Wednesday, June 17, 2015

Dynamic Literacy - WordBuildOnline Review

How many kids just love to get out their vocabulary workbooks and start doing worksheets?  I know that our kids just hate dull, boring worksheets and workbooks.  We recently had the opportunity to try out an online vocabulary program, WordBuildOnline - Foundations Level 1 (Grades 2 - 5) from Dynamic Literacy.

WordBuildOnline - Foundations Level 1 takes a different approach to learning vocabulary.  Instead of teaching students to just memorize words and their meanings, it teaches them to find words inside of the words they are trying to figure out.  By breaking the word down, students are easily able to decode the meaning of larger words.  Students can watch a short, interactive video each day.

Lexi the dog introduces and encourages the student to work through their lessons.  Each video is short and the games are also a great length to keep a students attention and still keep them learning.  It has been specifically designed to last only about 15 minutes per day.  Students generally do one activity a day, and each level is meant to last about a full school year.  But if you have a student who is behind, they can easily do multiple lessons a day.  But remember that each student is working to reach mastery on each level.  

Each student account is tied to a parent account.  You also will get an email when a student has finished an activity.  But you can track their performance and mastery of skills through your parent dashboard.  The parent account also has an extra video for each level that helps go a little more in depth for parents.

Each student does need their own account, but you can have multiple students attached to one account.  This makes tracking all your children much easier.  If you need a printed copy though for your state requirements, this item can easily be printed and added to your child's portfolio.

We have to be very careful of the length of programs because if they are too long the kids lose attention and learn nothing.  So I have really enjoyed using WordBuildOnline - Foundations Level 1 since it is "kid" friendly with Lexi the dog, and yet not over cartoony so the kids are still learning.  I am just not a fan of cartoony materials that provide lots of distractions for the kids.  Then they spend more time playing with the characters than learning.

Lydia and Joey have been using this program for a few weeks now and I think it is working well for them both to decode words.  Joey has a pretty extensive vocabulary, but WordBuildOnline - Foundations Level 1 has been reinforcing concepts for him.  He actually can go through a couple lessons at a time (but he is a bit older and at a higher level than Lydia).

With Lydia, I have her sticking at a "one at a time" schedule.  She seems to be progressing very well.  It has taken both of them a little to get used to navigating through their dashboards.  They don't always remember what level they did on the previous login, but that is a minor issue because they don't always double check their planner lists to see what they need to be doing.

I am really enjoying WordBuildOnline - Foundations Level 1, and so are the kids.  They are learning a lot versus just using a bookstore workbook.  They are learning how to decode words which will help them so much more than just memorizing word lists.  The length of the lessons are short, which is also a big plus.  This program is also very affordable at only $30.00 per student, and the parent account is included.  I can see our kids continuing advancement through this program.

There are several levels to choose from.  We did start with WordBuildOnline - Foundations Level 1, but there are levels for older students also.  There is a 2nd level of Foundations, and that is for through grade 5 (unless you are looking for remedial work and then it's for grades 5 - 9).  The next level is suggest for grades 6 through 10 and that is Elements.  WordBuildOnline matches the physical books that Dynamic Literacy also offers.  You can read more about each level at Word Build Online website.

Several members of the Schoolhouse Review Crew were given the opportunity to try out various programs offered by Dynamic Literacy.  Read more about how they used the programs in their homes by visiting the Schoolhouse Review Crew blog.

Dynamic Literacy Review

Crew Disclaimer

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