Instruction in action

Knuffelcontact: word of the year

By Fiona Hamilton / December 22, 2020

Lots of coronavirus language has sprung up with Covid19. Find out what a knuffelcontact has to do with knights or knees and even Knuffle Bunny by Mo Willems.

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We’re all in this together

By Fiona Hamilton / October 22, 2020

Learn about the structure of the terms synchronous and asynchronous, find related words, and investigate the prefix syn-.

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What’s in – What’s out?

By Fiona Hamilton / May 4, 2020

Practice finding words in a morphological word family through an in-out sort. Show your students the video and set the challenge to create their own.

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Sorting-out Structure: Purposeful Practice

By Fiona Hamilton / April 16, 2020

Solidify your students’ understanding of the structural elements of words, the morphemes, through practice. Show them the video and set the challenge.

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Play the music, let’s dance!

By Fiona Hamilton / March 10, 2020

In these uncertain coronavirus times lift your mood, play some music, dance and along the way do some word inquiry around the base dance.

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By Fiona Hamilton / November 28, 2019

Look closely at the morphemes and graphemes in a group of four words to find the one that doesn’t belong. Is there really only one ‘odd-one-out’?

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Excuse the interruption but words have stories…

By Fiona Hamilton / September 5, 2019

All words have stories of their own. The etymology of words like erupt and interruption shows us how they are connected by both meaning and structure. Learning the story of a family of words helps deepen comprehension.

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Are we close to closure?

By Fiona Hamilton / May 28, 2019

Reinforce a key concept of English orthography – that letters usually represent more than one phoneme. As it’s close to the end of the school year in many schools, <close> seems an appropriate word to contemplate while examining the different phonemes the letter <s> can represent.

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Spelling-out the structure of words

By Fiona Hamilton / May 2, 2019

Learn about how to get your students to show their understanding of digraphs, prefixes and suffixes through spelling-out structure.

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The Morpheme Song

By Fiona Hamilton / March 26, 2019

I have started to create some songs and videos that I hope will be helpful in your journey of orthographic inquiry. In this song, morphemes, the meaning-based building blocks of words, are explained. The tune, The Wheels on the Bus, will be familiar to most younger learners.

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The Shipping News

By Fiona Hamilton / February 25, 2019

Groups of letters that are common in multiple words often appear at first glance to carry the same sense and meaning. This is especially true of morphemes. Read about an investigation into ‘ship’ and whether it means the same thing whenever it appears in a word.

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A new investigation for the new year

By Fiona Hamilton / January 14, 2019

It’s interesting to look at words in the new family. Have you ever considered that the news we read or watch each day literally means new things? It’s probably generally considered to be a base on its own now rather than a plural. Such is the changing nature of language.

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Using visual cues to indicate morphemic structure

By Fiona Hamilton / December 10, 2018

It’s really useful for your students to have a visual cue when you are talking about the meaning-based building blocks of words. Visuals give them an additional way of accessing and storing the information.

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