Tuesday, December 20, 2016

   Happy Holidays! 

We had our expo.  and last day of school before winter break. It was wonderful to see all of the student's beautiful work and to hear how much they have learned in this past block. I am still amazed how much better students learn when lessons are untimed, unrushed, and incorporate literature, art, and discussion. Our young scholars are in full bloom! We are so thankful to have the skilled teaching of Miss Rene. Skilled is not a word I generally chose to preface the word " teaching, " but in this case that is the one that popped into mind. In our co-op all learning differences are accommodated and teaching is differentiated to the needs of each student to allow them to be successful. How wonderful! I am so pleased to be able to play a role in the magic I see happening. 

For our final Structured Word Inquiry lesson of the year, I let the student's questions lead the way.  My son posed the question, " Why is there a < b > in < doubt > ? I was delighted he posed this question because there is a fantastic TED ED video by one of my mentors, Gina Cooke about this word. You can find in on You Tube. 

To embark on this investigation we first asked the question, " What does it mean?"

We looked to etymonline.com by Douglas Harper to seek the denotative and connotative meanings of the word as will as the word's history. 

It's origin is in latin: dubitare

Doug tells us that the word doubt carries the sense; " to doubt, hesitate, waver in opinion"

Next we ask, " What is it's structure? and " Does it have any relatives?" 

We don't see any prefixes or suffixes we can peel off of < doubt > so we move on to relatives. 

In the same morphological family we have: 

doubtful, doubtfully, doubtless, undoubtable, undoubted, doubted, doubting, and undoubtedly

But what about the base of that Latin root? < dub> hummm let's look in word searcher                         ( wordsearcher.com ) to see if we can find some cousins. 

dubious, indubitably, indubitable all carry the sense of doubt.  ( It was hilarious to hear the student's first attempts at pronouncing indubitably!

SO! Conclusion: The < b > in doubt marks it's relationship to words that share a similar meaning.

Next we notice that double is the only other word with the spelling < doub > and we also discover that it carries a sense of two. We talked about how doubt has a sense of two. As Gina said in her video, When we are in doubt, we are of two minds. When we hesitate in confusion, we second guess ourselves. 

This realization led us to the words double, doubly, doublet, and redouble. I was in awe that Becca already knew what a doublet was! She shared that with the group and Aiden looked up it's image in our IPAD to share with the others. 

From there we realized that there were more words that carried a sense of two. 

duplicity, doubloon, duplex, duo, duet, and doppelganger

Tony made the discovery about the meaning of duet. He stated, " I played in a duet! I then asked him how many people payed together, he answered, " two! Ah ha!"

Finally, we turned to to the Old English word Tweogan. As Gina points out, the sense of two is clear in it's spelling. Suddenly the spelling of many more words made sense! 

twist   twisty   twirl   untwist twisted twister twizzle twelve twenty twine two twain twice and twin. 

Aiden exclaimed, " So that's why the candy is called Twizzler!" 

This was a particularly long session so our study did not get to more of phonology, the sounds in speech we process when he hear words read aloud, but this group was made of accomplished readers and those questions did not arise anyway. We did write some words sums along the way to make sense of structure. Ex. in + dub + ite + able + y -----> < indubitably > 

All in all is was a fantastic journey and I have no doubt many more are to come. 

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