Thursday 14 March 2013

Plural suffixing: (-s) or (-es)

Understanding the 'essence' of the 
plural suffixing pattern.

I have observed students who on one day will use (-s) to build a plural word in their writing but on another day decide to choose (-es), or use an apostrophe (-'s), for no real reason but just to experiment! Or maybe their parents have shared some 'interesting rule' that they learned at school many years ago. The students can often demonstrate understanding of the difference between singular and plural and know that there are two choices, (-s) or (-es)...but which one? 

Over the years,  I have implemented and experimented with a variety of different strategies and ways to support children's learning of this concept. Critical to success, is ensuring  the children have established  a clear understanding of the terms singular/plural and how to count syllables, before embarking on this investigation. 

Depending of the children's current needs this could be covered in a couple of lessons or it might involve a much longer learning process. It has varied from year to year, from class to class group.

Through my own learning journey of understanding I have now changed the way I guide/teach/support  children through the process of understanding the two plural suffixes (-s) and (-es) and identifying the essence of this pattern.
Just like so many other's a continuous learning journey for me as a teacher and the students!

During this learning journey the students will learn:
  • through inquiry, discovery and collaboration.
  • how to count syllables accurately, using a kinaesthetic approach.
  • how to build and use a 'flow chart' to demonstrate understanding of the pattern.
  • how to identify which plural suffix to use: the short form (-s) or the long form (-es).

Friday 8 March 2013

Understanding how words are related through MEANING and SPELLING

Building 'word webs' through a collaborative approach.

Using a collaborative strategy, Round Table Word Websstudents will develop an understanding of the importance of connecting SPELLING with MEANING, 
the essence of the English spelling system. 

The students will have an opportunity to build a number of different word webs, by collecting words that all have a common base. This activity will help students to understand how and why words are related in 'word families' and how this essential knowledge demonstrates the key to the spelling.

Read on for further details regarding this collaborative activity by clicking on the link.