Technology

Automated Vocabulary Practice with Google Sheets

A couple of weeks ago, I assisted in a Google Level 1 bootcamp in Los Angeles. At the end of the first day, the attendees were challenged to “breakout” of a Digital BreakoutEDU game created by Mari Venturino. As a part of this breakout, they were required to input words into a Google Sheet. When they typed in these words, it would tell them whether they got the word correct or incorrect based on the conditional formatting tool.

As I reflected on this feature in Google Sheets, I realized that it would be a great way to provide students independent practice on spelling and vocabulary. The former elementary teacher in me still finds that these practices are useful for students, particularly when it comes to developing vocabulary. Therefore, I decided to develop a Google Sheet where:

  1. Students could play an audio file to hear the description of the vocabulary word.
  2. Type the vocabulary word into a cell.
  3. See if they received the correct answer based on the color coding in the cell.

To view the document I created, click on the following link:

Vocabulary Practice: Week #1

To make your own copy of the document, click on the following link:

Vocabulary Practice: Week #1 (Copy)

Interested in creating your own Google Sheet for vocabulary practice? Watch this short video to see how it works:

Link to Record Audio: Online Voice Recorder

As you can see, it is very easy to use conditional formatting in Google Sheets – whether for your own personal use or for classroom use! While this is “low level” practice, there is a time and place for this to benefit students. The biggest thing that we have to ensure that we do, when using Level 1 type of practice, is that students are able to receive immediate feedback on their progress. Otherwise, the turn around time on their learning could be too long and prove less beneficial.


How do you support students with vocabulary practice in your classroom? Would this be a tool that could benefit your students? Share in the comments below!

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