Zaner-Bloser Word Wisdom (2017 Ed.)

Changes are few in this new edition of Word Wisdom (thankfully). All the same great features that impressed me with the older edition are there - lessons based on context clues, Latin roots, and reference skills as well as solid review that focuses on test-taking skills. Word lists as well as weekly lessons appear to be the same. What is new is the look! The Student Edition has been completely updated with full-color pictures and zippier graphics. There are only a few other changes and they seem to be mainly cosmetic. Lessons are the same in term of content but were called "Parts" in the previous edition. The Table of Contents is more efficient, taking fewer pages (which throws the pagination between the two editions off, by the way.) Perhaps the biggest change is the frequent reference to the Word Wisdom app that is available for iPad and Android tablets. Each lesson has a bottom-of-the-page notice when the app which is available for more practice. There is a charge ($10.99 in 2017) for the app, however, and I didn't check it out personally. It might be worth it if your student needs additional practice.

Still spiral-bound, the Teacher's Edition is now horizontal rather than the previous vertical. Frankly, I like this change. I liked the other very noticeable changes, as well. There is much less "teacher-ese" on the wraparound pages making the whole manual much more user-friendly. It actually looks like it could be helpful along with having the answers. A small number of Teaching Tips accompany each page (reduced copies of the Student Edition). The CD of printable Games and Activities is no longer included and I suspect this content has been transferred to the Word Wisdom app. Please note that there are references to an "eResources center". I was unable to access this without being a teacher with a proper school affiliation. This material does not seem to be available to homeschoolers. I suspect that some of the "teacher-ese" from the TG is now found at this online location. From a homeschooler's perspective, it looks like the only item that might have been nice to have is the Unit Planner and Daily Planner (small charts at the beginning of each unit). However, this info is largely common sense (there are 9 units each with 3 lessons and a review - just do one of these each week). Although I haven't checked every page at every level, it looks as though an older teacher's guide can be used with a newer student book.

In summary, in this 2017 edition, all the strong, educational contact has been retained with a pleasing appearance and the teacher materials are much more user-friendly. There is an option for those enjoying the world of electronic tablet practice. What's not to like? ~ Janice




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