Showing posts with label Word Substitution. Show all posts
Showing posts with label Word Substitution. Show all posts

Tuesday, March 16, 2010

You Can't Always Sound it Out

They just kept trying over and over, to sound out the word.  They broke it into two parts-- con and science.  Basically, the word was made of two words that they knew.  But together it didn't sound right.  

What's a group to do?  How about trying to sound it out another way?  Hhhmmm, let's see.   kɒns  kĭn  or as they were saying it cons kins.  Still, it didn't sound right.

Students, in groups of 3 or 4 were doing the assignment from How to Figure Out Those Hard Words.  This was a follow-up to the practice run through using the 2006 OAT.  Students had identified words from the questions that they didn't understand.  As this group started today's assignment, they coasted through the first three, and then they came to this word that they didn't know.

Unfortunately, they used one strategy over and over and over, and never did find the meaning of the word.  This led to a discussion of why we have more than one word attack strategy.  Hopefully the next time they get to a word they don't understand, their conscience will tell them to try other strategies like using context clues, word substitution, or using prior knowledge.

Monday, March 15, 2010

Word Attack Strategies

What strategies help you when you don't know a word?  Do you always use the same one?  Here are ways you can figure out the meaning of words you don't get.

1.  Do a Skip Test
Read the sentence without the word.
Ask yourself, do you need that word?
If not, answer the question without the word.

If you need to know the word, try another strategy.

2.  Can you figure out using context clues?
Read past the unfamiliar word and look for clues. If the word is repeated, compare the second sentence to the first. What word might make sense in both?

3.  Is there a word you can substitute?
Think about what word might make sense in the sentence. Try the word and see if the sentence makes sense.

4. Use Prior Knowledge
Think about what you know about the subject of the essay or passage. Do you know anything that might help you make sense of the sentence? Read the sentence with the word to see if it makes sense.

5. Sound out the word
Break the word into parts.  Look for the root word.  Divide the word into syllables.  Look for familiar beginnings (prefixes) and endings (suffixes).  Read each chunk by itself. Then blend the chunks together and sound out the word. Does that word make sense in the sentence?

6. Connect to a Word You Know
Think of a word that looks like the unfamiliar word. Compare the familiar word to the unfamiliar word. Decide if the familiar word is a chunk or form of the unfamiliar word. Use the known word in the sentence to see if it makes sense. If so, the meanings of the two words are probably close enough for understanding the new word.

7.  Visualize
Picture the passage.  Think about how the question relates to the passage.  Get a picture of what the question is asking.

Monday, November 3, 2008

Word Substitution in Fiction

Mountain MagicWe showered outside when it rained. What a great substitution for we played in the rain. This excerpt from the book, Mountain Magic, written by Alice Boggs Lentz showed how word substitution is used in fiction. I discovered this during Mrs. Wolfe's read aloud in a fourth grade-six grade co-writing project.

Have a good fictional word substitution? Please share it.

Tuesday, October 28, 2008

Word Substitution

PyramidWe worked collectively to figure out the meaning of a phrase from Coach John Wooden's Pyramid of Success. You can view the entire excerpt here.

This is the phrase we were working on:

I believe the players collectively looked for whoever was able to help the team most on any given night

We discussed that collectively was an adverb which may or may not be needed to understand the essay. I asked two questions:

1. What is the purpose of collectively in the sentence?
2. What word does collectively describe?

We looked at the root word, collect and talked about its meaning. According to
  1. To bring together in a group or mass; gather.
  2. To accumulate as a hobby or for study.
  3. To call for and obtain payment of: collect taxes
We decided that collectively tells how the players looked. The challenge when students left class, was to find a word to substitute that was easier to understand, but had the same meaning.