Category Archives: Skills Development

Learning materials to introduce, teach, and reinforce academic skills, particularly writing.

Emigrate (vi)

A colleague with whom I team-teach a sophomore global studies asked me to develop a context clues worksheet on the noun emigre. It means, of course, emigrant. So instead I wrote this context clues worksheet on the verb emigrate. It’s used intransitively; I plan to teach it, then point out, by way of a simple question (“What do you suppose we call someone who emigrates?”), to students that someone who emigrates is an emigrant. From there it’s a small step to point out that the French word for emigrant is emigre (it is the past participle of the French verb emigrer–“to emigrate”–if you must know).

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.

Bogus (adj.)

Should fate somehow require you to teach a lesson on Bill & Ted, you’ll probably find this context clues worksheet on the adjective bogus useful.

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.

Greek and Latin Word Root Master List

Although I’ve posted this document  in the Word Roots Worksheets section of the About Weekly Texts page on the masthead here at Mark’s Text Terminal, here again is my master list of Greek and Latin word roots at the request of several students in my Wednesday institute class. You guys here at HSE&F, Just click on that hyperlink, and the document will download to the desktop of your computer. Anyone else interested in this document, do the same.

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.

 

The Weekly Text, September 1, 2017

Of the seven units on the parts of speech I’ve built, the one on prepositions is the shortest. As I start writing this week’s Text, I realize that with this post I’ve already published three of the seven lessons in the unit–and one of them just last week.

This is the third lesson in the unit, on working with commonly used prepositions. There are, as with most of the lessons I post here, two do-now, Everyday Edit exercises to start the lesson, the first on the “Miracle Worker,” Anne Sullivan and the second on James Forten, a free Black man in Philadelphia. The center of this lesson is this scaffolded worksheet on working with commonly used prepositions. To complete it, students will benefit from access to this learning support on using prepositions, prepositional phrases, and compound prepositions. Finally, while delivering this lesson, I’m confident that you’ll find the teacher’s copy and answer key helpful.

That’s it. School starts on Tuesday! I hope the school year starts well for 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.

The Weekly Text, August 25, 2017

Last spring, while teaching my unit on prepositions, I found I needed to revise and strengthen this lesson plan on using prepositions with pronouns in the objective case; as long as I had it out, I duplicated and set it aside for a future text, and that future has arrived, so here it is as a Weekly Text.

To teach this lesson you’ll need the two do-now exercises (and, as I’ve written here before, if you like Everyday Edits, the good people at Education World generously give them away), the first of which is an Everyday Edit on Charles Drew; the second, another Everyday Edit, this one on the poet Gwendolyn Brooks, you may need if classroom exigencies extend this lesson into a second day. The mainstay of this lesson is this scaffolded worksheet on using prepositions with the objective case of pronouns. Your students and you will probably find useful this learning support to accompany the worksheet.

I design my worksheets, as you’ll see explained in the About Weekly Texts on the home page banner, so that I can insert students’ names in them as both subject and object noun. This worksheet is, in terms of these insertions, complicated sufficiently that I’ve decided to include in this post this finished copy, ready for classroom use, of the worksheet to demonstrate how to fill the asterisks with subject and object nouns in the worksheet itself. Finally, here is the teacher’s copy of the worksheet which serves as the answer key as well.

That’s it. I hope this lesson is useful to you, and not marred by its prolixity.

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 Super Multiplication Table

As a child, I enjoyed math in school and did fairly well at it. I liked the symmetry and order of numbers, and found multiplication a particularly scintillating procedure (and yes, I am serious; I was a weird kid). By the time I crossed the Rubicon from fractions and decimals into algebra, I could already see I was in trouble. For some reason, I could never get right orders of operations and other algebraic procedures. For some reason I felt, and continue to feel, ashamed of this intellectual inadequacy.

Of course, I am tempted to blame my math teachers in middle school, who were indeed dismal; both of my eighth grade math teachers clearly hated kids. Since I was getting more than enough of that sentiment elsewhere in my life at the time, I avoided them. So I suppose I am at fault as well.

Unsurprisingly, I have been and remain a terrible math teacher. I’ve developed some literacy lessons on both math and science, but they are more reading comprehension work than actual cognitive work in the domains themselves. That said, I have become interested (to some extent for obvious personal reasons) in helping struggling students improve their own understanding of the math curriculum they are expected to master. To that end, I’ve proposed to a colleague in the mathematics department at my school that we collaborate on developing some math learning supports for our struggling students.

This morning I wrote this super multiplication table as a start on this endeavor. I know this doesn’t necessarily augur great sophistication in this project; it’s worth considering, however, how many students who struggle with math do so because they never learned their multiplication tables. As with all of the material posted on Mark’s Text Terminal, this is a Microsoft Word document that you can chop and repurpose as many times as your circumstances require. Indeed, you may end up with as many versions of this as you have 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.

Consent (vi)

Ah, summer, how quickly you wane! Two weeks from today I’ll be suffering through one more of the vapid, insufferable “professional development” sessions the administration of my school inflicts upon the faculty.

Here is a context clues worksheet on the verb consent. Merriam-Webster tags it as intransitive, and if you think about its use, it’s hard to imagine a direct object following it.

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.