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School Specialty Launches Content-Area Vocabulary Builder

School Specialty Literacy and Intervention has introduced an online software application aimed at helping students in grades 4 through 8 who struggle to master vocabulary specific to the subject areas of science and social studies. The company introduced Content-Area Vocabulary Builder (CVB) at this week's FETC 2011 show in Orlando, FL.

"Students who struggle with reading often lose pace with their peers in important content areas, such as science and social studies, putting them even farther behind in their educational development," explained a spokesperson for School Specialty. "Combining the power of our robust technology platform with our standards-based content resources in these two subjects, we developed CVB to offer schools a dynamic, interactive tool that meets struggling students at their level, helping them build the foundation of vocabulary necessary to understand the concepts being taught in these curriculum areas."

Because teachers still seek to help students struggling with content-area vocabulary otherwise remain at grade level, CVB covers words and concepts at grade level while approaching definitions, explanations, and usage at a lower level. The software provides such learning tools as virtual flashcards, reading passages, and activities to engage students while they learn, as well as audio support to help with pronunciation, usage, and, for English language learners, overall building of English-speaking skills.

For teachers and administrators, CVB offers a dashboard for real-time progress monitoring, as well as a broad range of resources, including instructional support and strategies and organizational tools. The software also supports the response to intervention model with core, targeted, and intensive intervention for students. A downloadable report detailing the features and demonstrated results of CVB, as well as the research behind its development, is available here (PDF).

School Specialty reported it will release CVB for use in schools nationwide sometime in spring 2011.

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Scott Aronowitz is a freelance writer based in Las Vegas. He has covered the technology, advertising, and entertainment sectors for seven years. He can be reached here.