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On What I Hope This Site Can Be

A Message from the Editor: For those of you that know me, and no doubt today, at the start of this project, many of you...
engagement students

Five Ways to Effectively Engage Students

I am frequently asked, “How do you do what you do?” and I always say, “I just do it.” So,when prompted to discuss how...
Feedback Creative Writing

Creative Writing Feedback: On Finding Praise

There’s a lot of talk in teaching circles about feedback—how to give an appropriate amount that doesn’t overwhelm the student (or the teacher’s workload) and balances praise and constructive criticism. Finding praise is, of course, characterized by its very verb as the part where you have to strain yourself, what you include to soften the blow your critique.
office hours

Student Centered Office Hours

Those of us who teach Creative Writing usually have the luxury that our students actively choose to be in the class. When they come...

Opening up Office Hours

A common complaint of college instructors is how many of their students don’t come to office hours when they are struggling. As instructors, we...
literacy teaching higher education

Learning to Read Online

In introductory writing classes with a research based project, most of us spend time teaching students how to read academic journal articles. We understand how to...
usable syllabi under construction

Creating Usable Syllabi

We're all familiar with the frustrations that come from students not reading the syllabus. But I've come to realize the problem isn't one of whether or not the syllabus is read, but one of if and how it's used.

Three Tricks to Learning Students’ Names

I pride myself in knowing all of my student’s names by the end of the first week of class. This is no easy task...
office hours

Revamping Office Hours

Are your office hours dragging? Do they feel like a waste of time? Or maybe they're just lagging this semester? Take a look at...
classroom hacks

“Classroom Hacks” a Podcast for Educators 

The goal of the “Classroom Hacks” podcast is twofold: we are trying to provide an avenue for perspective and advice on teaching and we try to incorporate a little bit of lightheartedness and humor to help remind each other that we can relate to our interconnected, educational plight.
unruly class

Engaging the Unruly Class

An unruly class can leave us feeling flustered, frustrated, and downright helpless. Try these strategies to help refocus your students' attention.
Syllabus syllabuses syllabi

Three Ways to Visualize Your Syllabus

While the syllabus forms the foundation of a course, it doesn't always reach it's full potential. By nature, the syllabus is linear. The daily plans...
international teaching assistants meaning negotiation

Meaning Negotiation in International Teaching Assistant Preparation Classes

For International Teaching Assistants, meaning negotiation plays a vital role when it comes to interactions with native English speaking undergraduate students in the laboratory or in the classroom. In this article, I share a few tips that can help ITA instructors or coaches guide ITAs through their interactions with their (future) undergraduate students.
student engagement

Student Engagement Articles

Maintaining student engagement can be difficult, especially as we near midterms where students' minds are preoccupied with any number of papers, exams, or presentations....

Engaging Your Class in Peer-Listening During Presentations

Being teachers and instructors, we frequently include oral presentations into our syllabi. Unlike other group or individual activities, Power Point presentations on a particular...

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writing process

Lego: The Building Blocks of Writing

One of my favorite in-class activities is simple, easy to set up, and, most importantly, it involves Lego. I often use this in composition...
in-class activity

Post-It Notes Activity

This is a great first-day exercise used to create a sense of community as well as clarify questions or misconceptions about the course. It can also be used mid-semester as a check-in for the class.
how to avoid thing words

Avoiding ‘Thing’ Words

I'll admit right off the bat that my major pet peeve is 'thing' words. Something. Nothing. Anything. Everything. And just plain old thing. In...