Review by Amanda Bindel, Common Sense Education | Updated December 2016
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World's Worst Pet - Vocabulary

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Hip games help kids learn words they'll actually use

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Teachers say (7 Reviews)
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4-8 This grade range is a recommendation by Common Sense Education and not the developer/publisher.
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Pros: Music, cool characters, and relevant words keep students interested.

Cons: The story doesn't always connect with the vocabulary words.

Bottom Line: Learn the meaning of vocabulary words through fun games, and put it to good use as part of everyday conversation.

Teachers can incorporate World's Worst Pet - Vocabulary into their vocabulary instruction in the classroom. They can have students start at Level C, Set 1, for example, and go through each set one by one, monitoring their progress as they go. Or they can choose specific sets related to what students are learning in the classroom.

Individual sets are not labeled by topic, but teachers can tap through the various levels and sets to find word lists that fit a specific unit or general subject area. The design makes it ideal for use by individual students, but teachers may also have students study vocab sets in small groups or go through a set as part of a whole-class vocabulary review session.

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Students follow the story of Snargg, possibly the world's worst pet, as they attempt to get him home. In order to get him there, they must complete a series of vocabulary challenges and watch Snargg get into various antics. The vocabulary words are organized into levels and sets. Students first select a level, and then select a specific set within the level. Each set has a different theme -- for example, students may see words related to music, life cycles, or shopping.

According to the developers, World's Worst Pet targets Tier Two and domain-specific words, which simply means it focuses on relevant vocabulary. Kids will find that they can actually put the words they learn to good use as part of their daily lives. Within the app itself, they also have the opportunity to use the words and definitions to play four different games.

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Along with introducing students to Tier Two and domain-specific vocabulary, World's Worst Pet has students practice using the words in four different ways. They play games and answer questions that require them to use the words in context, identify synonyms and antonyms, and use the words to complete sentences. During a set with a music-related theme, for example, students may be given the word "performance," and must complete a sentence using the word, select a synonym of the word, or answer a question such as "Where would a performance most likely take place?"

The app focuses on ensuring that students fully understand each set of words. Before even playing the games, they're given the opportunity to review the words, their definitions, and Spanish cognates. When they incorrectly answer a question, they are shown the definition and additional information to help them understand why their answer wasn't correct. After students complete a set, the app also encourages them to take learning further by suggesting writing prompts that incorporate the words.

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Overall Rating

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

Hip music and characters make kids feel like they're doing something cool. High-quality graphics and fun games keep them engaged as they learn.

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

Vocabulary lessons focus on words kids actually use on a daily basis, and kids use the words in many different ways as they play the games. Missed answers come with an explanation.

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

On-screen instructions help kids play the games, and characters provide helpful tips. Multiple levels make it accessible to a variety of users. Parent and teacher sections provide guidance.

Common Sense Reviewer
Amanda Bindel Classroom teacher

Teacher Reviews

(See all 7 reviews) (7 reviews) Write a review
Featured review by
Neil S. , Classroom teacher
Classroom teacher
Awesome learning tool for all students

I think it is an awesome teaching tool that i am gladly adding to my arsenal. It kept students engaged in learning and the words that are on the APP are everyday words. I like how it had audio and visual aspects to it to draw in the students. it can help my teaching because students will always have something to do besides silent reading when they finish an assignment early and it is something different for them to do besides SSR.

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