April Tips for Tutors

April Tips for Tutors

Prefixes and Suffixes


As children begin to read multisyllabic words frustration can set in.  Many words that a child has the tools to read just look too big and scary, and often a child will just give up.  Giving students the right tools to attack these longer words will help them to realize that these words aren’t so hard to read.


One way you can help with this is by teaching the suffixes and prefixes.  You can teach these in almost the same way that you teach high frequency words.  You can write the prefixes and suffixes on flash cards or on a white board or paper.  Only work on about five word parts at a time, and as some are mastered introduce more so that the number is always around five.


To begin, you will want to flash through more than five cards just to see which word parts need more practice.  Just like you would do with high frequency words, you can make two piles with the ones they know and the ones they don’t know.  From the pile that they don’t know select five to work on more thoroughly.  Then use the following strategy.


Word Part Strategy


Ex.  Say, “The word part is re, say re.”


Say, “Re means again.  Redo means to do again.  Rewrite means to write again.”

Say, “What’s the word part?”



This gives the student practice on the isolated part that is not an actual word, so that when he/she sees this word part attached to a root word he/she won’t be afraid.  Giving the meaning also helps because it gives the child a connection.


I am including some prefixes and suffixes that are appropriate for the end of first grade through third grade.



Common Prefixes
Prefix Meaning Example
pre- before preview
un- not unbelievable
dis- not disagree
re- again rewrite
mis- not misunderstood
im- not impossible
bi- two bicycle
de- not deregulated



Common Suffixes
Suffix Meaning Example
-er doer teacher
-able able to unbelievable
-ous full of dangerous
-ness state of being happiness
-ful full of wonderful
-ly or -y like gently
-ment state of government








About Experience Corps Bay Area

Experience Corps Bay Area recruits and trains adults 50+ to tutor and mentor elementary school children, with a focus on K-3 literacy.
This entry was posted in Monthly Tips For Tutors. Bookmark the permalink.

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Google photo

You are commenting using your Google account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s