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Wondrous Words: Writers and Writing in the Elementary Classroom unknown Edition

5.0 out of 5 stars 22 customer reviews
ISBN-13: 978-0814158166
ISBN-10: 0814158161
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Product Details

  • Paperback: 317 pages
  • Publisher: National Council of Teachers of English; unknown edition (January 1, 1999)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0814158161
  • ISBN-13: 978-0814158166
  • Product Dimensions: 0.8 x 7.8 x 9.5 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 1.9 pounds (View shipping rates and policies)
  • Average Customer Review: 5.0 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (22 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #74,237 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Customer Reviews

Top Customer Reviews

By Mary Owen on July 30, 2005
Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
I've taught for 21 years, but I always felt like there must be a better way to teach writing to children. This book tells how. Katie Wood Ray gives specific techniques for teaching structure, ways with words, and teaches you to teach your students to read like writers. For all of this, she uses the most marvelous children's books, most picture books but some young adult novels. I have worked on increasing my library under her direction, and I'm having a ball watching my students learn to love to write.
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Format: Paperback
Katie Wood Ray's book, Wondrous Words, not only informs us as educators but it also pushes us to be better teachers and to strive to reach the level of excellence Katie has obtained. Her examples and detailed explanations of the study of writing craft are wonderful (wondrous?) and they are also embedded within her own writing, so you see it in many contexts!! Katie does not tell us what we should do, she walks next to us and points out what she sees, what she thinks, and shares what she would do. This is a book that every educator who loves teaching and writing and reading and learning alongside their students, should definitely have. Bravo Katie!
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Katie Wood Ray has made a very readable, very usable book to help teachers teach students to 'read like writers'. I use the ideas when I am reading and reviewing new children's literature and each time I begin writing instruction with my elementary remedial students. Truly shows how to integrate student writing and good children's literature.
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Format: Paperback
As a first year teacher, I have made it my obligation to get my hands on as many resources as possible to learn my "craft." I am amazed at how much this book has changed my concept of teaching writing. I now understand what it is to "describe" a good piece of work rather than "prescribe" a good piece of work.

When I received this book after having attended a workshop, I did not know what to do with it-how to read it, understand it, but after having a year of experience and assessing my weaknesses (how to teach writing), I now understand.

I thank Katie Wood Ray for sharing herself and her findings with us.
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Format: Paperback
I have enjoyed everyword of this book. I am an aspiring English teacher who is fortunate enough to have Katie Ray's guidance as a professor and mentor. This book is one of the few that I will not sell back. This unique way of teaching writing writing is creative, relaxing, and enjoyable for both the teacher and the student. No matter what grade you teach you need this book! Katie has an amazing gift as a teacher and a writer which she expresses wonderfully in this book.
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As a writer of children's books and a second grade teacher, I refer to this book often - for support, guidance, affirmation, ideas, writing help, and more. It is perfect!
I hope to have the opportunity to cross paths with the author one day...I'd love to see her speak!
I recommend it all the time to teaching colleagues, friends, writers, and editors.
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I am participating in a book study with several other elementary teachers using this book. Our goal is to go beyond the canned formulaic paragraphs that our students are writing for our state test and to help them to grow into writers. The first chapter had us all excited as we suddenly began to understand how to read like writers. The book gives specific examples of the way authors craft their writing. I now see writer's craft with a different and much deeper understanding. Katie Ray shows the reader how to connect reading aloud with mentor texts and then devotes two chapters to listing mentor texts for teaching text structure and mentor texts for teaching students to craft with words. She also includes focus lessons for teaching. Her methods are exciting, motivating, and invigorating. But, I am still searching for the magic bullet that will let me teach like Katie Wood Ray and also be assured that my students are prepared to write for the boring prompts we see on the state test. Katie really promotes authentic writing, (which, of course, she should!), but the reality is that the state test always looms over my head. Katie doesn't address this issue in any other way except to criticize teachers who teach for the test. She wants students to spend lots of time thinking and envisioning their writing, which, I agree, a good writer does. But, with the time limits on the state test, I don't have that liberty. She criticizes a teacher who says "Don't spend more than ten minutes planning." and says the teacher might as well have said 2 plus 2 is 3. I'd love to be able to tell my students to take all the time they want to envision their writing and plan. But, in my state, 50% of my teacher evaluation is based upon how my students score on the test.Read more ›
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Wondrous Words provides an elegant philosophy for teaching writing to all ages. From cover to cover, Wood Ray's ideas and strategies prove memorable and coherent.

Wood Ray describes several helpful ideas. She shows the importance of mentor texts, both to introduce novice writers to new structural possibilities and new "ways with words". Her explanation of the importance and fun of the revision provides necessary advocacy to an undervalued part of the writing process. My favorite aspect of the work is Wood Ray's approach to teaching grammar. Rather than starting artificially with bland terminology and boring worksheets, she starts from the natural end; she advocates allowing students to discover patterns for themselves, and giving them names as the explanations come up.

As a college writing tutor and instructor-in-training, I recommend Wood Ray's work to anyone who desires a coherent philosophy of writing instruction for any age.
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