Increase vocabulary and feed the world!

This forum has been created to provide a non-challenging environment for teachers and parents new to using synthetic phonics.

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palisadesk
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Joined: Sun Mar 20, 2005 2:11 pm

Increase vocabulary and feed the world!

Post by palisadesk » Fri Dec 28, 2007 8:40 pm

Check out www.freerice.com

When I first heard about this site, I thought it had to be a hoax. But no (I checked it out at snopes.com), it's for real. You test your vocabulary, and every time you get a word right, 10 grains of rice are donated to feed the hungry. You'd be amazed how fast that rice bowl fills up.

The site starts you out with some random words and you have four one-word definitions to pick from. After three or four sample items, it starts you on a level (from 1 to 50) and when you get three consecutive words correct, it moves you up a level. Miss a word, and you go down a level. By missing all the early words presented you can see what "Level 1" is like -- words like baby, junior, slap, destroy, begin. I think students from age 10 and up might enjoy this. The thing is, they would not necessarily be LEARNING very much, unless they were required to keep the reference.com window open and when they missed a word, type it in and record the definition and an example, so they could review it and learn it later. The site lets you save your preferences (if you wish) so you can start where you left off, instead of starting over.

Words range from the quite easy to the extremely recherché. It is a bit addictive if you're a word freak, but I can see some value for students. I am toying with the idea of using it with middle school kids as a warm-up in the computer lab. Have to figure out some teaching application to go with it ;-)

Susan S.

g.carter
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Post by g.carter » Sat Dec 29, 2007 9:55 am

Horribly addictive, Susan!

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palisadesk
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Post by palisadesk » Tue Jan 01, 2008 12:29 am

g.carter wrote:Horribly addictive, Susan!

I figured out a fix for that, Geraldine (after wasting way too much time on it my first few visits). Now when I log in, I set myself a goal -- something modest like 1500 grains (this takes 5-10 minutes, depending on your connection speed). As soon as I hit that magic total, I close the window. Poof! No more, "Oh, three more words and I will get to Level 50..." It can be rather like a video game in that respet, one is always trying to get to the next level. Setting a specific numerical target works better. For one thing, it doesn't depend on what level you are at. If you go down and get easier words, you are still getting rice to feed the hungry.

Try it! Now I log into it frequently, but never for long, so I am feeling virtuous (helping save the world) and not missing other things I should be doing. It has got me interested in how I know many words that I sort of "know" -- I noticed that I got many words right that I really do NOT know -- terms for medieval armour, architecture, medicine etc. I don't know the exact meaning but can select the right answer because I know all the others are wrong. Now I have set myself to look up one or two of these every time and see what they REALLY mean -- it's been fun!

Susan S.

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