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Day 41: Lana
By Mark Heintz
Oct 10, 2019

Day 41

Student contribution by Lana Hernandez

Overview of the Period

Today in class, we looked at a document and wrote a fairly structured response. We’ve been doing this pretty much every day in order to help us become more efficient with our writing. It’s nice to be able to talk with your group members and share ideas with one another because we all think differently. Someone might have caught something that you didn’t. Even though it’s months away, I find myself already starting to stress about the AP exam. This constant writing practice has helped ease some of my anxiety because I know I’m improving. By the time of the AP exam, I’ll be perfectly fine and ready to do my best.

I’ve always been a student that needs some sort of structure otherwise I feel like I’m aimlessly wandering through a project or paper. This class has given us time to individually dive into a topic that we’re genuinely interested in. At first, I struggled greatly with the task to think for myself; but as we’ve moved on, I’ve definitely been able to put my own thoughts and emotions into something that I care about. I feel that a goal for our learning in this class is to relate your way of thinking to the real world. After high school and college, there isn’t going to be someone telling what and how to think. You have to do it for yourself.

My Response

Two things going on this post that make me pause. The first is the standard writing. I attempted, at least at the beginning of the year, to focus more on non-formulaic writing. I wanted to spend time spent writing. Diving into authentic audiences and purpose behind the writing. I read a few books by John Warner and from his work, having formulaic, standard writing assignments doesn’t lead to better writing. I’ve noticed that over the past few years. The more I teach to a formula, the students don’t improve as writers. This is true as measured by my AP scores, but also students’ and my own reflection on the year. I have a tendency to teach to a formula, but in the past, when I have had the most success, it was providing a general framework and then having each student shape the writing in their own way.  I feel that I can do better on this front.

The second, her own struggle and revelation.

I struggled greatly with the task to think for myself; but as we’ve moved on, I’ve definitely been able to put my own thoughts and emotions into something that I care about. I feel that a goal for our learning in this class is to relate your way of thinking to the real world. After high school and college, there isn’t going to be someone telling what and how to think. You have to do it for yourself.

Wow. This is amazing. I hope I can keep this feeling going for the rest of the year.

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