external image mjbpf4.jpg"Hard writing makes easy reading. Easy writing makes hard reading"
William Zinsser


This week we will learn about the brain and multiple intelligences. We will also discover ourselves as learners and maybe as teachers. We will do a bit of reflection on what could be considered "good writing" to finally start looking at sentences, paragraphs and some grammar exercises.

Besides all this, we will begin to brainstorm on ideas for a possible group project about Venezuela, a sort of introduction of our country to our international partners.
Please browse around the class wiki and blog. As I mentioned last Thursday, there are useful links in the sidebar bookmarks but the most helpful, from my point of view, are located in the sidebar of our class blog. I would suggest you check the discussion tabs in all the pages. I made some comments for the whole group in the participants' page that I think are worth reading.



Online Materials

(Always use your BACK button on the top of your browser to return to this wiki.)

  • Slideshow on Brain needs
  • ABC News article and video on how compliments or cash affect our brain
  • Courier Mail piece on left-right brain
  • Written assignment # 2 instructions
  • Paragraphs/transitions/grammar
  • Our class blog

Activities

1. Watch the following slide presentation about the brain (direct link here, just in case). Be patient, slideshows and videos sometimes take a while to open properly. As you are watching it, try to write down a couple of ideas that strike your attention and catch your interest. Later, write very briefly in your wiki page about information you deem important, did not know about before, and could help you in your studies or even in your present and future life. Are there any recommendations you would definitely follow? Why?
You will use these notes when writing special assignment #2.



2. Read this article about the brain and how it reacts to compliments or cash. Then
watch [[http://cosmos.bcst.yahoo.com/up/player/popup/?cl=7544218 Now you are ready to write and post a comment in the ABC News page where you will be sharing your thoughts with a real audience in cyberspace! Just try it. Since this site requires registration, use mine which is username: writingatusb password: 266200. Don`t forget to include your name in the actual message.

3. Which side of the brain do you use the most? Your right or your left? Do you know what multiple intelligences are? Can you guess which they might be and which are the most valued in academic settings?
First go to this Australian newspaper and look at the dancer, is she turning clockwise or courterclockwise? Were you able to see her turn in the opposite direction?
Now, go to this British site to read a bit about Multiple Intelligences and then take their test to find out about your own. Take notes of some of your results as they will be used in written assignment #2.

4. Go to the link of the Lifehack Organization to read their tips and advice on good writing. Then visit the Open University in UK. You do not have to read EVERYTHING. Just skim through to get a hang on what good writing seems to be about. Write and post your thoughts about what you consider to be good writing as well as what you have learned about it in the comment section of our class blog. Remember, avoid copying ideas from the reading. Write your reflections and comments in your OWN words.

5. Check these links that give you ideas on what are the parts of a sentence, the parts of a paragraph and paragraph development. I would say that the most useful section is the one on transitions and how they stick the different elements of a paragraph together and ultimately, organize a written text making it coherent. Start using a couple of transitional words here and there or at least, keep them in mind as you read trying to notice how they are used. Do the following exercises on subject-verb agreement. I hope you find them useful.

6. Go to our class blog again and start thinking about our slide or video show on Venezuela. Write your suggestions in the comment area of that post. What topics shall we include? How will we write the script? (collectively, in pairs, individually?) Where will we get pictures from? How will we structure the presentation? What online tools should we use? We will probably be creating the slideshow or video during week 3 in the lab.


7. Complete special written assignment #2: "You as a learner … and teacher?"
So far you have learned about the brain and its needs; read a news article, watched a video, posted your comments in a public news site for a real audience in cyberspace; checked if you are right or left brained; taken a test on multiple intelligences and now the time has come to put it all together by writing extensively once more. Try to monitor your writing by checking subject-verb agreements and the parts of sentences and paragraphs. Try to include a couple of transitions to link the ideas in your paragraphs. Place your written text in your personal wiki page. I suggest you create a table of contents in your page according to the instructions in the "Tips and Tricks" area. This will help you and your readers visit your site in a more organized and time effective way.

Benchmarks


I have . . .

  • watched the slide on the brain and its needs, read a news article, watched a video and posted my comments at ABC news on the subject
  • read about multiple intelligences, taken a test to know more about mine and checked if I am right or left brained
  • skimmed through two sites about good writing and have posted my comments and reflections in our class blog
  • checked what the parts of a sentence and paragraph are and completed exercises on subject-verb agreement
  • written my profile as a learner and have included it in my wiki page
  • created a table of contents in my page
  • completed my pending assignments for week 1.