Use Word Equations with any spelling list to incorporate math (addition, subtraction, and grouping) with spelling, and develop creative, analytic thinking.
While designing equations, students will:
- connect new words with words they know,
- practice and apply morphological and phonemic patterns
- generate metacognitive triggers to recall spelling
- have fun trading and trying to solve each other's equations
I use this as a word-study activity with 6th-8th grade students, and it can be used with any spelling list.
Here's how it works: Students analyze the letters, syllables, and sounds of their words and think of words which have similar components. Then they build an equation, like this:
Sway= (swim-im) + (day-d)
When finished, students can trade and try to solve each other's equations.
This sheet can be completed as a station, partner or group work, or homework.
Additional ideas for implementation:
- Every student contributes one equation, then copy a class set and solve them all
- To start, or to decrease the difficulty, a teacher could create the equations and have students match the words
- To adjust the level, require more steps (to focus on phonemes), or fewer steps (to focus on morphemes, syllables, and affixes) in each equation
- Make a listening exercise by reading some equations out loud and have students guess the answers (I do this by creating an MP3 file of me reading the equations for students to listen to and solve)
- For more targeted practice, select parts of the words (prefixes, suffixes, base words) which students must keep together in the equation.
- if your list is longer than 15 words, the file is in a word doc, so you can easily add more rows.
Of course, it's aligned to common core. I knew you would ask ;-) This develops decoding skills identified in the Foundational Skills Strand.
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