This is my third year teaching CIA, and it has taken me this long to realize that when I’m working on the vocabulary with my students I’m also doing a word study. Yes, it may take us a bit more time to do the word study aspect, but it is totally worth it!
It sounds weird, but I think for some students that the word study part of our vocabulary routine is their favorite. This is the time when we look at the word for prefixes, suffixes, and even root words. I love how the vocabulary packet includes charts with the meanings of the different word parts. It is from this section that I pulled the prefixes, roots and suffixes from to create my curtains I shared in my first blog.
My students are getting quick at finding the meaning of new word parts by either looking at the curtains, or by looking at the charts in the packet. If it is a word part that we have already learned about, the students are quick to recall what it means. Once we find the meaning of the different word part, we write it near the word part in the word. Many times, we start to come up with what the word means just based on the word parts. With time, the students are starting to realize that by knowing what the different word parts mean, we can determine the meaning of the word. We then read the excerpt that the vocabulary word is found in or is inferred in and use the context clues to help us determine the meaning of the words. We are discovering that our definitions based on the word part meanings aren’t far off the definitions based on the context clues.
In writing we have worked with nouns, verbs and adjectives. I wanted to bring this piece of grammar to our vocabulary words. We look at the word and how we have used it in our writing of our sentences and decide which part of grammar it is. I have already written the vocabulary words on a piece of paper that is either blue for verb, red for a noun, or yellow for an adjective. Once the students have decided which piece of speech they think it is, I pull out the word. To say the least, the students get a bit excited when they realize they identified it correctly.
We then add it to our mini pocket chart. When we add it to the pocket chart we are having our new vocabulary word join the other vocabulary words we have already learned about in our reading. We work on putting the word in alphabetical order, which is a skill that the students need as well. It really makes the students look closely at the word. We often time when we are moving words around to revisit what the old words mean, and to even look at see what words have the same prefix, root or suffix as they are written in a different colored marker so they stand out more.
When we finished reading Poppy, I took or vocabulary words and glued them onto a piece of poster board. It is now hanging up in our reading area. It is great because I often see students looking at it and referring to those words in their writing and thinking about The War with Grandpa, small group reading, and even their independent reading!
Yes, the word study portion might take a bit longer, but I’m seeing it carry over to their independent reading and small group reading. Sometimes after learning about a new prefix or suffix each of my reading groups finds a word that contains the new word part in our reading that day if not the next. Many times I miss this, but the students are quick to point it out to me, and remind their group if by chance they forgot. The word study portion is turning my students into little word detectives, and I love it! I’ve come to realize by spending this extra time with just one word, in a way I’m opening up the meaning behind many more words to them.
Have fun looking at words and becoming word detectives with your class!