Words Their Way: Word Study for Phonics, Vocabulary, and Spelling Instruction, Global Edition, 7th Edition

Donald L. Bear all

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Words Their Way: Word Study for Phonics, Vocabulary, and Spelling Instruction, Global Edition, 7th Edition

By Donald L. Bear, Marcia Invernizzi, Francine Johnston, Shane Templeton
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For use in Elementary Reading Methods (K-8), Supplementary Reading Methods, or Phonological Awareness and Phonics courses.

A hands-on, developmentally-driven approach to word study that illustrates how to integrate and teach phonics, vocabulary and spelling skills to all students.

Words Their Way is a developmental approach to phonics, vocabulary and spelling instruction. Guided by an informed interpretation of spelling errors and other literacy behaviours, Words Their Way offers a systematic, teacher-directed, child-centred plan for the study of words from Kindergarten to high school. The keys to this research-based approach are knowing your students’ literacy progress, organising for instruction and implementing word study.

The 7th Edition features a new chapter on organising word study in the classroom, as well as new activities, progress monitoring materials and sample lesson plans.

Accompanying this book is PDToolkit, an online resource that contains interactive digital sorts and printable games. Word study games and templates in a printable PDF format are also available for all five developmental stages. Together with this tool, Words Their Way provides a complete word study curriculum that will motivate and engage your students while helping them to succeed in literacy learning.
  • References throughout the book with the latest research pertaining to word study have been updated.
  • Chapter 3 has been revised to focus on the word study lesson, teacher-student interactions and follow-up activities.
  • A new Chapter 9 addresses the larger issues involved in organising word study in the classroom.
  • Sample lesson plans are included in each chapter to demonstrate how teachers guide thoughtful discussions about words.
  • ‘Ten Indicators of Effective Word Study Classrooms’ in Chapter 9 have been added to guide evaluation and professional development.
  • Activities have been added and . revised in Chapters 3–8.
  • Progress-monitoring and goal-setting materials are available in Appendix B.
  • A new term, focused contrasts, is introduced to highlight the importance of comparing and contrasting letters and spelling patterns related to speech sounds and meaning units or morphemes.
  • English learner callouts provide more information about comparisons between English and other languages.
  • Visually enhanced, full-colour design breaks the content into more manageable sections that highlight Teacher Tips and boxed text supplements in the main text
Table of contents
  • 1. Developmental Word Knowledge
  • 2. Getting Started: The Assessment of Orthographic Development
  • 3. Word Study Principles and Practices
  • 4. Word Study for the Emergent Stage
  • 5. Word Study for the Letter Name–Alphabetic Stage
  • 6. Word Study for the Within Word Pattern Stage
  • 7. Word Study for the Syllables and Affixes Stage
  • 8. Word Study for the Derivational Relations Stage
  • 9. Implementation of Word Study Instruction: Schedules, Routines, Materials and Effective Practices

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Words Their Way is a teacher-directed, student-centred approach to vocabulary growth and spelling development where students from Kindergarten to junior secondary engage in a variety of sound, pattern and meaning activities, sorting pictures and words.


Words Their Way enables teachers to assess, clearly identify and document each student's spelling stage, group students with common needs and tailor activities to improve students’ spelling knowledge.

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