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Chapter 21. Popular English Usage in Texas, or How You're S’posed to Talk

Edited by Kenneth L. Untiedt University of North Texas Press PDF


exas has a lot of colorful expressions in its everyday language, and it had many more a generation or two ago.

When the folk don’t have the nuances of expression provided by a full, “proper” vocabulary, they make up words and expressions in an effort to convey precisely what they mean. The language of the common people is magnificent in its intricacies and texture. Its phrases and proverbs are often much more revealing, vivid, and colorful than so-called proper English usage.

Texans reputedly exaggerate. However, in truth, the soul of western humor is understatement. But, then, we’re not apt to call a five-acre homesite a ranch, either.

In the late 1970s, Larry L. King made his fortune by writing a musical comedy about the best little “chicken ranch” in La

Grange, Texas. At about the same time, country disco became a popular mania. Suddenly, the rest of the country reappraised the

Lone Star State, and Texas became the gleam in the eye of the Big

Apple. Almost overnight the Northeast decided that we were no longer “chicken——.”

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Chapter 1

Schimmer, Tom Solution Tree Press PDF



Learning in Action

The past 20 years have seen an accelerating growth in studies of formative assessment. However, this has not been matched by a corresponding development in summative assessment.

The net effect has been that the changes have not improved the state of discord between these two functions.

—Paul Black


move to standards-based learning requires some fundamental and significant shifts in how teachers organize, execute, and assess their students.

After they have identified the standards, it becomes clearer to teachers what they should teach and assess—and what they should not. Most teachers would have to go out of their way to avoid covering the mandated standards by topic; however, the existence of standards doesn’t always equate to teaching to standards. Standardsbased learning is anchored on a teacher’s commitment to designing instructional experiences and assessment that make proficiency against standards (not the accumulation of points) the priority outcome.

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Medium 9781935543091

Collective Inquiry

Campbell, Martha F Solution Tree Press ePub

Think about all the questions a teacher must consider when preparing a unit of instruction. Some of those questions include:

• What knowledge, skills, and dispositions must students acquire as a result of this unit?

• What instructional strategies will be most effective in helping all students acquire the intended outcomes?

• What is the best way to sequence the content?

• How should I pace instruction?

• How can I gather evidence of student learning as I am teaching?

• What is the best way to assess student learning at the end of the unit?

• What criteria will I use to judge the quality of student work?

• What can I do to provide additional time and support for students who are struggling?

• What can I do to enrich and extend the learning for students who are proficient?

If educators address these questions in isolation, students in the same course or grade level are subject to very different experiences. In a professional learning community, educators address these and other questions collectively because collective inquiry is a better way to promote both effectiveness and equity.

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Chapter 12: Rule Breakers

Bailey, Kim Solution Tree Press ePub

Applying rules and patterns

Asking questions to challenge assumptions

Hypothetical reasoning

Sets of Rule Breakers cards

(see pages 265–282 and online reproducibles)

This game is based on a classic cognitive psychology and reasoning experiment designed by Peter C. Wason in 1966. In the experiment, a participant is shown four cards with a letter or a number on each (as shown in figure 12.1) and given a rule such as, “If a card has a vowel on one side, then it has an even number on the other side.”

Figure 12.1: Classic Wason task.

The participant is then asked to decide which cards he or she needs to flip over to determine whether the rule is untrue. Less than 10 percent of participants managed to choose the correct cards; most fell victim to confirmation bias and only selected cards that would confirm the rule (A and 4), rather than examples that could disprove it (A and 7).

Other versions of selection task experiments expanded on Wason’s original findings. Given more concrete descriptive situations and rules, like “If a person goes to Boston, then he takes the subway,” performance generally improved, but the rate of success still remained below 50 percent of subjects (Cosmides & Tooby, 1992). Further experiments by Leda Cosmides (1985, 1989) and others focused on social contract rules, like “If a person is drinking beer, then he is over 18,” and found a substantial increase in the rate of correct selections. These social contract problems cued participants to detect “cheaters”—instances of breaking a social contract rule in which a benefit is received (drinking beer) without having paid the requisite cost (being over 18). Interestingly, people’s intuitive reasoning led them to the correct answers most often when they were asked to detect “cheaters.”

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6 Scenario D: My Path to Juilliard

Laura Lefkowits Solution Tree Press ePub

In this scenario, the system of education has been reinvented, thanks to social networking tools, the economy and changes in consumer habits, and dissatisfaction with traditional K–12 education all culminating in an emerging grassroots revamping of education. Just as Web-based commerce caters to everyone’s needs, in this world, parents, students, and society in general have decided that the outcomes of learning should be differentiated according to every child’s individual needs and learning goals. Open-source curricula and social networking sites, such as Facebook, Twitter, and Ning, have made it easy for parents and students to form online communities of like-minded people who come together to shape their own educational experiences.

The main character of this scenario is Shana Ling, an eighteen-year-old who has completed an online course of study that has prepared her to enroll in Juilliard’s dance academy. The entire scenario is presented as a speech delivered by Shana for a special occasion on the White House lawn.

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