Why We Avoid Deferring Dreams

“What happens to a dream deferred? Does it dry up like a raisin in the sun?”

Langston Hughes “A Dream Deferred” (1936)

Excerpted from: Howe, Randy, ed. The Quotable Teacher. Guilford, CT: The Lyons Press, 2003.

A Learning Support on Irregular Verbs

As the penultimate week of the New York City school year comes to a close, I want to post this learning support on irregular verbs, which I gleaned from Grant Barrett’s manual, Perfect English Grammar: The Indispensable Guide to Excellent Writing and Speaking. I believe strongly in teaching grammar, style, and usage to the struggling learners I serve. With the right structural adaptations, kids can master this material, and therefore gain confidence in their ability to learn. That confidence motivates kids, and for the teacher education special needs kids, that is half the battle.

Over the years, I’ve sought a good–by which I mean clear and concise–grammar manual to use in planning units and lesson. So far, this is the one: Mr. Barrett presents his material lucidly, with none of abstraction, cuteness, or turgidity these from which so many of these kinds of books suffer. The book is also very well organized.

Grant Barrett also hosts a podcast called https://www.waywordradio.org/. I haven’t hear it yet, but as I work with this book, I can see the merit of giving it a try.

If you find typos in this document, I would appreciate a notification.

Rotten Reviews: Bleak House

“More than any of its predecessors chargeable with not simply faults, but absolute want of construction…meagre and melodramatic.”

George Brimley, The Spectator

Excerpted from: Bernard, Andre, and Bill Henderson, eds. Pushcart’s Complete Rotten Reviews and Rejections. Wainscott, NY: Pushcart Press, 1998.

Refute (vt.)

Here is a context clues worksheet on the transitive verb refute. I can’t think of a better time to emphasize the importance of this word and the intellectual action in defines.

If you find typos in this document, I would appreciate a notification. And, as always, if you find this material useful in your practice, I would be grateful to hear what you think of it. I seek your peer review.

A Classic from Dorothy Parker

“This is not a novel to be tossed aside lightly. It should be thrown with great force.”

Dorothy Parker

Excerpted from: Winokur, Jon, ed. The Portable Curmudgeon. New York: Plume, 1992.

The Weekly Text, June 23, 2017

Summer break is nigh upon us here in New York City, and not a moment too soon. For the past couple of weeks we have endured the inanity of the New York State Regents Examinations.

This week’s Text is a complete lesson on using the predicate adjective in declarative sentences. There are two do-now worksheets to accompany this lesson in the event that the lesson runs into two days: the first is an Everyday Edit on Laura Ingalls Wilder; the second is a Cultural Literacy worksheet on the common Latinism in English, nota bene. This lesson also provides a a word bank of predicate adjectives that serves as a learning support. You’ll need this scaffolded worksheet on the predicate adjectives for your students; to deliver this lesson, I find it’s handy to have this teacher’s copy and answer key.

That’s it. I hope this is useful to you.

If you find typos in these documents, I would appreciate a notification. And, as always, if you find this material useful in your practice, I would be grateful to hear what you think of it. I seek your peer review.

Rotten Reviews: Anna Karenina

“Sentimental rubbish…. Show me one page that contains an idea.”

The Odessa Courier

Excerpted from: Bernard, Andre, and Bill Henderson, eds. Pushcart’s Complete Rotten Reviews and Rejections. Wainscott, NY: Pushcart Press, 1998.