example non-example

A Group Discussion

Posted by on Jul 16, 2013 in example non-example, vocabulary, vocabulary development | 2 comments

A group of penguins is called a waddle of penguins. Yes, a waddle. Unless they’re in a nesting group, that’s a rookery. Or a group of penguin babies, that’s a creche. Or, if it’s a group on water, that’s a raft.

Animal group names are so much fun, who doesn’t like a gaggle of geese for instance. Isn’t it cool that fish go to school?

Here’s a little test for you:

Group Names; 3 Facts and a Fib

I love these names. It would make a great vocabulary lesson finding out how the name fits the animal’s personality. Each child could research the meaning of the group noun and, if needed, learn some more about the animal in order to explain how the phrase may have come about and why it fits. Here are some more that would be perfect for the lesson:

A flutter of butterflies

A train of camels

A float of crocodiles

A murder of crows

A congregation of eagles

A charm of finches

A flamboyance of flamingos

A skulk of foxes

A tower of giraffes

A cloud of grasshoppers

A cackle of hyenas

A smack of jellyfish

An exaltation of lark

A leap of leopards

A pride of lions

A barrel of monkeys

A romp of otters

A parliament of owls

A pandemonium of parrots

A rhumba of rattlesnakes

A scurry of squirrels

A knot of toads

A wisdom of wombats

Many more group names can be found here: http://www.sandiegozoo.org/animalbytes/got_questions_groups_list.html

The names I’ve chosen lend themselves easily to differentiation. Some students need to think about “a tower of giraffes” while others are ready to understand “a pandemonium of parrots” or “an exaltation of larks”.

Oh, and it is actually a congregation of alligators.

Announcing the Winner!

Diane has won the Penguin Products or any $25.00 of items from my store. I’ll let you know her choices!


Here’s a Fun Linky party.


Linda at Primary Inspiration has a linky with free classroom decor printables. Go find some ggod stuff, or maybe even add your own link.



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A Person Who…

Posted by on Jul 7, 2013 in conversation as learning tool, example non-example, Freebies | 4 comments

A Person Who…
Blogging is best learned by blogging…and by reading other bloggers.
                                                                                           – George Siemen
And so a person who blogs is a blogger, although they might have been a bloggor, a bloggist, a bloggant, a bloggart or even a bloggarian. And who is the bloggee? The person writing or the person reading? Who decides with brand new words? How do they grow and become recognized so quickly?
While working on a product on suffixes, I started noticing all of the suffixes that mean a”a person who”. I had never thought about servant having a suffix and meaning “a person who serves”. Yet here comes to mind immigrant, inhabitant, celebrant, participant, already to taunt me for not seeing them before.
Do I think learning all of these word endings would be beneficial to my little people (third graders)? Yes, I do. If by learning, I mean being exposed to, playing with, talking about. No, I don’t. If by learning I mean drilling and testing.
How about an example/non-example lesson. Have a list of maybe 20 words with suffixes. Be sure about half of them have suffixes that mean “a person who” (teacher, walker, artist, scientist,  inventor, translator, librarian, vegetarian, contestant, defendant…). Start making two lists, students pay attention to the words to determine why they are examples or non-examples.
A “find an ending” matching game could be fun and would involve movement and discussion in the classroom. Half the students would have a card with a root word and the other half have a suffix meaning “a person who”. They link up with a partner when their two word parts create a “person” noun. They could then share the word and how they knew it was a good word with the class.


Suffix Chart
This chart is be a part of my Suffix Scavenger Hunt. Click on the poster for a link.
Don’t forget it is Fabulous Flash Freebie Sunday! They will be announced on my Facebook page.  https://www.facebook.com/home.php?sk=lf  I have also added a Freebies for Fans button on my Facebook page and have added a free gift for my followers.
Flash Freebie Sundays
I think I want to be a bloggart. It seems like I could be a blogger with a bit of a braggart inside. Anyone else?
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Saturday Extra: Example and Non-example Edition

Posted by on Sep 22, 2012 in conversation as learning tool, example non-example, math vocabulary, vocabulary, vocabulary development | 2 comments

“Few things are harder to put up with than the annoyance of a good example.” —Mark Twain

Sorry, I found more appropriate example quotes, but I love Mark Twain.

Example and Non-example is a great way to build concepts that provide students a deeper understanding of the vocabulary terms they are learning.

The activity itself is fairly simple. You need several examples of things that have all of the characteristics of a concept. It is important that you determine the characteristics that the object must have to perfectly represent the concept. This week we are going to use the word “polygons.” So, by definition, polygons have straight sides, are 2-dimensional, and are closed figures. Examples will be easy to come by: triangles, squares, trapezoids, star, etc…

Then you need several good non-examples. The non-examples should have at least one of the characteristics of the example. They should not be something completely off target, like “fire.” For things that are not polygons, we would present a figure without straight sides such as a circle or oval, a 3-dimensional object such as a cube, and a figure with all straights sides that isn’t closed.

To begin, one object is presented and placed on one side of the display area (example). A second object is presented and placed on the same side. Students are then asked to determine what is alike about these objects. A third object is presented and placed on the other side (non-example) of the display. Students are given the opportunity to discuss why it doesn’t belong with the others. Continue in this way with several more objects until the students feel certain they know how the objects are being sorted. Ask for their explanations. Allow students to determine the place for the remaining objects and/or allow students to suggest additional objects for the example side.

At the end of this particular activity, we will create a definition of polygons based on the ideas the students have brought forth themselves. Finding their own understanding is an important element in retaining the lesson.

This activity can be done with very simple concepts. You could do lowercase letters, not lowercase letters (use some capital letters and a number for non-examples) or short-a words, not short-a words (use some long-a words or other short-vowel words for the non-examples). It can also be used with very complex concepts.

Older students could be given a chart of examples and non-examples and be asked to determine how they were sorted, on their own or with a partner. Conversation is a very important learning tool! Students can even be given a list of objects to sort themselves and be asked to write their rationale for sorting them into two categories.

Check out this article with a great description of this strategy.

Find more vocabulary development ideas at my TPT store.


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