Teacher Review For Roots to Words

Students can learn new words quickly and easily

Valerie H.
Technology coordinator
Wemrock Brook Elementary School
Manalapan, NJ
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My Grades 1, 2, 3, 4, 5
EdTech Mentor
My Rating 4
Learning Scores
Engagement 3
Pedagogy 5
Support 2
My Students Liked It Yes
My Students Learned Yes
I Would Recommend It Yes
Setup Time Less than 5 minutes
Great for Individual
Knowledge gain
Small group
Great with ELL
How I Use It
This app should be used in a small group or individually to really gain the most from it. Students progress through the levels, starting with building the Greek or Latin part of words that are shown on-screen. Users will see "_ _ _ _ circle" along with two other words using the same root and can either type the letters or click the question mark which serves as a hint/help so letters are added one at a time. The root meaning is shown above the words to help with understanding. The next level offers meanings and word parts are listed below so users can match up the parts to connect with the definitions shown. In small groups, students can pass and play or work together, but the key is engaging the user by allowing them to attempt and possibly fail. After several tries, users become more adept at connecting word parts to form new words. Learning the similarities between words with the same root is an additional feature. After being exposed to how words are built, the students learn quite a bit about how words are spelled and how to break down a word to learn the definition. I would follow up the activity with additional reinforcement in the roots learned so the students can gain a deeper understanding of their learning. Playing the app as a standalone is good practice, but additional work would enhance their learning. The levels can be cleared and reset which is nice for multiple users.
My Take
The format is simple and basic graphics are used which may be less appealing to younger students. However the content is solid and if you are looking for a user-friendly app that students can learn to navigate quickly this is ideal. It would make an excellent center activity for small groups which you work with other students. If only one iPad is available, the app could be projected onto a screen so all members of the group can easily play along. I would include this as part of a language lesson or as reinforcement after learning about specific categories of root words (comparison, quantity, shapres, etc.) so students can gain further exposure and make connections to words they may already be familiar with, using them to learn meanings to new words. For example hyper means over, so if you know hyperactive, then you know hypertension. This would be a good addition to students prepping for the SAT vocab section as well. Overall, this is a solid app which offers excellent learning opportunities. However, if your students want flash and action, this isn't the app for them. Also, this app is no longer free and will cost you $4.99 which may be more than you're willing to spend.