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 Post subject: How useful is Free Rice?
PostPosted: Wed Oct 02, 2013 11:29 am 
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Sorry I haven't used it enough to establish how well it actually works as a learning tool for my daughter.

Do you start them off from level 1 each time? Are the words different each day that you play it from level 1?

If a child gets a word wrong, is that word then brought back later in the same sitting for them?

Does it come back just the once? If they get it right that time does it never appear again? Do you think that is sufficient for getting the meaning of the new word into long term memory?

Sorry to ask, but I am still trying to get my head round all of this vocabulary lark and whether some well planned reading with a an audio-book and a hard copy of the book might be a better use of time.

Do GL assessment and CEM really recycle words a lot?


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PostPosted: Wed Oct 02, 2013 11:45 am 
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Hi mystery. My dd loves free rice although we have only really looked at the vocab section. Ds2 used to like the flags and quotes section. The word is repeated again if they get it wrong but then I don't think it would come up again as you move to a higher level. You can start at any level. I think it's only useful if you can do it together and so discuss the words and perhaps think of similar or opposite. Although when you notice the glazing of the eyes it's usually time to stop and put some American rubbish on the tv. The only thing I notice with reading books and discussing vocab is that it makes it all so disjointed and they don't really enjoy the story so much. Dd saw some electronic dictionary bookmark thingies the other day which I might get. Not sure if they might be a one minute wonder though.


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PostPosted: Wed Oct 02, 2013 11:57 am 
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scarlett wrote:
Hi mystery. My dd loves free rice although we have only really looked at the vocab section. Ds2 used to like the flags and quotes section. The word is repeated again if they get it wrong but then I don't think it would come up again as you move to a higher level. You can start at any level. I think it's only useful if you can do it together and so discuss the words and perhaps think of similar or opposite. Although when you notice the glazing of the eyes it's usually time to stop and put some American rubbish on the tv. The only thing I notice with reading books and discussing vocab is that it makes it all so disjointed and they don't really enjoy the story so much. Dd saw some electronic dictionary bookmark thingies the other day which I might get. Not sure if they might be a one minute wonder though.


Thanks - good points. Yes, I've looked at the electronic dictionary bookmark thingies too but I found that most words I put in didn't come up. I have a very good electronic dictionary which has a pretty massive version of the English dictionary and a thesaurus swallowed up inside it, but it isn't bookmark shaped, is expensive (it was a birthday present from DH in the days when he hadn't run out of good ideas) and the definitions are great for adults but not so for a 10 year old.

So many people say their children gain great vocab from being left with a book and a paper dictionary .... it fails here because:

- they don't look the words up

- if they do it takes them an age to find them in the dictionary

- the words aren't always in a children's dictionary

- if it's an adequate dictionary to contain the words the defintions are too complex

I've considered getting a dictionary for a foreigner learning English as then the definitions would be written with a narrower vocabulary in an electronic version. Have failed so far.


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PostPosted: Wed Oct 02, 2013 12:10 pm 
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Try dd with free rice. I find my dd seems to know which is the right word even if she isn't entirely sure what it means..so I guess the vocab must sink in. It's quite addictive. I'm on it at the moment...waiting all day for an important parcel and I just know the minute I turn my back a sorry we missed you card will be poked through the door..so whilst I'm waiting I shall improve my expanse of vocabulary :D


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PostPosted: Wed Oct 02, 2013 12:19 pm 
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Will give it another go. Do you always go back to level 1 with your DD?

Have just splashed out on Amazon with a dictionary that looks very nice to use for foreigners learning English. If it doesn't work for my kids I can always use it for teaching purposes so nothing lost I suppose.


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PostPosted: Wed Oct 02, 2013 12:56 pm 
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I agree Scarlett when my Ds is reading to me on an evening and he comes across an unusual word i ask him to look it up in the dictionary or i ask him what do you think it means and he tends to get really annoyed and says i just want to read this book mum and you keep interrupting me !


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PostPosted: Wed Oct 02, 2013 1:02 pm 
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How about a Kindle, rather than an electronic dictionary? The child just touches any unfamiliar word and the dictionary pops up with the definition. Would still be great if the child would them write it down! But at least they can easily find out what the words means as they continue to read their story. Great for bedtime reading I find.


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PostPosted: Wed Oct 02, 2013 1:36 pm 
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That's a good plan. Are the definitions straightforward?


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PostPosted: Wed Oct 02, 2013 5:12 pm 
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Another vote for kindle. My kids get most of their vocab from the context in the book, they just won't bother with dictionaries, apps etc.

But once they got kindles I was surprised to note they actually USE the lookup feature.

I've just asked both (10 and 13) and they say they use it loads and the definitions are fine.


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PostPosted: Wed Oct 02, 2013 5:47 pm 
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Thanks for that


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