As mentioned in a previous post our collaboration with Sacramento City College continues to grow and expand. Some of those implementing Organized Binder are English instructors in the college's English Composition Accelerated Program in response to AB 705. Students who did not qualify for English 300 (College Composition) take a concurrent support course called English 108. At the Second Annual Acceleration Across California conference it was noted that co-requisite courses, like those offered at Sacramento City College, have proven successful. We agree!
Here are student reflections on Organized Binder in the Fall 2017 108/300 Acceleration Project shared by professor Dr. Travis Silcox:
Student #1: Since there were two classes’ agendas to keep track of, it was nice to get organizational lessons. The way we organized the binders in class was awesome because I could reference any piece of work or information from the class. Without this help it’s likely that I would have shoved things into a binder in no particular order. Having an organized binder helped me keep track of my grades, as well as my goals for the semester. I will definitely be putting these new skills to use for the rest of my life.
Student #2: With me gaining comfortability in the class, I was able to be vulnerable with my goals. The goal page was something we would revisit every 4 weeks, with goals being made daily, weekly, and in the 4 weeks. This was very important for me as, I had a goal on paper, in my binder that I have to look at every time I do one bit of work for this class. Goals are important to me as it is one way I can keep myself accountable, and until the organized binder I never had one for school. Some of my goals included, reading Devils Highway daily, no homework missing for 4 weeks, and make sure I write a journal entry weekly. I can easily attribute these things for improving my grammar, writing and work ethic.
Student #3: The Organized Binder helped me in ways that on the first day of class I was unsure and skeptic of, little did I know it was going to be the one thing that kept me organized and sane. We set our personal goals and everyday we made a kick off and learning log entry, along with our agenda, homework and reminder entries, not only was it for self evaluation and reminder it was for storage too ! In this same file we stored our notes and handouts, this made life so easy especially for me and I know I will be using this same binder in the future for referencing.
Student #4: An additional way ENGWR 108 promoted an easier workload in ENGWR 300 results from the daily usage of organized binder pages in class. Throughout the semester the professor had students complete a page in our binders labeled as “My Goal in ENGWR 108”. Every four weeks, the professor had students set a goal that they wanted to achieve. This gave students an objective and gave a sense of responsibility to the students to achieve it. If they succeeded, students can see they are able to accomplish anything that gives them hope to do well in the course. Another section in our binders was a section called B pages. This section consisted of a question asked by the professor and in response would be an honest answer. This allowed for the professor and students to communicate in a nonverbal form. Also, this let the professor to express her honest opinion and understand how the student is progressing. If the professor knows of an issue in the B pages she was very willing to help and accommodate to the students’ needs and overall the class needs. This gave the chance for the professor to adjust and redo lesson plans if needed to accommodate to the entire class to ensure success.
Student #5: The binders that the teacher gave us had organized papers such as: goal setting sheets, B pages, Learning logs / Kick offs, among other things that helped us to stay organized throughout the semester. The kick offs and learning logs, which are basically warm-ups, helped us a lot as well, since in them we could ask the teacher questions about some work that we had to do or that we were in the process of doing it. Like if we were embarrassed to ask those questions in person. The learning log / kick off that we did once in this class says the following: "How far have you advanced in your Research Paper?" That time when the professor asked this question, I was hypnotized, since I didn’t know what to answer, because I was barely looking for the articles to read, while other students were ahead of me already finishing their rough draft. I did not know what to answer, however I told the professor how advanced I was in my research paper although I did not know what she would say to me. That learning log / kick off made me realize that I really had to make more enthusiasm and be on topic of everything we did so as not to delay and be at the same pace as the other students.
Student #6: In ENGWR 108, we had binders where it would carry all our paperwork and additional pages. Those additional pages were pages called “ B Page” and “Goals Page.” On the “B Page” was a page where we would write a “Kick-Off” and a “Learning Log.” The “Kick-Off was really helpful because it started the class with something engaging. This would be the time where we would really have to use our brain and a sense of what today’s class lesson may be. It was a great way to start off the class. With the “Learning Log” this was a time to reflect on today’s lesson. This would be where we write what we learned or what we still have trouble with. This was handy because it was a great way to communicate with the teacher. At times it was a bit confusing with the binder but the way we organized it, made it a lot simpler. Overall the binder was something very helpful and big in the class.
Student #7: Another helpful thing in the 108 class was the organized binder. The responses in the B page section helped me keep in mind what I had to do. Those responses usually ruminated in my head and reminded what needed to be done in my English class. Also the toolkit provided many useful outlines and the guides. This toolkit helped me whenever I had trouble organizing my thoughts for my future essays. My binder pages helped me organize my work and helped me keep good management throughout the semester.
Student #8: The goals page and B pages had me thinking about my learning process on a weekly and even on a daily basis. These pages have kept “in check” through out the semester. In my goals page, I really wanted to have strong time management because I went to SCC full time and worked twenty five hours a week. The goals page has made me realize that I wasn’t putting enough hours into my education. The B pages were my favorite because I had a chance to let the instructor know how I felt about an assignment and really think about my questions. The prompt I really liked was from week 6,” What is your time management plan to finish this essay?” I would think about a list in order to be prepared for the assignment. Our kick-offs would prepare us for the class time and the learning-logs were our reflections.