Building Vocabulary with Groza Learning Center’s “Roots Booster”
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The first time I learned about root words I was in high school. Can you believe that? My language arts teacher did a short root word module as a side note really. And my mind was blown. All these years I had struggled trying to learn terminology in many subjects. At that point it was about memorizing lists of words to test on and forget immediately after. Once I learned that these rather difficult words could be broken down into very manageable parts with meaning my understanding of language expanded tremendously.
Now as I homeschool my kiddos we are coming to a point in reading comprehension that the bigger words are harder to decipher. My seven year old is starting to just consume reading material and I am constantly explaining what words mean. However, one of my big beliefs in teaching children is that they learn better when they find answers on their own. Since the curiosity is present I had to figure out what was the best way to help her understand or expand her vocabulary. Possibly I could just give her a dictionary and say look it up. But honestly that isn’t very effective. It’s that ineffective traditional “here’s the word now memorize it” method.
“Roots Booster”: Strategic Vocabulary Building
So when I stumbled upon Groza Learning Center’s “Roots Booster” I got excited. Because I had been so much older when I learned how to break down vocabulary I hadn’t considered teaching root words yet. Initially I thought the material would be far too advanced. After all my oldest is only seven. Nevertheless, kids amaze me all the time. It seems if we give them materials and they are intrigued they will take knowledge and run with it. Something I have discovered while homeschooling is that there is no “right” age to learn anything.
“Roots Booster” begins with basic roots and breaks them into categories such as: People & Positives, Nature, Science etc. If you are unfamiliar with root words they are generally 3-6 letters long and are parts of bigger words. Surprisingly my seven year old caught right on to sounding the short word endings/beginnings out quickly and easily. We have been working on sound groupings, and Ave related how similar it was. She knew that those sound groupings were now being given meaning. By the way that is the best feeling ever when your child connects something you were learning before into a new method.
Utilizing “Roots Booster” in our Home Classroom
To make it interesting we used the workbook to create a simple memory game with cards in envelopes. First, we would write the root on the envelope. Then we added the meaning and examples to the card inside. We shuffled up our cards and then would pull them out randomly and try to remember what the meaning of the word was. For bonus points we would take out the card and ask the example word meanings. For example we did “IST” that means “one who.” Then the example word we chose was art-IST. The answer would be: one who does art is artist.
As we continue through the workbook, we find new ways to use it to test and expand our vocabulary. It’s sort of like being a word scientist. You get to break down the word into it’s many parts and figure out how they all work together. Honestly, I geek out over this and find it to be lots of engaging fun. Plus, as you grow your understanding of how to break down a word your understanding of other subjects will be expanded. From my experience, knowing how to figure out a word’s meaning made all the difference in making sense of the how and why of other subjects. “Roots Booster” is a great resource to start down the word scientist road, to strategically build you and your children’s vocabulary.
For more information: Groza Learning Center on LinkedIn