Wednesday, 17 June 2015

Dynamic Literacy - TOS Review

I was quiet excited when offered the chance to review WordBuildOnline from Dynamic Literacy as they have been on my wish list for a while now.


WordBuildOnline is an interactive, web based programme designed to develop vocabulary and increase comprehension. It works by focusing on morphology, the study of parts of words like suffixes, prefixes and roots (both Latin and Greek), and creates a unique way of learning a multitude of words all from understanding a couple of tiny morphemes (exponential learning at its best).

I received a subscription to both WordBuildOnline for both Sunflower and Lilly, the great thing is the subscription lasts for as long as it takes them to complete all the units : )

Once the account was set up for the girls, it was fairly straight forward for them to use. They would log in to be greeted by Lexi who would introduce them to a new morpheme for the week through a video, then they would be able to start the activities. 

There are a number of different activities for the week, these include;

Affix Adder - you are given a definition of the weeks word and are asked to manipulate it by added either a prefix or suffix and writing the meaning of the new word. They also have to select a correct definition for the word created.

Root Square - a 3x3 grid is provided and the task is to connect the middle square (that weeks word) to different prefixes or suffixes from the surrounding squares to make as many words as possible.

Magic Square - they have to match the definition to the correct word in a sudoku type challenge.

Stair Step - typing the words into the grid to their definitions from the sentences below.

Comprehension Booster - a 'fill in the blank' revision activity

The idea is your child works on one activity each day, each completed activity results in a 'paw print' on your skateboard with the goal of getting five prints each week. The great news for the girls was that it took less than 10 mins a day to complete an assignment. We tweaked it slightly as we school for four days a week so rather than the girls doing an activity each day, they would do a couple on one day and one on the rest - there were some days they had so much fun that they did three or four. If they struggled with an activity and got a particularly low score there was the option to redo the activity. If an activity is completed correctly then are confetti stars and congratulations noises along with some praise from Lexi.

There is a parent account where you can see, in detail, what your child has completed (including date and time taken for each activity), view their lesson, ratings/scores, list of morphemes learnt or even reset an activity (although they do advise against this as the programme does adjust the difficulty level based on their performance). I did receive an email confirmation each time a lesson was completed by one of the girls, however the email is very basic and doesn't give any of the measurable information you find on the parent account - you can opt out of these emails.

I was worried initially by some of Sunflowers low scores until I realised they were from poor spelling rather that lack of understanding - now she takes more care with her spelling (which is never a bad thing).

I love that it teaches them to pull apart and digest unfamiliar words to figure out the meaning. A real benefit is the independent learning, there is no input needed from me - everything they need to know is included in the weekly video and the information Lexi provides.

Lilly really likes the 'word problems' and loves the root square activity, especially trying to get three square combinations.
Sunflower thought the games were great fun - she especially liked that they were so quick - her favourite was the magic square.
They seem to be having fun - for me any educational product they enjoy using and are keen to use is a blessing - and I've seen a real improvement in their vocabulary usage, although quick, the lessons seem to be really memorable and the information sticks in their mind.

WordBuildOnline has a couple of levels in Foundations and Elements which covers grades 2nd-10th or for individuals needing remedial help.

WordBuildOnline is available for $30 per student. You can see what my crew mates thought of this and other Dynamic Literacy products over at the TOS Blog

No comments:

Related Posts Plugin for WordPress, Blogger...