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Word Play: Building Vocabulary Across Texts and Disciplines, Grades 6-12 Paperback – March 12, 2008

ISBN-13: 978-0325013725 ISBN-10: 0325013721 Edition: First Printing

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Word Play: Building Vocabulary Across Texts and Disciplines, Grades 6-12 + Words Their Way: Word Study for Phonics, Vocabulary, and Spelling Instruction (5th Edition) (Words Their Way Series)
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Product Details

  • Age Range: 11 - 17 years
  • Paperback: 208 pages
  • Publisher: Heinemann; First Printing edition (March 12, 2008)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0325013721
  • ISBN-13: 978-0325013725
  • Product Dimensions: 7.4 x 0.4 x 9.2 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 12 ounces (View shipping rates and policies)
  • Average Customer Review: 5.0 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (2 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #1,584,463 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Editorial Reviews

About the Author

Sandra K. Whitaker, a National Board Certified Teacher in English Language Arts, has spent much of her career working with struggling readers and writers and is deeply concerned with issues of literacy, access, and differentiation. Throughout her career, she has served the education community as a teacher, building-level administrator, curriculum developer, and curriculum coordinator. A nationally known speaker and consultant, she is also the author of Advocacy for School Leaders: Becoming a Strong Voice for Education.

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Most Helpful Customer Reviews

8 of 8 people found the following review helpful By Ken C. TOP 1000 REVIEWER on August 12, 2009
Format: Paperback
Attn teachers: Sandra Whitaker's WORD PLAY just might be the cavalry coming over the hill to rescue your vocabulary program. This is especially the case if you are merely giving your kids a list of words every week (or every other) and quizzing them on Fridays (only to realize that they've forgotten 90% of said words within a month).

What's great about Whitaker's book is that she first provides the theory and then lays down the practical applications, complete with concrete, ready-to-roll-out-in-the-classroom activities. Furthermore, she inserts sideboxes called "Step Into a Classroom" to give you a fly-on-the-wall view of how the strategies worked in Virginia classrooms she observed. Finally, Whitaker offers differentiation advice so you can make the activities easier (for IEP or ELL students) or more difficult (for Honors or Gifted & Talented students).

She emphasizes teaching morphemes (the smallest portion of a word that carries a meaning) and affixes (that's prefixes and suffixes to you). Lecturing? Quizzing? Hardly. Such "dry fare" must be gussied up with fun and games -- only these "games" are educational and get results. Whitaker also offers advice on how to teach key academic vocabulary across the curriculum and how to invite etymology into the fray.

Read the book and hie thee to Staples for colored index cards and sticky notes. As a teacher, you probably already love words, their history, their humor, and their protean flexibility. So why hog all the fun when you can share it with the kids? With this as a guidebook, you can choose two or three strategies to start and be on your way. I know I'll be trying it this year, and I'm excited about the possibilities.
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful By ktedid on June 14, 2010
Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
This book is wonderful. It is filled with vocabulary strategies that kids love. They are easy and adaptable to all grade levels. I love it - it is my vocabulary go-to book.
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