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FEBRUARY 4, 2008     More below: PARTICIPATION

Go Browns!

Browns logo on truck tailgateNone of those sissy logos of goofy birds. horns, stripes or stars for the Cleveland Browns, no sir. Because they are the only NFL team that doesn't have a logo on their helmet, the helmet itself is their logo.

This truck ahead of me on the ramp to I-90 carries a real working-class rendition of the Browns helmet/logo. Cut out of steel and welded to the tailgate of a truck hauling machine parts, it symbolizes our rustbelt, working-class city real well.

Those might even be crankshafts in the truck, like the ones my dad worked on as a grinder for 29 years at Ohio Crankshaft. I think he'd have like this too.


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What does a good student look like?

Notes on white board about student participationMy general rule of thumb about student participation is that students need to speak up in class, ask questions. I think that's probably the way most teachers gauge participation as well.

In today's Intro to Visual Communication class I thought I'd ask the students how they would recognize a student who's participating in class, and here are some of their ideas.

Asking questions was the first suggestion, but the ones that followed were surprises to me. As we talked about them, they began to make sense. Taking notes indicates some level of connection to what's being discussed, and doing the work is the basis for being able to talk about it in critiques. So even though these activities are not what I thought of as participation, I'm going to include them in my evaluation of students.

These of course are the positives. On the negative side students listed "sleeping in class", "constantly interrupting", "working on assignments for other classes" and "texting". A pretty good list, I'd say.

My hope, of course, is that by taking part in this discussion the students will have a better idea of what they should do in class. We'll see.

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