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Wordly Wise 3000, Book 1 Review by Debbie LottCheryl Dressler
School Specialty, Inc.
W6316 Design Dr.
Greenville, WI 54942
The Wordly Wise 3000, Book 1 program includes several components: a teacher’s resource book, a student workbook, fifteen 12 x14 inch concept cards, and 150 5x7 inch vocabulary cards. All of the student materials are sturdy, brightly colored, and visually appealing. The complete set sells for $86.
The Teacher’s Resource Book begins with a discussion of the importance of teaching vocabulary to young children. The preschool and early elementary years are a time of rapid vocabulary growth that lays a foundation for later academic progress. Students with weak language and vocabulary skills tend to fall rapidly behind their peers in academics as they reach the upper elementary grades, in part due to poor vocabulary, and that is why vocabulary instruction, especially for weaker students, is so critical. The Teacher’s Resource Book provides lesson plans for each instructional day and includes a story to read aloud, take-home papers for the student, active games (playing statues when learning about monuments) and discussion questions for the story and for each vocabulary word. The program is designed to be used three days a week, with ten words learned over a two week period. Although this Wordly Wise 3000 program is designed to be used in a classroom setting, it worked just as well in a home setting with one child.
Unlike the upper grade levels of Wordly Wise 3000, the first grade program requires no reading skills. The student book includes mainly picture-based activities. The vocabulary words are printed in each lesson, but can be read aloud to children who are beginning readers. Activities included directed coloring activities, sequencing, matching vocabulary words to pictures, and teacher-led discussion of concepts and of story comprehension questions. Although the student book is a workbook, I found that most of the activities could be done orally when used in a homeschool/tutoring type situation. We typically spent ten to twenty minutes on each lesson and sometimes completed two lessons in a day.
The concept cards are used to introduce the theme of each lesson and each vocabulary word has a matching picture card. The vocabulary cards are an essential part of the course and are very helpful for reviewing vocabulary from previous lessons. The concept cards were a nice way to introduce each lesson, but didn’t seem as essential to the course. They are only used on the first day of each two-week unit.
I love this program—both as a homeschooling parent/teacher and as a speech pathologist who has done vocabulary instruction as part of language therapy. I have been using Wordly Wise 3000 with a special needs student and am finding it very effective as well as easy and fun to use. I often found myself adding additional instruction on various scientific, geographical, or historical concepts related to the focus words. The informal and fun format worked well with following these various “rabbit trails.” Since my student isn’t reading yet, he can’t use many first grade materials, but this teacher-led, picture focused program was perfect for him.
The focus of Wordly Wise 3000 is academic vocabulary—words that the student will need in school for science and social studies classes. Examples of vocabulary words include: monument, swamp, compass, filthy, funnel, and atmosphere. Where appropriate, multiple meanings of words are included. I appreciated that this is a language-rich course that included practice in following oral directions, sequencing, listening comprehension, and poetry.
I highly recommend Wordly Wise 3000, Book 1, for use in home schools, classrooms, and even speech/language therapy.
-Product review by Debbie Lott, The Old Schoolhouse® Magazine, LLC, December, 2018