attendance and introduce yourself and the course
students learn each other's names during an interview activity
the course goals and skills students will develop
considering the role of context in influencing rhetorical choices
your policy and everyday expectations (in terms of homework and other
assignments, class discussions)
the writing situation model
Connection to Course Goals
The interview activity establishes communication necessary
for peer revision workshops and class discussions. This activity, along with
the introduction to course goals, also introduces the idea of how contexts
influence our actions; awareness of this situation is key to eventually being
able to write within academic, cultural and civic contexts.
(2 minutes): Make
sure everyone is in the right course and section. Putting the course number,
name, and section number on the board helps weed out students who have wandered
into the wrong room. Expect students to drift in late on the first day—many are
getting used to a new campus.
yourself and take roll (5 minutes): Call names and record attendance on your roll sheet. Also
write on roll sheet nicknames and even phonetic pronunciations of difficult
names. While you'll probably use some other attendance-taking measure in the
future (such as collecting homework), taking the time to call roll in the first
few days will help you learn students' names.
students may have added or dropped since the time your roll sheet was
generated, you will most likely have students who have registered for your
class whose names do not appear on the roll. Ask them to stay after class and
give you their names and ID numbers. Others will think they are enrolled in your section, but that must be confirmed
through the registrar. (We have a laptop computer in the main office—Eddy
359—to give you current rosters for your sections.)
promise any extra students that they will be able to enroll. The add/drop policy requires only
students who don't attend the first TWO classes to be dropped. Thus, you might
have students who don't come the first day but show up for the second class.
emphasize that they cannot drop after the date on the add/drop sheet. They also cannot
withdraw from CO150. If they want out, they must do it by the drop date.
Learn (WTL) (5 minutes): Have students take out a piece of paper and write for five minutes or
so about what they expect out of CO150 and also what they hope to contribute.
You can put this prompt on the board or on an overhead.
writing and explain WTL (5 minutes): Tell students they can expect to do some in-class writing
like this to help them collect their thoughts, jump-start a discussion, reflect
on a text they read for homework, or generate ideas for their papers. Let
students know that you'll discuss their answers today if there is time, but if
not you'll address them in the next class period. Also, you may want to let
them know that you won't always collect their WTLs on a daily basis but will at
some point (with their portfolios). (See the “Collecting Homework” section in
the introduction to the syllabus.)
Transition to Next Activity: Consider using a transition such
as the following: “The course syllabus and policy statement will help you
understand the expectations for this course. Hopefully, these will address some
of the concerns you brought up in your writing.”
Note: Use these suggested model transitions as opportunities to
connect activities for your students. Your students will benefit from knowing
how the activities build on each other. You should construct your own
transitions - either before class or in an impromptu fashion - rather than
reading a script prepared by someone else. Most teachers write down a few notes
on their lesson plans to remind themselves of what they want to say between
activities, then weave the transition into the natural flow of conversation
during the class session. We have provided model introductions, transitions,
and conclusions not because we want you to read them aloud but rather as
examples of what a teacher might say during class.
syllabus and explain policy statement (8-10 minutes):
discuss how to read the assignments due (especially if you are using a grid),
the types of assignments in more general terms—save specifics for later.
the books and program used (the PHG
and Hyperfolio Software).
the class SyllaBase page and the CO150 Room in the Writing Studio. You'll also
want to discuss access to thematic readings (located under “Class Notes and
Lectures” on the class SyllaBase page ). Tell students that they will be using
Hyperfolio for Units II and III and that you’ll give specific instructions for
logging on to SyllaBase and locating the CO150 Room in the Writing Studio
during the next class.
that the course theme is, "Participating in the Discourse Shaping Public
Issues" and tell students that they will be responding to current
debatable issues in their writing.
the course policy statement, emphasizing the policies that you consider most
important. Be sure to explain at least the following policies:
(for major assignments and overall class)
for homework assignment
One good strategy is to have a copy of your policy
statement on an overhead with essential ideas highlighted or annotated. If not
on the overhead, just having your own highlighted copy can help quell those
first-day jitters and prevent you from forgetting anything critical you want to
convey. Or, delegate some of the responsibility by having students read
Transition to Next Activity: Community is important in a
writing classroom (where we hold discussions, work in groups and use peer
review with the writing process), so let's take some time to get to know each
activity (5 minutes): Have students pair up and ask each other questions about one another
and record their answers.
7.Ask students to consider what kinds of things people
were willing to ask (5 minutes):Then generate a list of categories
on the board.
interview activity (10 minutes):Your goal in this discussion is to
highlight how context and rhetorical situations define what we can say and how
we say it. Our context and rhetorical situation here is a college composition
classroom and that affects how we asked questions and what questions we asked.
You can use these questions or write your own:
wasn't asked and why do you think that is?
are these things that people will ask and will tell?
does this say about our expectations of social interaction? Of a composition
classroom and what can be said there?
would our questions have differed if you were interviewing your instructor?
would your questions and answers have differed if you were talking to someone
you met at a fraternity or dorm party? Why?
would your questions and answers have differed if you were just meeting your
host family for a semester in a foreign country? Why?
9.Introduce the writing situation model (10
minutes):The goal for this discussion is to illustrate
how context shapes the interactions between writers and readers. Writers make
choices based on their physical, social and cultural contexts as well as their
purposes for writing. In the same sense, readers come to a text by way of their
own needs and interests. Thinking about interactions between writers and
readers helps to ensure that meaning is clearly communicated.
For this activity then, use the model from, "Understanding Writing
Situations: Writing as a Social Act" to show students how readers and
writers interact. This model is available on Writing@CSU (http://writing.colostate.edu/guides/processes/writingsituations/).
It’s also available as a linear document in the Lectures and Class Notes
section of your SyllaBase class page. You can either draw a diagram on the
board or use and overhead (you may want to do this before class begins).
Explain to students that you will first review the model in general terms, and
then they will discuss it with more detail in relation to their homework.
Be sure to cover the following points (in whatever order feels right
have purposes for writing
these purposes emerge from the writer's cultural or social context (something
happens outside the writer that creates a need to write - something to respond
make choices based on the context they are writing for (writing a letter home
to your parents asking for money is a different than writing a letter to an
organization to ask for contributions for a good cause). Therefore, different
contexts will pose different requirements, limitations, and opportunities for a
addition to context, writers also need to think about readers.
have various needs and interests which are likewise determined by their
contexts (their background, environment and experience).
to communicate effectively, a writer must anticipate what their readers' needs
and interests are.
10.Model Conclusion: Consider closing class with
something along these lines: “So just as social situations can influence what we say and do,
different writing situations can influence what we "say" and
"do" with our writing. In this class "good" writing can
only be defined in terms of how well a text responds to a particular purpose
and context. We'll continue with this idea next time and connect it more
directly to culture and writing.”
Logon to the SyllaBase Class Page (http://writing.colostate.edu/syllabase/),
locate the class forum (Communication Tools/Discussion Forum), and post a
250-to-500 word message that addresses the following prompts: Part I - Describe
yourself as a writer. What kinds of writing do you most enjoy and why? What
kinds of writing do you think are most important and why? Part II - What
influences you as a writer? What in your background or environment might shape
your choices about content (what you like to write about) and style or approach
(how you write)? When you have finished posting your message, print a hard copy
and bring it to class. Note: You might find it useful to compose your
message in a word processor and then paste the final version of the message
into the discussion forum’s compose message box.