Shared by Barb Bird
We do the portfolio assignment a bit differently from what others have done (that I’ve seen anyway). We really focus on the reflective, metacognitive essays, but we do require specific evidences for how they have accomplished the course objectives. It has really helped students accomplish the portfolio project well when I began emphasizing course objectives throughout the entire course.
Essay 2.15 (1)
essay 4 mini research paper
Shared by Barb Bird
I have found that students really like having a lot of choices for essays. I used to just leave it open-ended (topic could be anything related in any way to our readings), but I found that that much openness actually froze students’ minds instead of helping them. So every year I work on crafting another really strong option for each essay (I still have several options in each of these essay assignments that need better crafting).
Final Presentation and Reflection
Shared by Glenn Newman
In this take on a final reflection, specifically designed for an ALP course, students are asked to deliver a presentation on their progress as a preparatory activity for a final written reflection. I set up an ethos theme in my courses, less Aristotelian, more about what will we do when what we bring to the table is not enough. This helps us think about how we can move beyond the classroom and into our real-time lives, and it’s a driving theme in their final reflective piece.
Shared by Susanna Horn
As a huge fan of self-assessment, I ask students to self-assess before they write their final drafts and then again, using this grid, just as they are turning in the final. This is also useful as fodder for further writing and/or discussion.
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.
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.
Shared by Elizabeth Baldridge
With inspiration from/credit to Nancie Atwell’s The Reading Zone
This assignment asks students to write critical response letters to their instructor and their classmates about their joy reading books. The assignment sheet itself borrows heavily and extensively from Atwell’s. There’s very little original material here.
Writing Process Rep
Shared by Nicole Hancock
This was inspired by a presentation by Naomi Silver at CCCC’s. It asks students to think about their writing process in a new way before beginning a reflective writing assignment (in my class, it is a cover letter for a portfolio). This is the handout I give students with some pretty basic step-by-step instructions for the students who need assistance with computer literacy.
Digital Visual Arguments
Sample Student Projects here and here
Shared by Ethna Lay
Writing instruction changes exponentially as the technologies for writing change. Sensitive to this need to address a rapidly flexing pedagogy, I have designed a digital, visual argument assignment for my first-year writing students. The project involves making an argument as a visual montage followed by a verbal, written reflection considering whether images can do what words do, and the converse query, can words do what images do.
Shared by Susan Naomi Bernstein
With inspiration from/credit to “Recursive Processes in Self-Affirmation: Intervening to Close the Minority Achievement Gap,” an article published in Science 17 (April 2009) by Geoffrey L. Cohen, Julio Garcia, Valerie Purdie-Vaughns, Nancy Apfel, and Patricia Brzustoski. Their research investigated the connections between writing, values affirmation, and school success. Also see “Writing Beyond Stereotypes” on Bedford Bits: Ideas for Teaching Composition 5.9.11 by Susan Naomi Bernstein.
I have invited students to write in response to various versions of this prompt throughout the term as a touchstone for affirming their strengths and values as writers. Students may find this writing prompt especially valuable as preparation for any high stakes writing venture, including but not limited to: beginning a new semester; building resilience at midterm; undertaking revision and reflection for final portfolios; preparing for high stakes tests and assignments.