Fractured English

It drives me bananas when someone decimates the English language, especially when it’s someone with a public address system microphone in their hand.
Today, it was a flight attendant on my trip to San Francisco who made poor Bill Shakespeare turn over in his grave.
We encountered a nasty, rough spot, the kind where the plane really shakes, rattles and rolls for a few minutes. The hapless flight attendant grabbed the microphone, stated the obvious, (we’re experiencing some turbulence and the captain has turned on the seatbelt sign), and watched as a large number of passengers completely ignored him. Poor guy! People remained standing in the aisles, chatting, waiting in line for the lavatory and otherwise blithely going on with their doings.
The young man grabbed the microphone again and warned the recalcitrants “if you choose to remain out of your seatbelt, you are in danger of liability”.
Yep. I swear it’s the truth. That is exactly what he said. I don’t know which was funnier, the looks of confusion and smirks on the faces of my husband and me, or the ensuing scramble as passengers responded to this dire threat and returned to their assigned places. Personally, I still haven’t figured out exactly what he meant.

Second Grade Poetry: Similes

Our second graders have been learning the art and skill of being a poet — for real. We’ve moved from the traditional activity based work of poetry into more transferable skills and strategies — writerly stuff that will transfer to other kinds of writing.
So, they worked with similes — Here was the strategy — and the example (you’ll see that we used our favorite highlighter tape to color code — this let us support our more fragile writers with color coded index cards to help them get a jump on using similes themselves — I’ll try to show you one of those as well).

The skill by strategy —-

The model of a simile —–

see the color coding — if you can’t read the highlighter strips, they tell what function of that part of the simile is.

And here’s the color coded anchor card that we left with a student to support the work.


Foldables for Literacy Workshops

One of my colleagues, Jen Drahos, recently attended the NCTM conference and had the opportunity to re-connect with Dinah Zike. We’ve loved Dinah’s work for years. The foldables concept for helping students organize, manage, and process information is top-notch. Simply summarized, foldables are a piece of regular old paper that is folded and cut to create a scaffold that acts as a graphic organizer. The folded piece can then be inserted into notebooks or left as a stand-alone piece of student support material.
I’ve found that foldables are very helpful for some of the more kinaesthetic learners who need the tactile input of manipulating the organizer in order to truly own the content material. It helps to keep the graphic organizer from becoming a “fill in the blank” worksheet with shapes instead of blanks.
Here are some of the foldables that Jen returned with (and one that I’ve used for a long, long time).