Wednesday, October 17, 2012

What's Up With Responding?

In my last post about mid-terms, I mentioned that my 1101 students had given me some important ideas about how the rest of our semester should go.  With that in mind, I'm going back to them again with a problem we are having in our class and hoping that in this space we can help each other out.

My students are not regularly responding to each other's blogs.  I even gave class time for this on Monday and flipping through blogs last night to add my two cents, I noticed that there wasn't much responding there. 

Responding to other's writing is a large part of this class and something that I really hoped the blog space would help with, but some how it's not.

Experience tells me that when my students aren't doing something that I've asked them to do, it's because they don't see the value of it, and if they don't see the value of it, it's because of something I've done or not done.

So . . . in a grand experiment, I'm using my own blog as our writing into the day and a place to practice some responding and think about the value of it. 

Tuesday, October 9, 2012

Midterm Reflections/ Exam

I've just finished reading midterms for my 1101 class.  They have been so honest and insightful.  For the most part I now have a very clear picture of their experience in class so far, where they are with their understanding of literacy, and how they see all of the moving pieces (daybook, blogs, projects, readings) of the class working.

They have also given me some great suggestions about the second half of the semester.  I have to admit, these are my favorite part, because it lets me know which things seem like valuable use of class time and which things do not, in a way that wouldn't happen if I simply asked "Do you think time to write in class is useful?"   "How can our class help you going forward?" is much more difficult (at least I think so) to answer in a way that the teacher wants to hear.

Here's what I've jotted down in my daybook based on what they've said:

1) Allow students choose their own readings and topics for blog posts/
2) Allow students to choose topics for blog posts
3) More free-writing in class
4) Talk about form, purpose and audience in connection with ethnography projects
5) Work with interview questions
6) Work with the idea of artifacts
7) Focused writing time on ethnography in class.

Coming right up oh brilliant students of mine!

This list alone makes me feel like we have had a very solid midterm exam experience.