Midterm Work Day

Hey team! This is the recap for March 3rd. Today was a Midterm Work Day, but we still covered some important information.
Important Note (not directly related to ENG350): everyone needs to look at four year plan/ degree works/ schedule plan
  • Make sure your classes work for next semester
  • If you are worried, get help NOW (not during the sign-up frenzy)
We turned in the TIBs. Let Benko know where your podcast is (soundcloud or box?).
Then we moved to the Midterm. Before I start talking about what we did, I want to mention the goals of the Midterm assignment.
Goal: Make students excited about English
Goal: Do the intellectual work of teaching (understand your reasoning behind your instructional choices)
Some feel that they need to write a unit plan, that they to follow Smagorinsky exactly, or that they have to do a standard paper. Go back to the goals. Would students be excited about English because of your project? Does your task rely on what we learned in class about teaching writing? With this in mind, let’s go to the work day.
To help frame our work day, we talked through the Midterm rubric criteria. We focused on the proficient criteria. Benko explained that:
  • Task needs to something students WANT to do
  • Task needs to be something you could give to students AND put in your professional portfolio
  • Mentor tasks and interaction are necessary
  • The purpose of the mentor text is explained in the outline. They are highlighted, marked up, or described.
      • How do the mentor texts help?
      • What are students looking for/learning?
      • What are you teaching with the mentor text?
  • Outline should be easy to follow (someone could put it into action), but this doesn’t mean you have to script the thing into minutes or days
  • Outline doesn’t have to mirror Smagorinsky (you don’t have to go by days, you don’t have to have the same number of stages, you don’t have to start the same way)
  • Technology is a goal, but since we didn’t talk about it a lot, don’t worry about going all out. Think about it. How can you integrate it?
  • Rubric criteria what we talked about in class (4 points of rubric design)
  • If you didn’t teach it, don’t grade it
  • Reflections have multiple readings, connected together, with a deeper purpose and meaning. Do not say “Person A and Book B say scaffolding is cool beans”. Do say “Benko’s article describes scaffolding as a  structure or foundation, something that supports students, which allows students to move through a zone of proximal development.”
  • Reflections can connect discussions in class, experiences in schools, other readings. Just be thinking critically and primarily using stuff from this class.
  • Reflections say what you need to say . Just make sure it is organized and clear. You can cover by topic or cover by criteria. Mine was 4 to 5 pages with about 5 citations, but yours could be more or less.
After this discussion, we broke into our genre groups and worked through ideas.
Looking ahead, the DRAFT of the midterm is due the Tuesday after we return from break and the FINAL midterm is due that Thursday.
If you need help, I recommend the following resources. I also labeled them so they are easy to figure out.

Hope these links help. As always, you can talk to Benko or myself if you have any questions.


Have a great spring break 🙂



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