Category Archives: Teaching

7/16/2018 Listening

Click here for today’s (Monday’s) Video Journal (due Tuesday).

Click here for this week’s listening homework (due Thursday).


7/10/2018 Lesson

Review: Commas

Part I: Put commas where they belong. Note: A few of these sentences do not need commas.

1. They are having peas and carrots roast beef and cake for dinner.
2. Mr. Johnson my Spanish teacher says we have to learn how to use commas.
3. He says “Remember Doug use commas before and after you address someone directly.”
4. Randy said “Did you do the homework Angie?”
5. The teachers at Jefferson Academy work hard to teach the students.
6. Michelle painted the fence white blue and green.
7. We waited at the bus stop on Bedminister Park Avenue after church.
8. My father who is a doctor cares for the sick injured and disabled
9. One famous baseball player Barry Bonds won seven MVP awards.
10. “Don’t come there” said Terry.
11. Robert Louis Stevenson was a Scottish writer of novels poems and essays.
12. Now Mr. Bond we will saw you in half.
13. Johnny said “Stop talking to me Jose.”
14. Chicago the largest city in the Midwest is the home of the skyscraper blues and deep-dish pizza.
15. No Ted I don’t want to go with Rodrigo.
16. Adam said “But they keep picking on me Seti.”
17. Maryam my next-door neighbor has two daughters a stepson and a kitten.
18. That Thursday which also happens to be my birthday is the only day we can take the test.
19. Bobby who often cheats on his homework is really only harming himself.
20. Peyton Manning the quarterback for the team is having a bad year.

Part II: On a piece of paper, write three sentences for each of the following tasks:
1. Use commas to set of an interruption in the flow of the sentence.
2. Use commas before and/or after directly addressing someone.
3. Use commas to separate three or more items in a series.
4. Use commas before or after a quotation.

Part III: The Mystery of Easter Island – Put commas and periods where they belong. (Sentences from A Short History of Progress, by Ronald Wright)

1. The greatest wonder of the ancient world is how recent it all is for no city or monument is much more than 5000 years old
2. Even today some believe that the wonders of the ancient world were built by Atlanteans gods or space travelers instead of by thousands toiling in the sun
3. The great mystery of Easter Island that struck all early visitors was not just that these colossal statues stood in such a tiny and remote corner of the world but that the stones seemed to have been set down from the sky
4. We now know the answer to the riddle and it is a chilling one
5. No natural disaster eruption drought or disease had ravaged Easter Island the catastrophe was man
6. Like Polynesians on some other islands each clan began to honor its ancestry with impressive stone images
7. As time went on the statue building became increasingly rivalrous and extravagant
8. Each generation of images grew bigger than the last and required more timber rope and manpower
9. Trees were cut faster than they could grow and the settler’s rats ate the tree seeds and saplings
10. For a generation or so there was enough old lumber to keep a few canoes sea worthy
11. Wars broke out over ancient planks and worm eaten bits of driftwood they ate all their dogs
12. If there was no wood then there could be no statues no boats no seafood and no escape

adapted from Ereading Worksheets

Exam: Money Tree

Click here for the recording.

7/09/2018 Lesson

Morning Students:

Works Cited: You will need the handout on this topic from Week One. Note:

  • Last name, then comma, then first name, then period. If there are more than two writers, provide one name and then add the Latin expression “et al.”
  • The list must be in alphabetical order.
  • Put quotation marks around the title of the article.
  • Pay close attention to the way the date is written.
  • Pay close attention to the punctuation.
  • Include the article’s URL if it’s an online story.

Essay content: You have been given two sample essays. Now, follow these instructions:

  1. Draw a star on top of the sentence that shows the writer’s direct answer.
  2. Underline the writer’s reasons that he/she believes his/her answer is true.
  3. Highlight everything that should be considered evidence.
  4. Circle any sentences that include opposing views.
  5. Draw a rectangle around any transitional words or phrases.

Life: Yes, people DO want you to fail… Part 2

Back in June, I had mentioned some interactions with people in the past – people who, essentially, wanted me to fail. It’s unfortunate, but that’s just how some people are. You just have to accept that fact and deal with it.

Today, here’s a sequel. This can also be titled “Reason No. 3,252 Why I Don’t Like Teachers” – but the title above is fitting.

Anyway, here’s some background. This was some time ago. Knowing how passionate and dedicated I was in my classes, the director at the private college called me in for a meeting one afternoon.

She told me something along these lines: “Look, you’re amazing and you really care for our students – it’s obvious… I would like you to continue doing what you’re doing – but at the same time, I would like you to learn how to teach other courses so that you can be No. 2 behind [the principal, who’s also the No. 1 instructor in the school].”

The director mentioned that principal/No. 1 instructor – essentially the head teacher – by name, but for the purposes of this post I will not name any names, so that’s why I put that part in brackets.

Okay, I took her words to heart, and several days later I approached the principal/No. 1 instructor to inquire about one of the courses he was teaching. I explained the conversation I had with the director, and I expressed interest in knowing more about one particular course he was teaching.

His response? “Well, this reminds me of the time a former student thought that by watching eight hours of tennis, he was going to become a Wimbledon pro.”

All right – obviously, there was some lack of communication on the part of the director and the principal/No. 1 instructor. There was no professional development available at this college, but since the director told me, face to face, to learn how to teach additional courses – to be No. 2 behind the principal… who better to consult than the principal himself?

I mean, perhaps the two of them did not talk this over – but I wasn’t privy to the communications they had. That really was none of my business. I merely was trying to follow up because of what the director told me. I waited several days before approaching the principal. And hey, since his title was “principal,” you would think he would perform the responsibilities that came with that title?

Getting back to that conversation, I laughed it off and responded that he wasn’t really comparing me to a student he didn’t like, was he? I didn’t feel the analogy fit in that situation. I even offered to sit in and observe some of his classes if that might be better.

All he did was scoff and continue to be rude, refusing to take back his comment about the tennis-watching student. I mean, just another example of a fellow instructor not wanting to help out to make the college be more efficient.

…and an example of how people simply would rather you fail.