Monthly Archives: August 2016

Some Confucian Wisdom for the Beginning of the School Year

“Learning without thought is time lost.”


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

Finance as a Noun and a Verb

Here, to make some effort toward rounding out my assortment of context clues worksheets on terms from economics and finance, are two context clues worksheets on finance as a noun and a verb.

I hope these are useful to you.

A Midweek, Late August Text

It’s another cool, beautiful morning here in my borough; the morning light appears autumnal. Here is a glossary of key vocabulary for English Language Arts. I hope it is useful to your practice.

Command as Three Parts of Speech

It’s a cool and pleasant Tuesday morning in New York City, a nice break from the brutal heat and humidity of the past week. Here, if you have any use for them, are three context clues worksheets on command as an adjective, a noun, and a verb.

Why We Read

“Employ your time by improving yourself by other men’s writings, so that you shall gain easily what others have labored so hard for.”

Socrates (469-399 B.C.)

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

REFORMERS! Watch This Video! It Will Change Your Life and Open Your Mind!

Here’s something from Diane Ravitch’s blog that is directly pertinent to the pedagogical concerns of Mark’s Text Terminal.

This is a message to the billionaires, the hedge fund managers, and the politicians–and their paid spokespersons in think tanks and academe— who continually complain about our public sc…

Source: REFORMERS! Watch This Video! It Will Change Your Life and Open Your Mind!

The Weekly Text, August 19, 2016

Over the years, I have become convinced of the utility of teaching the parts of speech in order to build literacy in general, and in particular to assist students in developing their own understanding of how to write grammatically complete, syntactically meaningful, and stylish sentences. To that end, I have developed units for each of the parts of speech, and these constitute an almost-year-long cycle of English Language Arts instruction.

So, this weeks text is the first lesson of the first unit of this cycle, on nouns. This lesson calls upon students to use this teacher-authored reading passage to identify all the nouns in it; as you will see, this is a three-part scaffold that asks students to read, then apply their understanding of nouns, first in modified cloze exercises, then in writing sentences from subject to period. The lesson opens with this Cultural Literacy do-now exercise on syntax. You might also find useful this singular and plural nouns formation review

You’ll notice that the plan for this lesson doesn’t list the standards met. Because of the way I manage my work flow, I list all the standards on the overarching unit plan. (That way if I must print a lesson plan to appease a bureaucrat, I don’t burn too much ink.) For that reason, I have posted typescript copies of the Common Core Standards I use in my practice  in the About Weekly Texts page that is above the banner photo on the home page for this site. They are in the penultimate paragraph there.

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.

September 22, 2016, Post Scriptum: I have just updated the singular and plural nouns formation review worksheet linked to above.

Demand (n) and Demand (vt)

As with supply, it has taken me an inexplicably long time (given my current posting at the High School of Economics & Finance in Lower Manhattan) to create context clues for demand. So, here is a context clues worksheet on demand as a noun and another for demand as a verb to accompany the context clues worksheets below on supply as a noun and a verb.

I hope you find them useful.

Supply (n) and Supply (vt)

As I work mostly at outdoor pubs and cafes through the summer, I write longhand in a Moleskine notebook. I’ve ended up writing a lot of new context clues worksheets, mostly because they’re easy and quick to contrive. Considering that I work in an economics-and-finance-themed public high school, I don’t know why it has taken me so long to write a context clues worksheet for supply as a noun or another for supply used as a verb. But here they are now, for your use if you need them.

Lord Russell on Education

“Men are born ignorant, not stupid; they are made stupid by education.”

Bertrand Russell

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