As you know, we are word lovers at Golden Grasses and spend a fair amount of time reading, writing, and sharing good words. Vocabulary is important to us, because it is foundational to clear communication, so we were excited to review Dynamic Literacy Level 1 set WordBuild: Foundations, Level 1. Dynamic Literacy focuses on Greek and Latin word roots presenting them in a way that is engaging and fun. The core of the program is this:
Word =prefix + root + suffix.Easy, right? And effective, because it gives the students the ability to de-code words, regardless of whether they've seen them or heard them before.
The Teacher's Manual is chock full of great information, building the teacher's confidence and ability to grasp the program with ease. The point of the program is to learn 25 Greek and Latin word families in short, do-able lessons. If you, as an adult are intimidated by Latin or Greek Roots, need to build your own vocabulary for language study or work, this is a fantastic program as it equips the teacher to know and understand roots, pre-fixes and suffixes and use them successfully. In fact, I'll be teaching Latin this fall and plan to work through the WordBuild: Foundations, Level 1 myself in preparation for that.
Lessons follow three easy steps:
Each Lesson includes Objectives, Materials and Differentiating Instruction (how to make it more or less difficult) as well as an estimated time for each lesson.
The Student Activity Book is a slim volume and chock full of games. Fun games that are simple, effective, thought provoking and require the student to engage the material in a way that requires that student to engage and interact with the lessons.
Included in WordBuild: Foundations, Level 1 is a CD. The CD is not graphics driven with intense time pressure or sound, but a simple and effective tool to use in ones' pursuit of a great vocabulary. We "lost" a computer this year so screen time has been at a premium. Also, while my kids have a few computer games that they enjoy, they much prefer books for study, so it was no surprise to me that Flower preferred the workbook over the CD. That being said, the CD is a great tool to change things up, if you have multiple students in the same program, or just enjoy the ease of on-line learning. Classical music plays in the background, so your kids get the added benefit of gaining familiarity with beautiful music while they build a dynamic vocabulary! Definite win-win!
We have done various types of Language and root studies and found this program to be a terrific approach. Dynamic Literacy takes what could be a daunting/ boring subject (surely, I am not the only person who built their vocabulary by memorizing lists?!) and creates a fun, game oriented learning environment. The 15 minutes of regular study that this program requires flew by as Flower played games such as Root Squares, Magic Squares and Stair Steps. The program is simple enough that once the student understands it, they can take off at their own pace, which is exactly what Flower did.
This is a fun and very effective program. An excellent addition to your Language Arts program!
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