As a year of AP Language and Composition comes to an end, the time comes to reflect over what we have learned and how we have improved.
To begin, things that worked for me as writer were learning how to plan and organize my thoughts before writing. In the past, I always took the “planning period” as an extra 10 minutes to scribble out a few more sentences. However, after our various practice essays and workshops, I learned that it is always beneficial to take that time to really think about what I want to write. This improves the flow and quality of information that I put onto the page, as well as the overall structure. This really helped on the AP test since they give a lot of time to plan the essays. I already knew what I wanted to write for each one before the planning period was over. Attached is a photo of a roll of film, since it takes time and preparation in order to create a good piece of work.
Photo from creative commons. “Old Time”
If I were to take this class again, I would have wanted to spend more time writing my essays. They were always last minute jobs or essays that could’ve been better if I put a little more time into it. While I learned a lot from these various styles of essays, I probably would’ve been able to learn more if I put more effort into them. I really appreciate how Mr. Ziebarth took the time to read each one individually and comment on how to improve them. It really helped me fix the mistakes I made and understand why I made them.
One of the best perks of taking this class was the strong friendship I made with my table mates. Through this class, we all learned how to discuss, debate, communicate, and help each other improve. I would like to say that my writing has drastically improved from the constant essay workshops and comments that they have left on my google docs. While this may range from major structural changes or forgotten commas, each note helped to improve my writing. I hope that our relationship was mutual and I helped them as much as they helped me. I love to discuss my ideas and share my thoughts with them since they are very supportive and they always respond with their own. This transfer of information creates a never ending chain of ideas where we bounce off one another and think of even more things!
I really enjoyed every single book that we read this year. Each one showed a different side to literature and was able to captivate my attention.The crucible was dramatic and in a play form, house on mango street was unique and informal, Gatsby was fun and playful, Grapes was fictional and nonfictional all in one, and Catcher was written in a different perspective. While these descriptions do not fully encompass the complexity and personality of each book, it shows the extreme differences that each book had, as well as the attractiveness of each book to different people.
This class really made effective use of social media to share ideas and discussions. I learned how to use twitter and wordpress, and even improved my hash-tagging abilities and photography. From learning how to express my thoughts through a few sentences on twitter, to writing a full length descriptive on wordpress, I was able to learn how to share my ideas to the public and my classmates in an unconventional way. As a result, I was able to see all of my classmates’ responses and see how they compared to my own. In addition, one of my favorite activities was the sidewalk chalk during Grapes of Wrath. Our table team worked together to create a picture that was able to describe a quote in the book. (picture above) Everyone who walked into the school could see the story that we created and possibly understand the references.
I guess the only way to “prove” my learning to my teacher and the world is through my score on the AP test. Just kidding, learning cannot be measured by a single grade or number. In the end, the ability to communicate and share ideas with one another is the greatest skill that I have acquired in this class. By starting a conversation or sharing an idea with someone else, that in itself is proof of gained knowledge.