Mindful of Words: Spelling and Vocabulary Explorations 4-8

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Providing a wealth of tools to enhance upper-level spelling and vocabulary instruction, this engaging book features more than 120 reproducible sorting activities and games. It offers specific suggestions for helping students build mastery of vowel patterns, syllable structure, syllable stress, consonant and vowel alternations, compound words, prefixes, suffixes, and word roots. Also featured are "Did You Know?" sections with absorbing stories about specific words; tips from teachers at different grade levels; discussions of idioms; literature recommendations; and lists of vocabulary related to social studies, science, and math.

See also Ganske's Word Journeys, Second Edition: Assessment-Guided Phonics, Spelling, and Vocabulary Instruction, which provides a comprehensive framework for assessing and building word knowledge, and Word Sorts and More: Sound, Pattern, and Meaning Explorations K-3, which presents word study activities for the primary grades.

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Editorial Reviews

From the Publisher

"Mindful of Words is an invaluable addition to the upper-grade teacher's resource shelf. It illuminates the intermediate teacher's role in providing meaningful, intellectually stimulating word study. I found the 'Teacher to Teacher' sections, which show exactly how teachers and principals have incorporated Ganske's suggestions in their classrooms and schools, to be extremely useful. I also loved the 'Did You Know' sections. I rediscovered information about words I had long forgotten or never knew. This book will help teachers make their own love of language contagious to kids!"--Ellin Oliver Keene, MA, Director of Research and Development, Public Education and Business Coalition, Denver, Colorado

"Ganske has once again succeeded in providing classroom teachers with a valuable tool for differentiating instruction and meeting the instructional needs of individual learners. Upper-elementary and middle school teachers have been anxiously awaiting the kind of guidance and instructional support Ganske gives them for a systematic, developmental approach to word study. One of the many strengths of Ganske's approach is her attention to motivation; she appeals to students' curiosity and humor. I can't wait to share this essential resource with students in my teacher education classes and professional development workshops."--Deanna Birdyshaw, PhD, School of Education, University of Michigan

"Teachers in grades 4-8 who use the word study approach for spelling and vocabulary instruction will welcome this new resource. It will save hours of work in devising well-crafted lessons. What is especially appealing is the organization of the teacher support for each word sort. Many opportunities for differentiation of instruction are included, and vignettes from practitioners add useful techniques for the classroom. Using this book will help teachers go a long way in developing their students' appreciation for language."--Sondra R. Markman, EdM, K-8 curriculum supervisor, Warren Township School District, Warren, New Jersey

"Mindful of Words is a comprehensive resource for the implementation of quality word study for students in the upper stages of spelling and word development. Literacy educators will benefit from this clear and concise guide that promotes students’ flexibility with words and their enthusiasm for the complexities of the English language. Ganske’s systematic approach to word study provides an integral component of the foundation on which proficient reading is built."--Robin Seeker, MA, literacy consultant, St. Vrain Valley School District, Longmont, Colorado

"Ganske has done it again, providing a resource that will allow for meaningful differentiated instruction in the area of word study in grades 4-8. In an era of reform that embraces research-based practices, this resource clearly guides teachers in putting theory into practice. Using this book will result in more engaging instruction that better prepares students to decode, compose, and comprehend sophisticated texts."--Michelle Huntress, MA, Reading Consultant, Storm Lake Community School District, Storm Lake, Iowa

Children's Literature - Meredith Kiger
This interesting concept of spelling development was created for students from grades four through eighth grades focusing on polysyllabic words that feature more "sophisticated relationships." Although teachers desire correct spelling at these levels, little time is spent on the actual development of higher level spelling skills and word relationships. This word study approach explores not only spelling prefixes and suffixes but the origin of words. The author has devised the mnemonic THAT'S: thinking, humor, appropriate instruction, talk, and systematic approach and sorting to be used for each component studied, such as compound words, adding ed or ing or consonant extensions, for example. The book is set up in three parts: I is mostly explanations and tips from other teachers, II is for syllable juncture spellers, and III is for derivational constancy spellers; the next stage in spelling skills. Within each part are lessons in the various components, each using the THAT'S approach. Word history is also dealt with when appropriate. The whole word study approach is game-like and perfect for working in teams. There are 121 reproducibles to assist the word sorting process as well as forms for performance records; 100 of the most important math, science and social study words; and blank card templates and answer keys. While the book seems overwhelming at first, its approach is rather simple once one finds the time to learn it. Reviewer: Meredith Kiger, Ph.D.
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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9781593858223
  • Publisher: Guilford Publications, Inc.
  • Publication date: 6/6/2008
  • Series: Solving Problems in the Teaching of Literacy Series
  • Edition description: New Edition
  • Pages: 338
  • Sales rank: 441,572
  • Product dimensions: 7.90 (w) x 10.40 (h) x 0.70 (d)

Meet the Author

Kathy Ganske, PhD, is Professor of the Practice of Literacy and Director of Graduate Elementary Education at Vanderbilt University. She has been involved in using, refining, and teaching about word study practices for over 25 years. Her work is grounded in extensive teaching experience in elementary classrooms. Dr. Ganske's current research interests include discussion during small-group word study instruction and literacy teacher preparation. She is the author or coauthor of several books, including Word Journeys, Word Sorts and More and Mindful of Words, as well as numerous articles and book chapters.

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Table of Contents

Part 1. Setting the Stage


The Context: What Is Word Study?

A Word about History

Teaching Considerations

Teacher to Teacher: Tips from Teachers for Teachers

Part 2. Word Study for Syllable Juncture Spellers

Introducing Compound Words

Inflectional Endings

Patterns across Syllables: Other Syllable Juncture Doubling

Vowel Patterns in Stressed Syllables

Unstressed Syllables

Consonant Extensions

Prefixes and Suffixes

Additional Sorts

Part 3. Word Study for Derivational Constancy Spellers

Revisiting Prefixes and Suffixes

Consonant Alternations

Vowel Alternations

A Further Look at Suffixes and Prefixes

Greek and Latin Word Elements

Appendix A. Homophone Rummy Answer Key: Sample Sentences

Appendix B. Understanding Prefixes

Appendix C. Applying Prefix Knowledge to Common Latin Roots

Appendix D. Blank Word Card Template

Appendix E. Sampling of 100+ Important Math Words

Appendix F. Sampling of 100+ Important Science Words

Appendix G. Sampling of 100+ Important Social Studies Words

Appendix H. Performance Records

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