Don't be afraid to ask classmates to purchase books
or materials that are likely to be of professional value! The capstone
course in your major, English 4800 is one of the most important
classes preparing you for your profession. Developing professional
knowledge, materials, and personal libraries are part of getting ready
to teach English. Try not to exceed the $20 budget, but remember that
for your classmates on tight budgets (most everyone!) there are options including borrowing materials from libraries, sharing
with other class members, reading literature straight from the web,
In addition to extensive reading, all units should
include significant writing. It is assumed that students in 4800 have
taken 4790, are familiar with teaching the writing process and are
ready to utilize a variety of writing strategies in their pedagogy.
Three to four pages of polished writing per week is fair to ask of
students in 4800 (in a Fall or Spring semester, twice that in Summer). This can be in the form of narrative or persuasive
writing, lesson plans, journals, free writing, etc. It is fair to
expect work to be typed and well-edited.
Integrating technology, such as the class computer
conference, classroom websites, the Internet, virtual world activities, blogs, wikis, podcasts, social networking tools, educational software, etc. is required. Experiment with our wireless-laptop
computers, use websites, data projectors, powerpoint, digital story telling projects,
video, etc. Consider designing activities or making assignments using some
of the most cutting edge on-line
literature lesson ideas, digital archives, virtual worlds, etc. Your leadership team should create an on-line syllabus with links
to appropriate sites and activities, perhaps using Wix, Weebly or Wikispaces. Here is a sample student-led unit website from a previous class (notice that to see the syllabus on this site you download it as a Word document from a link).
Help prepare future teachers to work with diverse classrooms
that include a variety of academic skills, cultural backgrounds, ELL and
special needs students.
How can the teaching you envision be be individualized, draw on groups, and inspire all students?
Models of excellent assignments/projects should be
shared with the class. Student group leaders should be mindful of
the need of all students to prepare rich portfolios for teaching and
should find ways to encourage students to benefit from each other's
Students are encouraged to develop authentic forms
of assessment that foster meaningful and ongoing learning. Expectations
for assignments should be clear in advance. A variety of components
may be involved in determining the grade for each unit, and careful
and thoughtful experimentation is encouraged. Self-evaluation should
While there should be clearly stated
minimum expectations, assignments should have no "top"-- students
should be encouraged to take projects as far as they would like to.
All major or unit assignments that are to receive a letter
grade must be read by at least three student leaders who must all
participate in the grade decision. Work should be returned to class members promptly and grades reported
to each student and to the professor no more than 10 days after the end of the unit. Groups
are responsible for setting their own late paper or make-up work policies.
Before each unit begins student leaders need to provide
the class with a syllabus for their unit which explains the focus
of the unit, the learning objectives, materials that need to be purchased,
and clearly spells out what reading/ assignments/ homework is expected,
when it is due, and how it will be evaluated. (As indicated above, this syllabus should be available on-line.) You want to be clear about what the other students are expected to do - one group made a short video that went along with the syllabus; that seemed like a nice idea.
A rough draft of the
syllabus needs to be approved by the professor as soon as possible after a tentative syllabus has been created, at least two days before
it is handed out to the class in a meeting attended by all group members. All students in the group need to attend this meeting which will usually last about 90 minutes. The discusion will include a detailed review of the tentative syllabus which should include all the items below. Student leaders should plan time after this meeting for continued syllabus development and fine tuning before it is handed out to the class.
At this meeting student leaders will be asked first for:
|1. A list of relevant objectives for the unit targeting what the future English teachers in the class will learn.
2. Titles, related to the goals, for each day the group is teaching.
3. Reading and homework for each class meeting.
4. A detailed plan of activities for each class meeting that includes how many minutes each activity is expected to last.
5. Discussion or writing questions for any discussion or writing activities.
6. A description, perhaps including a rubric, for the final project.
7. A rubric for determining student grades for the entire unit.
All student leaders are expected to take leadership
roles in all aspects of every lesson. It is not acceptable to simply
divide up the days giving one day to each student leader; real team
teaching is expected and will produce better results. All group members
should share in leadership roles in large group and small group activities,
outside of class as well as in front of the class. As much as possible
decisions should be reached on a consensus basis. Meetings to plan
group teaching that one or more students can not attend are likely
to lead to disagreement and frustration. Find times to meet when all members of your group can attend -- and be sure to attend scheduled
Student leaders are expected to reflect together on their
teaching, preferably after each teaching session, and to revise lesson
plans when necessary and appropriate. At least once during the unit, leaders are required to use the recording equipment in our room, create a recording of at least 40 minutes of class activity, and view and discuss the recording together.
At least 15 minutes of the final class meeting should be focused on a whole class evaluation of the student-led unit and should include a written evaluation, perhaps using likert-scale measures of individual aspects of the unit, completed by all class members.
At the first class meeting after the unit is completed
group leaders should turn in their self-evaluation.
Student leaders are encouraged
individually and collectively to consult with the professor often
and at any time.
Created by: firstname.lastname@example.org
Revised Date: 1/19