SKATEBOARD TRICKS By Michael PorterThere was no doubt about it. The new kid who was moving in next door to Jason wasgood. Jason sat on the front steps of his house. He had watched in admiration as the newkid jumped out of the movers’ truck that was parked in the driveway and right onto askateboard. Wearing a bright red helmet and knee and elbow pads, the kid had traveledquickly down the sidewalk in front of Jason’s house, weaving around anything in the way.As Jason watched, Mrs. Tuttle’s fluffy little white dog suddenly ran out onto thesidewalk. The kid jumped his skateboard over the ball of fur and flipped the skateboard upinto his hands, just like a professional. Then he grabbed the leash and set off to return therunaway dog. “Wow!” Jason exclaimed. “I need to learn how to do those cool tricks!”After returning the dog to Mrs. Tuttle, the kid rode his skateboard back to his house.Jason saw the kid make his way between workers who were carrying boxes and chairsinto his new home. Jason felt shy about talking to the new kid, but he wanted to find outwhere that kid had learned to skateboard so well.Jason sat on the porch steps, waiting for the kid to come back out. When he did, hewas still wearing his helmet and other gear, and he was carrying the skateboard underone arm. Jason got up his courage and walked over to the new kid. “Hey, I saw you ridingyour skateboard,” Jason said. “You’re good.”The kid smiled and quietly said, “Thanks.”“Where are you from?” Jason asked.“California,” the kid answered.Jason nodded and said, “My name’s Jason.”The helmet came off, and Jason watched long brown hair tumble down. The kid said,“I’m Amanda.”Krazy Kids, Jason almost swallowed his gum. The new kid was a girl! After a few seconds he finally managed to say, “Hi.”“My mom told me that there’s a skate park in the neighborhood. Is that right?” Amandaasked.Jason shrugged. He knew Amanda was really good at riding a skateboard, and hecould learn some things from her, like that flip she had just done. But he didn’t want hisfriends to know he was learning something from a girl. His friends would tease himforever! Then he had an idea. “It’s not too far, but you have to wear your helmet and kneeand elbow pads,” Jason said.“No problem,” Amanda said. “Let me ask my parents if I can go.”As Amanda ran inside to get permission from her parents, Jason stared down at hisfeet. “If she can just keep her helmet on, everything will be fine,” he thought to himself.Amanda came running out of her house, and she and Jason stopped by his house sohe could get his gear and his parents’ permission. Then they rode away.The park was filled with kids, some riding on skateboards and others on skates.Several guys waved to Jason as he showed Amanda around. Soon, though, Amanda wasshowing everyone what she could do on her skateboard. Sometimes she looked as if shewere flying in the air. Jason began to panic when he realized that all his friends hadstopped skating and were watching her, especially his best friend Patrick. Jason wonderedif he could sneak out of the park without anyone noticing.“That’s awesome!” Patrick said, skating over to Jason.“Just moved in next door to me today,” Jason said.“Do you think I could learn some of those tricks?” Patrick wondered aloud. “I alwayscrash when I try to flip my skateboard like that.”Jason took a deep breath and motioned Amanda over to him and Patrick. If Patrickjudged Amanda on her skating abilities rather than on the fact that she was a girl, thenthings would be all right. Jason just hoped that Patrick would decide Amanda was O.K.As Amanda skated up to the two boys and took off her helmet, Jason tried to think ofwhat to say. Before he could open his mouth, Patrick said, “Wow, I never met a girl whocould skate like that—or even a boy! Can you teach me that flip trick?”Which is the best summary of thisselection?
A. Jason is pleased that his new
neighbor is great at
skateboarding. Jason learns
that the new kid is a girl but
wants her to teach him a few
skateboard tricks anyway. Jason
worries about what his friends
at the park will think, but his
friends want to learn from
B. Jason takes the new kid in his
neighborhood to the skate park.
While there, Jason sees many
friends who are skating and
skateboarding. His friends are
surprised by the skateboard
tricks the new kid is able to do.
C. A new kid moves into Jason’s
neighborhood. The kid is very
good at skateboarding. Jason
watches the kid jump over a
white dog and move through a
crowd of workers. Finally Jason
goes to meet the neighbor and
learns that the new kid is a girl.
D. When Jason agrees to take
Amanda to the skate park, she
must wear a helmet and knee
and elbow pads. Jason hopes
that his friends won’t learn that
Amanda is a girl, but when she
meets Jason’s friends, everyone
sees who she is.
A Class PetSammy stared out the classroom window at a bird on thewindowsill. He saw a worm squirming in the bird’s beak. “Wow!”he whispered as he gazed at the bird eating the worm.“Sammy!” his teacher Mr. Maxwell said loudly.Sammy jumped and knocked his science book off his desk.Everyone in the class giggled, and Sammy blushed. This was thethird time today he had been caught not paying attention to thescience lesson. It was just so easy to get distracted when peopleread aloud from the science textbook!It wasn’t that Sammy didn’t like science. He loved to learnabout machines, Earth, and animals. He even thought bugs andplants were great. He wanted to go outside and see how a snakelived. He wanted to watch plants growing from the ground like theclass had last month. He just didn’t want to read about thesethings. Sammy thought Mr. Maxwell would surely understand. “Therewas a bird with a worm in its beak . . .” Sammy began. Then hesaw the furious look on his teacher’s face. Sammy decided that hehad better stop talking before Mr. Maxwell became any angrier. “Sammy, please come to my desk,” Mr. Maxwell said in a waythat told Sammy he was in trouble. “The rest of you, please beginyour assignment.” Sammy knew Mr. Maxwell was upset. When he got to histeacher’s desk, he blurted out, “I know I’m always in trouble, but Ireally was thinking about science. Isn’t our next unit about theocean?” Mr. Maxwell nodded slowly. “Well, I still remember how neat it was when we went to theaquarium last year,” Sammy said. “What if we got a hermit crabfor a class pet? Then we could see something that lives near theocean.” Sammy waited for Mr. Maxwell’s answer. After a long pause Mr. Maxwell said, “That’s an interestingidea, Sammy. I’ll make a deal with you. As extra homeworktonight, write a letter to the principal explaining why a hermitcrab would be a good class pet. If I think the letter is good enough,you can give it to Mrs. García. If she agrees to a class pet, I will,too.” That night Sammy spent more than an hour writing, revising,and rereading his letter. A letter to the school principal had to beperfect. When he was finished, the letter read:Dear Mrs. Garcia, I'm in Mr. Maxwell's class. We study science everyday and have a hard time paying attention with only the book to teach us. Mr. Maxwell is a good teacher, but I think we could learn more about science if we could see some real animals, plants, and other things. Our next unit is about the ocean. I have a cousin who has a hermit crab for a pet. From helping him, I learned that they are interesting and not hard to take care of. And they make quiet pets. They live in hard shells and have neat claws. The class could learn a lot by watching a hermit crab eat. I think the other kids would love taking turns feeding a class pet. Mr. Maxwell would never have to feed it or clean its tank. That would be our job. This pet would be really great to help us learn about science, too. Could we please have a hermit crab as a class pet?Thank you,Sammy Rivers Sammy took the letter to Mr. Maxwell the next morning. AsMr. Maxwell read the letter, Sammy stood by quietly. When hefinished reading, Mr. Maxwell smiled and said, “O.K., Sammy, youcan take your letter to Mrs. García.” Sammy tried not to run down the hallway to Mrs. García’soffice. He couldn’t wait to hand the letter to the principal, butMrs. García wasn’t there. Sammy left the letter with the schoolsecretary and hoped for the best. That afternoon when Sammy came back from music class, hefound a note on his desk from Mrs. García. Sammy read the noteand then hurried to show it to Mr. Maxwell. Sammy couldn’t keepfrom grinning as he waited for Mr. Maxwell to say yes.Which of the following is the bestsummary of the story?
A. Mr. Maxwell says that if Sammy
wants a hermit crab as a class
pet, he must write the principal
a letter and ask for her
permission. Sammy spends an
hour working on his letter.
B. Sammy has trouble paying
attention in science class. He
asks his teacher if his class can
get a hermit crab. Mr. Maxwell
tells Sammy to write a letter to
the principal asking for
permission. When Mrs. García
agrees, Sammy hurries to tell
C. Mr. Maxwell is upset with
Sammy because he is not paying
attention. He tells Sammy to
write a letter to the school
principal. Mr. Maxwell is
pleased with Sammy’s letter.
D. While Sammy’s class is reading,
he stares at a bird outside the
window. Then Sammy gets in
trouble for not paying attention.
Sammy asks if the class can
have a hermit crab.
Should students do the grading? The Supreme Court says the practice doesn’t violate a student’s right to privacy, but is it right for students to grade one another? Document A Pro 1 The Supreme Court was absolutely correct to say it’s OK for students to grade one another’s homework, quizzes, and tests; in fact, it’s a great idea.By grading one another’s papers and seeing the problems their peers encounter, as well as their own, students double their exposure to the troubles that they may meet on future exams and tests. The basic purpose of school is to learn not just what others have done right, but to learn from what they have done wrong. How better to teach this than to put it directly into the lives of students? Teachers are underappreciated and underpaid for the number of hours they have to work to be able to really teach well. Grading all their students’ papers can take hours on end. Some of that time and energy can be saved by spending a few minutes in class, while providing an invaluable learning experience. I understand that some individuals are sensitive to their classmates seeing their work or grades. School is a place where every mistake can be learned from, and self-esteem can be built. Any good teacher would make allowances for students who don’t want their classmates to grade their assignments. Grading one another’s papers may be one of the best ways for students to reinforce within themselves the ways to respond to the most difficult parts of what they are learning. It simply can’t be denied that in-class grading of assignments is a great way to learn, and those with personal issues can resolve those issues if they just present their problems to their teachers. Allowing students to learn in the best way they are able should be the responsibility of society. If learning in school upsets some students and their parents, perhaps they don’t really realize what they are upset about.Which summary of paragraph 3 is the most accurate?
A. Students can do a better job of grading than teachers can.
B. Teachers should be paid higher salaries for grading.
C. Teachers can devote more time to teaching duties if students do the grading.
D. Students learn more from one another than from teachers.