Here in Smartia we are working to uncover the truth about the English spelling system… that it is ordered, logical and systematic, NOT full of exceptions that have to be memorised! We are learning to look at how a word is built, rather than relying on how it sounds! As we were discussing ISM transdisciplinary skills today, there was a huge amount of word detective work that we could do together in order to make meaning. In order to understand this enormous “professor word” it is helpful to think like a detective… put on your Xray glasses and “peel the banana“… what is the base word? Very cleverly, the class saw that “discipline” is the base word, so that must mean that trans– is a prefix and –ary is a suffix. I got the class to go through their “brain dictionary” to come up with other “family members”… other related words that have a <trans-> as a prefix or <-ary> as a suffix. It was great to hear such connections as “transfer, transplant, transform, transformation etc. We even learned the new vocabulary word “transpacific and transatlantic”!!! It was at this moment that SC made the MOST AMAZING word connection… she suddenly questioned the base word <necessary> that we had up on our “free base” bulletin board– “if you are saying that there is a suffix -ary, then there’s something wrong with the base <necessary>!!” she said. WOW, it was at this moment that I explained to the class that there is another category of bases called “bound bases” (it was too early in the year in before to go into it, so I left it as a base until the time was right for the discovery and explanation). A bound base can ONLY exist when it has a suffix fixed on to it!!! The class correctly determined that <necess-> must be this thing called a bound base, because -ary has been proven to be a suffix!! So then another clever word detective, YZ, notmade the connection from a vocabulary word from our health unit <mental> must also be a bound base! WOW: ment + al. I then expanded the class’ vocabulary by showing them the word <mentality> –> ment + al + ity… What amazing thinking today – bravo!!!