Earlier this month I posted about the work our intermediate team was focusing on in terms of word study and teaching our students how to read. The focus for my class specifically is multisyllable words- reading them in everyday contexts as a whole group and in small groups.
In science, my grade eights are currently studying the “Top 10 Green Technology Innovations”. I used an article that focuses on ten systems that are entirely green. They are doing a science project on this topic where they are asked to select one technology and study it further. In small groups, I read parts of the article to my students. I told them to raise their hand when they heard multiple syllables. That word they identified was then theirs to write on the board. I had them break up the word into syllables and asked them to try to read it. I then repeated that with all students in my small group.
Additionally, I asked students to try to guess the meaning of the words after I read them the sentence for context. In most cases, my students could read the words once broken up into syllables but could not provide its meaning. This means that more comprehension work is needed in the future.
After they each got to break up their multi-syllable word and attempted to read it, they went back to their groups. Each student from my small group got to pick a student from the class to read their word. We went through them all until they had all been read. In most cases, my students were able to read the words because of the syllable break up. However, earlier that week when we had read the article as a class, many students struggled at most multi-syllable words. It was good to see that breaking it up helped!
Later in the week, our school participated in “Joy Day” (which I blogged about in 2022) and I taught a Hanukkah lesson with a group of grade eights. We did the same activity, selecting multi-syllable words and attempting to read them. Students had to come up and underline the word and then read it out to the class. We then clapped out the syllables and read it together. It was great seeing the students trying to find the words in each paragraph all while learning about the history of Hanukkah.
I look forward to incorporating more small group and whole class word study activities as we work on this new curriculum expectation: B2.1- use generalized knowledge of the meanings of words and morphemes (i.e., bases, prefixes, and suffixes) to read and spell complex words with accuracy and automaticity