Today’s class — well, I don’t know how it went.

I started class off talking about the importance of punctuation and proper formatting. I told my students that these are places where they can earn easy points, and then I showed them the importance of punctuation with asking them to punctuate:

Woman without man is nothing.

Put a colon and a comma, and man is nothing without woman, or use two commas and woman is nothing without man… I am too tired to write it out here.

I was hoping that this would loosen the class up. I even had students grab the marker and get up and do it themselves.

After this, I discussed the importance of the ad analysis project having a thesis, and that the thesis would be informed by the “lens” the student choses to use to interpret the ads. I asked the students for ads, picking one, I showed the class the ad then I asked them what they saw in the ad. As students began to raise their hands and state what they saw– I would throw the marker at them and tell them to write it on the board. After the ads were described, I then asked them to think about what kind of thesis statement they could come up with for the ad. Of course, everyone is reluctant to talk, so I reminded them that we had just studied the male gaze and woman in advertising and then proceeded to hint at them several ways of looking at gender and sex in the ads. Once some working thesis were discussed, I then tried to get the class to think of how they would develop the thesis through research.

Then I asked the class to look at the ad in a different light. We looked at the ad by seeing how class (socio-economics) were portrayed in the ads; we looked at how the ads portrayed health, etc…

With the remaining class time, we read a sample from the book, and I stopped at the end of each paragraph and asked the students to peer review the sample. They did a good job of discussing some lacks in logic in the article and identifying weak thesises. The classes (both of them) seemed a little bored, so I stopped a number of time and told that class that I was there to help them become better writers, and that if they felt that reading this as a class wasn’t working, that we could try doing some other things.

I just feel lately that I am not reaching the class. I need to start coming up with more more more activities. I need to start getting them free writing more, and I need to start thinking of class times broken down into 15 minutes spurts, and teaching the class the same thing every 15 minutes in different ways.

But I don’t have the energy half the time to do so…