Tag Archives: learning support

A Learning Support on Forming the Degrees of Adjectives

Here, very early on a Wednesday morning, are a pair of learning supports on the degrees of adjectives.

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.

Brainstorming the College Application Essay

Here are a couple of things I whipped up this morning for use in class tomorrow: the first is a worksheet on brainstorming the college application essay; the second is this learning support that attends it.

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.

Rotten Reviews: James Joyce

[This review refers to A Portrait of the Artist as a Young Man.]

“…as a treatment of Irish politics, society or religion, it is negligible.”

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

Master List of Latin Cognates

Over the years, I’ve worked steadily at engineering a vocabulary building curriculum that uses Greek and Latin word roots to help students develop the active academic lexicons they need to succeed in school. Early on, because I work with so many Spanish-speaking students, I started to work up cognate lists of words that were similar or even identical across the Romance Languages.

One of the results of that effort is this master list of Romance Language cognates. Over the summer I copied and pasted all these lists into the word root worksheets that proceed from a given root.

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.

A Late August Text on Rhetorical Forms in Argumentation

At my school, teachers in all four common branch subjects assign research papers as a matter of academic routine. Unfortunately, as far as I’ve seen and therefore know, nobody on the faculty has developed explicit instructions and materials teaching the numerous skills involved in assembling research, let alone judging, organizing and synthesizing it. Nor does anyone teach argumentation (I assume it goes without saying that we have no debate or forensics team), a key skill for composing a synthetic research paper.

For years, this rankled me as the bad practice it clearly is. Last year, I finally resolved to do something about it: I wrote this unit plan on argumentation, which I titled “Arguing Your Case.” All of this work is adapted, as the unit plan explains in its “Methods and Materials” section,  from Gerald Graff and Cathy Birkenstein’s excellent manual They Say/I Say: The Moves That Matter in Academic Writing (New York: Norton, 2017). As I write this, the Third Edition lies before me on my desk; this is a textbook, evidently, that will go into numerous editions.

But the gravamen of the book–using basic rhetorical figures to structure argumentative discourse–will certainly remain the same. I’ve already posted the first two lessons from this unit (you’ll find them here and here). Here is the third lesson plan from the “Arguing Your Case” unit, this one on using the “They say” and “Standard views” procedure for laying out, in one’s argument, the current research, conventional wisdom, or what have you, on a particular subject. I use this context clues worksheet on the noun discourse to open this lesson, Finally, here is the combination of a learning support and worksheet that students use to get a sense of how to perform the academic task at hand.

I wrote this unit for more advanced students than I usually teach. If you plan to use this material with struggling learners, particularly kids with low levels of general or academic literacy, you will almost certainly need to edit the texts in the worksheet, which, frankly,  I cribbed from The New York Review of Books.

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 24, 2018

It’s August 24. Today in AD 79, Mount Vesuvius, in Southern Italy, erupted and destroyed the Roman cities of Pompeii, Stabiae, and Herculaneum. The Ukraine celebrates its independence from the Soviet Union today, which it achieved upon the collapse of that empire in 1991. On this day in 1814, during the War of 1812, British forces raided and burned Washington, D.C.

This week’s Text is a complete introductory lesson plan on pronouns. I begin this lesson, in order to get kids settled after a class change, with this Cultural Literacy worksheet on Fine Arts; if, for some reason, the lesson goes into a second day, I use this Everyday Edit worksheet on Maya Angelou to begin the concluding part of the work for this lesson. The mainstay of this lesson is this introductory worksheet on pronouns. You will probably need, or at least want, the teacher’s copy of the worksheet. Finally, here is a learning support on pronouns and case that I use throughout the unit on pronouns that this lesson introduces.

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.

Anachronism (n)

“A term used to distinguish anything out of its proper time. Shakespeare’s references to cannons in King John, a play which takes place before cannons came into use, to clocks in Julius Caesar, and to billiards in Antony and Cleopatra, are examples of anachronisms. In literature, anachronisms are sometimes used deliberately as comic devices to emphasized universal timelessness.”

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