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Monday, July 24, 2006


Apathy has a overcome my students like the blob. I don't even have any Steve McQueens to save the town. I strongly suspect that today's blogs will overwhelmingly support my theory. I have ask the students what they have learned thus far and I strongly suspect that many of them will say nothing. I think that some of this may come from the fact that we are focusing more on reading skills than story content, but it could be that they just haven't learned anything.

We have been doing some 30 second mysteries to start off class. They are kind of ironically named because it usually take the class about 15 min. to finish them. The mysteries are usually about a paragraph long and involve deliberately misleading word choices. It plays on improper schema activation. The key to solving them is to eleminate the instinctual choice and go with a second or third guess. After solving the mystery we discuss which words activated the wrong schema. For example the mystery today used the phrase "downed seven drinks in three hours." This would lead most readers to believe that the person in question was imbibing alcohol. At the end of the paragraph we find out that his blood alcohol level was zero. Some students thought that the test was innacurate, but after a couple of clues we realize that the driver wrecked the care because he was under age not because he was intoxicated.

I'm hoping that learning is going on even if they don't realize it.

We have also been discussing how setting affects character. I am hoping that someone at least mentions that.

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