Monday, October 3, 2016

Using Digital Tools to Teach Vocabulary

Hi Everyone!  This is Lyndsey from Lit with Lyns, and I'm going to be sharing how my I teach vocabulary using digital tools.  I typically teach our content area vocab as I'm introducing that particular skill, but there isn't always enough time throughout the year to teach all the words that students need to know.

When looking for ways to ensure my students comprehend multiple words at a time, I came across this amazing website, called BoomWriter. BoomWriter is a FREE collaborative and interactive writing program that features 3 separate tools: StoryWriter, WordWriter, and ProjectWriter.

The feature I use for vocabulary is WordWriter.  As the website says, "WordWriter lets students apply, share, and assess their vocabulary knowledge in a new, fun, and interactive way." It's a great way to let your students practice the vocabulary words you assign them.  You can sign your students up yourself by entering their names one by one, or you can save time and have them do it by going to the following link:  Here, they will type in the name of their school, which will then display your name, as well as the name of your school (you'll have to register first, of course).  Once they have registered, then they can begin the activities. 

I use WordWriter to have students practice the vocabulary that we're working on.  To set this up, you will "create a new WordWriter Project."  Then enter the name you want to call it and the subject area.

Next, you will select the students you want to participate.  I typically choose them all, but this is also where you could differentiate, creating different vocab lists for different students, depending on their needs.  Then you will add the vocab words you want your students to use, in addition to your instructions.

After you have done this, you will see your word bank, which is all the vocab words you entered for this activity.   If everything looks correct, you will click, "I'm Finished." 

When students go in to complete the activity, they will see the words that they are required to use, and then must write a paragraph, story, etc. (whatever you specify in the assignment instructions) using all of the vocab words.  As students use the words, they are highlighted within the passage and turn green in the Word Bank.  

The pic below is an example of what students see when they first open the assignment.

BoomWriter has been a huge hit in my classroom, and is a terrific way to spice things up a bit.  It's also a great way to incorporate technology.  What digital tools do you use to help your students to master vocab words?  I'd love to hear about it in the comments below.

1 comment:

  1. It's great to see suggestions for language arts tools like these that are especially suited to middle graders!