Thursday, March 20, 2014

10 Simple Steps to Improve Your Vocabulary


Grab Vocabulary and make interactive study lists from any text.

In a previous post, Convert and Translate PDFs, I showed you how to change a PDF file into a text document using Google Drive.  In this post, I will show you how to turn that or any other text into an essential vocabulary list using Vocabulary.com.  This is a great tool for educators, or anyone who needs to know important vocabulary from a document in a hurry.

You may even want to try having your students use these directions below to follow a process to create their own interactive wordlists.

1.  When you go to www.vocabulary.com, you will need to sign up or log in if you already have an account.  You can use an email address or your Facebook account.  The "sign up" button is at the top right of the screen.

2.  Once you have signed up, you will want to click "vocabulary lists"

3.  You will see the following screen.  From here, you can select a pre-made list or create your own by clicking on "Create a new list" (circled in red).

4.  Click on "+ Create New List"

5.  Here you can enter the title of the list and a brief description.  You will also have the option to make the list private or shared.

6.  In the middle of the screen, under Enter Words, will want to click "From Text"

7.  On the next page, you will have the option to enter text.  You can copy and paste from your converted PDF, any other soft copy of text, or type it in yourself.  In this example, I am going to use the Declaration of Independence.  Once you've entered your text, click "Grab Vocab!"

8.  The site will automatically create a list of essential vocabulary words.  The default will not select any of them, you will have to pick and choose which ones you want to include.  You also have the option of including sample sentences.
9.  Once you have selected the words you want to use, click "Save List" at the bottom of the page.  This will give you a screen with the the selected words.  You will have several tabbed options for how you can view the words (See below).  You can also copy and paste the lists directly into another document in order to print them.
10.  Study your vocabulary.  You can study the lists by review, practice or spelling be.  Also, if you have the vocabulary.com app on your mobile device, you can share and utilize your list for studying on the go!

Practice mode will give you multiple choice questions:

Spelling Bee will provide a competitive spelling game:

Depending on what words you choose, this is a great tool for creating differentiated word lists for different learners in your classroom.  I have found that scholars find the interactive online experience to be very engaging.  Also, the fact that you can add an element of competition is also a huge advantage for student engagement.

I hope this resource helps, and if it does, please share with your colleagues!

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