Assignment for Day 2
Reading - In PHG, pp. 3-15 ("Writing Myths and Rituals"), 17-31 ("Purposes and Processes for Writing"); Read over the CO150 policy statement, and jot down any questions you have about it for next time.
Writing - Answer questions 3 & 4 on p. 14, PHG; Make a list of "writer's goals" that you have at this moment. In what ways do you hope that this class will help you become a more skilled and confident academic writer? [Explain to students that in large part, their success in CO150 will involve being able to set goals for themselves as writers, then to meet those goals. (Also, that their goals are likely to develop and change as the course unfolds.)] .
Introductions - Make sure everyone is in the right course and section. Putting the course name, number, section number, and your name on the board helps weed out students who have wandered into the wrong room. Expect students to drift in late on the first day.
Introduce yourself. Take roll - Call names and record attendance on your roll sheet. Also write on roll sheet: nicknames and phonetic pronunciations of difficult names. While you may use some other attendance-taking method in the future, taking the time to call roll the first few days will help you learn students' names.
Because students may have added or dropped since the time your roll sheet was generated, you will most likely have students who have registered for your class whose names do not appear on the roll. Ask them to stay after class to give you their names and student i.d. numbers.
Daily Writing - Put prompt up on the overhead projector (OH) or on the board. Explain to students that this type of informal writing in class will be typical; that they are asked to write in this way in order to gather thoughts in preparation for writing, think about ideas that will be central to class discussion, reflect on readings, etc. [See the section in PHG on "Keeping a Journal," 9-12 for ideas to bring to the discussion of journal writing.]
Daily Prompt: Write for five minutes about a type of writing you enjoy (or have enjoyed) doing. If necessary, expand your ideas of "writing" to include things that we ordinarily consider informal--Email, grocery lists, letters--whatever comes to mind. OR Write for five minutes about an issue you feel strongly about.
Student Introductions - Go around the room and introduce ourselves, giving name, year in school, and presentation of information from daily writing ("type of writing you enjoy" or "issue you feel strongly about").
Course Policy - (Be sure to show books, pocket folder, etc.) You can present the course policy statement yourself, choosing to emphasize those policies that you will later consider most important for students to know about: attendance policy, course topic, preparation for class, grading, and other policies you consider critical. One good strategy is to come to class with a copy of your policy statement which you have highlighted or annotated, emphasizing the essential ideas you want to convey. This helps to tame first day jitters associated with being on stage while ensuring that your students will know what they absolutely need to know about the course.
If you would like to delegate some of the responsibility of conveying this information and take the spotlight off yourself for a while, have students read aloud selected sections and stop periodically to discuss it.
After going through the course policy, be sure to hand out the CO150 Course Overview (given to you during GTA Orientation) and go over the topics for the various units of the course, the sequence of the assignments and units, and any important information about the structure of the course itself which you would like to convey.
Put assignment for next class on OH or on the board. Have students copy the assignment. Tell them your expectations for homework assignments, i.e. do you want them typed or handwritten, do you want a heading on them, will you collect them every day when due, how will they be graded, what part of the grade reflects homework, etc. Explain that both reading and writing assignments usually serve as the basis of the next class's discussion [although you will not always discuss directly the reading they have done in PHG--they are just expected to have read it, and this reading will enable them to do their writing assignments], and that they should come prepared to participate in that discussion. [If you want to see their homework next time, be sure to tell them that you will be collecting it.]
If you find yourself with extra time on your hands, you might ask students to discuss their expectations of CO150. What do they envision themselves doing in this class? What do they look forward to? What do they dread? What stories have they heard about this class, good and bad? [This is always an interesting discussion to have, but it's also not for the feint of heart. If you think you will be disheartened by their attitudes toward and expectations of the class, you might want to devise another activity/discussion to use if there is extra time.]