A useful group of recommended activities, with examples and documents, to assist educators in establishing positive...

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CLASSROOM COMMUNITY BUILDERS

ACTIVITIES FOR THE FIRST DAY AND BEYOND

A collection of exercises seeks to help teachers create a strong and supportive classroom atmosphere.

In this education book, Burns (On the Board, 2017, etc.) provides direction for instructors looking to mold a healthy learning environment in the first days of a new class. The activities are intended as icebreakers and introductions to the teacher and classmates, but are also designed to furnish educational value while building the personal bonds that are an important component of the learning process. Each exercise features guidance as to how long it should take, what materials are needed, and what skills students will be employing over the course of the lesson. The strategies are flexible, presented in the context of an English as a second language classroom, but can easily be adapted to other subjects and used with either adult or child students. Some of the lessons (syllabus scavenger hunt, study habit true and false) focus more on setting expectations for the classroom, while others allow students to get acquainted with one another (fun fact memory chain, identity circles) or begin small group work (sorting line, pyramid discussion). Burns reminds teachers that these exercises allow them to learn from their students as well (“If you start using some of those phrases in their native language, students will see that you view them as complex human beings with an identity and culture outside of the classroom”). The book delivers plenty of advice for teachers aiming to implement these tactics in the classroom and includes many sample handouts. With solid pedagogical explanations for the exercises rendered in these pages, Burns offers a worthy professional tool for fellow teachers and supplies insights based on experience (“Even if your class is supposed to be at the same level, they may have different competences in the language needed for this activity”), demonstrating the theoretical and practical concepts addressed in the text.

A useful group of recommended activities, with examples and documents, to assist educators in establishing positive classroom dynamics.

Pub Date: July 18, 2017

ISBN: 978-0-9977628-7-7

Page Count: 170

Publisher: Alphabet Publishing

Review Posted Online: Aug. 8, 2017

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Stricter than, say, Bergen Evans or W3 ("disinterested" means impartial — period), Strunk is in the last analysis...

THE ELEMENTS OF STYLE

50TH ANNIVERSARY EDITION

Privately published by Strunk of Cornell in 1918 and revised by his student E. B. White in 1959, that "little book" is back again with more White updatings.

Stricter than, say, Bergen Evans or W3 ("disinterested" means impartial — period), Strunk is in the last analysis (whoops — "A bankrupt expression") a unique guide (which means "without like or equal").

Pub Date: May 15, 1972

ISBN: 0205632645

Page Count: 105

Publisher: Macmillan

Review Posted Online: Oct. 28, 2011

Kirkus Reviews Issue: May 1, 1972

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Analyzing his craft, a careful craftsman urges with Thoreauvian conviction that writers should simplify, simplify, simplify.

SEVERAL SHORT SENTENCES ABOUT WRITING

New York Times columnist and editorial board member delivers a slim book for aspiring writers, offering saws and sense, wisdom and waggery, biases and biting sarcasm.

Klinkenborg (Timothy; or, Notes of an Abject Reptile, 2006), who’s taught for decades, endeavors to keep things simple in his prose, and he urges other writers to do the same. (Note: He despises abuses of the word as, as he continually reminds readers.) In the early sections, the author ignores traditional paragraphing so that the text resembles a long free-verse poem. He urges readers to use short, clear sentences and to make sure each one is healthy before moving on; notes that it’s acceptable to start sentences with and and but; sees benefits in diagramming sentences; stresses that all writing is revision; periodically blasts the formulaic writing that many (most?) students learn in school; argues that knowing where you’re headed before you begin might be good for a vacation, but not for a piece of writing; and believes that writers must trust readers more, and trust themselves. Most of Klinkenborg’s advice is neither radical nor especially profound (“Turn to the poets. / Learn from them”), and the text suffers from a corrosive fallacy: that if his strategies work for him they will work for all. The final fifth of the text includes some passages from writers he admires (McPhee, Oates, Cheever) and some of his students’ awkward sentences, which he treats analytically but sometimes with a surprising sarcasm that veers near meanness. He includes examples of students’ dangling modifiers, malapropisms, errors of pronoun agreement, wordiness and other mistakes.

Analyzing his craft, a careful craftsman urges with Thoreauvian conviction that writers should simplify, simplify, simplify.

Pub Date: Aug. 7, 2012

ISBN: 978-0-307-26634-7

Page Count: 224

Publisher: Knopf

Review Posted Online: May 14, 2012

Kirkus Reviews Issue: June 15, 2012

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