"Introduction to Morphology" is intended for limited or non English speaking students or younger students who will profit from using a book with lower level vocabulary.
"Morphology Book 1" is the first book for everyone else.
The teacher's manual contains instructional strategies that are essential for success with this program.
The ability to spell correctly is considered important not only for
accurate written communication but as an attribute of literacy itself.
Morphology is, quite simply, what spelling should be. Traditionally, spelling is an isolate skill. Morph makes it a vocabulary/ spelling/ reading strategy because it ‘ups’ the transfer and dependability of learned information by such a great degree. Morph cannot be separated from content because it’s all about meanings. The majority of our language is derived from Latin and Greek bases and these are what comprise the Morph program. This increased understanding of language transfers to increased reading comprehension.
Unlike traditional spelling programs, morph constantly reinforces itself. It isn’t passive; it’s an active, direct instruction based program. Morph is taught to mastery. Continual check tests coupled with an expectation of success keep the retention and transfer rate high.
Students are engaged in daily, immediate self-correction. Puzzles, games and content-based activities keep Morph purposeful and meaningful to students.
Words are studied as meaningful units. Syllables are counterproductive. They frequently create nonsense morphs and do nothing to reinforce morphemic spellings and meanings. Morphs are constant; if they change, it is by dependable spelling rules that are morphologically based.
Morph teaches a few, high use, consistent rules. Non-word parts (bound morphemes – un, re, er) have the same value as words (free morphemes) so decoding truly becomes a reading comprehension strategy, not just a sound/symbol game. Learning to view bound morphemes as equal to or greater than free morphemes increases word fluency greatly. Morph is the best, most natural transition from phonetic decoding to structural analysis.
In the study of Morphology, students are not engaged in such ‘anti’ good spelling activities as scrambled words, syllabification, premarking trouble spots or finding smaller words within larger words. All of these undo the transition from decoding to meaningful, dependable word structure.
Morph takes more effort on the teacher’s part than traditional programs. Morph is not meant to be used as ‘seat work’. It requires a restructuring of thinking much as learning a second language does, but it is fun and it works. It makes learning language easier, enables students to take risks and gives them internal strategies that make them independent. Their vocabularies grow at a greatly increased rate. Morph creates an intelligent, positive atmosphere. It is amazingly empowering.
There is a table of contents included to aid in finding pages you may want to review.
This program is NOT seat work. It only works if taught as direct instruction with ongoing interaction and quick correction with and by the teacher. Morphology builds quickly and is only effective if taught to mastery. This requires close attention as you progress. The spelling accountability should be limited to the morphs and meanings as they are taught. Adding other words to create 'spelling lists' is counterproductive. Spelling retention only works with constant transfer and reinforcement which doesn't occur with artificial word lists from literature or content area units. The morphs taught are high use, constantly reinforced and only change spelling with a few dependable rules.
Knowing the correct spelling of the morphs taught is essential.
Daily review can be done by numbering on the bottom or back of a page and answering oral questions that check on the day’s material. Starting with the first page, a Quick Quiz could be two questions.
1. Write a morph that means again. 2. Write the meaning of the morph 're'. The more often you quiz your students, the less intimidating the idea of a ‘test’ becomes and since frequent checking increases learning, they will feel better about themselves and look forward to quick quizzes. Keep these daily quizzes short!
An ongoing skill to develop is transfer. Have the students look at a word they are going to rewrite until they feel they 'have it' before writing it. Copy it without looking back and then check themselves.
Students learn better with the least stress and when they feel success. Continual self-check quizzes are safe and remove the anxiety from 'testing'. Also, the best way to maintain a safe learning environment for Morphology is having students either answer as a group or only call on students who volunteer. This allows students extra practice without the 'shutdown stress' of possibly being called on to recite. Don't use the popcorn system. Younger students use it to play favorites and older ones use it to bully or intimidate. The least stress equals maximum learning. This program is intended to work without any 'gotcha' elements so students can hopefully feel more relaxed and safe while learning the elements that comprise more than 90% of both the spelling and meaning of our language.
This program addresses Standards. Using context, Greek and Latin affixes and roots and accurately reading unfamiliar multi-syllabic words are integral. Scaffolding happens naturally as students' individual preparedness allows extension use of learned morphs.