Replacing the Classroom Circle with Digital Pedagogy

Silence was the thing I used to fear most as an English teacher: the discussion falls flat, none of the students do the reading, or it's simply the 8am or after-lunch lull. My tools to combat silence have been formed over the years: spontaneous group work, an on-topic YouTube video, or rearranging desks into a … Continue reading Replacing the Classroom Circle with Digital Pedagogy

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My Week Curating for We the Humanities

We the Humanities is a rotation-curation project that I first heard about on Twitter from Krissie West, one of the project's founders. Basically, each week a different person rotates tweeting for We the Humanities, which has a following base of academics, teachers, parents, students, and others interested from around the world. My week came up … Continue reading My Week Curating for We the Humanities

Collaborate, Rotate, Note-Take

Just last week I put together an assignment to have students collaboratively take notes in class. This assignment stems from advice I received from three colleagues, so its very beginnings were collaborative. I am so humbled by the amazing work my fellow teachers are doing at CUNY. Where do I begin? What Do We Mean by … Continue reading Collaborate, Rotate, Note-Take

Introducing Students to Twitter Literacy

I use twitter in my classroom to give more introverted students opportunities to participate without having to raise their hands and speak out. It isn't something they encounter in many of their classes, so it takes some time to introduce them to Twitter, help them set up professional or discard accounts, and get them to … Continue reading Introducing Students to Twitter Literacy

Building Community in the Classroom with Twitter

When I greeted my students on the first day of the semester with the announcement that technology would play a large role in my "American Literature: Origins to the Civil War" class, I'm pretty sure their faces looked something like this: Admittedly, it made many of them anxious when I began explaining class blog post assignments … Continue reading Building Community in the Classroom with Twitter

American Lit: Collaborative Writing & Group Work

This semester as I prepared my syllabus for the American Literature: Origins to the Civil War course, I wanted to get my students more engaged in collaborative multi-modal projects. One of these was to write a blog post comparing the American Puritans to one religious group from the HBO series The Game of Thrones. While students cringed … Continue reading American Lit: Collaborative Writing & Group Work

Student-Driven Pedagogy in the Early American Survey Course

Teaching PALS was kind enough to let me write a guest post on Student-Driven Pedagogy in the Early American Survey Course for their blog. Check it out!

Welcome to Pedagogy & American Literary Studies

PALS Notes: PALS welcomes guest contributor Christina Katopodis, who is an Adjunct Lecturer at Hunter College and an English PhD student at the Graduate Center CUNY. Katopodis writes about her experience engaging students in the early American literature survey. Allowing students choice in syllabus and class design, asking students to find nature in the New York City spaces, and introducing soundscapes into the classroom have all become integral parts of her student engagement. Katopodis elaborates on her ecocritical approach to the survey here

Crafting a syllabus for my “American Literature: Origins to the Civil War” survey course last fall, I felt the challenge of pairing down a long list of readings and covering centuries of literature in one semester.

IMG_20160515_181809875 copyThere were three unique hurdles to this course for me: making the survey student-driven, getting all 31 students to participate in discussions, and bringing the American wilderness into an urban classroom. This post will offer my…

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Sylvia Plath’s “Lady Lazarus” & Star Trek

It's the end of the semester, and we've finally arrived at our poetry unit. After wrapping up Chopin's The Awakening, we spent two days on Dickinson, discussing death (in an unintentional transition from Chopin's controversial ending), the im/materiality of Dickinson's imagery, and, of course, the metaphorical meanings in Dickinson's punctuation, her masterful dashes. I introduced Dickinson and … Continue reading Sylvia Plath’s “Lady Lazarus” & Star Trek

Teaching Students Close Reading Skills with Twitter

Moving on from teaching the general theme of women's oppression in my composition course, as I described in my last post, we've turned to a much more complex and darker play, John Webster's The Duchess of Malfi. The most corrupt characters, Ferdinand and the Cardinal (also the Duchess's brothers), are motivated by many things: money, power, maintaining a … Continue reading Teaching Students Close Reading Skills with Twitter

Using BuzzFeed to Teach Melville

Teaching an American Literature survey course for the first time last semester, I wanted to take on Herman Melville's Moby-Dick both for myself and for my students. My students were mostly English majors, and had followed Hope Leslie and Hawk-Eye through the American wilderness with me earlier in the semester. The magnetic pull to read Moby-Dick and give the potential spiritual journey … Continue reading Using BuzzFeed to Teach Melville