Building on the popularity of the original Wordly Wise program, Wordly Wise 3000 takes the best elements of the previous books and revamps them for greater ease-of-use and student appeal. Texts are cleaner and include a splash of color on each page (and illustrations for Books K-3), while the excellent format and content of the originals are retained. Covering grades K-12 with books titled accordingly, this new series is also easier to navigate (without the confusing lettering and numbering systems of the previous course).
How Do These Work?
There are thirteen consumable worktexts for K-12,levels grade 2 and upwith a key containing no more than answers to all exercises. Book K has 12 lessons andBooks 1-3 have 15 lessons, while Books 4-12 include 20 lessons. There is one word list per lesson, with between 10 and 15 words per list, followed by five exercises and a crossword every fourth lesson. Exercises follow a definition/usage/word study/context pattern, with the fifth exercise being a story students read and answer questions about. These are secular texts, and while there isn't any really objectionable content, the stories do get progressively more politically correct and humanistic, especially after Book 8.
Because the instructions are so simple, and due to the lack of teacher support (there are teacher kits for each level that we don't carry due to expense), these are largely student-directed books. However, books K and 1 cannot be completed without the teacher kits (their expense makes us suggest most people avoid these levels). Each subsequent text is self-explanatory and follows a set pattern students will soon recognize. There is a section at the end of each lesson where they learn a bit about the etymology of some of the words in the list, and if you want to encourage further study these would be good jumping-off points.
The words chosen were specifically gathered from SAT tests, textbooks, literature, etc. as words students are most likely to encounter. Each list is alphabetized, and together they form a 3,000 word list (hence the title of the course—Wordly Wise 3000). The sentences in which the words are used include a mnemonic device to aid retention. Unlike the original series, every word is included with its definition in the body of the lesson; at no point during the course of this series will students need to look up word definitions outside the text itself.
Our Honest Opinion:
For ease-of-use and word variety, Wordly Wise 3000 is hard to beat. Students thoroughly learn and understand not only the definitions of the words themselves, but also correct usage of those words. Because each one was carefully picked, these aren't just bizarre words they'll never use—these are words they'll continue to encounter throughout their education and life. While more "fun"programs might exist, there are few as effective or wide-ranging as this one. The constant drill and review will help kids internalize and retain each word and its meaning, making this a great course theoretically and practically.
Frequently Asked Questions:
Q. I understand there is now a third edition of these books. What is the difference?
A.When the second editions first became available, EPS added books for Kindergarten and 1st grade; combined the A, B & C levels into two books for grades 2 & 3; and renumbered the entire series (e.g. the original Book 1 for grade 4 became simply Book 4). They also made a variety of cosmetic changes like adding color to pages in the books. The third editions have fewer changes. The word lists remain the same, but some of the passages have been reLexiled to grade level. This may have altered some of the passages and questions that follow, but the changes are minimal.
Q. Are there tests for the Wordly Wise 3000 series?
A. Yes. They are not listed on the EPS website, but if you know how to ask, they are available at an affordable rate. We now carry them in-stock.
Q. These are secular. Is there objectionable content?
A.There are a number of sample narratives that come across as very politically correct; you'll find references to environmentalism, feminism and other topics the secularists champion. We haven't heard of anything too obnoxious, but would recommend you screen the narratives and use them as a starting point for discussion, especially in grade 8 and up.
Review by C. Hollis Crossman
C. Hollis Crossman used to be a child. Now he is a husband and father, teaches adult Sunday school in his Presbyterian congregation, and likes weird stuff. He might be a mythical creature, but he's definitely not a centaur.Read more of his reviews here.
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