ENG 342: Advanced Composition for Elementary Teachers

Facilitator: Stephanie Dickey 
Office: 106 Oelman
Phone: 775-3136 (English Department)
           775-3716 (during office hours and by chance)
Office Hours: ½ hour before class
                     and by appointment
Spring 2002
Sec. 02: MW 7:00 p.m.
070 Rike
Fax: 775-2707
Email: stephanie.dickey@wright.edu


The Problem

We are teachers of writing who may not even like to write. How can we see ourselves as writers so that we become literate/authentic role models for our students? Using our own writing as the focus, we’ll both model and practice the writing strategies and procedures that may prove fruitful in our classrooms.

The Goals

Although ENG 342 is not a methods class, my goals for us have a dual focus: to help us develop as writers and to share with each other ways that writing can be incorporated in our classrooms. The assignments require that we build on the writing skills learned in ENG 101/102 to further sharpen our writing acumen. In this course for advanced writers, we’ll receive a reading and writing assignment for every class. Some writing will be formal (like essays), other writing will be informal (like homework responses), and still other writings will be somewhere in between (like presentations). By the end of this quarter, we should be able to:

  • communicate clearly and effectively through personal essays composed through the writing process;
  • write to learn through homework responses;
  • collaborate and present information;
  • share our writing and constructively critique the writing of our classmates;
  • express our personal philosophies of composition in the elementary classroom.

Other goals will be negotiated during the first class session.

The Texts

We will use:
Conversations by Regie Routman
If You’re Trying to Teach Kids How to Write, You’ve Gotta Have This Book by Marjorie
Recommended, but not required: A Writer’s Reference by Diana Hacker

The Tasks

These assignments will all contribute toward our final grades.

  • 2-3 formal essays
  • informal, daily homework responses
  • collaborative project and presentation of it;
  • capstone course-portfolio
The Policies

Because we only have a brief time together, please do not disrupt class with audible beepers, pagers, or cellular phones. Thanks!

All assignments are due at the beginning of class on the specified date. Alas, no late assignments will be accepted for homework points, but I will give you feedback on them!

Attendance is mandatory. Three grace days may be used for emergencies, but every absence after the first two lowers the course grade by one letter. Each of us is responsible for signing the attendance sheet at the beginning of each class, and failure to do so constitutes a de facto absence. Absences may also be accrued in any of the following ways:

  • not coming to class
  • not signing the attendance sheet at the beginning of each class
  • coming late to class after midpoint
  • not attending a scheduled conference
  • coming to class unprepared to participate, including but not limited to, not bringing a rough draft of your essay to class on workshop days
  • racking up three tardies and/or early departures

Even if you are absent, you are still responsible for all additions to the schedule and any in-class assignments missed.

I may schedule conferences with you periodically throughout the quarter. Missing a scheduled conference risks a deduction in your final grade.

Final Portfolio:
Assigned Homework:


Just completing the work = C; higher quality or greater depth in each assignment = A or B. Incomplete or unacceptable work = F. Scores do not get rounded up or down, so on a 5-point scale (5=A, 3=C, 1=F), a 3.5 is still a C.

Throughout the quarter we may find that amendments to the schedule are necessary for whatever reason. We'll negotiate these changes as the need becomes apparent.

The homework responses are a place to record our personal impressions, reactions, and questions to the assigned readings in the Frank and Routman texts. For every chapter and introductory section assigned, write a 1-2 page response commenting on your feelings about the article and why, reflecting on the reading/writing process, freewriting about connections between your experiences and the article's conclusions, analyzing the article's arguments, etc. If you're at a loss, try speculating how you might use this information in your classroom. Additionally, I may ask you to complete some in-class writing that will be given homework points. Out-of class homework assignments need to be typed. Advice: don’t try to read Routman in a single sitting!

All assigned essays should be typed and submitted in the format appropriate for the selected genre. No essay will be accepted without all required drafts, peer reviews, and invention documentation, nor will recycled papers written for another class.

Bad Weather:
Since Wright State rarely closes for severe weather, we will cancel this class if Sinclair College cancels its classes during our class time due to bad weather. Please tune in to local TV or radio stations for cancellation announcements of either WSU or Sinclair. You may also call the WSU hotline for cancellation notices: 775-3500. In case class is canceled, assume that all assignments are still due according to the schedule.

Special Considerations

Anyone with a learning condition that requires special accommodations to help fulfill the requirements of the class, please let me know during the first class so that we might discuss the best way for me to help you meet your learning goals. You may consult with the Office of Disability Services by phoning 775-5680 during regular office hours.

The Schedule

Since this is our class—not canned from a previous quarter--we will determine the schedule according to what it is we hope to accomplish this quarter. We’ll finalize our goals the first day of class and develop the assignment schedule accordingly. Until that schedule has been composed, follow the homework schedule below.

Homework for Wednesday 3/27/02:

Read Frank Introduction and Chapter 1 (only a single 1-2-page response total covering both sections required). Include in your response answers to all the questions under "You as a Writer" and questions 3, 4,6, 7, 8 under "You as Teachers of Writers" on page 20.

Homework for Monday 4/1/02:
Read Routman Chapter 6 (Quality Writing) and submit a 1-2 page response.
Respond to Frank Chapters 2, 3, 4.

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