Summer reading: Ornell, ‘The Great Gypsy’


The Hempstead Public Schools summer reading list has

The Hempstead Public Schools summer reading list has more than 30 errors, including misspellings of ‘The Great Gatsby,’ David McCullough and Frederick Douglass.

George Ornell, Emily Bonte and F. Scott Fizgerald’s The Great Gypsy are on the error-riddled summer reading list of Hempstead Public Schools, reports Newsday. The Long Island newspaper found more than 30 mistakes, including misspellings of authors’ names and book titles.

The full reading list  is “coordinated according to the New York State Common Core Learning Standards by grade level,” the intro proclaims. The writer’s excessive fondness for commas also mars the writing.

I note that ninth and 10th graders are encouraged to read The Witch of Blackbird by Elizabeth George Apeare over the summer. I read The Witch of Blackbird Pond by Elizabeth George Speare in third or fourth grade. The School Library Journal says it’s written for grades 5 to 8.

Eleventh and 12th graders are urged to read the Declaration of Independence by R. Conrad Stein. You thought it was by Thomas Jefferson? This is a book about the Declaration written for kids in grades 3 to 5.

Spelling counts

Spelling counts in Jessica Lahey’s English classes because it ‘s going to count when her students apply to college or apply for jobs, she writes in The Atlantic.

She also insists middle-school girls wear skirts long enough to cover their underwear.

I absolutely agree that we should not be judging girls on the length of their skirts any more than we judge them on their ability to discern “affect” from “effect,” but we do. In order to get through the door at an interview or past the threshold of an application process, my students are going to have to meet a standard, and it’s part of my job to teach them about that standard.

. . . This is true even for students who struggle with spelling and grammar because of some glitch in their processing, a learning disability, or a simple lack of exposure to written language. Many of these weak spellers are lovely, intelligent people, and I would love to promise them that society will see past their flawed spelling, grammar, and diction to the ideas beneath. But I can’t.

“If I taught my students that they could go to a job interview wearing a bikini and wielding a wadded resume riddled with errors and still be respected for their brains and skills, I would not be doing them any favors,” Lahey concludes.

In my first job at a chain of suburban newspapers, I helped sort through a stack of applications to hire a new reporter.  In my second job, I helped find an assistant magazine editor. In both cases, we rejected every application that contained a spelling, punctuation or grammatical error. Only a few resumes and cover letters were error free. Those we read carefully.

2nd graders correct NFL players’ tweets

Second graders at Elmwood Franklin School in Buffalo “applied their lessons in proper sentence structure, noun and verb usage, spelling, and punctuation to correct the tweets of professional football players, posting their corrections on the school’s Facebook page. The most common mistake was the incorrect spelling of “a lot.”

The students corrected a tweet by San Francisco 49ers cornerback Chris Culliver, who made headlines this week for an anti-gay remark, reports the Daily Caller.  Students fixed the spelling in “I pray to God I’m never dieing broke,” though they didn’t translate it to standard English: “I pray to God that I don’t die broke.”

Second Graders Correct Tweets From NFL Players And It's Magical

Detroit Lions wide receiver Titus Young also drew the students’ attention by tweeting: “It’s true I could be alot better, But wit the football.”

New England Patriots wide receiver Wes Welker erred in a “Merry Christmas” message by adding: “My God bless you all!”

All three players are college graduates, according to the Daily Caller.

'Eduction' appreciation

To show appreciation for teachers, Charlotte-Mecklenburg Schools’ Career and Technical Education Department handed out coasters for which it had paid $1,500.  “Education” was spelled “eduction.” Otherwise, a great idea.

Via Dave Barry’s blog.

Yo Comments Are Whack!

This SisterSalad YouTube video, Yo Comments Are Whack!, defends correct spelling, punctuation and grammar.  Yes!