Tuesday, November 12, 2013

Vocabulary Reflection

Throughout the year I've noticed that many of my vocabulary words either came from school articles pertaining to teaching or from "fun" reading (books that I read for pleasure). This says a lot about me because it shows that I am an avid reader and that I go through a lot of books, even when I'm busy with school I always try to find time to read for pleasure. Because I do make an effort to do this, many of these words come from books that are not scholarly (the majority being Young Adult novels -- A.S. King, John Green). These are the types of texts that I engage with frequently and on a day-to-day basis.

As the year progressed I found myself constantly thinking that I wanted to upload a new word to my blog whenever I came across an unfamiliar one. This happened even when I had already uploaded 2-3 words for the week. This blog has definitely made me more cognizant of new vocabulary and has inspired me to actually take the time and effort to look up an unknown word. I believe that even if I may not be keeping a blog anymore, I have now internalized the practice of looking up and being curious about an unknown or interesting word.

This blog has taught me how to keep my mind open and be more aware of unfamiliar words that I encounter. Whereas before I wasn't consciously thinking about this, now that I've been doing it for a few weeks it seems natural to always be on the look-out for unfamiliar vocabulary. I'm much more cognizant of the words that I come across, and how often I don't know the definition for some! Overall I think this is going to help me improve my vocabulary over time because it will encourage me to actively make a point of learning new words.

Sunday, November 3, 2013

9:2 - Obfuscate

When & Where: I found the word obfuscate while reading the same article, and even on the same page (pg 224) as the word tenet. The sentence was, "The dictionary often obfuscates understanding."

Level of Familiarity: I've never seen or heard this word before. It doesn't even look like a real word! I have no idea how to pronounce it either. Based on this sentence, my best guess is that it means 'confuses.' There aren't a lot of context clues here to help me out though.

What it Means: "render obscure, unclear, or unintelligable." (www.dictionary.com)

Reflective Commentary: I find it interesting that this article seems to obfuscate understanding because of all the difficult vocabulary the author is using! I can't see myself using this word because I'm still not really sure how to pronounce it. However, if I come across it again while reading I know I'll remember what it means.

9:1 - Tenet

When & Where: I was reading Michelle's article for Monday's class ("Content Area Readers: Helping Middle-Level Students Become Word Aware (and Enjoy It!)") when I came across the word tenet. The sentence was: "In reviewing the literature, a number of important tenets repeatedly bubbled up."

Level of Familiarity: I've never heard this word before. Based on the context, I would guess that it means points or ideas.

What it Means: "a principle or belief, esp. one of the main principles of a religion or philosophy." (www.dictionary.com)

Reflective Commentary: I could see myself using this word in class if I was teaching and trying to expand my students' vocabulary. Rather than saying principles or beliefs, this would be a nice way to expose them to different words.