4 Replies Latest reply: Jun 17, 2012 9:23 PM by sheridan RSS

What would you change about ReadWriteThink's Construct-a-Word?

bhilferty Novice
Currently Being Moderated

We know many of you are using ReadWriteThink's interactive Construct-a-Word with students in kindergarten and possibly first grade. We know because visits to the tool are consistently high, averaging approximately 50,000 visits a month! We're hoping to use this community space to reach out to all of you who are using it, plan to use it, or know of someone else who is using it.


You see, Construct-a-Word is ready for a serious upgrade! The copyright date reads 2008, but we suspect much of the functionality has been in place before then even. It needs a makeover, not only in terms of its appearance, but also in terms of its functionality and scope. There's a lot more we can do within this interactive to engage students and support them in the making and using of words.


So, here's your chance to send us your wish list. Complete the following sentence: "I wish the Construct-a-Word tool would. . . ."


We also have a few questions, but don't want these to limit your brainstorming potential:


  • Would audio be beneficial as students construct words? How exactly do you see audio being integrated?
  • Should we consider adding additional word endings? What specific ones are taught or would make sense to add?

  • Would it be helpful to reverse the word build and have students start with a beginning letter consonant and add word endings?
  • How can we level the activity so students can continually grow in their word building skills?

  • What might students do with the words after creating them? Could there be a list of sight words, along with the word bank, to use in constructing sentences/poems?
  • Can you think of any ways to make this interactive more game-like? What seems to appeal to kids at this age? What will make the interactive more engaging for them?


We realize this is a lot to think about, but since this tool is being used by kids 50,000 times a month, we could really use your help in making sure it is engaging and meaningful for them. Let's start the discussion here.


Looking forward to hearing your ideas,


The team at ReadWriteThink.org

  • Re: What would you change about ReadWriteThink's Construct-a-Word?
    cgreen New User
    Currently Being Moderated

    Yeah, I am very excited about updating this resource!


    !yes include audio for the finished word or the spelling patterns, if not both.

    2have more spelling patterns-possibly on three levels at,in ot  etc. could be  on level one,

    level 2 could be the chunks that are already on the resource. The third level could use long vowel spellings that the first grade students learn in the middle of the year.

    3. To make it more interesting for the students add points ( can be artibrary) or some method of showing visually how many words that they have completed.  Could be a tower to reach to the top of or a space ship reaching the moon.

    4. It would also help to have them make sentences or find the word in a sentence, and possibly give double points for that.

    The resource is very good, as it is,but thanks so much for asking for teacher input as you get ready to make it even better.Carolyn

    • Re: What would you change about ReadWriteThink's Construct-a-Word?
      bhilferty Novice
      Currently Being Moderated

      Thanks, Carolyn. This is great feedback. I especially like how you suggest integration of student engagment (through points or visual progress) to keep students motivated in the activity. We'll have to let you know when the revised version is ready for review.


      Anyone else have thoughts?

      • Re: What would you change about ReadWriteThink's Construct-a-Word?
        mannixci New User
        Currently Being Moderated

        This appears to be an effective tool for our emergent readers and can be used across content. I agree with the previous post that audio is big for kids and it adresses the needs of the auditory learner.

        I would suggest the following upgrades:


        1. Students should have to find word endings and not just word beginnings.

        2. Include a PBS or positive cartoon character that talks to the student by stating things like "Good Job" or "Try again" or "You're almost there" things along those lines to motivate the students to not get discouraged if they consistently select the wrong answers.

        3.Once students correctly put a word together the audio should also pronounce the word for the student. Truth be told some students might accidently put a few words together correctly so you want to make sure that they know what the word is that they have combined so that when they come across it again in their reading they will recognize it.

        4. A visual incentive to show students how many gold stars, blue ribbons, ect they have earned is also a great idea and addresses the needs of the visual learner.


        Technology is a wonderful tool to use in a society of young people that are so tech saavy. The more engaging the materials we introduce to children at a younger age the quicker I think children will grasp onto information that they will carry throughout the rest of their education.

  • Re: What would you change about ReadWriteThink's Construct-a-Word?
    sheridan New User
    Currently Being Moderated

    I think students would find it more enjoyable if there was sound. The directions could be in sound, and once the words are created the words could be in sounds. Also, after the words are created maybe there could be a story the students would have to  read which includes the words the students just created. Then they could click on the words that they found. Also, you can try  adding suffixes like /ing/ and /ed/ to change words. The students would have to drag a word down, and then click on and  drag the suffix onto the word to create a new word. Then the new word is said aloud.

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