Friday, October 5

Day 20 (Friday, October 5)

Lesson Objectives
Students will

Connection to Course Goals
Research and collaboration are essential skills within academic communities (as well as within many other contexts). 

Connection to Students’ Own Writing
Today’s class is another CSOW smorgasbord.  The class will engage directly in composing processes today.


Determine which groups you will meet with today.  Explain that while you meet with each group, the rest of the class needs to work on one or more of the following activities (put the instructions on an overhead or make handouts—students need to be able to see the instructions for the activities they choose):

Annotation workshop
Trade annotations with your group members, and give feedback by answering the following questions (explain all yes/no responses, please):

Assess your inquiry
What answers have you already found?  What answers do you need to find?  What perspectives have you found?  What perspectives do you need to find?  Share your sources with your group members.  Help each other out by suggesting good databases, search terms, and other search strategies.

Draft your explanation’s introduction
Reread the assignment sheet to remind yourselves of what your explanation’s introduction needs to accomplish.  Use your WTLs and your inquiry interviews from last week to draft the introduction.  Be sure to hold on to whatever you draft today, as you will be able to use it later.

Read and evaluate sample explanations
Take out your assignment sheet and review the strategies and criteria for the collaborative explanation.  Read the sample explanations and discuss their strengths and weaknesses (using the grading criteria as a guide).  As you discuss the samples, also discuss your plans for the explanation you will write later this week.

Work on drafting explanations
You can begin drafting your explanation even if your research is not 100% complete.  Reread the assignment sheet to remind yourselves of the explanation’s purpose and audience.  Begin drafting.  Be sure to hold onto what you write today so that you can use it as you draft the rest of your explanation.

As students work, you can conference with groups (aim to conference with about half of the groups today).  Aim to help them assess their inquiry: are they finding relevant, reliable sources?  Are they finding a range of perspectives on the subject?  Is anyone behind (if so, how can you and the group help the person catch up?)?  Are there group dynamic problems that you can ease?  Aim to leave each conference having helped the group formulate a plan for being ready to finish their research by Wednesday.  Also, be sure you have communicated that you understand where each individual student is with his/her research. This should help motivate anyone who is lagging behind, and it should ease any concerns that the best-prepared students may have.

Continue finding sources and working on your annotations.  All of your annotations need to be complete by Wednesday, October 10.