Not much to reflect on today. I went over the basic skill the students will need in order to complete thier first assignment: Annotated bibliography.

I started the class off by asking if anyone had any questions or any announcements they wanted to share. Both my classes seem to still be a little shy, so no one really spoke. I told them that I wanted to talk about the writing center. I briefly told them about the center–its location, what they do, how I plan on using the writing center myself because it is always a good idea to get someone to look over your work. I told them that I would give them extra credit for going to the writing center and getting that extra help on their essays.

In terms of what we did in class: I prepared a short power-point presentation on the skill needed to complete this assignment. Th epower point hit on some key skills that the students are going to have to work on, and then I added links to web-sites that will hopefully be helpful in developing those key skills.

I outlined what (and when to use) summary, paraphrase, and direct quotations. It was a lecture heavy class, so I think having the power point helps keep them focused rather than me just standing up there talking at them.

I went over, step by step, in class with them, how to find the resources they are going to be using and how to use the library home page to find those sources easily. Once we discussed all that, and I made them repeat several times everything we had just gone over, I then broke them off into groups. Stealing an activity from my mentor, I am having each group present on one article that the class is going to have to annotate. This way, hopefully, I can see if they are focusing on the right main points within the article, it gives them that ‘oral presentation’ component of their grade, and it is an easy way for me to review all of the articles without killing myself (since, oh yeah… I have stuff I GOT TO DO, too).

I told the class that they are going to be teaching their classmates the article. I informed them that they should have a powerpoint presentation and handouts and that they need to talk for 8 to 10 minutes, but that other than that, the presentation is up to them.

I have used this vague ‘give a presentation to the class’ instruction before, and nine times out of ten, the students really rise to the occassion. I think when they are worried about a grade, worried about pulling their own weight, and when they know that they have to present material to the class, most students actually do care and do a great job. I preface this with informing them that employers want employees that are good communicators, good writers, that can work in a group dynamic well, and that can present information in a clear, concise fashion, so hopefully, they understand the importance of the assignment.

We’ll see how it goes.