Idea #5: Study vocabulary using Scrabble


Premise:

Face it. Studying is never fun.  Ask any of my classmates what they’d rather do than homework and studying. It’s like lighting a never-ending flame. The list goes on and on, but is pretty predictable: hanging out, texting, using Facebook, watching TV, playing video games, shopping, and so on. Even the geekier types have alternatives to schoolwork. However, they do usually have an important strategy for homework, and that is to do as much as possible to make it seem fun.

The Concept:

Do it like the geeks, and make studying fun. Once you’ve taken a few looks at the list of terms to study, start playing what I call Vocabble. Play Scrabble, but limit your words to vocabulary terms.

The Pros:

  • I’ve already implied it, but I’ll say it again. This makes studying more fun than poring over a list.
  • Because it’s so out-of-the-ordinary, this type of game creates memories that are more likely to last. In theory, this should translate to better scores.
  • Players will probably become better than others at plain ol’ Scrabble.

The Cons:

  • It can be hard to study if there are only a few terms. In my experience, it sometimes gets tough to play knowing I’m sitting on a gold mine of real words, but don’t have any vocab terms in my letter bank. One workaround is to allow non-vocab terms, but give point multipliers to words that are on the list. Alternatively, you can combine topics to broaden word choices.
  • There’s not much potential for homogeneous words with similar traits (the same suffixes, prefixes, etc.) to be learned here.
  • Admittedly, I’ve got very little idea about how effective this actually is. Don’t make Vocabble your last resort for studying.

BONUS:

Study games are nice, but I can’t see them replacing the traditional read-memorize-remember-repeat cycle that most students are used to. Thing is, I can see the traditional methods of studying replaced when you add the Internet into the equation. Below are a few blog posts related to the sites I’ve used.

Smart.fm for many topics

Byki.com, specifically for languages

Lumosity.com and Typingweb.com for IQ- and keyboard-focused training  (They’re not for learning per se, but they aid valuable skills)

To make my own digital flash cards, I use CueCard

Want to suggest a site you use? Let me know–learning is one of those things I like to improve upon, so I’m open to ideas.

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