Students learn vocabulary gradually, after exposure to each word multiple times used in various ways. Splat-O-Nym is an easy-to-use, fun app that offers students exposure to thousands of words, organized into 24 levels of increasing difficulty. Audio support and immediate feedback are among the Splat-O-Nym features that help students learn the pronunciation of unfamiliar words and enhance their acquisition of vocabulary. Splat-O-Nym turns the tasks of examining the relationship between words and deducing their meaning from context into a fun, engaging activity.
|What the Research Indicates||How Splat-O-Nym Applies This Research|
|Exposure to Words Is Critical |
Students who are exposed to varied language and vocabulary experiences transform those experiences into knowledge and skills. Since vocabulary development is shaped by the exposure to language, vocabulary intervention becomes essential if early language experiences for a student are not enriching (Hart & Risley, 2003).
|Splat-O-Nym includes thousands of target words divided into 24 levels, including: |
|Multiple Exposures to Target Words |
A student's likelihood of learning a word increases each time he or she encounters and experiences the word. Word meanings are acquired incrementally over time, and children require multiple exposures to learn a word's meaning (Fukkink & de Glopper, 1999; Stahl, 2003).
|Instructional Techniques |
Vocabulary instruction should allow students to have multiple opportunities to learn words, such as identifying synonyms and antonyms, connecting known words to new words, and deriving meaning from context (Sweeney & Mason, 2011).
|Active Engagement |
For maximum results, a vocabulary program should utilize a variety of methods that incorporate active engagement with the material (NRP 2000, p. 4–27).
|Splat-O-Nym is an engaging, independent vocabulary game that helps students learn synonyms and antonyms through four fun activities: Synonym Splat, Antonym Attack, Context Contest, and Lightning Round.|
Instruction of Target Words in Context
Context clues can help students deduce the meanings of unknown words. According to researchers, the ability to use contextual information can produce substantial, long-term growth in vocabulary (Nagy & Anderson, 1985) and even a small improvement in the ability to use context has the potential to produce this growth (Baumann, Edwards, Boland, Olejnik, & Kame'enui, 2003).
Splat-O-Nym presents the Context Contest if the student goes down a level based on performance. This activity gives the student a chance to earn back the points lost on the most recent incorrect responses. Students pop the bubble of the synonym of a target word as it is used in a sentence.
Because context plays such a crucial role in word learning, the carefully written Context Contest sentences go beyond simply using the target word and provide clues and sometimes explanations of the target word. Many of the target words in the Context Contest were chosen for this activity because students frequently responded incorrectly when presented with these words while using the Read Naturally Live Wordtastic program.
Importance and utility: Words that are characteristic of mature language users and appear frequently across a variety of domains.
The words in Splat-O-Nym were selected from multiple children's thesauruses. The Educator's Word Frequency Guide by Susan Zeno was helpful in the original leveling of the words.
The teachers employed by Read Naturally evaluated selected words for their usefulness in expanding the precision of a student's vocabulary. The resulting databank of words used in Spat-O-Nym is rich and deep.
|Word Consciousness |
When students have an interest in and awareness of words, they have developed word consciousness. Such students enjoy engaging in word work and like to learn new words (Sedita, 2005).
|As an engaging vocabulary game, Splat-O-Nym has the potential to increase students' interest in and awareness of new words and their meanings.|
|Game-Based Learning |
Benefits of presenting content in a game-based model are wide ranging; gameplay has been shown to improve attention, focus, and mood states (Granic, Lobel, & Engels, 2014).
Motivating sounds, graphics, and animations engage users in the four Splat-O-Nym activities. The use of game-based technology provides students with feedback on their performance and an engaging experience, which leads to extended involvement with the vocabulary app in order to become more proficient.
Students enter the game in level one of the Synonym Splat activity and move up and down through the 24 levels and between the four game activities based on their performance. The game keeps track of total points, saves the level and points for up to six students between sessions, and generates a Results report that provides a snapshot of a student's performance in the game after each Lightning Round. (For more information, see How It Works on the Splat-O-Nym product page.)
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