Thursday, April 22, 2021

SWI Documentation -- 2

I decided to explore the <know> word web with Mars (age 8). I asked him to read the base <know> and then tell me what sound it starts and ends with. That's where the /n/ and /w/ came from (my attempt to describe the sounds without using IPA). I said we'd take turns putting words on. 

(As with everything I'm doing right now, I'm trying not to be inaccurate, but I'm inevitably making mistakes as I practice using SWI to work with my kids.)

Me: I can think of a word that adds a suffix to our base <know>, and the suffix is only one letter. [I leave the room to help my other child.]

Mars [to himself, slowly]: Knew. Knew. Hm, how do you spell "knew." [He writes "kno."]

Me [coming back]: Good job. Can you write it? How do we spell "knew?" Here's a hint: only the vowel changes. 

Mars: So I write a <u>?

Me: Ah, good. The vowel changes, and I'm going to tell you that it changes to an "e." [Mars adds <knew> to our web. I add <knowing>.] What suffix did I add here? Can you underline it?

Mars: "Ing." [I encourage him to spell it out.] "I-n-g."

Me: So which part of <know> and <knowing> is the same?

Mars: Just "know." [I ask him to spell it out, but I could do so myself, modeling spelling it out and grouping graphemes.] "K-n-o-w."

Me:  That's the base. Any other words to add?

Mars: "Knowed." [I ask him to use it in a sentence.] "I knowed it." But it's <knew>.

Me: [Clumsily trying to guide him to <knowledge>.] What if somebody has a lot of "blank" in his head. He has a lot of...."

Mars: Thoughts.

Me: Good. Let's write that down here at the bottom of the page. Thoughts is related to knowing. ["Related" was not really the right word to use here--related in meaning/conceptually, not related morphologically/etymologically.]

Mars: What was it?

Me: Knowledge.

Mars: Oh, I thought it would have to... [I think he was thinking about the vowel sound changes here.]

Me: It's in the family, so it has some of the same letters. "Knowledge."

Mars: Gnawing!

Me: Gnawing! Are you thinking of chewing? [Next time, ask what meaning he is thinking of.] Let's write that down here. What suffix did I add to <know> to get <knowledge>? Can you underline it? [He underlines just the <l>.] Is that all I added?

Mars: [Sounds out "e-d-g-e."]

Me: What about something that you don't know? It's...

Mars: Unknown. [Adds it to web. Underlines prefix when I ask him to.]

[We add some prefixes and suffixes from the web to our new prefix/base/suffix sticky note chart.]

Mars: You didn't do "gnawing."

Me: Oh, right. What does "gnawing" mean?

Mars: [Pantomimes chewing on his arm.]

Me: Does that have anything to do with knowing? [Mars shakes his head.] No. And they're not related. And see how they have a different initial letter?

Mars: But knowledge!

Me: Oh, right, you're hearing the same phoneme in both words. [I make the "ahhh" sound.] Great that you noticed that.

SWI Documentation -- 1

Joda (age 5) asked me to come over to where she was working so she could explain the word "tear" (water drop from eye) [IPA] to me.

She drew several pictures of people crying and had written <tear>. Looked up the etymology... I wrote <teary> and <tearful> and asked her if they might be in the family with <tear>. She saw they had the same letters, and she was able to read them. I talked out word sums for them, just as practice for myself (she started drawing again and wasn't really listening to this part).

Wednesday, December 19, 2012

Monday, October 17, 2011

Monday, September 26, 2011

Sunday, August 28, 2011

Monday, August 8, 2011

Tuesday, June 28, 2011

Tuesday, January 25, 2011

Emeryville sunset

Or, January 24th

Friday, January 21, 2011

January 21st

Wednesday, January 5, 2011


Or, January 5th

Sunday, December 5, 2010

Wednesday, October 20, 2010


October 20th, 2010

Tuesday, October 19, 2010


October 19th, 2010

Monday, October 18, 2010


Or, One good one
October 18th, 2010

Sunday, October 17, 2010


October 17th, 2010