I have been starting class by asking the students if they have any questions or concerns that need to be addressed. So far, there hasn’t been much. I wanted to show the students that they evaluate things everyday, so I started class off by having them free-write about their favorite movie, song, or book. I told them that they had to explain WHY it is this thing was their favorite. After about 5 minutes, I had the students write for 5 minutes about the thing they hate and why. Once that was over, I told them to exchange papers and to evaluate the claims made.

I told them that liking a song because the singer was good looking was not a valid reason, so that it was their job to look out for this kind of faulty reasoning. I tried to lead this into a discussion, but no one was talking. It was pretty awful actually. I think this will work if it is tweaked, so I am going to have to contemplate a way to inspire more class engagement.

My first class does a little better with discussion; the students in that class seem to be a little more on the ball and little more self motivated (which reminds me, I should outline for both the classes what should go in the summary).

Afterwards, I put on the projector two news articles dealing with Obama’s speech about the end of the war in Iraq. One was from Fox news the other was from The New York Times, so both had very subtle ideological language. My first class (which, I know, I just said seems to be more on the ball, got it wrong). I pointed out (to both classes) the little turn of phrases and wording, style, quotes used to show the class how these things can give you insight to a writer’s angle of vision. I think they got it. I hope they got it.

I then briefly discussed MLA formatting, reviewed, again, what this annotated bibliography consists of, and showed them some web-page, like easybib.com. I had an issue where some of the gourps couldn’t find the article they were assigned, so I had to reassign some of the articles. (I need to read these articles).

This left about 15 minutes in one class, 20 minutes in another, for group work. I walked around to the different groups and listened in to what was going on asking if anyone needed help. Over all not a bad class.

My own classes are suffering, and I realized that I was behind in my readings– especially when 20 minutes before class, as I was going to get coffee, I ran into a classmate reading an article. When I asked her what she was reading, she told me it was for class. Well, I had enough time to print up the article but couldn’t read it, which didn’t matter because we didn’t even really discuss it. Then in class, I managed to BS my way through class eventhough, I only read about half of the book.

I’m off to read read read…