kitchen table math, the sequel: 11/11/12 - 11/18/12

Friday, November 16, 2012

cleft sentences

I was talking to Katharine today about teaching writing. I've been focusing on sentence combining, specifically on teaching students to write the kinds of embedded and heavily "noun-modified" sentences you see in academic writing.

Katharine said she thinks students need to learn not just how to 'combine' and 'embed' but also how to manipulate word order via cleft sentences, "anticipatory its," passive voice and the like.

So tonight I've been tracking cleft sentence handouts....

This one looks good.

English teachers need to study linguistics. I'm playing catch-up, and I hadn't made a conscious distinction, inside my own mind, between "embedding" versus "word order" as different ways of persuading sentences to do what you want them to do.

If you haven't made a distinction consciously, you can't use it to decide what to teach.

Tuesday, November 13, 2012

that was quick

Finally emerging from Hurricane Sandy discombobulation to discover that Poof: the semester is gone. I have just four classes left to teach (the rest being committed to in-class papers & the exit exam).


So where were we?

While I'm figuring that out, here are my current off-topic preoccupations, in case anyone has info and/or reading recommendations:

How do power grids work? (Allison posted some links on decrepit infrastructure, I think.)

What is a hurricane? What is a Nor'easter? What is a midlatitude trough? (And do other places have hurricanes followed immediately by 6 inches of snow?)

How long can you store gasoline?

Generator or inverter, or generator and inverter?

Does my fireplace produce a net loss in heat? (Do all fireplaces produce a net loss in heat? Does it matter?)

What I Saved from the Flood 

What is an IP address, anyway, and how does the FBI find out what your is if they really want to know? Also, what is metadata?

Monday, November 12, 2012

the power

Since our power came back on (8 days without), Ed and I are both loving our light switches!

I've been walking around the house turning lights on just because I can.