Thursday, April 15, 2010

This blog has moved

This blog is now located at
You will be automatically redirected in 30 seconds, or you may click here.

For feed subscribers, please update your feed subscriptions to

Tuesday, March 9, 2010

Adjunct Faculty News!

Tuesday, February 23, 2010

Joyce Mosher Shares Materials: Student Performance of Texts

Joyce Devlin Mosher, Associate Professor of English Communications at Summit, presented Sound Practices: Performing College Reading and Writing at two conferences recently: the National First Year Experience Conference in Denver in February, 2010, and Teaching English at the Two-Year College Conference in Little Rock in October, 2009. Drawing on current research, Joyce has developed methods that make student voices and performed texts the central learning events in the classroom: Download a Copy of Sound Practices

The booklet contains many sample exercises that can be adapted to any college classroom and faculty training program. Contact Joyce with your ideas and questions, as this pedagogical approach is a work in progress.

Wednesday, February 17, 2010

Delectable Curriculum Innovation: An Interview with Todd Rymer

Why is Todd Studying a Seed Catalog?

As a food professional, Todd Rymer, Director of Culinary Education at the Vail /Eagle Valley Campus has been following Chefs Collaborative, one of the first organizations to directly connect chefs with food growers, for over a dozen years. Todd helped found a Slow Food convivia (chapter) in the Vail Valley about six years ago. Slow Food is an international organization promoting food that is “good, clean, and fair.” The movement focuses on local food as well as food free of chemicals, and food that provides a fair wage for the agricultural growers.

In addition to these important issues, a sustainable foodservice operation must also consider issues of energy, water consumption, chemicals, equipment, to-go containers, recycling and marketing of “green” practice. About three years ago, CMC added a course in Sustainable Cuisine to the CCCNS. As consumers and foodservice operators have further embraced sustainability, market research provided support to move this knowledge and practice into the CMC curriculum – an academic process that requires patience in the face of curriculum development that can still be timely and competitive.

So starting next fall, CMC will offer a certificate in Sustainable Cuisine Operations. In addition to many of the culinary courses already in the curriculum, the certificate includes: Intro to Sustainable Cuisine, Sustainable Food Operations and a revised course that adds vegan and vegetarian entrees preparation to Center of the Plate courses that formerly focused on beef, pork, poultry, and seafood entrees. As the certificate is expanded, courses will be offered in agro-ecology to help students learn about the environmental impacts of food production for restaurants that not only buy food, but grow it.

As we ended our conversation last week, I noticed a seed catalog on his desk—why was it on his desk? It’s part of his ongoing professional development—he’s taking a Colorado Master Gardner’s Class to forward his own expertise and share that development back with the newest of practices.

Monday, February 15, 2010

Olympic Poetry in Motion and More

Steamboat’s Johnny Spillane (who took classes from CMC) won a silver for USA in the Nordic Combined. This is a new accomplishment for the USA in an event that Europeans have owned for a long time:

Other poetry is also on my mind: Here’s a performance from the Olympics opening ceremonies from Canadian Slam/ Spoken Word Poet Shane Koyczn:

What is a poetry slam? What makes that rhythm of Spoken Word and Slam Poetry?

Well, some deliveries style after hip-hop, and some from prose poems, according to the entries above.

However, they would still have some commonalities to other types of poetic traditions—and the Kennedy Center provides some exercises to have students compare elements of hip-hop to say, even Shakespeare:

This poem uses repetition for rhythm and many metaphors in these lines:

“Let the page be your doctor…”

CMC Upcoming Poetry Events

Poetry Slam at Summit on March 17th

Second Life Poetry Celebration at ColoradoEduIisland in mid April. (More to come)

Sunday, January 31, 2010

November, 2009 COTESOL Conference
My main motivation for attending the conference was to gain knowledge about the TOEFLiBT test, or Test of English as a Foreign Language Internet-Based Test. I attended one session by Tamara Milbourn of CU Boulder. Tamara explained the differences between TOEFL and IELTS, which is the European version of TOEFL. IELTS stands for International English Language Testing System. Essentially, TOEFL scores are much more widely accepted than IELTS, except for in Europe. TOEFL is a typed test, more academic and analytical with less stress on grammar and spelling. IELTS is a more traditional English test which has easier reading and writing tasks than TOEFL but stresses grammar and spelling.

Dana Harper of the Emily Griffiths School in Denver shared her many years of teaching TOEFL in a very informative workshop. She reviewed all the possible TOEFL textbooks. In addition she pointed out how important note-taking, summarizing, and paraphrasing skill development is for successful TOEFL completion. Harper suggested all activities be timed and offered some wonderful classroom aides and suggestions. I handed out copies of "Word Forms" at the last Basalt meeting. If you would like a copy please contact me.

A very interesting workshop called exploring language ideologies with video presented by Madeleine Adkins highlighted cultural differences for native English speakers worldwide and English language learners. Video can be a powerful learning tool. I like to use the learning English site at for podcasts and vocabulary building.

Academic Vocabulary Acquisition by Beth Skelton was packed with attendees. She was a dynamic and eloquent educator who went over all the latest research-based vocabulary acquisition techniques. TPR, Realia, opposites or negatives, drawing pictures, visualizing, affixes (word roots), acting, cognates, repeating abstract words in various contexts, use story or context to explain words, define words used in stories.
Shades of a Word...
Beth also took color samples from paint stores and used a simple word like pretty on the lightest shade, then beautiful on the medium shade, and gorgeous on the darkest shade. That was fun!

Native Speakers + International ESL Students
Rebecca Wasil from Colorado State Pueblo gave a great presentation about a three day mixer between students at an alternative high school and international ESL students. The first day they did many community building activities, the second day a debate, and the third day readers' theatre. The students met at the college campus, at a riverside park, and at the alternative high school. It was an extremely positive experience for both groups since both student populations were marginalized amongst their peers. The high school students started thinking about college and travel. The college students were able to impart their wisdom and gain confidence with their English skills.

Friday, January 29, 2010

The most beneficial session that I have ever attended at CoTESOL has been "Improv" Your ESL Classroom given by Jon Wilkerson. The session gives teachers the tools to help students feel safe and committed to speaking and supporting classmates through graded group exercises. They are forced to use authentic language as the very engaging exercises get progressively more difficult.

The five principles of improv are to: Commit, Accept Offers, Listen, Support Others and Have Fun.

Guidelines for the teacher are: Unconditional positive regard, the teacher must not be critical of students decisions; Failure is okay, praise students for courage and effort; First into the breach, teacher must be over-the-top in word and action; Small steps, simple warm up exercises through strenuous exercises increase student's confidence and empowerment; Explain and demonstrate clearly, show students the activity to erase any doubt as to expectations.

After using this in my classroom, students often comment that it was the bestl class ever. Contact me for more information