Thursday, October 25, 2018

A Year in Learning at Elk Grove: Dual Credit College Composition Part 2

By Emily Mikuzis, Madison Reed, Jake Mizialko, Alexandra Glinski, and Mark Heintz


This is part of a blog series intended to document and define learning at Elk Grove High School throughout the 2018-2019 school year in order to increase student learning, give professionals autonomy, increase trust in our learning community, and foster a sense of personal-intellectual collegiality within the building across departments. You can read all of the previous posts here.  I am going into each teacher's class four times and then they are reflecting alongside their students on the learning that took place and what they hope for. 


In this second visit to Emily Mikuzis's class, Emily and her students reflected to see if what they had hoped for in my first visit came true.  We are attempting to build a reflective culture, where teachers and students come together to create the school they hope for.  The teacher and student are honest and collaborative.  We are fostering a sense of personal-intellectual collegiality.



Emily Mikuzis 

What do you hope to do for the next time?

Through the comparison of three engaging texts with very different structures and purposes, I hope to give students options for attacking their first writing assignment, Narrative as Argument. My hope is that students will begin to build confidence to make their own stylistic and structural choices in writing assignments. I hope to, throughout the semester, continue to create opportunities for students to work together to build understanding and hopefully begin to develop their own writer's voice through greater investment in our writing tasks.

What aspects of your hopes came true? This is a work in progress, but I think we are getting there. In each unit, I am trying to scaffold experiences that will allow students to dig into the real work of writing - the ruminating, the thinking, and the connecting that happen away from the computer. In each unit, we are working through choices, rather than prescribing them. Currently, we are working on evidence awareness to determine which kinds of support work best for which kinds of claims. As we build our argumentative essays, students are challenged to argue (almost) any claim. I want them to have a real investment in getting a reader to accept their claim and in choosing the evidence that is most effective, compelling, and convincing.




Madison Reed

What do you hope to learn for the next time? 

I hope to learn more about the other types of writings that are out there. Writing is one of my favorite things to do in school. I love the freedom of ideas and creativity it allows us as students to have most times. Also, I hope to learn how to better my writing abilities. So far in my senior year here at EGHS, College Composition has been one of my favorite classes and generally my favorite English class I've taken.

What aspects of your hopes came true? 

My hopes completely came true. We are on our third writing style/essay now and I have definitely learned more about the writing styles we have covered. I have also learned some tips and strategies to really rock writing in such styles.



Jake Mizialko

What do you hope to learn for the next time? 

For the next lesson, I hope to learn how you can you words, phrases, and sentences to help you learn more about the message that the author was trying to get across to his readers. I hope that students will be able to branch off of those three things and be able to incorporate it into their own writing. By practicing this task, this will allow students to strengthen their writing abilities and easily identify key parts to a story.

What aspects of your hopes came true? 

Students were able to use what they wrote in the planner in order to make a strong argument when the class was split.

Alexandra Glinski

What do you hope to learn for the next time? 

In the next lesson, I would hope to find a style of writing/narrative the best suits me. Trying and testing different essay structures will be a big part of finding out what I like. I want to be able to write an effective essay that not only has a good narrative but also gets my argument across. Hopefully, in our next few writing assignments, my best style of writing will become more clear to me.


What aspects of your hopes came true? 

Since we have been able to pick out topics for this next essay, I think it will be easy to experiment and find what really is the best style of writing for me and many others.


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