Please Explain This Phenomenon

Posted on September 15, 2011Filed Under grammar, Schoolhouse Rock, Seventh Grade Behavior | 1 Comment

 

Update: The standing girl from yesterday finished day two today. She mixed it up a bit with some one foot for about ten minutes here and there. She said she doesn’t do it in other classes. Hmmm. Clue one. She said she will do it again tomorrow.  Inspired another kid in that class to stand. He only lasted about 25 minutes.

We’re working on verbs now. We have watched “Verb! That’s What’s Happening” at least four times…

(Aside: When I was a high school wrestler back in the 70’s, our assistant coach was a body builder. He was runner up Mr. California–he lost to our former governor out here in California–but he did win Best Arms. Needless to say, he mocked all of us mercilessly if we couldn’t lift a stack of weights taller than he was. But  I filled the 90 pound spot on the team, and could actually benchpress my weight…which was some sort of line for him. So I got mocked a bit less. Unless I took off my shirt. But every time he competed, we got our revenge. He would spend the week before a competition buffing up and ripping as he called it. By the time he was ready to leave for the meet, he literally couldn’t touch his head. There was a lot of, “Hey Coach, you got a spider on your head!” We couldn’t work him about his hair being messed up because he kept it almost shaved for just that reason, but still.  Every time I watch the Verbs video, I am reminded of him. )

…We watched Mr. Morton at least as many times. And we’ve practiced. So yesterday, I’m giving them a little pretesty thing, right after we watched both videos back to back. Before the first question rolls on the clicker screen, I ask the class,

“What’s another name for the main verb in a sentence?””

Lots of hands I call on one.

“The predicate!”

“Eggggscellent! Did all of you hear that? It’s called the…?”

“Predicate!” Yeah!

So now question number two is:

2. The word ________ is another name for the main ________ in a sentence.  a) subject/verb  b) predicate/adjective  c) noun/verb  d) predicate/verb  e) noun/predicate

Rapid, excited clicking. We KNOW this one!

54% correct.

OK. So. I stop before number three flashes up.

“Didn’t you all hear Janice? Didn’t we all repeat the answer about one minute ago?”

Sheepish nods. All I can do is beat my head on the podium. They look worried.

We stumble through number three and four (57% and 60%), and get to number five which I put in as sort of a joke.

“Ok, we’re going to test your short-term memory with this next one.”

5. The main verb in a sentence is called…   a) the action  b) the large and in charge verb  c) Mr. Morton  d) linking verb  e) NOTA

Lots of laughter, nudging and I-wonder-which-bonehead-will-get-this-one-wrong’s.

48% Two fewer kids got it right. Four actually picked large and in charge. Three picked Mr. Morton.

I kind of went off. They didn’t know whether to laugh or cry. Some might have done both.

So today I reran the questions and slapped detention on anyone who got either one wrong.

I have 22 guests for break tomorrow. That’s an average of almost five per class.

I’ll bet if I ask them what the main verb in a sentence is called, they will all answer predicate.

Discuss this phenomenon at your table groups and then report out.

Comments

One Response to “Please Explain This Phenomenon”

  1. Meg on September 18th, 2011 6:18 pm

    It must be a Junior High thing because that happens to me ALL the time on quizzes and tests with my kiddos. They’re probably out cruising the cosmos when the question comes up. 😉

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