Creating a New Environment 2016-10-24 19:56:00

Eng. 5020

Dr. Zamora

Writing Theory & Practice

Blog 4

 

“Pass and Future Writing Processes.”

 

New century progresses to new lessons to learn.  Scholars are weighing in on suggested changes on the teachings of writing.  They have engaged in a ” suggestive picture of large- scale changes on the discipline by looking at two volumes published twenty years apart, each designed to introduce novices to alternate ways to teach college writing” attempting to improve student’s writing skills. It is totally clear that the “paradigm shift “is increasing the evaluation of the process. Most of the “scholarly bibliography surveys” can improve some students writing. Cultural studies is being promoted by many scholars. Although ” most scholars who examine a CCS course ethnographically or narrate such a course of their own go out of their way to say the teachers are careful not to indoctrinate students. Students are “free” to write their papers from any perspective they choose. They have only to make a thoughtful case for their position” to earn passing grade. (Fulkerson)

I am a huge fan of expressionism it “places writers in the center, articulates it’s theory, and develops its pedagogical by assigning highest value to the writer and her imaginative,  psychological, social, and spiritual development and how that development influences individual consciousness and social behavior. Expressivist pedagogy employs freewriting, journal keeping, reflective writing, and small group dialogic collaborative response to foster a writer’s aesthetic, cognitive, and moral development. Expressivist pedagogy encourages, even insist upon, a sense of writer presence even in research-based writing. This presence-“voice” or ethos whether explicit, implicit, or absent, function as a key evaluation criterion when Expressivist examine writing” I totally agree with Faulkner. Expressionism also engages the passion in the writer allowing them to reflect on their “greater self-awareness greater insight, increased creativity, or therapeutic clarification of some sort” resulting in great writing.

Great writers also need to consider their readers it “compels readers to listen seriously” encouraging them to read more of their writings.

The teachings of writing according to the teacher’s accumulative learnings. Student’s takeaways will be what they are comfortable with and agree will engage their students and freewriting skills. Although teachers will always encourage their process. All learnings has some benefits to some students.

Creating a New Environment 2016-10-24 19:56:00

Eng. 5020

Dr. Zamora

Writing Theory & Practice

Blog 4

 

“Pass and Future Writing Processes.”

 

New century progresses to new lessons to learn.  Scholars are weighing in on suggested changes on the teachings of writing.  They have engaged in a ” suggestive picture of large- scale changes on the discipline by looking at two volumes published twenty years apart, each designed to introduce novices to alternate ways to teach college writing” attempting to improve student’s writing skills. It is totally clear that the “paradigm shift “is increasing the evaluation of the process. Most of the “scholarly bibliography surveys” can improve some students writing. Cultural studies is being promoted by many scholars. Although ” most scholars who examine a CCS course ethnographically or narrate such a course of their own go out of their way to say the teachers are careful not to indoctrinate students. Students are “free” to write their papers from any perspective they choose. They have only to make a thoughtful case for their position” to earn passing grade. (Fulkerson)

I am a huge fan of expressionism it “places writers in the center, articulates it’s theory, and develops its pedagogical by assigning highest value to the writer and her imaginative,  psychological, social, and spiritual development and how that development influences individual consciousness and social behavior. Expressivist pedagogy employs freewriting, journal keeping, reflective writing, and small group dialogic collaborative response to foster a writer’s aesthetic, cognitive, and moral development. Expressivist pedagogy encourages, even insist upon, a sense of writer presence even in research-based writing. This presence-“voice” or ethos whether explicit, implicit, or absent, function as a key evaluation criterion when Expressivist examine writing” I totally agree with Faulkner. Expressionism also engages the passion in the writer allowing them to reflect on their “greater self-awareness greater insight, increased creativity, or therapeutic clarification of some sort” resulting in great writing.

Great writers also need to consider their readers it “compels readers to listen seriously” encouraging them to read more of their writings.

The teachings of writing according to the teacher’s accumulative learnings. Student’s takeaways will be what they are comfortable with and agree will engage their students and freewriting skills. Although teachers will always encourage their process. All learnings has some benefits to some students.

Creating a New Environment 2016-10-24 19:50:00

Eng. 5020

Dr. Zamora

Writing Theory & Practice 

Blog 3

                                                   “Writing Comments on Students’ Paper”



I am not a teacher. I have yet to experience the teachings of writing or having to comment on


student’s paper. Although I have experience the feelings of being “apologetic and vulnerable” when


handing in my paper to a teacher to be graded. I totally agree with the students’ reactions to their


teachers ” necessary short” comments on their papers.

 

I agree with Bean’s when he writes “to improve our techniques for commenting on our students’


papers then, we need to remember our purpose, which is to not point out everything wrong with the


paper but to facilitate improvement” when encouraging students. That purpose is not always


expressed by some educators.  I also agree with his writing regarding “to point out what the writer is


doing well. Positive comments build confidence and make the writer want to try again” which will be


 part of my teaching process. (Bean)



                                                              “Response to Writing”

A tracher’s  response is essential to the structure of most students final draft.  Comments that ”


suggest ways of making improvements ( Ferris, 2003). Second, they prefer comments that explain


why something is good or bad about their writing” to direct students in a   comfortable direction. (Beach, 1989)

From a students point of view structure and direction encourages creativity. 



To be given a writing assignment without any corrective comments on the first draft from the


educator leaves very little room for improvement and direction . I  agree that some ” students often


simply comply with what they perceive their teacher wants them to do in order to obtain a good


grade, although the teacher’s suggestions may  not help them improve their writing”  suggesting their


 lack of interest in being a writer. Fortunately peer review assist in correcting some concerns. Without


 the educator’s collaborative agreement on the first draft a student may become unsure of their final


draft.

Creating a New Environment 2016-10-24 19:50:00

Eng. 5020

Dr. Zamora

Writing Theory & Practice 

Blog 3

                                                   “Writing Comments on Students’ Paper”



I am not a teacher. I have yet to experience the teachings of writing or having to comment on


student’s paper. Although I have experience the feelings of being “apologetic and vulnerable” when


handing in my paper to a teacher to be graded. I totally agree with the students’ reactions to their


teachers ” necessary short” comments on their papers.

 

I agree with Bean’s when he writes “to improve our techniques for commenting on our students’


papers then, we need to remember our purpose, which is to not point out everything wrong with the


paper but to facilitate improvement” when encouraging students. That purpose is not always


expressed by some educators.  I also agree with his writing regarding “to point out what the writer is


doing well. Positive comments build confidence and make the writer want to try again” which will be


 part of my teaching process. (Bean)



                                                              “Response to Writing”

A tracher’s  response is essential to the structure of most students final draft.  Comments that ”


suggest ways of making improvements ( Ferris, 2003). Second, they prefer comments that explain


why something is good or bad about their writing” to direct students in a   comfortable direction. (Beach, 1989)

From a students point of view structure and direction encourages creativity. 



To be given a writing assignment without any corrective comments on the first draft from the


educator leaves very little room for improvement and direction . I  agree that some ” students often


simply comply with what they perceive their teacher wants them to do in order to obtain a good


grade, although the teacher’s suggestions may  not help them improve their writing”  suggesting their


 lack of interest in being a writer. Fortunately peer review assist in correcting some concerns. Without


 the educator’s collaborative agreement on the first draft a student may become unsure of their final


draft.

Creating a New Environment 2016-10-24 18:28:00

Eng. 5020

Dr. Zamora

Writing Theory & Practice 

Blog 5

 

 

“Evaluating Future Writers”

Did I get it right? Is one of the questions most students ask when they request someone to review their writings?  When we, the reviewers, review someone’s paper ” We do not know of any definitive way what constitutes thoughtful commentary or what effect, if any, our comments have on helping our students become more effective writers”  as we evaluate what may be their best work. The first draft definitely needs commenting on because it gives assurance to directions and structure. Without it a student may not be sure if he comprehended the directions correctly. So they rely on comments to “create the motive for doing something different in the next draft” with permission.  It also gives the student a choice of “which of these comments the students choose to use or to ignore when revising” their second draft or final paper.  Encouraged comments are is important   ”Without comments from readers, students assume that their writing has communicated their meaning and perceived no need for revising the substance of their text” and will turn in their paper with anxiety. Not confident of earning a good grade. I agree with Nancy Sommers when she writes ” There seems to be among teachers an accepted, albeit unwritten canon for commenting on student texts. This uniform code of commands, requests, and pleadings demonstrates that the teacher holds a license for vagueness while the student is commanded to be specific” regarding their instructions.

 

Passion is our voice! I agree with Peter Elbow when he writes “Voice is an important dimension of text and we should pay lots of attention to it. Everybody has a real voice and can write with power. Writing with a strong voice is good writing. Sincere writing is good writing. My voice is my true self and my rhetorical power” and I will always write my truth. Part of my truth is “The goal of teaching writing is to develop the self” by increasing my personal growth. Common knowledge is “To learn to speak or write better, we need also to work on being a better person” as we increase our writing skills.  Writing gives me a window to my soul and allows me to express myself. When I write I go on a journey to a peace place in my mind. I speak naturally which is why I think Peter makes a great point when writes “We can now see that a writer must disguise his art and give the impression of speaking naturally and not artificially. Naturalness is persuasive, artificially is the contrary; for our hearers are prejudiced and think we have some design against them” when we are only speaking our truth.




My idea for the group project is for everyone to write about a funny experience they had in college. I suggest that we post it on Facebook or twitter so other students can get a laugh when they are having a bad day. I think it will be great to lift someone’s spirit when they are trying to increase their personal growth.

Creating a New Environment 2016-10-24 18:28:00

Eng. 5020

Dr. Zamora

Writing Theory & Practice 

Blog 5

 

 

“Evaluating Future Writers”

Did I get it right? Is one of the questions most students ask when they request someone to review their writings?  When we, the reviewers, review someone’s paper ” We do not know of any definitive way what constitutes thoughtful commentary or what effect, if any, our comments have on helping our students become more effective writers”  as we evaluate what may be their best work. The first draft definitely needs commenting on because it gives assurance to directions and structure. Without it a student may not be sure if he comprehended the directions correctly. So they rely on comments to “create the motive for doing something different in the next draft” with permission.  It also gives the student a choice of “which of these comments the students choose to use or to ignore when revising” their second draft or final paper.  Encouraged comments are is important   ”Without comments from readers, students assume that their writing has communicated their meaning and perceived no need for revising the substance of their text” and will turn in their paper with anxiety. Not confident of earning a good grade. I agree with Nancy Sommers when she writes ” There seems to be among teachers an accepted, albeit unwritten canon for commenting on student texts. This uniform code of commands, requests, and pleadings demonstrates that the teacher holds a license for vagueness while the student is commanded to be specific” regarding their instructions.

 

Passion is our voice! I agree with Peter Elbow when he writes “Voice is an important dimension of text and we should pay lots of attention to it. Everybody has a real voice and can write with power. Writing with a strong voice is good writing. Sincere writing is good writing. My voice is my true self and my rhetorical power” and I will always write my truth. Part of my truth is “The goal of teaching writing is to develop the self” by increasing my personal growth. Common knowledge is “To learn to speak or write better, we need also to work on being a better person” as we increase our writing skills.  Writing gives me a window to my soul and allows me to express myself. When I write I go on a journey to a peace place in my mind. I speak naturally which is why I think Peter makes a great point when writes “We can now see that a writer must disguise his art and give the impression of speaking naturally and not artificially. Naturalness is persuasive, artificially is the contrary; for our hearers are prejudiced and think we have some design against them” when we are only speaking our truth.




My idea for the group project is for everyone to write about a funny experience they had in college. I suggest that we post it on Facebook or twitter so other students can get a laugh when they are having a bad day. I think it will be great to lift someone’s spirit when they are trying to increase their personal growth.

voice & our identities as writers

Both Peter Elbow’s “Voice in Writing Again” and Nancy Sommers’s “Responding to Student Writing” pair together in a way I don’t think I was initially expecting. At first, I thought it would be a more generic concept of how the voice is just an important aspect of writing, and that teachers should empathize with the fact that the student is exercising that voice. I thought it would be similar to what we heard a few weeks ago, with the idea of writing comments on students’ papers.
Instead, I was pleasantly surprised, mostly with Elbow’s article, in that the concept of voice becomes a multifaceted tool in the process of writing. Ultimately, you can either include or exclude it in a variety of ways to understand the significance of its presence and its influence in your writing. To add, voice as a physical construction can help communicate ideas of writing better, or even help to understand texts more. Overall, Elbow went through a variety of ways to think about voice in relationship to our identities as writers.

More specifically, I found the one passage about “attention to voice can help with reading” very intriguing, and I agree with Elbow wholeheartedly (178). By reading texts aloud, I feel like it forces you to understand it more and be actively involved in what it is saying, as opposed to playing a more passive role by listening to it. When reading, your brain tries to process and comprehend it more, because I believe that once it leaves your lips, those words temporarily “belong to you” – as such, you want to make sure they are true, authentic, and not vague or nonsensical to you. Consequently, it will help you “own” those words and convey the text, with your voice, to your audience, in such a way that you want them to understand exactly what it is you are trying to say. That active participation, then, creates this responsibility of “your words,” as you now have to “take ownership” of them for the class, especially if asked to explain later.

I also agreed with Elbow’s argument of ignoring voice being essential in teaching writing (181). While voice adds individualism to your paper and helps shape the argument and tone, it should not takeover your writing completely. If that happens, the paper then becomes overwhelmed with subjectivity, as opposed to a level of objectiveness needed for a student to write a “good” academic paper. Research, of course, needs to be done before you can even make a claim; then, once you logically reason your argument, you can let your voice through to highlight your paper, which can make it more powerful and authentic. 
Elbow’s ideas, then, can be paired with an understanding of Sommers’s article. Sommers essentially talks about the teacher’s voice when commenting on student papers, which can be described as harsh, vague, and overall confusing for the student. Additionally, Sommers also reflects on the fact that teachers do not, or maybe cannot, take the time to write insightful comments that work to develop the conversation of the students’ work even further. Instead, most comments are just written for the use of the student to use of a “final draft,” as opposed to an ongoing development and collaboration of their writing and ideas. We can see that voice, especially the tone, is not communicated in the responses to students’ writing. To add, the teacher’s vagueness becomes an issue as well, which is possibly related to the Aristotelian quote Elbow mentioned of, “It helps to be trustworthy; but if you’re skilled, fake it” (qtd. in 169). Teachers might use that leverage of authority to indirectly “help” their students, instead of being direct and explicit in how their writing could be improved. While they might not want to tell their students exactly “what to do” to produce a good paper, they use abstract language in hopes of “intellectually guiding” them to the best form of their paper – this mostly ends in frustration for the students, and could be seen as aloofness, even laziness, on the teacher’s part.
Additionally, I feel like Elbow’s ideas about voice can also translate into my own passion project for our Genius Hour. In particular, the idea of voice, especially in poetry, has always fascinated me. As Allen Ginsberg inquired, what do you tell your muse, and what do you tell your friends? Raw and authentic language straddles those lines, and that is what I personally find poetic (barring completely confessional poetry – that stuff is awful). I’m thinking of exploring those concepts further, as I think being personal and vulnerable with your audience is a significant part of my own poetics – that honesty is the connection I want to build with people who want to read my poetry. In my #whyIwrite contribution, it conveys that same sentiment:

voice & our identities as writers

Both Peter Elbow’s “Voice in Writing Again” and Nancy Sommers’s “Responding to Student Writing” pair together in a way I don’t think I was initially expecting. At first, I thought it would be a more generic concept of how the voice is just an important aspect of writing, and that teachers should empathize with the fact that the student is exercising that voice. I thought it would be similar to what we heard a few weeks ago, with the idea of writing comments on students’ papers.
Instead, I was pleasantly surprised, mostly with Elbow’s article, in that the concept of voice becomes a multifaceted tool in the process of writing. Ultimately, you can either include or exclude it in a variety of ways to understand the significance of its presence and its influence in your writing. To add, voice as a physical construction can help communicate ideas of writing better, or even help to understand texts more. Overall, Elbow went through a variety of ways to think about voice in relationship to our identities as writers.

More specifically, I found the one passage about “attention to voice can help with reading” very intriguing, and I agree with Elbow wholeheartedly (178). By reading texts aloud, I feel like it forces you to understand it more and be actively involved in what it is saying, as opposed to playing a more passive role by listening to it. When reading, your brain tries to process and comprehend it more, because I believe that once it leaves your lips, those words temporarily “belong to you” – as such, you want to make sure they are true, authentic, and not vague or nonsensical to you. Consequently, it will help you “own” those words and convey the text, with your voice, to your audience, in such a way that you want them to understand exactly what it is you are trying to say. That active participation, then, creates this responsibility of “your words,” as you now have to “take ownership” of them for the class, especially if asked to explain later.

I also agreed with Elbow’s argument of ignoring voice being essential in teaching writing (181). While voice adds individualism to your paper and helps shape the argument and tone, it should not takeover your writing completely. If that happens, the paper then becomes overwhelmed with subjectivity, as opposed to a level of objectiveness needed for a student to write a “good” academic paper. Research, of course, needs to be done before you can even make a claim; then, once you logically reason your argument, you can let your voice through to highlight your paper, which can make it more powerful and authentic. 
Elbow’s ideas, then, can be paired with an understanding of Sommers’s article. Sommers essentially talks about the teacher’s voice when commenting on student papers, which can be described as harsh, vague, and overall confusing for the student. Additionally, Sommers also reflects on the fact that teachers do not, or maybe cannot, take the time to write insightful comments that work to develop the conversation of the students’ work even further. Instead, most comments are just written for the use of the student to use of a “final draft,” as opposed to an ongoing development and collaboration of their writing and ideas. We can see that voice, especially the tone, is not communicated in the responses to students’ writing. To add, the teacher’s vagueness becomes an issue as well, which is possibly related to the Aristotelian quote Elbow mentioned of, “It helps to be trustworthy; but if you’re skilled, fake it” (qtd. in 169). Teachers might use that leverage of authority to indirectly “help” their students, instead of being direct and explicit in how their writing could be improved. While they might not want to tell their students exactly “what to do” to produce a good paper, they use abstract language in hopes of “intellectually guiding” them to the best form of their paper – this mostly ends in frustration for the students, and could be seen as aloofness, even laziness, on the teacher’s part.
Additionally, I feel like Elbow’s ideas about voice can also translate into my own passion project for our Genius Hour. In particular, the idea of voice, especially in poetry, has always fascinated me. As Allen Ginsberg inquired, what do you tell your muse, and what do you tell your friends? Raw and authentic language straddles those lines, and that is what I personally find poetic (barring completely confessional poetry – that stuff is awful). I’m thinking of exploring those concepts further, as I think being personal and vulnerable with your audience is a significant part of my own poetics – that honesty is the connection I want to build with people who want to read my poetry. In my #whyIwrite contribution, it conveys that same sentiment:

Finding our Voice-In Our Writing and In Our Comments

“Response to Student Writing”
By Nancy Sommers


“Check your commas and semi-colons and think more about what you are thinking about” (151).


I actually L.O.L.ed when I read this quote, referencing one teacher’s command to his student. I found it hysterical that we are continuing to see these types of comments on students papers and expecting high quality revisions from our students in return.


In this article, Sommers begins by stating that “teaching writing, responding to and commenting on student writing” consumes most of our time as teachers. She later states that to defend teachers, most of us have not had proper training in responding to drafts to help students revise their ideas. I completely agree with this claim. When I think back to my training in undergrad, we were trained on pre-writing strategies, as well as the traditional structure of a five paragraph essay. I was not trained in the workshop model with conferencing, until I was exposed to professional development my school brought in, along with my training through attending Teacher’s College Summer Institute. Sommers makes the argument that we have been conditioned to write generic, rubber-stamped comments on student papers, which makes it difficult for the student to assess which needs should be addressed first. The student also falls under the assumption that their ideas are already there, meaning the the meaning they want to convey is already there and they only need to “clean up” their paper, such as focusing on grammar. In reality, most students need to strengthen and develop their ideas but are not given the instruction needed to do so.


I believe that students need to be trained to discuss their writing, and as a teacher at the middle school level, this is a constant struggle for them. When asking students to discuss their work, occasionally they are able to do so, but when I leave them to revise, they immediately turn to me and ask, “Wait, what do you want me to write?” They do not have any control over their writing and need to learn to take ownership over their ideas.


I found the study conducted regarding the program “Writer’s Workbench” where computers will comment on student papers. I wonder if students are more inclined to listen to a computer, because they are so programmed to use technology that they value those comments more than their teachers? If that is the case, I am worried about what our world will come to and what that says about the need for teachers in a technological world. From personal experience, I missed a few days of school due to an illness, but was able to create interactive presentations for the students, where the directions were posted, assignments were completed, and all was shared through Google Classroom. I was able to interact by commenting on the students slides, grading their assignments, and offering help all without leaving my bed. Now we have programs that grade and comment for us as well? Makes me wonder if this will undervalue teachers even more than we are undervalued now?


The article continues to discuss the idea that students are confused by teacher’s comments, but there is also confusion between process and product. Do we care more about how the student gets there or what the final paper is? This year I began to tell my students their final draft is really a “deadline” draft and that writing is never fully finished.


I also felt that this article critiqued teachers practice, but forgot about the students. Speaking again with a middle school background, teachers aren’t perfect, but neither are our kids. It’s time to put the learning back on the students and less about teacher’s comments to get the students there. Gone are the days were you assign a project or homework and the students simply come in with it done. Now we need to hold their hands. Students expect to just “find” the answers in a text or in writing, rather than coming up with their own answers and their own ideas. No amount of questioning from me as the teacher is going to make them any less lazy. If revision is a “sense of discovery”, our students need to be the ones to do the discovering.


“Reconsiderations: Voice in Writing Again: Embracing Contraries”
By Peter Elbow


I enjoyed that Elbow begins by stating the story of voice, referencing the Greek philosophers. I agree with Aristotle’s claim refusing the either/or conflict regarding voice, essentially that “It helps to be trustworthy; but, if you’re skilled, you can fake it” (169). When we have control over our voice and our ideas, we are able to manipulate them, and in essence, manipulate our point.
Elbow brings up substantial points that voice is alive and thriving in both politics and through the Internet, whether it’s email, social media, or blogs. As a teacher, if I were to have students analyze voice in each of these media, my students would grasp the concept. They could identify their own voice in their writing outside of the classroom, as well as distinguish how they write from someone else. However, when it comes to writing in the classroom, I fear identifying voice is a lost cause.
I also appreciate Elbow’s claim that readers hear voice in text, using the example of saying “hello” different ways to create meaning. However, I immediately thought about voice in writing, which Elbow proceeds to explain. Elbow explains that this is challenging, which as a teacher struggling with this, I appreciate. He offers the idea of having students continuously read their writing aloud in order to develop or better hear their voice. It is possible, that they best way to teach voice in writing is to analyze it in reading extensively. If students can’t identify voice, and examples of it, then they can’t begin to identify and use their own voice. I find that students are able to find their voice more in the creative writing pieces we do, and less in the academic. In order to better teach this, I believe that finding academic essays to read in order to develop voice. However, if voice can mislead readers, how do we use it? How do I teach students to pay attention to voice and “push it away” at the same time? Do we teach them that there is a time and a place for paying attention to voice and pushing it away? Ultimately, the question this article left me with was is voice more helpful or harmful?

In addition to this week’s reading, I was mulling over some ideas for my Genius Hour writing project. One idea I had was to get permission from my principal to videotape students and ask them “Why they write?”. I pride myself in cultivating a classroom environment of readers, but would like to cultivate one of writers as well. I was considering exploring what makes students write and how to foster their engagement. I was also tossing around some other ideas and answering a more focused question of: What can I learn about myself through writing? Or how does writing help us deal with issues? I bought a few books for my library that deal with teenagers suffering from OCD. I feel that I have some OCD tendencies but have shied away from reading these novels in case they trigger my OCD. I then thought about writing poetry or a novel from this perspective. I would possibly explore how reading about them or writing about real issues to me would help to overcome them?