English Discussion Summaries

Defining Student Success

  • How can we define “success” more concretely, especially in relation to complex cultural/social challenges?
  • How can students “showcase” themselves to the larger culture of jobs, etc.? How can they also develop an intrinsic sense of the value of language/literature?
  • How can we help students be more aware of the importance of being on time and prepared, etc.?
  • How have kids changed due to influence of media technology? How can students “translate” between academic language and “street” language?
  • Success is NOT “passing” for us, even though this is often how “success” is defined in the larger culture.

Issues in English Teaching

  • Students read/write more than before, just differently—we need to recognize this and better equip ourselves accordingly—we need to develop ourselves professionally in different modalities (but not to get seduced by the hype of the latest technology and forego developing “clear thinking/communication skills” in the process) > How to validate students’ “languages” without compromising larger goals of critical thinking/expression?
  • How to “teach” students how to “connect” discipline-specific content to their larger worlds?
  • What about rubrics? How to use rubrics to help students understand what it means to be “successful”? How can we help high-school students use rubrics more thoughtfully? Can students design their own rubrics? Can we use technology to share rubrics across curriculum boundaries? What other forms of “structure” can we implement to help provide “pathways” for students? How can we encourage students to create their own goals based on rubrics? How can CLOs also be used for student self-reflection and goal-setting?
  • How can we share what we’re doing within departments? Across departments? Within schools? Across schools?
  • What are students’ aptitudes in grammar? How can we address this?
  • How can we encourage SCAFFOLDING? How can we work together to cultivate a “common language” for each other and our students?
  • How can we determine which skills we NEED to address in our individual classes? We need to decide what students NEED to know to be able to move on…. What kind of reinforcement can we encourage? Writing labs? Technology-assisted reinforcement? What can high-schools do? Can high-school students be scheduled into “writing clinics”? Or more focused writing-intensive instruction? Can college students “tutor” high-school students for service-learning (Fisher, U of R, and even MCC as possibilities)? If students AREN’T prepared when they enter the class, WHAT CAN WE DO?
  • Does English as a discipline try to do too much?
  • What are the benefits of standardization? What are the problems?
  • How can we use the Common Core to encourage greater depth in student learning?

High School & College Culture

  • High-school students have SO MUCH support, but they don’t have this at college—how can we address this? How can accountability and independence be encouraged in high-school?
  • In high-schools, absenteeism is a real problem—if a student misses a class, that student misses that material.
  • Can more college faculty visit high-school classes to clarify expectations? Students want to know what are the two things they need to know how to do—Math and English? College students can prepare talks for high-school students as “service-learning” (What You Need to Know Before You Go: College 101).
  • Can we exchange contact information and think about how to visit each other’s classes and/or have our students visit each other? Can we use ANGEL to schedule these visits and/or share problems/information? Can we do this through the CCTE website?
  • Are AP students really AP students? Some students are coming to MCC with transcripts that indicate honors classes even if they did not achieve grades at an honors level.
  • Suburban vs. Urban
  • The shared assignment is totally on par with ENG 101.
  • We can’t solve every problem—no student will ever REALLY be prepared for college—so what should our priorities be? If students can read/write well, chances are their transition to college will be smoother….
  • Half-year vs. full-year structure of Senior ELA.
  • RH semesters of student choice.
  • SOTA work with students through all the years there.  SOTA have “MCC” type students in a remedial  type class.  Honors students typically go to 4 year.  Advanced, remedial, journalism are the student choices.
  • Accuplacer is more accurate than a transcript.  85 or higher are eligible for AP.  MCC uses 76 or higher to be eligible for ENG 101.  Not connected on what the eligible number should be for ENG 101.
  • Writing samples as a placement?  Time is an issue.
  • What if we use the senior paper as a diagnostic for placement?

  • Writeplacer?  Logistics?

  • Do you feel like the Common Core is a good move for students?  Question to HS teachers.  It aligns with AP well.

  • Credit recovery online for RCSD.

  • Graduation rate impacted by attendance.

  • NWEA tests seem to be more accurate.  Could we use it at MCC?

  • We all like the common core ideas.  It is going to take time to see the results.

Facilitating Student Success

  • What obstacles do we face when considering student-success and/or collaboration across institutional boundaries? Time? Money? Mindset? Support? Creativity? Can local grad students help? Can technology (including skyping and interactive websites) help? What about grant funding?
  • Sharing of course materials (e.g., texts, major assignments, course information sheets, data)
  • Lori brought Lovely Bones packets.  Reading strategies that they are required to use.  Articles are included that are required for research paper.  Whole unit is outlined within the packet.  Scaffolding is within the packet to progress to the final paper.  Students must get a certain grade to go to the next step.  Differentiation of tasks– students who struggle will have a different packet more appropriate to ability but still gain the same skills.
  • Exit outcomes remain consistent when you differentiate your teaching.   We may change how we get there, but I do not change the outcome…
  • Text based evidence/analysis.
  • Supported vs. independent?
  • What about the college ready students that do not want to any more work?  How do we enrich those students?  AP? Honors level?  Leveled texts or materials?  Students sometimes do not want to do more.

Next Steps

Maria is intrigued by Service-Learning.

Elizabeth will be sharing the rubric.

Angelique would like to have high school teachers invite College faculty into their classrooms.

Rich is concerned about technology.

Lori would like to have a few of her students’ papers graded by college professor.

Scott is going to remember to use student self-reflection  more.

Brad left us with hope for the future.