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Tag: Student Engagement

office hours

Advice: 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...
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....
writing anxiety

Activity: Exploring the Output of Writers

A great piece of advice for any writer is to read as much as possible. If one wants to write novels, reading great novels...
office challenge

Activity: The Office Challenge

Office hours can feel long, laborious, and lonely when no one shows up, especially in the beginning of a semester. One way I've found to increase my students' use of office hours is to challenge them to meet with me. 
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.
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...
critical thinking activity for college students

Activity: Zombie Apocalypse & Critical Thinking

It can be difficult to engage students in critical thinking, but this activity helps students think outside the box and anticipate problems. I've found...

Advice: 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...
office hours

Advice: 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...
Group project assignment

Advice: Raising the Stakes: Group Projects as Competitive Contests

Group projects regularly cause trepidation but structuring them as competitive contests leads students away from generic and predictable outcomes.
unruly class

Advice: 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.

Activity: Sidewalk Chalk

An activity designed to help students understand the vulnerability that comes with public photographs, particularly in the context of war images.

Activity: Evaluative Scavenger Hunt

One of the areas of writing I teach is evaluation.  Students learn that we make assessments based on quality, opposition, rankings or comparisons, and...
activity creative writing workshop

Activity: Class Starters for the Fiction Workshop

For fiction writers, provocation is part of the job description. The same should go for our teaching of fiction, especially with students who are...
activity

Activity: Analyzing Privilege

In our current, cultural landscape there are many divisive topics that individuals associate with while dismissing contrary perspectives.  It is easy to disregard what someone else has to say when there is a gap in empathy and connectivity.  The goal of this exercise, in dismantling, or “checking one’s privilege”, is to allow students to see what kind of advantages they may take for granted while overlooking some of the obstacles others may have to face on a daily basis.

Activity: Drawing, Doodles, and Sketches

Most of the activities and assignments in our classrooms revolve around writing and reading, but having students draw, sketch, or doodle can give them news ways to express and connect their thoughts, ideas, and concerns. In this artical you'll find five ways to help students embrace their visual skills.

Advice: 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...
Class discussion

Is it Really All My Fault? Sharing on In-Class Discussions

I’ve become familiar with the resistance to classroom discussions, but, until recently, I always assumed good discussions were lacking because students are, generally speaking, lacking in “critical thinking.” But last week, something happened that made me reconsider.
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.
Current Events Article Activity

Activities: The Current Event Article

I’ve taught multiple sections of composition over the years and without fail a majority (but not all) of my students have little interest in...

Visualizing Class Participation

A diagram that helps students and teachers be on the same page when it comes to understanding expectations for and evaluations of class participation.
in-class activity

Activity: Post-It Notes

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.

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...
participation professionalism

Handout – Reflection on Professionalism & Participation

A handout distributed in class that asks students to reflect on their actions as a developing professional and their participation in class. Participation is...
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...
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...

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Group project assignment

Advice: Raising the Stakes: Group Projects as Competitive Contests

Group projects regularly cause trepidation but structuring them as competitive contests leads students away from generic and predictable outcomes.
career profile assignment

Assignment: Grammar Lesson Presentation

A grammar presentation assignment for small groups on an assigned topic. Each group is required to provide an explanation, examples, and a way for the class to practice the lesson. This assignment also includes a reflective component.
imagery

Activity: Concrete Imagery in Poetry Scattegories

To begin: I have students call out a list of abstractions. Usually we end up with some variation on the following: fear sadness joy depression ...