Archive for the ‘Learning Styles’ Category

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Advertising the Power of Process

posted: 4.9.07 by Barclay Barrios

Ask students to choose a step in the writing process and then design a print or radio ad that sells the benefits of their choice/“product” to the public.

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Categories: Assignment Idea, Learning Styles, Popular Culture, Writing Process
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Visualizing Argument

posted: 3.21.07 by Barclay Barrios

Have students review the material in the handbook on visual arguments or visual aids. Ask them to come to class with a visual supplement to the current reading—a chart or diagram or photograph. In groups, have them share this material and then consider how incorporating it into the essay would enhance or change the author’s argument.

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Categories: Argument, Assignment Idea, Collaboration, Document Design, Learning Styles, Visual Argument, Visual Rhetoric
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Landmark Punctuation

posted: 3.7.07 by Barclay Barrios

Have students review the material on punctuation in the handbook. In small groups, ask them to explain how different punctuation marks function by linking them to local landmarks. For example, at Florida Atlantic University, I95 midday is like a comma, in the morning is like a semicolon, but with an accident it’s like a period.

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Categories: Grammar & Style, Learning Styles, Punctuation & Mechanics
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Never-Ending Search

posted: 1.16.07 by Barclay Barrios

Have students review the section of the handbook on research and on research terms in particular. Using your library’s book catalog database, have students put in a broad research term. Tell them to select a book and look for the subject headings that the library lists to describe the book. These are usually in the full entry for a book and are usually hyperlinked. Have students write down and then click on one of the subject heading links. They should select a book under that heading and then repeat the process. They should repeat these steps until they have around twenty subject headings. Have them draw a map that suggests how their research topic relates to several different larger topic areas.

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Categories: Assignment Idea, Finding Sources, Learning Styles, Teaching with Technology
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Method Acting and the Sentence

posted: 12.4.06 by Barclay Barrios

Have students review material on sentence types in the handbook. Put a simple sentence on the board, such as “The student asked a question.” Have the class identify the subject, verb, and object, and then ask students to come in front of the class and stand next to each other in poses that represent these parts of speech. Then, in groups of three to five, students should select a sentence from the essay or their drafts, identify its main parts of speech, and as a team work on representing the structure (NOT meaning) of the sentence just by standing in front of the class. How does one visually/physically represent a verb? What happens if the person representing the subject moves to the end of the line? What would a sentence look like if the students stood in a circle and not in a left-to-right line?

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Categories: Collaboration, Grammar & Style, Learning Styles
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Grammar Hunt

posted: 12.4.06 by Barclay Barrios

Bring in sentences from drafts that have errors or are syntactically strained. Put the class into groups and have each group work on first identifying the error, then finding the section of the handbook that addresses it, then correcting it. The group with the most correct answers (and corrections) gets a prize (chocolate is a good motivator).

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Categories: Collaboration, Grammar & Style, Learning Styles, Punctuation & Mechanics
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Cut and Tape

posted: 11.20.06 by Barclay Barrios

Ask students to take a copy of their current draft, cut it up into individual paragraphs, place the paragraph slips in an envelope, and bring it into class. Bring a roll of tape to class and then, in groups, have students trade envelopes. Each peer reviewer needs to read all the individual paragraphs, determine what their order should be, and tape them back together. When students get their taped-together papers back, ask if the drafts came back in the right order. Use this as an opportunity to discuss organization and transitions, turning to the section on transitions in the handbook to help students review tools they can use to make sure the order of their paragraphs is always perfectly clear.

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Categories: Assignment Idea, Drafting, Grammar & Style, Learning Styles, Peer Review
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Designing Correction

posted: 10.23.06 by Barclay Barrios

Review in class the list of correction symbols in the handbook as well as any additional symbols you use. Have the students work in groups to first identify their five most common errors, then locate the handbook resources on those errors, and then, finally, design correction symbols that can be used in peer revision groups or when you provide comments. Encourage them to be creative in coming up with symbols.

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Categories: Collaboration, Learning Styles, Peer Review, Proofreading/Editing
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Good Ol’ Fashioned Spelling Bee

posted: 10.23.06 by Barclay Barrios

Have students review the section of the handbook on spelling and common rules for spelling. Then have a spelling bee in class, using terms/words from the essays. To up the ante, have each student spell and define the word in the context of the reading so that students demonstrate an understanding of the author’s argument as well.

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Categories: Learning Styles, Punctuation & Mechanics
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Customizing the Grammar Checker

posted: 10.23.06 by Barclay Barrios

Have your students use Microsoft Word (in the computer classroom, at home, or in one of the campus labs on their own). Tell them to open one of their drafts and then click Tools » Options » Spelling & Grammar tab » Settings. Word can check for a variety of grammatical and stylistic errors, though we may not want Word checking for everything it can check for. Each student should choose one of the many unchecked options. Use the handbook to research that “error” and then offer advice to the class on whether or not they should have Word look for that error: Is it a serious error? Is it easier to find on your own? Is it a question of preference and not an error at all?

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Categories: Assignment Idea, Grammar & Style, Learning Styles, Teaching with Technology
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