On Wednesday, I had the students choose a poem to practice analyzing. We finished the notes and looking at examples last week. We've been reading poems every day, and just providing surface responses, but I felt it was time to try the full analysis. It was a good starter activity, since on Thursday we looked at the "big" quarterly reading response assignment, which involves choosing a poem to analyze/interpret and memorize/recite for the class. Thursday I also had students answer two questions, one designed to be a self-assessment and the second designed to provide me feedback regarding how we can go about continuing to practice analyzing poems. I really enjoyed asking these same questions, basically, during our fictional analysis unit, and I highly value the student responses. I believe it helped the students understand what direction would be most fruitful for them in their efforts to improve their knowledge/work/scores/etc. So, below are the some of my favorite responses from the students. I have highlighted a few which made me very happy.
Looking at your Poetry CLOZE Notes, on a scale of 1-10 (1 being the lowest and 10 being the highest), how would you rate your ability to analyze a poem? Tell why.
· If I could look at the notes, then a 9. Without the notes it would easily be under 5. I haven’t memorized very of the poetic elements.
· 8. If I did the practice right, I found it relatively easy because the poetry analysis is like going through a checklist.
· 9. I am good at it, I just don’t like it.
· I think I am a 7 because I know most of the stuff but not all of it.
· I would rate how well I can analyze a poem a 9. I think that because it’s easy for me.
· 8. I can analyze a poem really well, but I have trouble with the theme and/or symbolism sometimes.
· 7. Sometimes I get confused on how to analyze the theme or other areas.
· I have only practiced once and I need more help.
· 8. I can analyze poems pretty well, but it take me awhile
· 8. I’m confident about my ability, but I don’t know everything.
· 5, because I know what I am doing I just don’t know if I am doing it right.
· On a scale of 1 to 10 I would get a 3, because I do not know what I am doing.
· I about 5 Im not to good at analyzing poems yet.
· 6.73 I think I have the basics but I don’t totally understand
· 3 or 2 cause you talk to fast for me to understand so I tune out.
· 6, because I understand how to do it but some of its tricky.
· An 8 or 9. I know how to do everything but the symbolism. I always have trouble with the symbolism.
· An 8, because I am pretty good at analyzing poems, but I have trouble occasionally identifying elements.
· I would rate myself as an 8 because I have a grasp of how to analyze a poem, but I can make a few mistakes and/or not remember all the materials.
· 6, I have almost no clue on how to find things like theme or mood. Some poems are easy and some are impossible
· 2—I don’t really know what analyzing a poem means
· 8 because there are some things that are hard to find in the notes.
· 7; with my notes I can manage to get it done, but I still need a lot more practice with it.
· 9. I don’t know why the CLOZE Notes are easy for me but poetry has always been something I enjoy and I feel like can understand and analyze poems well.
· I rate my ability an 8 because I’m good at it but I’m not perfect at it.
· 6. I know how to find somethings in a poem but others I have no idea.
· I rate myself a 5 because I have the idea and I know what things I write I just don’t know how to put it in a sentence.
· I would rate my ability 7.5. I understand the poem and everything, I just don’t know how to write my thoughts down.
· About a nine because I think I’ve pretty much got it down, except for like some poetic elements. I still have kind of a rough time with that.
· 7. I’m not too sure of what some of the things mean or what I should classify things as. I get confuzzled.
· 9. I wrote a 9 because my notes are clear, explanatory, and have examples; so I feel as though I would be able to analyze poems very well with all of that help.
· I would give myself a 9, because I definitely understand how, but in the process I may have a question or two.
What feedback (thoughts, questions, suggestions) do you have on how to continue to practice analyzing poetry?
· What I thought about during the assignment was it was cut and dry. Maybe you could make the assignment a little more interactive.
· I would like more time to work on the analysis practice, because yesterday I felt a bit rushed.
· I liked the way we practiced last time, but I’d like if we went through it afterwards.
· I think we should practice as a class with a single poem.
· I think we are good at it. We’ll just get better the more I use the notes.
· I need to keep reading and studying as much poetry as possible.
· I’m not completely sure I understand how to analyze poems. I mostly just read them for enjoyment.
· Some examples
· As a class we should analyze a poem
· I think that we could go over what we do when a poem has very few elements. We could also practice explaining what we know.
· We could read famous poems on the smartboard as a class.
· I don’t understand how to recognize alliteration and slang
· I think we should get with a partner and pick a poem, then read it out loud to each other. When I hear things out loud I understand them more.
· I need a tutor
· Take it slower don’t just throw us out there go through several with us.
· I should ask for help from you or another student.
· We need to keep analyzing poems and maybe go over symbolism, and poetic definitions again.
· More examples of an analyzation shown and done with the class
· I think we should all analyze a poem together one day and if you were somebody that struggled they should be the one to answer the question.
· I think I need to get all my notes and then practice them more
· I really think I just need to analyze more poems.
· I think I just need to read more poems.
· I could use more practice.
· I don’t understand how to start writing about what poetic elements and literary elements you find in the poems.
· I would like to analyze a few more poems in class or with partners.
· A way to get me to a 10 would be to give me examples.
· Let use read more examples on how to write this.
· I just need to learn the poetry elements off the top of my head.
· We could do some more analysis of poetry, and we could do a computer activity with our shoulder partner, as practice.
· We can keep doing poetry analysis’s, so we can get a lot of practice.
· I think we could analyze a poem as a class like we did with fictional literary elements.
· I think we could practice analyzing poems in class more, sometimes with and sometimes without notes, because I feel like that helped me yesterday.