Wednesday, June 6, 2012


The trouble with suffixes

June 4th my students had their first Partial Exam. Since we started class with the test we ended it with a pretty easy suffix and prefix activity. We went over some suffixes(ship, ful, etc.) and prefixes (hetero, arch, etc.) and then I gave them a bunch of root words: friend, bishop, chamber, sex, etc. I paused before writing sex on the board, but I wanted something that would go easily with hetero.

The assignment was to come up with as many words as they could combining the root words, prefixes and suffixes.

I told them that we would go over the answers at the end, and if they weren't 100% certain it was a word just guess! It was mainly important that they came up with new meanings.

As they are making their lists I get a lot of, "Teacher is ________ a word" to which I responded, "We'll go over them at the end. Just guess!" Class continued, but I kept getting the same question. In the end I started abbreviating my answer to, "maybe"

I get the question from a group of boys,
Students: "Teacher is _____ a word?"
Me: "Maybe"
Student A: "She said maybe. That means yes"

Really guys? Maybe means yes?

Me: "I am not sure what girls you have dated, but that's not how it works

They were amused and finally stopped asking!

They continued working on the list and one of my sweetest most hardworking students asks, "Teacher... is sexship a word?"

It is on Urbandictionary, and I've seen it on twitter, but it has yet to become mainstreamed. I just quietly asked her "what type of relationships do you normally have?"

She turned bright red, "no no, teacher not me"

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