Tuesday, March 26, 2013

Entry #8 "Bless, Address, or Press"

I wanted to bless Alyse for her post this week A Fluke, it was really descriptive and there were certain instances in which I could visualize exactly what she was talking about.  I  appreciate how open she was about her struggles with her genre presentation piece.  I believe that each of us in different ways have struggled with the different pieces we are creating.  In addition to blessing Alsye for he descriptive blog writing, I also wanted to address something that came to mind and see if after her teaching the genre presentation which focused on descriptive writing may have also played a role in her figuring out where to focus for her first genre piece?  I admire that she was able to find time to do some personal reading for enjoyment and within that time have an "a ha" moment of which direction to move towards with her first genre piece.

Hicks states that writers write to be read (p.82).  As I read that statement pertaining to this particular blog entry I find myself wondering, do writers write to be read?  I know that having a purpose and an audience is essential for ones writing process, but I am having a hard time finding that with blogging.  I feel as though I like to write for me, is this something I was taught?  Is it because no one can judge my writing besides me if I am the only audience.

 Like Alsye I have had my struggles with blogging, for me however the reasons are different.  I am struggling with the fact that my writing will forever be somewhere and at any moment can be viewed from a variety of different people.  Hicks mentions that when students are responsible for their own writing they feel more engaged in the process (p. 82).  When and how does this happen?  I mostly struggle to feel engaged while writing my blogs.  It really isn't the topics that aren't engaged because we mostly have the freedom to write about any topic pertaining to class.  I continue to ask myself what is it and why is this such a difficult assignment for me?

Hicks, T. (2009). The digital writing workshop. Portsmouth, NH: Heinemann.

Tuesday, March 19, 2013

Entry #7 Google Sites and Publishing

Technology is scary!  There are so many confusing questions but so many undiscovered places in which it can take you.  I am learning the key to technology is pure exploration.  Discovering all of these new ways in which technology can be incorporated into the classroom,  makes me wonder how many of my past teachers/professors were as scared as I was about learning unfamiliar ground.  It truly is amazing how much is out there for educators to incorporate into their classrooms.

Last class we learned about creating our own google site.  This was yet another new form of technology for me to learn about.  Although I am still learning about my google site page I am really looking forward to the end result.  I'm hoping to learn different ways to incorporate something like this in a future classroom.  I definitely think something such as a google site would be beneficial for students to learn about as well as use. 

According to Tompkins, publishing motivates them to improve their writing because they know they'll share it with a real audience.  This statement specifically stuck with me because we were recently talking about this in clinic.  We give students writing prompts that don't even necessarily pertain to anything we are talking about.  It's a topic way out in left field and we are asking them to write only for us.  I am their only audience.  It's pretty absurd if you really take the time and think about it.  Why would a child want to write about something they really don't care about when I am going to be the only person reading it?  They don't!  Finding a real audience as well as a real purpose is what will ultimately motivate the child.  In my next lesson I was thinking about just giving my student a chance to just have time do to a free write.  My biggest fear, what if he says he doesn't want to write or has nothing to write about?  Well I guess I will tell him that's something to write about, write about having nothing to write about.  It is an interesting balancing act when trying to figure out what works best and what doesn't.  I do agree with Tompkins that when a child have a real audience that in turn motivates them to write.  However I wonder in situations such as clinic how do you incorporate a real audience to motivate the writer?

Tuesday, March 5, 2013

Entry #6 Responding to Students Writing

After class, I was thinking about all of the different discussions we had in reference to Nancy Sommers article, Responding to Student Writing.  Initially I never really looked into this issue in its entirety.  I now realize there is much more invested in a topic such as this rather than what you only choose to see on the surface.

I personally am the type of student that never wants my paper read by ANYONE until it’s time to be handed in.  I can’t think of a specific example that in turn makes me feel this way, however I do believe that I must’ve come across some negative writing experiences to want to be so closed off from different writing experiences.

I feel as though I have grown tremendously in my writing in general as well as within the writing process throughout my time as a graduate student.  In certain classes we have used RAGS which made me more comfortable with sharing my writing because of the anonymity with this process.  I also feel as though I have been given more tools throughout the writing process to be able to grow as an individual writer and not feel so “judged”.

In Sommers article she states that written comments need to be a means for helping students to become more effective writers.  I feel as though it could only serve as beneficial to read through a student’s paper one full time before writing any comments down.  As teachers we need to make sure we are seeing the writing piece as a whole and not just word by word, sentence by sentence, or one error after the next.  If we take the time to see the writers view with a thorough read through to begin with, it will help us as teachers to know what type of information can be useful for the writer, and what they need to get to the next level.  By doing this I feel as though it will help me to not write down every little thought that may confuse the writer even more.  I have also come to the conclusion that writing is a creative process and I may write comments on a student’s paper and they may edit it and when I read it again I may still be confused.

Sommers, N. (1982). Responding to student writing. College Composition and

Communication, 33(2), 148-156.