I thought this might be a good time of year to summarize and emphasize some of the most valuable resources I have reviewed so far. Today’s list is the last of my “Favorites” posts for 2011. Here are my Favorite Vocabulary Building Websites:
#3: Vocab Ahead – This site includes videos and a feature for teachers to create personalized lists and embed them on their websites or blogs. This site is primarily for upper level students, as it hits pretty hard on SAT vocabulary.
#2: Word Sort – You have to figure out the secret rule for classifying the words. I love that this simple game involves logical reasoning, as well as building vocabulary.
#1: VocabularySpelling City – This site allows teachers to build their own lists, offers lists that have already been created, and encourages practice on the students’ parts by playing a variety of games with the words.
I found this example on KB Connected. You can see more examples and find the link to Mr. Zetterberg’s site on her blog post. This idea could easily be modified for higher grades or more advanced students by using more challenging words or asking them to create their own books.
Word Sort is one of the many “brain games” offered by Lumosity. In this particular one, cards are revealed one at a time. Each card has a word on it, and the player must determine whether or not the card “follows the rule”. At first, the player has to randomly guess, but should soon see a pattern in the words that fall into the rule-following pile. Once the player is able to correctly classify 6 words in a row, he or she is eligible for the next level. This is a good game for practicing vocabulary and logical reasoning. It would also be a neat idea to extend it further for higher level students by asking them to create their own games with words from the curriculum.
This site, produced by Scholastic, is a nice tool to use in helping teachers to select books. It includes leveled searches based on the “Level System” your school uses. Another nifty feature is the “Book Alike” search, which allows you to look for books which are similar to certain ones the student already likes. For the latter, the teacher can even use a toggle switch to indicate whether to search for books at an easier, harder, or equivalent level to the book cited. A Book Wizard widget can be added to your website or blog for students and parents to utilize as well.
Vocab Ahead would be an appropriate site for gifted students from 3rd grade and up. English/Language Arts teachers of secondary students would also be interested in using this site. It is designed to prepare students for the SAT and ACT tests. However, anyone who is interested in advancing his or her vocabulary skills would enjoy the free features on this site. After registering, a teacher can design individualized lists of words. Students can view short videos using the words in context, practice learning them with flash cards, and take quizzes. The customized lists can be embedded into a teacher’s website or blog. In addition, students can create their own videos for words that can be uploaded to the site. For this reason, I would advise the teacher to preview any of the videos he or she chooses to add to a list.