Monday, July 2, 2012

Fun, Visual Vocabulary Help is Here With Marie’s Words - @PictureWords #SAT

Maries words
Marie's Words - Learn SAT Vocabulary the Fun Way!
  • Uses Visual/Memory Triggers to Teach Vocabulary
  • Designed by a High School Student
  • 550 Word Cards 
  • Intended for Lower High School Grades, but Can be Used With Younger Students.
  • Corner Hole Punched - Put Some on a Ring and Take Them On The Go
  • Available From the Timberdoodle Company
  • Suggested Retail Price is $23.99
Vocabulary is a  favorite subject in our house.  Our boys read dictionaries and thesauruses for fun, and I get teased quite often for using too many MENSA type words.

When I was offered an opportunity to review Marie's Words, I knew they would be a great fit for our family.

Marie's Words
A set of 550 cards are packed in the box, along with directions to play a game when used in a classroom setting.    Each one is the size of a regular playing card, and has a small hole punched in the corner.  I like this feature because words that need reinforcement can be placed on a ring for portability.

Words are presented with an illustration using the proper spelling on one side, the pronunciation, part of speech, definition, synonyms, antonyms, and the word used in a sentence on the other.  This method has been proven to work especially well with visual learners like my sons because it gives each word a "face".  Just as we remember people's faces much more easily than their names, students will be able to recall the "face" of the word, and usually, this will trigger a memory of the definition.
antithesis card front and backThese are great as a stand alone tool, but can also be used as a group, by playing games like "Wordsmith".  Players pass the cards and choose one, randomly.  After reading the word and definition aloud, everyone writes a sentence using it in context.  The leader, or "wordsmith' will write the sentence from the card.  All are collected and read aloud.  points are awarded for correct usage, and bonus points for knowing which was copied from the card.  Also try spreading the cards across the table picture up, then take turns guessing definitions based on the illustration.  Collect the cards that you answer correctly and earn points.

Marie's Words
On this day,  I read the definitions while the boys created sentences.  They liked the card for envenom.  The letters are written in a snakeskin color, a snake is pictured, and there is a speech bubble that says "I hate snakes".  The snake and venom tie in are now a picture in our minds, and the use of the word "hate" will likely prompt a memory of the strong emotion.
Boy Two wrote: "The citizens were so tired of the unfair law that their hearts became envonomed toward their mayor." and Boy One shared that the shared that many in the galaxy felt the same way about Darth Vader.

There is one card in the box that has a special significance.  The procure card has a pink ribbon that says "We must procure the cure."  Marie's mother lost a battle with breast cancer when Marie was a young girl.  Because of this, she also sells pink awareness bracelets which say "procure the cure" on them.  She donates a dollar for each sale to a well known charity.

Marie's Words
I like the simple but effective way these cards work, and I love the portability.  It would also be easy to carry 10-20 of these on a ring until they were mastered, then switch them for another set.  By using the word in a word, pictorial and compare and contrast visual cues Marie improved her own SAT score from 1790 to 2050 of a possible 2400.  Other students are reporting similar results.  The color choice was made specifically to aid students with ADHD, Asperger Syndrome, Gifted Learners and those with Dyslexia.  The tones are much easier on the eyes than traditional black on white.

The material is secular, and aimed at kids in lower high school grades, but can be used with younger children, too.

To learn more, visit the Timberdoodle website.  You will find Marie's Words as well as many other Language Arts for Homeschool materials.  If you prefer, ask them to send you a free, Homeschool Catalog.  They have a great selection of Homeschool supplies and curriculum, and if you make a purchase, you can earn Doodle Dollar Points as a reward.

As a member of Timberdoodle's Blogger Review Team I received a free copy of Marie's Words in exchange for a frank and unbiased review.