ENGL 491 B: Internship

Meeting Time: 
to be arranged
* ***
Elizabeth Simmons-O'Neill
Elizabeth Simmons-O'Neill

Syllabus Description:

This is the Community Literacy Program Calendar for  Spring 2019.  Any changes made to the original calendar (which is posted along with the syllabus, resources and some other materials under the "home" view) will be added to this living version of the calendar and highlighted in yellow. 

All readings are either at URLs identified in this calendar. attached to the first day packet,  or available on our canvas page under “pages.” Readings may be updated as the quarter progresses and we develop shared interests and lines of inquiry, but will always be finalized at least a week ahead of the class for which you need to complete them. 

You are responsible for having readings available in class either on your laptop or printed out.


Monday April 1


“To build community requires vigilant awareness of the work we must continually do to undermine all the

socialization that leads us to behave in ways that perpetuate domination.”  

bell hooks, Teaching Community: A Pedagogy of Hope, 2003


Introductions to each other, Community Literacy Program and our partner schools.  


EXPO service-learning registration opens today at noon, and closes at 10:00 am on Wednesday April 3.  Our goal

will be to choose sites during class today. Be sure to register online on EXPO before class on Wednesday.


Wednesday April 3


Whatever premises about human nature you start with when you establish a school, the articulation of the system

that emerges will inevitably reinforce those premises.  In a sense, the shape of any school reflects the architect’s

deepest beliefs about humanity, and the best world possible.”   John Gatto, Former New York State Teacher of the Year, 2002


By Wednesday April 3 at 10:00 am:  have registered on EXPO for a service-learning position.  Be sure

you can attend the scheduled orientation for your position.

Have reviewed the Pipeline Tutoring Handbook pages 9-23 http://expd.uw.edu/pipeline/resources/ and

familiarize yourselves with the “resources” links so you’re aware of the contents.  Olympic Hills volunteers should

also familiarize yourself a bit with the Center for Collaborative Classrooms site\

(https://www.collaborativeclassroom.org) which is used at Olympic Hills.  


Have read:

    • “Engaging in Group Work” (in this first day packet) and (on our canvas site)  


  • The Carlson Leadership and Public Service Center’s “Theory of Change” document


Have read the introductory statement at “Test Yourself for Hidden Bias” and have completed at least two

“implicit bias” tests (you choose which ones) here:  http://www.tolerance.org/activity/test-yourself-hidden-bias


Have written and bring to class your notes (handwritten  is fine) in response to the following questions (about 2

pages total).   Writing notes as you read is a form of metacognition that improves your engagement with the

text and your awareness of your own responses.  Notes also provide support for participating in discussion.

  • Your understanding of Tovani’s central claims about reading comprehension and her key words (including “fake reading”)
  • Your responses to the questions in the “literary history” prompt in the Tovani article
  • Why Nieto says “nice is not enough,” and what she (and Greater Good) recommend teachers do to reduce implicit bias
  • How David Brooks’ argument that  students learn from people they love relates to Nieto and Greater Good and to your own experience
  • Your thoughts and questions about the roots of implicit bias, the Implicit Association Test itself,  and about your own results on the tests you took. (You don’t need to share your results.)
  • What you noticed about your response to these readings – where did you find yourself agreeing?  Disagreeing? Engaged? Uninterested?
  • A question or issue you would like to discuss or learn more about


In class today we will identify groups for Monday’s discussion preparation, and we will also identity three or four discussion leaders who will pose additional questions and facilitate discussion during portions of some upcoming class sessions.  You might find it useful to have glanced ahead at the calendar to see which day(s) where “discussion leaders” are noted would be of most interest to you. Discussion leaders will be responsible for leading discussion for the first 20-30 minutes of class on their assigned days.  Resources for leading discussions are on our class calendar for April 10.

Monday April 8: Prof Candice Rai will be facilitating this class meeting. 


Envisioning a life other than your own, either in fiction or around the corner -- deeply and with humility -- is a way to continue your studies. It is, in effect, a way to take responsibility for your learning.” Anu Taranath “The Gift of Mr. Ali’s Sister,” UW English Department graduation 2010


NOTE:  SLJ#1 due date has been moved to Wednesday April 10


Today’s readings focus on creating effective learning communities, beginning to understand and responsively engage students, reflecting on how we know what we think we know, considering how pedagogical assumptions might have shaped our understanding of ourselves as readers and writers, and engaging the nature and impact of two much-used term: multicultural curriculum and decolonizing education


Have read and be prepared to discuss observations, questions and areas of interest for you:


Read all of the texts assigned for today, and write a discussion question that focuses on just the readings assigned to your group.  You are welcome to refer to other readings for today or from last week in your question as well.  


Note that you are writing just a question or topic to be discussed in class, not a response to the topic.   (Bring your question in hard copy or otherwise accessible form for yourself, handwritten is fine.)


Part of our focus in today’s class will be on experimenting with models of discussion and learning more about

our own habits and goals for participation in discussion.


Group one:  holding space, what kids wish their teachers knew,  “my school would be of imagination,”and

changing the rules to increase discourse

Group two: the components of identity safety,  resources for creating identity safe classrooms,  Williams’

“Heroes, Rebels and Victims”

Group three: Multiculturalism’s 5 Dimensions, “Decolonize your syllabus,”  children’s perceptions of race

and gender


Wednesday April 10


"... the most powerful historical lesson that we can hold on to for hope and inspiration rests in students." Carmen Kynard,

"Writing While Black:  The Colour Line, Black discourses and assessment in the institutionalization of writing instruction"

in English Teaching: Practice and Critique,  Sept. 2008


Discussion leaders:  Ruhan, Weina and Andrew

Due: Service-Learning Journal #1 (printed out; guidelines are in the “Service-Learning Journal” section of this first day packet)

Today’s readings focus on leading discussions, stereotype threat, how students understand themselves and

exert agency in school settings, the impact of race, language and cultural diversity including the experience

of immigrant youth, and the danger and power of stories.  


Have read and be prepared to discuss:


  • Annie Murphy Paul’s “It’s Not Me, It’s You” New York Times column on intelligence and stereotype threat https://nyti.ms/2kbfdR7
  • “Stereotype Threat” (American Psychological Association  2016),
  • “Schools and the New Jim Crow: an interview with Michelle Alexander” (from Teaching for Black Lives)  and
  • view/listen to Chimamanda Ngozi\ Adichie’s 2009 TED talk “The Danger of a Single Story”



Monday April 15


“Whatever we believe in as teachers, we’re going to do well.”  Sandra Silberstein, Making Inclusive Spaces:

International, Multilingual, All Students,” UW Praxis Conference, January 20, 2017


“Children are and must be seen as active in the construction and determination of their own social lives, the lives of  those around them, and of the societies in which they live.  Children are not just passive subjects of social structures and processes.”  James and Prout, Constructing and Reconstructing Childhood, 1997


Discussion leaders:  Eric, Kendal, Stacey


Our focus today is a very brief introduction to the Common Core State Standards for English/Language

Arts, the Smarter Balanced Assessments K-12 students will be taking this spring, and the role of

students in  assessing teachers.


Have read and be prepared to discuss

Ken Arkind’s “An Experiment in Noise in A Sharp Minor (poem to be read as a pledge)”.   You can also

hear/see Slam Nuba performs “An Experiment in Noise” at

Slam Nuba Volume Knob.  

 Be prepared to discuss connections among these poems and the readings for today, and to suggest a text you read in high school that you might approach differently through the lens of the Common Core Standards for the grade when you read that text.


Wednesday April 17

 “Dear Preethi, thank you for all the hard work for us I apreachiat all the Science you taught us.  I felt lerning all over me it felt like antennas growing on my head.” Olympic Hills first grader’s letter to CLP student, 2009


Have written (typed) and bring to class in hard copy Service-Learning Journal #2 and your time sheet to date.  If you have not yet begun volunteering, your due date for this SLJ#2 and timesheet is Monday April 22. 


In class: UW Pipeline Project Director and book-making mentor Christine Stickler will lead us in an interactive

workshop on using book-making as a motivational tool and an equitable, multimodal pedagogy.  LiteracyThrough Photography (LTP) will be one of our methods.  We will learn to make several types of books, complete at least one book of our own, and perhaps compose a group-authored poem.   CLP students have often taken these book-making projects into their school-based work, and designed Teach-In lessons and individual projects around them. (continued)


The focus of today’s reading and writing is the role of literacy in our lives, literacy through photography, and

very briefly! -- of the arts, creativity and “visual sociology” in student-teacher relationships and in student

learning in an era of increased attention to standardized assessment.


Have read or viewed:

  • “If they’ll listen to us about life, we’ll listen to them about school,”
  • “Science-Themed Music Videos Boost Scientific Literacy,”
  • LTP slideshow and
  • Literacy Through Photography https://www.literacythroughphotography.org/


Monday April 22


“Transformation and revolution should be joyful work.”  Suhanthie Motha, Race, Empire, and English Language Teaching: Creating Responsible and Ethical Anti-Racist Practice, 2014


Discussion leaders: Sage, Sergio


Have read and made notes so you are prepared to discuss

  • the Teach-In and Individual Project prompts in this packet,
  • have skimmed the sample individual projects on our canvas site (with particular attention to the first 4:  video about trees, literacy through photography, IBilingual Literacy Narratives, and AVID) 
  • have read carefully and be prepared  to discuss
    • “The Culture of Reading” (a professional magazine article which describes the role of service-learning  students as ethnographic researchers in a school district where curricular changes unexpectedly led to a  substantial rise in girls’ reading scores and a significant drop in boys’),”
    • “You’re Movin’ a Frickin’ Big Ship:  The Challenges of Addressing LGBTQ Issues in Public Schools” (an academic journal article (typical of the format in the Social Sciences), and
    • The “Good Citizen,” Political Choices and Pedagogical Goals,” an article by two university faculty members who are long-time practitioners of service-learning (Kahne and Westheimer) in the context of democracy.


I’ve also included several additional examples of academic journal articles of  potential relevance (first page and abstract only) and link here the “Debunking Handbook” as an optional reading you might  find interesting as a model for a Teach-In or Individual Project if there are myths about education, learning, students etc. that you might want to debunk: https://skepticalscience.com/docs/Debunking_Handbook.pdf.


Have looked ahead at upcoming readings so you have a sense of where we’re headed as you  begin to define your own lines of inquiry for Individual Project and group Teach-In.


In class today we will form Teach-In groups and begin thinking toward issues you’re interested in for your work

in the second half of the quarter in preparation for Wednesday’s library lab and Teach-In group meetings.  We

will come  back to the sample individual projects in more detail in a later class meeting as we approach small

group conferences on your own drafts.  Part of our focus today will be on the genre, content, methodology and

strategies for reading the various types of articles.


Wednesday April 24:  MEET AT SUZZALLO LIBRARY ROOM 102

(Suzzallo 102 is through the turnstile and to your left as you enter Suzzallo from Red Square -- this is across from the Starbucks.  The door to the Suzzallo 102 instructional lab is in the far right hand corner of the room,)


Today’s class will focus on research instruction with the UW Libraries Education Specialist Deborah Pierce,

who will offer instruction and answer questions on using academic journals in the field of Education, OSPI data,

school-based information, lesson planning and news resources, and more.


Have looked at resources on our research web site: http://guides.lib.uw.edu/c.php?g=341383


Bring to the lab a list of keywords, topics, authors and lines of inquiry your might be interested in pursuing for

your own Individual Project.  Note that you will need to use peer-reviewed academic sources for your projects.


You will have half of today’s class period for your first in-class meeting of your Teach-In group, so have

thought more about what you might like to focus on in that group project.


Monday April 29


“Compassion is helping people who need your help when they suffer.  Like when they don’t have what they need most like food, respect and caring…. Showing compassion means talking to them about their problem, asking them how we can help them.  To not suffer so much, and showing compassion is like standing up for them against people who don’t care.”  Student, Olympic Hills Elementary, 2009


Discussion leaders: Micah, Cadey


Due:  Service-Learning Journal #3 and timesheet to date


Our focus today is on the role of emotion, disposition, compassion and mindfulness, especially as they relate to

writing, to learning and to our understanding of ourselves and each other.


Have read and be prepared to discuss:

  • Dray and Wisneski’s “Mindful Reflection as a Process of Developing Culturally Responsive Practices”
  • “Mindfulness Meditation Reduces Implicit Age and Race Bias:  The Role of Reduced Automaticity of Responding” (academic journal article from 2015),
  • Charles Johnson’s Autumn 2018  “Advice to Emery”



Have thought a bit about what you might write in a “Five Minute Poem” (from Inclusive Teaching):


Wednesday May 1


“I realized that privilege is a responsibility.  No matter what you have, you work with it. Your privilege shouldn’t produce guilt, but it should produce change.” CLP student, Teach-In, May 2011

Discussion leaders: Emmarose, Caitlyn, Judy


Our focus today is on the role of families and communities in schools, and on our own subjectivities and the

narratives that shape our perceptions and conclusions about our own lives, as community members in public

school classrooms, as researchers and perhaps as future teachers.  


Have read and be prepared to discuss


Have written (typed) and be prepared to share and discuss:

  • Two potential topics for your Individual Project, with one paragraph about each topic explaining the general topic, how it relates to your experience so far this quarter (in and out of class), what readings you might use from our class, at least one academic journal article you have located relevant to this topic, and your central lines of inquiry and the keywords you might search to begin answering them.
  • Ideas for and questions about both parts of your group’s  Teach-In –the presentation regarding school-based work and a  lesson to teach to your colleagues in CLP


In preparation for today’s Individual Project homework, look back through your reading notes, class discussion

notes, and anything else you’ve written looking for students, issues,  approaches, questions and ideas that stand

out to you. What do you  notice, and what do you wonder, about yourself, your work in the  schools, and

connections to work on campus and your own learning goals?


Have reviewed  and be prepared to discuss: the sample Individual Projects we selected in light of the assignment

prompt and the rubric    We won’t work with this in great detail today, but these materials will give you a sense

of a recent approaches to this assignment and the way one version of a rubric can help both assess and generate

drafts, and will be the basis for some of conversation as you begin your own projects and devise your own rubrics.

In class: we will discuss readings and proposals, finalize Teach-In dates and allow class time for group meetings.

Monday May 6


“We’re going to strengthen our critical thinking and our writing skills.  These can be revolutionary tools if we make them so.”

Ron Takaki, 1967


Due: service-learning journal #4 and timesheet to date


Due: Individual Project proposal  your 1.5-2 page preliminary plan for your Individual Project, which should


    • Your topic and the nature of your project (case study?  Lesson plan? Something else?)


  • Your line of inquiry (research question)


  • A paragraph about why you are interested in this topic and line of inquiry, and how your answer to this might shape your research and thinking in ways you need to remain aware of
  • A brief topic sentence/paragraph subject outline in which you provide either the topic sentence (clarifying the subject and purpose of the paragraph) or a one-sentence summary of what you plan to do/explain in each paragraph.  
  • A briefly annotated bibliography of at least six sources you plan to use in your project, following guidelines for types of required sources in the Individual Project prompt.  (“Briefly annotated” means you will provide bibliographic information in MLA format and write a couple of sentences explaining the nature and content of the source – e.g. academic journal article, newspaper article, curriculum material --  and your current thinking about how this source relates to the others you plan to use and to your line of inquiry for this project.)
  • Something you have noticed or are wondering about at the school where you’re volunteering (if you haven’t already covered this is the topic ideas above). We’ll have an open discussion about any questions or concerns about your work in the schools

In class: discuss IP plans and questions; share what we are noticing and wondering about your IP and Teach-In

projects and your work in the schools; some in-class time will be set aside for final Teach-In planning time.  

Wednesday May 8


Two Teach-Ins:




Monday May 13


Two Teach-Ins:



Wednesday May 15



  1. THREE copies of a complete draft of your Individual Project  (7-8 pages)
  2. THREE copies of a 1 page rubric or list of criteria you have designed to assess your IP draft and provide feedback.  Your rubric should take into accounts the basics of the assignment prompt (e.g. the type of project, the number of pages and sources, effective style) but you will have your own goals for this project and your own sense of what it will mean to do it well.  State those criteria on your rubric so your conference group can support you in reading your goals.
  3. Evaluations and self-evaluations of all Teach-Ins


In class:  we will sign up for small group conferences (next week, mostly but not entirely during class time) and we will return again to at least one sample individual project to develop our skill and confidence as peer reviewers and collaborative writers with a focus on revision at the paragraph and sentence level.  


Please have the sample individual projects available in class.  

Monday May 20 and Wednesday May 22:   no class meetings

(small group conferences on May 17, 20 and 22)


Conferences take place in Elizabeth’s office, Padelford A-14. Due at your conference:

  • Completed peer reviews of drafts for your colleagues in your conference group, taking into account the basics of the assignment  prompt and the writer’s own rubric for the project
  • your notes about your own priorities for and questions about revising your Individual Project

Monday May 27:  Memorial Day Holiday (no class meeting, no public schools)

Wednesday May 29


Due:  Final draft of Individual Project


Have reviewed the upcoming Career-related and SLJ#5  assignments for next week and be prepared to discuss

and ask any questions about either.   


In class:  we will complete reflective self-assessment of Individual Projects, look ahead to the final

reflective/prospective assignments due next week (in this calendar and SLJ #5)  and discuss ways to say goodbye

and thank you to the teachers and students we’ve been working with this quarter in our partner schools.  You will

have an opportunity to contribute questions to be asked on the course evaluation for this program.

Monday June 3


Guest co-teacher:  Emma O’Neill-Myers, Associate Director for Employer Relations from the UW Career &

Internship Center


Due:  Print copies of your draft resume and cover letter targeted to the “position of interest” you’ve selected

Please have the position of interest available on your laptop or printed out.


Before you select your position of interest and draft your resume and cover letter, have completed the homework outlined below, and take a look at any of the optional readings that look interesting among those posted for this unit.


Read Katherine Long’s Seattle Times article “Report Busts The Myth of the Unemployable Humanities Grad”

(https://www.seattletimes.com/education-lab/report-busts-myth-of-unemployable-humanities-grads) and

Nancy Joseph’s UW Columns article “Humanities, anyone?” and try out the online interactive quiz

https://magazine.washington.edu/feature/humanities-anyone).   English, Humanities and Liberal Arts majors, if

you haven’t already done so, take a look at the amazing resources put together by English Advising at

https://english.washington.edu/career-articles-and-books.  If you are from another major, see what resource

are available on your own department’s web site or in your advising office.


The following activities are in “What’s Next?” the UW Career & Internship Center Career Guide available at


Read and complete pages 6-9 (strengths activity)

Review pages 10-15 to get an idea of ways to think about careers, internships, and your goals.

Identify (and bring to class printed or on your laptop) a position-of-interest (job or internship), to which you have targeted your new or updated resume and cover letter. It’s your choice whether you actually apply to this position. For the purposes of this assignment, all students need to choose one position-of-interest. Your position of interest could be anything: summer job; winter or spring quarter internship; on campus or off campus position you want to apply for now or aspire to in the future. Find the position via websites you are familiar with, from Career pages of employers’ websites (e.g. Nike; United Nations; Hopelink; Google; City of Seattle; Good Will; Big Brothers Big Sisters; Seattle or Shoreline Schools, etc.)  or from any of these resources:

https://careers.uw.edu/companies (includes an overview of Handshake and featured jobs)








Complete the activity on page 16 to identify a few keywords to help you think about your strengths and goals and how they relate to keywords in the position of interest you are targeting


Review pages 22-27 (resumes and cover letters) in the Career Guide and select models for your resume and cover letter


Highlight key words and skills, and underline key aspects of the position (job or internship) you have selected and be sure to refer to these key aspects/terms in your cover letter and resume


For individual feedback and advice on your cover letter and resume outside our class today you might consult OWRC (by appointment) or CLUE (evening drop in) writing centers.  


Of particular help will be the UW Career Center’s individual consultations on writing and revising resumes and cover letters.  The Career Center offers 15 minute “same day sessions,” currently Monday-Friday 10:00 am to 3:00 pm in Mary Gates 134.  You need to go to the Career Center to sign up, and appointments for the day are often booked by 1:00.  Times may change, so check for current details at https://careers.uw.edu/same-day-sessions/


In class:  Emma O’Neill-Myers from the UW Career & Internship Center will lead discussion of  a sample resume/cover letter. Students, in consultation with Career Center staff and Elizabeth, will then complete peer reviews of colleagues’ resumes and cover letters using a cover letter/resume review rubric. Emma will also lead discussion of effective use of Linked-In, and of a few other resources available through the UW Career & Internship Center.

Wednesday June 5 – This is our last class meeting.  There is no final exam


Community is a place where the connections felt in our hearts make themselves known in the bonds between people, and where the tuggings and pullings of those bonds keep opening our hearts.  ~Parker J. Palmer


  • final draft of resume and cover letter
  • your service-learning journal #5
  • your timesheet for the quarter.  (If you have not yet finished your volunteer commitment, please include on your timesheet the dates and times on which you are scheduled to volunteer between now and the end of exam week). If you want to include hours for non-school events, note that you need to add these hours to your timesheet, and attach a 1-2 page discussion of what the event was and how it was relevant to your work in Community Literacy Program.

Please bring your laptops or other devices so you can complete the course evaluation.  There will be substantial opportunity for writing on this course evaluation (it’s not just clicking bubbles).

In class:  reflection and assessment.  

Community Literacy Program: Service-Learning Journal (SLJ) Guidelines

Elizabeth Simmons-O’Neill  esoneill@u.washington.edu  


These journal entries are your field notes and your opportunity to use writing to inquire into and explore your experiences and to reflect on and analyze your learning in progress.  One method for creating an effective journal entry is to take notes during or immediately after your time at the site, and then type your complete entry later that same day, while memories are still vivid.  You are welcome to add photographs, examples of student work and other artifacts.


SLJ #1, #2, #3 and #5 have required topics.  For SLJ #4 you are free to choose the types of entries that make the most sense to you; please use at least two of them for SLJ #4.  For any of your SLJ’s, don’t limit yourself by simply describing what you did at the school or summarizing what you read.    


Service-learning journal #1


Please write this section (2-3 pages) before you go to your community partner for orientation:


Before you write:  Locate and read the information about your partner school at https://guides.lib.uw.edu/c.php?g=341383&p=2298544


Having read and reviewed the material above, type your responses to the following:

  • What do you know about the program’s population, curriculum, mission and needs?
  • Briefly, what is your view of the role of education in society?  What do you believe?
  • Briefly, what is your teaching philosophy?  How do you understand the role and purpose of a teacher?
  • What do you imagine it will be like to volunteer?  What will be easiest? Most difficult?
  • What are your goals?  Why are you doing this?  What do you hope to gain?  What do you hope to offer?
  • How does your own experience as a student (P-12) relate to the information about the school and the readings on literacy and classroom management?
  • What are your questions and concerns at this point?


Service-learning journal #2 (Two parts; 3-4 pages total)


SLJ#2, Part One:  During your first visit to the program or classroom where you will volunteer (at the orientation or your first volunteer shift) confirm your volunteer schedule, and ask your classroom teacher(s) or supervisor how best to communicate when you have questions. Teachers will almost never be able to drop their work to confer during your volunteer hours, so you’ll need to set up a method of communicating:  Notes? Email? Phone? Schedule appointments ahead? List the details of your volunteer work (days, times, ages of students, classroom/location), your basic tasks (this may simply be a reference to the position description you’ve signed up for on EXPO) and the method of communication you’ve agreed on with the teacher(s) in whose classroom (s) you’ll be working. (½ page)


SLJ#2, Part Two:  As you begin your volunteer work you’ll also be spending time observing and getting to know the classroom, the teacher, the students, and the school culture.  After your first visit to the school write 2-2.5 pages) responding to the questions below, which are designed to facilitate your understanding of the site and your role.

  • What did the site feel like?  What were your first impressions?  What about the site, and about your own responses, created these impressions?  What did you learn about yourself and your preconceptions?
  • What is the overall mood of the site?  What were the expressions on people’s faces?  What is on the walls? Where are the students in the rooms and how do they move?  Interact? Describe the relationships among students and adults, the level and types of sounds, etc.
  • How would you describe the students you’ll be working with?  How are they divided, categorized or labeled (i.e. identified for special support or needs? put into ability groups or specialized courses)?
  • Based on your observations, what can you infer about the goals (implicit and explicit) of your community partner?  What seems to be the relationship between the school’s stated mission(s) and what you observe?
  • How does this school compare with your memory of your own schooling?  What stands out as most similar? Most different? Most worrisome? Most exciting?
  • What are your questions at this point? How could get those questions answered?  
  • How will the students address you?  Where do you find supplies and materials?  Where should you leave your personal belongings?  Is there a dress code (implicit or explicit)? Will you be assigned to specific children or work more generally?
  • What connections are you making, at this point, between issues we’re reading about and discussing in class and what you’re seeing at your volunteer site?


Service-learning journal #3:

Relating Your Life as a Student to Our Shared Work  (3 pages)


Write a 3 page (typed, double-spaced) SLJ#3 in which you either

  • make connections between one or more of our readings or discussion topics thus far and an element of your own life/identify/experience as a student
  • write a literacy narrative. You might begin with what you wrote in response to Tovani’s “important literary experiences.” A literacy narrative is simply a collection of items that describe how you learned to read, write, and compose. You might tell a story about learning to read cereal boxes or write plays, about bedtime stories someone read to you (or didn’t), about ways you were welcomed to reading and writing or afraid of it, about reading news, sharing favorite books with friends, getting a library card, learning how to write on a computer, taking a photograph; reading (or hearing read) a central religious text for your faith, publishing a 'zine, or sending an e-mail message (paraphrased from Digital Archive of Literacy Narratives).  
  • One you’ve made the connection or written the narrative, write a separate paragraph explaining how you see the ways your own literacy/student life is framing your work with the students you’re working with in Community Literacy Program.  How does your experience create the lens through which you view your students? How might you like to re-see that lens and your experience?


Service-learning journal #4:  you may use any of the following models.  Please use at least two models and write a total of 5 typed pages.

Notes and observations about specific students


Even if you are working with a full classroom, you may want to choose two or three students to focus on by the end of your first couple of weeks of volunteering. You may decide to narrow your focus to one child by mid-quarter.   If you’re in a l:l assignment, your choice of subject will be made for you. Note such things as:

  • What the student looks like
  • How they behave alone, at different times of day, while working on different projects, with different students, with you, and with the teacher or other staff in the classroom (What do they do?  Say? What is their physical response? Etc.)
  • The types of work you do with this student
  • Types of resources you need to find to work more effectively with this student
  • The methods you use with this student (strategies, goals, actual outcomes, etc.)
  • Your reflections about working with this student
  • The way the teacher and classmates respond to the student
  • Examples of the student’s work (quoted, described, photocopied)
  • A detailed record of student’s discussion of his/her work
  • Your reflections about yourself as you work with this student in this setting
  • Connections between your work with the student and readings and discussions in our class on campus


Notes and observations about classroom rituals and practices

You’ll be in the school four hours a week.  The students are there over 30 hours a week.  While you won’t have a complete sense of all classroom activities, practices and dynamics, you will quickly develop an awareness of the way the classroom works during the time you are there, and of some of the beliefs and values (conscious and unconscious) which produce the rituals and practices in that classroom.  You may spend more 1:1 time with the students in one quarter than their teacher has available in a year.

For this type of entry note your observations on:

  • The types of activities which occur on a regular basis (e.g. class meetings, recess, lunch, transitions between activities or into pullout program, etc.)
  • The ways different members of the class participate in these rituals or activities
  • The reasons these rituals or activities are performed.  What seems to be the meaning for the students? The teacher?  Is there any observable difference between intended meaning or message and experience?  
  • What surprises you?  Why is it surprising?  What does this tell you about yourself, and about the ritual and/or the school?
  • What seems familiar from your own schooling?  Is your perspective still the same as it was in your own childhood?  If not, what has changed and why?
  • What does “education” seem to mean in this particular setting.  What seem to be the goals and guiding purposes of this teacher or program
  • How have you become incorporated into this classroom?  How would you describe your role? How did it evolve?

“Critical Incident” Entries


The main goal of “critical incident” entries is to move beyond description to analysis, with a focus on deepening your learning in the Community Literacy Program and your ability to bring your academic learning to bear on real world situations.  In these entries, you will choose the incidents at the school which catch your attention or elicit a particularly strong response.

  • Identify and describe the incident and the issues, being sure to provide the 5Ws (who, what, when, where, why) and enough context to make sense of the situation;
  • Describe your own role (you may simply have observed);
  • Analyze the incident, considering both your response and understanding at the time, and your considered reflections about what happened.  You may reach some conclusions about your own identify and preconceptions here;
  • Analyze the impact of this incident on your own thinking and learning, and explain why you view it as critical;
  • Include information and/or perspectives you sought out in response to this incident, whether from discussion, research, conversations at the school, or CLP materials;
  • Consider possible responses to the situation, reflecting on what you’ve learned about handling this type of situation and also what you’ve learned about yourself.


Reflecting on Yourself as an Experiential Learner


  • What difficulties or frustrations have you encountered?  Was there a way to avoid them?
  • What are the most important things you have learned about yourself while working in the community?  Describe an incident, activity or experience and explain what you learned about yourself.
  • What are your greatest gifts and challenges you’ve discovered in yourself in working with public school students?  What could be done to develop areas in which you feel weakest?
  • What activities at the school have been most and least enjoyable for you?  For the students?
  • How has your understanding of yourself and your role at the school developed over the quarter?
  • After reading the selections on service learning and civic engagement, how do you understand your purpose in the community in this “service” learning program?  The nature and extent of you “learning” in service learning?
  • Has your experience affected your thinking about your role and responsibilities as a citizen?
  • Has your experience affected your thinking about your personal or professional goals?

Questions, concerns, responses and connections to CLP assignments


  • Clarify what you need to know more about to work with the students.  Your questions might lead to the topic for your individual project. The point of most academic work in the social sciences is to better understand problems and their contexts, not necessarily to provide a single solution to every problem.
  • Analyze the relationship between your experience and our readings.   Does your experience make you agree with, question or challenge claims in our readings?  
  • Describe and analyze the relationship between your tutoring and your writing for our class.  For example, if you are working with students on writing, how does this relate to your own drafting and revising process, or your work as a peer editor? What is the relationship between the way writing is taught at the school and the way we conceptualize writing on campus? What is the relationship between your own life as a student and the student lives of the children you’re working with?
  • Describe and discuss students and issues becoming most compelling to you – would these be rewarding subjects for your individual project? Your Teach-In presentation?  Why? What “subjectivities” will you need to be aware of in yourself as a participant-observer as you deepen your study of these children or issues? What narrative shapes are you most inclined to give to your experience; that is, what story is evolving about your work with the children?  Are you looking too exclusively for evidence that leads to a “happy ending,” a person or institution to blame, the success or failure of a method, etc.?
  • Based on your experiences and needs at your volunteer site, if you could add materials to our course reader, what kinds of topics or issues would you want to add?  If you could cut readings, which ones would you cut, and why?
  • Describe and discuss what you are learning about yourself as you reflect on your own responses to CLP.
  • If you were to write an open letter to a student who takes CLP next quarter, what would you say?
  • Pose questions you want to think about and discuss in class.  Be sure to share your thoughts, concerns and questions with me and your classmates, in addition to writing about them in your journal.


Relate your work in the schools and in CLP to current events and news


I strongly recommend that you read a major daily newspaper. The Seattle Times, the New York Times and others cover education-related issues at the local and national level.  There are also many Education-related blogs, lists, facebook pages etc. Watch for articles and posts related to your work in the schools, to our reading, and to issues you’ve become interested in.  Provide a brief summary of the article or post.


You may find local articles related to state and federal funding and education reform including teacher evaluation and the Smarter Balanced Assessments based on Common Core Standards, debates about vouchers (using public tax dollars to allow students to attend private religious schools), charter schools, multilingual students, “multicultural” education, Title IX, discrimation in school discipline, DACA etc.

Service-Learning Journal #5 (2-3 pages)


This final reflective/prospective SLJ  asks you to reflect metacognitively on what you have learned.  Metacognition

is one of the surest ways to make sense of what you are experiencing, and to be able to transfer what you’ve

learned to future contexts.


In the Community Literacy Program you have written in a wide range of genres:  informal in-class writing, field

notes and critical reflections, reading notes and analyses of your experience, individual projects grounded in

experience and course concepts and your own research,  group Teach-Ins in which you led class and taught a

lesson you designed, and career-related writing articulating your learning this quarter in a targeted resume and

cover letter.  In this final SLJ I encourage you to review and draw evidence from your work and experiences this

quarter, and to use this assignment in a way that is meaningful to you and your learning goals.   


Topic: Use Janet Eyler’s model for reflecting on service learning:  “What? So What? Now What?,” as the basis for your final metacognitive writing. Using Eyler’s model, describe something you did or learned this quarter (“what”), explain why it mattered (“so what”) and consider its impact in the future (“now what?”).    Beyond this basic structure, it’s up to you to decide how to focus this essay.

  • You might return to the learning goals you had in mind at the beginning of the quarter and consider whether you achieved (or perhaps changed) your goals.
  • You might consider how academic learning, library research, service learning, collaborating with colleagues in class, and writing came together for you.  
  • You might consider whether your thinking about career has changed.
  • You might focus on what you’ve learned about the application of theory to practice in your own life or at the school where you worked, and the way your personal and service-learning experience have challenged or complicated, as well as demonstrated and supported, theory.
  • You might focus on a specific moment or type of learning that was most important or surprising or troubling or rewarding to you.
  • You might return to a quotation from the class calendar, and write about how your response to one or more of these quotations has evolved over the quarter
  • You might look back at your initial service learning journal entry, and reflect on how your understanding of education – both your own and your students’ – has been affected by your work in CLP  
  • You might devote an equal amount of time to “what” and “so what” and “now what” or you might decide to focus most of your writing on one or two of these.  
  • You might focus most on yourself as a researcher and writer, reviewing your written work for the quarter and identifying what you learned about writing and your research and writing process, and what you’d like to remember and continue to work on.
  • You might think of how the narrative shape you give to your life – your story – has changed this quarter, or might change,
  • You might write a “Statement of Purpose” or “Goal Statement” for applying to UW’s Masters in Teaching Program. Information about these statements is available on the COE web site (https://education.uw.edu/admissions/graduate/requirements) along with COE’s “Tips on Writing a Successful Statement of Purpose.”
  • You might do something entirely different than any of these suggestions.


Any of these approaches are fine, as long as you address, at least briefly, all three questions: What? (What did you do?  What did you learn?) So What? (How and why did it matter?) Now What? (How will this be meaningful in the future?)

Community Literacy Program Teach-In, Spring 2019

Elizabeth Simmons-O’Neill esoneill@u.washington.edu


The basics:  Teach-Ins are group projects in which CLP students teach the class about an element of the school where you volunteer (15 minutes) or your work with K-12 students, and then teach a lesson or lead us through what would be involved in teaching a lesson (20-30 minutes).  Lessons may be appropriate for the classrooms where you are volunteering, or they may be designed for your colleagues in the Community Literacy Program.


Total time for each Teach-In:  35-45 minutes.  (Note that it will be important to practice, and to complete your Teach-In within 45 minutes.)


You are welcome (but not required) to relate your own individual project to your group’s Teach-In.  


The details: introduction to your school/program


In your discussion of an element of a school or student population one or more of your group members works with, you should include some form of quantitative data (demographics, test scores, etc.), and make connections between school-based experience, data related to the school, and at least one of our CLP readings.  


It is often effective to use comparative data; for example, compare demographics of student population over the last decade, or put test score data for your school in the context of the district and the state. You are also welcome to use school climate data, Healthy Youth Survey data, Continuous School Improvement Plans from your sites, etc.


In addition to presenting this information orally, you are welcome (but not required) to distribute material in hard copy or to use overhead transparencies or web-based resources (from your laptop) to share information.  If you create slides or handouts for your presentation, please include a Works Cited slide or list.


Your presentation should give classmates a clear sense of an element of school-based experience, a feel for what it’s like to be a participant-observer in that school or program, and your brief analysis of how our work on campus has helped you frame, understand, learn from and provide useful partnership through work at a partner school.


The details:  a lesson for your school or for

Community Literacy Program colleagues


Your group will design and teach a lesson (classroom activity) for our class OR you will share materials for and lead us through a lesson or classroom activity appropriate for the program where you are volunteering.   


Your group’s lesson/activity should include:

  • A brief explanation of the lesson and its purpose
  • A handout we use during the lesson (either to complete the activity for a CLP lesson or to understand the activities you propose for your public school partner)
  • A brief analysis of how your lesson demonstrates your understanding of concepts from our class.  (For example, you might discuss the teacher’s role, relevant Common Core standards, the importance of students’ identities, the role of literacy in addressing social change and citizenship in a democracy, possible unintended consequences of your lesson/activity, etc.)
  • An opportunity for your colleagues to interact during the lesson.  This should not be simply a presentation of information from your group to the class, but an opportunity for everyone to participate in some way.  


Roles within the group: While the Teach-In may not refer directly to every group member’s school-based experience, everyone in your group should participate on the day of your Teach-In. Each person’s role is up to you. The Engaging in Group Work handout in our first day packet may be useful in thinking about the roles of group members in your Teach-In.


Preparatory homework for your CLP colleagues:  You are welcome (but not required) to make reading, writing or critical thinking assignments for us to complete in preparation for your lesson/activity.  Please be mindful and limit to no more than one hour the amount of time required to complete this preparatory homework. If you would like me to make copies for your Teach-In, please get the materials to me in time to distribute them the class period ahead of the day you present.


Assessment:  each member of our community will submit an evaluation of the Teach-Ins they observe and a self-evaluation of the Teach In in which they participate.  Note that the self-evaluation asks you to briefly describe the role of each member of your group, and to divide 100 points among the members of the group (including yourself) as part of your assessment.  Your grade will be a combination of group and individual grades. Assessment rubrics follow.

All evaluations and self-evaluations are due on May 15.


 Rubric follows; Elizabeth will provide copies for you to use to evaluate Teach-Ins.

Teach-In Assessment Rubric Spring 2019


Teach-In group members:


Evaluator’s name:





A very good start, but I have a few sugges-

tions  = 3

A start, but needs develop-men t= 2

Missing or extremely underde-

veloped = 1

Introduction to an aspect of school-based work is 15 minutes long, identifies a specific focus, and provides quantitative data relevant to the school or student population and the focus

Introduction to the school-based work includes experiential understanding of volunteering at this site.

Introduction to school partner includes explicit connection to at least one of our course readings

Overall, introduction provides a clear sense of the aspect of the school selected by the group, a feel for what it’s like to be a participant-observer in this program, and a brief analysis of how our work on campus has helped frame, understand and learn from your work at this site

Teach-In lesson is 25-30 minutes long and  begins with a brief explanation of the lesson and its purpose

Teach-In  lesson includes a handout we use during the lesson (either to complete the activity for a CLP lesson or to understand the activities you propose for your public school partner)

Teach-In includes a brief analysis of how the lesson demonstrates your understanding of concepts and readings from our class

Teach-In was engaging, informative and advanced my learning


If you are NOT a member of the group presenting this Teach-In, feel free to add any notes on the back of this sheet about the effectiveness of the Teach-In and its effect on your learning.  


If you ARE a member of this Teach-In group, complete this grid, and then turn to the back of this sheet for the self-evaluation instructions.

Guidelines for Self-Evaluation by members of the Teach In group


If you are a member of the group presenting this Teach-In:  Much of the work of preparing a Teach-In happens behind the scenes and before the event.  In order for me to better understand how the group worked and the effect of this project on participants’ learning, in the space below (or on a separate sheet of paper you attach to this rubric) please:


  1. List the members of your group (including yourself)
  2. Divide 100 points among the members of your group as a way to reflect the contribution of each group member (including yourself) to the Teach In.
  3. In addition to assigning a portion of the 100 points to each group member (including yourself), please provide a brief description of the work of each member of the group.
  4. Reflect BRIEFLY on the effect of preparing and participating in the Teach In on your own learning.   

Community Literacy Program Individual Project Guidelines

Elizabeth Simmons-O’Neill    Winter 2018 esoneill@u.washington.edu


Basic guidelines:  Your individual project for CLP is a 7-8 page (double-spaced) paper focused on a well-defined research question or project.   The central goals of this project are to bring together learning from experience and learning from academic research in a writing project based on something you actually care about and want to better understand.


Format: In addition to the 7-8 page paper, your project will have a title page on which the project title is centered in the middle, and your name, the date and the course information are in the lower right-hand corner.  Also in addition to the 7-8 pages, include a Works Cited list (MLA format) of at least six sources which are cited in the paper. You are welcome to use class readings, but at least two of your sources must be sources not assigned in CLP, one source must be your service-learning journal or another source from your partner school, and one source must be an academic journal article or book chapter.   Documentary films, interviews with school staff, web-based resources, news articles, and surveys may also be useful, and you may attach optional appendices (such as student work or photographs).


All projects should begin with an abstract which explains the nature of the project and your conclusions.



  • All names (of schools, teachers, children and UW volunteers) should be changed in your individual project.  
  • If you will need to conduct interviews (with teachers, principals, site staff etc.), be sure to schedule these interviews at least two weeks ahead.
  • If you plan to include student work or images of students, you need to clear this use with the classroom teacher where you volunteer.
  • If you plan to write publicly, and an audience beyond our classroom will see your final project, you must follow the CLP public writing guidelines and clear all public writing with me and/or the school where you are volunteering.
  • Your individual project may be directly related to your group Teach-In, or may be quite separate from the issues you raise and present in that group project.


Project options


  1. Case study


Study an aspect of your community partner, a student you’ve worked with, or your own experience as a service-learner.  Case studies rely on ethnographic research -- an understanding of an issue from the perspective of participants’ views of their own social realities, based in part on the writer’s experience in that community, analyzed in the context of academic research.  Ethnographers (that’s you) perform fieldwork (your work at your partner school, recorded in your service-learning journal) studying what members of a community do, say and know. A full ethnography requires months or years of fieldwork, so your case will be limited. The community you study will be the school or classroom in which you volunteer.  If you focus on yourself as a service-learner you may also include the Community Literacy Program as a component of the community being studied. Recall Sonia Nieto’s claim in “Nice is Not Enough” that one of the most powerful ways to understand the system of privilege and penalty that shapes so much social reality is to study closely a student very different from yourself.


Defining your research question or project: Social Science research questions are typically narrowly defined, and designed to further understand a specific problem or issue and its context. For example, writing a general paper on how to fix public education is not going to be effective, but it would be effective to focus a case stidu on specific issues affecting your fifth grade classroom teacher’s use of a family-inclusive assignment in her language arts curriculum, and considering how/whether this assignment encourages non-native English speaking parents to participate more frequently than usual.   


All case studies propose a focused subject of study, but individual case studies may have a variety of purposes including:

  • posing a problem to be solved (ending with a recommended solution);
  • identifying an issue (situation, event, process) to be researched and analyzed, ending with an analytic understanding of the issue, and perhaps suggesting a line of inquiry for further research;
  • conducting exploratory or discovery-oriented research on a subject on which there has been little previous research; or
  • bringing to bear critical orientations (e.g. explaining critiques of the political/economic/social interests that benefit from a situation or shape a set of relationship, and the forms of resistance and accommodation marginalized groups use to develop their own values, voices and cohesion within that dominant culture).  


Case studies are often divided into sections (abstract, introduction, review of research, findings, conclusions/discussion).  This is not required, but may help you organize your project.


Some recent examples of case study research questions


An issue faced by a particular student e.g. What is the relationship between peer rejection or bullying and academic achievement?  What are the best practices for working with a child with specific language or learning needs?


An element of the classroom or school as a whole e.g. What is the relationship between your school’s mission statement and the children you have observed closely? The goals and methods of a program in theory and what you have observed in practice?   Is there a gendered component to the impact of reading groups in your third grade classroom? Are there conflicts between the implicit and explicit assumptions underlying the curriculum in 8th grade AVID? In what ways are mutilinguality and multicultural knowledge understood to be positive values in the 9th grade level 1 ELL classroom where you volunteer?  How can music help create cultural competency?


An issue in education relevant to your volunteer work, e.g. the impact of choice of texts as this relates to students’ identities (race, gender, home language, sexual orientation etc.);   the effect of a particular type of instruction or assessment (e.g. Smarter Balanced Assessment, “publishing” student writing, using film as text or as multimodal assignment such as IMovie) on classroom practice or on a particular cohort of students; the impact (generative and constraining) of the Common Core State Standards on the teacher you are working with; the impact of DACA being rescinded on teaching and learning at your site, etc.


You are also welcome to focus a case study on an element of your own work in the Community Literacy Program as a service-learning student, analyzing your experience within the larger context of community-based service learning.  Students choosing this topic often interview each other, create short surveys for CLP classmates, or share service-learning journal entries so the case study is about other CLP students in addition to the writer themself. You might frame a project on this topic in the context of the Carlson Center’s “theory of change” document.


If you choose this approach, be sure to survey academic research on service-learning (also known as experiential or community-based or community-engaged learning), looking for a variety of perspectives, and narrowing your own focus to a specific research question, e.g. civic development as a result of service learning, the role of service learning in deciding on a major or career, the effect of service-learning on academic achievement or engagement, potential negative impacts of service-learning, the intended/explicit vs. actual/implicit goals and results of a specific CLP assignment (or type of assignment), the ways community-engaged learning reframes participants’ narratives of their own lives and purpose, the impact of service-learning on those who are “served” – perhaps in the context of the “Theory of Change” document we read at the beginning of the quarter, etc.



  1.  Service or Curriculum Project with Research-based Rationale

In consultation with staff at the school where you are volunteering, develop a project which meets a real need at the school, or a lesson you will teach in the classroom.  For example: a service project might be a book drive, an oral history of the school or an aspect of the school, an annotated bibliography of resources meeting a particular arae of concern/professional development, or a volunteer manual or update of the manual and training materials for the type of volunteer work you are doing.   

A lesson plan might be a book-making project aligned with CCSS and drawing on a central interest of the students you’re working with, a deliberative discussion (structured academic controversy) unit, or a nonfiction research unit beginning with a literary text.  

In addition to completing the service project or lesson plan,  you will write a rationale for the lesson in which you explain the research context and resources you used, describe the project or lesson, and explain the justification, goals and outcomes for your project or lesson.

If your service project or lesson plan is a written document, such as an oral history or a review of literature on an issue, a volunteer manual for your school, or a lesson for students to complete, this service project or lesson plan will become part of your 7-8 page individual project, and you will also write an additional analytic statement placing the service project or lesson  in the context of our work in CLP, and meeting all guidelines for sources. If the service-project or lesson is in another format – photographic, video, brochure, web resource etc. – you will discuss the nature and length of the research essay with Elizabeth.

Service projects (e.g. book drive or training video) may be completed in a group with classmates, but written projects must be done individually.   

You are also welcome to follow the guidelines above to create an assignment sequence (readings, in-class activities, and writing/presentation assignments) for Community Literacy Program students on campus.  You might build on an existing topic, or suggest a new topic or a different approach to an issue we focused on this quarter.


Here are four recent examples:


  • A group of CLP students organized a book drive in collaboration with a partner school librarian.  They created and distributed flyers on campus and in their own communities advertising the drive and requesting specific books needed by the school, provided donation bins on campus, and collected $500 worth of books that were added to the school library and classrooms or offered to the children, many of whom owned no books, to take home.  The CLP students who organized this drive included discussion of the drive in their individual projects, but each student focused on a different issue in their paper. Topics included the importance of multicultural literature for literacy development in culturally diverse elementary schools and the role of school librarians in literacy development.


  • A CLP student responded to staff requests for information about resources for inclusive teaching about sexual orientation and gender/non-binary identity and family diversity by researching and creating an annotated list of resources for teachers (books and films) and students (Pre-K-grade 6 appropriate materials).  She introduced this set of recommendations with an analysis explaining the reasons for providing the material and an explanation of the reasons such inclusion is crucial for equitable teaching and for democracy.


  • A CLP student completed orientation and training for working in a high-needs school, realized that there was a serious problem with violence in the homes of many of the students, and noted that she felt completely unprepared to address these issues in her work with students.  She consulted with the volunteer coordinator at the school to produce a more comprehensive set of training materials for future volunteers.


  • A CLP student took the book-making methods we learned with Christine Stickler (along with all necessary supplies, provided by Christine) to do a two-part Literacy Through Photography project with kindergarten students.  One part focused on the students’ individual identities in small books as a way for classmates to learn about each other. The second part provided head shot photographs for which students drew the rest of themselves, with this work put together as a collage of the entire class.


  1.  Design another type of project that meets the basic guidelines (7-8 pages, 6 sources, connecting experiential and academic learning)


You might create a public-facing call to action on a specific issue (research based, and reaching beyond academic audiences to specific audiences for political or civic goals).  

For example, you might write a policy proposal (to the school, the school district, the state, Secretary of Education Betsy DeVos).  Policy proposals typically follow a set professional (not academic) format:  Executive summary (a brief statement of the problem being addressed, why the current approach isn’t sufficient,  and your recommendation for action). The rest of the proposal builds the case for your executive summary: a statement of the problem, its causes, and the reasons it must be addressed; an explanation of why the current response to the problem is insufficient (being sure to recognize the merits of the current approach as a counter-argument); your detailed and convincing  proposal including a breakdown of the specific practical steps you recommend and how their efficacy might be assessed; a closing paragraph re-emphasizing the importance of action.


You might write a fictional work or a poem or a multimodal piece (video, photo series, etc.) appropriate to the grade level you’ve been working with and propose how your work would anchor a curriculum unit.   


You might choose a “myth” about public education and debunk that myth for one or more audiences, following the process outlined in our course text “debunking a myth,” and with a clearly stated goal in mind,


You might take a completely different approach – academic, professional, activist, creative, or something else important to you and your learning goals.


If you choose this option, please check in with Elizabeth before you finalize your proposal.

Community Literacy Peer Review Preparation for Pair/Small Group Conferences

Elizabeth Simmons-O’Neill    685-3804 esoneill@u.washington.edu       Spring 2019


Bring three copies of your 7-8 page draft plus Title Page and Works Cited and 3 copies of the 1-page rubric you have designed for your project to class.  Your rubric should include the assignment basics (you’re welcome to revise the rubric that follows for things like page length and number of sources) and add your own goals and areas of specific focus for your readers.  Distribute drafts to your conference group partner(s) and Elizabeth.  If you have particular concerns about your draft, note these on the Title Page.  Each of you should complete one full peer review (steps 2-6 below) for a colleague in your conference group.  If your group includes more than one colleague, clarify who is doing a complete review for whom when you distribute drafts.   In groups of more than two writers, you should read and be prepared to discuss both colleagues’ drafts, but only do one complete peer review.


Note the date and time of your conference and the names and contact information  for your partners here:

All conferences take place in Elizabeth’s office (Padelford A-14).   Completed peer reviews following the steps below are due at the beginning of your conference, and will be the basis of discussion.   



  • Number the paragraphs in the draft you will review for easy reference and as a guide for your descriptive outlines, and skim through the draft to see if you have questions.  As you read through, note “+” in the margin where you have a positive reaction and “?” where you have questions or suggestions.




  • Look back at the prompt for the Individual Project and consider the overall structure of the draft by making a descriptive outline on a separate sheet of paper.   


  • For each paragraph, note the paragraph number, the subject/topic of the paragraph, what you thought the paragraph would accomplish after reading the first sentence, and whether the paragraph actually accomplished this.
  • Underneath the outline, make any suggestions related to the content or organization of sections, paragraphs and ideas, or the use of evidence.  
  • If there are issues in the outline which should be included in the opening paragraph (which should be an abstract of the project as a whole), note this at the end of your outline.  If you have suggestions about including CLP readings, discussions, or other sources, note them here as well as in the margins.



  • Reread the project.    Acting as a “devil’s advocate” for your colleague, make notes about points at which you have questions, concerns, remain unconvinced by the line of argument or the evidence used or the warrant connect evidence to claim, or suggest an alternative that might be considered.




  • Reread the project again.  Choose a paragraph that is particularly successful and note what makes it successful at the sentence and paragraph level.   Choose a paragraph that will benefit from revision, and mark in detail your recommendations for paragraph and sentence-level revision.  (Consult CLP sentence/paragraph checklist and OWL, especially but not only the links on our common view “editing” section.)  (continued)




  • Respond to the writer’s self-designed rubric questions, focusing on issues and areas important to their own goals for the project.




  • Write an endnote in which, based on your analysis of the draft above,  you outline the strengths of the current draft and specific suggestions for growth and development before the final draft.


Planning, Revision and Assessment Rubric for Community Literacy Program Individual Project  S[romg 2019

Writer’s name:



4: outstanding

3: a very good start, but I have a few suggestions

2: a start, but needs development

1: missing or in need of major focus for revision


Project is 7-8 pages long (double-spaced) with an additional Title Page and Works Cited List (MLA)

The Works Cited List includes at least 6 sources, all of which are used and cited in the paper.  At least 2 of the sources are from outside the CLP readings. One source is the writer’s service-learning journal or another source from the community partner, and at least one source is an academic journal article or book chapter.  

The abstract preceding the project clarifies the nature of the project (e.g. case study, service project, policy proposal), and provides sufficiently narrow research question/purpose/focus, and the writer’s conclusions.  It is clear in the bstract what the writer has set out to accomplish and what they conclude.

All names have been changed including names of children, schools, teachers, etc.

The project is well-organized, moving logically from sentence to sentence, paragraph to paragraph and section to section.  Central claims are clearly stated and are used to structure the project. Each paragraph begins with a strong transitional/topic sentence.  Depending on the nature of the project, section headings may be useful. However, section headings do not substitute for effective transitions.

The project makes effective use of sufficient, well-chosen evidence from both experience and academic research, framed and communicated demonstrating awareness of the intended audience.  Evidence is effectively analyzed and integrated into the writer’s own thinking; warrants connecting evidence and claims are clear. (The nature of the project will determine relevant types of evidence.)

The project is grammatically and stylistically engaging and appropriate for the intended audience and purpose.  All citations are in correct MLA form both in-text and in the Works Cited list

(Any additional categories the writer would like to include has been added in the writer’s self-defined rubric)



This was the original canvas "syllabus blurb" posted before registration.

The Community Literacy Program links two courses -- English 491B internship in a "high needs" public K-12 partner school (schedule arranged) and an on-campus seminar that meets MW 10:30-12:20 for which students register as either English 298A (open to all UW students, fulfills "C" or "W" requirement) or as English 498A (senior capstone for English majors). 

The Community Literacy Program also counts toward the advanced composition course required for ELA, the field work requirement in the Education, Learning and Society minor, and as observation hours required for application to  the UW Masters in Teaching Program. 

In Spring 2019, the Community Literacy Program will be taught by CLP founding director Elizabeth Simmons-O'Neill.  All UW students are welcome in this program, which focuses on building effective, equitable, inclusive learning communities on and beyond campus, and has created successful campus/K-12 partnerships since 1992.  UW students have found the program valuable if they are considering a teaching career, but also if they want to go into health care, law, social work, many other professional fields, or simply want to engage in meaningful ways with a small learning community on campus and with a public school community where their work has a big impact.

Assignments include a service-learning journal, short writing about course texts and themes, a collaborative presentation about students' shared work in a partner school, and an individually designed research project, for which research instruction is provided. The instructor meets with students to discuss drafts and revisions of their major projects.  Central course goals include testing theory in practice, engaging in effective, reflective work with public school students and teachers, and learning more about  both our own writing and learning processes and the impact of CLP on our academic, career, civic and personal goals.  The final assignment sequence is taught in collaboration with the UW Career & Internship Center, and focuses on career-related writing applicable in any field. 

There are no prerequisites.   Add codes are available from the instructor: esoneill@uw.edu.

For more information see https://english.washington.edu/community-literacy-program. Feel free to be in touch with questions related to Community Literacy Program, or to the English Department's public school service-learning partnerships.

Elizabeth Simmons-O'Neill
Director, Community Literacy Program
Associate Director, Expository Writing Program

Catalog Description: 
Supervised experience in local businesses and other agencies. Open only to upper-division English majors. Credit/no-credit only.
Other Requirements Met: 
Service Learning
1.0 - 6.0
Last updated: 
January 26, 2019 - 11:00pm