Membean: Directions and Suggestions

Membean Logo

Membean is the vocabulary acquisition program we are using this year in all grade levels for ELA.  

It is a learning tool that helps students learn and remember words. In addition it enables each teacher to monitor and comprehend an individual student’s learning.  Here is the information to create classes, have students login, and tips and suggestions for using in the classroom and grading.  

Creating Classes

  1. Go to: http://membean.com/s/phsn
  2. Enter your name and password
  3.           Password and email will be the same: Firstname_Lastname_SchoolInitials (EX: Brandi_Smith_PHSN) 
  4. Click on the large white box in the middle of the screen that says “CREATE YOUR FIRST CLASS”
  5. Enter the “NAME WITH SECTION AND PERIOD,” “GRADE,” and “EXPECTED CLASS SIZE”
  6. Select “CREATE CLASS”
  7. When the class shows up in the dashboard, write down the “CLASS CODE”
  8. This code is what students will use to get into the class, each period has a different code

Directions to Login to Membean for Students

  1. Go to: membean.com/enroll
  2. Enter the class code in the box for “CLASS CODE”
  3. Answer the question: “HAVE YOU USED MEMBEAN BEFORE” with yes or no
  4. Fill in “MY DETAILS”
    1. Make sure password is at last six letters
    2. Email is optional
    3. WRITE DOWN YOUR PASSWORD
  5. Select “CREATE MY ACCOUNT”
  6. WRITE DOWN YOUR USER NAME ON THIS SCREEN and then click “LET’S TRAIN”
  7. Pause here. We need to talk about calibrating
  8. Select the green button in the top left of the screen, “CALIBRATE FIRST”
  9. After calibration is over, you will be given a score between 1-5. This is your starting vocabulary level.  This is the benchmark from which you will improve throughout the year.
  10. Select “LET’S GET STARTED”
  11. Select “NEXT”
  12. Read the instructions and select “NEXT”
  13. Read the instructions and select “NEXT”
  14. Select “LET’S BEGIN”
  15. Pause here. We need to talk about the parts of the page
  16. Select “NEXT” and from here, begin your practice session

Best Practices for Practice and Grading

  • How often and for how long should students be training in Membean?

Students should be using Membean a minimum of 30 training minutes per week. Training should occur at least twice, and up to four times per week.  Three 15-minute sessions every week is optimal – this adds up to 45-minutes per week.  

Students in remedial or ESL programs should train more frequently but for shorter sessions each time. 

Teachers may want to consider differentiated homework. There’s no particular reason that every student should be assigned the same time goal each week, and Membean could be used as a differentiation tool.

  • How should Membean be used to grade?

Membean recommends that students be given one grade based upon the time spent in training and another grade based upon quizzes, each equaling approximately 50% of the final vocabulary acquisition grade for the quarter.

If a teacher assigns the recommended 45 minutes per week for each student, then he or she might decide to give students one point per minute for a total of 45 points. If a student only studies for 30 minutes that week, then they would be given a 30/45 for the week. In addition, the two-week quiz grade might be based upon a percentage out of 100 correct.

Some teachers have also decided that they only want to put quizzes in the grade book, but that they will mandate students finish the allotted amount of practice before they are allowed to take the quiz.   

As a final recommendation, vocabulary acquisition should be about 10% of the final quarterly grade.

How to Introduce to Students 

  • Calibration is a big deal! Try your best. Calibrating is what helps to determine what words you will learn. Also, there are both fake and real words in the calibration test, so be honest.
  • Membean training is a PRACTICE tool. You are answering questions, and you should try your best. However, the goal is for you to learn, so don’t worry if you miss questions. That is why you are practicing. In addition, you will be exposed to the same words multiple times until you learn them. If you don’t get it the first time, you will have another chance.
  • Vocabulary levels may be lower than expected; many English teachers scored around a three as a benchmark, most students start at a 1-2 level.
  • The “CONTEXT” page has the following features for students:
    • The microphone symbol can be used to hear the word pronounced
    • The “WORD INGREDIENTS” shows the prefix, suffix and root words
    • “MEMORY HOOK” shows possible ways for students to remember words
    • There are also sometimes videos, songs, sentence of context etc. on this page

Resources: 

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2 responses to Membean: Directions and Suggestions

  1. Gretchen

    Just wanted you to know how useful I find your blog to be! I love following along and trying out some of the ideas. Thanks for creating such a useful resource!

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