597- Reflections of readings for week 2


While reading the O’Donnell, the idea that kept resonating with me was that my middle school students do not know how to write. Let me also say- it’s not that they won’t, it’s that they can’t because they aren’t thinking that way yet. They can write the answer to the question if it is a low-level question and regurgitating the information. However, if there is a call for any analysis or synthesis, then they cannot complete the task. Students can give their opinion, if they have one, about a topic that they care about. But their opinion is usually not rooted in fact or data nor can they persuade the reader.
I think many students, at many levels,  have lost the ability to write for their intended audience. Because there are so many things to read, quality reading material is difficult to find. Therefore, the examples they emulate are of poor quality.
Students need to be taught how to be concise. They need to be taught how to be good listeners, in this case, good readers of other writers’ work. Students also need to learn to defend their writing.
Unfortunately, this article focused on students in higher levels of learning. I would be interested to see their suggestions for middle grade implementation.

In the Lamshed et. Al. Article, I was again struck my the notion of journals. The idea that student spend 5-10 minutes a day writing in their journal! If I only practiced my talent 5-10 minutes a day, I wouldn’t have learned anything! I can see the value of writing a note, like a bookmark, about what occurred that day. But how is that time to improve the writing technique?
I did however like the idea of a group discussion. I wish there was a way to limit each student’s responses, let’s say two comments, until all the members of the discussion had posted before allowing them to post again. However, you can call them lurkers, some students don’t feel comfortable in this age of school bullies posting their ideas for everyone to see.

Lamshed, R., Berry, M. & Armstrong, L. (2002). Blogs: Personal e-learning spaces. Australia: Binary Blue. Retrieved from http://www.binaryblue.com.au/docs/blogs.pdf
O’Donnell, M. (2006). Blogging as pedagogic practice: Artefact and ecology. Asia Pacific Media Educator, 17(1), 15-19. File


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