March 4, 2009

The lack of resources in urban schools…..

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February 25, 2009


The reading for this week touched on digital writing and new literacies. Although these are concepts that we are familiar with, it was sort of interesting to see facebook (and similar websites) referred to as examples. The Jenkins (2006) piece states that more teens are now a part of participatory culture; that is a culture that depends on social connection, and that share their artistic work. This form of culture promotes peer-to-peer learning, it welcomes diversity, and it develops skills valued in the work place. Clearly it has lots of benefits, but how useful are they when we live in an academic culture that does not value informal language. Most of these website deal with informal language, not Standardized English. I believe that although standardized English is important, we need to have room for informal communication, especially if it would help the students comprehend the material. This last point reminds me of my coop teacher. He tries so hard to speak in slung and to know the students on a personal level. Its always funny when he does it, but they respect him for it. They feel free to express themselves in that form as well and it strengthens the relationship between the teacher and the students.

Link for this week….. Of course…..

February 17, 2009

My experience with grading 50 + papers......

As I read the readings for this week, I had to pause for a second when I read the Dornan chapter. The authors of this book reminded us that grading papers is probably more harmful; it suppresses creativity for those high achievers and inflicts “hopelessness? in struggling students. But this is something that I have never thought of before, perhaps its because I am shocked at the papers that I have to grade. Last semester, I had the privilege of being a graduate assistance for a writing intensive literature course here at the U of M. Although I took writing seminars that introduced me with strategies of grading a paper, my jaw dropped when a stock of papers were dropped on my desk (there were more than 55 students in the class). My first experience was horrible, the quality of the papers were not what I expected. I never wanted to discourage them by giving them low grades. Thus, I meet with the teacher and we had to re-correct the entire papers and the following class day, we had an open discussion with the students about what we expected from them. Overall student got better and better at it, it seems that all they need to know is what we expected from them and they were capable of doing that. Assessing, evaluating, grading and responding to student writing is easiest when both the teacher and the students are on the same page.
The Website that I found provides us with strategies of grading papers. It points out various tips such as grading the students on the basis of “mastery of knowledge and skills? and evaluating our grading policies by asking students input.

February 11, 2009

Grammar and errors

In Chapter 4, we are reminded that “development errors and inappropriate language for the context, voice or purpose of writing evolve from attempts of writers to try out new forms, to move beyond familiar ground, to write within new context and with a variety of purposes? (pg. 85). Furthermore, it is stated that an error is not necessary negative, it is a step towards experimenting with structure and vocabulary. One thing that I am not good at is spelling, I do know the grammar and its rules, but since I was not good at spelling, I was afraid of making mistakes, so I always played it safe and played with the words that I knew.

As the new year rolls around, and I contemplate on what my new year resolution will be, I usually evaluate my life and I have realized that I am not a risk taker. Thus, my 2009 new years resolution is to take more risks (perhaps I should include academic risk in there as well). When I reach this goal, I should be able to motivate my students to take risks as well.
The website that I choose this week deals with of course grammar. But it is fairly simple to use and it teaches us the rules of grammar, sentence structure and so much more.

February 4, 2009

Week 3 entry: Multigenre Papers

Reading Tom Romano’s text introduced me to the concept of multigenre. Romano was introduced to multigenre when
he read Michael Ondaatje’s work of literature, each genre is complete filled with multiple voices but it also complements the rest of the genres and together it creates a single literary experience. This is an amazing work of art. I would love to expose this to my students. But just like my fellow teachers, I know that I would have difficulty with timing. How should I break up the genres? How long will each last? How long will it take for the students to understand and comprehend the materials? Romano does point out that teachers have approached the issue of timing regarding multigenre papers in so many ways. Furthermore, the time “students spend on the multigenre project varies depending on the other demands of the curriculum (this even makes the issue of timing even more complicated) and the teacher’s goals? (16). Perhaps once, I start teaching and gain more experience, then I will know how to better answer these questions.

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January 28, 2009

Week 2 Assignment

As I was reading Within and Beyond the Writing Process in the Secondary English Classroom, I noticed an important message that was stated, and that is “writing is a process.? This is a powerful statement that indicates that it requires time and effort. Writing requires lots of thinking, and revision. It can be taught, and like art it needs to be structured and beautifully crafted. As a teacher, I will make sure that I teach my students the process of writing, including all the rules (thesis/body/conclusion) and also allow them to be creative. And last but not least, revision is a must.

I found this great website that was created around the concept of writing as a process. It is filled with tips and methods of prewriting, during writing, and revising.

Response to Jennifer Jones' blog entry....... (It wouldn't allow me to post on her blog)......
wow… that is a sad incident. I know how it feels when teachers have low expectations for you. But I always surprised and shocked them when it came to my writing, and how creative I was. And once there were able to match my in class writing with my other writing, they are assured that there was no plagiarism involved (but I always get a laugh at their facial expression). And from time to time, we get that great teacher that inspires us, and gives us that pat in the back that we rightfully deserve (hopefully as educators, we turn out to be just like them).