Feelings, with Scott Beal

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For many teachers, this has been the first semester back in the in-person classroom since the pandemic started, and on top of that, it’s the end of the term, a stressful time for everyone! That means it’s prime time to talk about the intersection of feelings and teaching. Scott Beal joins us for this episode and talks candidly about this sticky topic, gives us a hard time about the preparatory questions we sent him, and comes up with a pretty cool idea for a new video game avatar.

Transcript available here!

November 2021

Behind the Virtual Scaffolding: Online Teaching’s Silver Linings

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The Covid-19 pandemic has changed so much about life. But in our classrooms–our virtual classrooms, at least–it hasn’t all been bad. We talk to five writing teachers about what silver linings they have discovered about teaching online.

Transcript available here!

January 2021

Multilingual Writers, with Shuwen Li

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Students whose first language isn’t English often face different challenges than other students. How can we best support them? Multilingual expert Shuwen Li shares useful insights and practical advice, and talks about what pedagogical dispositions are most effective for teaching multilingual learners. Shuwen mentions a video, The History of English in 10 Minutes, which you can find here.

Transcript available here!

January 2021

Grading and Feedback, with Louis Cicciarelli

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Just in time to help us all get through our end-of-semester piles of grading, Louis Ciccarelli stopped by to talk with us about providing feedback on student papers. We talk about how to get students to read more than just the grades, get metaphysical about what we hope students will learn when they write papers (including a quick and feisty discussion of so-called mutt genres), and have our first-ever bleeped expletive. Figures, that would make its debut in the grading episode!

Transcript available here!

December 2019

Teachers Who Haunt Us

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Just in time for Halloween, we huddled around a campfire (yes, that’s actually crackling of burning logs you hear!) with fellow teachers Ellen Muehlberger and Carol Tell to tell stories of teachers who haunt us—sometimes in good ways, urging us on to be better teachers; sometimes in the worst ways, reminding us of things we never want to do, ways we never want to be, in our classrooms. 

Transcript available here.

October 2019

Icebreakers, with Christine Modey

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Looking for an icebreaker for the first day of class (or for active learning activities for the weeks that follow)? Behind the Scaffolding and Christine Modey have you covered! Listen for some great tips and deep thinking on breaking the ice. Here’s the concentric circles icebreaker we discussed with Christine; the poem that inspired the poem icebreaker she talks about as well a link to a page from “I Am From Project” (inspired by that poem) which provides a way to lead a group in writing their own versions of this poem; and here’s info and templates for the social identity wheel activity from the Intergroup Relations group at the U of M. 

Transcript available here.

August 2019

Plagiarism, with Steve Engel

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Plagiarism: it’s a sticky wicket teachers inevitably have to deal with, if only to think through a course policy that makes sense for them. In this episode, Steve Engel provides some guiding light and enlightening perspectives on this age-old problem. Read more about the complexities of plagiarism with the help of an extensive bibliography from Steve. For more practical advice on preventing, teaching about, and dealing with plagiarism, take a look at Beyond Plagiarism, a resource created by the Sweetland Center for Writing and the University of Michigan Library. And finally, check out Steve’s work on some contemporary, public instances of plagiarism from Senator John Walsh’s master’s thesis, reported by the New York Times in 2014, to Melania Trump and others

Transcript available here.

June 2019

Participation, with Josh Kupetz

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Class participation is an important part of most classrooms, but it’s often hard to quantify and define: to translate it into a percentage of a course grade, to explain to students why it matters. Josh Kupetz has thought a lot about participation and can shed new light about how you think about it in your own classroom. Have a look at Josh’s participation and attendance policies, as outlined on his syllabus. If you’re interested other novel, outside-the-box approaches to participation, as well as the philosophies that have shaped our ideas about what classroom participation is and should be, you may be interested in The Rhetoric of Participation: Interrogating Commonplaces in and beyond the Classroom, edited by Banaji et al.

Transcript available here.

March 2019

Big Firsts, with Tricia Khleif

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Thinking about the first day of class and how to set the tone for a new semester? Check out our wide-ranging conversation with Tricia Khleif! We discuss teaching personae, building community in our classrooms, and much, much more about how we try to get our relationships with our students off to a productive start.

Transcript available here.

January 2019

Teaser: Introducing Behind the Scaffolding!

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Learn what this podcast is all about! And for a deeper look at how scaffolding works in writing classrooms, check out Chapter 2: Designing and Writing Assignment Sequences, in Katherine Gottshalk’s and Keith Hjortshoj’s The Elements of Teaching Writing: A Resource For Instructors In All Disciplines. Also, check out the Sweetland Center for Writing’s practical guidelines for scaffolding assignment sequences in the writing classroom. 

Transcript available here!

September 2018

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