Monthly Archives: January 2019

Rotten Reviews: McTeague

“…grossness for the sake of grossness…the world will not be proud of it in that distant tomorrow which irrevocably sets the true value on books of today.”

The Literary World

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

A Learning Support on the Parts of Speech

Here is a supported glossary on the parts of speech that, if you teach them, could accompany any lesson on English usage or the parts of speech.

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.

Antihero (n)

“Antihero: A protagonist who lacks traditional heroic virtues and noble qualities and is sometimes inept, cowardly, stupid, or dishonest, yet sensitive. The type is best represented in modern fiction and drama, although it appears as early as 1605, in Don Quixote, James Joyce’s Leopold Bloom in Ulysses, Kingsley Amis’s Jim Dixon in Lucky Jim, and Joseph Heller’s Yossarian in Catch 22 are antiheroes.”


Excerpted from:
Murphy, Bruce, ed. Benet’s Reader’s Encyclopedia, Fourth Edition. New York: Harper Collins, 1996.

Proliferate (vi/vt)

Since it’s Merriam-Webster’s Word of the Day today, and I am on a two-hour delay for the start of the school day, circumstances both permit and require me to off this context clues worksheet on the verb proliferate. Merriam-Webster says it is used both intransitively and transitively, although I don’t know that I have ever used it transitively.

Would it look and sound like this? “The lobbyist from Big Bummer proliferated legislation promoting bad vibes wherever he went.”

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.

Crime and Puzzlement: A Matter of Diamonds

Ok, dawn just arrived here in the Northeast. I seem to be getting away with it so far, so let me offer up another lesson plan on the Crime and Puzzlement case A Matter of Diamonds. I open this one with this Cultural Literacy worksheet on the noun phrase and concept of pecking order. You’ll need the illustration, text, and questions for the case, which I’ve scanned directly from the book. Finally, here is teacher’s copy and answer key to solve the case.

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.

Term of Art: Executive Functions

“Mental activities associated with self-control, attention, focus, or concentration that allow an individual to achieve specific goals. Problems in executive function are associated with dysfunction at the frontal part of the brain. Mild or nonspecific deficits of executive functions are common in the general population. Executive functions also may be impaired by injury to the brain, fatigue, depression, schizophrenia, anxiety, and various psychological disorders, including learning disability, and attention deficit hyperactivity disorder (ADHD).

Problems with attention, self-regulation, planning, and impulse control may be connected to differences in the processing of neurotransmitters, especially dopamine, in the brain.

Executive functions control four kinds of mental activities. Working memory is essential to the problem-solving process. Information must be held in mind and internalized while a task is being completed. Internalized or private speech allows people to use complex sets of rules in problem solving. These include rules for using sets of rules. Third is the control of emotions and impulses, which allows and individual to remain focused and to continually return to a path of progress toward a desired goal. This allows an individual to set aside the attraction of immediate gratification. The achievement of deferred greater gratification is the product of this kind of self-regulation. Fourth is reconstitution, a process of observing behaviors and then synthesizing components into new combinations. This function is essential to problem solving and survival in a complicated world.

Individuals with ADHD and learning disabilities may have problems in reading long assignments or completing writing projects, since these tasks require executive functions. These difficulties may be connected to differences in the way certain brain chemicals are processed in the prefrontal lobes.

Some individuals with executive function difficulties are also very impulsive, having a hard time considering alternatives and consequences before they act. In solving problems, they are likely to select the first alternative without weighing other possibilities. They often speak without thinking of the consequences of their statements. Some students with these problems get so fidgety that it is hard for them to sit through a 50- or 90-minute class session.

Many individuals with executive function difficulties experience problems with time. Understanding the passage of time and planning for the future or the completion of a task by a particular point in time can be challenge. These individuals may frequently arrive late to appointments or classes. Long-term academic projects are among the greatest challenges for students who have executive function difficulties.”

Excerpted from: Turkington, Carol, and Joseph R. Harris, PhD. The Encyclopedia of Learning Disabilities. New York: Facts on File, 2006.

A Learning Support on Transition Words

The district office of the school system in which I work just texted the news that, on account of last night’s snowfall here, the beginning of the school day is delayed two hours. So, I’ll make another cup of coffee and push Mark’s Text Terminal to the 1,700 blog posts finish line.

So, here is a learning support for transition words instruction if you do that sort of thing with your students.

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.