WordUp! – Fulfilling My Vocabulary Desires

01 Oct

An approach to teaching vocabulary, without the dull textbooks and pointless worksheets – that’s what my daydreams contained.

A product that centred on Latin and Greek roots but increased our English vocabulary at the same time.

Preferably something the kids didn’t groan about and something that could be achieved quickly but powerfully.

If it wasn’t too much to ask, could it be something affordable and easy to use.

I know, I had high hopes, but it’s important to dream…

because sometimes your fairy godmother (or as in this case, Compass Classroom) hears you

and your dream come true!

I don’t know how they got into my head to make my vocabulary desires materialise so perfectly in one product.

But the newly released “WordUp!” is the evidence that they did.

These Compass Classroom people are good!

Dwayne Thomas, from Visual Latin, is once again the star. His dry, quirky sense of humour draws kids in like flies to molasses.

In each level of WordUp!, there are 10 lessons, each introducing a Latin and Greek root, followed by around 20 English words that are derived from these roots.

The lessons are presented as a fun and informative tv show, hosted by a “Well-educated Host” and featuring a “Latin and Greek Expert”, all looking remarkably like Dwayne Thomas.

Each episode is brief, making it super easy to add to our week.  I love that!

In addition to the video lessons, Compass Classroom has provided review activities that utilise Quizlet, an online study website. The kids can review the vocabulary they’ve learned with online flashcards, quizzes and tests, or turn their study into a bit of fun and play ‘Scatter’ or ‘Space Race’. Regular review, of course, is vital to long term learning, much better than working on a worksheet, which is hear today and gone tomorrow.

The way we intend on using WordUp! is to watch the lesson on Monday and then use the Quizlet review, for that lesson, each day, for the remainder of the week. Each week, as we complete a lesson, we’ll add in review of previous lessons in a kind of looping fashion. For example, on Monday of the third week, we’ll watch lesson 3 and then complete its Quizlet review, probably setting a time frame or number of activities to complete. Then on Tuesday we’ll again review lesson 3 on Quizlet and then lesson 1 as well. On Wednesday, we’ll review lesson 3 again, but this time review lesson 2. On Thursday, after our lesson 3 review, we’ll cycle back to review lesson 1, with review for lesson 2 happening again on Friday.  So that’s the plan at present.

If you are interested in checking out Compass Classroom‘s new product, you can download two episodes of WordUp! for free.  When you think about it, that’s 1/5 of the level…for free!  Even if you weren’t interested in WordUp!, I’d download the freebies and enjoy them.

And for those who are keen to jump in and get started, for a short while only, you can purchase the first level of WordUp!, as either a downloadable product or DVD set, for only $9.99US. (They’ll normally be priced at $15.00US, which is very reasonable for a term full of video lessons.)

Well, I better get back to my daydreaming. Hmmm…What can I wish for next?


(I was given this product free of charge in exchange for my honest review of this company’s product. My review is my own opinion, based on my experience. I’m sharing this review with my readers in case there is someone who could benefit from knowing about this product. I choose to review only those products I really do love and would, or do, use.)

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Posted by on October 1, 2014 in Language, Reviews


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