April 24, 2017

Here’s the Definition, What’s the Word?

By Rob Klindt, Contributing Writer | Literacy Resources

Knoword can supplement classroom vocabulary exercisesWhat’s in a word? Plenty if you consider its definition, part in speech, proper spelling and placement in text. As most reading and writing teachers know, building a robust vocabulary and knowing the right way to use words are skills students acquire through practice.

Teachers who are looking for a good educational game to supplement classroom vocabulary exercises should check out the Knoword website.

This excellent web-based program is a dynamic vocabulary game with a twist. Instead of providing a list of vocabulary words, the game just gives a definition. It’s up to players to come up with the right word to match each definition.

The idea is to help students build vocabulary and boost spelling skills, and do it quickly. The game offers several challenge levels and types of words, including standard vocabulary, U.S. states and world capitals. Registered users also can choose words to help them prepare for the LSAT test.

The game is challenging and requires a bit of mental gymnastics. It’s best for students in middle and high school.

How it works

Registration on the Knoword website is optional, so students can start the game exercises right away. However, those who take the time to register and create a free account have extra perks: They can save their work and keep track of their progress, have access to extra word groups and earn virtual badges based on high game scores.

On the start page, students set up their games by choosing the types of words they want to study by clicking the “Word List” button. Next, choose a challenge level by clicking the “Difficulty” button, then click the “Start Game” button.

The game page shows a definition on the left side of the screen. After reading the definition, players type the word that matches it into a text box on the right half of the screen. To help them, the first letter of the word appears in the text box.

Meanwhile, a clock is ticking. Players have two minutes to type a matching word. If they type the right word, points are automatically given, and the game moves to the next definition. If players get stuck on a word, there’s an option to skip ahead, but points are deducted. The missed word is automatically displayed for future reference.

After each game, a report is generated for players to review. Among items players can track are:

  • Accuracy rate
  • Points earned
  • Time duration
  • Words per minute
  • Words successfully matched

Players can share their scores over social media by clicking on links for Twitter, Google+ or Facebook.

Dynamic features

Numerous dynamic features keep students engaged while they progress through each game. Among the most helpful are:

  • Colorful graphics
  • Confirmation sound effects
  • Multiple challenge levels
  • Personal account
  • Progress tracker

Finally, an additional benefit students may gain from playing Knoword is extra practice time to build the accuracy and speed of their keyboarding and typing skills.

Visit the Knoword website

Rob Klindt’s “App Reviews” combine his passion for writing with an ever-growing interest in educational technology. His simple, straightforward approach to reviewing educational apps help educators and parents leverage new tools for students in and out of the classroom.

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