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Odds and Ends

February 19, 2011

Yesterday in writing class, we were working on fragments. In the exercise, there was a sentence using the verb agree. A Spanish as a first language student said the sentence did not have a verb and wanted to put is in the sentence. As he explained his thinking, I suddenly realized why I had seen the construction of a BE verb with agree/disagree in student paragraphs. I told the class I finally understood what was going on. We went on to discuss the difference between the two languages in the use of agree. In Spanish, agree is not a verb, so the inclination is to use a linking verb with it. We also talked about the lack of a subject after because in a complex sentence with a because clause at the end of the sentence as in:

Dolores talks a lot because is nervous.

After class, a graduate student who observes my classes some this semester explained about agree since she speaks Spanish and confirmed what I learned in class from the student. She explained it more clearly than I was working it out in my mind.

I use bubbl.us with my intermediate reading class. I made a diagram in class from the example paragraph. It looks like this:

Next, I gave the students an assignment to diagram the major and minor details of some paragraphs from the textbook exercise. They consistently do well with the exercises. We ran into a couple of problems. First, some students had problems downloading and attaching files, which we cleared up in class by running through how to do it again. The second problem is that as bubbl.us has upgraded its site, it has limited the number of diagrams that can be saved. This is not a real problem because a person can export the diagram and need not save the diagram on the site. The advantages of this site are that it is easy to learn how to use and produces a nice diagram. It is perfect for my use. I occasionally look at other sites that do more, but these sites require more time to learn and don’t handle long sentences as well as bubbl.us.

Finally, last night i ordered an IPEVO Point 2 View USB Document Camera.

I have read several reviews of it and look forward to trying it out. If it works as I hope it does, it will save me time spent on scanning in parts of textbooks and copying parts of textbooks for use in class. I have also been checking out sites like this LiveBinder one devoted to document cameras.

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