Common Sense Review
Updated October 2013

Cultiwords

Memorize, review, and acquire 40 SAT-caliber words
Common Sense Rating 3
Teacher Rating (1 Teacher Review) 3
  • Quizzes pretest knowledge of words and review later to check for understanding.
  • Definitions go beyond meaning by engaging kids with anecdotes.
  • Words are "acquired" when they've been successfully reviewed three times.
  • The word list includes words that have been introduced and those already mastered.
Pros
High interest anecdotes make learning words easy and meaningful.
Cons
No user accounts for multiple students; no auditory word pronounciations.
Bottom Line
Excellent method for learning vocab teaches good study technique, too.
Amanda Bindel
Common Sense Reviewer
Classroom teacher
Common Sense Rating 3
Engagement Is the product stimulating, entertaining, and engrossing? Will kids want to return? 3

Interesting anecdotes about the words engage kids, and the overall design of short quizzes, interesting definitions and anecdotes, and the utilization of memorization and review motivate kids to learn.

Pedagogy Is learning content seamlessly baked-in, and do kids build conceptual understanding? Is the product adaptable and empowering? Will skills transfer? 4

Interesting information about each word gives a depth of understanding. Learning is baked in through repeated exposure to the words.

Support Does the product take into account learners of varying abilities, skill levels, and learning styles? Does it address both struggling and advanced students? 3

There are no user accounts, so only one person can track progress at a time. The dictionary shows all words "in process of acquisition" and all words "acquired."

About our ratings and privacy evaluation.
How Can Teachers Use It?

Cultiwords is great for individual daily vocabulary practice. In a 1:1 or bring-your-own-device (BYOD) environment, teachers could have kids memorize a new word daily and work through their review words as a warm-up, daily activity, or homework. Teacher could also introduce a word-a-day using Cultiwords on screen with the whole class working through the memorization and review together.

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What's It Like?

Cultiwords uses repetition and memory techniques to help students learn and remember 40 SAT-caliber vocabulary words. Extension packs of word collections can be added for $.99 each. Students start by attempting to identify the word, then reviewing the definition, which includes phonetic pronunciation, etymology, definition, and anecdotes about the word. At that point, they can choose to forget the word (and learn it at another time), add it to their dictionary, or share it on Facebook. Once the word is added to the dictionary, kids review the word, along with others in the dictionary, until they have identified it correctly three times. Then the word is "acquired" and moved to the acquired list in the dictionary. The dictionary shows the list of words "in process of acquisition" and words "acquired." Students can only review the words once per day, and are reminded with push notification.

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Is It Good For Learning?

With just a few minutes a day, students can dramatically improve their vocabularies using the process of memorization and review. The definitions go beyond the meaning of the wordby giving a colorful narrative of the word's origin and meaning, making it more likely to be remembered. Phonetic information is included in the definitions, but there's no option to hear the words pronounced, which would be a nice feature. The words included in the base set are: austerity, avuncular, back judge, cajole, caustic, colloquial, deplorable, eloquent, eros, gorgon, grouse, hiatus, irate, julienne, kismet, largess, meticulous, officious, paragon, phoneme, phytochemical, plaudit, precocious, quisling, quixotic, repugnant, salubrious, spurious, sultry, ubiquitous, and unctuous.

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See how teachers are using Cultiwords