Read and, if you like, reply to this recent article about “what poetry teaches us.”  Thanks to Ms. Chesser for sending this article.


Also, read and, if you like, reply to the following draft explanation of my current grading practices for weekend blog reflections:


For most of the assigned blog posts, especially the regular weekend
reflections, I have decided to record a score. For the time being, I
typically record 95%, if a post meets the basic expectations of
timely submission, clear sentences and specific development. Occasionally, a
post inspires me to share it with a larger audience, usually with
other adults in the HIES community. On such occasions, I may record a
100%. At other times, a post may arrive after the deadline or with
faulty sentences. In these instances, I record an 85%, unless the
arrival or sentences warrant a lower score.
I am unsure how to balance the need for feedback and some level of
accountability. As for feedback, I prefer to use the reply feature
below each individual’s new post. In this way, I can be just another
one of the blog’s followers. I am finding, though, that while my replies
let me join an ongoing conversation about someone’s particular post, they
also give me a chance to instruct students, directly or indirectly.
I have always struggled with how best to use mainstream
grading systems to communicate with students about their ideas, their
expression of those ideas, and their learning. The weekend blog
reflections, I hope, give you space and time to digest. I want to
dedicate this time for these writings because I believe such
reflections help you learn more deeply. They help you digest lessons
from the week. As I have said elsewhere, I see value in your being
able to anticipate and depend on this weekend reflection time.
Results from the first three reflections confirm this value. I also believe
that writers use routine and habit, in order to produce meaningful
pieces. In the end, my current practice of ascribing scores to these
weekend, and other, blogs is my best attempt to encourage what I see
as a valuable, enjoyable practice. I welcome suggestions for other
ways to meet these goals.