Here’s the video in its written format:
Throughout this English course, I’ve written a lot of blog posts. From the beginning to the end, I can see significant improvement in my writing. Therefore, most of the posts that I will addressing will be towards the second-half or latter part of the year. The first blog post I wrote was about muslims and their portrayal in the real world. This was a diagnostic post as it showed my teacher how I wrote. I went all over the place with this post, and it wasn’t unorganized. I appreciated being assigned to do a redux (and create it into an essay format) because I was able to make it into a better, create a more polished product where everything flowed. This is because it was structured and I used the point, proof, explain method. Another blog post that I found showed my growth as a writer/competence as a reader was the making connections post for literature circles for the novel To Kill a Mockingbird. This is because I was able to make 3 solid connections after reading the chapters for that week. I made a text-to-text comparing the Radley house to Monster House (film,) a text-to-self connection with Jean when she said she wanted to quit school but Atticus informs her that education is the way to success in life and I could relate to that, and a text-to-world with the use of the n word and comparing that to society today. This was significant because I could better understand the novel and its context. Furthermore, I used these connections to predict what would happen next in the novel. For example, I predicted that there would be a major conflict with racism, and there was one with the Tom Robinson case. Furthermore, other posts that showed my growth as a writer was the post I did on the highest grossing movies of all time. This is because I had written a lot of informative posts on my blog, but this was the first time that I stepped out of my comfort zone and tried something new, therefore, I showed some diversity in my writing. Another time when I did this was when I wrote a short story because it showed my creativity, proved that I knew the elements of a short story, and yet again showed my diversity in writing. Also, my creative blog post showed that I could convince/persuade audiences without large amounts of text, and showed that I am able to step out of my comfort zone and create a good product. Finally, the “What is True Love” post showed my growth as a writer because I was effectively able to relate two songs (and videos) to the story of Romeo and Juliet and ultimately determine which was suited it best.
Some strategies I used before writing was I made a web or planned out what I was going to write about. This helped me to plan out everything effectively so that when I went to actually write, everything flowed and I knew what I was writing. During writing, I would constantly read it over to see if everything made sense, and checked punctuation and other errors. After writing I would continue to check it over several times to see if I didn’t make any errors (spelling, punctuation, etc) and sometimes asked a friend if they could edit it before submitting it. The most helpful part of the writing process is definitely the planning stage because this is where you figure out everything that you’re writing. Some steps that I need to take to become a better writing is I need to condense my writing when it is necessary. For example, I often find it hard to meet word limits/things of that nature. Somethings I could do to achieve this goal is taking out any unnecessary information or “fluff” in any type of work.
Strategies I used before reading was I did a quick summary in my head before I read so that I could be sure that I understood the previous events of the novel. Before starting the novel, I usually read the summary at the back to get a good idea of what I’m going to be reading about. While reading, I tried visualizing scenarios so I better understood what was going on in the book. Furthermore, making connections throughout the book allowed me to connect with the characters, and reflect while thinking about my life and how I would react in a given scenario. Also, I re-read sections if I didn’t understand it so I could better understand it. After reading I recapped what I just read to make sure that I could identify the major parts of the chapters that I just finished. Re-reading parts of the book that I didn’t understand was the most helpful because I was able to understand all parts of the book and made sure that I didn’t miss any of the crucial/important information. I could improve as a reader by trying to understand the context of the book. For example, if a historical event was brought up and I didn’t know what it was, I could go and research it to receive a better understanding of how it related to it.
Some strategies I used when interpreting/creating media texts were I looked at any clues I got other than the text. For example, in Romeo and Juliet they had definitions at the side. Since it is a little difficult to understand, using the definitions at the side helped me to get a better understanding of the plot of the story and broadened my vocabulary. Also, if it was a comic or movie I tried to look at the images or body language of the characters and by analyzing this, I could understand different parts of the story. For example, Romeo and Juliet were always close when they spoke to each other, or tried so in the balcony scene for example, which showed their true love. I could improve as an interpreter by looking for other clues or analyzing other things such as position of characters in movies. In written text, I could search up the definition of a word if I didn’t understand it and if it wasn’t given which it isn’t in regular novels. I could use all of these strategies to effectively create a good scene/video on a particular scene of Romeo and Juliet for example. This is because I now know the elements of how to, and some other things to consider.
Using videos or audio aids does indeed clarify ideas. When I did my blogger of the week presentation, I used my blog to assist me in the presentation. This is because that’s what it was there for, some people didn’t, and consequently had short and ineffective presentations. I went through the entire post, and as I was doing so I addressed each point to make sure that everything I included was mentioned to the class. In the dramatic presentations, using costumes and other props not only enhances the act, but it makes it easier to understand. For example, using costumes helps the audience identify who is who, for example, a servant may be wearing old looking clothes, while a king could be wearing luxurious pieces of clothing or a crown. In our presentation we put emphasis on Juliet’s speech played by Aisha and used a light to put the spotlight on her to show the significance. All of these were effective strategies. Sometimes, what can make you nervous about oral presentations is that all of the attention is on you. Something that you could practice is saying it in front of a small group of people/family or friends before going up so you’re used to it. Also, if you’re not comfortable with it, you could always give the students the option to only present to you (as the teacher.)
In group oral presentations/discussions it is important to let everyone have their say. Having a discussion leader to help guide the conversation did help, and got everyone back on track when the topic changed/drifted. You should listen to what everyone has to say, and keep an open mind. This is when you can hear what they’re actually saying and reply back politely. Finally, you could arrange some sort of schedule for each person (i.e. in the literature circles 5-7 minutes for each role.)
Because of all of these strategies I know where I am as a reader, writer, communicator, and interpreter. I know where I stand and know the steps for improvement. I know my strengths and weaknesses and by taking all of the steps/improving where I said I should I can not only become better in all of those categories mentioned, but I can excel and become fully prepared for not only grade 11, but for the rest of my life and further years.
Here are all of the posts mentioned in the posts that showed my growth as a writer: