Shayna's Class

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Improving Style: Using Transitions

This page contains lists of transition words and phrases to use in your writing. When you change ideas, you should use a transition to help your reader follow you to the new idea.

There are transition words for addition, comparison, contrast, cause, effect, clarification, time, place, conclusion, and more.

Filed under shaynasclass: writing

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Music Genre Sampler - YouTube

In class, we talk about the term “genre” in relation to movies, books and music. Sometimes my students aren’t sure what is meant by the English language, American music categories. This link will take you to a playlist with several examples each of ten music genres.

The genres and the songs are not in any particular order.

Be aware that anytime you go to YouTube, especially when you watch music videos, you could see or hear something that you don’t think is polite. I have tried not to put those kinds of things in this list, but sometimes it’s hard to make a representative list of modern music that is 100% “clean.”

These are the songs on the playlist:


  • Rod Stewart: “Maggie May”
  • Derek and the Dominoes: “Layla”
  • Hoobastank: “The Reason”
  • Jet: “Are You Gonna Be My Girl”


  • Kelly Clarkson: “Stronger (What Doesn’t Kill You)”
  • Flo Rida: “Wild Ones ft. Sia”
  • Neon Trees: “Everybody Talks”


  • 2Pac: “Dear Mama”
  • Fugees (Tranzlator Crew): “Vocab”
  • Common: “I Used to Love H.E.R.”
  • Wiz Khalifa: “Black and Yellow”

R & B

  • Usher: “Before I Met You”
  • Alicia Keys: “If I Ain’t Got You”


  • Big Mama Thornton: “Everything Gonna Be All Right”
  • BB King: “The Thrill Is Gone” (live in Africa 1974)
  • Eric Clapton: “It Hurts Me Too”


  • Ella Fitzgerald: “All of Me”
  • Frank Sinatra: “Fly Me to the Moon”
  • Miles Davis: “Smoke Gets In Your Eyes”
  • Norah Jones (with Wynton Marsalis): “You Don’t Know Me”
  • New Orleans dixieland music by a street band


  • Emmylou Harris with the Oak Ridge Boys: “I’ll Fly Away”
  • Georgia Mass Choir: “Bye and Bye”
  • Rhema Marvanne: “Amazing Grace”


  • George Jones: “He Stopped Loving Her Today”
  • George Strait: “All My Exes Live In Texas”
  • Loretta Lynn: “Harper Valley PTA”
  • Garth Brook: “The Dance”


  • Cinematic Music: “Ocean Blues”
  • Enya: “Stars and Midnight Blue”


  • Johann Sebastian Bach: Air on a G String
  • Antonio Vivaldi: “Spring” from The Four Seasons
  • Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart: Piano Concerto No. 21 - Andante “Elvira Madigan”
  • Piotr Ilyich Tchaikovsky: 1812 Overture
  • Beethoven: “Ode to Joy” from Symphony No. 9

Filed under shaynasclass: listening shaynasclass: music

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NOVA | Mystery of Easter Island

In Foundations class today, we discussed the mysteries of how some ancient monuments were built. One of those mysteries is the giant statues (moai) of Easter Island. They were carved in one place and moved quite far to other places on the island. How were they moved without modern machines, or even animal workers? 

This video shows researchers trying out one idea. Start at minute 41:00.

Filed under shaynasclass: listening archaeology science

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Foundations: Student’s choice listening

CLE 10, Spring 2014

For this CLE, you will find your own stories to practice with.

Choose a story or video from or Listen to it until you understand it.

For Friday, send me an email telling me about your story. (Do not copy sentences from the story. Use your own words.)

  • Include the program name, story title, and url (web address).
  • What was it about?
  • Explain the main ideas to me.
  • For you, why was this story interesting?

Suggested programs

Example of email

Dear Teacher,

This week, I watched a short video about a pig whose back legs don’t work. His owner made a wheelchair for him. The first wheelchair was small and was made from a child’s toys. Now the pig is grown up, and he has a bigger wheelchair. He uses it very well and acts like a normal pig.

I found this story interesting because most people would not care about a handicapped pig, but this man was very kind to the piglet and gave him a good life.


Filed under shaynasclass: cle shaynasclass: foundations shaynasclass: listening

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Intermediate: Group presentations

CLE 10, Spring 2014: Group presentation with Powerpoint


  • Sources + 5 content slides (6 slides)
  • Introduction - 1 minute - May contain thesis statement
  • —- 3 evidence slides - 3 minutes each (maximum)
  • —- Each slide may have 1 short phrase only, plus useful graphics
  • Conclusion - 1 minute


  • Every group member must speak; you will get a small team grade plus a larger individual grade
  • Your presentation should “SELL” your idea. Why is this invention the MOST important? Convince me!
  • I will record your presentations on video.

You will receive a small group grade and a larger individual grade.

Filed under shaynasclass: intermediate shaynasclass: speaking

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Researching an Invention (Intermediate CLE 9)

This week, we will use a discussion and research process to find information and write about it.

1. In class: Internet vs Paper as the most important invention

  • Discuss, brainstorm list of reasons
  • Assign research topics to each student

2. Research one reason

  • history
  • examples
  • impact

3. List source information

  • Title
  • Author
  • Publication or publisher
  • Date (publication or retrieval)
  • Page number or web address (complete URL)

3. For Thurs: bring notes & source info to class

  • Write paragraph with source citation (in class, then email me individually)

4. Friday: bring paragraph, work with group to assemble essay

Filed under shaynasclass: writing