Sunday, February 13, 2005

Bee Here Wednesday

On Wednesday, my basic writing students are going to experience that piece of schoolhouse Americana, the spelling bee. We've just spend two weeks reviewing spelling and homonyms (among other things--we've done a great deal of writing, too), and I thought it would be fun to have a spelling bee to cap things off. I've assigned the students to send me a list of the words that they know they have trouble with--those will be the words that I use for the bee, so by Wednesday, they will have had time to review. I am going to throw in some "wild card" words, too.

Just to make it more exciting (hang on to your hats!), I'm going to divide the class into four groups and have them competing against each other. How to score points? I think I may give each group a point for each correct word and then add five points to the winning group. There are probably more complicated ways to keep score, but since this is the first go round, I want to keep it simple.
Will it work? We'll see.

6 Comments:

At 5:09 PM, Anonymous Jeff Newberry said...

A spelling bee is an interesting idea in a college classroom.

Teaching basic writing for the last two years, I've incorporated grammar exams, something that makes most of my colleagues sneer. I'm wondering if you get the same.

By the way, I love the blog. I've been reading for a while now, but this is my first post. It's wonderful to hear that others are going through the same struggles with the teaching of writing. (I do a collage assignment, as well, and found your discussion helpful. Thanks!).

 
At 6:22 PM, Blogger Rosa G. said...

Welcome to CCE, JN! I'm too nearsighted to pick up on sneers! I am trying to make the grammar/mechanics etc. blend in with the writing instruction, so we'll see how it goes.
Do tell about your collage assignment!

 
At 10:06 AM, Anonymous Jeff N. said...

The collage is always the very first assignment. I use Elbow and Belanof's Being a Writer and follow the instructions there quite literally. The main test of the assignment is to see if my students can take something as private as freewriting and journal writing and transform it into something public that communicates an idea effectively.

I do have trouble grading it, however. I seem to give everyone either A's or B's, depending on how well they follow instructions.

How do you grade the assignment?

Again, this is a great blog. I'm really enjoying it.

Jeff N.

 
At 11:16 AM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

I give my students checks in my gradebook. This is a small, getting -to- know -you kind of activity, meant to introduce them to each other and to start thinking about how they have an academic self, a personal self and so on.
Our BW courses are pass/fail, so I am comfortable with the check and check minus system.

I always feel that this kind of assignment is a "freebie" since we aren't art instructors. I grade a bit easier than I would a paper.

Glad you're enjoying the blog.

RG

 
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Strange day or what? :-)

 
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