Take care of the administrative work of making sure students
are enrolled in the course and have a syllabus.
Introduce the overall goals of CO150 and make sure that
your students understand those goals and how the sequences of
activities, homework, and assignments will help them reach those
goals. Clarify due dates for each portfolio so that they can
record these on their master calendar.
Establish your policies. Make sure to establish your policy
on homework collection, attendance, late portfolios, and the
revision of portfolios. Creating and upholding these will be
discussed during the orientation week and in your teaching methods
Provide students with an overview of the primary concepts
that will be used in the course:
the writing situation model: highlights the text, writers’
purposes, readers’ needs and interests,limitations and opportunities,
and social/cultural/historical context
the notion of writing as participation in a conversation:
emphasizes the importance of becoming accountable to what
others have written and the subsequent need to offer something
new to the conversation
the role of public discourse in society and the obligation
to understand the complexity of the writing situations shaping
Enroll students in delivery of the New York Times
to their homes/dorm rooms using the subscription form provided
by the New York Times representative.
Assign a homework assignment, which students will post to
the Class Discussion Forum on their Writing Studio course page.
You should read the work produced by your students with attention
to their overall writing abilities. If you find students who
have what appear to be fairly weak writing skills, pay particular
attention to subsequent homework and, if appropriate, meet with
them and develop a plan to enhance their writing skills. You
might suggest that the student work with consultants in the
Writing Center or you might set up individual meetings during
your office hours.
Introduce students to critical reading strategies and to the
principles of summary writing. As you introduce summaries, address
the purpose for summarizing and the concept of "objectivity"
in summarizing. However, it’s critical that students understand
that "objectivity" in an absolute sense is difficult, if not
impossible to attain, since the purposes for summarizing will
vary from writer to writer. It is more appropriate, as a result,
to discuss the concept of "fairness" in summarizing. Students
should strive to fairly and accurately convey the ideas and
information in a text that are most appropriate given their
writing situations (purposes, readers, etc.).
Consider, for instance, two writers who are summarizing a particular
scientific report about recent advances in cloning. One writer
is interested in what the study has to say about the potential
for applying these advances to a commercial venture. The other
is interested in the specific data discussed in the report.
The two summaries, as a result, would vary significantly, even
though both might be fair and accurate. Be sure to consult the
teaching guide on summarizing and responding at http://writing.colostate.edu/guides/teaching/summaryresponse/.
Assign Portfolio 1.
Assign Cohen's article, "Trying to Buy Our Way Out of
Activities for this
lesson plans are available for the first five weeks of the course,
which is the entire first portfolio of the course. You will note
at the start of week three, however, that the lesson plans ask
you to start writing your own introductions, conclusions, and
transitions for the lessons. Beginning in the fifth week, you
will be expected to choose activities from a set of suggested
activities (The Activity Bank) and to develop your own activities
for the Bank, which will help you, your fellow GTAs, and your
students achieve the goals for the course, the week, and the specific
the course, even in the first weeks, it’s a good idea to type
up your own plans for the class, rather to rely upon the syllabus
as it is posted here. Making your own plan for sequencing activities—and
comparing it to this original—will ensure that you get full coverage
of the material AND that you are doing things in a manner and
sequence that make sense for you.