ParishGOV Reflections

Reflective Writing Assignment


In lieu of tests, you will write for our
AllSaintsGOV Blog.
For starters, I please know that I have high expectations for our reflective writing project. I see our new blog as a place for thoughtful reflection, good writing, creativity, and conversation. (Remember, it's not a "blog" project - it's about reflective writing... blogs are a tool!!)

When I say my hopes for the blog are high, I mean that I want our AllSaintsGOV blog to be a space where you get to 'show off'. You are all great thinkers, and I want that to be obvious to everyone around the school and around the web who finds their way to our blog. Considering that you are only going to have to write 2 posts, (and seeing that they are our TEST GRADES for 3rd trimester!), I expect you to put in a good amount of time thinking, writing, reviewing, revising, proofreading, and polishing your blog post, to produce something you'll be proud to have others on the world-wide-web read. Our blog is a public showcase for the learning we are doing in Government class.
Click HERE for more details about why we're writing!
GENERAL TOPIC = Thoughtful Reflection
The topics of your blog posts in general should be "reflection on your learning." Reflection is an opportunity for you to step back and think about / evaluate. When you reflect, you're doing higher-order thinking, the kind we do when we self-assess.
As for specific topics of your reflections, by the end of the trimester you will write ONE POST from each area:
TOPIC #1: "What I've been studying / learning lately in GOV."
Tell us about one of topics you've studied and found interesting. THINK about our units of study in GOV: Foundations, Civics, Elections, Congress, the Presidency, and the Courts - it could be about big unit topics, a day's work in class, something from a reading, or about little pieces of a topic you discovered and that you found really interesting - even though we didn't pursue the topic in detail together.
TOPIC #2: "What I think about what I've been following in the news for GOV."
Give us your take on current events and relate your opinion to our work in GOV class. What have you learned from the course about national politics? How are events in the country helping your understand course material? Are you starting to form opinions about certain issues based on your studies in class?
A Few Thoughts about Good Writing:
I recognize that, for some of you, writing is not your preferred form of communication. I also know that all of you are writers – whether you think of yourselves as writers or not, you text your friends, you micro–blog for Facebook and/or Twitter, you email, and you write for school. All these are forms of writing!
The writing you’ll do for our blog is yet another form of communication through writing, and one that you are free to define for yourself: you establish the rules of topic, tone, style, etc., in keeping with the rules of English composition (spelling, grammar, sentence-structure, etc. must be proper).
Think of blogging as writing without the typical academic writing rules (ex. feel free to use personal pronouns like I/me/my). I think you should use language that comes easily to you, and you shouldn't have to consult a thesaurus while you're composing. On the other hand, avoid unorthodox spelling like "nite", "thru", "pleez", etc. Imagine you're sending an email to all of your teachers and write like that – familiar/informal, but respectful of good communication habits.
I want you to feel empowered to be creative in your writing. There's no ‘right style’ for blogging, just the kind you wish to use, in accordance with the standards of the assignment. You should find your own voice and be yourself in your writing.
We will all end up reading each other's blog posts in class, which will provoke interesting conversations. To be a blogger means to "put yourself out there," open to comments from anyone in the 'blogosphere', including both me and your classmates as well as others around the web. Expect to get comments on your blog! Periodically go back and check for comments and respond. Authors have an obligation to reply to commenters and you should write your blog posts with this expectation for conversation in mind. If you wish, you can ask questions of the reader, and certainly you can send the reader via hyperlinks to other places around the web to get ideas for a comment on your blog.

Source: Mike Gwaltney