Category Archives: Low Stakes Assignments

Vocabulary assignment

I give students a list of relevant vocabulary words important to our work.  We are doing a unit on the environment and New York City now.  I ask the students to get into pairs or triads and write dialogues or trialogues if the word exists and then present them to the class.  Below is the list of words they have already encountered in their readings and should have looked up.  A  few I have already gone over with them, such as sustainablity since it has a specific environmental meaning.  This is the list of words.

  1.  sustainability
  2. resilience
  3. estuary
  4. current
  5. mitigate
  6. berm
  7. dune
  8. levee
  9. equity
  10. evacuation
  11. reservoir

 

Active Listening as Metaphor for Active Reading

Tricia asked me to post about this.

 

Using Diane Senechal’s definition of active listening, I suggest using this as a metaphor for reading. Active listening involves nonverbal gestures. What about reading? Underlines and highlights are nonverbal signs. Thinking of questions to ask the speaker to prompt further explanation can be questions for discussion in class. The pause an active listener gives after a speaker finishes can be reflection after the reading has ended.

Debating Language Diversity

This handout sparked lively debate in the class.  I asked my classes to respond to which argument they found more persuasive and why.  We also examined what rhetorical strategies each writer employed, including what type of evidence each relied upon.   Students were really impressed with how Vershawn Ashanti Young’s response to Fish made sentence style itself into a kind of persuasive argument–a strong argument on behalf of language diversity and against the prejudices underwriting SAE.