Thursday, October 06, 2011

Tricky Shaun

Tricks I have learned.

            I have to admit I stole most of my tricks.  Clair’s paper diagram (the one that looks like a little man with his arms up) works great.  One thing that I started doing with students who were disengaged was to have them fill out their own brown paper.  Since they know the professor will read the “in this session we focused on the following:” section, they are always very thorough and have to pay attention. 
            I have to use tricks to get them to write on their paper.  Often I catch myself making all the notes and corrections. I often tell them I have bad handwriting so they will write.
            Melissa showed me how to turn the session into a kind of scavenger hunt.  You take the assignment paper and circle all of the requirements and then ask the tutee to circle the place in the paper where they fulfill the requirement.  This trick is particularly useful for finding thesis statements. 
            A trick that I love, but the tutees never want to do, is outlining the paper after it is written.  I like to draw an outline with spots for the thesis and transitions.  This helps the student see if their paper is lopsided, chaotic, or redundant.  Usually the tutee looses interest in this pretty quickly.  Does anyone have a trick to help them appreciate the outline? 
            One problem I have not found a trick for is quickly describing when to use a comma before a coordinating conjunction.  The tutees get lost as soon as I start talking about complete sentences with subjects and verbs, and if I start writing down for, and, nor, but, or, yet, and so, they feel overwhelmed.    


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