Up: For each class you teach, you should write an Introduction. It is important to establish in students’ minds what the
goals for each class meeting are. You can provide an overview
or forecast of the day’s activities and connect these activities
to the class, week, portfolio and course goals. If you do so,
students will know what to expect, can begin to connect past and
future classes, and can see plainly what you have in mind for
are any number of ways to do this. To start with, you might provide
a title or theme and then list the activities you have planned
for the day on one of the sides of your marker board, leaving
room for other purposes you might have for the board including
use of the overhead projector. You can put a check by each item
as you accomplish it, or you can just proceed through the list.
Doing a forecast can help both you and your students stay on track.
Another advantage of this technique, especially in the first few
days of class is that your writing on the board provides something
purposeful for you to do as students arrive at class. Your materials
will already be organized and ready on the table. Writing on the
board, you will appear to your students to be in charge and to
have a plan! Then be sure to stop your board writing at the correct
start time of class. Doing this will establish right up front
that you start class right on time and expect them to be there
at the beginning, too.
class session (2 minutes)
students who you are/introduce yourself for those who missed the
previous class session or just added the course.
an overview of what you'll cover during the class session and/or
refer to the agenda you have put on the board.
you might say something like the following: Today
we'll be returning to the idea of how context influences our choices
and actions. By understanding how writers are influenced by various
contexts, you will hopefully learn to make more confident and
accurate choices with your own writing (in both academic and non-academic
situations). Also, we will discuss the specifics of the Portfolio
1 assignment and will learn critical reading strategies that will
help you in CO150 and beyond.
roll (3-5 minutes)
Call out names and record
attendance on your roll sheet or using the note cards you received
during the previous class session. Once you've gotten through
your roll, ask if there is anyone you missed.
aware that there may a number of new faces today.
with the previous class session, do not promise any extra students
that they will be able to enroll or "override."
Firstly, the English department works hard to keep our writing
courses capped at low numbers. Overriding extra students into
sections jeopardizes this and also creates extra work for you.
Secondly, even if someone is on your roll but isn't in the class
the first day, the add/drop policy requires only students who
don't attend the first TWO classes to be automatically dropped
(you will receive a note from the department administrative
assistants regarding automatically dropping "no shows"
by the end of the week). Thus, you might have students who don't
come the first day but show up for the second class. Suggest
that students who wish to get into your section that they are
welcome to stay for class but dialing in through RamWeb (the
online student enrollment process) provides the best chance
Remind students that they cannot drop the course
after the date on the orange add/drop sheet you handed out--no
if's, and's or but's. They also cannot withdraw from
CO150 as they might from other courses. If they want out,
they must do it by the drop date, which is generally the end
of the first week of classes.
Hand out materials
to new students
Hand out the New
York Times subscription form to new students. At this time,
you can also a note card for students to fill out if you are doing
so. You may want to ask new students to stay a moment after class
so that they can do this as well.
transition to next activity
that you have read through your students' expectations (from the
WTL from the previous class session) and you would like to address
some of the expectations as well as remind them of your policies/expectations.
might say something like the following:
that I've read the rest of your expectations from the previous
class session, I would like to address some in more detail and
remind you of some of the class policies and my expectations.
student responses from the WTLs completed on the first day of
student concerns that didn't come up on the first day. Also, you
can explain the
focus for the class:
our primary concern, so we'll spend a lot of time emphasizing
things like purpose,
audience, and context. (We tend not to focus on skills, such
as grammar and mechanics,
as much as we do on larger concepts and approaches to writing;
will work individually with students who face some challenges
with grammar and mechanics
and can address whole class concerns in this area when there
appears to be
a pattern of error.
Public discourse is our secondary focus (since it is an ideal
topic for exploring the complexity of writing situations), so
we'll also be looking at important social and political issues.
You may wish at this point to
also address any expectations they’ve articulated that you believe
will clearly NOT be covered by CO150. This helps to clarify what
the course will and will not do and it allows you to legitimize
their goals, even if these goals lie outside the bounds of this
Transition to Next Activity (remember to feel free to write your
Last time we conducted interviews
with one another and discussed how context affects even our choices
about the questions we’re willing to ask our classmates. Today
we'll connect that activity with the writing situation model and
then use it to examine the situation you found yourselves in as
you worked on your homework for today.
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, 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
can either draw a diagram on the board or make an overhead (we
recommend making an overhead). 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 for you):
·Writers have purposes for writing
·Usually 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 to)
·Writes 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 writer.
·In addition to context, writers also need
to think about readers.
·Readers have various needs and interests
which are likewise determined by their contexts (their background,
environment and experience).
·In order to communicate effectively, a writer
must anticipate what their readers' needs and interests are.
Transition to Next Activity
a transition, review the key points from the writing situation
model. Students will have read the writing guide as homework for
today (Understanding Writing Situations: Writing as a Social Act
Use this review of the writing situation model as a transition
into the next activity.
You might say
something like the following: Now that we understand the
diagram, let's apply our homework to it so that we can fully understand
how it relates to the writing we do ourselves.
Discuss homework in
relation to the writing situation model
For this activity it
helps to label the diagram with students' responses to reinforce
connections and to help keep the discussion on track. Note:
possible responses and prompts are listed in parenthesis
following the questions.
Start at the middle
of the diagram and ask students the following questions:
·What was the text you produced? (homework
- reflection on self as writer)
·What was your purpose for writing this text?
(to complete an assignment, to impress the instructor or class,
to learn more about one's self as a writer, to get an "A"
·Describe the context that created your purpose
for writing? (the college classroom, the first day of class, a
small "classroom community" where participation is likely)
·What requirements and limitations did the
context of a college classroom pose? (a deadline for writing,
a computer to type the message and to print it out, limitations
on language, tone and style, the possibility of having to share
writing in class…).
·What opportunities did this context create?
(an invitation to call on your own personal reflections, experience
·How did the various limitations, requirements
and opportunities shape what you wrote? (answers will vary)
·Who did you think of as your readers for
this text? (you, the instructor, other peers)
·Did you think of your readers’ needs and
interests? If so, what were they?
Transition to Next Activity
So whether or not you realized
it you were probably already thinking about context, audience
and purpose when completing your homework. This course aims to
help you think about these things more critically, both as a writer
and as a reader. And now that we see how our own writing
relates to the Writing Situation Model, we need to look at our
first major assignment from the same perspective.
Ask students to identify
what it means to be a "critical reader." What makes an effective
critical reader? How does one become a close reader of the text?
What can you do to be more active and critical when reading an
Reinforce the following
from the PHG:
or survey your reading. This means looking over the reading
before you begin it. With the NYT that would involve reading
the news summary on page 2 before you read articles. Previewing
allows you to estimate length/time requirements, activate
what you know about the topic, prepare yourself for the content
by reading the introduction and conclusion before your read
all the way through.
close reading strategies (marginal markings, notes outside of
questions that challenge the ideas in the text
the context in which the essay was written
your context (what you are bringing to your reading and why
you react the way you do)
how cultural context influences your reading (turn the critical
lens inward and examine your beliefs and influences)
Pass out the Essay 1 assignment sheet. Let students
read it over or have a student or two read the most important
parts out loud.
for understanding of the general terms, and the essay in particular,
ask students to restate the purpose, context, and audience as
a class: What is the purpose of this essay assignment? Who is
your audience for this essay? What will you have to do to meet
the assignment goals?
move on to discuss how these responses will affect their choices
when writing Essay 1. Since the students are part of the general
academic audience, include them by asking what type of response
they would like to read. You might ask the following:
Given your audience, what will readers want to know? What type
of reaction would you want to read?
should be able to generate such concerns as: a reaction that isn't
a rant, a reaction that doesn't go off on tangents or try to cover
too much (focus), a reaction that has an appropriate tone, a reaction
I can relate to, a reaction that is well supported with evidence.
Today we began discussing the writing situation model. Next
time we will introduce the techniques involved in writing academic
summary to help prepare for writing Essay 1. We'll deepen our
understanding of summary by using the writing situation model
to think critically about a writer's argument.
Assign homework for
Put the homework assignment
on an overhead for students to copy down. You will need
to explain or provide explanation/instructions for how students
can access the article for reading.
You should also let
students know that they should begin accessing homework via the
Calendar feature on your class page on the Writing Studio.
You should provide instructions for how they can do this (an instructions
handout is available in the Appendix). You should also decide
if you want students to create Writing Studio accounts before
you enter them into your Studio Class or if you want to enter
them first. If you want enter students first, it is helpful
to get their email addresses in class as soon as possible.