Quick and Effective Spelling & Vocabulary Practice
How I Use It
I created word lists for each unit of study, by using Dictionary.com’s accompanying website, Word Dynamo (http://dynamo.dictionary.com). Using the website, instead of my iPhone app, enabled me to rephrase definitions with language that my 4th and 5th graders would read and understand with success. I also entered my own definitions (Bar Line – n. divides the staff into measures). Now, I can share the title of the flashcard stack and students can search for it on their iPods or Android devices outside of school (the same stack may be accessed during play on the iPad app version, “Word Dynamo”). I can also email the address of the word list to parents, provide links on my website, or provide it to students in the computer lab.
Working on word lists on the website offers the ability for students to create an account, where they can take on new challenges and receive badges for accomplishments. Upon login, there are suggestions of other quizzes that may be of interest, promoting individual, self-directed study. The time allowed for quizzes can be changed to 15 seconds, 30 seconds, 1 minute or “timer off”, which helps to individualize for different learners.
If I had access to an iPod cart, I would have students work individually or in small groups, to create their own word lists.
Dictionary.com Flashcards is a great app for students to practice their spelling and vocabulary words, where iOS or Android devices are available.
Setting up and using word lists is quick and simple: students and teachers create their own lists, and can share them on Facebook (students who access lists via a Facebook share will be directed to a website). Users may also search an extensive database of already-created lists in the following categories: Popular, Subjects, Grade Levels & Standardized Tests. Many of the words available include a button to hear a recorded voice pronouncing the word, using both female and male voices.
There are some customization options while using the word lists, by choosing to “study” or to “quiz”. In study-mode, one may view the entire list, or view as index cards. Students can opt to see the term with the definition, or to see only the term or the definition first. In quiz-mode, the student is asked to select the correct definition from a list of multiple choice answers. There is a set 15 second time limit on answering quiz questions, which may not be enough time for all students.
When one is creating their lists’ definitions, users are limited to Dictionary.com’s definitions, which aren’t always in kid-friendly language. Additionally, definitions for some subject-specific terms, are not available (such as “bar line” in music).