Jeri Brackett's Blog

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Breaking Down Words to Build Meaning: Morphology, Vocabulary, and Reading Comprehension in the Urban Classroom March 1, 2010

Filed under: Uncategorized — brackettjm @ 12:26 am

I found this article to be full of information helpful to teachers! Looking back on my instruction I do not remember receiving any direct instruction in using morphology to figure out the meaning of words, but I think adding morphology to students’ arsenal will be very beneficial for the students. There is a relationship between vocabulary and comprehension. Students will be unable to comprehend main ideas from passages if they do not comprehend some key vocabulary. There has to be a relationship between vocabulary and morphology. The more student understand morphology, the more students will be able decode words, and the more students are exposed to vocabulary, the more students will be exposed to different word part. In many schools, students do not receive deep vocabulary instruction. Students are given a list of spelling words and asked to use these words in sentences, etc. These tasks only help students memorize words, but this is not effective instruction. Students are not exposed to the words in multiple contexts; morphology is not being integrated into the spelling curriculum. Teachers need to pick and choose words that will provide the most help to students. This means incorporating academic words with the spelling curriculum. Students need to be taught to use morphology as a way to decode the meaning of words. Shared readings are a great way for teachers to model using morphology. Teacher reads a word, act as if they aren’t sure what it means. The teacher might write the word on the smart board. The teacher could model how to break the word down. Students will not know how to use morphology without the teacher modeling this process. The teacher should continue scaffolding students, introducing new morphemes and vocabulary to students during shared readings. Something else that students will need is direct instruction. The article did a great job of showing this section with the tables it provided. This was a very meaty article!!!


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