Day 8 - Thursday, September 18th
Lesson Objectives: Students are exposed today to the value of peer review. They take part in their first, full college writer’s workshop. They learn how to be constructively critical rather than blissfully uncritical or arrogantly hypercritical. They begin to develop trust in classmates as readers as they also develop their own abilities as constructive critics. 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 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
5. Read a sample essay and discuss its strengths and weakness, clarifying that samples are provided for discussion purposes, not as models
Introduce this final 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 them 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 (5 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.
2. Review portfolio requirements for the summary/response essay and address student concerns about 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. Develop grading criteria with the class (5 minutes) Be sure to prepare your own ideas on this before class begins so that you don’t find yourself committing to grading criteria you can’t ultimately justify/support!
4. Workshop activity (30 minutes): Engage students in a full class workshop that will help students prepare their summary/response essay for submission at the beginning of the next class. You might try the Writer’s Triad approach to the workshop. (See the Activities Bank for details).
5. Review a Sample Paper: You may be hard-pressed to squeeze in this activity, but it does help students to see a sample paper, so long as they understand that you’re not showing them a model but rather an example that lends itself to discussion of both strengths and weaknesses. At a later workshop, or this one if you have moved more quickly through activities than you anticipated, you could try the Cut-‘n-Paste Activity with a sample essay.
Conclusion—please write one!
Assignment for Next Time
Bring your first portfolio to class. It should include your final drafts—clearly marked--of the summary/response Letter-to-the-Editor and the abstract of less than 200 words, as well as all drafts, homework assignments, and in-class activities you’ve completed during this portfolio period. It should also include a copy of the formal workshop responses you received in class today, and these should be attached to the appropriate draft. Finally, the folder should include the postscript.* Please organize all materials so that there can be no confusion about your choices and with the goal in mind of reducing the amount of digging your instructor has to do to find your process materials and final drafts. Organizing from the most recent on top to the earliest draft on the bottom is a good strategy.
Instructors: Alternatively, you can have your students do the postscript at the next class meeting as a WTL done immediately before they turn in their folders.