Thursday, January 20, 2011

Freshman English: Midterm Exam

For your midterm, you're going to write a series of blog posts. For each post, I will be looking for the following criteria:

Evidence of Critical Thinking: Thoughtful observations, connections between readings and the larger world and/or your life, and growth in your thoughts/ observations from the beginning of the year.

Evidence of Critical Reading: Evidence of thorough readings, comprehension of reading materials, insightful reflections, and connections between readings materials.

Evidence of Creative Thinking: Inclusion of photographs, music, videos, or other media that enhances the presentation of the post; original ideas presented in readings are extended in a creative manner.

Evidence of the Ability to Write Clearly and Effectively: Grammar, spelling, capitalization errors do not interfere with audience understanding. The structure of your blog posts allows for understanding and is easy to follow.

Evidence of Awareness of Diverse Audience: Opinions, justifications, rationalizations, and summaries are written in a way that allows a diverse audience to understand your intent. Writings are not offensive, but engage audience members in your ideas and opinions in a creative manner.

Here are your topics. Some are required posts, but others offer some choices. Make sure that each entry meets the criteria listed above.

Required Posts

1. Last week, we completed a GIST summary about the recent shooting in Tucson, Arizona. In this entry, please type your summary paragraph that you wrote last week. Then, add an additional paragraph where you explain whether or not you believe the alleged shooter should receive the death penalty. Make sure to be thorough in your answer and offer reasons why you hold this opinion.


2. Write a reflective post about your blog. It's only a baby blog at this point, but I want to know what you're learning about writing from this process. Think about: improvements in the quality of your writing, your awareness of audience, your writing/ blogging goals for the rest of the year.


Optional Posts (Choose Two)

1. Write about your previous experiences with reading. Were you a reader before you started high school? Has Silent Sustained Reading changed your reading habits at all? What are the benefits of having SSR as part of our class time? What are the drawbacks? Do you plan to read more or less books for the rest of this school year?


2. Write a post about your experiences in peer editing and teacher conferencing over your 5 Paragraph Essay. What did you learn from your peer editing and teacher conferences? What could have made them more effective? Do you think conferencing about your writing will make your writing better?


3. Write reflective post about your experiences so far in high school. How are you doing academically compared to middle school? Do you feel like you've been successful in the high school? Why or why not?


4. Choose one of the poems you read or wrote for Poetry Friday. Retype it here and explain why you liked this poem and what made it stand out to you. Then, explain how you feel about reading and writing poems. Do you feel that you are growing as a poet? Do you feel more confident in writing/ reading poems now than you did at the start of this school year?

(LABEL=Poetry Friday)

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