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Meredith K.
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Writing
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Question:

Creative Writing: It is a post apocalyptic world. A new technology has been invented that allows people to decide whether they can live forever or die naturally. Write a creative story based on different points of view in this world.

Meredith K.
Answer:

1. Mira It happened quickly. Before it fell, before the release of tension in my back was ripped open, like snapping strings on a guitar wound too tight; I remember the golden glint of the road ahead of me. It had rained earlier. The late afternoon sun was warm, eating up the road, urging the wheels of my car to grip it. I had gotten out of work two hours early! The unprecedented joy bubbled up through my throat. It was a rare event, a small one, however, with the current state of my life, it was a triumph. Usually, I would allow this small excitement to creep into my self awareness, remind me of how pathetic things had become if I were moved to tears when let out of work before the sun set. But now, I let it fester. Tears of joy ran down my face while the radio blared. The windows down, the scent of wet pavement racing up my nose. I was going too fast. I didn’t hear the crack, or perhaps there was no crack. My music was too loud, the bridge was old. The city had tried to vote to tear it down. “It will kill one of us one day!” screamed the people at city meetings. At the word ‘kill’, people shifted uncomfortably in their seat. They weren’t to talk about it at meetings anymore. The bridge was protected as a historic monument. I didn’t pay attention to the news, the meetings. I knew nothing of the bridge’s inevitable collapse. The oversized chunk of iron separated from the bridge on its own accord, no one near to see it. Its descent was graceful, as if choreographed. It didn’t rotate, its weight wouldn’t allow it. It glinted in the stream of afternoon light in such a way that it wasn’t in clear view. I couldn’t see what it was. A bird? I thought. Before my thought was finished, I felt my back crack. My windshield must have shattered somehow. I must have instinctively bowed my head to my steering wheel. The seconds became slower. Like the bend of a straw, my spine popped and pulled as 2 tons of iron cascaded into my neck. Blood shot into my back, muscles that had been abandoned, turned white from restriction, (or so I imagined) neglected for years, filled with hot blood. I was the only one on the road. On this day, I was let out early from work, the chunk of bridge sat waiting, the sun shone in such a way, and here I was. I was so happy about the sun moments before. Now it had spited me. If I could have seen it, I would have slowed down. Such cruelty. What are the chances? The car stopped moving, and the pain was immediate. It was crushing, yet light, coursing through as if it had memorized where to go. Shooting through my bones so rapidly, it made me recognize bones I didn’t even know existed before. I became cold. The moment was over, and everything became roaringly silent. I rested my face on the steering wheel. I felt my neck separate somehow. I was choking on something. I could not lift myself any higher. Here I would lay, and wait. I always thought it would be different, when something drastic of this nature happened. I thought it would be less painful, I thought I might black out immediately. I had lived every moment of it. I thought my life might have flashed before my eyes. But it couldn’t, because I couldn’t. I couldn’t die, and I regretted it now more than ever. 2. James Since the Invention, emergency personnel took ages. They didn’t see the point of their profession anymore. They were usually made aware before reporting, by the dispatcher, whether the victim was a Stayer. If they weren’t a Stayer, they rushed, did their best with their rusted ambulances and trucks. If they were a Stayer, sometimes they’d stop for a hoagie. They had lost all drive to do good. It was a chore. Their facilities were failing, they’d lost funding from the state. There were barely any jobs left. They were lucky to have still been offered theirs. I never stop for hoagies. I still have hope. “She’s in bad shape, boss. Can’t even talk to her. Based on her condition, she’s a Stayer. She’s got a pulse. Might as well send some backup just in case. We’re gonna need the Jaws. We still have it? Ask Broghal if we still have it.” I snapped my cell phone shut. I was the first to respond. I arrived in my white linen shirt that my wife had just ironed for me this morning, printed with EMS on the top left corner of my chest. I heard the call over my at home radio while I was pouring my coffee for the night shift. It was 4:37. The speakers cracked, “10-45B on Independence Interstate... possible 10-54. Car accident involving collapsing bridge...take caution. Code 10.” Nancy was dispatching. She always spoke with a lull, but she became lazier after the Invention, no doubt. .... to be continued

English as a Second Language
TutorMe
Question:

Analyze an ESL Student based on WIDA Access Level. Research what their strengths and weaknesses are and what that student needs as a result.

Meredith K.
Answer:

Lillian Lillian is a third grade ELL student in an SEI classroom. Her records show that she has overall been an ELD Level 2 consistently since first grade. By simply observing Lillian in her classroom environment, you may not know that she is an ELL student. She is extremely social to the point where teachers need to adjust the learning environment so she’s not always chatting with friends. She has no accent, and actually refrains from speaking Spanish with friends, and almost exclusively speaks English, except when with family. When given directions, Lillian nods her head that she understands, but often has trouble staying on task. This struggle with reading and writing could easily be mistaken for procrastination, and it is apparent that her being very social has become a security blanket. Lillian’s 2016 ACCESS Scores are consistent with her behavior in the classroom. They were conducted when she was in second grade, however, and I believe she has come leaps and bounds since that point. In listening, Lillian scored a 5. Her ACCESS scores indicate she is able to expand on others’ ideas, distinguish events, people, or situations from oral descriptions, recall key information and details about processes or concepts discussed orally, and identify examples that support an opinion or viewpoint (WIDA Access, 2016). In third grade, Lillian is able to engage in academic discourse with peers, but is more hesitant to raise her hand. She is able to understand the gist and lesson of a text read orally, for example, The Boy Who Loved Words. This is a very complex text that contains many above grade level vocabulary that students are expected to use context clues to understand. After hearing the story, Lillian is able to dictate to peers what she believes the overarching theme of the story was. This is consistent with her score. It is no surprise that Lillian scored a 6 in Speaking. According to her ACCESS scores, Lillian is able to react and respond to multiple points of view, organize and present research based information, clarify how or why something happens, and persuade others based on opinions, examples, and reasons (WIDA Access, 2016). In the third grade academic setting, Lillian functions much more efficiently in a guided small group with a teacher present. Here, she is able to participate in a productive conversation when prompted. For example, when participating in guided reading an informational text like Time For Kids, Lillian is able to highlight important information in the text based on a question. When reading an article about the election, she participated in a discussion around the accomplishments of both candidates, sharing her opinion on who is more qualified. She was able to defend that opinion and pull her reasoning right from the text, using language such as, “According to the article…” This is consistent with her high score. In Reading, Lillian received an ACCESS score of 2. According to her score, Lillian is able to identify main ideas in written information, identify main actors and events in stories and simple texts with pictures or graphs, sequence pictures, events, or steps in processes, and distinguish between claim and evidence statements (WIDA Access, 2016). This score surprised me in some aspects, because what the reader is able to do mostly has to do with what’s expected of them after they read, and doesn’t mention whether they are able to read fluently and sustain that reading. Lillian is a fluent reader, and enjoys independent reading time. She has a few favorite chapter books, such as Diary of a Whimpy Kid, Smile, and Because of Winn Dixie. Many of her peers enjoy Harry Potter or Stone Fox. She claims to have read them, but she’s relayed to me personally that she hasn’t. Her social ability and reading ability seem to be at odds in this way. When Lillian is given a graphic organizer asking her to identify the main idea, the main character, the problem, and the solution, she has no problem completing it. If asked to relay them orally, she is able to with some halting. If asked to write about all of them in an open response format, she is not able to do so without referring to the graphic organizer first. I believe most of the aspects of her reading score is consistent with her reading in the classroom. Lillian tested into level 3 in Writing on the ACCESS. In the classroom, Lillian shows resistance when asked to write, but can produce between one and two pages of creative writing or personal narrative writing. When asked to write an opinion piece or defend a point of view based on evidence, she produces very little, even with scaffolding. This is consistent with what the ACCESS indicates. As a Level 3, Lillian should be able to describe familiar issues and events, create stories or short narratives, describe processes and procedures with some details, and give opinions with reasons in a few short sentences (WIDA Access, 2016). It is significant to mention the difference in Lillian’s production and quality of writing when she is in different settings. If given a direction in the whole group setting with only oral direction and written direction on the board, Lillian is not able to produce more than a few sentences. If called to work in a small group of heterogeneous ELD levels, she is able to produce a paragraph or two. Lastly, if called to work individually with the teacher, Lillian can produce at least one page. In comparing Lillian’s WIDA ACCESS level score to how she is performing at this point in the year, I would say that most of it is consistent with what her scores indicated. I believe that overall, because of her improvement in reading and writing in the right settings, I might put her overall ELD level closer to a 2.5 or a 3. I have no qualms with her speaking or writing scores, based on her language use in the classroom and in the difference of her writing abilities in varying settings. If I were to defend giving her a different level in any of the individual skills, I would challenge her reading score. She tested as a 2 in Reading. The WIDA Standards dive deeper into what’s expected from each level, specifying linguistic complexity, language forms and conventions, and vocabulary usage. Although sustained reading is not specifically pointed out in the standards, it is important to note that in Lillian’s observation notes from second grade, she “cannot sustain classwork without several redirections.” (WIDA Access, 2016) As a third grader, when it comes time to read independently, she is able to sustain that reading time and talk about what she read. The books she’s reading, Because of Winn Dixie, Smile, and Diary of a Whimpy Kid, are all texts consistent with at least a level 3 reader, because they all contain “Compound and some complex grammatical constructions,” and “sentence patterns across content areas” (WIDA, 2012). Lillian is able to discuss what she just read with teachers and peers, using phrases like, “according to the text” and “I think, because.” I believe the linguistic complexity of these phrases is consistent with a level 3 reader, noting the phrase “Discourse with a series of extended sentences, related ideas specific to particular content areas” (WIDA, 2012). Although Lillian may need prompting and graphic organizers to engage in discourse about texts, especially fiction, I still believe she has come a long way since second grade in the area of reading, and I predict she will test higher in 2017. Bibliography WIDA. (2012). WIDA Standards 2012 ELD Levels K-12. Wisconsin, United States. WIDA Access. (2016). Individual Student Report 2016. WIDA Access for ELLs 2.0. East Boston, United States: WIDA.

English
TutorMe
Question:

What is the difference between a symbol and a metaphor?

Meredith K.
Answer:

There is a fine line between a symbol and a metaphor, but they are indeed two different things. Before you open a book, think of the story as a beach. Picture the trillions of grains of sand and the treasures that can be found it them. Picture the unrelenting water that cloaks the sand. The grains of sand are words. The treasures are symbols. The metaphor is the ocean. Symbols are usually concrete and can be found with some digging. They are buried in the nuances created by words and ideas, and are used strategically throughout the book. They may lay close to the metaphor or relate to it, but they don't have to. Not everyone will find symbols, and some may not agree that one symbol has as much value as the next. For example, a high occurrence of rain in a story may be considered a symbol for some. But perhaps the author just loves rain. The value can be argued. Metaphors are overarching. They coat the entire story and are hard to miss. Their meaning is vast, and intentional. Metaphors last through the times, regardless of context. The high occurrence of rain can never be a metaphor, because its meaning can change and may not stand the test of time. In the same way, the Mississippi River in the story Huck Finn will always be a metaphor for freedom in the time of slavery.

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