Our last blog entry already?! This is crazy that I'm writing my final blog entry. This course has been so informative for me, as I've stated over and over again in my blog entries. I was a little unsure about keeping a blog because first off, I had never used a blog before and secondly, I thought for sure I'd be terrible at keeping up and actually finding things to write. I've found that this has been a pretty enjoyable assignment for me. I've actually started my own blog outside of this class (although recently I haven't had the time to write in it, I think we all understand why).
The student learning outcomes that were given to use on session one were ones that I gave a quick read and haven't looked at since then. As I look over them and think about my time in this class and my blogging adventure, I realize that as I was writing in my blogs about the topics at hand for that week I started to develop a deeper understanding for that topic. During the free entry weeks I would write about the genre for that week and reflect on my own experiences with that genre and how they shaped my view of the genre.
As I write these blogs each week I keep in mind that I have an audience and a purpose for these blogs. I'm writing not only for my own personal growth but for my fellow classmates and for Dr. Jones as well. We can all learn from each other and just from browsing at everyone else's blogs I've learned so many different strategies and ideas that I would have never thought of on my own.
I learned that as I engaged in the reading process I also engaged in the writing process in my blogging. I would write a little bit in my blog, save it in my draft, go back and revise if needed and I'd usually do this for every blog. I've learned to use the writing process in my own writing and how to reflect on it as well. My blog was a great place for me to reflect on my writing process and how I was growing as a writer.
Each week as we were given a new reading assignment, I learned about all of the different genres and how I can differentiate the activities in Tompkins (2012) in order to fit the needs of the age group and the needs of the learners that I may have in my classroom. The section on accommodating EL writers and struggling readers was especially helpful. Hicks (2009) gave me so much information on a world of digital literacy that I never even knew existed. I can now say that I know how to use blogs in the classroom, how to create a Google Doc and I know what RSS stands for. I had absolutely no idea what that was before. Tompkins (2012) also gave so many different assessment options that I was unaware of. As I wrote each week about any one of these topics I was able to think back to how I used them (or didn't use them) in my student teaching. I realized that I needed to change some of my thinking and that some of the ways I was going about assessing my students could have been done much better.
Through this blogging experience I've been able to share with everyone my struggles and my triumphs as a first time graduate student using the writing process for the first time! It's been an amazing way for me to learn as I go and to be able to keep track of my own writing progress even from the time I wrote my first blog entry. I feel like these blog entries have helped me to grow as a writer and that I've learned how to communicate more effectively in a digital way.