As a member of the this Online Book Club you are expected to post to the book blog at least once per week between now and July 11 -- that's six weeks. You should finish your book before then, and you will meet during the Institute in your groups to extend the discussion and plan how to present the book to the others in the Institute.

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Thursday, June 30, 2016

Chs. 3 & 4: Supporting mindful & effective literacy practices

As I read through chapters 3 and 4, the ideas for classroom activities that have popped into my head seem more appropriate for WRTG120 than for 121. It makes me really wish 120 were required. 121 is much more focused on research on a specific topic, whereas 120 has more freedom to explore personal experiences and practices.

I think it’s important for all college students to be able to name their literacy practices (what is reading? what am I reading? how am I reading it?) and to develop more effective and mindful literacy practices online (using tabs, apps, shortcuts, etc.). This seems like an extension of the literacy narrative that we do in 120.

The narrative can have the student think about, in broad brush strokes, how they got to where they are now as readers. This book has got me thinking of something more in the moment and specific. Have them take note of and analyze their own literacy practices for a day. Or for a few hours. Have them take note of and analyze someone else’s literacy practices for a few hours (this might be a little difficult logistically). A diary and one’s browser history could be useful tools for this. Give them names for the different ways they might encounter a text (stumbling, etc.), give them names for what kinds of texts they are (short, mid, long-form, etc.), and they can start to think more critically about their own literacy and become more mindful. 

I also like the idea of sharing more explicitly some of the tools that I’ve developed as a more experienced reader of digital texts. It’s one of those things that I’ve started to take for granted--of course everyone knows how links work, how tabs work, how to save something for later, how to find interesting articles, etc. But as the book says (p. 69-71), and as I’ve come to realize as a teacher how little my students know about the internet, it’s become apparent that I need to spend more time helping students find and utilize some of these tools in order to become more effective readers. It’s like with my preschoolers, I always have to remind myself that so many things that are obvious to me are completely foreign concepts to them. 

1 comment:

  1. I really like the idea of having them analyze their literacy practices for a day or a week, especially since the 120 students are often insecure about their own literacy skills. It makes sense to help them recognize not only their past practices in a literacy narrative, but also the important role literacy plays in their everyday life. I'm also thinking about how we could take their current literacy practices, analyze them, and then use those current practices to guide lessons on strengthening and improving upon what they already do.