Tuesday, October 30, 2018

Finishing Up Our Spelling & Grammar Block

There is a lot being written right now about Structured Word Inquiry (SWI). If you are interested, here is a recent blog post from my colleague, Dvora Kravitz, MA, AET ET/P: Good-Bye Phonics, Hello Structured Word Inquiry.

After our introduction last week, we continued exploring SWI and adding the concepts to our Main Lesson Books. We will have SWI as a weekly Special subject for the rest of the year. Our next Main Lesson will be a Math topic.

Monday, October 22

  • watch the video The true story of 'true' by Gina Cooke
  • look carefully at how a dictionary entry in etymonline is organized; review that a word can actually be more than one part of speech, depending on how it is used in a sentence
  • use the Online Etymology Dictionary to explore < tree > and < true >
  • use the Online Etymology Dictionary to find a list of all of the modern words which come from the ancient Proto-Indo-European root *deru-
  • look at the words on the list which students are familiar with such as truce, trust, shelter, tar, and durability
  • explain what a dendrite is; show a picture of a neuron with dendrites from Children and Brain Development: What We Know About How Children Learn and read the information about brain development from "Brain Structure" and "Connections Among Brain Cells"
  • give students time to create a rough draft of Etymology for their MLBs
  • create watercolor resist artwork of a neural network using oil pastels

Tuesday, October 23

  • look deeper into Morphology (the bits and pieces that make up words) and compare it to Orthography (spelling)
  • consider examples of early understanding of morphemes from language constructions in toddler speech
      Zac at age 2:

      this [car] is so 'race-y'

      the goblin is running because something is 'pit-pat-ing'

  • review that prefixes and suffixes can be added to a base multiple times, morphing the meaning (and even the part of speech), but the base stays in the word construction every time
  • write the words < prefix > and < suffix > on the board and consider what base might be shared by the two of them; identify the base
    < fix >; list additional words which use this base, which is one of the steps in determining whether a string of letters is truly a base

  • look at the base < fix > and list possible definitions on the board (mend, put together, build, connect, create)
  • use the Online Etymology Dictionary to explore < prefix > and discover that < fix > has a Latin root figere which means "fasten," which was very close to our list of possible definitions, and that
    < pre > means "before"
  • use the Online Etymology Dictionary to explore < suffix > and discover that the the Latin suffigere comes from figere plus an assimilated form of sub, meaning "under"; review other words which have < sub > as a prefix and what they mean
  • continue with Haunted House of Speech to review Grammar symbols

Thursday, October 25

  • define < Halloween > (step 1 in SWI)
  • practice word sums by constructing possible word sums for
    < Halloween > (step 2 in SWI) and write them on the board in a list

    For each word sum volunteered by students they had to spell it out letter by letter and tell me which part they thought was the base.

    For analyzing word sums (before we go to look the answer up in etymonline), you can test whether a string of letters is a base by listing other words that can be built using that base. You can also test whether it is a likely base for the word you are investigating by thinking of what that base means and then considering whether the word < Halloween > carries a sense which is similar to that definition.

  • write the word sum for < Samhain > on the board
  • read information on Halloween / All Saint's Day / All Soul's Day / Samhain from pages 148-149 of All Year Round by Ann Druitt, et al.
  • explain that the second base in this word, < evening >, has been abbreviated (in fact, the name of the holiday used to be spelled
    < Hallowe'en > to make this contraction of the word more clear)
  • use the Online Etymology Dictionary (step 3 in SWI ) to explore
    < Samhain > and its meaning from Old Irish of "summer's end"
    (the first day of Winter was also New Year's Day in the ancient Celtic tradition and this evening festival celebrated that time which was neither last year nor next year; the tissue between our world and the afterlife was also at its thinnest and the two worlds intermingled)
  • look up the dates of Dia de los Muertos (November 1 and 2)
  • review that < Halloween > is made up of two free bases which actually makes it a compound word; explain that another word built from the base < hallow > is < hallowed > as in "hallowed ground"
  • decorate pumpkins either by painting them or carving them to contribute to the Pumpkin Glow night-time hike on Friday night

our word sums, with possible bases underlined

Friday, October 26

  • review the fundamental principles of Structured Word Inquiry; read Zen Ties by Jon J. Muth and discuss how it is connected to SWI
  • explore < structure > by listing other words with the base < struct > on the board, underlining the base each time; review that < struct > is a bound base because it cannot stand on its own as a word
  • define all of the words on our list; do Think / Pair / Share considering the question "what might < struct > mean?"
  • use the Online Etymology Dictionary to explore < structure >; conjecture that this word's deepest roots may have come from the action of piling hay into a haystack...
    • mid-15c., "action or process of building or construction;" 1610s, "that which is constructed, a building or edifice;" from Latin structura "a fitting together, adjustment; a building, mode of building;" figuratively, "arrangement, order," from structus, past participle of struere "to pile, place together, heap up; build, assemble, arrange, make by joining together," related to strues "heap," from PIE *streu-, extended form of root *stere- "to spread."

  • continue Script lessons from last week, reviewing and learning more of the emblem u letters (u, a, o, c, d, e)

Monday, October 29

  • review morphology; share one possible matrix for < struct >
  • add Word Sums to MLB, choosing between < prefix > and < suffix > lesson, < Halloween > and < Samhain > lesson, or < struct > lesson
  • review Grammar symbols with Grammar Symbol Nomenclature from Montessori Research & Development
  • present The Grammar Game from Mandala Classroom Resources as a follow up work

Tuesday, October 30

  • finish Haunted Houses of Speech; add Grammar Symbols to MLB, including words for each symbol from the child's completed HHS
  • add front & back covers and table of contents to the finished MLBs
  • take home our Haunted Houses just in time for Halloween!

We did a total of four two-page spreads for the Spelling & Grammar portion of this main lesson book. You can see the quick sketches of them which I did on the board. The first was the Four Questions of SWI; the second was Etymology; the third was Morphology; the fourth was Grammar Symbols.

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