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Lisa Andresen

Reflection Paper
My first teaching license is in English 6-12 so initially I had no qualms regarding this assignment.
The fact that I have not had a grammar or writing course in 25 years, compounded by the fact that I teach
K-8 Special Ed and am not teaching writing skills, have taken a toll on my skills. As I completed exercises
I wrote notes to myself, commenting on what each section covered with examples to remind me as to what
I completed. When I had completed all the assigned sections I went into the scorecard to take a look at how
I had done overall. Tis a pitiful sight indeed. Writing exercises, purpose and audience, introductions and
topic sentences sections were relatively easy for me and I intentionally answered questions incorrectly in
order to see the explanation behind the answer. In many circumstances I asked myself what I found most
interesting and that would be the topic sentence. In the purpose and audience I needed to understand who
this was before I answered.
Word choice was an area in which I felt confident in my abilities. Correct answers to questions
regarding active vs. passive verbs, be verbs and wordy sentences all came easily. The sexist language
section was a breeze; the key words are easy to spot and check. Pronoun-antecedent agreement and
subject-verb agreement were also area that I completed satisfactorily with little effort.
In the Pronoun case review I had several wrong answers, one specifically for using them instead
of their. The modifier of the gerund being should be in the possessive case. For another question in the
Pronoun case: review I answered she and I. The correct answer was her and me. The explanation for
this question was: Her and me is the subject of to defeat. Although subjects are ordinarily in the subjective
case, subjects of infinitives are an exception to the rule. Sadly, I have no idea what this means.
Dangling modifiers can add humor to writing, but also mislead the reader. This was another section
I found easy. With an innocent look, the milk was poured into a nearby potted plant was the sentence that
stuck out with me from this section. Parallelism is simply paying attention to how the sentence is written. If
one item in a group ends with ing the rest do too.
When it comes to commas, semicolons and colons I averaged 70%. When I write I do not use many
of these. It could be because I have never fully understood the correct usage and write in a style to avoid

them. I scored poorly in the Italics section, simply because I cannot remember what to do to which type of
item. For example, italicizing names of magazines rather than quotation marks. Using who and whom
correctly has always been a weak spot for me and this showed in the exercise, where I earned a 60%.
Overall, Sentence Style is the area I score highest in, with many categories at 100%. In the
subordination section it was imperative that I read the example prior to answering the question. Without
that information it was easy to answer incorrectly. I was confused at first by the Choppy Sentences section,
until I went back to it for the third time. I did not like that it didnt give a grade on my sentence, only what
the possible revision was.
My writing has always been based on an intrinsic knowledge of the English language rather than an
understanding of the rules. Based on my reflection of these grammar and writing test review questions I
would give myself the over-all grade of B-. For an individual with an English degree I find this sad and
pathetic. It reflects several faults, one being the lack of writing and simple practice on my part to keep my
skills honed. Within the scope of my current K-8 teaching position language arts and English are provided
with direct instruction to students with grade level equivalency averages of third grade. For the present
time my skills remain adequate.