Words Their Way 2005 Ed.
Dare I say it? Here's an approach to phonics and word study that is just a bit different. And it's a difference I like. It's also a difference that will have a special appeal to kinesthetic learners, I think. While it's not unusual to have a hands-on aspect to primary phonics, it is unusual to have that carry through to the upper elementary grades and to merge into spelling and vocabulary programs.
Weekly lessons are called "sorts" and that's exactly what the student will be doing. Starting with a group of words to cut out, the student spends the rest of the week sorting them and then resorting them. Sorts (lists) are based on spelling/phonics concepts and the sorting activities require the student to group a word with its rule and with other words that "behave" in the same way. For instance, in the E book, Sort 8 are words (and their roots) to which -ion is to be added - and the additions require a spelling change. During the week the student will have multiple opportunities to sort his list of 24 words and to place the "cards" on one of four columns. There are two root word columns (-te and -ce) and two corresponding -ion word columns (drop e + -ion and drop e + tion). The general flow through the week is to introduce the words and cut them apart followed by talking through the first "sort." The next day the sort is reviewed and practiced; the following day a "blind sort" is completed (the word is spoken to the student and he writes it down and puts it into its proper category) as well as an activity page. On day 4, students are asked to find other words with the same characteristics; on day 5 a final sort is completed and the cards are glued into the workbook. Throughout the week definitions for a couple of words (Words of the Week) become a daily focus. See what I mean? Short, simple, and sweet. The lower levels have a more distinctive phonics flavor. Book A has words and pictures (each to be cut out) and sorts (of both words and pictures) are done according to word family or other phonics construct.
The full-color Word Study Notebooks are consumable (perforated pages) and include the words to cut apart, the sorting grids, and an activity page. The Teacher Resource Guide provides a program overview, a scope and sequence for the program, how to assess/monitor progress, daily lesson plans, and an envelope that can be attached to the student book to collect the student's words at the end of each session. Could the program be completed without the Teacher Guide? Probably, but you'll be missing some depth as well as information on the Words of the Week and miscellaneous teacher tips. The Teacher Resource CD is now included with most bundles (level K to come later.) It has printable sorting cards, sort-specific games, & additional grids to reinforce each lesson. System requirements: Windows - 2000(w/SP2), XP or XP Tablet PC edition. Mac - OSX 10.2.8, 10.3 or later.
Each Bundle includes a Word Study Notebook, Teacher Resource Guide, Teacher Resource CD and Word Sort envelope. ~ Janice