Tuesday, April 17, 2012

Prefixes and Suffixes (I can't think of an interesting title for this, so this is about as creative as it's going to get!)

Hello bloggy buddies! We are so thrilled to have some new followers! Thank you so much for following our little piece of the blog world. We are happy you're here. 

Part of our word study in third grade is to understand the meaning of prefixes and suffixes. Prior to third grade, the students come in with some basic knowledge of prefixes such as -un, or -re. To help teach my kids about prefixes and suffixes, I have a new prefix or suffix that we focus on for the week. On Monday morning the students see a new set of prefixes or suffixes on the bulletin board.

Before being introduced to the new prefix/suffix of the week, the students rate their understanding of the prefix/suffix in their vocabulary notebook (this is a Marzano strategy). 1 = they have never heard of this prefix/suffix 2 = maybe they have heard of the prefix/suffix, but they're not too sure about what it means 3 = they have some knowledge of the prefix/suffix we're studying 4 = they know everything their is to know about this week's prefix/suffix. 

Next, I call them over to the rug and we will talk about the prefix/suffix of the week and some of the words associated with it. The students share their new knowledge of the words with an elbow partner at the rug.

The students add the prefix/suffix in their vocabulary notebook as pictured above. Throughout the week they have many opportunities to add to their word list and share their knowledge with others. I encourage the students to come up with new words containing the prefix/suffix we're studying. I'm often surprised by the lists they bring to me!  We continually go back and review previously learned words as well through games or short discussions. 

One way that students share their understanding of words with each other is through a simple strategy called, "Stand up, Hand up, Pair up."  I am all for any activity that allows students to get out of their seats and get some oxygen to their brains! Once I say, "Stand up, hand up," the students walk around the room with their vocabulary notebook. I usually play music on my ipod while they circulate the room. Once I say, "pair up!" they high-five the person closest to them. When they're paired up, I may ask them to share something with their partner, like the illustration they drew for instance. 

In addition to teaching a weekly prefix or suffix, I also teach these in context as they show up in reading or spelling. Many students will point out the prefixes/suffixes we've learned when they're reading. 

I also provide the students with other opportunities for review and exposure to words. In the activity below, the students match the words with the corresponding prefix or suffix in the "Prefix and Suffix Families" book. There is Velcro on the words and the houses.

I have some of the activities shown in the pictures above available for download, but they're on my school computer. I will hopefully get those uploaded for you next time. Please share ways that you teach vocabulary in your classrooms! We would love to hear your ideas! We hope you have a great week! 


  1. Love your prefix houses! Great post! It is great when students notice what they have learned while reading!
    I am following you!

  2. We are so happy to have you as a follower! Thanks! :)

  3. I love your prefix and suffix ideas. I would love a copy of the forms you use if it's not too much trouble! Thanks for the great ideas!


  4. Is there a way to purchase your prefix and suffix picture cards called "Prefixes and Suffixes"? They are perfect for my ELL students/

  5. Hello, Luv2read! I actually do not have the prefixes/suffixes available for purchase at this time. I need to edit them and then I plan on uploading them to Teachers Pay Teachers sometime this summer. Once they are finished, I would love to send them to you for free since you are interested in them. Give me your email address and I will send them to you when I have them finished! Thanks!

  6. Hi,
    I would love to purchase the information you shared in your prefix and suffix blog post. We are working on prefix/suffixes in my class now. Thanks!



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