Homonyms are words that share the same spelling and the same pronunciation but have different meanings. For example, bear.
A bear (the animal) can bear (tolerate) very cold temperatures.
The driver turned left (opposite of right) and left (departed from) the main road.
Homophones, also known as sound-alike words, are words that are pronounced identically although they have different spellings and meanings. These words are a very common source of confusion when writing. Common examples of sets of homophones include: to, too, and two; they're and their; bee and be; sun and son; which and witch; and plain and plane. SpellingCity is a particularly useful tool for learning to correctly spell the soundalike words.
Homographs are words that are spelled the same, but have different meanings and different pronunciations. Some examples of homographs are:
bass as in fish vs bass as in music,
bow as in arrow vs bow as in bending or taking a bow at the end of a performance,
close as in next to vs close as in shut the door,
desert as in dry climate vs desert as in leaving alone.
Currently, SpellingCity cannot distinguish between homographs, as we are unable to have two pronounciations for the exact same word. We are looking for possibilities in the future.
Monday, December 20, 2010
The Reading Skills Pyramid illustrates a typical sequence for acquiring reading skills for use by parents for homeschools and enrichment. The reading skills are organized using the NCLB (No Child Left Behind) system. The "What Works?" Report found that the five key areas in learning to read are phonemic awareness, phonics, reading comprehension, vocabulary, and reading fluency.
Posted by BBat50 at 6:00 PM
Friday, December 10, 2010
Build Vocabulary Skills - One Section in the Reading Skills Pyramid
All parents want their children to become effective readers.
But, when these parents attempt to educate themselves about reading, they tend to find two types of literature, neither of which are of much use to them.
There are the "rah rah" articles which lecture parents to fill their house full of books and to take 20 minutes/day to read with their children. While this is good advice, it is not a panacea nor does it provide any insight into the process. On the other hand, there are academic papers full of jargon and complex debates about the process of learning to read. The "rah rah" articles over-simplify; the academics over-complicate.
What has been lacking has been information for parents which simply summarizes the current thinking on teaching reading and helps parent understand what the expectations are at each level of education.
Posted by BBat50 at 5:59 PM
Wednesday, December 1, 2010
The Significance of Building Vocabulary Words
Building Vocabulary & Learning Words Starts at Home
Techniques for Building Vocabulary Words - Reading & Other Media
The best method for building vocabulary is to be an active reader. But, there are differences between skilled active readers and less skilled passive ones (see reading comprehension) Students should learn to decode vocabulary words thru a vocabulary building techniques such as context clues and word roots. Word roorts means that students should learn to define words by learning the meanings of root words, prefixes and suffixes. Knowing the basics of the Latin and Greek word roots in English is useful and helps students get insight into how the English language vocabulary words derived and are structured. The use of media greatly affects the building of vocabulary. Some television programs use a large and rich vcoabulary, others are mostly explosions. Whereas many contemporary and classcial films (especially the musicals) had great conversations and rich vocabulary, many others are noticable for their poor quality of conversation (the Power Ranger might stand out as having the most limited vocabulary. Whole episodes consist of a dialogue such as "Lets do it" and "Watch out!", not exactly a sound track to build vocabulary. In interactive media, there are games where the entire sound track is explosions, there are interactive systems with rich vocabulary building, such as Time4Learning.
Time4Learning's Approach to Building Vocabulary Words
Time4Learning helps students review commonly misused words and phrases. There are vocabulary games to build vocabulary word skills through synonyms, antonyms and homonyms. There are strategies, skills, and individual word instruction that students needed to build vocabulary proficiency.
For more information on how the reading skills are developed, look at the Time4Learning Reading Skills Pyramid.
Posted by BBat50 at 5:57 PM