What is a class on Vocabulary.com?
On Vocabulary.com, we define a class as a group of up to 50 students that you can monitor for up to a year. A class has a name, a start date, an end date, a description, and an optional school affiliation (which we strongly recommend). Educators can create classes on Vocabulary.com, assign work to them, and monitor their progress.Note (!): Nowhere in our description does it say that a class on Vocabulary.com has to mirror the more traditional concept of a class as the 25-35 students who file into your classroom at a specified time each day.
This is the virtual world. We let you define class to meet your students' needs.Here are two real world examples of how teachers have redefined class to meet their students' word learning goals.
For the ultra-competitive: The Battle Royale ClassEnglish teacher Tony Wilson of Ladera Vista Junior High in Fullerton, California initially set up his 8th grade classes using a traditional format -- creating one Vocabulary.com class for each one of his physical classes, and assigning lists related to their reading and overall vocabulary expansion (e.g., Lord of the Flies lists, Scope magazine article lists, Latin prefixes, SAT lists, etc.).
Before Wilson knew it, the students took to Vocabulary.com and began to compete for the top spots on each of the class leaderboards. In fact, a few of his students felt like the competition based on single class leaderboards was too confining.These students asked Wilson permission to enter all of his classes so they could spread their leaderboard domination. To avoid sabotaging the grading system he had already set up, Wilson invented a new arena for his ultra-competitive students: a sixth virtual class entitled "Battle Royale" and described the class as "Beast mode for vocabulary freaks."
For The Self-selected Reading model: classes based on novel choices
The self-selected reading model of allowing students to pursue their own reading choices has become increasingly popular, especially in the middle school or junior high years. As we previously pointed out in this article, just because students are selecting their own reading, it doesn't mean that they need to miss out on vocabulary enrichment related to that reading. Teachers and students can search our expansive word list library and find word lists that will support them as they read their self-selected texts.
In fact, some teachers even organize their "classes" on Vocabulary.com based on their students' reading choices. For example a middle school teacher in Iowa organized her students into four classes based upon their reading preference, each class representing a different novel study: Divergent, Ender's Game, The Hunger Games or Legend.
The take-away on classes:
While this blog post describes two ways that teachers have set up classes on Vocabulary.com to fit their students' needs, the possibilities are endless. You can slice and dice your physical class or set of students in any way that serves them best. Think of class creation as a differentiation tool, giving you the ability to organize small groups of students that may have individual needs. And, since you can also assign work and monitor student progress for each class, you can always tailor the work accordingly and have insight into what's working and what's not.
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