Reflection for 2/18/19

Mackenzie and Eionna,

You are to reflect on your experiences on the week regarding your writing and learning. After you write your post during class, you are to comment on each other’s and Avery’s blog posts, providing feedback where you can.

You are welcome to provide links to your work!


Research Writing for the Week of 2/19/19

Monday-no school


Practice all quotes below on a sheet of paper. Some have answers

Start drafting a post on what you learned or worked on today.




Blog post

Final Exam Reflection Questions (Fall 2018)

These do not need to be answer in any particular order. Reflections should be at least three pages.

  • How has having this independent study helped you to grow as a __________? (Writer? Student? Person? Fill in the blank)
  • What have you gained through this independent study, and through which assignments or tasks specifically?
  • What are some mistakes that you made, and how do you look at them now?

Poetry Pairings from The Literary Maven

I’ve had this blog post PRINTED and sitting on my desk since last fall. It’s time I finally organize it in a place where I can readily access it. (Printed blog post. Seriously. That’s how badly I wanted to remember it)

  • Extended metaphor: “Sympathy” by Laurence Dunbar and “Hope is the thing with feathers” by Emily Dickinson. Both use a bird in it but for different means
  • Looking at one’s image in mirrors: “Same Song” by Pat Mora and “Mirror” by Sylvia Plath. S.S. looks at body image from both genders
  • “How to Eat a Poem” is a fun poem to read!
  • “Mother to Son” by Langston Hughes and “Women” by Alice Walker: struggle of African American women.

Here is where you can go to see the complete list.

CommonLit is another great place to find texts! The beauty of this website is that it is searchable by literary terms, genre, topic, and age level. It’s like an ice cream shop full of flavors, but just for English teachers.

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WAC Conference Day Three 2017

Day Three Slides


Recommended scholars to look into regarding feedback to students:

  • Kathleen Blake Yancey
  • Peter Elbow
  • Pat Belanoff (when connected to Elbow)

Recommended scholars to look into regarding rubrics specifically:

  • Troy Hicks

Other resources

Welcome back to the 2018-2019 school year!

Hello students, parents, and guardians!

As you’ll soon find out if you don’t know already, I am the dork teacher who has been squirreling away passages and writing prompts in preparation for you coming to our classroom this week. I’ve been that excited.

Here are three things about me, and then we’ll talk more about our classroom:

4322071472_img_58211. These two are my littles who you will hear about often. My daughter, Ivah, is three years old and loves skeletons, tea parties, and unicorns. My son, Bruce, will be a year old in October. He is a momma’s boy who loves smiling and being outside!


2. We are going to talk about books. A lot. I am one of those who reads 3-4 books at a time because I get bored and I want to switch it up (which is a good way to work through books).

Image result for villette bronte

Villette by Charlotte Bronte is my all-time favorite book. It’s first wave feminism, from the gothic literary era, and looks at Lucy Snowe’s mental breakdown. It’s semi-autobiographical, and it is not a predictable book! You can check out more books I’ve read and what I think of them.

3. One last thing about me is that I love funky holidays. You’ll see them daily on our slidedeck for the day; the reason being is that I believe there is something to celebrate everyday. The theme for the month of September is Hispanic Heritage! Here is a link to books by Hispanic writers.

Alright, you’ve read this far, so you’re wanting to learn more about our classroom, what I expect, what it will look like, etc. My philosophy is that we are a living, breathing, ecosystem where everyone contributes and coexists. Everyone can contribute to learning in his/her/their way, but they cannot get in the way of anyone’s learning–including the self.

Please know that we are all on the same team: myself, your parent or guardian, and you, the student. No one is here to sabotage your education, ruin your grades, or prevent you from succeeding. I do have expectations, guidelines, and rules. However, they are not out of reach. We will coexist and contribute together to ensure your success, and I will consistently remind you that we are on the same team.

I also want to emphasize to you that I will not limit you so long as it pertains to our current learning and your parent/guardian permits it. For example, if you want to read Stephen King’s It, I am okay with that if you and your parent are. If you want to write a narrative and it uses strong language (tastefully and relevantly), I am okay with that. You need room to explore and create to in order to create yourself, and I want to give you that space. Just make sure you keep me and your parent in league with your plans so that we can still stay on the same team!


We’re going to have a great year, and I’m excited to meet you or see you again!

-Mrs. K

Belanoff’s “Silence: Reflection, Literacy, Learning, and Teaching”


Belanoff, Pat. “Silence: Reflection, Literacy, Learning, and Teaching.” College Composition and Communication, vol. 52, no. 3, 2001., pp. 399-428.



Initially, the reader is cautioned that this article will be a “rambling,” therefore making it clear that the methods are historiographical. Belanoff begins with word associations and their definitions. She links “reflection” with “meditate,” “contemplate,” and “metacognition.” During the defining stage, silence is shown to have positive outcomes, like with the word sollicitudo, which means to “worry” or turn over something often (404). Teachers should create havens for students to have silence in order to reflect over their writing and thoughts (410). Reading and writing both call for reflection inwardly as she claims “literacy cannot exist without reflection that fills the silence” (416). Asks for strategies to help our students. Belanoff recognizes that within the discipline reflection is a tenuous topic in that some parties believe that the discipline should look out as a collective soul rather than individual beings. She defines literacy as “an interlace pattern of reflection in silence and activity in the material world” (422).


Works Cited

Bakhtin, M. M. “Discourse in the Novel” The Dialogic Imagination: Four Essays by M. M. Bakhtin. Ed. Michael Holquist. Trans. Caryl Emerson and Michael Holquist. Austin: U of Texas P, 1981.

Berthoff, Ann. ed. Reclaiming the Imagination: Philosophical Perspectives for Writers and Teachers of Writing. Portsmouth, NH: Heinemann-Boynton/Cook, 1984.

Momaday, N. Scott. House Made ofDawn. New York: Harper, 1966.



-How can we conceive of emptiness? We’re a culture fearful of silence. (400)

-Thomas Aquinas alters this concept slightly and instead of silencio uses the word sollicitudo, perhaps best translated as “worry,” as in the way a dog “worries” a bone (Carruthers 172). It’s a quality of intense, aroused attention, a set of mind that turns over and paws at, fingers experiences, emotions, events, and sensations within an enclosing silence. (404)

-“The florilegium was a small compendium, a collection of proverbs, of quotations that strike one for whatever reason. These were later reread, thus serving to focus attention on their substance.” (409)

-“Freewriting research I conducted a number of years ago suggests that skilled writers are far more likely than inexperienced writers to interrupt the sub- stance of their texts with metacognitive observations about their writing or their surroundings.” (413)

-“As almost any writer knows, what silence says is a crucial challenge. If we fill the silences with too much, our reader or listener responds: “I know. I know. Get on with it,’ or just tunes out. If we leave too much in silence, our reader or listener responds: ‘What on earth is this?’ and falls out of communication. Silences aren’t easy.” (414)


-What reflection strategies are best for students?

-Belanoff mentioned how reflective strategies are often pushed aside in the testing atmosphere of education. How can reflection be integrated in assessment?

-I thought that the article was going to look more closely at silence theory and how it pertains to reflection. What counts as silence in reflection if a person does not write anything down or speak aloud? Is it possible to think things yet keep them “silent”?

-This article would be helpful in validating how reflection can be useful to writers and readers in the classroom. It does not push against testing very much, but it could begin the conversation.

Les Perelman’s “Construct Validity, Length, Score, and Time in Holistically Graded Writing Assessments: The Case Against Automated Essay Scoring (AES)”



Perelman, Les. “Construct Validity, Length, Score, and Time in Holistically Graded Writing Assessments: The Case Against Automated Essay Scoring (AES).” International Advances in Writing Research: Cultures, Places, Measures. Ed. Charles Bazerman, Chris Dean, Jessica Early, KAren Lunsford, Suzie Null, Paul Rogers, and Amanda Stanswell. Fort Collins: WAC Clearinghouse and Parlor, 2012. 121-32. Web.



Perelman makes four points regarding automated essay scoring systems and why they should not be used to score student writing. First, the scores mostly assess the length of the writing piece rather than actual elements as it simply counts. Then, because the timeframe for writing these timed pieces is so short, length correlates with score. These timed essays are abnormal not only because of the correlation between length and score, but because they do not have authentic prompts. Next, the validity of AES scoring has been proven to be false. Last, MS Word has better grammar checking software than AES, and MS Word is very limited itself (128).

Works Cited

Attali, Y., & Powers, D. (2008). A developmental writing scale (ETS Research Report RR-08-19). Princeton, NJ: Educational Testing Service.

Council of Writing Program Administrators, National Council of Teachers of English, and National Writing Project. (2011). Framework for Sucess in Post- secondary Writing. Retrieved from les/framework- for-success-postsecondary-writing.pdf

Elliot, N. (2005). On a scale: A social history of writing assessment in America.New York: Peter Lang.

Huot, B. (2002). (Re)articulating writing assessment. Logan, UT: Utah State University Press.

White, E. M. (1984). Holisticism. College Composition and Communication, 35(4), 400-409.



  • “Although White (1995) has made a case for the timed-impromptu for certain assessment decisions, it is a genre of writing that has no real analogue in real human communication and therefore is invalid as a measure. Indeed, the timed impromptu exists in no activity system except for mass-market writing assessments and education geared towards mass-market writing assessments.” (Perelman 122)
  • “When students have one hour to write, the shared variance predicted by length decreases to approximately 20%, and when students are given 72 hours, length predicts 10% or less of the shared variance of the holistic score.” (Perelman 124)
  • “They do not understand meaning, and they are not sentient. They do not react to language; they merely count it.” (Perelman 125)


If the grammar checking software is as limited as Perelman claims it is, how can it truly assess students’ grammar usage? How many students have been rated lower because of the limitations of its software?

Perelman explains that in 1966, AES emerged because human scorers were not reliable. What was first tried to make human scorers more reliable? Did norming sessions occur?

I have seen World War II referenced in the history of composition in a few articles. What happened during or just after World War II to make composition change as much as it did? Was there a paradigm shift during this time? How did World War II affect other disciplines?

“The Rise of Technical Writing Instruction in America” Robert J. Connors

Connors, Robert J. “The Rise of Technical Writing Instruction in America.” Ed. Stuart A. Selber. Central Works in Technical Communication. Ed. Johndan Johnson-Eilola. New York: Oxford UP, 2004. 3-19. Print.

History of Technical Writing

Early Years (1895-1939): relatively new field being taught in college; Civil War had more people going to college–especially for engineering–that merited these courses; English teachers were soon to be in demand, but they felt they needed to “humanize” engineers, and so they received literary instruction along with writing instruction; no cooperation between English and engineering departments and it becomes more severe as time wears on

A Discipline Comes of Age (1940-1980): “engineering English” was gone from academia during WWII 1940-46; technical writing was an actual job because of its demand during WWII;  rhetoric and technical writing marry in late 1950’s; “reader-writer relationship” p 14;  other disciplines take advantage of technical writing; still, people who taught techwrit still wanted to teach lit because that was their background; 1970s finally found ground for technical writing as its own field

“Sypherd complained bitterly that literature courses were too few and too little to matter, that freshman courses were ineffective, and that lack of writing in other engineering courses, bad student attitudes, and no interdepartmental cooperation had brought engineering English to a critical pass.” p 11
“During the fifties the importance of the profession of technical writing became apparent to industry, and colleges gave more serious consideration to turning out trained technical writers.”  p 13
“Technical writing teachers were not always rewarded by their departments, but many found freedom and credit in the 1970’s that had previously only been dreamt of.” p 17
Can the digital humanities study this timeline and make any inferences as to its own fate?
What major event on the scale of World War II could make the digital humanities boom by need?
Will or is technical writing its own department at some colleges and universities?
Works Cited
H.E. Hand, An Attempt to Measure Success in Technical Writing, Proceedings, ASEE, 72,  pp. 70-72, 1964.
J.A. Walter, Confessions of a Teacher of Technical Writing, The Technical Writing Teacher, 1,  pp. 5-6, 1973.
J.H. Wilson, Jr., Our Colleges Can Teach Writing–If They Are Made To, Proceedings, ASEE, 62,  pp. 431-435, 1955.
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