English 1: Computer-Mediated Preparing for College Writing I,
On Course Comunity of Learners, Spring 2012
Rick Dollieslager, Thomas Nelson Community College

a neuron firing

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Last Updated, 12 December, 2011, 8:00 a.m.

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English 1 course syllabus

Class Resources

Important Notice!!

At the start each class, open this web page to look at the agenda for the day. At the end of each class, return to this web page to get your homework assignment and view the agenda for the next class. You'll never miss an assignment, a due date, or an important announcement if you come to this page every day.

Week Three

Wednesday, 9/7/11
In-class Activity: 1] Identifying "showing" details in the essay, "
Succeeding Against the Odds" 2] Paired feedback on your "one-pager" about a successful person that you know.

Assignments for Monday: Write, based on feed back from class today, three or four body paragraphs about the successful person who is the subject of your paper. Make sure that each paragraph is developed with "showing" details.

Week Four

Monday, 9/12/11
In-class Activity: 1] Identifying "showing" details in the essay, "
Succeeding Against the Odds" 2] Paired feedback on your "one-pager" about a successful person that you know.

Due at the start of class: Three body paragraphs about your successful person.
In-class Activity:
Write the other parts of the successful person essay:

  • an introductory paragraph with a good, unifying thesis statement
  • a topic sentence for each body paragraph
    • Body 1 topic
    • Body 2 topic
    • Body 3 topic
  • a good concluding paragraph describing how it is useful to you to know this information about how the brain functions during learning.

Assignment for Wednesday:
Finish composing, the successful person essay. Use the Revision and Editing Checklist from the Guide to Grammar and Writing and apply the criteria in the top panel to your own essay for SELF evaluation of the content of your paper. Highlight or underscore your thesis statement and the topic sentences of each of your body paragraphs. Make sure that each paragraph is developed with "showing" details.

Wednesday, 9/14/11
In-class: Power Writing paragraphs on Creator and Victim behavior following the instructions from this handout.

Homework for Monday 9/19, two paragraphs:
1] Power Write
a paragraph
on Creator behavior following the pattern in the instructions
2] Power Write a second paragraph on Victim behavior, following the same model as for the Creator paragraph
3] TYPE both paragraphs and save them to your jump drive and then send them to yourself as an email attachment.

Week Five

Monday, 9/19/11
In-class Activity: 1] Practicing the
Wise Choices process, and 2] Power Writing a paragraph on using the process.

Here is an example of how we might start the paragraph on the Wise Choices process:

  1. [Power 1] Dr. Downing says that people can create desired outcomes in their lives by following the six-step Wise Choices Process, as I intend to do regarding my problem ______________(time management, for example)_________________________.
  2. [Power 2] The first question in Downing's Wise Choices process is "What is your present situation?"
  3. [Power 3] My present situation is that I don't seem to have enough time to do my school work.
  4. [Power 3] My family also wants more of my time, and it's important to me to spend quality family time.

Homework for Wednesday 9/21:
Finish the Power Write
we began in class on how you will use the Wise Choices Process to create a desired outcome of a problem or situation that is impeding your academic success or could impede your academic success this semester.

Wednesday, 9/21/11
In-class Activity: 1] Reconstructing Bertrand Russell's "What I Have Lived For," the quintessential five-paragraph theme. 2] Discussing thesis statements and paragraph transitions.

Homework for Monday 9/26:
Finish the essay
by writing a good introductory paragraph and a good concluding paragraph and by unifying the essay in other necessary ways. The topic of the essay is how to use the Wise Choices process to create the favorable outcomes you desire in your life, in other words making Creator decisions and choices. It is developed by defining both Creator behaviors and Victim behaviors, showing that you sometimes have played both roles; and it goes on to exemplify the process by showing that you have used it to come to a favorable solution to a specific problem in your life. Some things to consider about how to make your separate paragraphs into a good essay.

Week Six

Monday, 9/26/11
In-class Activity: Feedback from Mr. D. on drafts of the essay and finishing them using the resources posted above in the "Homework" section posted above. Folks, READ and USE those resources to finish your essays

Homework for Wednesday 9/28:
Finish the essay!

Wednesday, 9/28/11
In-class Activity: Readers and Writer share. Give each other feedback on essay content and essay structure using the
Revision and editing checklist.

Homework for Monday 10/3:
1] Final draft
of the "Wise Choices" essay, due at the start of class, typed, double-spaced, Times New Roman 12-point font.
2] Using my web page, "The Least You Need to Know about Editing," answer the questions below, in your own words, not verbatim from the sources:

  • Describe two “rules” by which commas are used to add information to a sentence.  Write two example sentences.
  • Describe two situations and provide two example sentences which use commas to separate elements in a series.
  • Describe the “rule” by which commas can be used to combine simple sentences.
  • Describe two purely “mechanical” or place-holder functions of commas.
  • Define sentence fragment
  • Define run-on sentence
  • Define comma splice
  • Describe two ways to correct a fragment
  • Describe two ways to correct a run-on sentence
  • Describe two ways to correct a comma splice

Week Seven

Monday, 10/3/11
In-class Activity: 1] Turn in Wise Choices essays 2] Work Aplia lessons

Homework for Wednesday 10/5:
Work the assigned Aplia lessons

Wednesday, 10/5/11
In-class Activity: 1] Ahem, turn in the Wise Choices essay if you did not do so on Monday. 2] Intro to Perfect Copy (for those caught up with Aplia lessons), 3] in-class essay conferences with Mr. D. 4] Schedule essay conferences with Mr. D.

Week Eight

Monday, 10/10/11
In-class Activity: 1] Begin in-class conferences

Wednesday, 10/12/11
In-class Activity: 1] In-class conferences 2] In-class
critical reading assignment:

  • 2.1] Make a timeline of significant events in the life of Langston Hughes,
  • 2.2] read the four poems,
  • 2.3] explicate each briefly (type this, please),
  • 2.4] Copy the quiz questions from that page into a word document and look up the vocabulary words for "Salvation" and read their defintions prior to reading the story.
  • 2.5] Begin answering the questions after reading the story.

Homework for Monday 10/17:
All posted Aplia lessons are finished and you are up-to-date with them

Finish the critical reading assignment you started in class JUST for Langston Hughes. We will do a group project with that material on Monday
Be prepared to answer this question: In what way was this event a defining moment in Langston Hughes' life?

Week Nine

Monday, 10/17/11
In-class Activity: 1] Pair-Share Peer Review of Wise Choices essay using
this grading rubric. Write your name above the left column of your partner's grading sheet so that I know who the reviewers were. You will turn in the grading rubrics from your partners on Wednesday when you return the Wise Choices essays to me. 2] Begin editing your own Wise Choices essay following the in-class Pair-Share Peer Review of the content and structure of the esssays. For this, use the right column of the grading rubric to see how I would grade the editing skills. As your primary reference source use the bottom half of the Revision and editing checklist from the on-line Guide to Grammar and Writing. I like to have you use that source (the GGW) because it links to the pertinent web pages for all of the editing skills your essays should display (comma use, subject/verb agreement, verb tenses, fragments, etc.)

Homework for Wednesday 10/19:
Revise and edit your
Wise Choices essay and resubmit it at the start of class along with the draft your partner graded in class today and the grading rubric that your partner filled out for you. Revision/edit of this essay is due at the start of class on Wednesday.
Review the critical reading assignment you started in class last Wednesday, JUST for Langston Hughes.
Be prepared to answer this question: In what way was this event a defining moment in Langston Hughes' life? It may help to read his poem "
Goodbye Christ."

Wednesday, 10/19/11
In-class Activity: 1] In-class conferences 2] In-class we will get back to the critical reading assignment and discuss how this incident is a defining moment in the life of Langston Hughes, and we will preview background material prior to reading George Orwell's story about his life in Burma as a young man.

Homework for Monday 10/24:
Copy and paste
"Shooting an Elephant" into an MS Word document.
Find the vocabulary words as you read the story, and, in the word document, link to their definitions in Dictionary.com. Read the passage closely and look at the definitions of the words to determine which is the most apt definition in the context in which it is used in Orwell's story. Just take informal notes on this separately because you are going to discuss that with your colleagues on Monday.
Use different light colors of highlighting in MS Word to mark the sections which answer the "Structure" questions about the story from the "Analytical Reading Exercise" web page.
Write a timeline of your own life, marking significant events or turning points that may represent "defining moments" in your life
Bring this to class with you in electronic form on Monday. Y'all are gonna have some fun with it!

Week Ten

Monday, 10/24/11
In-class Activity: 1] Form into your base groups. If both your colleagues are missing from your base group get together with another group. Each group must have three or four participants for this exercise--not two, not five. 2] Discuss your answers to the critical reading guide questions and vocabulary questions for "Salvation" and "Shooting an Elephant." 3] Come to a group consensus as to the correct answers and print it out with the name of each participant on it. 4] Place this in my mailbox in room 852 (not my office door!!!) 5] If you have time, discuss with your colleagues your timeline of significant events to help you decide on the topic of the defining moment essay you will write. Please help each other to answer some basic questions about your topic ideas, such as is it actually a "moment" or does it cover a span of weeks, months, or years? Also does this event, indeed, in some way "define" who you are or have become because of it? We will discuss your topics in class on Thursday before you begin to write the essay.

Week Eleven

Monday, 10/31/11
In-class Activity: 1] Compose your defining moment essay, and 2] begin editing your returned paper(s) to prepare them for you portfolio. I have "keyed" some of the corrections to the
W. W. Norton (Publisher) On-line Handbook, which you might as well start getting familiar with because it is the handbook you will use in Eng 111 and 112.

Homework for Wednesday 11/2:
Complete your draft
of the defining moment essay.

Wednesday, 11/2/11
In class: Prof. Hayden says y'all need "the brain stuff." So let's roll!! Discussion and lecture topic, "The Natural Human Learning Process (NHLP)"

Homework for Monday 11/7:
Power write a paragraph following this pattern:
1-2-3-2-3-2-3-2-3-2-3-2-3 The topic sentence will state that according to Dr. Rita Smilkstein there are six stages in the Natural Human Learning Process. The Power 2 sentences will describe Smilkstein's six stages, and these will be followed by the Power 3 sentences, which will give an example of what YOU did in this stage of learning the skill or activity that you discussed in class.

Week Twelve

Monday, 11/7/11
I take off for a travel engagement this morning, so we will have a brief change in agenda from the brain development topic, which we will get back to on Wednesday. Below is the web page I will use to supplement my presentation for the faculty at Nashville Automotive and Deisel College. Take the links and see how many of these "student engagement" strategies and techniques you recognize and have used in your COL and other classes this semester:
In-class Activity: 1] Trade your NHLP Power Write paragraph with a partner. Read each other's paragraphs. Check each other to mke sure everyone is following the Power Write pattern in developing this paragraph. 2] Begin the sentence patterns exercise. You will need to use the handbook index for the online Norton Field Guide to Writing in order to complete this project, which is due on Wednesday.

Homework for Wednesday 11/9:
Sentence patterns exercise

Week Thirteen

Monday, 11/14/11
In-class Activity: 1] Composition workshop: composing and revising brain development paragraphs. First, write a paragraph about how neurons are similar to trees in their structure, functions, and development. Recasting that paragraph prompt into a topic sentence is probably a good starting point, no? Second, write a pragraph describing how the synapses fire (it is much like spark plug firing), what body chemicals make it possible or impossible, and why synaptic firing is important.

Homework for Wednesday 11/16:
Write a fourth paragraph about brain development
with a topic sentence which explains that the important thing to know about brain development during learning is that emotions affect learning. Discuss what this means and how you con control learning through being aware of your emotions and being able to control them. Give specific examples about when you have and will use this information to ensure that you are learning.

Wednesday, 11/16/11
In-class Activity: Workshop: Work on your annotated bibliography and begin building your Google web site for Eng 109 class.

Week Thirteen.two

Monday, 11/21/11
In-class Activity: 1] Eating doughnuts, 2] Prepping essays for the portfolios, 3]
Identifying and correcting patterns of error, 4] mini-conferences with Mr. D.

Resources for improving editing problems and preparing your essays for the portfolios:

Week Fourteen

Monday, 11/28/11
In-class Activity: Review sentence construction, verb use, internal punctuation by playing Sentence Scrabble, for BIG money!!

Wednesday, 11/30/11
In-class Activity: Review sentence construction, verb use, internal punctuation by playing Jeopardy, for even BIGGER money!!

Turn in your brain development essay.

Homework for Monday 12/5:
Edit all of your essays
to prepare them for your portfolio
Bring all of your essays in your portfolio

Resources for improving editing problems and preparing your essays for the portfolios:

Week Fifteen

Monday, 12/5/11
In-class Activity: 1] Begin writing the in-class essay; 2] Submit your portfolio for me to review while you are drafting your in-class essay

Wednesday, 12/7/11
In-class Activity: 1] Finish the in-class essay by revising, proofreading, and editing it; 2] Submit your portfolio for evaluation

Week Sixteen

Monday, 12/12/11
In-class Activity: 1] Individual portfolio conferences during class, 2] Celebrate the semester, in our own inimitable way. ;-)

Return to Mr. D's index page