The Weekly Text, June 24, 2016: Two Short Exercises on the Greek Word Roots Leuk/o. Leuc/o, and Nephr/o

Classes are over, Regents testing is finished, and the halls in this school are eerily quiet. I’m enjoying some long stretches of uninterrupted planning time. Focusing on developing some more Greek word root worksheets–for words that are more abstract and therefore a bit more difficult to work with for struggling students–I’ve developed a small group of them that can be used as do-now exercises at the beginning of a period. These types of tasks aid me in getting teenagers settled after that second bell rings, and therefore focused for the primary lesson of the day.

Word root worksheets, in my classroom, are meant to accomplish several things, but three are salient: the first is to allow students a chance to work with a dictionary, whether that’s in book form or an app on a smartphone (I encourage students to use whatever works best with their learning styles); second, word root exercises aid students in building their vocabularies quickly; third, word root work fosters pattern recognition, with which, in my experience, struggling students need all the help they can get.

Coincidentally, as I was preparing these worksheets, the National Association of Special Education Teachers posted this article on pattern recognition and language acquisition on Facebook. So I rolled “Theme from the Vindicators” by the Fleshtones, and kept at it.

This week’s Text comes from the fruits of my recent labors, to wit, two do-now exercises on the Greek word roots leuk/o and leuc/o, and nephr/o. Students simply read the definitions, then use the common words–the pattern, that is–to identify the meanings of the roots. For leuk/o and leuc/o. the meanings are white and colorless; for nephr/o, the meaning is kidney (which is why if you have kidney disease, you consult a nephrologist).

If you find typos in these documents, I would appreciate a notification. And, as always, if you find this material useful in your practice, I would be grateful to hear what you think of it. I seek your peer review.

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