Grade 7 Word A Day Visuals and Audios is a useful and simple application that will help middle and high school students improve their vocabulary skills.
VocabAhead’s Grade 7 Word A Day Visuals and Audios is an easy-to-use vocabulary practice application designed primarily for middle school students or older students who want to refresh their memories about upper level vocabulary words. The software presents one to three words daily with an illustration, a definition, and a short comprehension story related to the word. There is option to have the page narrated. Words that have been presented are aggregated into quizzes in either multiple choice or scrambled letter format.
The application does require an active internet connection to function properly.
Over 200 7th grade vocabulary words
Optional pop-up reminder to check the day’s word
Optional connection to the Game Center for competitive play
Clear and vivid illustrations for each word
Short story stressing the word and its meaning
High quality audio recordings narrating the word and its story
New word presented daily, with option to view up to three words per day
Multiple choice and scrambled letter activities
Grade 7 Vocabulary will effectively help students study words with multiple quick, short study sessions. The software is simple to use and consistent in its presentation of the words. The illustrations and definitions are clear, and the sample story for each word is well-written and designed to highlight the meaning of the target word in a memorable way.
This application is designed to force students to practice in short, regular sessions that educators know to be an effective study strategy for learning vocabulary. The feature that allows limited skipping through the list (maximum of three words can be skipped per day) gives just enough flexibility to accommodate students who may already know some of the words presented. Each page offers multi-sensory input about the word, its pronunciation, definition and usage. The illustrations are eye-catching yet simple, and the narratives do a good job of showing the meaning of the target word. With the option to hear the word, its definition and its accompanying narrative, students can utilize auditory or visual learning modalities, or both, as they see fit.
Two practice modes offer different types of self-assessment. The multiple-choice activity presents a word with four choices for the definition. The scrambled letter activity offers the letters of a target word in random order to be used in spelling. Both exercises are timed, offering bonus points for accurate and fast completion. The app allows the user to favorite words from the main list, and will use these in the activities. This feature would let a user highlight troublesome words for repeated review.
The app could be improved by offering a summary sheet for performance on the activities and a page that details progress through the main list. The app does connect to the Game Center for some competitive features. Teachers would find it more useful if they could see the entire word list somewhere so they could accurately assess alignment with their curriculum.
7th Grade Vocabulary is not flashy or eye-catching, but is quite serviceable. Some students who expect a lot of bells and whistles on their Ipads might feel it is a bit boring. However, it definitely would accomplish its purpose and since the lessons are so short, the lack of fun is not likely to be an issue.
With over 200 words built into the application, the $1.99 investment is quite reasonable. Even moving at the fastest pace, students would use this app for several months. Most would be likely to work through it in a matter of six to twelve months, given that they are probably going to check for a new word each day. The study strategy is proven to be effective, and the words are at the correct level for the target age group.
This app is intended for middle school students and older, so its connections to the App Store, Game Center, and email system are not likely to be an issue. Still, parents and teachers should know that opening the link called “Word List” in the top left of the main screen will show a menu that lists Game Center connections, emailed support, applications available for purchase, and an SAT vocabulary practice application from the company available for $14.99 in the App Store.