Noticing what I Notice

In reviewing my blog posts, I notice that I tend to write critically of the text, citing specific portions of the readings to discuss, to make intertextual connections or connections between the reading and what we’ve discussed in class, to relate the readings to personal experiences, and to make decisions on which teaching strategies I would employ in my own classroom.

In my first blog post “Difficulty Paper-like Exercise,” I related the contents of the book The Elements (and Pleasures) of Difficulty to the real-life situation I had of a class where we participated in an exercise similar to a difficulty paper. I noticed that in describing the situation, I recognized certain learning strategies by students, like using formal knowledge, identifying limits/questioning parts of text, and cultural literacy in the context of Linkon. I also identified the New Criticism approach to literature, which would later be a discussion in class.

In my second blog post “Breaking Expectations,” I revisited difficulty as a subject. I also related what we discussed in class regarding teacher’s expectations to the reading, and related my own personal experiences to this as well. I was able to recognize the role of the teacher and student, and critically think of issues relating to this like having false expectations or assumptions. I quoted specific parts of the reading to back up my opinions or to argue against the reading. At the end of the blog post, I was able to decide which strategies learned from the reading that I would choose to apply to my own classroom, as well as the philosophies I liked but thought might not be as practical.

In my third blog “Transference,” I connected the Gee reading to other learning strategies in prior readings, noticing some shared pedagogical philosophies, such as combating “boring” or difficult texts, the need for modeling/demonstration, etc. I brought in someone else’s previous blog post in order to connect it to what I read and learned. I approached Gee critically, questioning the text and bringing in quotes from the text as well. In the end, I couldn’t escape writing about personal experience, which I brought in with a PS note on the publishing industry and educational technology.

Blog 4 “Background Info” contained these same elements of connecting the reading to class discussions and activities, and relating the reading to previous blogs and personal experience. I brought back the idea of New Criticism I had from my first blog and that we discussed in class. I addressed the role of background knowledge in interpreting texts, and related this to the “think aloud” activity in class.

My most recent blog post “Blau Ch. 8” involved referencing a specific part of the reading, the Interpretation Project. Again, I related this to other strategies like the difficulty paper (seems to be my favorite strategy or most blogged about), and I cited other readings like the Linkon article. I noticed different levels of learning and adaptability for students, similar to recognizing learning strategies in my first blog. I again related this to personal experience, and I decided what I would like to try in the classroom.

Blogging about my blog posts has helped me realize that I approach these blogs critically and through interconnection of what I have learned. I think being able to connect the different readings we have is important, but it also makes me realize that this should not be the only strategy for learning.