Review expectations for the course. Discuss WTLs from Day 1 and homework done for today. Discuss strategies for critical reading. Introduce the concept of summary and its conventions and apply them to the articles read for today.
Connection to Course Goals
The homework discussion builds off the concepts reviewed in class on Day I (Purpose, Audience, and Context) by inviting students to consider what influences them as writers. Addressing their responses to the NBC and Katz articles lays the foundation for the theme of the first portfolio: alcohol consumption on college campuses. Critical reading prepares students for closely examining the texts they'll write about it this course and summary provides students with a key skill for this class and courses beyond CO150.
Introduce Class and Take Attendance (5 minutes)
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 on the board and connect these activities to the class, week, portfolio and course goals. Or you might just use a statement that loops back to the previous class, (i.e. Last time we …. And today we'll…). Introductions let students know what to expect so they can begin to connect past and future classes and can see plainly what you have in mind for the day.
Remind students who you are/introduce yourself for those who missed the previous class session or just added the course.
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. Some students may have added your class. Take down their names and check to see if they are on your class roll on the computer in the English Department Office.
Hand out class materials 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.
Sample Transition: I've read your responses from the Write to Learn last class, and would like to take a few minutes to address your concerns.
Discuss WTLs from Day 1 (3 - 5 minutes)
Address any student concerns that didn't come up on the first day. Also, you can explain the dual focus for the class:
Writing is 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; however, we will work individually with students who face some challenges with grammar and mechanics.
Joining public conversations is our secondary focus, 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 (i.e. writing poetry, reading Shakespeare, giving speeches, etc…). This helps to clarify what the course will cover.
Sample Transition: Does anyone have other concerns about the course and what we'll cover (if so, address these)? Then, let's move on to discuss the homework responses you wrote for today.
Discuss Homework Responses (15 - 20 minutes)
First, apply students' work to the concepts covered in class today (Purpose, Audience, Context). You might ask the following questions. Possible responses are mentioned in parentheses.
What was your purpose for writing this homework? (To voice an opinion, to respond to the articles, to appease the teacher, to get a good grade in CO150…)
What did you perceive as your audience? (Most likely the teacher). How did this affect what you wrote or how you wrote? How might your response been different if a friend has asked you to share your opinion on the issue of drinking?
How would you describe your context for writing this (2005, college classroom, new semester, possibly new to college scene…)? How did this context affect what you wrote and how you wrote it?
Sample Transition: Now that we've considered how purpose, audience and context may have shaped your writing, let's talk about what you wrote. What are your initial opinions on this issue?
You may choose to lead this discussion as a whole class, or you might ask students to get into groups of 3 - 4 and discuss what they wrote. The focus of the conversation should be on the question, "Is drinking really a problem for college students?" You might also ask them to discuss what they know about the "conversation" surrounding drinking at CSU. For example, are they aware of the deaths that occurred in the Fall of 2004? Are they familiar with the policies for drinking in the dorms and at Highs Stadium?
Other questions you might ask:
Why do so many people think that drinking is a problem on campuses?
Do you think the students interviewed in the NBC article represent the norm as they suggest?
Do you agree with Francine Katz's claim that most of today's students are making responsible decisions? Do you think her "Social Norms marketing approach" would work to reduce drinking? Why or why not?
Consider where these articles are coming from. Dateline NBC is a news source that seeks to grab viewers' attention with highly dramatized stories. Francine Katz works for Anheuser-Busch and is writing this article during Alcohol Awareness Week. How might these contexts influence what these writers are saying?
Introduce Portfolio I (5 - 10 minutes)
Distribute the assignment and ask students to read it over. Ask students if they have any questions and address their concerns. Highlight important parts of the assignment and let students know that ALL the work you do in the next two weeks will prepare them for completing this portfolio.
Sample Transition: Writing an effective summary and response will depend, in part on your ability to read texts closely and critically. So let's discuss critical reading and what it involves.
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 essay?
What is critical reading?
Critical reading is "active" and usually happens when you're trying to learn something. It enables you to gain a deeper understanding of what you've read. (You're "actively" interpreting a passage you read. You're "actively" asking questions once you've finished reading a text) Casual reading is passive and usually happens when you're just reading for enjoyment.
Why read critically?
It will help you understand the texts you're reading and help you remember what you read (this is especially useful when you're later asked to write about these texts).
Strategies for Critical Reading
Preview or survey your reading: Look over the reading before you begin it. Read the introduction and scan the subheadings. Previewing allows you to estimate length/time requirements, activate what you know about the topic, and prepare yourself for the content in the article or book.
Reconstruct the text's rhetorical context: Give some thought to where the article is coming from. Who is the author? Why is s/he writing this? Who is his/her target audience? Putting the article in context will help you make more sense out of it.
Rereading: If you've ever watched a movie several times, you know that each viewing reveals something new. The same goes for reading. The first time through, you might just try to get a sense of the bigger picture - what's it about? On the second or third read, you may need to do more critical thinking to gain a deeper understanding of the text.
Dialoguing: ALWAYS read with a pen or pencil. Mark anything that stands out, such as:
Something you relate to
Questions or confusions
Ideas that seem important
Dialoguing involves more than just underlining or highlighting. You should also jot down notes to help you interpret the meaning of a passage and remember it for later on.
Glossing: When glossing, write down the main idea of each paragraph (either in the margins or on a separate sheet of paper). Glossing leaves you with a mini-summary of the entire reading. It also helps you to see the overall structure of the writing. This strategy will be especially useful when you write academic summaries.
Sample Transition: Critical reading strategies will help you to effectively write academic summaries.
You could begin this lesson with some discussion of summary in general and then compare this to academic summary. You might create two columns on the board: General Summary and Academic Summary. Then, list generated responses beneath the appropriate titles. Note: possible responses are listed in parenthesis.
What is summary in general? Where do you see summary used in our society?
When was the last time you summarized something that you did or saw (perhaps in an e-mail to a friend or on the phone)?
Are your summaries objective (fairly representing everyone/everything involved) or are they subjective, colored by your own opinions or point of view?
How do you think general summaries compare to academic summaries? What are the similarities and differences? (academic summaries are more objective and focus on main ideas rather than events)
What are the purposes for an academic summary? How is this different from a general summary?
After generating some responses, have students turn to pgs. 160 - 161 in the PHG and review guidelines for academic summary. You might add these points to the academic summary column on the board.
If Time: Generate Summary Points
If you have extra time, use this activity to get students started on their homework. Ask them to list out the points that they think would have to go into an academic summary of the NBC article, "College Binge Drinking" OR for the Katz article, "Staying Sober, Being Cool".
Conclude Class and Assign Homework (3 minutes)
Explain that we will use the concepts from today's class to write an academic summary and to read an article critically for Monday. Then, in class on Monday, we'll also continue addressing the discussion of alcohol on college campus.
Note: Let students know that, after this week, 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 to enter students first, it's helpful to get their email addresses as soon as possible.
Homework for Monday (put this on an overhead):
1.) Logon to the class Writing Studio and locate the class calendar.
2.) Type a 200 - 300 word academic summary of either the NBC article, "College Binge Drinking" OR the Katz article, "Staying Sober, Being Cool". Use pgs. 160 - 161 in your PHG as a guide for writing.
3.) Read the NYT magazine article titled, "Ban of Brothers" by BENOIT DENIZET-LEWIS. Apply critical reading strategies (you don't need to read the article twice, but do read it with a pen or pencil, underlining important parts and jotting notes along the way). Bring the article to class.