Developing Knowledge of Contractions
A contraction is defined as a special word structure formed by substituting an apostrophe for omitted letters to shorten the word.
The student is unable to pronounce contractions when he encounters them in print.
For some students, a part of poor oral reading is the lack of knowledge of contractions. This is usually a minor reading problem. For comprehension and writing purposes, it is also useful to know what two words each contraction stands for and to be able to make contractions from various words.
Assessing Knowledge of Contractions
When testing for a student’s knowledge of contractions, you should show the student the contraction and ask him to pronounce it. If he can pronounce the word, it will suffice for decoding purposes. For example, the student pronounces the word can’t; for decoding purposes, he does not need to know that it means “cannot.” Have the student tell what two words the contraction stands for, so you know if he understands the meaning of the contraction and will be able to recognize it for comprehension purposes and use it in his written work. Refer to the list of 47 common contractions in the box below that are used for testing knowledge of contractions.
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