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Program promotes vocabulary knowledge

Students at Central Middle School are embarking on a new program to improve vocabulary knowledge called vocabulary.com.

Jessica Pillow

According to Central Middle School Assistant Principal Jessica Pillow, “educators understand the importance of vocabulary knowledge. It is essential for success in reading. Students cannot understand what they read without understanding what most of the words mean. However, looking up the word in the dictionary often gives a very precise definition that could cause even a proficient adult reader difficulties deciphering.”

Pillow said the vocabulary.com program is used by students all over the United States.

Information from vocabulary.com said the focus of the program is to use a sophisticated algorithm to expose students to different questions and activities that help understand the meaning of new words.

“We’ve turned learning vocabulary into an addictive game,” said the website. “Accumulate points, achievements and badges while competing against your Facebook friends, your classmates, or other members of the vocabulary.com community.”

Pillow said students are easily able to access the program from the comfort of their own homes or anywhere an internet connection is available.

Based on statistics from the past month, she said students at Central Middle School ranked 185th among all schools in the United States.

Additionally, the school was 7th in all division III middle and elementary category, 10th in Virginia schools and claimed the 1st place ranking in the Virginia Division III category.

“This is a huge accomplishment, as we are competing with schools from California, Ohio, Illinois, etc.,” said Pillow. “As for the divisions in Virginia, we are scoring right up there with Chester, Midlothian and Richmond City Schools. We look forward to continuing to use this program and move up in the ranks.”

By using vocabulary.com, educators are able to use the teacher dashboard to tailor their instruction toward areas that may need more teaching in the classroom, according to the program’s website.