Tuesday, June 7, 2011

The End of the Year...

This is it, everyone! Your last blog post of the YEAR! As excited as we all probably are about that, I'd like for you to think seriously about the questions below and give some good, thoughtful answers.

You can do this any way you like- write it, videotape yourself or make a podcast answering the questions.

What were some of your goals at the beginning of this school year, both for school as well as for your personal life?

How many of these goals do you think that you have met? Can you please explain your answers?

For the goals that you've met, what helped you to meet those goals? Were there any people who helped you meet them, as well?

For the goals that you did not meet, what stopped you from meeting those goals?

What will be some of your goals for next year, both for school as well as for your personal life?

What have you learned about yourself this year, both as a student and as a person?

Do you think your English has improved this year? Why has it or hasn't it?

Have a fantastic summer, everyone, and I will see you next year!

Sunday, June 5, 2011

Final Task: Analysis!


OK, everyone, THIS IS IT! This is your final task for our Unit of Inquiry projects, the Analysis part. This task MUST cover Criterion C and should cover Criterion D, as well.

This part of your project will be a three-paragraph writing assignment. Each paragraph must have one topic sentence and at least three supporting details. You will have the whole period to finish this post, and all posts must be finished by the end of the period in order to be scored on time.

Blog Post Title: Final Task: Analysis
Blog Post Labels: ESL, UOI, Analysis, Criterion C, (and Criterion D, if you are meeting it), Topic

Your three-paragraphs must include:

1.) A description of the Unit of Inquiry that includes the topic that you chose, as well as your essential question. Then explain why you chose the topic and essential question.

2.) A paragraph that describes the three levels of Bloom's Taxonomy that we covered (Knowledge, Comprehension, Application), and the tasks that you did for each level, including a link to each blog post on which you posted the tasks.

3.) An ending paragraph that gives your essential question, as well as answers the essential question. This will be the most important paragraph of this assignment!

Remember: Focus on writing good topic sentences and supporting details!

Sunday, May 29, 2011

Practicing Topic Sentences and Supporting Details

We are going to be writing reflections on projects for the Analysis section of our unit, which will be scored according to content (WHAT you say), as well as HOW it is said. That means that you will be required to have correct topic sentences and supporting details in your paragraphs. Today, we are going to start a review of these writing skills. Here is a short form about topic sentences and supporting details that I would like you to complete, so I will know where we need to focus our attention for the review next class.

Good luck, and read everything CAREFULLY!

Wednesday, May 25, 2011

It's Interview Time!

Next week, in an effort to help every student achieve a score for Criterion A,  as well as to get some important information about your project, I will be interviewing you. Sounds like fun, right?

You will receive the interview questions a day or two in advance and have some time to prepare your answers. However, you cannot read anything during the interview, you must SPEAK only. Also, I may ask you other questions if I feel that you are not giving enough information in your answers, so be prepared to answer them.

The interviews will be recorded and posted on both your blog, as well as mine.

Below is a list of ten questions. You will choose THREE questions to answer and let me know what they are. Then, you will write a blog post explaining your choice.

Questions to choose from:

1.) If you could choose your topic again, would you choose the same one, or a different one? Explain why.

2.) If you could re-do any part of your project so far, what would you change and why?

3.)  Can you describe some things that you did well, and some things that you could have done better during the project?

4.) Can you describe some problems that you had when completing your tasks for this project? What did you do to try to solve them?

5.) Was this topic easier or harder than you expected it to be when you chose it? Explain why.

6.) What challenges or difficulties did you face during the Knowledge, Comprehension and Application parts of the unit? (This needs three separate answers for each part)

7.) How well did you work on your own, meeting deadlines and getting your work done independently? Explain why you did well,  or why you needed to improve.

8.) What have to you learned about yourself as a learner, and about the WAY that you learn through this unit?

9.) Do you think that you have successfully shown your learning through the tasks that you've completed during this unit so far? Explain your answer.

10.) If you were to give a lesson to other students about the best way to learn and to show learning, what would you tell them? Be specific and give details.

Your Blog Post:

Title: UOI Interview With Mrs. Raisdana
Labels: ESL, UOI, Interview, Criterion A


In this post, you will:

* Describe the three questions that you chose for the interview.
* You will then EXPLAIN why you chose EACH of those three questions (so there should be three   explanations in this part)
* Describe what you will do to prepare your answers, STEP BY STEP.
*  Predict how you think you will do when giving your interview, and why.

This post should be about two short paragraphs long, and should have good explanations and details for every part.

PLEASE ASK ME if you have any questions at all about this interview.

Your Interview:

Once you have recorded our interview, put it into iMovie and share it to iTunes. UPLOAD IT  into your blog post, under the heading "My Interview:" 

Under your interview video, please write a reflection that answers the following questions:
1.) How much did you prepare for your interview?
2.) What did you do to prepare for your interview?
3.) How do you think you did during the interview? First talk about what you think you did well, and then say at least one thing that you could have done differently.

This reflection should answer these questions in a PARAGRAPH. 

Let me know if you have any questions!

Sunday, April 24, 2011

Welcome to Mrs. Raisdana's Unit Of Inquiry!


Guess what, you guys? I am going to do this Unit of Inquiry right along with you! You see, I have always wanted to learn how to take better pictures, but I haven't had the time to get around to learning about it. So, I figured that since, as a class, we are focusing on how to learn new things, skills or ideas, I would use this as the chance for me to do some learning, as well.

My topic is going to be photography, and my essential question is: What are five things that I can do to take better pictures? It is important for me to become a better photographer because I want to use pictures to tell the stories of my family, and beautiful pictures are much more meaningful when creating memories and stories. I also want to use pictures to share stories on my blog, and people respond better to pictures that are taken well, because it shows more time and effort put into the post.

The Area Of Interaction that this topic hits is Human Ingenuity, because I am going to be exploring how to create new and better photographs. I will also be explaining why I am creating certain pictures as I take them.  I am a visual learner, so I most likely will not be simply reading articles about how to take good pictures, because I don't learn very well from reading only. I will probably read SOME articles or instruction booklets, but in addition, I think that I will probably also watch videos about taking good pictures, ask people that I know who are good photographers to show me some new skills, interview people about their photography successes, and just do some experimenting on my own with my cameras.

To start the Knowledge part of this project, I am going to look up some websites about photography and how to take good pictures, ask my friends what they do to take beautiful photographs, and watch a few tutorial videos. Then  I will make a list of these strategies and briefly describe the benefits of each one. These activities will help me because they will give me a variety of strategies for better photography that I can choose my 5 from. I will also look at recent examples of pictures that I have taken so that I can identify what kinds of things I really need to improve on.

Let's have fun and work hard with this!

Welcome to My Unit Of Inquiry!


Now that you all have chosen your topics and essential questions for your unit, you will write a blog post introducing your unit. Look at the following instructions:

Introduction Blog Post
Title: Welcome To My Unit Of Inquiry
Labels: Unit of Inquiry, Introduction

Write a blog post that introduces the unit, your topic, and you essential question. Describe which Area Of Interaction your topic fits and explain why. Explain the type of learner that you are (visual, auditory or kinesthetic), and explain how this will affect the kinds of learning activities that you will choose. Then, go on to describe some examples of activities that you will do during the unit, as well as to get you started in the Knowledge part of the unit. BE SURE to explain why these activities will be helpful to you.

Note: You MUST include an image that is CITED in your blog post!

Some ideas to help you write your post: (You can use these sentence starters, but your post MUST be written as a paragraph)

During this Unit Of Inquiry, what I am going to learn about is….my essential question is…..

The reason WHY I think it is important to learn this is...

The Area Of Interaction that this topic meets is……..because……

I am a _________ learner, so I will most likely choose activities that are…

Some activities that I will do to learn about this are:

To start the Knowledge part of this unit, the activities that I will need to do are:

These activities will help me because…

Good luck, have fun, and see me if you need some help!

Thursday, April 7, 2011

Procrastinate? Us? Never!

Procrastinate:(verb) To put off doing something until later.

As in: Even though my homework was due this morning, I procrastinated and did not start it until 9:00 last night.

The noun form of this word? Procrastination.

Procrastination is a BIT of a problem for many middle school students (and some teachers!). There are many ways that people can procrastinate: by watching just ONE MORE show on television, by suddenly becoming VERY hungry and needing to eat something right now, by telling yourself that you will spend just 10 more minutes on the internet (which will usually turn into 45-60 more minutes!), etc...

Here is a visual example of the many, many ways that people can procrastinate:

The Procrastination Flow Chart!

Does this look familiar to any of you? If it does, then good for you for being aware and honest enough to admit it!

So, why am I showing this to you and talking about procrastination? What does this have to do with our Unit of Inquiry? Well, I am glad that you asked that question!

I just want you to be aware of the meaning and idea of procrastination, so that you will be able to recognize it when (or should I say "if"?) you do it. This unit will require you to do a lot of work, activities and learning on your own, so if you are someone who like to procrastinate, then you may need to sit down with yourself (or with me, if you like) and try to come up with ways that you will be able to meet your deadlines.

Oh, and do that soon- don't procrastinate!