English 3: Computer-Mediated Preparing for College Writing II
Fall 2009
Rick Dollieslager, Thomas Nelson Community College

painting the big blue marble

Hang in there. The semester is almost over.

Last Updated, 30 November 2009, 10:45 a.m.

Class Resources

English 3 Syllabus

"OWL" links OWL stands for Online Writing Labs. These are links to handbooks, workbooks, and even help desks to aid you in answering those sticky questions or finding help with any sort of writing problem.  Our primary on-line "textbook" is linked here.  It is the Guide to Grammar and Writing.

Schoolhouse Rock. No, seriously: Music is a very brain-compatible way to learn.

Professional Communication Skills "Why do we have to take these %*#@$&!!! English and speech classes, anyways?" Let some of your peers answer that question for you. Find out what reading, writing, speaking, listening, researching and computing skills are needed in order to obtain a job and to advance in your chosen profession. These essays were researched and written by TNCC students.

Wrules for Writers   When in doubt, check this style sheet. (But don't take it too seriously.)

Use these checklists to assess your own papers before relying on feedback from others.

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 One

Tuesday, 8/25/09
In-class: 1] Discuss general course objectives and get to know each other. 2] Working together

Homework assignment for Tuesday 5/26, "The One-Page Self-Motivator":
Write a list and bring it with you. List the reasons why you are in college, including how college will help you to achieve your dreams. List how communication classes will help you to achieve your academic and professional goals. List what some of your specific goals for English 03 are this semester, and follow that with a list of ways in which you will work to achieve these goals. List everyone to whom your success is important or who supports you in your goals. Try to fill up two pages, and bring this list with you to class on Thursday. It does not have to be perfect; just get the list written before class begins.

Thursday, 8/27/09
In-class: 1] Writing sample: A letter to myself, a one-page self motivator. Either using the computer or writing by hand, I want you to compose a full page letter, which you will address to yourself, in which you will remind yourself of all the reasons you are in college, all the goals you have for this semester and your life, all of the ways in which you will work to achieve those goalls, all of the people who support you and will be happy for you when you achieve your successes--in other words all of those things I asked you to list for homework today will be written into a letter to yourself. When you have filled up a page, sign it from yourself at the bottom and ive it to Mr. Heatwole, who will give it to me. 2] Then do the grammar and editing skills diagnostic (objective) test that Mr. Heatwole will have on his desk. You won't be graded on this. I will use it as a guideline to help me and Mr. Heatwole to determine which editing skills each of you will need to work on individually.

Week Two

Tuesday, 9/1/09
In-class: 1] Introduction to electronic resources,

Homework assignment for Thursday 9/3, "Thinking about learning"
1] Write on the top of a piece of note paper, a skill that you have learned very well outside of school. It could be a sport, musical instrument, hobby, video game, cooking, etc.; anything that you feel you have become fairly expert at doing. Under that make a quick list of notes about how you became interested in this activity or skill and how you learned to do it very well. 2] Self-assessment: "What I need to work on in English 3"--about one paragraph in length.

Thursday, 9/3/09
In-class: Growing dendrites: Activity: Understanding the Natural Human Learning Process

Week Three

Tuesday, 9/8/09
In-class: Review how the brain works, based on the questions you wrote in Eng. 109 last Thursday from your Cornell notes, recorded earlier.in our own class

Homework assignment for Thursday 9/10, Finishing your Cornell Notes from 9/3 and 9/8
Write, at the bottom of each page of your Cornell formatted notes, a brief summary of the information on that page. you will use this on Thursday, so make sure you write it. Plus, be prepared to tell me why you should thank your professors for giving you assignments in which you have to write summaries.

In addition to the PowerPoint that I used in class (linked above on 9/3/09), below is a 30-page (.pdf) file that is essentially a condensed version of the book that I used to prepare the PowerPonit and the lecture on how the brain functions during the learning process. The book is called We’re Born to Learn: Using the Brain’s Natural Learning Process to Create Today’s Curriculum," and it is by Dr. Rita Smilkstein. We're Born to Learn condensed into 30 pages.

Thursday, 9/10/09
In-class: Begin writing a one-pager on how the brain functions during the Natural Human Learning Process (NHLP).

Homework assignment for Thursday 9/15: Compose a one-pager (about 200-220 words) on how the brain functions during learning. Here are my suggestions for drafting it. First, start with a topic sentence that expresses something about what you have learned. For instance, my own opinion about understanding brain functioning is that it is very useful to know, so my topic sentence might be something like this: "Now that I understand how the brain functions during learning, I know how to learn anything that I am determined to learn." Second, think about how you will organinze the information or the order in which you will present it. Will it be a process description, starting with the input of a stimulus and ending in the growth of neural networks, or do you have another strategy for organizing it? Third, look at the summaries you wrote from the notes you took in class on Tuesday. Can you make the writing process easier by using those summaries in the paragraph? I want to add a note of caution about using your notes verbatim or using the recourses I linked our class page to, such as the PowerPoint and the 30-page .pdf file. If you refer to those resources, don't write any of your paragraphy while they are open on your computer because you will end up inadvertantly plaigiarizing from them--by inadvertant, I mean that, not even intending to, it will happen anyway. Refer to them if you want to or need to, but then close them out before you write. The same is true of your class notes. Remember that I wrote those notes on the board to model the note-taking process, so those are my words and not yours. However, the summaries that you wrote from my notes and lecture are your words, and so you can use them in your paragraph.

Week Four

Tuesday, 9/15/09
In-class: Let's discuss intelligence(s), and assess the ways in which we are intelligent.

Homework assignment for Thursday 9/17: Do the multiple intelligences (M.I.) inventory to assess your innate intelligences. Based on that, write some notes that show that you are indeed intelligent in the ways that your inventory indicates. Be prepared to share your M.I. results and your notes in class discussion. When you get to the "BGFL Multiple Intelligences" web page, read it and then click on the tab at the top that says "Take a test."

Thursday, 9/17/09
In-class: Use the MI graph to take notes about the ways that you do, indeed, have the innate intelligences that are indicated on it. With that information, begin drafting the next "one-pager" related to learning how to learn, which will be a discussion and analysis of your innate intelligences. Here is a link to the prompt with my suggestions about how to write the one-pager.

Dr. Thomas Armstrong explains MI theory in a fairly straight-forward way.

Homework assignment for Tuesday 9/22: Draft the one-pager about MI theory and your innate intelligences, posted above. It is due at the start of class on Tuesday.

Week Five

Tuesday, 9/22/09
In class: 1] Discuss the V.A.R.K 2] Writing workshop/mini-conferences on brain development paper and MI paper

Draft: A "one pager" Write a well developed paragraph of appx. 200-250 words that describes the VARK and demonstrates how you have learned specific things through your VARK learning preferences. The paragraph will need to tell your readers what the VARK is (I wrote that on the board), who created it and what it is used for (including the web site that accompanies it). You will also describe things that you have learned (you wrote about them in class) and, from the "Helpsheets" section of the web site, you will describe HOW you learned them.

Use the journalist's heuristic for writing news stories, the "5 W's": Who, What, Why, Where, When and How (yes, "how": is an "H," not a "W," but it is always tossed in with the "5 W's.")

Thursday, 9/24/09
In class: 1] Group up with two of your colleagues (you choose) and give each other feedback on how well your one-pagers on the VARK fullfill the assignment posted on Tuesday. 2] Based on that feedback, finish drafting your VARK one-pager and give it to Prof. Hayden at 11 a.m. She will give the papers to me.

By the end of this week you should have finished drafting 3 one-pagers. Now we have a body of work to revise into a very intelligent and impressive essay about learning how to learn, and we will be ready to start editing it.

Homework assignment for Tuesday 10/6: Write: A topic sentence for each paragraph of your essay (you may have 7 or more paragaphs!), each topic sentence written on a separate post it note. Make up a blocking outline. Draft a thesis statement that will unify these paragraphs into an essay about how you learn. This is all due at the start of class on Tuesday.

Week Six

Tuesday, 10/6/09
In class: Discuss the qualities of a good thesis statement.

Homework assignment for Thusday 10/8/09
Due at the start of class:

Reading, Writing & Growing the dendrites:

  1. Read a few of the essays below, written about successful people whom they have known personally.
  2. Think about people you know who have been successful despite very difficult circumstances.

Here are examples of some of those stories:

Thursday, 10/08/09
In class: Discuss the elements of narration and personal experience essays

Homework assignment for Tuesday 10/13/09
Due at the start of class:

I will look at your blocking outline, topic sentences and thesis for the learning-to-learn essay in class ON TUESDAY! (10/13/09)

Week Ten

Note: I will not be in class this week as I have three professional conferences to attend in Richmond. Nonetheless, you will have classes in my absence. This will give you opportunities to develop your interdependency and collaborative learning processes as you will conduct class activities and complete projects independent of my presence. Understand, please, I am not on a vacation, but am attending professional activities and making presentations at the conferences. In other words, I am in class this week, just not in our regular Eng. 03 class, so we will all be working hard: me as well as you.

Tuesday, Oct. 27

In-class group activities: Form into groups of three for this activity--not two, not four, but three. Go to this page from the Hunter College Writing Center, and either print out the page from their website, or copy and paste the instructions and the essay into a Word document and print that out. Follow the instructions that precede the essay, make all the marks and corrections that are necessary, sign all three names to your document and place it in my mailbox in room 852 of this building. Do not slide the document under the door of my office or place it anywhere but in my mailbox in my Division Office.

Thursday, Oct. 29
In-class individual activity: Again, form into groups of three, but not with the same colleagues you worked with on Tuesday.

  1. Work this comma lesson from the Guide to Grammar and Writing and note how many you did not get correct.
  2. Read (together) the rules for comma use from this section of the Guide to Grammar and Writing.
  3. Work this second comma lesson. Note how many you did not get correct. You should have done better on the post-test than on the pre-test.
  4. Write a group paragraph describing the results of your experience, i.e., how you did on the pre- and post-tests, and what each of you learned about comma use from doing this exercise. Place the paragraphs in my mailbox in room 852.
Week Eleven & Twelve

In class: Composing, editing and revising workshops

Week Thirteen

Tuesday, 11/17/09
In class: Portfolio Preparation workshop; partner up for aural editing

Thursday, 11/19/09
In class: Portfolio Preparation workshop; partner up for aural editing

Week Fourteen

Monday, 11/23/09
Portfolio preparation conferences with Mr. Dollieslager 12:30-4:30 Make an appointment with me, please.

Tuesday, 11/24/09
No class: Thanksgiving week

Thursday, 11/26/09
No class: Thanksgiving week

Week Fifteen

Monday, 11/30/09
Portfolio preparation conferences with Mr. Dollieslager 12:30-4:30 Make an appointment with me, please.

Tuesday, 12/1/09
In class: Begin writing the in-class essay

Thursday, 12/3/09
In class: Finish writing the in-class essay. Turn in portfolios at the end of class today: one in-class essay and four revised essays.

Week Sixteen

Portfolios conferences: We meet on Thursday 10/10/09 from 9:00-10:45. We will 1] Write course evaluations, and 2] have our portfolio conferences



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