Showing posts with label SAT vocabulary. Show all posts
Showing posts with label SAT vocabulary. Show all posts

Friday, September 6, 2019

Ten Sites & Apps to Help Students Learn New Vocabulary Words - Updated for 2019-20

There was a time when I regularly published longer lists of helpful sites and apps. Over the last few years I got away from doing that with any regularity because I wasn't sure that anyone really benefited from them. But in the last month I've been asked a handful of questions that could have been answered by having a current list. All that is to say that I'm going to start publishing some lists with regularity. First up is the following list of good sites and apps for helping students learn new vocabulary words.

Knoword
This is a game that has been around for nearly a decade. It continues to evolve with the times. The latest version of Knoword has three levels for students to play. The game is played the same way across all three levels. To play the game simply pick a level and then hit "Begin." Once you begin you have 90 seconds to correctly spell as many words as possible. The catch is that you have guess what words to spell based on the definitions that are provided. It's a bit like Jeopardy in that way. You can earn more time to keep the game going by getting streaks of five correct words in row.

Math Vocabulary Cards
Understanding the vocabulary of mathematics is often the first step that students need to take in order to be able to solve math problems. Math Vocabulary Cards can help students overcome that challenge. Math Vocabulary Cards is a free tool designed for elementary school students. The app (available for iOS and for Chrome) offers exactly what its name implies, a series of flashcards of mathematics vocabulary terms. Each card contains a term, a diagram, and a definition. By default the term is hidden and students have to guess the term based on the definition and diagram. Students can also use the cards with the definitions hidden and the terms revealed.

World's Worst Pet
This is an app that has been around for five or six years. While it hasn't had a significant update recently, it still works well on iPads running the latest version of iOS. In the app players have to help bring home Snargg, the world’s worst pet, who has run away. To get Snargg back players have to fill his food dish by learning new vocabulary words. Each of the six levels in the game contain ten dishes (each dish represents a new set of words) that can be filled. Four games are available for each dish. The games are fill-in-the-blank, synonym identification, antonym identification, and definition identification. The app contains a total of 1,000 vocabulary words.

Vocabulary.com
Vocabulary.com is an excellent vocabulary study service offering thousands of vocabulary practice lists and activities for students in elementary school through graduate school. In addition to lists of SAT, GRE, and other test prep words, you can find vocabulary lists that are attached to novels, historical documents, famous speeches, and current news articles. When you sign up for Vocabulary.com you will be given an assessment quiz in order to give you suggested lists with which to start your practice. After completing the assessment you can use the practice lists suggested by Vocabulary.com or choose your own lists from the huge gallery of vocabulary lists.

Flippity Flashcards
Flippity is a great service that offers templates for creating all kinds of things in Google Sheets including multimedia flashcards. You or your students can use Flippity's flashcard template to create flashcards for any words or phrases that you choose. The flashcards created through the template are displayed on their own stand-alone webpages. Watch my video below to see how it works.


Winning Words
Winning Words is a series of seven iPad apps that feature matching / “memory” style vocabulary games. There are six apps in the series. Each app is played in the same manner of flipping a card and trying to find a match for it. The six apps are synonym match, antonym match, homophone match, compound match, double letter match, verb match, and singular/plural match. Each app supports up to four players and has three levels of difficulty.

PrepFactory
PrepFactory is a free service that offers students a great selection of free SAT and ACT preparation activities. PrepFactory focuses on helping students develop good test-taking strategies while also not boring them with dozens of continuous rote exercises. But before students even dive into the practice activities they can work through in-depth strategy review activities. To help students know what strategy to review or which practice assessment to take, PrepFactory has students complete diagnostics activities.

Vocabulist
This is a site that was developed by a high school student (who is now a Harvard student). Vocabulist enables students to upload a document and have it extract words and definitions from it. Each word in the document is matched to a definition. If the definition rendered isn't exactly right, students can modify it within Vocabulist. Once the list of words and definitions is set students can download the list as a PDF or export the list to Quizlet where it will then be turned into a set of digital flashcards. (Students must have a Quizlet account).

New Tab Quizlet
New Tab Quizlet is a Chrome extension that will display a flashcard from your Quizlet sets whenever you open a new tab. If you have questions on your cards, you'll see the question and answer. If you have vocabulary words on your cards, you'll see the word and definition.

VocabAhead
VocabAhead offers videos and flashcards that are designed to help students learn new vocabulary words. The website hosts animated videos that explain what words mean in context. Next to each video there is a set of corresponding flashcards.

Disclosure: PrepFactory is currently an advertiser on FreeTech4Teachers.com

Thursday, December 31, 2015

10 Good Tools to Help Students Learn New Vocabulary Words

As I do every year, I am taking this week to relax, recharge, and ski with friends. While I'm away I will be re-running the most popular posts of the year. This was one of the most popular posts in September, 2015.

A couple of weeks ago I published a video about using Vocabulist to create vocabulary lists and study sheets from a document. This week, I was contacted by a reader who liked Vocabulist for her own use but wanted something a little different (easier to use) for her students. Over the years I've reviewed a number of tools that students can use to help them learn new vocabulary words. Here are ten of them.

World’s Worst Pet is a free iPad app that contains a series of fun vocabulary games. In the app players have to help bring home Snargg, the world’s worst pet, who has run away. To get Snargg back players have to fill his food dish by learning new vocabulary words. Each of the six levels in the game contain ten dishes (each dish represents a new set of words) that can be filled. Four games are available for each dish. The games are fill-in-the-blank, synonym identification, antonym identification, and definition identification. World’s Worst Pet is designed for students in grades four through eight. The app contains a total of 1,000 vocabulary words.

Knoword is a fun and challenging game that tests your ability to match definitions to words. Knoword is played like this; you're presented with the first letter of a word, its part of speech, and the definition. You then have to fill in the correct spelling of the word. If you enter the correct word, you earn points. If you don't get it right, you lose points. You don't have to register to play Knoword, but you can register if you want to. Registering for Knoword gives you the option to keep track of your game statistics. Registered users can also earn badges based on their performances. In the few games that I played I noticed that Knoword is probably best suited to use by students in middle school and high school. I think many of the words would be too difficult for elementary school students and they could end up frustrated with the game.

Vocab Genius is an iPad app from Brainscape. Vocab Genius features more than 800 vocabulary flashcards. Like any flashcard application the cards present one word at a time. To get the definition tap the card to read it. After reading the definition and sample sentence rate your understanding of the word. Over time the app learns the words that you know better than others and shows you the words you don’t know more often than those you do know.

Sight Words is a service that provides vocabulary flashcards and games designed for K-3 students. On the site you can find pre-made flashcards and pre-made vocabulary games. All of the the flashcards and games are PDFs that you print to use offline. In addition to the pre-made flashcards and games Sight Words offers templates for creating your own printable flashcards and games. Most of the games on Sight Words include detailed directions and videos on how to utilize the game in your lessons.

Flashcard Monkey is a fun little site on which students can review SAT vocabulary words. The flashcards feature simple cartoons that illustrate the meaning of the words on the flashcards. Flashcard Monkey currently offers cartoons for more than 500 SAT words. Flashcard Monkey is a nice little review tool for students preparing for the SAT. The model of Flashcard Monkey could easily be applied to any other set of vocabulary words. Your students could make their own cartoons to depict the meaning of the vocabulary words they're trying to learn. Sadly, this resource has gone offline. January 2016

WordWriter is a neat writing tool from BoomWriter. WordWriter allows teachers to create vocabulary lists that they want students to incorporate into a writing assignment. Assignments are distributed directly to students through the class lists that teachers create in their BoomWriter accounts. Students do not need email addresses to receive the assignments. Teachers can log-in at any time to see if and when a student has completed an assignment.

Winning Words is a series of free iPad apps that feature matching / “memory” style vocabulary games. There are six apps in the series. Each app is played in the same manner of flipping a card and trying to find a match for it. The six apps are synonym match, antonym match, homophone match, compound match, double letter match, and singular/plural match. Each app supports up to four players and has three levels of difficulty.

PrepFactory is a free service for high school students can use to prepare for the SAT and or ACT. PrepFactory offers students a series of tutorial videos and written tips to help them prepare for both tests. After completing a tutorial students can test themselves in a series of practice questions. Each question set is timed and and limited to chunks of ten questions at a time. Students can earn badges for completing tutorials or question sets. Click here for a video of PrepFactory in action.

Flashcard Stash is a free vocabulary flashcard service for teachers and students. The service makes it easy to quickly create flashcards and sets of flashcards. As a registered user of Flashcard Stash when you type a word into a blank flashcard suggested definitions and sample context sentences are provided to you. You can then choose to add one or all of those definitions and sentences to your flashcard or you can write your own definitions and sentences. When making your own flashcards you can include images. If you don't have time to create your own flashcards you can choose to work with some of the pre-made lists of flashcards. Teachers registered on Flashcard Stash can create flashcard sets to share with their students.

Vocabulist enables students to upload a document and have it extract words and definitions from it. Each word in the document is matched to a definition. If the definition rendered isn't exactly right, students can modify it within Vocabulist. Once the list of words and definitions is set students can download the list as a PDF or export the list to Quizlet where it will then be turned into a set of digital flashcards. (Students must have a Quizlet account).

Disclosure: Prep Factory and Boom Writer are advertisers on FreeTech4Teachers.com.

Saturday, September 13, 2014

How to Use Professor Word to Find SAT & ACT Vocabulary Words on Any Website

Professor Word is a neat tool that can help students learn new SAT and ACT vocabulary words. Professor Word operates as a browser bookmarklet in Chrome, Firefox, Internet Explorer, and Safari. With Professor Word installed in your browser whenever you're reading a webpage you can click on the Professor Word bookmarklet to quickly identify SAT and ACT vocabulary words on that page. You can also use Professor Word to get definitions for any unfamiliar word on a webpage. To get a definition just highlight the word and a small dialogue box containing the definition will appear. In the video below I offer a short demonstration of how to use Professor Word.

Friday, July 18, 2014

Flashcard Monkey - Cartoons for SAT Vocabulary Words

Flashcard Monkey is a fun little site on which students can review SAT vocabulary words. The flashcards feature simple cartoons that illustrate the meaning of the words on the flashcards. Flashcard Monkey currently offers cartoons for 507 SAT words.

Applications for Education
Flashcard Monkey is a nice little review tool for students preparing for the SAT. The model of Flashcard Monkey could easily be applied to any other set of vocabulary words. Your students could make their own cartoons to depict the meaning of the vocabulary words they're trying to learn.

Thursday, January 17, 2013

A Simple Tool for Finding SAT & ACT Vocabulary Words on Any Website

During a workshop that I ran on Monday someone noticed the Professor Word bookmarklet that I have displayed in my Chrome browser. So during a break I showed off what Professor Word can do and I've decided to share it again here.

Professor Word is a service that can help students learn new SAT and ACT vocabulary words. Professor Word operates as a browser bookmarklet in Chrome, Firefox, Internet Explorer, and Safari. When you're reading a webpage click on the Professor Word bookmarklet to quickly identify SAT and ACT vocabulary words on that page. You can also use Professor Word to get definitions for any unfamiliar word on a webpage. To get a definition just highlight the word a small dialogue box containing the definition will appear.


Applications for Education
Professor Word could be a great little tool for students to use to not only read definitions, but to also see SAT and ACT words used in "real world" context.

Friday, October 5, 2012

Professor Word - Identify SAT & ACT Vocabulary Words on Any Webpage

Professor Word is a promising new service that should help students learn new SAT and ACT vocabulary words. Professor Word operates as a browser bookmarklet in Chrome, Firefox, Internet Explorer, and Safari. When you're reading a webpage click on the Professor Word bookmarklet to quickly identify SAT and ACT vocabulary words on that page. You can also use Professor Word to get definitions for any unfamiliar word on a webpage. To get a definition just highlight the word a small dialogue box containing the definition will appear.


Applications for Education
Professor Word could be a great little tool for students to use to not only read definitions, but to also see SAT and ACT words used in "real world" context.

Big thanks to my friend Mary Beth Hertz for telling me about Professor Word. 

Friday, August 24, 2012

SpellingCity for iPad and iPhone

SpellingCity recently launched a free iPad and iPhone app for students. The app gives students access to the same vocabulary lists that they use on the SpellingCity website. SpellingCity's list of words for students exceeds 42,000. Students and teachers who register for accounts can create custom word lists (Note, new lists have to be made online. Through the app you can only access existing lists). If you don't register you can simply choose from the many suggested word lists created by SpellingCity.

The SpellingCity app offers six types of practice activities. The activities are Teach Me, Test Me, Match It, Word Unscramble, Hang Mouse, and Which Word. I am particularly fond of the Teach Me activity in which the words and their spellings are read to students. Again, if you are registered and logged into SpellingCity you can create custom lists that are read to your students when they use the Teach Me mode on their iPads.

You can learn more about the free SpellingCity iPad app here. Or download the app here.

Disclosure: SpellingCity does help me pay the bills at the Free Technology for Teachers world headquarters. 

Friday, March 16, 2012

Embed Plus Offers Real-World Context for Vocabulary Words

Embed Plus is a free service for clipping and annotating YouTube videos. I wrote about the service and included a demo of it last winter. This morning I learned from Learn It In 5 that Embed Plus also provides a nice service for learning how to pronounce words and watch some examples of those words being used in a real-world context.

Embed Plus Dictionary allows you to search for a word, hear a pronunciation, and watch a video clip in which that word is used in a real-world context. The example that Embed Plus features is about the word "salmon." I've embedded their example below.


Applications for Education
Embed Plus Dictionary could be a good resource for students of high school age or older. The video clips that I saw would not be terribly engaging for younger students. If you're looking for clips that would be appropriate for K-8 students, I recommend visiting Wordia.

Friday, February 10, 2012

Vocabulary.com - Extensive Lists of Vocabulary Practice Activities

I've written about a lot of vocabulary development websites in the past (here are seven good ones) so I was kind of surprised when I realized that I have never written about Vocabulary.com. Vocabulary.com offers hundreds of vocabulary practice lists and activities for students in elementary school through graduate school. In all there are more than 40,000 questions available through Vocabulary.com

When you sign up for Vocabulary.com you will be given an assessment quiz in order to give you suggested lists with which to start your practice. After completing the assessment you can use the practice lists suggested by Vocabulary.com or choose your own lists from the huge gallery of practice activities.

Vocabulary.com keeps tracks of your progress for you and, if you care for this sort of thing, gives you a virtual achievement badge.

Applications for Education
The Vocabulary.com activities that I tried reminded me very much of the SAT. The activities were a mix of fill in the blank and analogy activities. Students using Vocabulary.com receive instant feedback on each question that they attempt. Overall, Vocabulary.com could be a good site for students to use in preparation for the SAT.

Monday, December 12, 2011

Wordia - Vocabulary Videos and Games

Wordia, a vocabulary resource that I initially reviewed last year, recently underwent a facelift. The new Wordia is much more student-friendly than the previous version of the service. Wordia now features word lists arranged by subject area and the age of students. Wordia now offers games based on the words in the word lists. Students and teachers now have the option to create their own word lists and videos to upload to Wordia. And coming soon, students will be able to track their progress and earn digital reward badges.

The video below offers a good overview of Wordia.


Applications for Education
The visual aspect of Wordia could help students remember the meanings of words on their vocabulary lists. The videos of students and adults explaining what the words mean in context beyond the dictionary definitions could also help students remember and recall the meaning of words.

Friday, October 28, 2011

Three Vocabulary Apps for Android That I'm Testing

This morning I had the opportunity to run a couple of short workshops at my own school. Other than the initial oddness of being "the consultant" in the place where I've worked for almost nine years, it went well. The workshops I ran were based around our new school agenda of helping students improve their vocabularies and in turn improving the SAT scores on which we're judged as a school. (For the record, I don't agree with teaching to a test, particularly one as flawed as the SAT. That said, I was asked to present some tools that teachers and students could use to practice SAT vocabulary so that's what I did this morning).

One of the things that came up in the course of a conversation in the workshop was the idea of having students use their cell phones to study. And since in my district Android phones outnumber iPhones by at least 10 to 1, I thought I'd test out some Android apps for studying vocabulary. Here are the three that I am testing on my own phone right now.

Vocab Builder, built by Gordon Hempton, was the first app that I installed. I chose it, in part, because it has the most 5 star ratings of any of the apps I browsed through. Vocab Builder also offers more words than most of the other free apps that I looked at. You can use the app to quiz yourself in a flashcard style of matching words to definitions or matching definitions to words. A good companion to Vocab Builder, from the same developer, is Beworded which is a "Boggle-style" word game.

Wordalation, developed by Appulearn, is the second app that I installed on my phone. I chose Wordalation because it offers a text to voice feature for hearing your vocabulary words and definitions pronounced. I also like that Wordalation presents the vocabulary words in groups of ten. Study a group of ten until you think you know them all before moving onto another set of ten words.

Vocopedia is the third app that I installed on my phone. Vocopedia offers a very large selection of vocabulary words that commonly appear on the SAT. To study the words you can use the standard flashcard method of reading a word and guessing the definition. You can also use the Vocopedia hangman game to practice identifying and spelling the words in your vocabulary lists. I have to admit that I'm not as keen on Vocopedia as I am the other two apps, but that could change depending upon the feedback I get when my students try these apps.