Day Ten – The Midterm is Coming! The Midterm is Coming!

Prior Mentions

Originally, we were to read the Smagorinsky chapter that we chose for our midterm before class. However, since Dr. Benko could not be present, the schedule had been changed. We chose to pick our chapter in class today!

What Went Down Today?

The lecture…Dun Dun Dun!

Today in ENG 350 we spent the entirety of the time on the topic of the dreaded, yet exciting, midterm assignment. I put it that way because the task seemed daunting, yet fun at the same time. About half of the time spent was Dr. Benko explaining the assignment in more detail (actually I think it’s the most I’ve seen Dr. Benko lecture in a class). While going through the Midterm in more detail, Dr. Benko made reference to the “ENG 350 Midterm Tank Handout & Rubric” (which can be found under the “Assignments” tab in Blackboard), pointing out the key points of the assignment as the class followed along.

Some may say that the first half of the class was a boring lecture, but that could not be further from the truth! Upon discussion of the midterm, important references were made to tools that will aid in the completion of the assignment. For instance, Dr. Benko mentioned that information in this very blog could help us. Having a database of our daily work could come in handy indeed!

Furthermore, Dr. Benko was kind enough to provide a suggested schedule to aid us in the completion of the assignment (under the “Assignments” tab on Blackboard). Here is what it entails:

Suggested schedule: 

Week 6:  Get midterm, draft task

Week 7:  Work on outline + reflection

Week 8:  Work on rubric

Week 9:  Polish reflection

By no means do we have to follow this schedule, but as Dr. Benko put it, “I’m not your mom.” We are adults people! Plan it out! However, I would have to agree with Liv when she said, “If you were I’d get better grades.” Somehow I think we could all agree to that.

With the closing of the lecture, emphasis was made on generating our own ideas for the assignment, rather than googling lessons or task for inspiration. Since many of us have not had much experience with this type of assignment that was surprising. However, Rachel made the point that “you are getting practice to generate your own ideas in the future.” We need to look to ourselves for inspiration, rather than others for this assignment. There will always be time to enhance our ideas, through collaboration with others, after we develop our own skills. I doubt this will be an easy task, but I know we can do it!

Time for Individual Group Work!

Suddenly the clouds had parted and the lecture came to an end. It was time to act! We moved into groups categorized by the topics of our midterm. The topics (from Smagorinsky)  were as followed:

  1. 4 Personal Experience Narratives (p. 56); connects to Writing Standard 3.3, narrative)
  2. 5 Argument (p. 79); connects to IN Writing Standard 3.1, argument)
  3. 8 Research (p. 139); connects to IN Writing Standard W5)

Within our groups we used huddle boards to brainstorm real world applications of the topics. Through this process each group could come together to work on ideas for their own individual assignment (Also, here is a link to the Indiana State Standards, which may be helpful with this assignment). Here is what each group came up with, as well as, some examples I found:

Personal Experience Narratives: Beth, Makayla, Livimage3(Here is a compilation of essays that I found that may be helpful!)
Argument: Benji, Kaleb, Brittany, Cassie image1 (Here is a link to some argumentative papers that may be useful!)
Research: Emily, Erin, Alyssa, Kayla image2 (Here is a link to a MLA research paper that I believe will be useful. This link has side-notes covering many aspects of a research papers!)

Through working together, each group was able to come up with ideas they could use individually. These huddle boards signify the beginning of our process on the midterm assignment. It was not an easy first step by any means, but look at those lists! I’d say we did okay.

       What To Keep In Mind For Next Time

The TIB essay’s written feedback for our peer groups is due before class in the Google docs folder. Instructions for that can be found in the Google Docs folder.

Furthermore, we are to read Elbow’s “Options for responding to student writing,” and Straub’s “The concept of control in teacher response” for next time (located under the “Readings” tab on Blackboard). It is recommended by Dr. Benko to read these articles before providing feedback on the TIB essays, so I would do that first.

I hope you all have an amazing weekend, and I will see you on Tuesday!

– Kaleb Andrew Weiler


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