I cannot believe that this semester is coming to an end already. I feel as though it was just the beginning of the semester and I was trying to feel out the boundaries of graduate school. As I reflect back on this semester and this class in particular, I have learned so much!
As I review the syllabus and see if I gained knowledge in all the specific areas this course was supposed to encompass, I noticed that I achieved all the learning goals or outcomes and then some. I have gained an in depth knowledge of the various genres that people read, write and communicate in. I am not less intimidated by a lot of the more difficult genres that I was not comfortable teaching and writing in. I know see the importance that each genre has and why students need to learn specifically about each genre. Modeling and scaffolding the process of reading and writing each genre is key to a students success.
Also, I have been made aware of the importance of the role of the audience and purpose that each writing piece should take on. I believe that through the writing process and completion of my Genre Pieces Project, I have become even more aware of this aspect of writing. I always just thought of my writing as being for my teacher and only my teacher, so that was the constant audience that I was writing for and the purpose was just to complete the assigned task at hand.
This semester has opened my eyes to the connection that reading and writing truly have together. I do believe that both a teacher and student is better able to write a specific genre after they have been exposed and taught how to read a genre. When a student has been made aware of the characteristics of a genre they are better able to adapt them into their writing of that genre. The mentor texts used to display a genre are very valuable tools to be used in a classroom as both modeling tools and exploration for students. By having students explore genre texts, they will become curious and hopefully want to write with the characteristics of the genre they are learning about.
Finally, I have reinforced my previous knowledge on scaffolding and differentiation throughout this semester. I believe that each genre of reading and writing can be taught to every grade and developmental level of students as long as it is differentiated to meet the needs of the students and is at a level at which they are able to comprehend and apply the knowledge they are gaining. For example, some students may be able to handle more individual work while others may need the teacher to walk them through each step of the writing process. Also, some students in your classroom may need to be challenged or need to go through the writing process in a different way so they could be publishing their works through some type of word processing system. Technology can be implemented into your classroom to aid in the writing process but only when it is developmentally appropriate for your students. I believe that differentiation truly is the answer to reaching each student in your classroom no matter what content area you are teaching.