A Division of Houghton Mifflin Harcourt Heinemann

Word Crafting

Teaching Spelling, Grades K-6

Cindy Marten, Poway Unified School District in San Diego
Foreword by Donald Graves

ISBN 978-0-325-00322-1 / 0-325-00322-X / 2003 / 176pp / Paperback
Imprint: Heinemann
Availability: This title is printed on demand and is nonreturnable. Please allow 1 week for printing.
Grade Level: K - 6th
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    Finally, here is the groundbreaking spelling book all teachers have been waiting for—a sensible, comprehensive, research-based approach to word study that includes exploration, strategies, classroom-based assessment, and fabulous teaching ideas—all based on learning how to determine each student’s level of spelling development and craft appropriate instruction. An exceptional resource!
    —Regie Routman
    In this delightful and incredibly informative little volume, Cindy Marten crafts for teachers and administrators the art of helping students learn how to “craft” words themselves. Few educators are able to explain and demonstrate this craft as well as Marten. She provides moment-to-moment classroom assessment and instructional vignettes grounded in a developmental model; significantly, she situates this crafting of words in the realities of school, district, state, and national mandates and politics. Her description of one district’s journey towards a meaningful and effective curriculum is insightful, encouraging, and instructive. Throughout, Cindy Marten’s voice is one with which dedicated and thoughtful teachers will resonate.
    —Shane Templeton

At long last, a spelling and vocabulary book written by a classroom teacher who's a literacy specialist, too!

Cindy Marten responds to the demand for "direct, systematic, and explicit phonics and spelling instruction" that goes way beyond what to teach—she addresses the questions of how, when, and why spelling should be taught. More important, she situates spelling within the contexts of real writing and the individual learner's needs.

In Word Crafting, Marten offers an approach that is at once playful, intellectual, and artful, engaging students in inquiry and wonder about words. "Word crafting" is analogous to the ways fine woodworkers develop their skills—through collecting the right tools, item by item, until they have a toolbelt full of them. The same is true for teaching spelling and here Marten supplies the tools, each one carefully selected for her students. Dip into her book for tools to:

  • assess and group students for effective instruction
  • engage them from the start in smart word study
  • help students learn high-frequency words, rules, patterns, and spelling demons
  • align your teaching with school, district, state, and national mandates.

Use these tools to set up word-crafting contexts that connect the study of words to authentic reading and writing. Craft a word study program that turns your students into more than good spellers—they'll be fine word crafters.

  • Why Spelling Matters
  • Teaching Spelling as a Craft
  • It's All About Assessment
  • Essential Classroom Practices
  • Know Your Spelling Tools: Consumer Beware
Appendixes:
  • Spelling Pilot Adoption—Evaluation of Publisher Materials
  • Innovation Configuration Rubric for Effective Spelling Instruction
  • Case Study Exercise for Innovation Configurations for Effective Spelling Instruction
  • Teacher References and Resources for Effective Word Study
  • Student Word-Study Journals
  • Developmental Phases of Spelling
  • High-Frequency Words/"No Excuses" Words
    • Frequently Misspelled Words
    • Teaching "No Excuses" and Frequently Misspelled Words
    • "No Excuses" Words: First Grade, Second Grade, Third Through Fifth Grades
  • Games and Activities
  • Web Page: www.spellingtools.com
  • Spelling Inventories
  • Ideas for Parents and Caregivers
  • English Is a Difficult Language!
  • Children's Literature to Support Word Study

In Depth

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Email planningservices@heinemann.com if you would like to contact Cindy Marten directly about professional development support.

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Finally, here is the groundbreaking spelling book all teachers have been waiting for—a sensible, comprehensive, research-based approach to word study that includes exploration, strategies, classroom-based assessment, and fabulous teaching ideas—all based on...