Review by Amanda Bindel, Common Sense Education | Updated June 2015
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Grade 7 Vocab Audios and Pics

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Quirky cartoons, solid audio make vocab study fun and meaningful

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Teachers say (1 Review)
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Grades
5-8 This grade range is a recommendation by Common Sense Education and not the developer/publisher.
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Pros: Cartoon illustrations make words memorable; audio features boost learning potential.

Cons: The app offers too few words and lacks stats, and some settings may not always work.

Bottom Line: Solid tool may not stand alone for vocab instruction but makes a great supplement.

Teachers could use a flashcard comic to start class with a vocabulary warm-up. Students with 1-to-1 devices could work through the quizzes at their own pace until all words are mastered and then move on to a more robust word list. Since there are no teacher reports, students will need to track their own quiz scores if teachers want to see that information.

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Grade 7 Vocab Audio and Pics is one in a series of vocabulary-building apps from Lafazi, Inc., that make learning words fun. Quirky cartoons depict each word, and brief-but-detailed audio recordings present "short stories" or usage examples. Through study, flashcard, and multiple-choice quiz modes, students can learn 226 middle school-level words such as vicious, legitimate, and harmonious

In study mode, kids search or scroll for particular words, read the part of speech and definition, enjoy a cartoon, flip the page for usage text, or press the cryptic audio button at the bottom (the triangle) to hear the definition and usage. Flashcard mode shows only the word and part of speech, but kids can tap to see the cartoon as a hint or flip for the definition. Twenty-word quizzes give five definition choices. Correct answers are highlighted in green with a check mark, with incorrect answers in red with an X. Words get separated by student or by quiz results into “mastered” and "don't know" lists.

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Grade 7 Vocab Audio and Pics engages students with fun comics, which means new vocab words will be grafted onto their brains. The graphics are crisp, navigation is intuitive, and the audio feature is nice for struggling readers and ELLs. Entries also feature spot-on definitions and parts of speech, which are sometimes left out of competing products.

Even with all these great features, there's some room for improvement. Cartoons are sometimes a bit off: For example, the word resume shows a team of baseball players standing on a field holding umbrellas during an electrical storm (!), presumably before play resumed (in the future). The usage "short story" explains how this picture relates to the word, but the image doesn't stand alone. 

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Overall Rating
3

Engagement Is the product stimulating, entertaining, and engrossing? Will kids want to return?
3

Cartoon illustrations and interesting usage examples bring fun to vocabulary.

Pedagogy Is learning content seamlessly baked-in, and do kids build conceptual understanding? Is the product adaptable and empowering? Will skills transfer?
3

Kids review more than 200 words, testing recall through 20-question quizzes. Missed words or those not yet reviewed are on a "don't know" list, while mastered words move to the "mastered" list.

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's no way to customize lists beyond words mastered or not mastered. Kids get immediate feedback on quizzes, but there's no way to track results or share with parents.


Common Sense Reviewer
Amanda Bindel Classroom teacher

Teacher Reviews

2
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Featured review by
Kris E. , Other
Other
2
Vocabulary words 7th graders should know with pictures, flash cards and quizzes

I was not overly impressed by the app. I did like that it would read the word and definition out loud and provided pictures and a paragraph so students could understand the word. I couldn't get the flashcards to work- or else they were not very well-created. The tests were pretty easy, especially if you know parts of speech, as there might be 2 out of 5 definitions that would match the same part of speech. There are exactly 226 words in the app. and I don't see how to get more. I would not spend money to purchase this app.

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