-2157

At our headquarters in Fort Lauderdale, we celebrate the evolution of edtech with a collection of vintage education technology products, which includes film strip projectors, slide rules, mimeograph machines, and more. We document the collection in our blog Retro Educational Technology, and invite discussion about how each piece helped to revolutionize education.

Film strips

Film strips with the audio on a record or cassette were considered very cool in classrooms in the 1960s and 1970s. Although not as cool as movies.

The plaid Newcomb Record Player in a box was in every classroom in the 1960s and 70s.

A Manual Typewriter from the 1950s

The Mayor of VocabularySpellingCity used this typewriter in high school!