Tag Archives: etymology

Love of Wisdom

Yesterday we continued with looking at base words, prefixes and suffixes.  We try to infer their meaning based on a list of words that share the same base and then we look it up to test our theory.  Then, we look for the etymology of the word, from which language did it originate?  Often it’s Greek or Latin but we will see more languages emerging as we progress.

Here is the list of words we started with:

Here is some of the work the class did:

We discovered that we could put some of our root words together.

phil means love of and soph means wisdom so

phil + soph + y is philosophy and means love of wisdom.

We’re making a chart of the base words we know.

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Posted by on March 10, 2015 in Word Work


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Wordy Nerdery – Morphology & Etymology

I borrowed the titles of this post from a blog of the same title about word study using inquiry.

We are in the beginning stages of our inquiry, looking at prefixes, suffixes and base words.  I assign some words and the students try to figure out the base word and then find its etymology (history – which language it originates from).  The groups then find other words that share the same base and create a word matrix which clearly demarcates the different parts of the work.  My hope it to get to the level of word knowledge that we can do inquiry like the Wordy Nerdys do!


Here is some of our work so far.

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Another way to increase our vocabulary is to read daily.


and here we are reading!

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Posted by on March 3, 2015 in Read to Self, Reading, Word Work


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Prefixes, Root Words & Etymology + Fractions! Awesome Day!

I apologize for not posting for a few weeks.  Things got busy and….you all know how that is.  We are back on track with blogging and I will try to post at least twice a week.

In English we have been looking at prefixes, root words and etymology.  Etymology is the study of words, their history, their origin and how the form and meaning  have changed over the years.    Wikipedia

We have been looking at prefixes such as:   un-  dis-  im-  in-  ir- & non- which all affect roots words in similar ways, changing the meaning to its opposite.  For example, irresponsible means not responsible, dislike means to not like, impossible means impossible.  We also looked at ex- meaning out of or from or upwards.  Words like expand means to spread out.  Some prefixes and roots can be quite complicated because they come from latin, old French or Old English  or other languages.  We can’t always rely on the trick of thinking “Can the root word stand alone?” like in nonsense; sense can stand alone and non- changes the meaning to its opposite.  See this example from the online etymology dicitonary for expand:


dictionary expand top


Dictionary Latin


dictionary expand


I love fractions.  Really.  I know they are a challenge but once kids get it – WOW!  It is critically important that students understand the value of fractions, can compare fractions, understand equivalency, etc. 

Friday we talked about the set model or concept of fractions.  We had a discussion about the fractions of girls and boys in our class.  The class, or set, is 26 people so 26 is the whole or 1.  The girls are part of the set, 20 out of 26 to be exact and the boys are another part of the set, 6 out of 26.  Here is our chart to represent the set model based on the students in the class:

fractions set model

Today we made our Fraction Kits which are based on the linear model of fractions.  The black strip is 1 or the whole, and the other colours are different parts, or fractions, of the whole:

fractions linear model

After we made the kits, which helps students understand equivalency, we played a game called Cover Up.  Here are the rules:

Cover Up Rules

This game helps students to compare the value of fractions and to understand equivalency.  Tomorrow we play uncover!  Here are some students playing cover up:

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Posted by on March 4, 2013 in Fractions, Math, Word Work


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