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Course: ENGL 101 Date of Observation: 10/30/15

Instructor: Prairie Markussen


Observer: Angelia Giannone

Part 1: Completed by instructor and sent to observer at least 24 hours before visit
Context (Provide some background: How did you get to this class session? Where does it fall in your
course / assignment sequence?)
This class was the one right after the class in which I introduced the Genre Assignment. My students are
still quite shaky on what constitutes a genre, and what this assignment is asking of them.
Aim of class (Identify goals/objectives of class: What are your concerns going in? What, specifically,
would you like your observer to look for?)
My goal for this class is to clarify genre as a concept, and move my students toward analyzing some
genres. I hope that by the end of the class, students will feel more comfortable with this assignment, with
genre, and with their abilities to analyze a specific genre.

Part 2: Completed by instructor and sent to observer within one week after visit
Narrative of Class (describe what happened)
I had students participate in a longer-than-usual (10 minutes) commonplacing (writer’s notebook writing).
I had them look at three shampoo descriptions presented through Padlet, determine what the genre was,
what the common features were of each description, what the differences were, and what kinds of
persuasive language was being used and for what purpose. After students considered these questions
privately, I then opened up discussion to the class, and asked students to share their answers to the
questions I posed. I did not explicitly discuss the Dirk article (“Navigating Genres”), but I did bring in a
couple of quotes from it when/if it pertained to something a student said. After this activity, I had students
get into groups, and discuss the genres that each of them brought to class (homework assignment).
Students determined together if the item brought in was in fact a genre, who uses it and why, and what the
features of it were. I moved from group to group and had them tell me what their genre was. I asked
questions, clarified the definition of genre, and answered any questions students had. This concluded the
class.
Strengths (assess successes)
I liked my genre example: the shampoo descriptions. I think it was interesting for the students, and it was
a familiar genre for them to analyze.
Plans for further work or revision (assess limitations)
I would have liked to discuss the Dirk article a bit more. I also think a PowerPoint that defines what is
and what is not genre would have been helpful, before students began to analyze examples of genres.

Part 3: Completed by observer after receiving completed form and then sent to instructor within
one week
Reflective/Additional Comments
What do you think students learned during the class visit? What did you learn from this class visit? How might you
grow pedagogically from having discussed the teaching materials, the course, and the visit? What suggestions do
you have for improvement? Do you have any additional comments?

I very much enjoyed your class overall. I think that the shampoo Padlet activity was great and students
seemed to respond well and get a better grasp on genre. Your shampoo labels were entertaining to read
and analyze and I feel that it was a really affective activity, and you did a lovely job at teasing out
students’ analyses. I also like that you used the whiteboard in tandem with your projector screens to write
‘notes’ and list student observations—I’d love to do that in my classroom but unfortunately my projector
screen takes up 90% of my whiteboard space. Additionally, your demeanor/attitude and energy during
class was fun and exciting, which is no small feat for teaching at 9am.
My only suggestion would be to try to slow down your pace in class, if you can. I know that it’s really
difficult to get through all of the material that we need to help our students in only 50 minutes, though, so
I would recommend doing this if you feel that you have the time; of course, getting through the material
and giving your students a solid genre example such as this is more valuable rather than slowing down
and only focusing on the bigger picture of an activity.