An Interview with Clint Johnson: Super Duper Homonyms and Pronouns

Oct 21, 2011 by

Michael F. Shaughnessy
Eastern New Mexico University
Portales, New Mexico

Clint, I understand that Super Duper has created two new educational grammar-based card decks

Let me ask you some questions about them–

1) What exactly are homonyms and why should we study them?

Homonyms are words that we spell and pronounce the same, but have different meanings. For example, the word file can mean to file something in a drawer, to file one’s nails, and to walk in a single file. Understanding and using homonyms is critical for language comprehension and reading decoding. A student that only understands one or two meanings for the word file will have significant difficulty interpreting the meaning of the word as the context of the sentence (the words around file) changes.

2)  What is so special about Homonyms for Me 1-2-3 Secret Decoder Fun Deck? How does this work and what kinds of kids should use it?

With Homonyms for Me 1-2-3 Secret Decoder Fun Deck®, for ages 5 and up (grades 1 to 5), students test their knowledge of homonyms by completing 180 fill-in-the blanks sentences. Each of the 60 laminated 3” x 5” playing cards has three fill-in sentences, plus three word choices. The challenge is that only one of the words will fit correctly into all three sentences. For extra fun, some cards offer one word choice that fits correctly into two of the sentences, but not all three.  After players choose their answers, they can find out if they were right or wrong by shining a light from the nifty Super Duper® Secret Decoder on the word choices. Only the correct choice turns a different color. To view an informative Show Me How video on the Homonyms for Me 1-2-3 deck, click here (http://www.superduperinc.com/products/view.aspx?pid=FD150 ).

3) Are there any special groups that would benefit from the study of homonyms?

Yes. Students with language deficits, learning disabilities, and students that are learning English can benefit from studying and practicing using multiple meaning words. This can help to improve reasoning and semantic flexibility (the ability to define words based on context).

4) What is the 120 Pronoun Fill-in Sentence Cards Super Fun Deck® trying to accomplish?

This Super Fun Deck® teaches students to use subjective, objective, possessive, and reflexive pronouns. It is different from our other Fun Decks® because it includes four types of pronouns in one deck. For example, you can teach subjective pronouns (I, she, he, you, etc.) in one lesson and teach objective pronouns (me, you, him, her, etc.) in the next. Then, you can mix the cards together to teach the difference between the two types of pronouns. Students with language deficits, learning disabilities, and students learning English need extra practice identifying which type of pronouns to use in a sentence. For example, some students will use the objective pronoun me instead of saying I (Me want more milk.)

5) Now tell us about the Pronoun Cards.

120 Pronoun Fill-in Sentence Cards Super Fun Deck, for ages 6 to 14 (grades 1 to 8), has 120 illustrated playing cards divided into 30 each for the main pronoun categories — subjective, objective, possessive, and reflexive. To play, a student chooses a card and reads or listens to a sentence without the pronoun in it (such as “____ blows a big bubble”). The player completes the sentence by naming a pronoun to fill in the blank. As a cue, the student can look at the picture on the card.  For additional help, players can use Pronoun Cue Cards that list pronoun choices from each pronoun category, or they can refer to a Pronoun Combo Cue Card listing all the pronouns.  To see a video on how to play 120 Pronouns, click here (http://www.superduperinc.com/products/view.aspx?pid=FD149).

7) How can teachers and parents use these devices or educational approaches?

Both of these engaging Fun Decks® have instructions for basic play and include alternate game ideas to make learning fun. They reinforce classroom instruction and support state education standards. In the classroom, teachers can create centers and allow students that need extra help to play the various card games with their peers. At home, the students can play the games with their parents, siblings, and friends while learning new grammatical structures and vocabulary.

8) What have I neglected to ask?

We now have a 50%-off special on a group of products every Monday. Keep checking www.superduperinc.com to find out about all our newest products and specials. We also have new apps for the iPhone®, iPad® and iPod touch® and Android devices. These apps are interactive versions of some of our best-selling Fun Decks®. Go to www.superduperinc.com/apps to see all of our apps.

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