Wordly Wise 3000 (1st Ed.)
The first revision of Wordly Wise utilizes an entirely new word list of 3000 words selected based on frequency, grade-level literature, textbooks, and SAT-prep books. Typical lessons contain an alphabetized list of fifteen words with a brief entry for each including part of speech, concise definition, and proper usage of the word in the context of an interesting sentence that provides a mnemonic anchor for the word. Following are exercises sections consisting of: Finding Meanings - choosing two phrases (from four choices) that form a sentence correctly using one of the vocabulary words; Just the Right Word - substituting a vocabulary word for a synonymous phrase; Applying Meanings - answering questions constructed to test student's understanding of the meanings of vocabulary words used in particular situations; Synonyms, Antonyms, and Analogies - completing a two-sentence description of a situation by supplying a vocabulary word (Book 1) or perceiving the relationships between words (Books 2-9). Books A-C cover a total of 300 words in 30 lessons which include: definitions, example sentences, drawings, narratives that include the vocabulary words, exercises and puzzles.
So, exactly how does this new series compare to the old - and which should you use? The Wordly Wise features (giving interesting word histories, dealing with usage issues, and exposing common usage pitfalls) have been retained from the original series. There are still four different exercises per lesson, but they have been altered. New to the series is a one-page, nonfiction narrative following the exercises which uses the vocabulary words in context. This is followed by a page of questions, each of which uses a vocabulary word or requires its use in the answer. The crossword puzzles and Hidden Message puzzles have also been retained. In a side-by-side comparison, we prefer this series over the original. We like having the definitions with the vocabulary words as opposed to flipping back and forth to a glossary as in the original series. The typeset is easier to read; less cluttered and crisper. We'll miss the "old" exercise B; it was a rigorous test of usage understanding that doesn't have an equal in the new series. But, overall, there are more diverse and interesting exercises in this new version, testing understanding of word meaning in a variety of ways. Also, the addition of the narrative and related questions should increase the probability that the new words will be assimilated into the student's vocabulary.
Non-reproducible test booklets and reproducible test masters are also available for each level. If you are planning on using the tests with multiple children, the masters may be your best bet price-wise. Designed to prepare students for standardized tests, the format is largely multiple-choice. There are tests for each lesson as well as as cumulative midterms and finals. At the upper levels (grade 9-12), each test also features a "SAT Sneak Preview" section in which additional practice is given in preparation for standardized testing. Unfortunately, the test booklets are being phased out by the publisher. If we do not have the level you need, you can get by in most cases with the corresponding Wordly Wise 3000 2nd Ed. test book. Books 6, 7, 9, and 12 of the 2nd edition tests correspond lesson-for-lesson with 1st edition books 3, 4, 6 and 9. Other levels are similar, but there may be one lesson or a word in a lesson that is different. Please see our website for specifics.
The revision gets two thumbs up here, although we will continue to stock the old version for those who prefer it. Read on to find out more about the newest version of Wordly Wise, Wordly Wise 3000 2nd Edition.