Monday, February 28, 2011
Their Eyes Were Watching God
Uncle Tom’s Cabin
Death of a Salesman
The Glass Menagerie
Jonah’s Gourd Vine
A Clergyman’s Daughter
The Creation of the World and other Business
The Roman Spring of Mrs. Stone
Little Pussy Willow
The Admirable Crichton
Last Week's Answers
Which famous literary character was based on an Augustinian monk named Alonso Quizado?
How many punctuation marks exist in English?
Fourteen: Period, comma, colon, semicolon, dash, hyphen, apostrophe, question mark, exclamation point, quotation mark, brackets, parenthesis, braces, and ellipses.
While most fans pronounce his last name rhyming with the word “juice,” how did Dr. Seuss pronounce his own name?
Seuss pronounced his name so that it rhymed with "rejoice."
Which author, made famous by his rags to riches tales, died completely broke despite his books’ wild success?
Horatio Alger, the man whose name symbolized success, did not profit at all from his books.
Who is the only person ever to decline a Pulitzer Prize for fiction?
Sinclair Lewis for his book Arrowsmith.
Wednesday, February 23, 2011
Grammar Quiz #14 — Picnic and Passive Voice
Sentences that use active voice are generally clearer and more concise than sentences that use passive voice. With active voice, the subject of the sentence performs the action of the verb, rather than receiving it.
Rewrite the paragraph below so that all the sentences are in active voice.
The family members planning to attend the Fogarty family reunion were notified at the last minute by Aunt Amelia that they should not come. The fruit salad had been nibbled on by squirrels, and the potato chips had been soaked by a sprinkler accidentally turned on by Uncle Orville. Worse, the picnic table had been set on fire by little Orville, Jr., when a spark caught on the paper tablecloth. The flames had been noticed by the neighbors, and the fire department had been called. Aunt Amelia’s mood had not been improved when a lecture was given to her and Uncle Orville about the importance of teaching children not to play with matches.
View a possible revision here.
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"A clear, concise selection of rhetorical terms that are foundational to the study of rhetoric that is well thought out, attractively presented, and extremely easy to use as an introductory set of lessons, a method of clarification and illustration, and a great review device as well."
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- Janice Mullan
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- Leticia Geldart
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- Sara Zeek
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- Luis Garza
Tuesday, February 22, 2011
- Which famous literary character was based on an Augustinian monk named Alonso Quizado?
- How many punctuation marks exist in English?
- While most fans pronounce his last name rhyming with the word “juice,” how did Dr. Seuss pronounce his own name?
- Which author, made famous by his rags to riches tales, died completely broke despite his books’ wild success?
- Who is the only person ever to decline a Pulitzer Prize for fiction?
Last Week's Answers
- Tristan and Isolde (Any set of even-older-than-King-Arthur tales)
- Lancelot and Guinevere (Any set of King Arthur tales)
- Philip Pirrip and Estella Havisham (Charles Dickens, Great Expectations)
- James Gatz and Daisy Fay (F. Scott Fitzgerald, The Great Gatsby)
- Troilus and Criseyde (Chaucer, Troilus and Criseyde, Shakespeare, Troilus and Cressida)
- Jude Fawley and Susanna Bridehead (Thomas Hardy, Jude the Obscure)
- Robert Lebrun and Edna Pontellier (Kate Chopin, The Awakening)
- Maurice Hall and Alec Scudder (E. M. Forster, Maurice)
- Maurice Bendrix and Sarah Miles (Graham Green, The End of the Affair)
- George and Ellen Weatherall (Katherine Ann Porter, “The Jilting of Granny Weatherall)
- Tea Cake and Janie Crawford (Zora Neale Hurston, Their Eyes Were Watching God)
- Narcissus and Echo
- Pedro Muzquiz and Josefita De La Garza (Laura Esquivel, Like Water for Chocolate)
- Popocatépetl and Iztaccíhuatl (Aztec Myth)
Thursday, February 17, 2011
Do you love The Great Gatsby and old timey (I’m talking clunky early 80’s style) video games? If so, check out this oddity.
It is a video game based on The Great Gatsby in which you, as Nick Carraway, search for gold that Gatsby has stashed around New York City. Be careful, though, because innumerable flappers and waiters with trays of drinks will try to prevent you from reaching the boat dock and the ultimate payoff: the realization that the green light across the bay represents a future that is a mirage which year-by-year recedes before us.
A note of caution: Share this site with students at your own risk. They may make the faulty assumption that the video game keeps to the plot of the book, or more likely, the even faultier assumption that F. Scott Fitzgerald started out in life as a video game programmer.
Wednesday, February 16, 2011
Grammar Quiz #13 — Apostrophes and Motherhood
Correct the following:
Charla didn't know what to do, her twin's birthday fell on the same day as her weekly night out with her girlfriends'. She hesitated but decided the twin's would understand that she needed time for herself. After all they were soon going to be four year's old.
Tuesday, February 15, 2011
Match each literary character below with his star-crossed lover:
Lancelot, Tristan, Pedro Muzquiz, Popocatépetl, Troilus, James Gatz, Maurice Bendrix, George, Tea Cake, Jude Fawley, Narcissus, Philip Pirrip, Robert Lebrun, Maurice Hall
- Isolde (Any set of even-older-than-King-Arthur tales)
- Guinevere (Any set of King Arthur tales)
- Estella Havisham (Charles Dickens, Great Expectations)
- Daisy Fay (F. Scott Fitzgerald, The Great Gatsby)
- Criseyde (Chaucer, Troilus and Criseyde, Shakespeare, Troilus and Cressida)
- Susanna Bridehead (Thomas Hardy, Jude the Obscure)
- Edna Pontellier (Kate Chopin, The Awakening)
- Alec Scudder (E. M. Forster, Maurice)
- Sarah Miles (Graham Green, The End of the Affair)
- Ellen Weatherall (Katherine Ann Porter, “The Jilting of Granny Weatherall")
- Janie Crawford (Zora Neale Hurston, Their Eyes Were Watching God)
- Josefita De La Garza (Laura Esquivel, Like Water for Chocolate)
- Iztaccíhuatl (Aztec Myth)
What are the four things that Ernest Hemingway once wrote that a man must do to demonstrate his manhood?
Plant a tree, fight a bull, write a book, and have a son.
Where did mystery writer Agatha Christie acquire her extensive knowledge of poisons?
Christie worked in a hospital dispensary during World War I
What famous writer made the first written reference to tennis in English literature?
In 1380, Geoffery Chaucer wrote of "playen racket to and fro " in Troilus and Criseyde.
Where does the book Tender is the Night by F. Scott Fitzgerald get its name?
The title comes from Keats' poem “Ode to a Nightingale.”
Which British poet had an “M” for “murderer” branded on his left thumb?
Ben Jonson was branded as part of his punishment for killing an actor in a duel in 1598.
Tuesday, February 8, 2011
Grammar Quiz #12 — Quotations and Love
Correct the following:
“Love is a many-splendored thing.” said Gordon on Valentine’s Day. “It is.” agreed Della. “My love is like a red, red rose that’s newly sprung in June.” said Gordon. “Okay.” said Della. “I love you to the depth and breadth and height my soul can reach.” said Gordon. “You must not love me enough to come up with something original to say.” said Della. “Love is patient and kind…it is not arrogant or rude.” said Gordon, frowning at her. Della sighed. Then she whacked him with her box of chocolates, and left.
Monday, February 7, 2011
- What are the four things that Ernest Hemingway once wrote that a man must do to demonstrate his manhood?
- Where did mystery writer Agatha Christie acquire her extensive knowledge of poisons?
- What famous writer made the first written reference to tennis in English literature?
- Where does the book Tender is the Night by F. Scott Fitzgerald get its name?
- Which British poet had an “M” for “murderer” branded on his left thumb?
Last Week's Answer
Which American writer worked as an entertainer aboard a Swedish ocean liner cruising the Caribbean before being drafted to serve in World War II?
J. D. Salinger.
To whom did Helen Keller dedicate her autobiography, The Story of My Life?
She dedicated her book to inventor Alexander Graham Bell, who helped direct her education and considered himself, first and foremost, a teacher of the deaf.
What name did Oscar Wilde use during the last three years of his life in France?
Who was the first writer to incorporate himself?
Edgar Rice Burroughs incorporated Tarzan in 1923.
Which American poet was a West Point cadet and was forced to leave after failing arithmetic and grammar after approximately two weeks?
Thursday, February 3, 2011
Grammar Quiz #11 — Commas and Vampires
Correct the following:
Well Diana tried to read Twilight but when she found herself counting how many times some form of the word “smolder” occured on each page she gave up. "The Twilight saga's translation rights have been sold in nearly 50 countries, and 116 million copies have been sold worldwide." It may have a lot of fans, but she is not one of them. Maybe she's just not a Vampire kinda person.
Wednesday, February 2, 2011
I’m a little behind in my blog reading (and it’s only February!), so I was happily grateful when my colleague, the Blog-mistress herself, Annie Rizzuto, sent me the link to the most recent posting on Dana Huff’s Huffenglish.com. The e-mail in which Annie sent me the link read: “This reminded me of you ... and LOU”
“You and Lou” kind of sounds like the title of a Crosby, Stills, Nash, and Young song … some guy lamenting the loss of the girl who dumped him or the hound dog that died or something like that.
You can read Ms. Huff’s post for yourself here.
What she’s done is a good idea—not the kind of “good idea” that’s never been done before, but the kind of good idea that, when you think of it and are not aware that anyone else has ever done it, it is certainly worth telling others about. The kind of good idea that should be common practice, almost “old-school.”
It’s a good idea.
I’ve served in the education profession in one capacity or another for over thirty years. One of the few common threads that connect all of those capacities has been the push for “higher order thinking skills,” or whatever they happened to be called in whatever phase of educational reform we happened to be in at the time.
Of course good old Benjamin Bloom and his famous taxonomy came up a lot in the conversation.
Bloom is a lot like the weather: Everyone talks about him, but no one does anything about him.
By and large, year after year, state and district curricula, and the textbooks they inform, hover safely close to the comprehension, knowing, identifying levels and very rarely venture into the domains of analysis, synthesis, and evaluation.
Well, kids have always gotten a lot of Reader Response, and there are those people out there who think “What would you do if you were in Sydney Carton’s position?” is an Evaluation question … but, basically, we rarely get the kids thinking or reacting beyond, “What striking similarity does Sydney Carton notice between himself and the defendant, Charles Darnay?”
Ms. Huff’s assessment is spot on, as are the activities and assessments of the teachers who responded to her post.
My only concern is that the application of concepts like Bloom’s Taxonomy and HOTS (anyone out there old enough to remember that acronym?) should not be hit-and-miss—one or two teachers get a good idea, and a handful of students gets quality education—they should be institutionalized, actually embedded in the curriculum and in the materials all of the teachers and students use.
Ms. Huff should not be on her own to figure out how to apply Bloom in her teaching. And, while having her kids write their own assessments is an excellent activity, she’s certainly not going to want her kids to make up every assessment from now on—but neither should she have to spend untold hours poring over the texts available to her as she adapts her materials to address real thinking and reasoning, and responses beyond There are three metaphors and one personification in Act V, scene i of Macbeth.
That’s where Levels of Understanding comes in.
When Annie said Ms. Huff’s post reminded her of me [sic] and LOU, she wasn’t really talking about a former girlfriend or dead hound dog. She was talking about Prestwick House’s newest and most exciting product: Levels of Understanding: Using Bloom’s Taxonomy to Explore Literature.
Coincidentally enough, the prototype LoU (get it? Levels of Understanding?) we developed was on Macbeth. (Great minds really do think alike.)
In a nutshell, Levels of Understanding is a reproducible produce, not unlike our Teaching Units, Advanced Placement Teaching Units, and Multiple Critical Perspectives guides. The key difference is that the chapter-by-chapter (or scene-by-scene) study guide provides questions explicitly identified as Comprehension, Reader Response (our interpretation of Bloom’s “application”), Analysis, Synthesis, and Evaluation. There’s a lot of scaffolding among the domains, so that the realizations we hope the kids will make in response to an Evaluation question do not simply come out of thin air but are suggested in some of the lower domain questions.
Each Levels of Understanding guide also provides writing prompts.
The line was just released in January 2011 and has already received a few glowing reports and requests for new titles to be added to the line.
So far, we offer Macbeth, To Kill a Mockingbird, Their Eyes Were Watching God, and Lord of the Flies. The Great Gatsby, Frankenstein, and Animal Farm will be available as soon as I get the requested revisions from the writers. Night is also in the works.
Ms. Huff and her commenters are absolutely right when they note that, like the weather, everyone talks about Bloom
And they’re doing a good thing by putting Bloom’s words and ideas directly into their kids’ hands. Levels of Understanding is simply Prestwick House’s attempt to help these, and all the other excellent teachers out there, make Bloom more an everyday staple than a special holiday treat.
Tuesday, February 1, 2011
Prestwick House is currently looking for someone to join our catalogue and web-marketing efforts, so if you know of anyone with catalogue and direct mail marketing experience, please send them this announcement. We are located in Smyrna, Delaware.
(And by the way, you might want to mention that Prestwick House is a great company and a great place to work. We’ve made the Book Business Magazine’s list of the “Best Publishing Companies to Work For” three of the past four years.)
Marketing Production Coordinator
About Us: Established in 1983, Prestwick House is one of the country's premier educational publishers with over 2,500 books in print and customers in every US state and territory.
We are dedicated to helping teachers of all levels of English and language arts be the absolute best they can be; we offer a tremendous range of products, from award-winning annotated adaptations, to the widest variety of title-specific teaching guides available anywhere. Our line of paperback books—Literary Touchstone Classics—is second to none in quality, thoroughness, and price.
About the Position: The Marketing Production Coordinator is responsible for coordinating the execution of marketing projects throughout the company, with a strong focus on catalog production and analysis.
The primary role is to ensure the profitable execution and delivery of catalogs by coordinating with the Marketing Copywriter, Art Department, and outside vendors to develop at least eight catalog titles per year, as well as a variety of other pieces of marketing collateral. This position is accountable for tracking the effectiveness of promotions, offers, and improving the profitability of marketing operations.
- Work with the Art Department, Marketing Copy Writer, and Database Specialist to create catalogs that reach sales and profitability goals.
- Work with Art Department and Copy Writer to help direct catalog improvement processes, including copy re-writes, new offers, art redesigns, etc., through analysis of catalog results and best practices.
- Establish and manage production schedules and maintain catalog budgets.
- Develop and work from provided reports to improve the profitability of marketing ventures.
- Work with departments to streamline the production process and improve the efficiency of the catalog creation process.
- Work with Database Specialist to identify key market segments, design ways to target and improve sales to key customer groups.
- Develop reports to track and manage catalog improvements and promotion/offer efficacy.
- Work with vendors to obtain cost-effective service for catalog printing.
- Act as the primary point of contact with print vendors, ensuring print process runs smoothly from bids through printing, delivery, and invoicing.
- Coordinate the proofreading of catalogs with the art and creative staff.
- Manage promotions across multiple channels including print ads, catalogs, and online.
- BA in Marketing, Business, or Related Field
- 3-5 Years in Catalog Marketing
- Strong Understanding of the Fundamentals of Direct Mail Financials
- Ability to envision, plan, and execute projects across job functions.
- Good math skills.
- Goal oriented.
- High attention to detail.
- Good verbal and written communication skills.
- Strong work ethic and positive attitude.
- Ability to work well with others in a team environment.
- Technical Skills: Proficient in MS Excel and the Office Suite, Basic Database Proficiency (SQL Preferred), SAP B1 or similar ERP Solutions, SAS
To apply, please send your resume and a list of references to Jason Scott at email@example.com.