Our "Word of the Day" focus - known henceforth as WOD - is up and running! Basically 8th graders encounter words in their every day dealings that alternately intrigue or perturb them...and then they investigate said word as their own individual "WOD." Students are responsible for finding a complete definition of the word, noting its part of speech and etymology (if it's interesting enough to note); they also need to record the source of their word, with a direct quote if possible, and then use the word in an original sentence...all recorded in a WOD journal. The expectation is that each student will ferret out a word for each day that we're in school...thus the term: word of the day!! At the beginning of Reading Workshop (and again with Kate in her language arts classes), each student then brings her WOD to her table, where, after a group sharing of the day's finds, one word is selected by the members of each table group for an all-class consideration. In the past weeks we've discussed such words as apex, lucrative, suave, ersatz and relentless (to name only a few!)... from sources as varied as our parents,news coverage, our teachers, popular songs, and independent reading ventures. In this manner, students are exposed to seven to eight new words per session. We carry on lively discussions about the all-class terms, and from them Kate will compile regular lists of twenty words that our students master for monthly WOD quizzes. Over the years, alums invariably return to tell me how efficacious our Word-of-the-Day endeavor has proven...not only does it help them with the array of standardized tests that loom on the horizon, but it also awakens them to the myriad benefits of an enriched vocabulary. (A few of them even have continued with the WOD practice - having become true word nerds!) As I tell our girls, words are power!
Here's the official WOD format, presented to the 8th grade last week:
WORD OF THE DAY FORMAT
1. Write word (with date you found it in left margin.)
2. Copy down the COMPLETE definition (with pronunciation if necessary, part of speech and etymology if available and/or interesting.)
3. Copy down the sentence where you ran across the word. (Be sure to cite your source; if you heard someone say the word, quote them.)
4. Underline the part of the definition that fits your example’s
5. Use the word in an original sentence.
(9/28/11) redundant: (adj.) 1. not needed or no longer needed 2. fitted as a backup component or system 3. with the same meaning as a word used elsewhere in a passage and without rhetorical purpose 4. U.K. dismissed from employment because the job or the worker has been deemed no longer necessary (From Latin: redundare = to overflow)
From Sally’s comments on my Bee Tree essay: “This idea is redundant.”
(To cite a book: From Flyy Girl by Omar Tyree, pg. 125
To cite a song: From Hot in Herre by Nelly)
My example: I will be careful not to be redundant in my essays so I can impress Kate and Sally with my superior writing skills.