Friday, September 23, 2011

ENG 102: Week 2

Learning Objectives:
To understand the poetic elements of a sonnet; to analyze Shakespeare’s language while reading/interpreting Sonnet 18; to prepare for an online connection with Ximena’s Shakespeare class.

How did it go?
I hit a typical snag right at the beginning when I realized that many students had not printed the sonnet out and brought it with them to class as requested. The good thing about posting links to the text(s) on Facebook is that we can all access it at any time. But it helps to have the text in front of you for discussion purposes and we were not in computer lab on Wednesday. I momentarily blanked out on the fact that I was in a smart classroom and had a projector and screen at my disposal so students ended up reading the poem off their phones or looking over someone’s shoulder, which was not ideal. The discussion went well though and they seemed much more confident about their ability to understand Shakespeare at the end of the hour. I therefore asked them to connect online to Ximena’s Shakespeare class over the weekend. They are being asked to review the student work posted on her Shakespeare Ning, choose three responses that they find most intriguing, and then choose one favorite based on a list of criteria created by Ximena and me. I reviewed the instructions on the screen, showing them where to find the links and browsing through some of the work Ximena’s students had posted. This preview helped generate excitement and they seemed anxious to see more of what other students had done.

The instructions for the online connection all seemed to make sense when we discussed it but I’ve already gotten a few e-mails asking for clarification so I’m not sure they will all be able to complete the work. The assignment does require a fair amount of clicking back and forth, which might be confusing. I’m leaving class time on Monday to discuss what we’ve done and to cast votes for our favorite example of student work so I can report more next week. For now, though, I feel good about the fact that they will be seeing the work of more advanced students and am hoping it will help them as they read and try to interpret Shakespeare's Sonnet 130 for Monday's class.


  1. I have to tell ya, I do the "forgetting my online options" all the time. Yesterday I had a MS Word docs up as a link on the Ning, and when we could not get all the items done during class, I assigned the reflection section for homework---which I was about to read out loud for my students to copy when one student said, "Can't we print it?" and another "Isn't it on the Ning?" (!!!) Thank God a third one did not say "D'oh!" but I would have totally deserved it. On my defense, I just think it is hard to forget old habits...

  2. P.S.: I tagged your post with your last name. I hope you don't mind. :-)

  3. Considering all the components you're juggling, it seems like a minor oversight! Good to hear about your students' excitement when checking out Prof. X's students' Ning!