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For Sept 24!

Hey guys, thanks for a good session! I’ll try to get us a less sauna-like room for our next meeting.

For next time, please do the following:

  1. Read “Creating Mindful Readers in First-Year Composition Courses: A Strategy to Facilitate Transfer” by Carillo and “Introducing Difficulty” from The Elements (and Pleasures) of Difficulty by Salvatori and Donahue. (links are live). They’re both pretty short, and both could be used with your students if you so desired.
  2. Comment on at least 2 of the 3 discussion forums (they are just below this post.) These are the topics that we were talking about in class. All you have to do is add a comment to the post. Super easy!
  3. Upload the low-stakes assignments we discussed in class to “low-stakes assignments.”

That’s plenty, so I’m not going to ask you to write more, but if you DO happen to have any good handouts of reading assignments or strategies you have, please send them my way! I’m going to compile a packet of reading assignments and I would love to have more to add.

Also, in case you are interested, here is the handout I have about teaching students how to email a professor. Jackie has one that’s less corny, I think, but corny is kinda how I roll (you’re welcome to use this if it’s helpful to you.)

Download (PDF, 292KB)

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How to create a new post

FYI– We meet in Namm 618 at 4 pm. Also, our upcoming dates are:
Sept 11
Sept 25
Oct 2
Oct 23
Nov 6
Nov 20
Dec 4
Dec 11
Make sure you’re a member of the PD site.
    1. Make sure you’re Registered with Open Lab.
    2. Find the PD site.
    3. Click on Join! (just below the avatar).
    4. Click on Visit Project Site on the right hand side.
    5. You’re in!
NOW to create a post.
  1. Find the little circle with the plus sign in it on the top of the site.
  2. Click on it. You will open the Post Dashboard by default.
  3. Give it a title.
  4. Type your message.
  5. To attach a document, click on Add Media.
    • The Media Library page will open.
    • Click on Upload Files.
    • Go find and choose your file.Click on Insert into Post.
    • You’ll be taken back to the Post Dashboard
  6.  When you finish your post, pick a Category from the Category menu on the right side. If you forget, you’ll get a prompt to pick a Category.
  7. Then hit Publish.
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Welcome to the semester!

UPDATE: We’re slowly adding some theoretical texts to the website that may be more accessible to students, but I also wanted to draw your attention to the free ebook BAD IDEAS ABOUT WRITING which has a number of short readings about misconceptions about writing that you may find useful to use in your 1101 course. I’ve pointed out a few that I find pretty helpful for talking about genre and discourse in the readings section of our blog. There are also a few that I think will be very helpful for discussing research, once we get there. I do intend to add a section to the website for readings on research. 

Hey everyone! I just wanted to say hi and update the site for the semester. You’ll notice that it’s no longer called “Summer Institute,” but instead “2019 Professional Development” as, sadly, it’s no longer summer.

To recap: we will be meeting on Sept 11 (location TBD) from 4-5:15. In preparation for this meeting, please just write up briefly a low stakes (either in-class or homework) assignment) that has worked well for you this semester, especially if you feel it increased student engagement. Please post this on “low stakes assignments” on this site. We’ll spend most of this session just checking in with you about how the semester is going thus far, what you are struggling with and how you’re feeling about your units, both current and forthcoming.

Also, if you haven’t done so yet, please post your units and syllabi on the site. If you’re struggling, please email or come see me. Also, I’m adding some more short, accessible theoretical readings to the site.

Hope you’re doing well, and please feel free to stop by!

(my students made that.)


First Day Exercise – Intro to Genre

I introduced the concepts of genre and rhetorical analysis on the first day of class with an easy exercise. I put up 3 questions on the board, asking students to:

  1. Introduce themselves briefly, including any details they felt were pertinent for the class to know about them.
  2. Compile a list of 2-3 questions they had about the course (before going over the syllabus).
  3. Describe what they’d like to achieve by the end of the course.

This first genre was the basic in-class response to a writing prompt. Afterwards, they were asked to convert their answers into the genre of an oral presentation. Each student was asked to get up and present the content of these questions, but in a format more suitable to a presentation.

Finally, for homework, students were asked to convert this information into a third genre, the academic email to me, their professor. Once again, students were asked to reflect on the different rhetorical choices they would make depending on audience and purpose.

The following class we had a more in-depth discussion of the differences between the 3 genres and how reflecting on the rhetorical situation impacted the style, tone, language, content, etc. of their writing/speaking.

An Assignment That WORKS

For the literacy narrative and since my theme is identity as text, I have them write a letter to somebody who has misidentified them. They have to correctly identify the one who incorrectly identified them. Then they have to describe how they were misidentified. Then they use a text to identify themselves. This text will be used later in genre analysis.

I’ve tried to make this as concrete as an assignment about identity can be. There has been a lot of success.

However, I’ve started to consider using the interview somehow to discuss concretely concepts such as rhetorical situation and audience. I’m considering changing this to an interview with themselves. They can speakinto their phones and use auto transcribe. This will help to teach revision since they’ll have to edit. They can also explore and discover different discourses by using the ways they talk to friends, at work, with kids, at places of worship, etc. when they talk about those rhetorical situations.