Category Archives: Reading

Research Paper

What does the term “research paper” mean to you?
I see the research paper as the culmination of the semester’s work for students. It gives the students an opportunity to explore areas of interest from something that they have learned over the course of the semester. Students should be allowed to take their discovery outside of the scope of the educational institution as their learning is largely guided by community, culture, language and roles they play. In turn, this gives them a text-to-self and a self-to-world examination that should be factored into research. While student’s are not necessarily researching themselves, these ideas connect to something they were interested in during the semester.

How might we expand our definitions of research and “research paper” to more fully contain the curiosity and delight of research and discovery?
Research should be all encompassing and less directed by the instructor.

What are some ways you have taught research in the classroom– successfully and unsuccessfully?

I give scaffolding assignments in the classroom as research can be overwhelming to process all at once. Then, I follow up with feedback and one-to-one meetings.

Readings on Reading!

Hi everyone– for our first meetings (Group 1 will meet Mon Feb 10, Group 2 will meet Thurs Feb 13,) we’ll be checking in to see how you’re doing.  Both meetings are from 2:30-3:45. Locations are TBD.  We’ll also be discussing reading: How do we teach it? How do we make reading visible?

This is a good place to start because it gives us some good concrete low-stakes assignments and activities to use. So, to prepare for this class, just think about how you teach reading and how you struggle with teaching reading. Also read (and annotate!*) the following two articles:

*I’m not really going to check your annotations, but every. last. time. I assign a reading to students, I also assign annotation– which I do check and discuss.

  1. The Elements (and Pleasures) of Difficulty by Mariolina Salvatori and Patricia Donahue (Chapter 1) HERE 
  2. “How Students Read: Some Thoughts on Why That Matters” by Ellen Carrillo (below) 

    Download (PDF, 1.43MB)


PD Next Week– Readings added

Hi!  next week, we will be meeting in the President’s Conference Room (N318– FANCY!)

Here are next week’s readings: First is a VERY short reading from Bad Ideas About Writing (and a reading you might be able to use with your students if you like,) called “Teaching Grammar Improves Writing” by Patricia A. Dunn. The second is: “Making a Case for Rhetorical Grammar” by Laura R. Micciche.

One thing I’d like us to think about for discussion is: Micciche’s students already have a pretty strong grasp of Standard Written Edited English (SWEE) when they perform these rhetorical analyses on texts. How might you use this idea of “rhetorical grammar” to teach writing here at City Tech? 

Please also (as a comment on this post) write up EITHER:

  • an exercise/ assignment that you do to teach reading/annotation/vocabulary strategies OR
  • a concern or problem you have with teaching reading.

Also, the forums on grammar/ engagement/ modes are still up. We’ll be talking about grammars next week– if you have issues or concerns you’d like to cover, post something in that forum.

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.

Carillo, Difficulty and Emailing a Professor

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)