Friday @ the Center
November 13, 2009
Best Teaching Idea: Grammar by the Numbers
This week we feature Misty Anne Winzenried’s “Grammar by the Numbers,” a simple way for any faculty member to help students learn basic grammatical skills, even if the faculty member is not an English professor. Merely editing students’ papers (i.e. fixing their errors for them) does little to teach punctuation rules or usage. Instead, Misty Anne recommends using the list of The Twenty Most Common Errors made by college students that are identified in our university-adopted writing handbook, The Everyday Writer. She writes the error number in the margin of drafts, and students are then responsible to correct the problem on the subsequent revision. She will mark the number of each error two or three times but then require the student to use his or her book to identify and correct the errors in the remainder of the draft. The grammar-by-numbers system, along with The Everyday Writer, helps students become familiar with the parts of speech, sentence structure, and grammatical rules.
Calvin Summer 2010 Faculty Seminars
The Seminars@ Calvin program seeks to promote a strong Christian voice in the academy by addressing issues of current debate, engaging them with deep Christian commitment, and promoting first-order scholarship. This summer’s seminars and directors include The Seven Deadly Sins in the Christian Tradition (Rebecca DeYoung and Robert Kruschwitz), The Power of Race in American Religion (Michael Emerson), Case Studies in the History of Worship (Lester Ruth); Religion, War, and the Meaning of America (Harry Stout); and Faith and Globalization (Miroslav Volf). Eligibility and application requirements, seminar expectations, and financial details vary from event to event, although most include housing and a small stipend. See the Seminars website for details and to apply. The application deadline is January 15, 2010.
Still using an egg timer, a stopwatch, or just a plain wrist watch that you forget to check at the last minute for those timed quizzes, writing exercises, or group activities? Project an online stopwatch from the classroom computer, set it to count down or count up, and get everyone on the same clock.