Are these in your Google Docs universe?

In a clever post from the Google for Work Official Blog, Looking back at Marie Curie’s radical discovery: How the Mother of Modern Physics might have used Google Apps, "we imagine how Marie Curie’s discovery of radioactivity, which won a Nobel Prize and revolutionized modern cancer treatment, might have played out in a Google Apps universe."  I encourage you to follow the link, and read the post. Most of us are aware of the Google Chrome extensions and add-ons: did you know that ...

Three-and-a-half Tips Using Google Docs

I want to pass on a few "tips and tricks" I've read recently for using Google docs. The first comes from Jarod Bormann: How to force "make a copy" when sharing a Google doc.  Jarod wrote "Sharing a doc link and asking a group to Make a Copy inevitably would lead to mass confusion. Most would be able to follow File > Make a Copy without any problems. But there are the handful that begin making changes on my original and therefore ...

The Crazed Semi-Colon

Of late I've noticed a huge increase in the presence of semi-colons in IB assessment. Here's a little simple advice. First, semi-colons (;) are good.  Second, you should use them.  Third, you should learn how to use them correctly. They are not good for every uncertain punctuation moment in your writing. You need to know when and and when not to use them, and there seem to be a lot of IB students in the last category, sprinkling them liberally wherever. You ...

First aid for your writing

By Saturday, September 27, 2014 0

All of us have trouble at times introducing some variation into our writing. All of us tend to use the same verbs over and over again. All of us need to refresh our prose style and introducing some variation in our verbs. Here is a list one of my students passed on to me, and I pass it on to you. Do note that 'imply' and 'infer" appear on the list and this is a big stone in the road that many students trip ...

Please, please write!

By Tuesday, June 17, 2014 0

No, this message is not a letter or a text or a phone call from your parents.  Writing makes you a better writer.  Just as reading (anything, virtually) makes you a better reader, writing helps you overcome one of the great hurdles of education.  People in general don't write very well or in very interesting ways.  Write a lot, write everyday!  I'd have to say that almost every student I've taught in the IB said, when asked, 'what are you ...

A rich and edgy resource for Part 4 Options: the sandbox

Possibly something you have already encountered, but http://www.react-hub.org.uk/books-and-print-sandbox/commissions/2013 has some wonderful resources that blur the edges of what books and reading have always been and provide some great ideas for getting students engaged with creative projects.  In particular Option 1 in Part 4 of the Literature course can certainly be interpreted to accommodate ideas like these. We all need to be thinking outside the box as much as the IB programs permit, lest our students leave us in the dust...or sand.

Simple but hard: spelling two crucial words

By Monday, November 18, 2013 , , 0

As I read examination papers from the November session,  I see, that as always, students seem perennially challenged by  spelling two important literary terms: RHYTHM and RHYME.  I was curious to see if anyone on the web had come up with some mnemonic (memory) devices for these two troublemakers.  And I found one for rhythm: "Rhythm makes your two hips move."  No question that's it's not dynamite, but it would probably work.  For rhyme, I didn't locate one, and maybe someone ...

First aid for your critical writing

First Aid for Writing: Band-aid Verbs All of us who have to produce critical writing about literature, as you do in your three written assessments, tend to fall into dull and repetitious use of verbs. Here are 10 verbs that you might add to your critical vocabulary to improve your style.  This kind of work can really lead to an better mark in the criterion that evaluates the way you express yourself -- to say nothing of how far it will put ...