Syd’s Session Notes – Section 3 – 1/17/2018
Today’s session was a good start.
I started off with a brief explanation of myself and my role as a consultant. I mentioned my history at Lourdes, how I felt that smaller class sessions enabled a greater degree of rapport between students and instructors, and how they could take advantage of a smaller class space to ensure they have a strong understanding of all course topics.
We then did an icebreaker activity that helped us to get to know each other. It was the same one I used to start off the Fall 2017 semester, in which I gave students note cards and had them write up to six things about themselves (name, hometown, major, interests, etc). Compared to last time, I enabled more flexibility in how the students answered each item, and they seemed to enjoy it more as a result – though that may also have something to do with this class session happening at 11:00am versus 9:00am.
Next, I went into a brief discussion of genre, making sure to focus exclusively on “genre as response to recurring situation.” I hoped to give students a general idea of what genres are and why they are categorized.
I transitioned from talking about genre into talking about how we learn about genres – which is to say, research.
From there, I did the same “part 2” of my icebreaker activity as last time, in which students grouped together, traded note cards, and “researched” one of the items on said cards by asking the corresponding peer. Since I enabled more flexibility and didn’t ask students to focus on “how” they were doing research, the activity seemed more enjoyable overall. Students ended up learning multiple things about their peers, and they seemed comfortable starting conversations based on the items written on their cards. At this early stage in consulting, I feel this was preferable to throwing in concerns about research practice like I did last time – such concerns being better-introduced later on.
Next, I passed out the students’ notebooks and had them each write about how they feel about their writing and what they hope to get out of ENG 101. I also decided I’ll collect their notebooks at the end of each session to ensure I’m properly grading participation and attendance.
After the writing prompt period ended, I went over the syllabus and 1-on-1s. I also passed out a 1-on-1 sign-up sheet to show students when the upcoming dates were, but maintained they didn’t have to sign up immediately. None of them did, as I expected – they stated it was because they would rather wait until they know more about the unit project, which is understandable and demonstrated good foresight on their part.
To close the session, I had each of the students share their answers on the writing prompt. I received interesting responses from everyone and felt I had a better idea of how to assist each of them with their individual concerns as a result.
Overall, I think this was a good first session. I stumbled a bit in transitioning from one topic to another and could have gotten set up a little earlier, but now that I’m “back in the rhythm” of things, I feel those issues should naturally clear up as time goes on.
Here’s to another great semester,