Day 10 - Wednesday, September 17th
Lesson Objectives: 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
1. Connect the current portfolio to the course goals.
2. Review what makes an effective workshop
3. Review portfolio requirements for essay one, address student concerns, develop grading criteria
4. Plan a full workshop, using the Planning Workshops and Peer Review on Writing@CSU (https://writing.colostate.edu/guides/teaching/peer/). This extensive peer review session will help students prepare the final drafts of their summary/response essays
Introduce this 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 abstract.
1. Review what makes an effective workshop (10 minutes): Refer to the Teaching Guide on Planning Workshops and Peer Review on Writing@CSU (https://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.