Fairleigh Dickinson University (English 110) and Champlain College (Education and Social Change) Winter 2013

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Fairleigh Dickinson University (English 110) and Champlain College (Education and Social Change) Winter 2013

Hey Lynn and Nicole,

I know you've thought about collaborating on a course in winter 2013. Use this thread to coordinate classwork qnd discuss goals and concerns.


Hi Lynn,

I am in the process of developping an assignment which I have uploaded this message.  It is still a draft but if you take a look maybe it can give you some insights into what I would like to accomplish through the use of this site in order to determine whether our needs and goals are compatible.  As I said, I'm just getting going on it and would welcome any and all feedback that you would be willing to pass on.  I have not included the marking grids or how to use the site sections yet.

As you will see, the explicit objectives of the assignments. and the course overall,  revolve around taking and defending a position and developping critical thinking skills.

In addition, the implicit objective (my own agenda) is to have my students learn about and engage with current social issues, ideally with students with different worldviews, as this has been demonstrated to increase civic engagement and participation.  I am hoping to conduct some research with my groups on the differences between debating on-line and in-class.

In any case, I hope any or all of this is of interest to you and I look forward to hearing from you,

All the best,

NicoleNewsActivist Assignment.pdf







Hi Nicole,

Hi Nicole,

I love your assignment! At what point in the semester do you expect to have students complete it?

I teach primarily basic skills students, so the goals for our course are a little bit different. We will, however, be discussing educational issues during the first few weeks of the course. I'm still tweaking the schedule, but so far, this is what I have planned: Unit 1: Perspectives on Education and Learning, Unit 2: Perspectives on Language, Literacy, and Communication, Unit 3: Perspectives on Culture and Society. 

For the first two units, I plan to have students write the major papers based on their own experience, though there will be some space for argumentative writing. Around midterm, though (Feb 28th for us--we do midterm really early), I was going to give them a take-home argument assignment that incorporates a news article.

The major essay that would fit the ideals of the Newsactivist curriculum would be our third one. I'm going to ask students to select a reading from our text as a jumping off point to then select a news article. 

Let me know what you think. Like I said, I'm still adjusting my syllabus and don't begin class until Jan 28th, so I have time to adjust and tweak. 


Monday, January 28
Welcome to ENGW 1100! Review syllabus.
4th Hour:
Complete First Day Writing Sample
  Write one page describing your expectations from this course. This might include what you hope to learn about reading or writing, what you think you will learn about reading or writing, or how you might be interested in improving as a reader or writer.

Do your best to demonstrate your ability to write clear paragraphs and sentences.

Follow the directions for submitting your assignments: print a copy to bring to class and post a copy to your Google Docs Assignments Folder. BOTH are necessary--your work needs to be available for you in class as a hard copy and it needs to be available to me in both a hard and digital copy after class.

Read “Reading to Write” by Stephen King (p. 66 in S&S).
  Thursday, January 31st

Review Writing Samples from Day 1. Look at sample essays. Discuss the writing you did for homework.

Homework Prep:
How to read complex texts.
Read together:
Mortimer Adler, “How to Mark a Book”
in Subject and Strategy

  Weekly Reflection 1:
Write roughly one page describing something you learned in class this week, something that was confusing, something that was interesting, or something that you would like to talk more about.

Read and ANNOTATE “The Banking Concept of Education.” (handout)

This is a very challenging read (maybe the hardest all semester!), but do your best with it. Use the strategies for reading that we’ve discussed in class and that you’ve read about.

**Please come to class ready to ask any questions you have about the reading assignment.**

Essay 1 Prewriting
Write one page or more about an experience you’ve had with “banking” and one page or more on an experience you’ve had with “problem-posing” during your K-12 years. Monday, February 4th

Begin to discuss Freire reading. We will begin by discussing what you understood from the passage, and then we will begin to discuss questions and how to approach reading the parts that were especially challenging.

4th Hour:
Introduce Essay 1 and read samples

Keywords for today:
What do you know? What do you need to know?
  Close Reading Assignment 1a:
Review “The Banking Concept of Education” in light of our work in class. Is there anything that you need to go back and re-read? Do you have any new questions about the text?

Pick one paragraph from the reading that you feel like you don’t fully understand and try your best to analyze it the way we did in class. Write a brief response about how you approached this task (less than 1 page). Post your analysis in Google Docs and Share it with the class folder.

Close Reading Assignment 1b:
Read “Limestone Way of Learning”
Would Bernstein and Freire share a common definition or expectation of what education should be? Take a clear position and write roughly two pages that argue your point. (Mini-essay)
Thursday, February 7th
Read “Limestone Way of Learning” to discuss narrative and cause/effect.

Discuss Freire in real-life contexts

Keywords for today: Summary, Paraphrase, Analysis

4th Hour
Select one of the two pieces you wrote for Monday about “banking” or “problem-posing” to develop into Essay 1. Try to extend your one page into at least two pages by Monday. Weekly Reflection 2:
Write roughly one page describing something you learned in class this week, something that was confusing, something that was interesting, or something that you would like to talk more about.

Essay 1 Draft 1:
Complete a FULL draft of Essay 1 (4-5 pages) for Monday’s class.

Read Chapter 1 in Portfolio Keeping. This is an INFORMATIVE read that should help you to begin to think about the final portfolio for ENGW 1100.

Read “Writing and White Privilege: Beyond Basic Skills” (handout) Monday, February 11th

“Scholarly Evidence”
Read “Writing and White Privilege: Beyond Basic Skills” to discuss summary, paraphrase, analysis, and narrative (use of evidence)

4th Hour:
Thesis workshop for Essay 1.

Keywords for today:
Purpose, Audience, Thesis, RENNS Close Reading Assignment 2a:

Plan to attend the HOT TOPICS Event on Tuesday, February 12th in Lenfell Hall. This event is part of the Black History Month Celebration at FDU.

Perform a “close reading” of this event alongside your reading of Bernstein’s “Writing and White Privilege” OR James Baldwin’s essay “ A Talk to Teachers” . Think about how the Hot Topics Event and one of these texts speak to each other or work together to speak to a particular issue.

**If you cannot attend the Hot Topics Event, you may complete this assignment by writing about Bernstein’s “Writing and White Privilege” AND James Baldwin’s essay “A Talk to Teachers.” Think about how the texts speak to each other or work together to speak to a particular issue.

Close Reading Assignment 2b:
Read “Intertextuality: How Texts Rely on Other Texts” by Chuck Bazerman. Write informally about how this piece has contributed to your understanding of how evidence from outside sources/readings works in an academic paper.

Schedule Essay 1 Conference with Prof. Reid Thursday, February 14th  
“Narrative Evidence”
Discuss how “Terrorists” and “Not Close Enough for Comfort” use narrative detail.

Read Colm Toibin’s “What’s Real is Imagined”

Keywords for today:
Purpose, RENNS (review)
Brainstorming Weekly Reflection 3:

  Monday, February 18th
Since you’ll have just written your first essay, we’ll spend some time talking about how that process went for you, and I’ll ask you to make some notes on your draft. During the second half of class, we’ll discuss thesis statements and we’ll look at some sample essays.

Keywords for today:

4th Hour
Sentence Lesson 1: Simple Sentences and Run-Ons Close Reading Assignment 3a:
Read “How Boys Become Men” by John Katz (p. 455 in S&S).

What is Katz’s main point? Write roughly one page that identifies his main point. Use at least TWO quotes from the reading to support your interpretation.

Close Reading Assignment 3b:
Read “Coming to an Awareness of Language” by Malcolm X.

I’ll be reading your first drafts and will try to have them ready for you on Thursday.
  Thursday, February 21st
Discuss “John Katz” (focus on cause/effect)

Review use of quotes in the writing you did for homework.

Paragraph writing exercise.

Read “Shitty First Drafts” by Anne Lamott (p. 47 in S&S).
I’ll return your drafts with my comments.

Keywords for today:
Thesis (review)
Supporting Details (review)
Sensory Details (review)
Analysis (review)
Revision Weekly Reflection 4:

Essay 1 Revision Activity:
In addition to any other necessary revisions, add the following to your paper:

Select one section of your narrative that you can turn into a “scene” as we discussed in class. On a separate sheet of paper, write a new description of that scene. The new description should be longer and more detailed than what is currently in your essay.

Once you have done that, find a quote from Freire that connects to the point you are trying to make in that scene. Write down the quote and explain how it connects to that part of your paper.

  Monday, February 25th
Concept Quiz

Thesis Statement
Paragraph Organization

Read Donald Murray’s “The Maker’s Eye: Revising Your Own Manuscripts” (p. 60 in S&S).  Work on Revising Introductions.

4th Hour:
Working with Quotes in Essay 1: Transitional sentences, signal phrases, and discussion of ideas.

Review of MLA rules

Keywords for today:
Thesis (review)
Topic Sentence
  Close Reading Assignment 4a and 4b:

Read “Public and Private Language” by Richard Rodriguez (handout) and “Mother Tongue” by Amy Tan (The Well-Crafted Sentence).

Write one paragraph or more that identifies the main idea of the text and provide a quote to support your interpretation. Do one for “Public and Private Language” and one for “Mother Tongue.”

Essay 1 Final Draft:
Complete a final draft of Essay 1. Use your notes from class, my feedback, feedback from your peers, and the rubric to shape your revision. This draft should reflect SIGNIFICANT changes from the last draft you submitted: the thesis should be more focused, the details should be more tightly connected to the thesis, paragraphs should be clearly focused around ONE idea, there should be clear connections between paragraphs, there should be clear connections to Freire, the essay should demonstrate your understanding of MLA style and formatting, and your should show that you’ve paid attention to word choice and phrasing by proofreading and refining the sentences in your essay to make them as clear and concise as possible.

In other words, this draft should demonstrate that you have put several hours worth of additional work into it. Thursday, February 28th

Final Draft of Essay 1 Due

Locating and correcting sentence fragments

Reading for Paper 2

Read “Web 2.0” by Andrew Keen (p. 560 in S&S).

  Weekly Reflection 5:

Read “Sponsors of Literacy” by Deborah Brandt (assigned sections only). Use the Google Doc for your group to discuss your selection. YOUR GROUP WILL PRESENT A SUMMARY OF YOUR SECTION NEXT THURSDAY.

Essay 2 Prewriting:
Read Peter Elbow’s Freewriting
Bring something to class that shows your thinking for Essay 2. It could be a freewrite that helps you to discover your ideas, an outline, a graphic organizer, or anything else that works for you.

We’ve got a lot planned for class on Monday that is going to require you to do a lot of thinking, reading, and listening. Please come prepared to work hard! Monday, March 4th

Today, we’ll discuss the reading you did for homework. Our discussion will focus primarily on locating main ideas and strategies for writing effective paragraphs.
Keywords for today:
Topic sentence (review)
Paragraph (review)

4th Hour: Listen to “A More Perfect Union” by Barack Obama p. 199 in The Well-Crafted Sentence.
Close Reading Assignment 5a: Write a summary of the section of “Sponsors of Literacy” that you were assigned to read. THIS IS A VERY CHALLENGING TEXT, SO DO YOUR BEST--YOU ARE NOT EXPECTED TO DO THIS PERFECTLY!

Close Reading Assignment 5b:
Select a passage from “Sponsors of Literacy” and a passage from “A More Perfect Union” and compare the style of the writing. How are the sentences similar or different? How do the selections differ if you read them out loud or silently?

Essay 2 Draft 1 is due on Thursday Thursday, March 7th

Discuss “Sponsors of Literacy”--Groups 1 & 2. Weekly Reflection 6:

Read Chapter 2 in The Well-Crafted Sentence. Complete ALL of the exercises in this chapter.

Complete your Peer Review letter for Essay 2.

Review the list of topics for Essay 2 and create a Table of Contents that you think would effectively organize these pieces. Bring your TOC to class on Monday, along with a written rationale for WHY you think this is a good order to put them in. Monday, March 11th
Spring Break
. Thursday, March 14th
Spring Break   Monday, March 25th
Discuss “Sponsors of Literacy” Group 3.

Discuss organization of Essay 2

4th Hour
Review homework from “The Well-Crafted Sentence.” Close Reading Assignment 6a :
Read “On the Rainy River” by Tim O’Brian (p. 211 in The Well-Crafted Sentence.)

Close Reading Assignmet 6b:
Read Mike Rose “Blue-Collar Brilliance” p. 202 in Subject and Strategy.

Essay 2 Revision Exercise 1:
In addition to any other necessary revision, pay special attention to the ORGANIZATION of Essay 2. Write at least one sentence that explains HOW each body paragraph connects to the one that follows it. Once you say HOW they are connected, look carefully at your paragraphs to see if that transition is clearly articulated.

If you can’t say HOW they are connected, that probably means that you need to refine your ideas or reorganize your paragraphs. Thursday, March 28th
Paragraph focus and topic sentences. Read Tan’s “Mother Tongue” again.

  Weekly Reflection 7:

Read Chapter 4 in The Well-Crafted Sentence p. 72-76. Complete Exercise 4G.

Essay 2 Revision Exercise 2: How can you improve the cohesion of body paragraphs? Can you include more repetition to control your ideas (think back to our discussion of Brandt)? Can you write topic sentences that invite questions from the reader that your paragraph will answer? REVISE YOUR BODY PARAGRAPHS ACCORDINGLY.

Read selection from Engaged Writers, Dynamic Disciplines. Monday, April 1st
Discuss the reading you did for homework.

Discuss homework from The Well-Crafted Sentence.

4th Hour:

Keywords for today:
  Close Reading 7a:
Select any text from Subject and Strategy or The Well-Crafted Sentence that we have not discussed together. Be sure to select one that is about an issue that is  controversial. Write 1.5 or more pages in response to the reading you have selected. What are your thoughts on the issue that this piece raises? How can you support your position?

Close Reading 7b: Locate a news article that relates to the article you have selected from one of our texts. Write 1 page or more about how the two relate to one another. Note: two texts could relate because they disagree on a point. Thursday, April 4th
Final Draft of Essay 2 Due.

Developing a question for Essay 3

Keywords for today: Weekly Reflection 8

Essay 3 Prewriting: Begin to outline the answer to the question you have developed. Note any information that you will need to find in order to answer this question. Monday, April 8th  
Locating and identifying reliable sources.

4th Hour
Introduction to argumentation. Sample essays.

  Close Reading 8a:
Read “In Defense of Dangerous Ideas” p. 531 in Subject and Strategy
Complete Questions on Subject and Questions on Strategy.

Close Reading 8b:
Write 1.5 pages or more in response to #1 under Writing Suggestions (p.540).

  Thursday, April 11th

  Weekly Reflection 9:

Essay 3 Draft 1 due on Monday.
Read “Writing for an Audience” by Linda Flower p. 52 in Subject and Strategy Monday, April 15th
Considering multiple perspectives. Rhetoric of argument: UC Davis

4th Hour:
Adjective Clauses Close Reading 9a
Read Chapter 7 in The Well-Crafted Sentence and complete the exercises

Close Reading 9b

Essay 3 Revision Activity:
Locate a counterargument for Essay 3. Write at least one paragraph that identifies the opposing viewpoint and then provide your response. How does it complicate your argument? How can you maintain your own position while still acknowledging this other perspective?


Hi Lynn,

Hi Lynn,

What a great class! We have some similar readings actually.  I attached the table of contents for my reader in case you are interested.  It looks like a lot but they get a lot choice and definitely don't get to all of it!

Regarding my deadlines I think I will have them post the news article summary around February 1st and give them a week to post comments.

They will post their abstracts by March 18th and I'll give them a week to comment.

Could these dates work for you?  

If our timetables can line up I could have them comment on your students' work once it is posted and integrate that as part of their assignment.

My semester starts on Monday and finishes on May 14th.

I hope we can work something out!


Hi Nicole,

Hi Nicole,

It would be great if my students could post replies to your students' news summaries the week of Feb 1st. That would be in line with our first reading. And, if you think it would be interesting, my students could post some of their narrative writing about education early in February that your students could comment on. 

Also, we'll be transitioning to a "purely" argumentative essay in early April. It would be great if my students could comment on your students' work in March and then if yours could do the same when we're working on arguments. I might even steal the abstract idea from you so the assignments look similar. 

Do you want to move this discussion to email? That would be easier for me (unless there is a way to set an alert for email when there is a new post in this forum?) 

Here's my email: lynn.reid14@gmail.com



Email alerts!

Hi guys,

I will try to get email alerts up and running ASAP for this forum!

Hold off on moving to email for one day- ok? (Then again, without an alert, perhaps the next thing you'll see is an alert for the message I post about the alert...)