Monday, November 7, 2011

Advice? Help? Criticism?...Here's What I Think...

My post on Melinda Cox's blog.

We have very similar feelings as far as blogging goes. I felt that my first quarter grade could have been better just like you. We also need to improve in the same areas. I had trouble with the length of my response just like you. I think the main important thing in achieving the appropriate length is to really take the time to think about what your going to say. I sit there with you while blogging and I know we are both guilty of opening a new post and starting to write without even thinking it through. Sometimes this can be good and sometimes this can cause you to run out of things to say rather quickly. I know that if you really take the time to think responses out you will have a better outcome. We are also reading the same book this quarter. I'm excited that Mrs. Hayes has given us the option to do a couple group blogs. I think it would be interesting if we could put our thoughts together in a vlog and describe both of our feelings for the book. This way the reader could get two different opinions and views of the same book. I think if we put the right amount of time into the thought process we could get a good outcome. I look forward to working with you and seeing your advancements. Good luck!

Here is a post that I posted on the ning. It was on the blog post about the book Stotan posted by Connor Helsdingen.
Hey i'm Simone Corpora from Carbondale Community High School.  I saw your blog post and the book cover caught my attention. I've been swimming since I was six and just recently quit due to a shoulder injury. Swimming books have always been my favorite because they its easy to find a way to relate to the characters, but I've never read this book. I know that you can share such strong bonds with the people that are on your team. You go through gruesome workouts and you don't think your going to be able to make it, but your friend next to you in the lane is there to push you on. It's an incredible bond and I can't imagine what kind of connection you would share after going through what the boys in the book went through. I really enjoyed reading your blog, it has encouraged me to go and read this book. I'm really curious as to how they learned about life and swimming through a week of military style training. I can't even begin to imagine 4 hours of practice every day for a week. Once again, great blog!

Here is a post I made on Arielle's blog.

  Dear Arielle,
I agree with your thoughts towards sparknotes. I feel that only reading a summary of a classic book takes away from the reason to why it is a classic. But where I disagree with you is that sometimes with classic books the writing can be a little tricky to understand. I think sparknotes can be helpful to read along with the book. For example, while reading Othello I found I had a difficult time understanding what the characters were trying to say. I would read the assigned reading, and then after go onto sparknotes to read more about the parts I didn't understand. So no I don't think sparknotes is completely off limits, but just needs to be used in the correct way. That way you understand the book and are ready to write the research paper. I am enjoying your blog very much, keep it up!

Thursday, November 3, 2011

Reflecting On the Previous Posts

      Honestly I was not happy with my first quarter blog grade. I felt that I put an adequate amount of time and effort into my blog to not get a very good outcome. Regardless, I'm here to reflect, not mob about the grade I received. Lets start with the things that I need to improve so that we can finish on a good note. First, I need to improve the length of my responses. When responding to other classmate's posts I felt that it was better to get to the point than ramble on. I need to work on my critiquing ability. I can sometimes be too nice, but it's fine to give criticism in a respectful way. This is something I've always known, but have never been good at executing. My responses in general need to be longer. Mrs. Hayes kept underlining the word "analysis", and I'm not exactly sure what that means. I mean, I know what the word analysis means, but I'm not sure what she is exactly wanting from me. That's something to take up with her though. My final mistake was when doing the animoto and photo blog I simply had pictures to explain the plot. I need to expand the variety and add pictures to represent theme and symbols that are presented throughout the book.  Now that's enough with my mistakes, let's move onto things I did well. First, I received good feedback on my link up. I spent a lot of time looking for sites that would give a better understanding of my book, and I guess it paid off. One of the assignments was to create a vlog. This was the first time I had ever vlogged in my life. I rambled and probably talked too much, but I spent about 3 hours trying to complete it. Unfortunately, my teacher was unable to view the vlog and so it did not get graded. I'm not very good with technology and I'm not sure where the break down was, but oh well. Even though the vlog was not graded I felt it was something I did well on none the less.
      Goals. Goals are very important to make any advancements in life, so it would only be appropriate to set them for blogging as well. Goal number one is to strive for a better grade, but I think that's obvious. My next goal is to really take this blog in my own direction. This will be an easy goal to achieve because this time around Mrs. Hayes has given us more freedom to make the blog more personal. My next goal is to improve on the areas that I had trouble with in the first quarter. I need to stop worrying about my grade for blogging. For spanish and math I need to worry to keep those grades high, but that's not the case with blogging. I need to relax and not be mainly concentrated on word by word what we are suppose to do to achieve the grade I want. I think blogging will then become more natural and in the end I could end up with a better grade. I would think that blogging would be a difficult item to grade. Since blogging is such a personal thing every person in the class will have a different type blog, and I think that would be hard to grade. It's time to let the grade part of blogging go, and well, just blog.
        My opinion towards blogging is slowly changing. At first I was really excited because it was a new thing that I had never tried before. Then in the middle of blogging I kind of hit a slump and seeing my grade didn't help that either. Now that Mrs. Hayes is letting us take the blog which ever direction we want, I'm excited again. I have lots of ideas for possible blog prompts. For example, making a playlist that the main character would make to get them through a problem they are facing. Then explain why each song was chosen, and why the playlist title was chosen. I also liked the assignment that Mrs. Hayes gave us to find pictures that describe the book. This time I'll promise to do more than just the plot summary. My final idea I will share with you is to write one blog entry as if I was the main character and describe what is going on in their life and their feelings on the subject. I'm really excited to make this my own.
         My second quarter book is called, Please Ignore Vera Dietz. So far I've only read a few pages but the book immediately starts with a funeral. It's sometimes hard for me to read books that start off slow, but I love that this book just jumps right in. Stevie Dailey, a classmate, read this book last quarter and she strongly recommended it. I read her blog and her pictures and sites made me really interested in this book. Vera the same age as me and, for me at least, it's much easier to get hooked on a book when I can relate to the character. I also am looking forward to how this book gives the view point of a few different characters and not just one like most books. Over all, I think this quarter will be much better than the last. The last quarter was a warm up. Now this is the real deal.