Sarita’s Journal (ECI 519)

Journal Assignment #1- Oliver & Pritchard

  Although I am not solely a visual learner, I grasp concepts and teach them through illustration and allusion. Oliver and Pritchard were able to demonstrate writing this way with the “triangle” and “modes of discourse.” Immediately, I was able to grasp these concepts and understand the interweaving of the different modes of writing. I personally tend not to write to audiences of more than one person or myself. I prefer presenting the information that I need to convey. I feel that persuasive writing would help me to bridge the gap between my personal musings and expressing to a large audience. There is a huge correlation between the what I prefer reading and what I am most comfortable writing. If I can not use it, I usually will not read it. If my writing is not beneficial to others (expository), I tend not to even want to display.


Journal Assignment #2- Chapter 5

The idea of using apps for ELA is mind blowing. I agree with the chapter when it says the in service to teachers has to be effective and present in order to properly use such tools. I am a huge fan of using technology to learn and creatively engage in a particular lesson. I have personally seen how this will enhance the student work due to their engagement level increase. Could the students grow a dependence on the apps to function? I certainly wouldn’t want the students to have lots of cool ideas for the technology end of the activities and miss out on the opportunities to exceed expectations. Students are certainly ready for this shift, but teachers will need to know how to create opportunities with these tools, not only to teach the concepts in a way that they can transfer it to standardised tests, but to present opportunities for work that may challenge the students to exceed expectations.


Journal Assignment #3- Chapters 11, 14

11-Using writing groups for professional writing is a great idea. It demonstrates writing as lifelong expressions which are in constant need of improvement. My K/1 students already view writing is a task or a “school subject area”, rather than a permanent means of communication. Chapter 11 also challenged me as a teacher to continue to write. There is so much to say as a teacher, and there is so little time to format and document the important expressions necessary for school and student improvement. I would fear being stoned with scowls and mocked by my colleagues if I presented them with the idea of writing and peer sharing if it did not make our responsibilities in the classroom easier and more efficient. This is certainly something to consider for the future with the hope of minimizing of paperwork, and opportunities to grow as professionals and cultivators of our future leaders.
14- The tools presented for peer feedback were very interesting and extremely useful. I found that the chapter may have conveyed the idea that student feedback is more powerful than teacher feedback. I believe peer involvement with students only is effective if the students have choice. I think back to my online classes in college, and remember being forced to respond to other student’s posts about the current class topic. There were always a requirement of multiple responses and one post. Although it was a good way to get feedback, I don't believe the feedback was as good as it could be. It would have been better if the students could display what they were writing about, or their stance in a short line or paragraph and the feedback came from students who CHOSE to give feedback on that topic. The students need “buy-in” to give their best contribution to another student’s work., in my opinion. In my classroom next year, I will have topics displayed (without the names of those writing) and the students can choose which to read and which to give feedback to. This way, the students will be fully engaged in what they are reading, and have something more to contribute than “ I like this because…” or “ this is what I think about the topic…”

Journal Assignment #4- Chapter 1

I am so excited about using these new tools and websites. It is very exciting as someone who is somewhat fluent in technology to have more options to use in the classroom. I am going into this recognizing the fact that these tools are not going to replace content or skills that we teach. I will have a lot of fun with these, and I hope to be able to use them in the classroom as I have elementary students. The harder it is to log in to and use a program, the less likely we are to use it at that age.

Journal Assignment #5- Chapter 12

I enjoyed reading about the ideas of comic writing among the lower elementary grades (K-2 to be exact). I wish there were language dictators, such as Dragon, to give students a better hands on experience with the Comic Software. Otherwise, it seems like a great way to get buy in from the students to produce quality work.

Journal Assignment #6- Chapter 15

Wikipedia is a well cited website for research. It is definitely not a resource to cite directly, but it will give a great overview and leads to other information and other citable resources. The beginning of this chapter spoke of how thrilling it would be to have students adding their own edits and information to wikipedia. This would be very exciting, but I would imagine it would be hard to assess what the students have done on the site. It sounds like a tedious task, though interesting. It is something to consider, but definitely needs to be planned and thought out before trying to execute. I agree with this chapter on the fact that Wikipedia is not automatically useless because of the collaborative information given by any user of the internet. There is much to be appreciated when it comes to collaboration among users of all ages and backgrounds.

Journal Assignment #7- Chapter 9

         I taught Kindergarten when I had the most ELL students. Teaching writing was very beneficial, because this was the way they learned sentence structure in the classroom. Reading books, and listening to reading really helped with their vocabulary and helped them to know the fluency of the english language and English reading.

Journal Assignment #8- Chapter 7

        Inquiry provides buy-in and engagement. The inquiry stated in chapter 7 was presented mostly in the form of a writing lesson. Students were able to ask each other questions to feed their content for their product. I think the Essential Questions that we are more recently required to have with our lesson plans are helpful in this approach. Whether students realize it or not, it prepares them with skills for the real world.

Journal Assignment #9- Chapter 2

        I agree with this chapter when it says technology can not just be treated as an add-on. If you continue to add on everything we are expected to do, the pile becomes overbearing. So many of these things that we are learning have to become a part of what we do without thinking about it, or it will be extremely hard!

Journal Assignment #10- MacArthur Chapter 17

        I like the approach that this chapter took in saying that writing in and of itself is a technology. I have heard that the pen is an extension of the mind, another way to communicate, or express. I believe the same is true for technology. Interestingly, I type faster than I write, so I tend to enjoy typing so that I can say everything I intend to express without limitations. However, writing with a pen is more reflective and I am more careful of the words I choose, which is best for some writing forms. Technology is not always the way to go and, as teachers, we need to be mindful of what technology is in our classroom and what it is replacing.

Journal Assignment #11- Chapter 8

One of the key elements of professional development that I agreed with most in the text was gradual release of responsibility with new initiatives. There are so many times when professional development is completely overwhelming because there is a long list of initiatives and no time to implement them. It is all at once, and we are expected to carry all of it out. Technology is new for a lot of teachers and it is difficult enough to carry out all that is expected with tech.  Adding the other standards and county requirements on top of that without any time to figure it out or gradually take responsibility is asking for burnout. I couldn’t agree more with this chapter! There is an absolute need for change, but it is not going to be effective if they try to do it overnight.