Monday, February 7, 2011
TOS Crew Product Review ~ 300 Most Common SAT* Words by VocabAhead
VocabAhead's softcover book entitled "SAT* Vocabulary: Cartoons, Videos & MP3S" claims to be "the entertaining and effortless vocabulary building solution" on it's cover. I'd say that description is pretty accurate.
The book has an appealing layout - a nice flow from start to finish. Sometimes a book can be intimidating to use based solely on it's layout. VocabAhead has created a product that is fun and easy to use. My 16-year-old daughter says the book is "not at all overwhelming". Visual learners are provided plenty of pictures, which help with vocabulary recall. The humor incorporated throughout the book also makes it easier to remember the vocabulary words.
The authors haven't given users an exact lesson plan for using "SAT* Vocabulary" per se; rather they have laid out the words in groupings of ten (called "Units") and each Unit is followed by a "Review" that tests the student's retention of the vocabulary words from that Unit. My 10th grade and 8th grade daughters have been using this book simulataneously, each of them working at their own pace. Often one will learn an entire Unit (10 vocab words) in one day and take the Review quiz the next day to check retention. The other daughter might work on a different Unit at the same time, spreading the words out over two days and completing the Review on the third day. This resource lends itself well to either method and could be adapted for use in many other ways.
While neither of my daughters has completed the book, they have both consistently scored 100% on their Reviews. My 10th grader was especially pleased with her level of retention; she is an aspiring writer and enjoys expanding her vocabulary to further that end more than for future SAT scores! This is a good book for writers and if you have a child who truly enjoys the creative writing process, I would recommend "SAT* Vocabulary: Cartoons, Videos & MP3S" as a handbook of sorts. I have also found it useful as a challenging list of spelling words. Two of my children have some difficulty with spelling and phonics rules have not helped them much. Their spelling is improved primarily by the see-say-spell method. While this book is not intended to be a spelling program, I have been using it to broaden spelling skills in our homeschool.
My 8th grade daughter really likes the example sentences that use each word in a grammatically correct fashion. She feels as if this aids her with her grammar assignments. She also commented that each Review uses both Fill-in-the-Blank and Matching sections; she feels more certain that she has really learned the words' meanings when she does well on both portions of the Review.
An answer key for the Reviews is in the back of the book, along with an Index, so don't worry that you will have to learn all the words in order to grade the Reviews! And here's a nice "bonus" - the purchase of the book entitles you to free downloads of vocabulary videos and MP3S of the SAT level words in the book. This is a real plus! A student can use their IPod to listen to the MP3S or watch the videos. A great resource of multi-faceted learning that truly accommodates all learning styles.
And one of the coolest features of VocabAhead's "SAT Vocabulary" ~ 10% of all profits from book sales are donated to non-profits providing educational helps in under-developed countries. That is a very appealing sales draw to me personally! I LOVE soliciting companies that have a "give-back" attitude :)
If you would like to see for yourself how "SAT* Vocabulary" works, visit their website www.VocabAhead.com to watch sample videos and to subscribe to their "Word of the Day" email to have a vocabulary video delivered to your inbox daily. At the website you can also check out the "Study Room" - a free feature that aids in mastering vocabulary words used in the most common standardized tests.
While I received this product free of charge for review purposes, you can purchase it at Amazon.com for $12.95. See the "Product" page at www.VocabAhead.com to find a direct link to this product at Amazon.
Thanks for taking the time to read my review of "SAT* Vocabulary: Cartoons, Videos & MP3S". Lord bless your homeschool!
Day 77 done :)
Jan L. Burt
*SAT is a registered trademark of the College Board.