Thursday, November 18, 2010

New Practices

Below is a catalog of changes to my practice that I've made in the last few months as a result of either the inquiry process or as part of my habit of wanting to tweak things.

Advanced Composition:

1. Reading papers for grammar before the final draft is due. My students give me an almost-final draft and I read it only for grammar, not for meaning/content. I make quick marks in the margin—circle the error and put an "X" in the margin for every grammatical error. Sometimes I underline unclear sentences. It takes me about 45 minutes to quickly read through all the papers. I put papers back in student boxes the same day, and they get me their revised drafts the next day. Impact: for me, the impact is huge. I spend almost no time correcting (and getting frustrated by correcting) grammatical errors, and can focus exclusively on the flow of ideas in the paper. Still need to check in with my students about how it's working for them.

English 1A

1. For six weeks this term, I tried to grade on my laptop instead of on paper—I thought that I'd be able to give more specific feedback and save some trees. I hated it. I couldn't improve my efficiency at grading, and my grading suddenly became less portable and more subject to distractions.

2. I haven't actually made this change, but I will the next time I teach this course: more models earlier on of what we expect in student writing. I'd really love to break down our rubric with a model paper and show them how that paper demonstrates the skills on the rubric.

3. Introduced metawriting at mid-term. So far, it seems to be a big hit. I'll update and expand after I read course evaluations.

1 comment:

Greg Monfils said...

commenting here because I want you to know I read this.

Happy New Year.