InferCabulary in Action with Distance Learning


InferCabulary is used in various learning settings to help educators improve their students’ vocabulary, background knowledge, and critical thinking skills to become better readers, listeners and speakers. We’re working with teachers to share their success stories of using InferCabulary in the classroom and with distance learning. Discover how InferCabulary is being used by middle school students:

Kaitlyn Gentry, a Middle School Learning & Support Coordinator, is one of InferCabulary’s original users! We recently caught up with her to understand how InferCabulary fits within her distance learning initiative. Check out her comments on Youtube (below).

Like many during COVID-19, Kaitlyn’s school adopted an asynchronous distance learning model, with face-to-face virtual office hours for students to connect with their teachers and peers. Students logged onto their online portal each morning to discover new assignments. For Kaitlyn’s students, a typical daily assignment was two-fold: spending about 20 minutes building new vocabulary through InferCabulary Basecamp, Ascent, and Expedition activities, followed by a reading or writing assignment. Using this two-step method, Kaitlyn was able to familiarize students with words they would encounter later in their reading or during the lesson.

Kaitlyn uses a scaffolding method when working with her students, which translated well with InferCabulary. Our program’s approach to visual vocabulary uses six images to introduce a new word. Kaitlyn was able to work with students on different levels by having them identify the overall theme of the images by looking for patterns and commonalities. Because of this active-engagement in critical thinking, students end up “owning” the words, so they use more sophisticated word choices in conversation and in their writing. For example, last year one of her students’ favorite new vocabulary words was “foliage.” Kaitlyn often overheard students using this word throughout the fall. Students and parents alike love using the program. The gamified approach motivates students to become self-directed learners. Often students even request to spend more time on InferCabulary if they finish other activities early.

Kaitlyn notes that she has been using InferCabulary with students – some of whom have language learning differences – over the past three years. She’s seen an uptick in verbal reasoning scores. Additionally, InferCabulary is used with students who are advanced as a way to build upon their strong vocabulary. InferCabulary helps them understand the complexity of tier two words, and helps them develop cognitive flexibility.

So whether you’re teaching at home, in the classroom, or both, InferCabulary’s web-based design makes it accessible to teachers and learners from virtually any location.