This blog served as a direct learning opportunity for me over the past few months. Looking back at the Student Learning Outcomes given to us on the first day of class, many jumped out at me…
Students will gain knowledge and competency with regards to:
1. the variety of genres that readers and writers use to communicate
2. the role of purpose and audience in writing and reading and the rhetorical voices used to address the desired purpose(s) and audience(s).
3. the historical and contemporary theoretical models of reading and writing, including new literacy theories of reading and writing.
4. the relationship between the writing and reading process.
5. the role of metacognition in writing proficiency and reading comprehension
This blog served as a learning experience with a very specific audience and purpose. Most writing tasks I have participated in are formal, with only my professor as my audience. This writing task allowed me to take on my own role as a learner and speak informally while reflecting within that role. My audience was also my peers, which was directed by the bless, address, and press posts we did as well as commenting on others’ blogs. This is my most natural voice and purpose, and although at the surface level these posts seemed like easy tasks, I put more thoughts, effort, and reflection into them than I have most essays, reflections, papers, etc. it was a way for me to take surface level responses and reflect on many modes of reading and writing as well as make connections between others, my classroom, texts we were reading, presentations we were part of, etc. this blog served as a well rounded approach for me to make connections beyond this course itself as well as my current teaching position. The metacognition I used while creating this blog was not necessarily a new task, but connecting those thoughts to produce writing was. I often spend time reflecting on what I have learned and how I can relate it to other aspects of my life, however, this if the first time I was forced to make those connections and then go the extra step and publish them with a personal, natural voice.
I was also able to meet the student learning outcomes by experimenting with my knowledge of genres that are used to communicate through writing. Almost every week, I engaged in the reading process to keep up on reading assignments, and then used the writing process to make connections between concepts understood while reading. If I was not writing to make those connections and form new relationships between genres the information would not be as concrete and relatable as it is right now. I honestly feel I am able to take every piece of information we have engaged in during this course and relate it to my 5 and 6 year old students! Never before have I been able to use everything, or tailor everything, to meet the needs of myself, my classroom, and my students.
Although when I first started writing this post (as noted above) I felt that the first 5 objectives really stood out to me and I have made gains in my understanding of them. However, rereading the last 2, I realize that this blog has also helped me to better understand how to assess reading and writing assignments that are ‘less traditional’ or that incorporate more technology than I am used to. I learned that assessment can be student or peer driven, such as the post I am completing right now. I am assessing my own understandings by rereading posts, going back to student outcomes, and reading and reflecting on student comments. This post probably serves Dr. Jones as STRONG indicator in determining student writing proficiency. I have been able to assess my own reflection, as well as peers have been able to read and press my writing, all with a natural, personable voice. This blog has opened my eyes to a whole new world of writing, and has allowed me to make connections and reflect on things I would have never even noticed otherwise.