Dynamic Literacy WordBuildOnline Review

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Dynamic Literacy has created a great online program to help kids build literacy! We were given access to WordBuildOnline Foundations Level 1, since Super D is in 2nd grade.  There are 25 different lessons, or units of study, so it’s designed to last for a school year.   This program is great, partially because it automatically adjust to the student’s level and can be used for students in 2nd – 4th grades, or even older, depending on their needs.   Once Foundations 1 is complete, Dynamic Literacy offers Foundations Level 2, and Elements 1 and 2.   Elements teaches Greek and Latin roots – super helpful!

WordBuild is based on morphology, or learning words based on the roots, suffixes, and prefixes.  With standard vocabulary tests, students have generally forgotten 75% of the words they memorized within a few weeks!   Just like phonics helps students “sound out” words, morphology helps them “mean out” words, or discover their meaning by breaking apart the words.   93 roots comprise 75% of the vocabulary we use in the English language.   By focusing on those roots, students’ vocabulary increases exponentially!   If a students learns 3 roots and 3 prefixes, they now know 9 words!  If they then learn 3 suffixes, now they know 48 words!

WordBuildOnline helps students build their vocabulary, using fun online games. Super D spent about 10 – 15 minutes a day completing the 5 exercises. After he was familiar with the program, he could complete most of the exercises independently.  It was perfect to use while his sister was in her tae kwon do class – after he finished WordBuild, he could play Minecraft! He was motivated. 🙂

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Each new root, prefix, or suffix was introduced with a short video, and then they jumped right into the 5 daily activities/games!

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I really liked this puzzle, because it tested their comprehension and their vocabulary. Super D is already a speed reader, and this game forced him to slow down and focus on each word that he was reading!
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The Magic Square game was likely the trickiest for him, and the one where we would ask for help the most. We’re definitely expanding vocabulary for a 2nd grader. The challenge was great!

If you’d like a more in-depth tour of the WordBuildOnline experience, check out this video:

Progress reports are emailed to you after they complete an exercise, and you can log in to see more detail and specific scoring.   I can see the questions that he missed, and review that content with him.  It also shows me the amount of time that he spent on each exercise, and the score per exercise.   Sometimes his scores go down when he flies through an exercise!   Progress Report


Overall, I’m very happy with this program.  While I think some of the vocabulary is a little over his head as a 2nd grader, I do think he would benefit from repeating some of the exercises in 3rd grade, and then moving on to the next Foundations level.  I love having a fun yet strategic way to increase his vocabulary and thus his reading comprehension.

Jerry Bailey, the creator of WordBuild, is offering 10% off the online program, and 25% off physical books, if you use the code renaissance at checkout!

You can connect with Jerry and Dynamic Literacy on Facebook, Twitter, and Pinterest!

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