Writing Theory and Practice 2015-10-05 15:50:00

          The first thing I said to myself when reading “Responding to Student Writing” by Nancy Sommers is teachers spend all that time on papers but some of that time fails to be reflected. This article served as evidence for my thoughts. Nancy Sommers’s article ended up showing the downside or ineffectiveness of teachers’ comments. The article highlights how some comments are basically pointless.
            Continuing, I learned the importance of a person or place that helps students beyond grammar corrections, and I further see how important effective communication is. I thought about my own papers. I also thought about an article read in my writing center class entitled “Minimalist Tutoring: Making the Student Do All the Work” by Jeff Brooks. Jeff Brooks was advocating writing centers that help students by engaging in techniques that removes grammar among other things from the equation. At first, I was a little reluctant. As I read more articles and my understanding of the approach increased, I now feel differently. “Responding to Student Writing” makes me appreciate or value the teachers in my life who were specific more. I would rather feel overwhelmed with a lot to do than have a teacher who did not care what I did or wanted me to figure everything out.


            Furthermore, when reading “On Reflection” by Yancey I never realized how many different understandings and viewpoints can be established just from hearing the word reflection. But, I understood how several of those definitions can be used to describe the term. I loved the statement “reflection makes possible a new kind of learning as well as a new kind of teaching” (Yancey 8). I agree with this quote and it makes me think about what reflection has done for me. Yancey's article makes me appreciate reflection so much more.


Final Project Comments
I’m leaning more towards the Handbook for Writers. I would like to discuss the co-written publication a little more. I also hope our conversation will lead into a discussion about the mock syllabi with lesson plans. Since I have an interest in becoming a teacher, this will give me an opportunity to learn how to do a lesson plan.

Writing Theory and Practice 2015-10-05 15:50:00

          The first thing I said to myself when reading “Responding to Student Writing” by Nancy Sommers is teachers spend all that time on papers but some of that time fails to be reflected. This article served as evidence for my thoughts. Nancy Sommers’s article ended up showing the downside or ineffectiveness of teachers’ comments. The article highlights how some comments are basically pointless.
            Continuing, I learned the importance of a person or place that helps students beyond grammar corrections, and I further see how important effective communication is. I thought about my own papers. I also thought about an article read in my writing center class entitled “Minimalist Tutoring: Making the Student Do All the Work” by Jeff Brooks. Jeff Brooks was advocating writing centers that help students by engaging in techniques that removes grammar among other things from the equation. At first, I was a little reluctant. As I read more articles and my understanding of the approach increased, I now feel differently. “Responding to Student Writing” makes me appreciate or value the teachers in my life who were specific more. I would rather feel overwhelmed with a lot to do than have a teacher who did not care what I did or wanted me to figure everything out.


            Furthermore, when reading “On Reflection” by Yancey I never realized how many different understandings and viewpoints can be established just from hearing the word reflection. But, I understood how several of those definitions can be used to describe the term. I loved the statement “reflection makes possible a new kind of learning as well as a new kind of teaching” (Yancey 8). I agree with this quote and it makes me think about what reflection has done for me. Yancey's article makes me appreciate reflection so much more.


Final Project Comments
I’m leaning more towards the Handbook for Writers. I would like to discuss the co-written publication a little more. I also hope our conversation will lead into a discussion about the mock syllabi with lesson plans. Since I have an interest in becoming a teacher, this will give me an opportunity to learn how to do a lesson plan.

blog 2

Again, I went a little overboard and wrote a lot. These are my thoughts on "Responding to Student Writing." I wrote a lot about this primarily because this is a subject I'm very interested in as well as something I'm very concerned about.

                                                             ____________


"it takes...at least 20 to 40 minutes to comment..." Right away, I relate to this. I often edit papers for friends, and I can say each time I review something, it takes me an hour without fail. Most of this is because I am commenting on their paper. Not even correcting things, as most of the time the paper needs little-to-no correcting.

“most widely used method…it is the least understood” this reminds me of a paper I wrote on teacher comments on student papers, and this is, unfortunately, very accurate. Many times a teacher’s instructions are unclear because they are limited by physical space (on the paper itself) and time.
“helping our students become more effective writers” what I learned from researching this topic is that the most effective way to help a student is to make suggestions /pose questions, instead of throwing around corrections. The example I often reference is the differences between comments like “too vague” compared to comments like, “What do you mean by this?” For one, the question this (ironically) more direct and therefore more constructive; it guides the student towards rethinking the wording, and lets them know that the sentence doesn’t work, but allows them the freedom to fix it themselves. Whereas “too vague” itself is too vague to be helpful because students are often left wondering, “why is it too vague?” It also insinuates that the student has failed to be clear enough, or a poor writer. “What do you mean by this?” is not only less condescending, but also implies that the fault is not (completely) on the student, and gently/subtly encourages them to reconsider and revise their words.

“communicated our ideas” this is what writing is, a medium for us to communicate our ideas, not a mold to fit our ideas into.

“dramatize the presence of the reader” interesting, since I feel that students are sometimes overly aware of the audience—the audience being the teacher, that is.

“become that questioning reader themselves” interesting way to see the writer. It is true that, once we learn this predictive skill as writers, we kind of shift role from “writer” to “audience member”. It seems as if we writers become our own audience, and our writing becomes a description of what we, as audience members, would like to see. Possibly even from other writers, not just what we envision for our own writing.

“believe that it is necessary…to offer assistance” does this imply that assistance is not actually needed? The use of ‘believe’ is interesting, and almost implies that perhaps a teacher’s commenting stems from an egotistical root?

“in the process of composing a text” again about the process, not the final product.
“comments create the motive” interesting, since students are often discouraged by comments
“as the theory predicts they should?” they do not; the theory is flawed due to poor execution.
“hostility and mean-spiritedness” surprising to hear; I, personally, never came across a teacher whose comments were intentionally mean, or even seemingly so.

“their own purposes in writing…teacher’s purpose in commenting” interesting shift of attention.
“make the changes the teacher wants” writing now becomes about the product.
“tell me what you want me to do” shows how writing is also (or primarily) about the grade, not what the student wants to say. It also shows how students rely on comments to achieve the desired grade, not to improve the quality of their writing.

“still needs to develop the meaning” interesting how the text is already, according to the teacher, finalized but the meaning is not even close to done yet. A disturbing contrast on the teacher’s part. Although I can see how such a discontinuous message could occur, I believe it is the teacher’s job to make sure their instructions are clear and consistent. Reading the sample comments of the “super bowl” paper actually got me annoyed, and I disagreed with some of the corrections. “One explanation is that people” is not “awkward,” especially if the writer is as young as the text implies (grade school, in my estimation). Also “another what?” is an unnecessary correction; the previous sentence started with “one reason,” and was followed by “another”. The “reason” was implied, I think. I think the teacher not only undermines the student with this, but also undermines the reader a bit (although I am torn, because I feel the teachers in our class will say this teacher was trying to teach their student a lesson in specifics, which is important). However, this is where a suggestion would be preferable: “this sentence works as is, but maybe getting more specific would make it stronger?” Also, the “be specific—what reasons?” is kind of stupid (sorry), in my opinion, because it seems like the student is setting themselves up to explain some of the reasons in the following sentences.

“an inherent reason” making it about the product. Not only does it completely disregard the process, but it also undermines the purpose of the writing. If you’re not writing to communicate a message, why write at all (“trivial activity” indeed)?

“their texts are not improved substantially” this is true. I never noticed this before. Perhaps they are improved in only the most technical of senses.

“do not take the risk of changing anything that was not commented on” I’ve done this.

"trained to read...for literary...meaning" true, especially when you consider that "English (literature)" and "writing" are often seen as two separate fields, and have been for a while. So of course there might be some trouble transferring one skill set to another area. Dr. Zamora herself has admitted to something similar this in class (how she took the lit track, and this is her first writing kind of course).

"a way for teachers to satisfy themselves" DAMN. Sommers is calling teachers out on their
 nonsense. It is true, I think, that some teachers actually do get lazy and end up saying, "hey, I did my job, it's not my fault if you can't get a good grade. I already told you what to do." And many times, I think that mentality manifests itself through comments.

Final thoughts: I liked this article very much, although the sample comments made me SO ANGRY. I can only imagine how unhelpful these are to students, especially ones that are not very strong writers (yet) and are in need of serious guidance (guidance that the teachers are failing to provide). I also thought it was interesting how you could copy and paste (so to speak) teachers’ comments from one document to the next. While reading this, a consistent thought ran through my head: while editing the papers of others, have I commented this way? Am I guilty of this? I like to think no, but now I am evermore aware of how vital commenting can be. This article makes me excited to grade papers, so that I might be the helpful instructor that my students may not have come across yet. 

blog 2

Again, I went a little overboard and wrote a lot. These are my thoughts on "Responding to Student Writing." I wrote a lot about this primarily because this is a subject I'm very interested in as well as something I'm very concerned about.

                                                             ____________


"it takes...at least 20 to 40 minutes to comment..." Right away, I relate to this. I often edit papers for friends, and I can say each time I review something, it takes me an hour without fail. Most of this is because I am commenting on their paper. Not even correcting things, as most of the time the paper needs little-to-no correcting.

“most widely used method…it is the least understood” this reminds me of a paper I wrote on teacher comments on student papers, and this is, unfortunately, very accurate. Many times a teacher’s instructions are unclear because they are limited by physical space (on the paper itself) and time.
“helping our students become more effective writers” what I learned from researching this topic is that the most effective way to help a student is to make suggestions /pose questions, instead of throwing around corrections. The example I often reference is the differences between comments like “too vague” compared to comments like, “What do you mean by this?” For one, the question this (ironically) more direct and therefore more constructive; it guides the student towards rethinking the wording, and lets them know that the sentence doesn’t work, but allows them the freedom to fix it themselves. Whereas “too vague” itself is too vague to be helpful because students are often left wondering, “why is it too vague?” It also insinuates that the student has failed to be clear enough, or a poor writer. “What do you mean by this?” is not only less condescending, but also implies that the fault is not (completely) on the student, and gently/subtly encourages them to reconsider and revise their words.

“communicated our ideas” this is what writing is, a medium for us to communicate our ideas, not a mold to fit our ideas into.

“dramatize the presence of the reader” interesting, since I feel that students are sometimes overly aware of the audience—the audience being the teacher, that is.

“become that questioning reader themselves” interesting way to see the writer. It is true that, once we learn this predictive skill as writers, we kind of shift role from “writer” to “audience member”. It seems as if we writers become our own audience, and our writing becomes a description of what we, as audience members, would like to see. Possibly even from other writers, not just what we envision for our own writing.

“believe that it is necessary…to offer assistance” does this imply that assistance is not actually needed? The use of ‘believe’ is interesting, and almost implies that perhaps a teacher’s commenting stems from an egotistical root?

“in the process of composing a text” again about the process, not the final product.
“comments create the motive” interesting, since students are often discouraged by comments
“as the theory predicts they should?” they do not; the theory is flawed due to poor execution.
“hostility and mean-spiritedness” surprising to hear; I, personally, never came across a teacher whose comments were intentionally mean, or even seemingly so.

“their own purposes in writing…teacher’s purpose in commenting” interesting shift of attention.
“make the changes the teacher wants” writing now becomes about the product.
“tell me what you want me to do” shows how writing is also (or primarily) about the grade, not what the student wants to say. It also shows how students rely on comments to achieve the desired grade, not to improve the quality of their writing.

“still needs to develop the meaning” interesting how the text is already, according to the teacher, finalized but the meaning is not even close to done yet. A disturbing contrast on the teacher’s part. Although I can see how such a discontinuous message could occur, I believe it is the teacher’s job to make sure their instructions are clear and consistent. Reading the sample comments of the “super bowl” paper actually got me annoyed, and I disagreed with some of the corrections. “One explanation is that people” is not “awkward,” especially if the writer is as young as the text implies (grade school, in my estimation). Also “another what?” is an unnecessary correction; the previous sentence started with “one reason,” and was followed by “another”. The “reason” was implied, I think. I think the teacher not only undermines the student with this, but also undermines the reader a bit (although I am torn, because I feel the teachers in our class will say this teacher was trying to teach their student a lesson in specifics, which is important). However, this is where a suggestion would be preferable: “this sentence works as is, but maybe getting more specific would make it stronger?” Also, the “be specific—what reasons?” is kind of stupid (sorry), in my opinion, because it seems like the student is setting themselves up to explain some of the reasons in the following sentences.

“an inherent reason” making it about the product. Not only does it completely disregard the process, but it also undermines the purpose of the writing. If you’re not writing to communicate a message, why write at all (“trivial activity” indeed)?

“their texts are not improved substantially” this is true. I never noticed this before. Perhaps they are improved in only the most technical of senses.

“do not take the risk of changing anything that was not commented on” I’ve done this.

"trained to read...for literary...meaning" true, especially when you consider that "English (literature)" and "writing" are often seen as two separate fields, and have been for a while. So of course there might be some trouble transferring one skill set to another area. Dr. Zamora herself has admitted to something similar this in class (how she took the lit track, and this is her first writing kind of course).

"a way for teachers to satisfy themselves" DAMN. Sommers is calling teachers out on their
 nonsense. It is true, I think, that some teachers actually do get lazy and end up saying, "hey, I did my job, it's not my fault if you can't get a good grade. I already told you what to do." And many times, I think that mentality manifests itself through comments.

Final thoughts: I liked this article very much, although the sample comments made me SO ANGRY. I can only imagine how unhelpful these are to students, especially ones that are not very strong writers (yet) and are in need of serious guidance (guidance that the teachers are failing to provide). I also thought it was interesting how you could copy and paste (so to speak) teachers’ comments from one document to the next. While reading this, a consistent thought ran through my head: while editing the papers of others, have I commented this way? Am I guilty of this? I like to think no, but now I am evermore aware of how vital commenting can be. This article makes me excited to grade papers, so that I might be the helpful instructor that my students may not have come across yet. 

Writing Theory and Practice 2015-10-05 14:58:00


The first thing I said to myself when reading “Responding to Student Writing” by Nancy Sommers is teachers spend all that time on papers but some of that time fails to be reflected. This article served as evidence for my thoughts. Nancy Sommers’s article ended up showing the downside or ineffectiveness of teachers’ comments. The article highlights how some comments are basically pointless.

            Continuing, I learned the importance of a person or place that helps students beyond grammar corrections, and I further see how important effective communication is. I thought about my own papers. I also thought about an article read in my writing center class entitled “Minimalist Tutoring: Making the Student Do All the Work” by Jeff Brooks. Jeff Brooks was advocating writing centers that help students by engaging in techniques that removes grammar among other things from the equation. At first, I was a little reluctant. As I read more articles and my understanding of the approach increased, I now feel differently. “Responding to Student Writing” makes me appreciate or value the teachers in my life who were specific more. I would rather feel overwhelmed with a lot to do than have a teacher who did not care what I did or wanted me to figure everything out.

            Furthermore, when reading “On Reflection” by Yancey I never realized how many different understandings and viewpoints can be established just from hearing the word reflection. But, I understood how several of those definitions can be used to describe the term. I loved the statement “reflection makes possible a new kind of learning as well as a new kind of teaching” (Yancey 8). I agree with this quote and it makes me think about what reflection has done for me. Yancey's article makes me appreciate reflection so much more.

Final Project Comments

I’m leaning more towards the Handbook for Writers. I would like to discuss the co-written publication a little more. I also hope our conversation will lead into a discussion about the mock syllabi with lesson plans. Since I have an interest in becoming a teacher, this will give me an opportunity to learn how to do a lesson plan.

Writing Theory and Practice 2015-10-05 14:58:00


The first thing I said to myself when reading “Responding to Student Writing” by Nancy Sommers is teachers spend all that time on papers but some of that time fails to be reflected. This article served as evidence for my thoughts. Nancy Sommers’s article ended up showing the downside or ineffectiveness of teachers’ comments. The article highlights how some comments are basically pointless.

            Continuing, I learned the importance of a person or place that helps students beyond grammar corrections, and I further see how important effective communication is. I thought about my own papers. I also thought about an article read in my writing center class entitled “Minimalist Tutoring: Making the Student Do All the Work” by Jeff Brooks. Jeff Brooks was advocating writing centers that help students by engaging in techniques that removes grammar among other things from the equation. At first, I was a little reluctant. As I read more articles and my understanding of the approach increased, I now feel differently. “Responding to Student Writing” makes me appreciate or value the teachers in my life who were specific more. I would rather feel overwhelmed with a lot to do than have a teacher who did not care what I did or wanted me to figure everything out.

            Furthermore, when reading “On Reflection” by Yancey I never realized how many different understandings and viewpoints can be established just from hearing the word reflection. But, I understood how several of those definitions can be used to describe the term. I loved the statement “reflection makes possible a new kind of learning as well as a new kind of teaching” (Yancey 8). I agree with this quote and it makes me think about what reflection has done for me. Yancey's article makes me appreciate reflection so much more.

Final Project Comments

I’m leaning more towards the Handbook for Writers. I would like to discuss the co-written publication a little more. I also hope our conversation will lead into a discussion about the mock syllabi with lesson plans. Since I have an interest in becoming a teacher, this will give me an opportunity to learn how to do a lesson plan.

Final Project Thoughts

It’s always been in my nature to want to do something a little different--something that’s never been done before.  Sorry for the very late post but I needed one more night to let the thoughts settle down in my head.  I am fine with the handbook, should we all decide on that as our final project.  However, I was thinking about our discussions and readings and thought it might be awesome to try something different.  My idea stems from a few things, one being that I have come to believe that one of the most important things we, as writing teachers, can do is to write with our students.  Also, it can be said that there is a fine line between genius and insanity.  Lastly, in light of the prevalence of conflicting theories about how best to teach writing and what constitutes good writing, I feel that it is time to break all the so-called “rules” and see what happens.  Let’s be the guinea pigs in an anti-theory writing experiment.  Let’s write with passion about topics we care about without regard for the commonly-accepted structure and format.  More than just that, let’s break the “rules” of what’s expected on purpose, consciously.  let’s write an argument essay with 2 paragraphs and the thesis at the end.  Let’s compose a narrative with a speech-to-text program and see what’s produced.  Let’s ignore all punctuation and grammar rules in hopes of eliciting deeper meaning from our piece.  Why not?  At the end of the day, isn’t “good writing” something that speaks to the individual in a way that nothing else before has?  Teaching our students to think and convey meaning, I believe, are at the heart of what writing really is.  So, let’s do something slightly insane and see what happens…..

I took a film writing class in college and we learned the expected format and studies Good Will Hunting as a perfect example of the story arc of a film.  Then, Pulp Fiction was released and had everyone thinking about what makes for a good movie.

"Pulp Fiction was almost like a Picasso painting. It broke all the rules. It was out of sequence," Sea explained. "Travolta's character dies in the middle of the film and then comes back ... and it just kind of works in a way that I don't think anyone, including Quentin, expected."

The film industry has never been the same…..

Final Project Thoughts

It’s always been in my nature to want to do something a little different--something that’s never been done before.  Sorry for the very late post but I needed one more night to let the thoughts settle down in my head.  I am fine with the handbook, should we all decide on that as our final project.  However, I was thinking about our discussions and readings and thought it might be awesome to try something different.  My idea stems from a few things, one being that I have come to believe that one of the most important things we, as writing teachers, can do is to write with our students.  Also, it can be said that there is a fine line between genius and insanity.  Lastly, in light of the prevalence of conflicting theories about how best to teach writing and what constitutes good writing, I feel that it is time to break all the so-called “rules” and see what happens.  Let’s be the guinea pigs in an anti-theory writing experiment.  Let’s write with passion about topics we care about without regard for the commonly-accepted structure and format.  More than just that, let’s break the “rules” of what’s expected on purpose, consciously.  let’s write an argument essay with 2 paragraphs and the thesis at the end.  Let’s compose a narrative with a speech-to-text program and see what’s produced.  Let’s ignore all punctuation and grammar rules in hopes of eliciting deeper meaning from our piece.  Why not?  At the end of the day, isn’t “good writing” something that speaks to the individual in a way that nothing else before has?  Teaching our students to think and convey meaning, I believe, are at the heart of what writing really is.  So, let’s do something slightly insane and see what happens…..

I took a film writing class in college and we learned the expected format and studies Good Will Hunting as a perfect example of the story arc of a film.  Then, Pulp Fiction was released and had everyone thinking about what makes for a good movie.

"Pulp Fiction was almost like a Picasso painting. It broke all the rules. It was out of sequence," Sea explained. "Travolta's character dies in the middle of the film and then comes back ... and it just kind of works in a way that I don't think anyone, including Quentin, expected."

The film industry has never been the same…..

Blog 2: A Response to Sommers and Yancey


Sommers and "Responding to Student Writing":

In “Responding to Student Writing”, Nancy Sommers addresses the issue of teacher’s comments on student’s writing. She mentions that comments are the most used but least understood method for response. The purpose of comments is to motivate a student to revise their work or do something different for the next assignment, yet Sommers feels that vague or confusing comments do not lead to the constructive criticism that a student needs in order to improve.    

Sommers conducted a year-long study that led to two interesting findings concerning teacher’s comments on student’s papers. The first is that commentary can take attention away from a student’s purpose in writing and turn the attention toward the teacher’s purpose in commenting. This means that when a student reads comments and prepares to revise a paper, they oftentimes make changes that the teacher wants, not changes that they, as the writer, deem necessary.

Next, Sommers looks at how commentary can become confusing to a student. Sometimes interlinear comments and marginal comments are contradictory. A student is being told to edit and develop new material at the same time.

Sommers’s second finding is that most comments are not text specific and can be interchangeable. Here is where we see such comments as: “think about your audience”, “avoid the passive”, and “be clear”. These are no more than generalities and abstract demands; there is no specific advice or strategies being offered to the student. In this case, revision becomes a guessing game.

The challenge then, Sommers writes, is to give reason for revision; show the student his or her potential for development; be specific. She goes on to mention that the problem most likely arises due to poor training. Teachers, for the most part, are not trained in response to students during teacher-training and writing workshops. According to Sommers, “The problem is that most of us as teachers of writing have been trained to read and interpret literary texts for meaning, but, unfortunately, we have not been trained to act upon the same set of assumptions in reading student texts as we follow in reading literary texts”. Therefore, when reading a student’s work, we read with a bias and that bias determines how we comprehend what is being read. Changes must be made in the way that teachers are trained and the way that teachers comment on student work. To not make such changes would be doing a disservice to teachers and students alike.

 

Yancey “On Reflection”:

In “On Reflection”, Yancey focuses her interest on reflection as “a means of going beyond the text to include a sense of the ongoing conversations that text enters into”. She calls for a using student talk differently so that students can participate as agents of their own learning.

After reading the article, this is what I learned about reflection:

·         It is self-assessment which is oriented to the gap between intention and accomplishment.

·         It entails projection or goal setting.

·         Reflection, according to Yancey is “the process by which we know what we have accomplished and by which we articulate accomplishment” and, it is also “the product of those processes.

·         Its purpose is to provide insight.

·         Reflection provides a means of bringing practice and theory together.

·         It is habitual and learned.

·         Reflection requires both kinds of thinking: scientific and spontaneous.

·         Language is critical for reflection.

·         Finding the “problem” is a key feature and is also the first critical step.

·         Reflection is a social process, but is also an individual one.

·         Reflection is rhetorical: “by reflecting on our work, we theorize our own practices” and we come to know, understand, and improve our work.

·         It is both a process and a product.

·         Reflection is “not only aside the drafts, but within them”.

 

On the Final Project:

I missed class last week, but after looking over the collaborative notes I feel that I would be most interested in working on the writer’s handbook. I agree that it might be better to write for teachers. I also think that I would prefer to have an analog version.

Blog 2: A Response to Sommers and Yancey


Sommers and "Responding to Student Writing":

In “Responding to Student Writing”, Nancy Sommers addresses the issue of teacher’s comments on student’s writing. She mentions that comments are the most used but least understood method for response. The purpose of comments is to motivate a student to revise their work or do something different for the next assignment, yet Sommers feels that vague or confusing comments do not lead to the constructive criticism that a student needs in order to improve.    

Sommers conducted a year-long study that led to two interesting findings concerning teacher’s comments on student’s papers. The first is that commentary can take attention away from a student’s purpose in writing and turn the attention toward the teacher’s purpose in commenting. This means that when a student reads comments and prepares to revise a paper, they oftentimes make changes that the teacher wants, not changes that they, as the writer, deem necessary.

Next, Sommers looks at how commentary can become confusing to a student. Sometimes interlinear comments and marginal comments are contradictory. A student is being told to edit and develop new material at the same time.

Sommers’s second finding is that most comments are not text specific and can be interchangeable. Here is where we see such comments as: “think about your audience”, “avoid the passive”, and “be clear”. These are no more than generalities and abstract demands; there is no specific advice or strategies being offered to the student. In this case, revision becomes a guessing game.

The challenge then, Sommers writes, is to give reason for revision; show the student his or her potential for development; be specific. She goes on to mention that the problem most likely arises due to poor training. Teachers, for the most part, are not trained in response to students during teacher-training and writing workshops. According to Sommers, “The problem is that most of us as teachers of writing have been trained to read and interpret literary texts for meaning, but, unfortunately, we have not been trained to act upon the same set of assumptions in reading student texts as we follow in reading literary texts”. Therefore, when reading a student’s work, we read with a bias and that bias determines how we comprehend what is being read. Changes must be made in the way that teachers are trained and the way that teachers comment on student work. To not make such changes would be doing a disservice to teachers and students alike.

 

Yancey “On Reflection”:

In “On Reflection”, Yancey focuses her interest on reflection as “a means of going beyond the text to include a sense of the ongoing conversations that text enters into”. She calls for a using student talk differently so that students can participate as agents of their own learning.

After reading the article, this is what I learned about reflection:

·         It is self-assessment which is oriented to the gap between intention and accomplishment.

·         It entails projection or goal setting.

·         Reflection, according to Yancey is “the process by which we know what we have accomplished and by which we articulate accomplishment” and, it is also “the product of those processes.

·         Its purpose is to provide insight.

·         Reflection provides a means of bringing practice and theory together.

·         It is habitual and learned.

·         Reflection requires both kinds of thinking: scientific and spontaneous.

·         Language is critical for reflection.

·         Finding the “problem” is a key feature and is also the first critical step.

·         Reflection is a social process, but is also an individual one.

·         Reflection is rhetorical: “by reflecting on our work, we theorize our own practices” and we come to know, understand, and improve our work.

·         It is both a process and a product.

·         Reflection is “not only aside the drafts, but within them”.

 

On the Final Project:

I missed class last week, but after looking over the collaborative notes I feel that I would be most interested in working on the writer’s handbook. I agree that it might be better to write for teachers. I also think that I would prefer to have an analog version.