The Algonquin Wits: Franklin Pierce Adams on Dissembling

“’Big wars, says the Herald Tribune, in our nomination for the year’s Half-Truth Prize, ‘are very costly to the losers.’”

Franklin Pierce Adams

Excerpted from: Drennan, Robert E., ed. The Algonquin Wits. New York: Kensington, 1985.

Plutocracy (n)

Now seems to be the perfect moment, or as perfect as moments get for such things, to post this context clues worksheet on the noun plutocracy. Don’t forget that it morphs to plutocrat and plutocratic, a couple of other good words that nicely represent our zeitgeist.

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.

Cultural Literacy: Supply and Demand

Here’s a Cultural Literacy worksheet on supply and demand if you can use 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.

Minaret (n)

“A tall, slender tower attached to a mosque and from which the muezzin calls people to prayer from one of its several balconies. It may be either rectangular or cylindrical in plan. Seville’s Giralda tower (12th century) was once a minaret, later redecorated in Christian styles.”

Excerpted from: Diamond, David G. The Bulfinch Pocket Dictionary of Art Terms. Boston: Little Brown, 1992.

Independent Practice: Albrecht Durer

If memory serves, I whipped up this independent practice worksheet on Albrecht Durer at a student’s request. I don’t think he ever turned up in the global studies courses I co-taught in New York, even as a representative figure of the Northern Renaissance–which of course he is.

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.

Teachers’ Affects and Learning

 “…This all means that how teachers look and sound when talking to students can be quite revealing. Participants were asked to rate teachers’ perceptions of students to whom they were speaking with brief (ten-second) audio and video clips. Though the clips only focused on the teachers’ behavior and did not show the students, participants as young as fourth grade were able to successfully differentiate between two types of students being addressed by the teachers: those who were considered to be ‘high’ achieving and those who were ‘low’ achieving (Babad, Bernieri, & Rosenthal, 1991). The teacher interacted with the ‘high’- achieving student more positively than with the ‘low’-achieving student. With less than half a minute of observation, our perception of how others, in this case teachers, feel about students can be readily identified.

As the authors point out in the discussion of their findings, with only ten seconds of film footage, there was barely enough time for teachers to utter more than two words; thus truly it was the manner in which the teachers addressed the students and not the content of their discussion that affected the ratings of how the teacher felt about each student.

Though these findings may seem to speak directly to the so-called expectancy effects, namely the finding that how students perform in class may be largely influenced by how the teacher feels about them (Rosenthal & Jacobson, 1968), our focus here is more upon student comfort than academic performance. Now more than four decades after Pygmalion in the Classroom thrust the idea of teacher expectancy effects into the professional and public vernaculars (Rosenthal & Jacobson, 1968), there is still a fair amount of controversy regarding just how strongly teacher expectations of students affect intelligence and performance (Jussim & Harber, 2005).

Rather than wade into these murky waters, we will instead focus on the indisputable points that because detection of emotion is instinctual, teachers must be incredibly careful and conscientious about how they deal with students in a classroom, particularly those who are ‘easy’ and those who are seen as more ‘challenging.’ Given the fact that teacher interactions with students influence how those students are perceived by their peers (Birch & Ladd, 1998), the case for conscious monitoring of behavior cannot be overstated.

It is recommended that educators plan ahead for interactions with students they may consider more trying or challenging than others. Just as the successful teacher plans for contingencies such as having extra supplies for students who may forget of be unable to afford their own, so must she also plan ahead for the possibility of questions, to which answers have already been provided, or other solicitations that could possibly evoke even subtle expressions of exasperation or annoyance.”

Excerpted from: Rekart, Jerome L. The Cognitive Classroom: Using Brain and Cognitive Science to Optimize Student Success. New York: Rowman & Littlefield Education, 2013.

The Weekly Text, December 7, 2018

This week’s Text is a worksheet on the Greek root hyper and another on the Greek roots hyp and hypo. You will perceive phonetically that these roots are two sides of a coin, and indeed they are: hyper means above, excessive, beyond, and over; conversely, hypo means under, below, and less. If you’ve dealt with thyroid issues in your life, you surely know what these roots mean. So aspiring health care professionals, nota bene!

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.