Understanding Etymology/History Sparks the Teacher in a Student

What a great year to begin teaching about spelling through the lens of Structured Word Inquiry (SWI) — this year we have several new resources to use that will help spread the awareness of the sense and meaning of the orthography of the English language!

First, we have this wonderful resource that helped a student, Sam, understand the reason for the spelling of ‘the’ — we used this new resource from Fiona Hamilton and Rebecca Loveless called The High Frequency Word Project (link). In this resource, they have short activities for students to do while learning how to spell words and learn about their histories — their stories. Sam loves history and has difficulty learning the spelling of words. He was so excited to learn about the histories of many words. One day, after using this resource for about a week, he proclaimed:

“I love history, and I know I can learn how to spell and read words when I know their stories! Everyone should love this stuff!”

This resource will help Sam and his classmates associate the spelling with an interesting story — the best way for many people to learn, especially those with learning challenges. How wonderful that the students will also use opportunities to learn how to express their learning with each other and with a broader audience as well!

Watch this short video (1 minute 30 sec) of Sam explaining the etymology of the word ‘the’ that he learned fromĀ The hfw Project and Etymonline.

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Pronoun Performances!

Audio Recording of Pronoun Performances

“Words are just words aren’t they?” was the question one young person asked during a recent lesson about Parts of Speech.

Words can appear to be basic commodities when in fact they are much more than basic — they, along with punctuation, give our writing definition, character, style and most importantly, sense and meaning. If we use them properly, then what we write will convey a message, story, directions, feelings, and much more.

How do words become more valuable to students? By helping them form a deeper understanding of them and their grammatical functions. So, we study words and we study the structure of sentences. Continue reading