Tag Archives: professional development

A Learning Support on Writing the Exclamatory Sentence

Here is a learning support on writing the exclamatory sentence. I wrote this one myself, synthesizing a range of material and editing it down to a single page. You will find in the text, of course, support for using the exclamation point in this kind of sentence.

But a single page it is, which is not to say that the text can’t be cut into pieces and repurposed into worksheets. It’s a Microsoft Word document, so it’s yours to do with as you wish.

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.

Term of Art: Sensorimotor Stage

“sensorimotor stage: A developmental stage in which a child had little ability with language or the use of symbols, but experiences the world through sensation and movement. It is the first of four stages in the theory of cognitive development as described by child psychiatrist Jean Piaget. The sensorimotor stage lasts from birth until about age two.

Infants are normally born with a range of reflexes that ensures their survival, such as sucking and grasping. As the infant adapts these reflexes over time, the child can begin to interact with environment with greater efficiency. By the end of this stage, the child is able to solve simple problems, such as looking for a lost toy or communicating simple needs to a parent or another child. It is also during this stage that the infant develops a sense of object permanence—that awareness that things and people continue to exist even when they cannot be perceived. For example, before the age of two if a parent hides a toy under a pillow in front of the child, the child will not understand that the toy still exists under the pillow. Once a sense of object permanence is developed, the child will understand that the toy hidden under the pillow still exists, and will lift up the pillow to retrieve the toy.

Modern technology was not available in Piaget’s time, so he often used motor tasks to test the cognitive understanding of an infant. With the availability of more advanced techniques that can track an infant’s eye movements or rate of sucking in response to stimuli, researchers now know that infants reach cognitive milestone such as object permanence.”

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

Phoneme (n)

Here is a context clues worksheet on the noun phoneme. It means “any of the abstract units of the phonetic system of a language that correspond to a set of similar speech sounds (as the velar \k\ of cool and the palatal \k\ of keel) which are perceived to be a single distinctive sound in the language.”

Teachers best know this noun when it turns up as the basis of an adjective in the term of art “phonemic awareness.” Because of that, I have tagged this post as both a term of art and as material related to professional development. where reading instruction is concerned. At the same time, the context sentences in which I’ve embedded this word on this document is meant to lead students to its meaning. I ask for comments and peer review on every documents post on this blog. For this one, I would be especially interested in and grateful for your comments on this document–especially if you have used it with 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.

Rhetoric

Rhetoric (Greek, rhetor, “speaker in the assemby): Rhetoric is the art of using language for persuasion, in speaking and writing; especially in oratory. The Classical theoreticians codified rhetoric very thoroughly. A knowledge and command of it was regarded as essential. The major textbooks included Aristotle’s Rhetoric, Quintilian’s Institutio Oratoria, Cicero’s De Inventione, De Optimo Genere Oratorium, and De Oratore. Cicero himself was an accomplished rhetorician. So great was the influence of these men (and, later, of Longinus in the work ascribed to him, On the Sublime) that in the Middle Ages rhetoric became part ot the trivium, along with logic and grammar.

The rules for oral and written composition (these rules altered little from Cicero’s day until well on in the 19th century) were divided into five processes in a logical order: invention, arrangement (or disposition), style, memory, and delivery (each had a number of sub-divisions). ‘Invention’ was the discovery of the relevant material; ‘arrangement’ was the organization of the material into sound structural form; under ‘style’ came the consideration of the appropriate manner for the matter and occasion (e.g. the grand style, the middle and the low and the plain); under ‘memory’ came guidance on how to memorize speeches; the section devoted to ‘delivery’ elaborated the technique for actually making a speech.”

Excerpted from: Cuddon, J.A. The Penguin Dictionary of Literary Terms and Literary Theory. New York: Penguin, 1992.

Paraphrase

“Paraphrase: 1. The (more or less) free rewording of an expression or text, as an explanation, clarification, or translation: ‘Paraphrase, or translation with latitude, where the author is kept in view…, but his words are not so strictly followed as his sense’ (John Dryden, preface to his translation of Ovid, 1680). 2. An act or result or rewording, such as a simplified version of a legal document: a plain-English paraphrase of The contractor shall have a general lien upon all goods in his possession for all monies due to him from the customer is We have a right to hold some or all of the goods until you have paid our charges. 3. To make a paraphrase; to translate or define loosely: the compound word teapot can be paraphrased or explained by the phrase a pot for tea but not by a pot of tea.”

Excerpted from: McArthur, Tom. The Oxford Concise Companion to the English Language. New York: Oxford University Press, 2005.

Term of Art: Word Recognition

“word recognition: An ability to apply any number of strategies to recognize and understand a word. Word recognition strategies include:

  • configuration—using visual cues such as the shape and size of the word
  • context analysis—using surrounding information (including pictures) to predict a word
  • sight words—instant recognition of a word without further analysis
  • phonemic analysis—‘sounding out’ a word
  • syllabication—dividing a word into syllables
  • structural analysis—using morphological information such as prefixes, suffixes, and roots”

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

Cultural Literacy: Folk Music

Here is a Cultural Literacy worksheet on folk music. This is a half-page worksheet with a relatively short reading and three comprehension questions.

The reading implies, but does not spell out, the concept of folkways. I never understood, in my years teaching both English and social studies, why folkways as a concept was never taught explicitly, thereby offering students the opportunity to instantiate or reify it in their own lives; many of the students I served in New York City were of families recently immigrated to the United States. Understanding folkways, and using that understanding to distinguish between folkways and mores strikes me as a key element of any academic domain at the secondary level that calls itself “social studies.”

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.

Term of Art: Learning Style

“learning style: An individual’s behavior, temperament, and attitude in a learning situation. Some of the best-known learning styles are visual, auditory, or kinesthetic. Some experts argue that it is important to match an individual’s learning style with the style of instruction to make learning easier. For example, an individual with a strong visual learning style should be taught to read with an emphasis on the shapes of words.

There are many different learning styles, but none are either ‘right’ or ‘wrong.’ Although a student may prefer one style over another, preferences develop like muscles: the more they are used, the stronger they become. Successful students have flexible and integrated learning styles. No one use one of the styles exclusively, and there is usually significant overlap in learning styles.

Visual learners relate most effectively to written information, notes, diagrams, and pictures. Typically they will be unhappy with a presentation where they cannot take detailed notes. To a degree, information does not exist for a visual learner unless it has been written down. This is why some visual learners take notes even when they have printed notes in front of them. Visual learners will tend to be most effective in written communication. They make up about 65 percent of the population.

Auditory learners related most effectively to the spoken word. They tend to listen to a lecture and then take notes afterward, or rely on printed notes. Because written information will often have little meaning until it is heard, it may help auditory learners to read written information out loud. Auditory learners may be sophisticated speakers, and may specialize in subjects like law or politics. Auditory learners make about 30 percent of the population.

Kinesthetic learners learn best through touch, movement, and space, and learn skills by imitation and practice. Kinesthetic learners can appear slow, because information is usually not presented in a style that suits their learning methods. Kinesthetic learners make around 5 percent of the population.”

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

Dioxins (and Learning Disabilities)

“dioxins: A group of some of the most toxic carcinogenic human-made chemicals in the world, which have been linked to developmental and learning disabilities. Exposure in childhood can cause lower IQ, result in withdrawn and depressed behavior, and increase hyperactivity and attention problems. Unborn children are even more acutely affected by exposure to dioxins because of the critical development that occurs during pregnancy, especially between the second and eighth week after conception.

Dioxin is the most harmful of all the chemicals in the dioxin group, and is produced by burning plastics containing chlorine, incinerating household waste, and bleaching chlorine paper. It was first used as the toxic chemical in the weapon Agent Orange during the Vietnam War. Although some dioxins are produced naturally as a result of forest fires, most appear in the environment as an industrial by-product.

Dioxins are found everywhere in the environment, introduced into the air from incinerators and smokestacks, where they eventually settle on the ground, in the water, and on the food that livestock eat. Because dioxins do not decompose readily, they are stored in livestock fatty tissue. About 95 percent of human dioxin exposure occurs by eating traces in in meat, dairy products, and fish.

Children are at higher risk for both ingesting dioxins and being harmed because their diets usually have a higher concentration of animal fat in the form of dairy products.”

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

Grand Style

“Grand Style: (grand manner) The representation of the human figure in elevated themes or noble settings. Tern used to describe the artistic ideal of the High Renaissance that was promoted in the academies.”

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