Archive for June, 2015

Memories Are Everything (Make Your Mark: FVHS)

High school is an extremely significant chapter in your life which you will never forget. You’ll never forget the school, but how will the school not forget you?

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BRAWL

So for one of my novels I read in class, as an analysis we split ourselves into groups and answered questions that students made, and we would debate/ discuss the questions. We would present our group’s take on the question to the class and also respond to our opponents’ take on the question.

vrawl

The BRAWL was both fun to participate in and watch as well. Some debates got extremely heated with about 8 students arguing over one question. It was almost like watching a UFC fight. There was so much heated tension and it was all so interesting to watch. It showed me how being more involved as a class makes it more interesting for everyone as a whole. I was fortunate to have a weird, loud class because for activities like this we’re more comfortable with speaking in front of the class and getting involved which enhances the learning experience. Rather then the teacher asking a question and the entire class waits for him or her to answer it.

For this particular assignment, I took part in answering some of the questions and also represented my team in BOTH BRAWLS. My group didn’t specifically assign certain questions to each other. We all got on the same google doc and just worked on the question. We edited each other’s question and it seem to work out for us. When I went up to BRAWL, I did my best to be understandable and to get my point across. I wanted to not drift from the question but answer it effectively with concrete examples. I did my best to give examples and I learned that examples help your peers relate to what you’re saying and can help them better understand your argument.

Overall, the BRAWL was a great experience because I got to observe my peers BRAWL and learn from them. Being up there and BRAWL-ing is a lot of pressure and you have to think quick. Whenever the other team came up with something, I would have to think of a way to deliver something else better than them and I was able to benefit from having experience in situations where I’m under pressure. It was also quite entertaining and engaging as well.


Blog is Life

Since middle school I was cursed with having to start to write in more of a sophisticated and proper manner. It came along with the advanced English class. Something called MLA Format was introduced to me. Me trying to type MLA Format based off of a one page instructions outline my English teacher handed to me, was like a fish breathing out of water. Nothing made my head hurt more than having to write my research paper in MLA.

paper work

“You will write the paper specifically in Times New Roman in 12 pt. font. You entire report will be double spaced so your 20 page report is really just ten.”

Thanks?

“On the top right you will head the report with your full name, then under it my name, then the course you are taking, then the date which you wrote the paper. Each page will require numbering with your last name next to the page number. You will have a works cited page in which you’ll cite each and every single one of your resources. There is a different format of citing for different sources e.g. books, internet, encyclopedia, etc.”

While my teacher was rushing through his PowerPoint and spitting out all these rules of  MLA format the gears in my brains were running at top speed. I was trying to keep up with all the rules to format the entire- my brain shut off… And I thought the 10 commandments alone were hard to remember. Try writing in MLA Format. Seems as if you can write a novel just on how to cite your resources. Anyways, those were the horrors of 8th grade and Freshman year.

Going into 10th grade I only expected for the English class to be the same old routine but possibly even harder which I couldn’t imagine.

Instead my teacher said, “Welcome. In my class we write blog posts.” -I almost did a double take while keeling over.

And that’s how I basically got started on blogging. I still consider myself new to this blogging community. I’ve only been blogging for about 7 months now with about one blog per week. It’s been a fun ride with many unique twists and turns and I’ve taken a lot from the entire experience. My teacher has our class make our own blog so this blog is essentially my child. My creation. I found it very interesting that instead of pulling out literature books and reading story after story, or studying 50 vocab words per week, my teacher allowed us to create blogs. We didn’t write essays but rather we wrote articles and created writing in which we expressed our own personality and quality. We joined the global conversation and integrated ourselves with the world. This is not your traditional English class. This is not reading and answering questions. This is not MLA format. This is not hundreds of flash cards inked with vocabulary.

This is innovation.

One of the things I could appreciate the most that my teacher assigned us were theses things called “Tune It Up Tuesdays.” Basically each week he would discuss one aspect of writing and we would focus, integrate, and improve that aspect into our weekly blog post. I found it extremely interesting and helpful. For example, he would have us focus on starting your blog and hooking your audience in with a story, or practicing sentence variety and teaching us how short sentences can be very effective, or using metaphors and similes to make memorable comparisons. He would show us how even the smallest things like quotations and ellipses and em dashes can cause an affect on our readers and go a long way in making our writing better.

If you didn’t notice, I integrated all of the Tune It Up Tuesday topics that I just mentioned that I learned throughout the school year.

This really opened my eyes to creative writing. It is an art. Throughout the year my teacher really broke down multiple aspects of writing and I began to realize there is so much that goes into writing an article or a book. My teacher’s innovative method of  teaching that implies real life type of work has probably taught me more things than any usual class. I’ve retained more by writing blogs than by reading books and answering questions and then taking a test.  I would’ve forgotten 90% of the things I did while reading that book within a week after finishing it and it would’ve been a waste of time. That’s me with many classes in fact. It’s not information that is fun or memorable so if I’m not using it then I’ll forget it. However, in my class, instead of answering questions for each chapter and taking multiple tests, we show what we’ve learned from the book through a presentation or project in which we work together with a team to create it. This method, is less repetitive and more memorable.

I learned how important certain things like organization can affect the reader and make certain things memorable. This helps me with projects across all subjects. I learned to stand out and to be different so that people notice me as something unique rather than any other presentation or project that are basically all the same.

Next time I wish I could spend more time with the blogs and create multiple drafts. I wish all the students can show each other their own blogs and we could give each other pieces of advice on things to add or change. If I could I would spend more time on each blog in order to produce quality blogs where readers would read all the way to the end.

To sum up, my blogging experience was a great, new experience where I learned a lot about writing and real life applications. It’s always cool to try new things because you’re never going to know what you’re going to get out of it.