Tips & Tricks
Back to School: Top 10 Reasons Teachers Should Bookmark Vocabulary.com
Teachers: Spend a few minutes exploring the free resources on Vocabulary.com now and get more out of vocabulary learning, reading, and writing all year.
1. Word Look-Ups Like Never Before
If you're working with a SmartBoard, use the Vocabulary.com Dictionary to facilitate close discussion of word meanings in class. Our ad-free dictionary pages include easy-to-read definitions, a word family chart, synonyms, antonyms, "type of" information, usage examples from the real world, audio clips that demonstrate pronunciation, and for the most often looked-up words, a friendly explanation to help your students understand and retain what they read. (Check out our Dictionary page for comprehensive to see how this looks.)
2. Vocabulary Lists that are Quick and Easy to Make
Our interactive Vocabulary Lists are easy to make: You supply the words; we supply the definitions and example sentences. Or if you're pulling vocabulary out of electronic text, we'll take care of all three. (Watch a short video on list making here.)
3. List Learnability
After you've found or made a Vocabulary List, Vocabulary.com can teach it to your students through a fun, fast-paced game that responds to individual players' performances to ensure they're learning in a way that's just right for them. You can give students the URL for lists you've made and any number of them can learn the words at once. Read more about list learning here. Want to focus on spelling the words on a list? Play a Spelling Bee.
4. Ready-Made Vocabulary Lists
Don't have time to make your own lists? Vocabulary.com hosts thousands of lists on the site — made by our curriculum development specialists as well as by our community of users. Search for them on the Vocabulary Lists page or browse through categories, such as Test Prep, Literature, Historical Documents, Speeches, News, and Just for Fun.
If you're not quite ready to assign learning to students via the website, just print out the lists you've made...they’ll look fantastic, and you'll still have the option of editing or adding to them at any time.
6. Reading Support
Teachers can use Vocabulary.com to support reading by assigning students a short Vocabulary List of words from challenging texts before or after they read. Throughout the year, we provide reading support resources for teachers on our Blog, such as Readability, The Common Core, and Vocabulary, or Vocabulary Begets Vocabulary: The More You Know, the More You Learn, introducing creative ways to use Vocabulary.com in your curriculum.
7. Tools for Writing
Learning a word's definition is one thing. Knowing it well enough to be able to use it correctly in writing and speech is another. But with all the extra resources on our Dictionary pages, students have a lot more information at their fingertips about what a word can do and what it can't. In addition, the Choose Your Words feature of our Dictionary includes direct explanations of more than 150 of the most confusing word distinctions in English. Do your students confuse affect and effect? Censor and censure? Set those confusions to rest once and for all.
8. Inspiration for Budding Poets
Students can use the synonym and antonym information on the Dictionary pages to write more creatively and carefully, as they would with a Thesaurus. Or they can support their poetry writing with the Dictionary's Advanced Search feature, which allows them to look for words by number of syllables, category, and rhymes, e.g., "a 2-syllable part of the body that rhymes with jelly." Watch a short video on this feature here.
9. SAT Prep with the Vocabulary.com Challenge
Playing the Vocabulary.com Challenge is the quickest and most intelligent way for your students to learn new vocabulary, whether they're prepping for the SAT, another standardized test, or simply looking to expand the number of words they know. As opposed to flash cards, which repeat questions on words in a random order whether you need help with them or not, the Challenge tailors a learning experience that's just right for each player. Within your first few questions, the game builds a model of what you know and what you're ready to learn. Then, as you continue to play, the game continues to adjust the pacing and difficulty of the questions you're seeing based on how you're performing. This capacity for individualized attention allows the game to push you to work a little harder and in more effective ways. It's also the reason the Challenge is fun; you're never bored by answering questions that are too easy or too hard.
10. Ease of Use
Vocabulary.com was designed to be transparent and self-explanatory so that your students are just as comfortable playing the Challenge, learning Vocabulary Lists, and exploring the Dictionary pages as you are. And did we mention it's free?