#SOL15: Now class is a semester long, and . . .

Tuesday is the day to share a “Slice of Life” with Two Writing Teachers. Check out the writers, readers and teachers here. Thanks to Stacey, Anna, Beth, Tara, Dana and Betsy for creating a place for us to share our work.

(Thanks to @tara_smith5 for the format idea from “Now the house is quiet, and  . . .” – A great read if you haven’t seen it YET!)


The graduate class is now a semester long . . and I used to complain that:

four weeks is too short to get to know them

summers are meant to be relaxing not frenzied activity

the turn-around time for feedback made me crazy

there didn’t seem like enough time for deep learning

a four credit course in four weeks is a huge commitment for students and facilitators

I was online 24/7 in order to send announcements, respond to problems/questions, provide feedback and grade student work

The class is now a semester long . . . and I rejoice in:

getting to know the students in my class

realistic time frames for feedback

time to check for understanding before assignments are completed

time to take care of learning and thinking for the assigned tasks

being able to set a schedule with online office hours so the pace does not consume anyone’s life, whether student or teacher

The class is just one day old and. . .

all but one student has logged in

introductory forum posts are thoughtful

the wonder of learning is before us and

I believe this is going to be the BEST class ever!

What kind of formats do you use to compare and contrast?

(As you can tell, this one from Tara fits MANY topics!)


22 responses

  1. Ha! Love the “flattery”! And, I also love how you’ve embraced the whole experience in such a joyful way, Fran. Bravo!

    1. Tara,
      I didn’t really have a topic that I liked. Have been jotting a LOT about grading, rubrics, writing, etc. but not YET at a coherent stage so my new class and your post just seemed to fit together! (However, yours sounded like more fun – food, guitars, conversation . . .)

      Thanks for the inspiration!

  2. Four weeks for four graduate credits! Holy cow! This semester class will be much better for all. I love how you used Tara’s post for inspiration. Once I wrote a contrast poem on walking in Missouri and in California. The sights are quite different.

    1. Elsie,
      It was always an intense class in the summertime! Last summer it was seven weeks for the first time and because of the high demand, it is now a regular class during the year. As a four hour class, I always told folks that meant students needed to plan on working a 40 hour learning week.

      OHHH! A contrast poem! Yes, those would be different!

  3. It’s easy to see your excitement!

    1. Thanks! I love working with teachers and these classes have had a nice mix of pre-service and veteran teachers so there is great learning for everyone – including myself!

  4. I might have to copy the format for a post, as well. Thanks for something inspiring to imitate, Fran! I didn’t know that you taught at the college level, as well. Something else about you to admire!

    1. It’s a fun format, Melanie, and I remember that as one of the joys of SOL last year! I’ve taught grad classes for over 20 years – mostly reading but some special ed. as well! I always joked about the fact that my summer job always had to pay my “book bill”! Expensive habit; so much fun! 🙂

  5. Love how you embraced Tara’s structure. Thanks for showing me how! I can’t believe all of the things you do so well.

  6. I love seeing your reflections on the graduate class you are teaching. Such a neat perspective for an elementary literacy coach like me. I bet these students feel blessed to be in your hands. You can tell that you are a wonderful inspiration to all just by your reflective pieces in this post. Enjoy the semester!

    1. Thanks, Marcie!
      Teaching a grad class is so much really like “coaching” and I love that I don’t “lecture at all. The work is totally up to the students and the management system gives me MANY, MANY views of student work! It’s fun!

  7. Julieanne,
    I’m a factotum – jack of all trades and master of none!!! This class is “fun” in that it’s totally online . . . That format would not be my first choice but it also still involves teacher collaboration via Google Hang Out/ Zoom!

    Always busy with something! No rest for the wicked! ❤

  8. I got so caught up in the content that I forgot to notice the format…until you reminded me. Great idea. Love that Tara. She’s an awesome model for writing, teaching, and being.

    1. Oh, Margaret! That is so true! Tara is just a marvelous, classy and oh, so graceful teacher. I learn so much from everything she writes!

      That’s also why I LOVE #SOL! Thanks for commenting!

  9. This is a great format. I bet it would be neat to try with students who like to complain about projects and time frames.

    1. Oh, my goodness! What a great idea! A way to complain without being whiny and totally turn it into a positive and joyful situation!

      Fabulous idea! Thanks so much!

  10. Every slice I read tonight feels like my favorite- including yours. I love the ideas and the structure of your writing Fran. Hope all is well in your corner. Are you thinking about June TCRWP?

    1. Thanks, Lisa!
      I totally “stole” the structure from Tara. I fell asleep thinking about it last night when I was still doing my “what shall I write about?” thinking. This is why I love #SOL because of the brilliance of all the writers.

      TCRWP – I put in for a dorm room and that’s my current thinking! I had 6th and 7th teachers attend last year so more pressure on me and my knowledge!!!

      How are you? June TCRWP also???

  11. I thought Tara’s structure was cool, too. I admire how you just jumped in and tried it! It worked well for your thoughts, here.

    1. Thanks, Dana! I let it “simmer” for half the day because my first couple of drafts didn’t go as I expected. My drive time “thinking” kicked in and helped smooth out the edges.

      Love imitating formats – such value in MENTOR texts here at #SOL!

  12. I love how you looked at her structure and gave it a go. Good lesson for me – never thought to try out different structures or crafts in my slice … food for thought. Thanks.

    1. Clare,
      That was my biggest challenge last year during the March #SOL challenge. I tried out all kinds of new structures and crafts and the #SOL15 community is the “safest” one to take risks!

      Thank YOU for commenting!

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