Students are exposed today to the value of peer review. They take part in their
first college writer’s workshop. They learn how to be constructively critical
rather than blissfully uncritical or harmfully hypercritical. They begin to
develop a sense of good partners and readers. They develop their abilities to
be good critics of one another. They receive clarification on the requirements
for the portfolio and folder.
Connection to Course
Goals: CO150 strongly encourages peer cooperation and exchange of ideas.
The course also strongly encourages deep or global revision, rather than simple
editing or local revision.
Possible Sequence of Activities for Today
the current portfolio to the course goals.
next-to-last class of Portfolio 1, reviewing the main goals of the portfolio
and its connection to course goals. Remember to use the concepts of
accountability, understanding the conversation on a particular publicly debated
issue (use of the SAT for college admissions), the importance of understanding
writing as a “situated” activity engaged in by others and oneself and all for
particular purposes and audiences. Remind students that the particular vehicle
for this portfolio’s demonstration of all these writing skills is the
summary/response done in the form of a Letter to the Editor of the New York Times. This letter will
necessarily refer to the Times
article by Diana Jean Schemo (presumably the reason for publishing the letter
in this newspaper) while responding to either Atkinson’s proposal (the full
speech), or Sacks’, Williams’ or Bollinger’s reply to Atkinson’s proposal. The
writer can either revise a drafted response that has already been done or can
develop an entirely new paper, using one or more of the response types to
develop a focused claim about the article. Point out that the assorted
letters-to-the-editor that they’ve read have been excerpts and that their
essays should be longer, approximately 1,000 words (or four double-spaced pages)
in length. Once they complete their full essays, they should then pare them
down to less than 200 words. They will submit both the full letter and its
what makes an effective workshop (10 minutes):Refer to the
Teaching Guide on Planning Workshops and Peer Review on Writing@CSU (http://writing.colostate.edu/guides/teaching/peer/).
Use the guide to help you decide ahead of time how you’d like to facilitate
the in class workshop for the summary/response essay. The goal is “friendly critiquing” yielding “constructive criticism”
rather than empty praise.
2. Review portfolio requirements for the
summary/response essay and address student concerns for the essay (5 minutes):Remind students that their essays must be turned in with all draft work and
workshop materials in a folder. Inform them of any other requirements that you
may have. Prepare a list of the necessary items that go into the folder. Prepare the postscript questions that you would like them
to use to reflect on their processes during the first four weeks of class.
3. Workshop activity (30 minutes): Design
a peer review workshop that will help students prepare their summary/response
essay for Portfolio 1. You can divide the workshop into a two-day project in
which you help students manage their time by suggesting where they should be in
the process by certain milestone times. You can also add a technology piece by
having students post their responses to one another, if you wish. Consider
trying the “Writer’s Triad” activity from the Activity Bank to form peer review
groups of three.
Conclusion—please write one!
Assignment for Next Time
Revise your draft for Workshop #2 on Friday and
think about the concepts that have been emphasized over the first month of the
course so that we can write a grading sheet (rubric) together that accurately
represents emphasized points from the course.