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Blogs of the Week

Page history last edited by Jenifer Jones 13 years, 11 months ago

And the winners are...



March 5, 2009


Aah, the time has finally come to nominate our final 'Blog of the Week' reciprient.  With no 'Links of the Week' winners, our group has decided to shake it up a bit and do the following:


1. We will nominate a final reciprient for this week's 'Blog of the Week'.  This person will receive recognition for their hard work in the visual essay post.


2. This week's 'Blog of the Week' winner will be added to the esteemed list of past reciprients (Center, Kubsch, Kristin, Sam, Molly, and Erin).  From this list, we will host a "TOC BOT" (Tournament of Champions Blogger of the Term).  One person will be honored for their dedication and success on their blogs throughout the semester. 




1. This week's 'Visual Essay' Blog of the Week Winner is...  PATRICK!


"Tired of boring cognitively draining text books? Sick of the monotone drawl of english folk acapella's belting out lyrics of out-dated theories and paradigms (enough to make even Gallagher's ear's bleed)? Tired of educational DVD's that lack useful content, contain ho-hum imagery, and are linguistically a nightmare in the area of commentary ... makes my glottal stop STOP! Well then I have the collection for you!"  We've all been marketed!  Patrick creates awesome visuals and gives a shout out to each of us on his compilation CD.  Orders have already been coming in, so visit the site soon to get your own copy!


Runners up included Jamie's visual rendition of our cohort's best (and often craziest) moments, Rick's constant blog (or dissertation) entries, and Joe's amazing Comic Life visual essay (and willingness to finally accept defeat).


This means the following cohort members are eligible for the 'TOC BOT':

Patrick, Center, Kubsch, Kristin, Sam, Molly, and Erin.


2. The 'TOC BOT' winner amongst our 2009 English Cohort (with a unanamous decision by the judges) is..  KRISTIN!


I'm not really sure what I can possibly say about Kristin's insane blog... how do you top each week's amazing reflections, questions, and philosophical dilemas?  One of the judges put it best...."It's like watching a damn ballet".  In this crazy, hectic, "OH MY GOD I'M GOING TO BE TEACHING IN 'X' WEEKS" environment, Kristin has never lost her enthusiasm, drive, and dedication for this occupation.  These desires are apparent in every one of her posts, and this dedication to her students, her profession, and her collegues has earned her this distinguished award! 


This week's judges were: Britt, Emily, Jen, and Kelly.

February 26th, 2009


Matt Center & Kim Kubsch! It's a tie!!!!


Choosing a BOTW is a lot easier than it looks as many of you know. After our final votes we were split between awarding Kim and Matt Center BOTW. Instead of breaking anyone's heart we decided to award the first BOTW tie in 5461 history! You guys are gonna have to share that trophy. =)

Kubsch's Blog: We appreciated Kim's blogs for a few reasons but none more than her genuine venting, WTF attitude towards the benefits and pitfalls of technology in the classroom. She, like many of us, wrestles with finding a balance between the use of textbooks and MacBooks in the classroom:


"I still appreciate the feel of a brand new book.  And I still believe that students are capable of learning from things that aren't on a computer.  At least I really hope so.  I think we need to teach our students the value of actually reading a paper text, and being able to discuss our opinions of it, out loud, without the use of a backspace key.  Or students writing with actual pencils and paper.  Or being able to find their own mistakes in grammar and spelling without relying on spellcheck to point them out first.  And what about the role of the teacher?  What happens when my students can do things with technology I've never even heard of?  Then I become the student?  I suppose it's time to brace myself" (Kubsch 2009).


Matt Center's Blog: Center brought some pretty interesting things from the Jenkins article that we hadn't thought about quite as deeply. One thing that he focuses on was the use of collaborative technology (Center 2009) and discuss how 2.0 communities "could be exponentially powerful" (Center 2009). What we do with and how we define these communities varies how "powerful" they could be. Furthermore, since everyone's definition of "community" is going to be different, our use of these 2.0 sites are going to be fundamentally different and constantly evolving. Mad props on that one, Center.


February 19th, 2009

Kristin’s Blog!

It was our unanimous decision to honor Kristin Bergsagel with the coveted Blog of the Week award.  After laying claim to an honorable mention last week, the fire was clearly in her eyes this time.

Immediately, the voice that Kristin took in her post was attention-grabbing and critical.  Here was a post that not only exuded conviction, but also commanded the material, even incorporating a little outside research.  Kristin’s questioning the pain of reading papers is an extremely important discussion for us.  Why should reading our students’ work be painful?  Is that the students’ fault?  Kristin thinks not.

No, as she so eloquently explains, it is the job of the teacher to make meaningful assignments for the student that will be meaningful for the instructor.  If you as a teacher are bored by a collection of student essays, whom can you blame but yourself?  Kristin incorporated the NCTE guidelines for reading and writing, ultimately confessing “I do love this” (Bergsagel 2009).

From there she bridged the gap between NCTE and a similar-sounding but decidedly more ominous NCLB.  In a balanced discussion, Kristin reminded us of the importance of NCLB’s intent: higher standards, which isn’t altogether a bad thing.  She remained even-handed and critical, and her optimism in the face of our profession’s difficulties was unfaltering.  There is no question that she deserves it this week.  Go check it out!


Your blog selecting team



Blog of the Week..... February 11th, 2009.


Congratulations to... (dun, dun, dun) Sam!!

Our favorite chunk, his recipe for grammatical success:

"After class, when I asked him how he keeps his enthusiasm up while teaching grammar, he responded, “Well, I have to keep it interesting for me, too.” Perhaps, then, the cure to the grammar panic may resemble the following:

1 cup of preparation


3 tbs. of enthusiasm

Two or three identifiable purposes, peeled and transparent

2 tbs. of humor

1 cup of care

Instructions: combine preparation, enthusiasm, and purposes into large classroom, stir with care. When the ingredients clump together, making it impossible to stir, sprinkle in the two tablespoons of humor to loosen it up. Repeat…"


Check it out for yourself.... "The Sampost"


Why his blog is fantastic:  (other than the fact that he made his own trophy for the occasion)


1.  He incorporated the multigenre paper in his blog, even though this topic wasn't part of the readings or requirements for this week.  We all can't wait to teach this and appreciate his enthusiasm!

2.  Sam's voice really came through in his writing.  It was easy for the reader to share in his frustration, but also in his excitement to get in the classroom.  If we can quote him, "It was amazing to be a part of, to say the least."  We felt the same way about being a part of your blog, Sam.

3.  Sam's blog also speaks to us on a practical level with practical advice.  This is exactly what we need, considering "WE'RE GOING TO BE TEACHING IN FOUR WEEKS!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!" - anonymous, 2009

4. Amidst his "grammar panic", his reflections on his previous and current experiences in the classroom show his interest in making a snore bore of a unit both accessible and interesting for his future students.  Way to go, Sam.


THIS WEEK'S JUDGES:  Fidelito, Kubsch, ShMeagen, and EMurphs.  

**disclaimer:  we have now been at Dunn Brother's for bordering on oh, 7 hours now.  We apologize for any inconvenience this may have caused you during the reading process.


Oh, and shoutout to KRISTIN!!!!!!  Read the HONORABLE MENTION here.   There was some tough competition out there.  Believe us, stakes were high.  


Blog of the Week 2/4/09


This weeks winner is Molly!!


Molly says, "Are multigenre projects it? Or, are traditional essays and research papers still top dog? Personally, I believe we can gather some invaluable tenets of writing if we compare traditional and alternative papers."


Check out her blog here.


Why we love Molly's Blog:

1. Molly does a great job at taking the ideas of the traditional writing and multigenre writing and finding where they meet, crossover, and differ.

2. On that note, Molly focuses on the are important aspects of all writing, whether in single or multi-genre form.

3. Her postings leave the reader with intriguing questions.

4. Not only does Molly thoughtfully respond to this week's readings for 5461, but she also weaves in some of the theoretical readings from 5481 (Delpit and Freire).


We'd also like to give a shout out to Sam as runner-up for exploring the topic of multi-genre writing through a multi-genre blog post.


Blog of the Week 1/29/09

And now...what you've all be waiting for!


Erin Murphy’s blog: http://erineducare.blogspot.com/

Erin writes, "Now it's not as though a fantastic paper is the desired outcome of this reflective free write, but what a novel idea...what 10th grader doesn't want to write about themselves for 15 minutes."



We love Erin’s blog for a few reasons:

1.Erin writes in a way that totally allows her own unique voice to come through. This helps the reader to connect and engage with her writing. Witty and very honest.

2.She covers the content of the texts while thoughtfully interjecting with personal anecdotes. These insightful stories that she tells throughout make the original texts more meaningful for readers.

3.On a related note, the examples she uses throughout are stellar and directly related to the content.


This week's judges were Sam, Kristin, Rebecca, and Molly.  Let us add, the competition was might stiff.  Good insights across the blog, er, board.



Here's an example from last year:


January 31, 2008: David

Many in the cohort had a difficult time with the simplicity of 6+1 Traits of Writing and

we thought David's blog did a good job of summarizing some of the issues.

We're hoping to discuss the best uses for this text in more detail during class.

David also had some valid thoughts about the Dornan text and

zeroed in on some important points.

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