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Kevin Leon

Artifact: Word Combination Card, 2nd Edition by Mark Alves, Michael Berman and Ray
Context: Reading Writing 523

Description: The artifact is a fold out pamphlet that shows sentence structures and definitions for
key nouns and verbs. The card has six pages. The first page has the title, authors and list of
contents. The second page shows a list of different sentence styles that can be used for writing
topic sentences and main ideas. For example, "Sentence Beginning +Category + Topic + Main
Points" and "Topic + Classification Verb + Classification Word + Main Points". Underneath each
model are a list of words or phrases that can be used for the corresponding part of the sentence.
Underneath this are a list of sentence starters. On the next page are Cause-Effect Sentences and
Comparison-Contrast sentences. The fourth page shows Exemplification, Reporting Information,
and information about Degrees of Certainty and Frequency. The fifth page shows Expressing
Quantity and has a list of nouns and verbs that are used in academic writing. The sixth page
continues the list. The students bought the word combination at the UCR Extension Bookstore at
the beginning of the semester. The students have the card as a reference guide, and the teacher
refers to it regularly in her lessons. For homework, the students read a passage and labeled the
sentences with the sentence style. The students check their homework with a partner. For most of
the class time, the students complete three worksheets about driving while using a cell phone. In
groups, the students read a passage and label the cause and effect words. In the second
worksheet, the student fill in the blanks of sentences using words from the combination card. In
the final worksheet, the students correct errors in a passage using the rules from the card.

New Ideas: The artifact is a very useful tool for language learners. The card supports principle
learning, "learning a chain of two or more concepts, a cluster of related concepts" (Brown, 2014).
In this case, the card groups different sentence styles into specific categories. They are arranged
into a neat, linear list form. The sentences themselves are broken up into equations ( subject +
category +information). In relation to the ideas of multiple intelligences, the card information
appeals to linguistic learners, while the equation layout appeals to visual and mathematical
learners. In the class, the students used the card to help them analyze passages and sentences.
Impact on Teaching and Learning: The artifact can be used for most reading, writing and
grammar classes. The pre-written sentences serve as a useful reference when reading or writing
an essay. As the information is already given on the card, the students do miss out on a chance to
write the rules and examples on their own. However, the fact that all of the students have the
same information allows the students to learn the information at the same pace as their peers. It
also allows the teacher to talk about the sentence styles with some confidence that all of the
students have the information available. In this class the card was used to review a passage.
However, the students can use the card when writing their own essays. The students can look at
the card and select the sentence structures that will best convey their thoughts and ideas. If the
students are writing compare and contrast essays, the card has a section that shows different
types of sentences that can be used in the essay. The information presented on the card is so
fundamental in writing that it also makes a helpful tool for teachers and writers.

Brown, H.D. (2014). Principles of Language Learning and Teaching.White
Plains, NY: Pearson Education.