Vocabulary Lessons Online ( Review)

Wednesday, June 17, 2015

As an educator, I believe being well-read is intrinsically important in a child's education.  An essential part of reading is the comprehension of the text being examined. Without correct comprehension a student wastes hours wondering about the relevance of what they have read.  I know that I would hate to think that my children are not understanding what they are reading. 
 Recently we were given the opportunity to review an online program which teaches both word comprehension & word composition by teaching the student the meaning of the different word parts.  WordBuildOnline By Dynamic Literacy is a fun and easy way for students to learn about  how to ascertain the correct meaning of words using the combination of prefixes & suffixes added to root words. 
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WordBuildOnline is an entirely online program designed to assist students in building their vocabulary & reading comprehension skills.  It begins by teaching a specific prefix or suffix and then adding it to various root words to change their meanings. WordBuildOnline then presents the student with a variety of activities throughout the week to ensure the student completely understands both the meaning of the new word and how to properly use the prefix or suffix being studied.  We were given a subscription to the Foundation Level 1.  This is designed for mid-primary aged students, although it can be helpful for remedial work for older students.   This level presents the student with 25 basic prefixes or suffixes to study.  They anticipate them completing one per week for 25 weeks. There are three additional levels also available.
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At the beginning of each week, WordBuildOnline presents the student with the prefix or suffix which is to be studied.  This is done by a short video presentation.  After watching this, they must then complete a different activity every day for the five school days.  These activities are designed to take less than 15 minutes each.  They assist in the student's understanding of the affix, how it is commonly used & how it adjusts the meaning of root words.  They are guided throughout this whole process by a dog called Lexi.

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The activities  for the Foundation Level are:

Day One: Affix Square - this includes the student combining the affix to a base word as well as writing out their own definition of the meaning of this new word.

Day Two: Affix Adder - the student is given the definition of the root word & they must then write their own definition of the new word once the affix is added to that root word. After this is completed,  they must then choose which of three sentences best uses the new word (which ultimately checks their comprehension of the new word).

Day Three: Magic Square - the student will match from a list of definitions to the correct word.
Day Four: Comprehension Booster -  The student must choose the best term from the provided word bank to complete the given sentence.  There are 5 questions given for this activity.

Day Five: 5 Questions in 10 minutes -  This ultimately checks that the student has fully understood the meaning of the affix as well as it's correct usage.
As the student completes the activity, a reward is added to their skateboard scoreboard.

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Every WordBuildOnline subscription also includes a parent login.  This allows the parent to track where their student is up to & to review any concerns they may have. The parent has the ability to view a complete report of what their student has completed.  This also allows the parent to reset any activities they feel were not completed correctly.  The parent also receives a quick email when the student has completed any activity.  These emails are very basic & do not contain very much information, but they do allow you to know your student has worked on this program that day. You can choose if you wish to receive these through the dashboard.

We received a subscription for 2 students to WordBuildOnline Foundations Level 1.  I chose for Jud & Ellie to use this.  

Ellie is in sixth grade, but I thought it would be beneficial for her to use this program as I want to ensure she has a good comprehension of her reading material.  No surprise; she found this incredibly easy.  It took her just a few minutes to complete each activity and she completed all 5 daily activities in a single day getting very high marks.  She is progressing through the affix list quickly & will complete the whole level very soon. 

Jud is in third grade.  He also thought he had to complete all five activities in a single day.  He found them a little more challenging to complete, however his main struggle was with the magic square activity which I think overwhelmed him a little.  When reviewing his report, I noticed that he has opted out of a few activities. He said this is because he was afraid he would run out of time.  However, he generally completed them well within 10 minutes. He liked the activities & thought it was a fun way to learn the meaning of words.

I personally found WordBuildOnline was very easy for me to utilise in our homeschool.  Both students were able to use it completely independently.  I really appreciated the ability to see my students' reports otherwise I would not have known how they were truly going with this program.  

Dynamic Literacy has very generously offered readers of Sunnyside Farm Fun a 10% discount for WordBuildOnline OR a 25% discount for their books at www.dynamichomeschool.com by using the discount code:
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