Monthly Archives: February 2014

Book Reflections

Book Reflection Example

Shared by Gael Grossman

Book Reflections (silent reading) – You will be reading independently chosen books this semester.  A book will need to be approved by me and generally be at least 200 pages in length.  A book may be fiction or nonfiction. They may not be an assigned book, a textbook, or a requirement for another class.  It should not be a book you’ve already read. For around every 25-30 pages read, you will write a 1 page typed response.  This is not a summary of the pages but more a discussion of personal connections you had with the book so far. This can include your likes/dislikes, predictions of where the book will go next, and reflections (what it makes you think about outside the book).

We will discuss and practice this in class first.

Leave a comment

Filed under Assignments

Book Club Materials

Book Ballot

Ground Rules for Book Clubs

Book Checkout Form

Reading Strategies 101

Reading Strategies 101Filledin

Book Club Reflections 216

The Envelope please

Book Club Final Reflections

Shared by Meagan Newberry

With inspiration from/credit to Harvey Daniels’s Literature Circles

Students formed groups based on the book of their choice (they turn in a top 3 out of a choice of about six—I got a grant to buy sets of book). They met for about 20-30 minutes once a week. They set their own ground rules, after we talked a bit about what makes a group  work, etc. I also spent time on reading strategies (attached, but I use those separately with the whole class, or even in classes without book clubs).The “Book Club Reflections 216” attachment is one example of what I asked them all to do each time they met. I used the honor system and asked them to report if they read or not, and if so, how much. I found that students self-reported pretty accurately, and I simply choose not to police them because I want the crux of this to be reading both for pleasure and the challenge of discussing chosen reading. Most students participate actively and enjoy the process. Of course, a few are always unprepared, and we talk about how to prevent that. For those few, the “grade threat” sadly is what pushes them to try to be prepared. I really hope for intrinsic motivation with this, and for 80% of students, it works really well. I highly recommend a copy of “Literature Circles” or “Mini-Lessons for Literature Circles,” both by Harvey Daniels.

1 Comment

Filed under Assignments

Using Word for Sentence Editing

How to use Word to turn essay into list of sentences

Shared by Nick Carbone

With inspiration from Klonoski, Edward, “Using the Eyes of the PC to Teach Revision.,” Computers and Composition, v11 n1 p71-78. 1994.

Since handbooks and exercises use single sentence examples to illustrate incorrect and then corrected sentences, a proofing stage activity, students use the steps in this handout to transfer what they read and exercise to their own writing.  They do this by turning their essay into a list of sentences to match the kind of approach the handbook/exercises use.   See also, for a related activity inspired by Ed’s piece, “One Way to Use Grammar and Spellcheckers Carefully” at

1 Comment

Filed under Activities

Six-credit Reading and Writing Course


Unit Project One — Education Autobiography

Unit Project Two — Placeography

Unit Project Three — Education Narrative

Unit Project Four — Argument

Unit Project 5 — I-Search

Shared by Jeremy Branstad

I follow a pretty traditional assignment sequence by transitioning from experience-based writing to source-based writing as the semester progresses. Students really seem to enjoy the placeography (unit 2), literacy narrative (unit 3) and i-search paper (unit 5) assignments. I’ll probably cut the fourth unit to make time for other things, maybe an audio essay, if I run the course again. I’m told that my assignments can look like a bit of a bear, at least in comparison to what students in my course levels at community colleges are sometimes assigned. I’m a pretty friendly person and I run safe, relaxed, and portfolio-based courses were students are encouraged to take risks, make mistakes, and grow.

Leave a comment

Filed under Whole-Course Packages