We've all experienced an aha! moment, a discovery that made us say "NOW I get it!" It may have been an observation of cause and effect, learning to throw a curve ball, or the moment you could play the piano with both hands.
Aha! moments are significant and stick with us. An aha! moment in learning is like opening a door to a room full of new possibilities. People who learn the "secret" behind English, that all words are built from units of meaning, experience the joy of opening that door.
My aha! moment with English came while driving past a construction site. People were working on the road preparing the entrance to a new building. It was finally taking shape, and I thought "Oh, that is a decel- OH MY GOSH! A
DE, meaning away or down,
CEL, meaning speed, it is literally
a place to slow down!" Now that may not seem like much to you, but it was the turning point for me to start looking at all words differently.
I had to wait until I was an adult to make that discovery. Imagine handing the key to that door to your students. Dynamic Literacy wants every student to experience an aha! moment with words. That moment is the key to a lifetime of vocabulary expansion and word play.