ENC 3254: Writing in Elementary Education
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Major Assignments:
All assignments must be completed and submitted at the beginning of the class period on the due date assigned and in the assigned format. Each assignment will have specific features; however, essay assignments must be typed in Times and double-spaced on white 8 1/2" x 11" paper with one-inch margins on all sides. Essays that do not fit the required format will automatically receive half credit (50%) or lower.

These assignments are due in class, at the beginning of class, on the dates indicated. Your assignment grade will be dropped by one full letter grade for every day it is late. Also, there will be additional assignments and materials not indicated on this sheet (all changes will be posted on our class schedule on my webpage), and both this schedule and individual assignments are subject to change AND WILL CHANGE on a weekly basis.

Paper formatting help
Sample first page in MLA

Most projects you do this semester will lead to a group webpage assignment. It will be due at the end of the semester completed, but we will be working on it a little all along.

Literacy Narrative
You will write an autobiographical narrative based on your literacy experiences that communicate some insight about learning and/or teaching writing to the rest of the class. Your job is not only to write an engaging and memorable narrative, but also to make its relevance and significance clear to the audience. You can focus on a specific type or literacy experience (e.g., reading/writing in school or the community) or on a particular theme (e.g., important influences on your literary development). In conjunction with this assignment, we will study several published and student-written narratives.

Like the literacy narrative, this assignment asks you to convey a message through a narrative, only this paper’s goal will be auditory and not written by presenting a 3 minute radio piece on some aspect of children’s culture. This assignment will teach more strategies for writing narratives and the elements of oral presentation and story telling by having you write a short piece. To warm up, we will analyze a couple of published children’s stories and listen to several radio pieces from Recess!. This unit will address the style topics of concreteness and clarity.

Chronicle of a Child’s Performance and Explanation of that Child’s Difficulty or Success (2 parts)
This assignment, based on your ongoing field observation, asks you to write two letters about a specific child, one to a counselor and one to a guardian. The topic of the letter can be either positive or negative, your choice.

1.In the first letter, you will chronicle the child's performance in a particular area (e.g. reading, math) with the help of a supervising teacher. The primary audience will be a counselor, though administrators comprise a secondary audience.  Since this letter is for a counselor, it will contain much greater detail than the letter home to a guardian.  Also, this letter must contain specific dates and incidences, both positive and negative, as well as steps that you have taken towards alleviating the problem (or ask for suggestions).

2.In letter two, you will explain to a guardian the child's difficulty or success with the area discussed in letter one. Remember that a guardian will not respond well to only negative information, so before presenting a negative, present a positive.  Also, be sure to include contact information specifically identifying when you are available

The assignment calls for using anecdotal evidence gathered through observations as well as data from test scores and other extrinsic sources.  Keep on top of your observations in the classroom.  We will discuss conventions of business letters and practice making our prose more concise. Also, you will either use a school's letterhead or design your own.

Report on Technology in Language Arts

You will write a background report explaining a technological use or practice in elementary language arts instruction such as the use of online research, educational video games for children, teacher presentations with PowerPoint, teacher listserves, online digital libraries, or any other instance of technological usage in or with an elementary classroom. This technology can be used either by the students or by the teacher or both. You audience is a group of only vaguely informed peers. We will brainstorm several topics in class from which you can choose.

This essay will be divided into two parts:
1.The first part of the paper should enlarge the audience's understanding of the technology topic, including history, current exigency, key questions, key players, and main arguments.

2.Part two of the paper should offer your peers recommendations for addressing or using the technology in their teaching.

This assignment will give you practice defining an issue, finding and assessing sources, synthesizing and integrating sources, and documenting sources using MLA style. If you so choose, you can divide this essay up into mini-sections.  For more information, see the examples in the course packet.  Cohesion and coherence will be the style topics emphasized through this paper.
Length: 5 to 7 pages + a Works Cited and Works Consulted page

Technical Writing Unit

This unit will consist of three parts: Cover Letter, Resume, and Mock Interview.

Cover Letter: Standard business format (full block - all justified left) with all of the components of a business letter format. The letter should be in approximately four paragraphs: intro, education, experience, and conclusion. Be sure to include your contact information in the conclusion paragraph. Don't forget to sign your letter.

Resume: Standard one page (one is preferred, but no longer than two pages) of a professional resume. You should include a header, education, experience, skills, and any other pertinate categories. Your references will be an another sheet of paper (you can make up references for this assignment, just have the correct form).

Mock Interview: You will interviewed by a group of your peers. You should be on-time (if not early) to your interview, come with six copies of your cover letter and resume, and be dressed for an interview.


Rubric: Here is the brief rubric for grades I assign to your papers (you should use the statements to determine how you might work toward a higher grade):


You did what the assignment asked for at a high quality level, and your work shows originality and creativity. Work in this range shows all the qualities listed below for a B, but it also demonstrates that you took extra steps to be original or creative in developing content, solving a problem, or developing a style. Since careful editing and proofreading are essential in writing, papers in the A range must be free of typos and grammatical or mechanical errors (papers with more than one or two errors cannot receive an A).


You did what the assignment asked of you at a high quality level. Work in this range needs revision; however it is complete in content, is organized well, and shows special attention to style.


You did what the assignment asked of you. Work in this range needs significant revision, but it is complete in content and the organization is logical. The style is straightforward but unremarkable.


You did what the assignment asked of you at a poor quality level. Work in this range needs significant revision. The content is often incomplete and the organization is hard to discern. Attention to style is often nonexistent or chaotic.


An E is usually reserved for people who don’t do the work or don’t come
to class. However, if your work is shoddy and shows little understanding of the needs of the assignment, you will receive a failing grade.