Monthly Archives: March 2017

The Weekly Text, March 31, 2017

The last day of March is also the last day of Women’s History Month. This week’s Text is a reading on Murasaki Shikibu. Lady Shikibu wrote what is arguably history’s first novel, The Tale of Genji. Here is a comprehension worksheet to accompany the relatively short reading.

And that is the last Weekly Text for Women’s History Month. I hope they’ve been useful. Next week I’ll return to posting less theme oriented material; I think I have a grammar lesson queued up.

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.

A Learning Support for Pronominal Contractions

Because several of my students asked for it, here is a learning support on using pronoun contractions with the present tense of the verb to be.

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.

Note to DeVos: A School is not a Taxi or an Uber

(If you need more evidence to support my contention that Betsy DeVos is really a low-watt bulb, look no further than this post from Diane Ravitch’s Blog.)

Diane Ravitch's blog

At the Brookings celebration of school choice, Secretary DeVos said that people should choose a school like choosing Uber or some other alternative to the traditional public school. She is clueless about the role of public education in a community and in a democracy.

Picking your mode transportation is a consumer good that you pay for; public education is both a public good and a right.

https://www.ed.gov/news/speeches/us-secretary-education-betsy-devos-prepared-remarks-brookings-institution

From the transcript of the video (please post the link if you can find it):

“Separately, the report argues that ‘There is no question that alternatives to the traditional school district model are destructive of the traditional school district model.’

“Many would read this and conclude that such
alternatives (or choices) are destructive of traditional public schools and of the students they serve.

“But I would argue that these alternatives are constructive, not destructive, for students, parents and teachers.

“Let me offer this…

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Teaching the Chinese Dynasties

It’s the time of year that the global studies class in which I am co-teacher studies the succession of Chinese dynasties. This unit necessitates a discussion of isolationism. My co-teacher asked me to prepare a context clues worksheet on the term, so I did. I think it’s necessary when teaching this word to begin with the verb isolate. This is one of those tricky polysemous words that has a different general meaning than say, in biology, chemistry, or even linguistics.

If you want your students to understand isolationism as a political and diplomatic term, then you might find useful these three context clues worksheets that begin with the verb isolate (and include the nouns isolation and isolationism). Also, here is a lexicon for these words for your class linguist.

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.

To New York Parents: A Warning about the Common Core Tests

(If you have children in New York schools, this post from Diane Ravitch’s Blog contains some salient information about the tests to which your children have been, are, and will be subjected. If you object to giant educational publishing companies using your children–and our students–as lab rats for their poorly conceived and executed tests, then please do read on)

Diane Ravitch's blog

Students in New York sat for the ELA Comin Core tests on Tuesday. The test will continue for three days, an ordeal lengthier than graduate school exams.

Leonie Haimson invited teachers and parents to share their stories about the test, which is otherwise blanketed in deep secrecy.

Testing expert Fred Smith sent this comment:

Thank you, Leonie for inviting the comments of observers who otherwise have been silenced by SED and DOE from breathing a word about the exams.

I’m sure we will find that the improved 2017 ELA exams have the same flaws as the ones Pearson has produced since 2012.

To me, the following exchange on your blog concerning field testing is particularly important because it succinctly describes what is wrong with field testing—both embedded and stand-alone field testing—which continue to plant the seeds that perpetuate bad exams. Yet, SED has run interference for the publisher, selling our…

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Meager (adj.)

Here is a context clues worksheet on the adjective meager.

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.

Rotten Reviews: Wuthering Heights

“Here are all the faults of Jane Eyre (by Charlotte Bronte) are magnified a thousand fold, and the only consolation which we have in reflecting upon it is that it will never be generally read.”

James Lorimer, North British Review

“…wild, disjointed and improbable…the people who make up the drama, which is tragic enough in its consequences, are savages ruder than those who lived before the days of Homer.”

The Examiner

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