Author Archives: Carrie Hall

For Nov 3

Now we turn to the curriculum for 1121!

Originally, the 1121 curriculum focused heavily on the term “discourse communities,” in which we had students read the article “Understanding Discourse Communities” (which you’ll be reading this week) and we used the term a lot in our assignments. However, we found that in doing this, students’ writing spent a lot of time just defining the term instead of focusing on the communities they are a part of and the language of those communities. So with this in mind, we no longer write assignments that focus on the term “discourse community.” Instead, theories of Discourse Community structure the entire semester. Of course, it is up to you how much you want to focus on the term itself.

For this week’s asynchronous course, please do the following (by Nov 3):

  1. Watch THIS SLIDESHOW about the final portfolios. I have opened up a discussion board about the final portfolios on Perusall (it is under “chats: general discussion”)  Please post there if you have any questions. You may also email me, but I prefer you use Perusall if you can because the whole group will be able to see any questions/ answers. Please note: this is the first time I’m using the Perusall discussion function. It’s an experiment!
  2. Read and Annotate “Understanding Discourse Communities” and discourse community slideshow (you don’t really have to annotate this part unless you want to. Just give it a look!) on Perusall. At some point in your Perusall comments, please reflect for a paragraph or more  about how you feel about incorporating these theories into your teaching. (It may be awkward to do it this way, but we can keep it private on Perusall) Do you think you’ll keep the term “Discourse Community” in the background or you’ll talk to the students about it specifically? Do you think this theory is useful to teaching? Why or why not?
  3. We will do a revised version of the day one assignment for 1121 students together. It is as follows:
    • First, watch “(un)Learning my Name” by Mohamed Hassan
    • Second, write a new post on padlet about your own name. (I will email you this link so it will be a private page.) You can do it in whatever way you want!  You can talk about the origins of your name, questions you have about your name, or a time you tried to change your name– or something else entirely.  As part of it, you can add images or links to videos… whatever you think will help us get to know you and your experiences better. You can even add a link to a video. Or record an audio file and link to it. Or draw something and upload the image. Whatever you want. Remember: we’re all about composing in the 21st century, so feel free to do what you think would be interesting for us to see/hear/learn about. The idea is to get you thinking about how those issues affect you. How they’ve helped shape who you are.
    •  Read over 1121 UNIT ONE. If you have any questions about it, ask them on the 1121 unit one message board on Perusall (“chats: general discussion”)
    •  We will discuss this briefly when we zoom on Nov 10, but we will mostly focus on 1121 Unit 2 unless there is massive concern/ confusion.

For Wednesday, Oct 27!

Hi everyone. We will meet on Weds, Oct 27 at 5 pm on Zoom. For this meeting, please do the following:

  1. Read and annotate “Thinking about Multimodality” on Perusall
  2. Comment on your teaching of multimodal assignments on THIS PADLET. (instructions once you click the link!)

When we meet, we will take a bit of time to discuss multimodality and Unit 3 of 1101, but we will also discuss final portfolios and grading.

Asynchronous Meeting next week– please complete by Friday, Oct 15

Hi everyone! Here is the work for our next week “meeting.”

  • We have two readings up now on Perusall, one by Carmen Kynard (previously of John Jay) and one by Nelson Graff, about teaching research. Please read and annotate both.
  • After reading, please post a blog post to this Open Lab site considering (some of) the following questions:
      • What does the term “research paper” mean to you?
      • How might we expand our definitions of research and “research paper”  to more fully contain the curiosity and delight of research and discovery?
      • What are some ways you have taught research in the classroom– successfully and unsuccessfully?
      • What are some ways you have engaged in your own research– successfully and unsuccessfully?

Please note, you don’t have to answer all of these questions– these are just starting points to guide a post about research!

For Weds, Sept 29

Hi everyone! Great meeting you all today.

For next week’s meeting, we will be discussing “Navigating Genre” by Kerry Dirk. You can find it on our Perusall site. Please read and annotate before we meet.  Please also finish reading and annotating the Ellen Carillo piece from Bad Ideas about Writing, also on

We will meet next Weds, Sept 29, using the same Zoom link as before.

Please note: if you haven’t done so yet, you can still do the asynchronous work for the first week of our PD (outlined HERE) .

Also, I’ve moved our schedule for the semester under the “Course Materials” heading.  You can find it HERE

Work for our first asynchronous class!

Hi everyone!  I just sent you an email about our scheduling. We’ll have it sorted soon, I promise, but I want to get us started, so this week, we’ll work asynchronously and in two weeks, we will meet on Zoom (we are off next week on Weds and Thurs due to Yom Kippur)

Before we get started, you will need to make sure you’ve signed up for this site (if you haven’t done so already) and that you’ve signed in to our “class” on I sent instructions via email.  Once you have done those things, please do the following:

By Friday, Sept 17:

  1. Write a blog post (not a comment but a stand-alone post) introducing yourself as a reader, writer, teacher and… a person!  Please include some type of visual, if possible. HERE is a video explaining how to write a blog post on Open Lab if you need help. Videos are extra-great, but not required. Please let us know what subjects you would like to cover in this seminar. Feel free to also add any questions or concerns you have about this PD or this semester there.
  2. Complete THIS EDPUZZLE.  Edpuzzle is a program that allows students to watch a video but asks them to answer questions as they go. This video outlines the theory and pedagogy behind the model courses. But please note! It is about 25 minutes long. With questions, this will take you about 40 minutes! IF YOU CLOSE THE WINDOW BEFORE YOU FINISH, YOU WILL LOSE YOUR WORK! I suggest you try to do this in one sitting, if possible.

( HERE is a link to the slideshow (without me talking!) But please do the Edpuzzle!) 

By Weds Sept 22 (in preparation for our Zoom meeting): 

  1. Read and annotate the reading “Teaching for Transfer” on our Perusall site.  Once you are signed in for the site (using the instructions from our email) it should be fairly self-explanatory. Instructions are on the assignment.
  2. Read over your peers’ introductions on this site and make a few comments!

Please email me at with any questions! If you leave them as emails or questions on this site I may not see them for a while.

Welcome to PD Fall 2021

Hi everyone and welcome to the PD for Fall 2021. Happy to have you!

First things first: Please join this site HERE–just click “Join Site” Under the picture of Viola Swamp (I hope some of you have read Miss Nelson is Missing!)

Second, please fill out the Doodle poll HERE. Keep in mind that while this is for next week, the meeting will be recurring (though not every week.) Once we have a day and time set, I’ll send out a syllabus.  We’ll meet sometimes synchronously on Zoom and other times asynchronously.  Please note that Doodle has three options: yes, no and “if necessary.” Please use the third option for times you are begrudgingly available.

Keep in mind, you are paid for the PD (30 hours at your non-teaching rate.)  This is based on attendance and  contribution. Basically, this means that you show up, read the articles and write the blog posts more-or-less on time (so we can discuss them!)

There will also be a “bigger” contribution to the department, which we’ll talk about, which will either be a new unit that fits into the model course curricula, a tutorial for a educational technology, or anything else that corresponds with the model courses that you think might benefit the department at large. It’s not a huge amount of work and will probably arise naturally out of the work we do together this semester. Please don’t sweat it.

Lastly, I’ve made Unit One overview videos if they would be helpful for you.  Here is the overview for Unit One ENG 1101 (Comp 1) and here is the overview for Unit One 1121 (Comp 2) 

Upcoming readings and some generative grammar resources!

For Weds, April 28: Please read this article by Takayoshi and Selfe  and look over these resources on teaching multimodal writing from the Sweetland Center for Writing. Both are on teaching multimodal writing in FYW classes.

Then write a blog post about your thoughts on the articles and how you feel about teaching multimodal writing: Have you done it? Do you like it? What are your concerns? Do you have good ideas? Things you would like to try?

For May 5, we will meet on zoom. Before we meet, please familiarize yourself with Unit 3 of 1121 HERE . Please also look at the handout HOW TO MAKE A PODCAST THAT MATTERS from the New York Times

And…. here are a couple of resources for teaching generative grammar. These are just here for you to use if you want to

First, this site on strengthening sentence variety from the Texas Gateway is very useful. Remember to follow up immediately with exercises in which students look at their own writing!

Second, an excerpt from my friend Martin Brandt’s book on generative grammar is below. I think sentence focus is often quite a complex issue, but I do like this chapter and look forward to reading the rest of Marty’s book!

Download (PDF, 1.57MB)

Work for week of Weds April 14 and Weds April 21

Hi everyone!  By next Weds, April 14, please watch and answer the questions on THIS EDPUZZLE. There’s kind of a lot of writing there, so leave yourself some time. Edpuzzle is a cool program which allows you to ask questions mid-video, so that you can have conversations with students and, let’s be frank, see if they’ve watched.  In the video, I talk about the 1121 Unit 2 assignment as is and also ask for your input as we think about revising it to make it a bit better.

Here are some resources I refer to: You do not need to read them, but they are there for you if you find them useful:

For Weds, April 21:

Please read “Teaching Grammar Improves Writing” and “Grammar Should be Taught Separately” from Bad Ideas About Writing (below) and write a blog post here on Open Lab about… grammar. How you teach it, what your thoughts are about it– what you think works teaching it and maybe where you are stuck.

When we meet, we’ll talk about the possibly not-unrelated topics of teaching grammar and using mentor texts in the classroom.

Download (PDF, 151KB)

Download (PDF, 127KB)