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Wednesday, November 14, 2012

Learning Log Entry # 11

Now that we've finished all of the genre presentations, I've started to look back at all of the handouts that I've received over the past few weeks. There were quite a few genres that I was a little unsure of and yet some I knew more about, but enjoyed learning more about them. I gained a lot of new knowledge from not only the presentations, but from the readings as well. Everyone did an amazing job on the presentations and I learned so much! The best ideas come from fellow teachers (I think so anyway).

I think that up to this point, I've really learned not only the major differences between genres but how some can be interconnected. Narrative and biographies can be connected just as expository and biographies are. The descriptive genre fits in with every genre because a student's writing should always be descriptive. I learned a lot of new poetry formats and more about letter formats as well. With the descriptive genre, I was able to learn how much it connected with poetry and how well the two genres flow together. It was a really great experience to learn so much about a genre that I really enjoyed in the first place. 

At the start of the class I was pretty sure I knew a lot about personal, descriptive, persuasive, and biographical writing. I hadn't really heard the word "expository" before, but I figured it had something to do with nonfiction because the only other genre focusing on nonfiction was biographical. I knew that there were so many different types of poetry and I was so intimidated by that, so I was a little scared about that genre. I had heard of narrative but I wasn't exactly sure what it was, so I was excited to learn more about that genre. 

Through the personal genre presentations I learned that there are many different types of journaling options that students can be used and that they should be used with certain grade levels (which I wasn't really aware of). I had taught a lot of lessons on writing letters during student teaching so I knew a lot about letter writing and the business and friendly letters going into the presentation. I write so many emails in one day so emails were pretty self-explanatory to me as well. I love, love, love the descriptive genre. I am a "vivid verb" teacher and I think that teaching students how to use adjectives and how to avoid "tired" words to spice up their writing is so much fun, so I was so excited when I got to do the presentation on descriptive writing. I knew that descriptive writing encompassed adjectives, verbs, nouns, etc., but I had no idea that it included being descriptive through the way you use your dialogue or using sensory images to be completely detailed in your writing. I had so much fun writing the five senses poem about myself. Moving onto the persuasive genre, every time I thought of persuasive I thought of myself persuading my mother to buy me something or persuading my dad to let me borrow his computer. I understood that it is really easy to persuade someone orally but when it comes to actually writing a persuasive piece it can be tough. Other than poetry, persuasive pieces were my downfall. I really liked learning about the different types of persuasive writing and different teaching techniques to use along with those. I had assumed with biography came autobiography but I was unaware about personal narratives (tying into narrative genre) and memoirs, which I had no idea what that was. I was glad I learned the differences between not only the differences between the two genres (narrative and biography) but the differences between the types of biographies as well.

Next comes the genres that I was definitely not a fan of, and the only reason I wasn't a fan of them was because I knew little to nothing about them. A lot has changed now. The narrative and expository genres were the genres I didn't know much about. As they were talking about the narrative genre I realized that it was all about writing stories and it had to do with plot, theme, setting, etc. It didn't really scare me as much as it did before. The expository genre was the genre I didn't really know much about and after learning about it I realized that it encompassed so much and had so many different aspects to it that it was pretty interesting and it wasn't as scary either. 

I'd say that as of right now, the only genres that really intimidate me are persuasive and poetry. I have no problem trying to persuade someone by word of mouth but when it comes time to write a persuasive piece and state my opinion in a way that will change someone's mind about a topic, I'm still a little unsure and not very confident with the end product. With poetry, I know there are so many different types of poems available to write but when I hear the word "poetry" I still get really nervous. I think it's because when I was in high school I was forced to figure out the meanings to poems that I never understood and still don't understand and then I had to write about them. Even now, if you put a poem in front of me I'm not confident in my interpretation of it. 

I feel like these genre presentations have made such a positive impact on me and they were really rewarding. I learned a lot of great information and strategies to use in my future classroom. 

1 comment:

  1. I hope you continue to seek out those mentor texts in poetry and persuasive when you have additional time to consider the features of these genres. Hopefully just exposing yourself to additional works in these areas will give you a greater sense of familiarity which will lead to a deeper understanding (and then confidence) in these genres.