Sunday, January 9, 2011

day 9: roots, suffixes, and prefixes

Affix--think of "affixing a stamp onto the envelope"--it means to attach

One of the things that we stress in our language arts books is using what you already know! Most students know far more than they think they know. And if they could tap into what they know, it would go a long way in helping them to unlock the unknown.

One way we help them do this is by emphasizing roots and affixes. I am going to talk a little about this during this upcoming week--both for those of us who just want to know what a word means when we encounter it (even if we have never encountered it before) as well as for teachers and parents who are trying to help kids become better readers and better "comprehenders."

For example, tonight we were playing a table game and Josiah said that he was feeling very jocular. We asked him if he knew what it meant, and he didn't. (Another lesson: Teach kids not to use words of which they do not know the meaning--it could be dangerous and/or embarrasing!) Anyway, he had heard it on Jonathan's SAT audio and kind of knew the context in which to use it but did not really know its meaning.

Upon looking it up in the dictionary, we discovered that means humorous or jolly--and is an adjective. This, of course, led to a discussion of the word joke (and how jocular likely came from it) and of how jocular could be a noun if it were jocularity. (I know...we're strange here, but their mom writes this stuff every single day to the tune of 30,000 pages over the past ten years, so let's just say our table time discussions can be out of control sometimes!)

So...roots and affixes. A quick overview here...then more tomorrow. I have a time limit and a word limit imposed by "helpful" family members!

Root--the base word before any affix is added to it

Affix--think of "affixing a stamp onto the envelope"--it means to attach...two types of affixes
    1. prefix--affix added to the beginning (pre means before!)
    2. suffix--affix added to the end

More later...happy reading and word dissecting!

No comments:

Post a Comment