Sunday, February 5, 2012

Using the Suffix -ful

One more suffix post! Last week, we looked at how the suffix -ly could be used to make inferences. Interestingly, I learned that there were some words that my students just didn't know--for example, reluctantly. I really thought that there would be someone in the class who would be able to explain it, as I like student explanations for words over mine. But I finally gave in, using the sentence, "Mrs. Kissner reluctantly explained to the class that the word reluctantly means to do something without really wanting to." One of the students said, "Hey! That's one of those meta things--like the books we were reading." And yes, my sentence was self-referential, so it seems that something is sinking in. :)

Our next suffix is the suffix -ful. This suffix is not a difficult one for most students. As I teach it, I'm trying to make the connection to describing characters. Words with the suffix -ful are often used as we write to describe character traits--helpful, resourceful, cheerful, playful. I'll stretch readers with a few words that we don't generally use in daily conversation--insightful, spiteful, artful.

I'm enjoying having the time to focus on word work. But I can't ignore the slightly unraveled feeling that I'm starting to get as I think about the state testing--coming up in 21 instructional days. (Who's counting? I I think about what I still need to work on with students!) More on this unraveled feeling--and what I'm doing about it--next week!

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