Sample Teaching Materials

The teaching materials here are examples of how I teach writing as a form of intellectual inquiry and a way to help students gain a critical self-awareness of themselves as literate individuals who understand the power of literacy to transform
their lives and make a difference in their communities.


I developed this assignment in Professor Kory Lawson Ching’s course Teaching Writing in the DIgital Age.  The idea behind this assignment is to guide students through the process of analyzing a new media composition (in this case a blog).  Many of the readings we did in this class recommend teaching students to become careful critical readers of new media text.  The idea is that if you are going to be producing new media text, you have to be able to critically analyze how a new media text is put together; what works in different rhetorical situations.  This assignment is something like a pre-writing activity that students can complete as a way to develop the kinds of new media reading strategies they will use as consumers and producers of on-line compositions.  This would not be the only guided rhetorical analysis assignment, it would be one of the first in a series of assignments like these that would be looped in throughout the semester with the idea that the further into the semester we move the more complicated the guided reading questions become.  So that as students develop their skills as authors of new compositions they are at the same time developing the abilities as readers of new media texts.  There are many concrete suggestions about how to do this in the readings and different weeks could be devoted to different new media reading activities; I imagine we could, for example, also spend time looking at how an argument is constructed on-line and writing about how it is different than what students do in a more traditional essay.

Before taking this course on teaching new media I was one of those teachers who would say  “I am just not good with technology.” Now I understand new media and the literacies it requires are part of what Henry Jenkins and others in “Confronting the Challenges of Participatory Culture:  Media Education for the 21st Century” call the new hidden curriculum.  I think those of us who are not digital natives sometimes need to check our resistance (or flojera).  In other words, it is simply not ok for us to ignore the call for rethinking composition in terms of a digital rhetoric.

Integrated Reading and Writing Teaching Unit

As I finished the MA in Composition at SFSU and began to gather material to post on this page, I realized retrospectively, that regardless of the courses one takes, one comes out of the program as an Integrated Reading and Writing teacher.  This is because IRW are always already assumed, so that if you are in a Pedagogy in Composition class you can bet the pedagogy you will learn will assume  Writing_and_Reading_Relationships.  It is just part of the life blood of the program.  And I can truly appreciate it only now.  The Integrated Reading and Writing Unit above was part of a group project I created along with Gavin and Irene in Professor Helen Gillotte-Tropp’s English 709 Integrated Reading and Writing course in the  Fall of 2010.

CTW1.Course Syllabus

In 2010 I taught in the Critical Thinking and Writing First-Year Composition Program at Santa Clara University.  It was my first time using Ways of Reading and as these materials show, estaba empapada en las ideas de David Bartholomae and Anthony Petrosky (I still am).  All instructors ask their students to write regular responses to the readings and one of the ways I did that was by asking students to write a Difficulty Essay.  The pedagogy behind that, of course, is to have students embrace difficult moments in a text and instead of glossing over them, to return to them again and again until they “get it.” I particularly like this assignment because of the way it guides students through the process–this is part of my teaching strategy–assign difficult tasks and guide students through completion.   This Difficulty Essay and my engagement with David Bartholomae and Petrosky came from a Pedagogy in Composition course with Professor Tara Lockhart at SFSU.  Another assignment to encourage strong reading we used in this class was a CTW.Descriptive Outline adapted from Peter  Elbow and Pat Belanoff’s  Sharing and Responding.

Teaching Segment.On.Revision

Summary of Ways of Reading

This is a Teaching Segment focusing on revision I did along with Steven Magness, a colleague in the MA program.  It was part of the work we did in English 705 Pedagogy in Composition. The  summary of Ways of Reading was part of our Textbook Assignment in the course.

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