Friday, July 14, 2006

Are You Talking To Me?

Guess what? You are seniors! Because you are so learned in your ways and I can't teach you anything you don't already know ( I am being facetious- look up this word if you don't know what it means), I want you to think about what you want your last year of high school to look like. THINK BIG! These are the questions we discussed in class, please comment further on our conversation if there is anything you feel we left out:

What do you hope to get out of this class?
What do you want to learn?
What do grades mean to you?
How do you learn best?
What activities have you previously done in other classes that have been meaningful or interesting to you?


Blogger RichardW said...

grades to me kind of mean a little bit you know they help with college admission and continuing your education in a proffesional setting but they are such a small portion of your life, if I get bad grade I try to not let it get to me cause I know life will go on and the only thing that really matters is what you get out of something , whatever it may be.

August 19, 2006 2:41 PM  
Blogger melissa b said...

This comment has been removed by a blog administrator.

August 19, 2006 6:16 PM  
Blogger melissa b said...

This comment has been removed by a blog administrator.

August 19, 2006 6:23 PM  
Blogger melissa b said...

What I hope to get out of this class is I want to take my writing one step further. I think it is important to know how to communicate in writing.

I want to learn more vocabulary. Communicating with others is a must in life. Having a strong vocabulary will help communicating with others.

At first making A's and B's were very important to me. Grades help with college admission and scholarships but later in life they will mean nothing if you get a C in english. That doesn't mean you don't know how to read or write. Grades I think reflect your effort to that class, not your knowledge of the subject.

learn best visually and reading it myself.

I enjoyed fishbowl. Made speaking infront of the class more comfortable.

August 19, 2006 6:27 PM  
Blogger Scott M said...

I hope that this class will help me to make next year easier.
I would like to learn to improve my reading skills both speed and learning to think deeper about the reading. I would also like to improve my writing for college.
I think grades show effort. I know that in some of my classes I have not cared much and my grade showed that I didn't put in the best effort.
I am a visual learner. I like it when we act out plays because it is not as boring as just reading it.
I like fishbowls. They force everyone to participate so there are more new ideas.

August 20, 2006 2:25 PM  
Blogger David L said...

I hope that from this class I will be able to write a good college essay and be more prepared for college. Along with those things, I also want to learn how to read faster and gain an understanding of the works we read not only from my point of view, but others as well. To me grades are important, but at the same time I don't think they show what people are really capable of. A person who has little understanding of a subject can get away with good grades in high school if they complete all of their assignments, and a very smart person can fail because they don't do the classwork. I learn best by reading or doing the homework myself then having the teacher or the class discuss it. I think fishbowls as well as blogging are interesting ways of presenting information because they are not just simply lectures, but they force students to confront new ideas that they hadn't thought of themselves, and it leads to an overall better understanding.

August 20, 2006 2:51 PM  
Blogger Kurt W. said...

I hope to gain a better understanding of the books and plays we are going to read/act/fishbowl. I also want to learn how to write a much better college essay. I would like to improve my reading comprehension and writing skills. 'Cause girls only like guys with skills...
Grades, to me, mean very little. I don't strive to get any particular grade, I only work as hard as I can. Usually this gives me the grade I want, but if it doesn't, then so be it.
I learn best in the exact way we have started the class out in. I learn best in group discussions with a bit of technological supplement.
Other meaningful activities: fishbowling, blogging, debate, and group presentations.

P.S. I also want to learn that Pilates position that Smith talked about in class...what was that called again?

August 20, 2006 4:28 PM  
Blogger KatieA said...

I would like to inprove my writing skills so that is just comes easy to me when I have to write in college. Grades are important to me because thay always have been. I am a hard worker and that is what I want my grades to reflect. Activities I enjoy are fighbowl and hands on assignments.

August 20, 2006 5:41 PM  
Blogger Mark C said...

This class is going to be very important for me this year. English is a “must have” for college and this is evident by almost all the exams, essays, reading, writing, and other skills that come into play in an English class. Not only a first-year class will be affected by what I learn this year, but almost every class will require skills in quick and effective reading and, of course, writing. The main subjects I want to focus on this year is reading and writing - just the basics. I also would like to learn how to improve my in-class essays.

I agree with what almost everyone has said so far regarding grades: they equal effort. If I were to break it down, it would look like this:
Grades = 70% Effort, 23% Test-taking (and other) skills, 7% Outside knowledge (or genius brain). Now, this does not reflect much of a knowledge on the subject, however, is this really what grades should do? Should higher scores be achieved by knowledge of the subject or happening to be a genius? I would answer of course not! Grades, which end up helping with college admission (and that is about it), should be based on effort. I believe the young adults that try the hardest and care the most should be the ones entering college. There is merit to grades, especially compared to one standardized test.

I learn best by flat-out listening and paying attention during class. It is really funny and unheard of, but teachers really know what they are talking about and are very good at what they do- teaching. So I try to learn as much as possible in class as opposed to by the book or through taking notes.

On the last question, I am going to have to agree with others and say that fishbowls have really helped me not only participate in class, but also really think about what I am reading in a different way.

August 20, 2006 5:57 PM  
Blogger CaitlinO said...

I would like to improve my writting skills the most. I think it is really important to know how to write well in college.

Grades are important for college. I don't think they reflect what you have learned in the class. I feel like in most classes if you do your homework and turn in your assignments, you will get a good grade.

I enjoy fishbowls because they force me to listen and participate in class.

August 20, 2006 6:36 PM  
Blogger Amy K said...

In English this year, I want to learn how to write a better essay and be more confident in my writing skills. Usually I just start typing on my computer and make one revision and it's just all over after that.

I hope to get a better understanding of the readings and I'm very excited to read Hamlet!

Unfortunately, I'm one of those psycho freaks who REALLY cares about their's kindof an obsessive disease and I can't really let it go.

I learn best visually. I have a really hard time concentrating when I'm just listening cuz my mind wanders everywhere.

In the past, fishbowls have probabyly helped me the most because I find it easier and more meaningful to learn from my peers but I HATE FISHBOWLS..its a bittersweet thing

August 20, 2006 6:46 PM  
Blogger AmyB said...

I hope to get the most i can out of this class so when i have to read, and write alot in college i can do it without stressing out about it. I want to learn how to write better and how to get more out of what i read. Grades mean semi-alot to me because i do need them to get into college and to do things with my life, but i dont think they mesaure what i can accomplish. I am a very visual, hands on learner, i am not a very good auditory learner. Any activities that can get me to learn something new about myself and my abilities are important to me.

August 20, 2006 8:27 PM  
Blogger chrisg said...

I hope I can have a lot of fun this year, and I guess learn a little. I want to learn how to read and write at a higher level. Grades are a way for me to push myself. I need to do activities to learn, I think also I might have some sort of ADD, because I am very fidgety. I am not good at fishbowl, but they are a meaningful tool in my learning.

August 20, 2006 8:56 PM  
Blogger ClaireL said...

I hope to improve my writing through this class and by the end of the semester hopefully have a really strong admission essay for college. I'd like to learn how to take more out of things I read instead of reading the words and not absorbing anything. To me, grades are just something I want to achieve so that I don't get in trouble with my parents. I think a person can learn alot and be very intelligent and get bad grades, grades in school just basically show how competant you are at turning in your homework and memorizing information for tests. I learn best visually, it's alot easier for me to do something when I can write it down and look at it then to simply think about it in my head. In my other English classes I have actually liked doing the fishbowls if you have a class where people will really talk and get involved. It helps me alot to understand and get more out of the reading when I can hear how other people interpreted it.

August 20, 2006 9:08 PM  
Blogger ZachM said...

I really want this class to prepare me for college work and make me think through text more. Grades to me are just there as something that can get me into college. I know if Im learning or not. I learn best by discussing and breaking down things after reading them. In the past projects that are interactive have worked the best for me.

August 20, 2006 9:13 PM  
Blogger ashleym said...

I wnat to learn how to write to the bes tof my ability from this class. I want to be that freshman in college that can just breeze through their freshman english class. The only thing that matters about grades is the fact that it is what students are pretty much judged by. If I am working hard in a class but I don't get and A then I am fine. I learn best by repetiton. The more I do something the easier it becomes.

August 20, 2006 9:38 PM  
Blogger levik said...

In English this year I hope to become better prepared for college english and literature classes. I hope to improve as a reader and a writer. Grades are important for parents, college admissions, and graduation; but I also believe that grades are looked upon with too highly. Actual knowledge is not measured by a letter grade but by understanding the subject and being able to use that knowledge in life. Blogs and class discussions are good ways to share knowledge with classmates in my opinion.

August 20, 2006 10:37 PM  
Blogger Kyle G said...

I hope that this class will not only prepare for college, but also help me in college. I would like to be able to write better, and read faster. Grades do matter to me, though I know if I'm learning or not, grades help me know whether or not I am. Class discussions and debates are always fun, and make it easier for me to learn. I also think that this blog will help too.

August 21, 2006 9:21 AM  
Blogger Marie P said...

I hope to get a lot of information about college essays, tips on writing papers, and find alternate routes into the inner-meanings and symbols of novels and short stories. I want to learn more about literature around the world and aspect of the time period. Grades don't mean a lot to me when comparing more than one student but they can mean a lot when taking one student's past grades and comparing to recent. Effort is consistant with each student. I learn best when everything is to the point with no lead way on either side. Previously I have had great discussions with english teachers about novels. My favorite class activities are fish bowls and open debate.

August 21, 2006 9:47 AM  
Blogger ashleyg said...

I really hope that this class will better prepare me for college. I want to learn how to write a killer college essay as well, and what a accurate killer topic looks like. Grades mean quite a bit to me and my parents. My sister was a A student so there is that standard set for me. I learn best by doing work on my own and not relying on others. I hate quizzes but it seems that they are the things that prepare me the most for test and help me learn the most. Fishbowl and other student led things i don't really like seeing how the students usually BS their way through just to get the points needed.

August 21, 2006 10:32 AM  
Blogger jeffg said...

This year, my goal is to learn how to become interested in reading. I have never really enjoyed reading and I think that that has always been a hard obstacle for me to overcome. I have always found it much more interesting to read off of as opposed to reading a novel on my own and receiving my own opinion and point of view. I hope that this year, I will be able to learn how to really dive into novels and interact with them. I think that if I can learn to interact with novels, I will find them much more interesting and enjoyable to read. Grades are very important to me. Although they do not exactly reflect how I am truly doing in the class, I think that they do show my effort and my accomplishments. Also, grades are a huge part of getting into college, so they are quite important to me. I think I learn best through my friends. I am better able to understand concepts when a peer teaches them to me, as opposed to a teacher. Also, I learn a lot when I am forced to study alone. I feel it a responsibility, and so I always follow through and do my best. Group projects have always been huge successes for me. Although I hate having to rely on others in order to receive a good grade, I love learning through my peers. Also, I think individual study is a great way to become independent. When you are successful, you always have something to look back on and be proud of. To be honest, the most important thing in learning for me is connecting it to my life and having fun with it!

August 21, 2006 9:15 PM  
Blogger LeAnneC said...

Well now that I know that this class is going to help me with college, I guess that I really hope to utilize that and take advantage of that to its fullest. Last year I think that I kind of lost my writing touch so I would also like to find that again. I just had the hardest time expressing myself through writing. I want to learn some things that are going to help me study through college and hopefully become a more efficient student and person all together. I guess that grades kind of mean a lot, because that is what I have grown up to know. The best has always been expected of me, and I always feel dissapointment because I have let someone else down because I didn't achieve the best. However, I hope to come to realize that my intellegence is not based on a grade but rather how I use my newly learned information. Some things that are interesting to me are fishbowls and open class discussion about books. I love discussion and analyzing, because finally my annoying girl trait of over analyzing everything comes to some good.

August 22, 2006 9:10 AM  
Blogger Andy S said...

I hope to get a better sence of who I am am and what writing talents I may have. I want to learn how to write better how to take the ideas in my head and get them onto paper and sound good. I learn best with indavidual help yet I never come in to get it because I am not good at taking the inisuative with my edjucation. Grades don't mean much and the more teachers and parents, and people talk about it the less I seem to care. Not may activities have been vewry meaningful to me in other classes they all seem pointless. The best activity that
I have done so far is the "Wjhat Matters" paper.

August 24, 2006 10:14 PM  
Blogger MrsC said...

I would like to use your class as an example and maybe start a little cross country blogging experiment if you are game. I have a senior English class in Alabama. We have a home blog and I am piloting a blog much like yours with scribes and possibly writing drafts with my first period seniors. Would you be willing to have your students comment on my blog and vice versa. I think it would be a great way to build bridges and to expose them to a global audience without freaking them out. Also, we can learn from each other. Let me know what you think.

In the meantime visit my home blog

Email me from there if you are interested.

September 05, 2006 6:31 PM  

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