I am very glad to say that my experience in sophomore year English class was nothing like I expected it to be! It was laid back and not stressful, but I still feel like I learned a lot.

Some things I liked about English class this year:

  • 10 minute reading: I’ve always loved reading and have always read for fun to relax, but with the workload I’ve been getting recently, I haven’t had much time. And whenever I did bring a good book home, I’d sit glued to it for hours on end, ignoring my homework. 10 minute reading has allowed me to start reading for fun again but still be able to put a book away at the end of a chapter.
  • Blogging: The Ning allows us to share our writing with a much wider audience, and it makes other people’s writing much more accessible. I have found many good books to read by scrolling through the Ning blogs; there are also blogs about various other topics that are also interesting to read.
  • Reading Shakespeare in class: I actually enjoyed the works of Shakespeare we read in class this year because I thoroughly understood them. Previously, the teacher would assign a certain number of pages for homework and we would have a quiz on it the next day without any explanation or discussion. Hearing the lines being read by different people set the characters apart and made the plot stick in my head.


Other random things I liked and I hope my future English teacher will also do:

  • Before we have a quiz on reading that we had been assigned for homework, Mr. Anderson always asks whether we have any questions. Other teachers I’ve had in the past didn’t have a problem with students asking questions, but none of my teachers have initiated it themselves.
  • Instead of just telling us that we were going to be taking the PSAE on April 24-25 as practice for next year, Mr. Anderson explained to us why the state of Illinois administers the PSAE in the first place- the No Child Left Behind Act.
  • Mr. Anderson never gives us a page limit for our writing. “You’ll know when you’re done.”
  • We almost never get a structured prompt. Mr. Anderson saying “I’d love to read what you have to say about this” makes it feel like he wants to read about our opinions and that there’s no single right answer. Plus, I still feel like I’ll be prepared for AP English next year because we’ve had the opportunity to write about so many different things this year.
  • Writers Week with UStream was great because you could watch people that you weren’t able to see in person.
  • None of our units felt like we were cramming to finish before a certain date, and it feels like even this last unit we’re on will be like that as well.


What did you like about your English class this year? Feel free to comment! :)

Views: 137

Comment by Laura Smearman on May 18, 2012 at 10:49am

This is a great blog! I agree with all the points you brought up. There were so many things I enjoyed about this year's English class, my favorites being blogging, ten minute reading, and the freedom we had while writing papers. Another thing I liked was the way we did speeches. We weren't assigned a long speech or one involving research for our first speech. We started out with more casual like speeches that allowed us to start becoming comfortable talking in front of the class. While this is something teachers can't always control, I also liked how comfortable and open our class was with each other. The atmosphere is always friendly, and you can tell people actually want to be there, so it made the class more fun as well as less intimidating to raise your hand and contribute to the discussion. Great blog! 

Comment by Angela Wu on May 18, 2012 at 11:16am

These all sound like really cool things that are going on English. I wish our class did practice mini speeches too. What I like about my English class is that we get sufficient time to discuss points that we don't understand about a book we're reading. We have a lot of discussion and we can share our opinions often.

Comment by Amy Maniola on May 18, 2012 at 7:35pm

I completely agree, English this year was completely unexpected! Everything you brought up was true. I think I loved the atmosphere of our English class the most. Like Laura said, everyone is really open and friendly. The enthusiasm is infectious, and it's hard not to have a good time in Anderson's Period 3. It's also very relaxed, and I feel like nothing's ever rushed and we'll continue discussing a certain topic until everyone completely understands it. I hope I have more classes/teachers like this in the future!

Comment by Yuri Shibata on May 20, 2012 at 4:11pm

All the points you have pointed out are the same exact reasons why I enjoyed English this year. Not to mention, What's Not Wrong and the speeches we did were great as well. I must say, this year's English course was definitely the best class I have ever taken so far. I learned so many things this year and enjoyed it as well. 

Comment by Phillip Shih on May 20, 2012 at 11:18pm

We didn't actually have any of this besides the blogging, so I'm a little jealous of your English class now. The one major thing I've picked up this year though is that you read to the punctuation in poetry. That one little thing has made it a thousand times easier to read Shakespeare because sentences actually make sense.

Comment by Rachel Lee on May 22, 2012 at 4:55pm

Seriously English E208 this year was so much fun! I strongly agree with your ideas. Even though we were laid back and there were like no for being in this class, we learned a lot. The learning style was unique and very very different from other English classes. I loved how Mr.Anderson pregressed our class and great job on your blog!

Comment by Grant Tworek on May 23, 2012 at 9:43am
I learned a lot in English class this year. I didn't think that English would be one of my favorite subjects at the beginning of the year, but I have grown to like and appreciate the knowledge I learn in that class. This year, my class did a lot of discussing about books we were reading, and I thought this helped me understand what was happening a whole lot more. Reading shakespeare in class was a huge help and listening to it on recording helped even more. My teacher did a fantastic job of making sure everyone knew exactly what was going on. Another great thing about this year was the Ning. Although it was a pain sometimes, I thought it was really cool to see what people had to say about different posts and blogs. Overall, English this year was great and an awesome experience.
Comment by Nazariy Dmytryuk on May 23, 2012 at 8:06pm

Weeelll, I had Mr. RAnderson, sooo my class is automatically better... But having done all of the fun things you mentioned in your post, I would have to agree with all of the main points you found fun about class. I, honestly, expected this year English class to completely take my time away from life, but it didn't. Like you said, we got time to read in class which was fun, and just in general I judged the class before I even took it. Overall, it was a good, beneficial, and fun experience that i definitely enjoyed.

Comment by Michael Chemello on May 24, 2012 at 5:39pm

I completely agree! This year was so much better than last year. It was less stressful, but I still learned a lot and my writing has improved significantly. I loved our 10 minutes of reading and especially loved reading Shakespeare in class becasuse it helped me understand it fully instead of doubting my abilities of understanding Shakespeare. Good post!

Comment by Soumik Biswas on May 27, 2012 at 11:22am

I guess I'm the odd one out, but even though I did like the fact that Mr. Anderson made our class really free and relaxed, I would have wanted a little more structure. I feel like the unstructured prompts should be limited to our blog posts, and that our essays should have at least basic prompts. If they're going to be graded subjectively, it would be unfair to give someone an advantage just because the teacher agreed with him/her. Besides that, though, the class was fun, and I did appreciate Mr. Anderson's teaching methods and attitude.


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