I’m sorry for another teacher post so soon after my last, but it’s January after all and there’s not a lot of running to talk about. Here is a summary of January running: It’s cold and it’s icy and you nearly kill yourself on every run but we’re still getting out there.

So anyhow if you are a teacher and you haven’t tried Quizlet you are MISSING OUT. If you are a parent with a kid that needs to study vocabulary words or names, you are also missing out. I promise I am not being asked by Quizlet to say these things–they have no idea I’m writing about their website. It is just too awesome to NOT tell you all about it.

I have been a huge proponent of flashcards since I was a kid myself. I remember always making flashcards to study vocabulary words, short Q & A, etc. I have very vivid memories of Spanish flashcards and a huge stack from my Old Testament class in college, even. There’s a whole lotta people in the Old Testament and I definitely needed my flashcards to remember the ones that weren’t a part of the most popular Bible stories! It did not take me long to figure out that if I ¬†knew 100% of the people and terms I could B.S. my way through the rest of the test and still get a good grade. I mean, I could make very intelligent educated guesses and use my superior writing skills.

Anyhow, right now my students are learning affixes. For example, they are learning that “ambi” means “both”. Then, they learn to use this knowledge to figure out an unknown word like “ambidextrous”. Maybe I’ll write a post on that later. ¬†Because they must know the affixes for their state test (ISAT this year and PARCC next year), they really need to have them memorized.

Enter Quizlet! Quizlet is a free website where you can make your own flashcards. I actually discovered this website way back when Evan was in kindergarten and learning sight words.

It did not take me long at all, as in maybe 10 minutes, to type all of their affixes in to create flashcards. Here is part of one set. Your options are across the top.

I have the kids start out by practicing the definitions with the basic flashcard feature. You look at the word or definition, and then click to “flip” the card to see the answer.

I tell them to star (top right corner) the ones they do not know, as it will let them study only the starred ones. Then, they can do the “learn” tab, in which it gives either the word or the definition and you type in the other.

There is a “test” option where you can quiz yourself on every word. You can choose which type of questions you want.

There is also a spelling feature that will “speak” the word to you, but I don’t use this.

After the kids have studied the affixes for 15-20 minutes, we have a friendly competition. There are two games on Quizlet. One of them is scatter. A few of the words/definitions are scattered and the kids must match them up as fast as they can. I have everyone get ready and then I say, “start!” and whoever finishes first gets a prize. Their record is 17 seconds (mine is more like 30).

The other game is called “space race”. The words or definitions float across the screen from the left, and you must type the answer before it reaches the right. We played today to see who could get the highest score. Their highest was around 60,000.

It also keeps track of how you’re doing with each term. It lists the words “always missed”, “sometimes missed”, and “never missed”.

My students were so engaged in studying their affixes in this way and they are really starting to learn them! It’s just a small piece of the puzzle–we are doing a lot of other work with them, too, but it was a fun little break and fun time to study. I also encouraged them to use Quizlet on their own and create their own sets of cards to study for other subjects. We’ll see if they do! My son Evan uses Quizlet to study for his science and social studies tests. He studies 100% independently–awesome!

Have you ever tried Quizlet? Were you a flashcard maker in school? Are you bored? Try out the sixth grade affixes here: Affixes on Quizlet