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Messages - tsbrayak

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Complete Reading and/or Writing Units / Peer Response Unit
« on: December 14, 2009, 01:21:07 PM »
Hi Everybody!

Here is a unit that I developed to train students to become effective peer respondents and to train them to effectively incorporate feedback into their revisions.  Attached is the main document with all the lesson plans (it's a three day unit centered around the ESL 501 diagnostic revision).  I have attached all the supplemental materials as separate appendices.


Conclusions / Introduction to Conclusions
« on: December 07, 2009, 08:58:58 PM »
Here is an activity that I adapted from the book below (Unfortunately, I cannot attach the essay). 

Family Weekend Vacations from the Wingersky, Boerner, & Hoguin book Writing Paragraphs and Essays, 2nd Ed.  (1995), pp. 261-264.

I had students read the essay Family Weekend Vacations, and after they read it, I asked them to talk about the essay's strengths and weaknesses (1 major weakness was that it was missing a conclusion).  I then had them analyze several possible conclusions (also in the book) and determine which conclusion they felt was the best and why.  I did type up the conclusions from the book, so I will attach that file, but you could really adapt this kind of an analysis activity to any essay that you have.  You may just have to write the different conclusions yourself!

Summary & Paraphrase / Rubric for an article summary
« on: December 07, 2009, 08:46:19 PM »
Here is a rubric that I developed to evaluate a summary of an article.

Persuasive Paper / Persuasive Essay Rubric--RUBISTAR!
« on: December 07, 2009, 08:41:39 PM »
Here is a rubric that I used for evaluating an argumentative essay.  I developed it with the help of RUBISTAR, but I was also able to add my own modifications.  RUBISTAR is a handy website for teachers to make rubrics.  The web address is:

I have attached an activity to go with the article listed below:

Van Staveren, T., & Dale, D. (2004, September). Childhood obesity: Problems and Solutions.
JOPERD: The Journal of Physical Education, Recreation & Dance, 75(7), 44-54. Retrieved March 19, 2009, from Gale Cengage Academic OneFile database.

I didn't attach the pdf file for the article because I think it was too big.  This activity is to introduce students to the genre of problem-solution.

Summary & Paraphrase / Great Reporting Verbs Handout
« on: December 07, 2009, 07:56:49 PM »
Here's a link to a handout on reporting verbs that I came across from the IEI awhile back.  It's a great handout because it explains the meaning behind each type of reporting verb.

Introductions / Strategies to get the reader "hooked"
« on: December 07, 2009, 06:42:31 PM »
Here are some materials that you can use to introduce students to different ways that they can "grab" the audience's attention in their introduction.  The different techniques are listed on one of the documents I attached, and the other document I attached has several paragraphs that use one or more of each of these techniques.  I showed students each of these paragraphs and had them determine which technique was used in each one.

Summary & Paraphrase / Paraphrasing with Proverbs
« on: December 07, 2009, 06:34:19 PM »
Here are some materials I created to get students to practice paraphrasing with proverbs ( I can't remember where I got this idea from, but I did get it from somewhere!).  I gave each student a proverb (use the proverbs on the handout that does not include their meanings), and I told them to try to guess what they thought the proverb meant and describe it to a classmate in their own words.  Then, as homework, I had students use the proverbs in sentences.

Summary & Paraphrase / Paraphrasing Activities
« on: December 07, 2009, 06:24:44 PM »
Here are some lecture notes and an activity that I did to help students to learn techniques for paraphrasing.  I have attached all of the materials. 

Unity & Coherence / Lesson on Paragraph Structure and Unity
« on: December 07, 2009, 06:12:11 PM »
Here is a lesson I created for ESL 500 on paragraph structure and unity.  The lesson plan and materials are attached!

General Writing Resources / Audience and Purpose Lesson
« on: December 07, 2009, 05:53:15 PM »
Here is a lesson that I used in ESL 500 to introduce students to the topics of audience and purpose.  The paragraphs that I used in this activity all deal with culture shock, so you could tie this in easily with a nice lesson/article related to culture shock.  I have attached the lesson plan and the materials. 

Summary & Paraphrase / Summary of a Research Article
« on: December 05, 2009, 06:46:44 PM »
This is a lesson I created to introduce students to summarizing a research article.  The lesson and article are attached, but when I gave students the article, I copied it so that students could not see the abstract or the implications section.  Often students will just use the abstract to write the summary, which is why I used white out to "blank" out the abstract section.  Also, the implications section has a lot of good ideas for writing a reaction/reflection, so I also "blanked" out that section, so students would not be tempted to just copy what the authors said when writing their reactions to the article.

Feedback--Teacher / Rubric for Problem Solution Paper
« on: December 05, 2009, 06:38:29 PM »
Here is a rubric that I created for a Problem Solution Paper. 

General Writing Resources / Presenting a Problem-Solution Paper
« on: December 05, 2009, 06:32:10 PM »
This lesson is specifically designed to go with a problem-solution type paper.  It is a lesson to help students to determine what important information to include in a presentation of their problem-solution paper.  The specific lesson and materials are attached. 

Feedback--Peer Review / Lesson on How to Write Appropriate Comments
« on: December 05, 2009, 06:16:16 PM »
Here's one lesson of a group of lessons on training students to be effective peer respondents.  This lesson focuses on how to write appropriate comments.  The lesson and materials are attached!

Here's a handy resource that I found quite awhile ago on APA.  It is produced by Harvard, and it is an online tutorial.  Students can listen to the tutorial and follow along.  I found it to be quite useful.  I actually used this a couple of times in class and spent less time talking about APA myself since everything is in the tutorial, and it is a handy resource that students can have constant access to.

Vocabulary / Dictionary Dabble
« on: October 19, 2009, 01:21:23 PM »
I have never tried this in any of my classes, but one of Eunice's posts about getting to know each other activities sparked my memory about this game that I used to like to play with my family when I was younger. 

Basically, the game goes like this:  Everybody is given a strange, unfamiliar word, and each person has to make up a definition for the word.  One person is designated as the "reader," and the reader has the real definition of the word.  Everybody has to give their made up definition to the reader, and the reader then will read all the definitions, including the real one, and everybody else has to guess which definition is the true one.

This is actually a real game that you can buy.  I think a game very similar to this one is Balderdash.  Instead of buying the games, though, I would pick the words you want to use in class.  The ones that come with the games are often very difficult and hardly ever used by native speakers.  It would be good to pick words from a reading that students are going read.  This will also be good practice for them on writing definitions. 

You could even have students choose vocabulary words for this game.  Perhaps each student could come up with a strange word from his or her area of expertise that other people most likely will not be familiar with.

You can also divide students into groups when playing this game.  They could guess the real meaning in groups, and they could write their definitions as a group.

Getting to Know You Activities / Re: Get them talking and LYING!
« on: October 19, 2009, 01:09:17 PM »
I really like both of these "get them talking" activities!  I think these would be fun ice breaker activities to do the first couple of days of class!  It sure beats the usual introduce yourself activity!  The 2nd activity reminds me a lot of the game dictionary dabble!  Some great ideas!

Motivation / Re: "Hiring" Students for Group Jobs
« on: October 19, 2009, 01:00:31 PM »
I also really like the idea of "hiring" students for different roles.  Although I have never used little cards that explain each role in my classes, I have occasionally assigned roles to students in my past classes because it does help to keep them all involved.  Group work can be tricky!  I have witnessed some groups totally flop on trying to get a group activity done before.  I guess it all depends on the students and on who is in the group! 

Here's what Juval and I came up with:

1.   Have students read whole article in parts.  Then have students do a cloze activity based on the article.  The cloze activity would be a summary of the entire article (written by us teachers).  The jargon words would be left blank (like light years, Kelvin, clusters, ionized gas, etc).  The idea is NOT to teach jargon (unless we have an ESP science class) but instead to make students aware that even us native speakers don't know what these words mean, BUT even without those words, we know what they're probably about.  The answers to the blanks would be like 'unit measuring temperature' or 'unit of distance' or 'star like thing.?

2.   Present students with a scrambled list of vocabulary words and definitions from the article (e.g. galaxy, evolution, fireball, filament, cluster, dwarf, etc.).  Have students scan the article to find each word and then try to match each word to its definition from the context in which it is used in the article.  Students can do this in pairs/groups.

3.   Divide students into groups.  Give each group a list of comprehension questions (could be different sets) based on the article (E.g. How can astronomers study the evolutionary processes of galaxies?; What is in a galaxy cluster?; What are the knots or ?fireballs? mentioned in the article, and what are they comprised of?, etc.).  This is to get them to understand the main ideas.  Once students have answered questions, have them compare their answers with another group and make any changes they see necessary. 

Harry Potter Lessons! / Re: Nonsense word game
« on: September 22, 2009, 09:15:11 AM »
I also thought that this would be a great idea because of the fact that students often feel like they have to look up every single unknown word in a dictionary.  This would be a good way to help them practice guessing the meaning of a word from the context in which it is used, which I believe Juval also mentioned.  I think this would be a fun activity for students!

General Writing Resources / Re: Story Rounds / Round Robins
« on: September 03, 2009, 10:19:21 AM »
Other possible reflection questions (after writing activity): How did you feel during the process of writing?  What aspects were easy?  Difficult?

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