I hate being old. When I was younger I would spend hours writing my vocabulary words on notecards bought from the local grocery store and then color-coded them based on my level of understanding. Then I would flip them at the dinner table, before going to be, and on the school bus. Today, the kids “flip” them on their cell phone because they have digital flashcards. There are a variety of apps and online tools to help students learn vocabulary words. While I really liked Flashcard DB, my personal favorite is Quizlet. As a teacher, you can sign up for free and create flashcards for different units by clicking on “Make Flashcards.”
After you have named your set, you can add words to it by writing the vocabulary word on the left and a definition on the right. You can also upload images to help clarify the term, something that could be very useful for differentiation. Also, you can share these flashcards with students by using the drag down menu “visible to: people with a password.”
If you go to the toolbar and select “My Friends & Groups” you will click on “Create New Group” and set a password and information. This is a great feature for teachers. The teacher can control the content but make it available to their students.
Once your flashcard set is complete and shared, your students can study words in a variety of fashions, something that makes this site so unique. Students can study both the word and definition, see just the word and guess at the definition itself, hear the word being pronounced, and learn how to spell it. Beyond that, the students can also play games. This site offers two games (“Scatter” and “Space Race”) that make vocabulary study more engaging and enjoyable. Plus, the scores are saved so they can compete against themselves or their peers.
As stated on Monday, there are many ways to go about instructing students about vocabulary. However, if you are interested in having your students learn the words through memorization first, application second, this is a great site. It allows a variety of manners in which to memorize the words and then tests them on it, making them more prepared for any in-class instruction that occurs afterward.