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.
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!
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.