Ideas for freshman comp: points to cover

To get them involved with the campus:
I will say that one paper E’s teacher assigned, the one on helping students stay in college, has given me some ideas. One thing we found out was that students who are involved will stay in college longer than ones who aren’t. I’m not sure how I can get them involved in campus, especially my night or weekend classes, but I think it’s an idea.

Have them interview a teacher in their major. They’ll have to call to get an appointment, assemble questions (or maybe we as a class can come up with questions), and write up the interview. I can’t be one of the teachers they interview.

Have them go around campus with a list of different kinds of things they would need help with and have them find people who would be able to help them. I’m not sure how I’d get that so that people weren’t copying other folks’ work. Maybe give people different problems?

Or maybe they have to interview one person on the staff. That might be a good way to get equity in. The college isn’t only the faculty, after all.

With the new text:
Use the Study Skills book as much as we can.

Only use the grammar section of the book for reveiw when the students have grammar errors. I used to do this at ACU… When I hand back the papers, include a list of errors the individual students made the most. Their job is to find the grammar exercises related to those and do them. For those who didn’t have grammar errors, a page long writing assignment. I’d need to find other grammar exercises for students who keep having the same errors.

Paper topics:
I still like the idea of a process paper that asks them to plot out how to meet a goal, preferably an educational goal. It makes them think of what it will take for them to get there. I might want them to do some research for this paper, adding what jobs are likely to be gotten with this degree, what classes must they take to reach it, how do they get accepted into the program… I think that might be homework to prepare them for the process paper. I haven’t ever done that before, but I think it might be a good idea.

I really like the idea of using the side of the research project they agree with as a practice field and then only have them write the research paper they disagree with. It would certainly make the refutation easier. In the summer class that doesn’t work out too well, but that’s partially because of the extreme time constraints.

I still like the definition/illustration paper. I didn’t see anything in the book about that, but I could explain it. One thing I could also do is use R’s three types of definition: lexical, stipulative, and precising. That precising, in a way, explains why you would need illustrations. You give the lexical definition and then illustrate it to make sure that everyone is on the same page. Good. I like that too.

I think descriptive would be fun to do only in class with the art cards. I think that keeps them thinking but isn’t really useful as a full paper.

Topics for lectures:
Teach how to take a test. I have the presentation for that.

Teach how to take notes. I’ve done that before but haven’t done it in a while. Since the classes are three hours each, I could do the presentation on how, have them practice, then give them a very detailed quiz using their notes. I could also go through simple memory to other things, like analysis. I think that could potentially be a very good idea.

Could I get someone from another discipline to give a lecture like I did at ACU? It would be interesting to see what came out of the lecture here. Would there be things that didn’t fit their world view?

The class that E took has journals. I’ve used journals a lot. What would I do with that now? I could have journal assignments that are not exactly related to the big homework. But then how would I deal with %s?

I might be able to come up with a test from their notes. But a lot would depend on what information the teacher gave. And most teachers aren’t going to want to come give an hour lecture on some topic without compensation. Maybe I should start looking for a video. I know… if I could find one on reading poetry or something like that, I could hit two points with one video. (Notetaking and literary analysis.)

Literary analysis:
See avove.

I still like Alice in Wonderland… I think I should only do fairy tales if there isn’t enough time to read Alice. And it’s not too long, 98 pages, so I can’t imagine not having enough time.

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