Free Ways to Build and Assess Vocabulary During Remote Learning

Navigating all of the digital tools available online for students can be overwhelming and time consuming. So, look no further! I’ve teamed up with Liz Janusz, an amazing educator and blogger from Chicago, to feature FREE platforms for word learning, vocabulary practice and formative assessment.

This is our first post in a new collaborative series called ….

YES, that’s right – we’re both named Liz and we both have extensive experience as literacy educators. Educators around the country are in for a treat while we team up to bring you relevant and useful resources!

A little more about my new colleague: Liz Janusz currently supports teachers as an Instructional Coach and a former reading specialist. She has a huge passion for ensuring that ALL students should have access to a diverse selection of books. Liz is also the founder of Windy City Literacy, a blog focusing on providing practical ideas for teachers to easily bring back into their classrooms. You can follow Liz through her blog, and on Twitter at @mrs_janusz as she shares book reviews, and other tips and ideas, for all different ages of students. 


Free Digital Dictionaries

Lexipedia is a multi-lingual interactive word web that offers kid friendly definitions, and sentence examples. Plus, it includes “fuzzynyms” for each word which are defined as “a word having a loose or fuzzy semantic relation to another word.” In addition, this site explains multiple meanings of the word given, including the different parts of speech. The definitions and webs offered are thorough and in depth. Also featured in a past post: Say Hello to the Virtual Word Web.

Visuwords is a platform that offers a virtual and interactive word web. You can type in any word and it creates a visually engaging graphic, offering the different meanings and parts of speech of each word. Visuwords also includes connections to similar concepts and lists opposites. This is a great place to start when learning a word for the very first time. Also featured in a past post: Say Hello to the Virtual Word Web.

Math is Fun is an illustrated math dictionary organized alphabetically, by grade and by topic (number sense, measurement, etc.). It also has instructional diagrams and example problems that you can use in your own math lessons. Plus, free games, puzzles and printable worksheets!


Free Tools for Quick Vocabulary Practice

Free Rice is an online vocabulary game that exchanges questions you answer correctly into donated rice for those in need. This program is through the United Nations World Food Programme and is fun for all ages. You can choose the difficulty level, certain categories and even compete against a group of friends. This is the perfect way to learn some new words and perform an act of kindness all at once!

Quizlet is a tool used for creating digital flashcards. It’s quick and easy to create cards on the topic of your choice. Plus, you can add a photo to any term or definition. Students can practice the flashcards on their own, or you can host a collaborative classroom game where students are assigned to teams and encouraged to work together to match the flashcards quickly and accurately.


Free Interactive Assessment Tools

Kahoot! is a game-based learning platform that makes it easy to create, share and play learning games or trivia quizzes in minutes. Kahoot is a great platform for a quick, formative assessment, especially with vocabulary! You can form classroom teams, where students answer questions individually and it pools all of their points, or you can have this be an independent activity all together.

Pear Deck is an interactive presentation tool used to actively engage students in individual and social learning. Teachers can use Pear Deck to create interactive presentations that allow students to respond to various questions throughout the ‘deck’, making this a great formative assessment tool as well.

Click on the image below to download this handy-dandy list of free remote learning tools to check out:

We really hope this saved you some sacred moments researching digital tools to use to spice up your vocabulary lessons. If you have any great suggestions that we missed, please comment below!

Stay tuned for Best Remote Learning Tools for Collaboration & Creativity! Of course, don’t forget to checkout Windy City Literacy!

Published by Liz Siracusa (Vocabulicious)

* Elementary Educator * Instructional Literacy Coach * Vocabulary Lover * The history behind Vocabulicious is simple - I love to help students growth their vocabulary, and I want to help YOU make your classroom a word conscious environment. I’m excited to share all of the vocabulary activities I have had success with throughout the years, plus great mentor texts to use for interactive read alouds. I live in Burlington, Vermont and enjoy hiking, biking and running!

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