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Enhancing Student Learning Through Writing: A Workshop for TAs Thomas Hilgers Mānoa Writing Program.

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Presentation on theme: "Enhancing Student Learning Through Writing: A Workshop for TAs Thomas Hilgers Mānoa Writing Program."— Presentation transcript:

1 Enhancing Student Learning Through Writing: A Workshop for TAs Thomas Hilgers Mānoa Writing Program

2 Today’s Goals: Add new writing activities to use in teaching Improve your strategies for helping students learn

3 What Are Your Plans? Please write a few sentences that continue this beginning: “To help my students learn, I’m planning to...

4 Reflection: “As you enter a classroom ask yourself this question: If there were no students in the room, could I do what I am planning to do? “If your answer to the question is yes, don't do it.” Gen. Ruben Cubero, Dean of the Faculty, United States Air Force Academy

5 Your turn... Look over what you just wrote. Does it include anything that students can learn without being in your classroom?

6 Two Models of Teaching: a) Traditional/Teacher-Centered Ways of teaching – Ways of student learning TeacherStudent Tells – Listens Shows – Observes Requests activity – Performs/Does

7 Two Models of Teaching: a. Teacher-Centered b. Student-Centered Tells students what to know Teacher finds out what students know Teacher monitors students’ new knowledge/ understanding Gives students opportunities to “own” content

8 Student-Centered Ideas for Using WRITING ASSIGNMENTS Use writing activities/assignments to help students finish homework before class participate in class discussions become involved, engaged learn more, better

9 1. Freewriting (= “thinking on paper”) Process: write without stopping, censoring, re-reading, or revising --Gives students opportunities to  Uncover previous knowledge  Make connections  Explore current thinking  Generate ideas

10 Freewriting Students write 3-10 minutes on topic, question, or issue Use before, during, or after a class discussion  (End of class: summarize main point)  (Mid class: “wake up” slow discussion)

11 Freewriting sample prompts “When bee colonies die off,... “Inca civilization was unique in... “Children under 3 learn best when...

12 2. Knowledge Checks Students write answers to questions or complete a short activity - Before a new topic or activity - At “bridge” in studying new topic - At end of topic

13 Knowledge Check: Sample Questions Ethnic Studies Class on Hawai‘i 1. How many people currently live in Hawai‘i? 2. How many people lived in Hawai‘i in 1700? 3. How many people lived in Hawai‘i in 1000? Global & Environmental Science 1. What factors contribute to the depletion of the ozone layer? 2. For each factor, give a brief explanation of why it depletes the ozone.

14 Knowledge check: Benefits Before new activity: Reveals students’ prior knowledge, beliefs, misconceptions Stimulates students’ new thinking Before new material, helps uncover student’s background knowledge

15 Your turn... Half: Write a freewriting prompt you can use in one of your classes. Half: Write a “Knowledge Check” question you can use in your subject area.

16 3. “Admit Tickets” Students write summary* of assigned reading for admission to class Option: Ask for *summary plus response You set standard: define summary, discuss model summary you provide Follow-up in-class activities --Use summary as jumping-off point for discussion --Groups share and decide on main points

17 4. Minute Paper/Quickie Answers In class, students write answer to question in one minute When? --beginning of class (re: homework reading); --end of class (re: one topic from today); --after group work Why? + Encourages reflection, active listening + Reinforces concepts

18 5. Response Log Students write --brief (1- to 3-minute) response to prompt in class OR --longer ( word) response to prompt for homework --Use after in-class reading --Use after in-class or out-of-class reading or observation session

19 Response Log Example - informal After discussing/reading/seeing [article, video, moon rock], 1. I know I don’t know... And I’d like to know because...

20 Response Log Example -- formal After homework or in-class reading, students complete 1. The main question raised by author X is X assumes everyone knows/believes that … 3. The central idea raised is … 4. People are likely to agree with X if People are likely to disagree with X if...

21 6. Learning Log (“Exit Ticket”) On index card at end of class, each student writes 1. One thing I got from class today (that I didn’t get earlier is) One question I have is My question is important because One thing I hope we cover next class is... because...

22 7. Muddiest Point In the middle of or after class/discussion/group work, students answer this question: What is/was the muddiest point so far in today’s lecture?

23 Your Turn... Please write on 3: How could you use  Admit Tickets  Minute Papers  Response Logs  End of class Learning Logs  “Muddiest Point” impromptus... in one of your courses this semester?

24 What Are Your Plans? Please write a few sentences that continue this beginning: “To help my students learn, I’m planning to...

25 What Are Your Plans? Please write a few sentences that continue this beginning: “To help my students learn, I’m planning to...

26 My question for you: If there are no students in the room, could I do what I am planning to do? My hoped-for answer: Of course not!

27 Thank You! Thomas Hilgers Mānoa Writing Program


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