[Edprof] collaborative learning for editing

Craig Berke craigberke at cox.net
Thu Aug 30 20:34:45 PDT 2007

I can vouch that Carla's stylebook exercise really gets students 
engaged. I used her idea while teaching editing as an adjunct at both 
UConn and Univ. of Rhode Island within the past few years. The 
students think it's kind of wacky at first, but most of them get into 
it. With a class of 16 students, I pick 16 different letter tiles 
from my Scrabble game, including the blank. Before explaining the 
assignment, I have students draw letters from a bag. They're pretty 
intrigued by this point. Then they get the assignment as Carla 
explained. The blank tile is a wild card, student's choice from 
unassigned letters. Here's my favorite example: One of my UConn 
students picked the "among-between" entry. For his presentation, he 
asked for five volunteers from the class. He positioned two of them 
in one corner of the classroom, and the remaining three in another 
corner. Then he raced over to the three and in his best Sesame Street 
"Cookie Monster" voice, proclaimed: "AMONG!" Then he dashed over to 
the other corner and stood between the pair of students, held out his 
hands, and declared: "BETWEEN." He repeated the sequence and sat 
down. He got an A.

Craig Berke
Director of Communications
Rhode Island Judiciary

At 11:54 AM 8/30/2007, Carla Baranauckas wrote:
>I totally agree that it can be difficult to keep students engaged in 
>editing classes. After seeing too many people doze off while I 
>covered things in the AP Stylebook, I adapted an idea from a 
>colleague at Columbia: the stylebook "bible study." Each student in 
>the class was assigned a letter of the alphabet. Then each 
>individual had to choose an entry from his or her section and 
>present it to the class. The student was not allowed to just read 
>the entry, instead he or she had to make it part of his or her soul. 
>They were encouraged to be creative. Some created poems to help as 
>reminders. The day we presented the stylebook entries every student 
>was fully engaged and at the very least each student was guaranteed 
>to remember one stylebook item.
>I did a similar thing when trying to train them to sharpen their 
>eyes for editing. Each student had to find three errors in the paper 
>or in a magazine and bring them in to present to the class. You can 
>even have the class vote on the "best catch."
>Please note new street address
>Carla Baranauckas
>Assistant to the Editor/Continuous News
>The New York Times
>620 Eighth Avenue
>New York, NY 10018-1405
>Edprof mailing list
>Edprof at editteach.org

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