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Ballard & Tighe Vocabulary Game Readies Students for State Tests

Educational publisher Ballard & Tighe has unveiled a Web-based adventure-themed vocabulary game to help students in grades 2 through 5 prepare for state exams. Word Raider: Escape, available now, collects more than 1,100 pieces of assessment information from each game played.

Word Raider: Escape, designed to be appropriate for English learners and struggling readers, reveals an animated word. After the word is presented, students can earn badges by solving puzzles through writing, reading, speaking, and listening activities. The game collects upward of 1,100 pieces of assessment information. Students will engage with the same word more than 10 times through a variety of activities.

Additional features of Word Raider include:

  • Avatars to represent students in the games;
  • Game badges that can be collected as rewards as students proceed through activities;
  • Power-up rewards that require students to write the word, write a sentence using the word, record the word, and record an answer to a prompt.
  • A virtual dictionary, which collects the words that students encounter throughout the game, including a word tile that illustrates the word's meaning, shows inflections and the part of speech, provides a student-friendly definition and a sample sentence that uses the word, and the word family; and
  • A teacher portal that tracks student progress.

"In 'Word Raider: Escape', we wanted to develop a tool that addresses the importance of learning academic vocabulary, but also engages students in a meaningful way," said Mark Espinola, CEO of Ballard & Tighe. "We turned our attention to game-based learning for its ability to engage students, and teach word meaning through visual, sensory and interactive scaffolds that are key to long-term retention."

Word Raider: Escape costs $24 annually per student, and school districts can receive a free trial for 20 students for 30 days.

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Tim Sohn is a 10-year veteran of the news business, having served in capacities from reporter to editor-in-chief of a variety of publications including Web sites, daily and weekly newspapers, consumer and trade magazines, and wire services. He can be reached at [email protected] and followed on Twitter @editortim.