Disclosure: I received this complimentary product through the Homeschool Review Crew.
We are testing family and this year when I noticed right away there was a substantial amount of vocabulary on the exam. For the last 2 years, we have worked on vocabulary-building activities through workbooks and curriculums. I was thrilled when the Crew was offered to review Dynamic Literacy, LLC: Wordbuild Online .
In all honesty, I had never heard of Wordbuild Online until we were presented with the opportunity to review it. At first glance at the website, I was very impressed with the scope and sequence. Wordbuild Online really concentrates on the prefixes and suffixes, Greek, and Latin roots. There are 3 foundation levels reviewing prefixes and suffixes with 25 units per level. After your student masters, these 75 exercises the students will move on to the Elements level which also has 3 levels of 25-36 units of Greek and Latin roots.
The company started all of our Crew accounts at the foundations level and to be honest with you I thought this was a great idea. Having my son started at the beginning was fine with me because I wanted him to take advantage of everything this online platform had to offer. Starting from the beginning also let me know where he was in his knowledge of roots and where I needed to focus our attention. Students are given a placement test at the beginning as well students watch an introductory video about the English language.
Students are recommended to work the 10-15 min lessons 5 days a week. I highly recommend that you do these lessons consecutively. I made this mistake in week one of us using the program and thereafter we worked consistently. Foundations level 1-3 are students 2- 5th grade, but I personally feel students should start at the beginning Wordbuild Online instead of jumping directly to the Greek and Latin roots. Foundations and Elements break the lesson down into 5 different activities. The requirement for
Day 1 Affix Square (Foundations)
Daty 2 Affix Adder (Foundations )
Day 3 Magic Square (Foundations) / Stair Steps (Elements)
Day 4 Comprehension Booster (Foundations) / In Other Words (Elements)
Day 5 Question Assessment (Foundations) /10 Question Assessment (Elements)
What We Think!
My SON LOVES this program! It is the first thing he does after breakfast, he has been very consistent with the platform. He learning and reviewing so much and enjoying watching himself get better. At first, he was getting a rating score of 2’s and I was concerned maybe we needed to do some review. I just sat back and just observed his work and I realize that Wordbuild Online was presenting these lessons in a different way than he was used to seeing them as pretty basic. Wordbuild Online was teaching him definitions and vocabulary and having him really dissect these words in sentence comprehension. Those few 2’s started turning into 4’s because he had found his rhythm and gotten over the learning curve.
I really like how Wordbuild Online presents the affix, then students define it in their own words using a new word. Then they work on sentence comprehension by using the new word and picking the correct use in the sentence. The students continue to work on many more activities that increase vocabulary, spelling, and review. I love the parent dashboard that is simple and you can reset it if you want your student to rework an affix.
Since using Wordbuild Online the last few weeks our current vocabulary curriculum has taken the backseat because he really prefers this over his book. When it comes time for the Crew to vote for the best vocabulary curriculum for the year we are definitely casting our vote for Wordbuild Online.
My son is newly turned 9 and he loves grammar, we noticed early on he was gifted in this area of his homeschool studies. Finding a grammar curriculum that was both rigorous and amusing has become arduous. This year alone we have set aside 3 curriculums and decided on multiple review books. Michael Clay Thompson Language Arts: Level 2 Grammar Town has been the curriculum we needed to feed his ferocious grammar inclinations.
Michael Clay Thompson Language Arts: Level 2 Grammar Town is for students ages 9-11 in grades 4-5. Grammar Town picks up where Grammar Island leaves off with the continued practice of the “4 grammar analysis of (1) parts of speech, (2) parts of the sentence, (3) phrases, and (4) clauses.” No worries if you haven’t done the previous level as long as your student has a strong understanding of grammar they will be alright with starting level 2, but I wouldn’t recommend jumping into level 3 without previously doing level 3. Even though the curriculum is presented for children who are gifted/dyslexic I have found that children who are able to read fluently and have strong reading comprehension will find this curriculum gratifying.
Level 2 : Grammar Town Layout
MCT Language Arts: Level 2 Grammar Town is beautifully designed with simple distinctive vibrant illustrations. The curriculum covers 5 strands Grammar (Grammar Practice), Vocabulary, Writing, Poetics, and Literature. The complete homeschool package comes with a lesson guide, student books, and teacher’s manuals (this includes the readers) for each of the MCT sections. The program in my opinion is designed to be conversational. MCT is not like your typical language arts curriculums you will not find the typical question and answer busy work. The lessons are intellectually stimulating and thought-provoking. I found myself relearning and grasping a better understanding of grammar. My son instantly took to the Grammar Town book, he repeatedly would point out how he better understood grammar concepts.
There are 30 weekly lessons of MCT Language Arts: Level 2 Grammar Town the lessons are designed to gradually include the other textbooks included in the MCT Level 2 Complete Homeschool Package. Students should work at their own pace and make sure they have a complete mastery of the Grammar Town book before moving on to the next book. There are assessment pages in the books, but you can also download the assessment pages from a link provided by Royal Fireworks Press inside the book. The assessment pages are there to make sure your student is mastering the materials before moving on to the next section in the book. These assessment pages are not the same as Practice Town.
The very first-week students are to read the Grammar Town book on their own. I was amazed to see how intrigued my son was by the illustrations and the story. Several times he came to me and asked questions and wanted to discuss the stories. On the days we didn’t do lessons he requested MCT Language Arts: Level 2 Grammar Town over his other language arts books.
Today lesson was intellectually restorative….Learning about the complexity of sentence structure and how all the the words we use in sentences are reflective of the 8 parts of speech that make a sentence cohesive. Thinking about it from that point of view makes sense into why a sentence must a have a subject and verb.
Caesar’s English is the vocabulary section students will embark on a historical language journey. Students will learn Latin roots, history, and word origins. Again students are exposed to wonderful visual and practice pages. Students will also see a brief intro to Latin roots in Grammar Town on the first pages. Practice Town includes 100 sentences of practice for students on the skills learned in Grammar Town and writing. Paragraph Town is another fun-filled narrative about learning paragraph fundamentals and punctuation. The poetry book Building Poems is metaphoric it is written to teach students poetry terms as if they are constructing a building. MCT Language Arts: Level 2 Grammar Town includes the literature books:
Alice’s Adventures in Wonderland
The Wind in the Willows
Each book is reproduced in its entirety and includes Michael’s “language illustrations”—close-ups of poetic techniques, four-level analyses of interesting grammar, and comments about writing strategies
For the first 3 weeks, we used the curriculum as the implementation guide suggests. I made little tweaks here in there. My son was introduced to some Latin roots and I wrote these roots on index cards for him. I also wrote out grammar cards for him of all of the parts of speech components. We also put together a vocabulary journal for words we were instructed to define. My son enjoyed the assignments on select pages, some of these we did in his notebook, and some we did on a dry erase board. The lessons are short we spent time in meaningful discussions.
MCT Language Arts: Level 2 Grammar Town is a rigorous and complete language arts program. If you are looking for a new way to introduce grammar to your student I highly recommend this curriculum. The curriculum does require parent involvement in my opinion wasn’t intense and I welcomed it. I enjoyed having conversations with him and seeing his face light up. The curriculum is designed for mastery and it is suggested you don’t move on until your student has mastered each section.
While the literature part I thought was going to be monotonous. I understand why the books were selected and remastered to complement the curriculum. I do hope in the future the company would consider adding some optional remastered diverse readers.
Would I buy Level 3 in the Fall absolutely! I again caution against not jumping into level 3 without going through level 2. You can get away with not doing Level 1, but making that jump into level 3 is not advisable. The levels don’t coordinate with the grade levels so please take note of this. If you are the type of homeschooler that needs tons of worksheets after each lesson this is not the curriculum for you. MCT Language Arts: Level 2 Grammar Town is in a class by itself rigor without the complexity of busywork, this was more of relaxed conversational language arts. MCT Language Arts: Level 2 Grammar Town takes its time to ensure students really understand language and how they work together. I learned so much in the last 6 weeks reviewing MCT Language Arts: Level 2 Grammar Town.
Are you looking to add some excitement to vocabulary building? Have you ever heard of Mrs. Wordsmith? Well if you haven’t heard about Mrs. Wordsmith what better way to introduce you to this company than telling you about their new app Word Tag.
Mrs. Wordsmith is an award-winning company based originally in the UK. The company was founded in 2015 by Sofia Fenuchell who wanted to create educational materials that actually worked and kids would love it. Using quality animations and game design to improve how kids learned vocabulary, Mrs. Worthsmith was born. Mrs. Wordsmith since their early beginning the company has grown and developed a full line of products for kids ages 4-13. The company has created books, games, curriculums, tons of free resources. We own several of the curriculums, books, and vocabulary sets. Mrs. Wordsmith’s newest addition to their line of literacy and vocabulary materials is the Word Tag app.
We were invited in July to join the team as a tester and my son has loved playing the Word Tag app. The company has taken video games to an entirely new level with fun vocabulary-building adventures. My son loves Hip-Hop culture so the game won him over instantly with the graffiti. The game takes place in Los Angeles, kids will go on a quest of collecting spray cans and spraying words while trying to avoid the street cleaners. Kids will complete daily activities at their paces, challenges, and pop quizzes.
With a methodology designed to teach challenging vocabulary, Word Tag boosts reading comprehension, advances creative and academic writing, and improves exam performance.
Word Tag 3D adventure is visually appealing to players and it encourages them to keep playing and learning new words. The kids are constantly reviewing the words they have learned. Kids will learn up to 1,000 words. Words a present in context to help reinforce their learning. The more words your student’s master more levels open for them to play. Players can earn more coins and unlock materials from the pop quizzes. I love how the words show the kids the definitions, parts of speech, and synonyms. The vocabulary the kids learn is Tier 2 academic words that are frequently used on SSSA. ISEE, SAT, STAR, and MAP exams. Word Tag also will increase your students reading levels.
Word Tag also allows students to connect with other players and their friends if they are using Word Tag to share the gameplay and compete with each other. Word Tag takes your student’s safety seriously and incorporated a safe social player. The program is adaptive and you will have access to player reports. The company also provides a parent guide that includes a sample word list and learning objectives.