Major Class Links
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.
first page in MLA
You will practice writing through an online Blog dedicated solely to this
class. Each week I will give you a topic or question and you will compose
a 250-word response to be posted sometime that week. Blog topics will
usually go out on Monday and you should respond before the following Monday.
In addition to writing your own blog responses, you will want to read
or skim your classmates so that it is not just a response to a question
or topic, but a dialogue.
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 papers goal will be auditory and
not written by presenting a 3 minute radio piece on some aspect of childrens
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
childrens stories and listen to several radio pieces from Recess!.
This unit will address the style topics of concreteness and clarity.
of a Childs Performance and Explanation of that Childs 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,
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
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
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.
Curriculum Plan for Poetry
In this persuasive assignment, you will propose a new curriculum for teaching
poetry in a specific grade (ideally corresponding to the grade you are
observing in fieldwork). This primary audience will be teachers of that
grade, and secondary audiences will be administrators and perhaps teachers
of other grades. The plan must include a specific outline of the revised/new
curriculum, including readings, assignments, and exercises.
Requirements for the Poetry Curriculum Plan:
A Rationale Page that explores why poetry should be taught at the elementary
Five Days worth of Lesson Plans
Each Lesson Plan should include:
~A Different Type of Poem for each day
~At least one published example of each type of poem taught
~At least one self-written example of each type of poem taught
~Ways of Evaluating Student's Work (rubric, grading scale, etc.)
Requirements for the Poetry Presentation:
For this 17 to 20 minute presentation, each pair will present the benefits
of using poetry at the elementary level to an imagined audience of teaching
peers (same grade level), various level teachers, administration, or parents
among others. Each presentation must lead the audience through writing
an example poem, as well as use at least one visual aid and one technological
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 dont
do the work or dont 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.