The M&M notebook is like a backpack, you can put anything inside it, and it will stick with you throughout the entire year. I felt like it was a place where I could ask any question and get the most honest opinion or answer to what I was looking for as a student in American studies. The feedback that I got usually helped me and future writing or reading assignments. The notebook was a great place where I could express myself as a writer and learner. It also made it possible to have Mr. Sass or Mrs. Scow to tell me what I needed to work on or needed to do to get a better grade on the entries that I wrote. The M&Ms notebook was a great thing to have this year because it made me become a better learner, reader, and writer in American studies.
First, about every third rotation that I would turn in my notebook and I would find the quote, “What are you finding out about yourself as a learner?”(Sass, 02/13/11). I never knew how to correctly put that in my notebook till I started making connections to what we were learning in class to what was happing in the outside world. As the year progressed I continued to see my notebook grade go up as soon as I started to that, in which made me a better learner because I focused more on what was going on in class so I could relate to it in my entries. And by doing this I saw better grades on other assignments and projects. Almost every entire that I wrote I started out “As a learner in American Studies,” (McLain 03/10/11). Just by starting my entries off like this it gave me many ideas on what to write and make connections about as I progressed through the year.
When the year began I knew I was going to have to read a lot. Before freshman year I was much of a reader to begin with. As we began to read To Kill a Mockingbird I found myself making connections to my life from the book. This helped me to find deeper meaning in the book as I read it. One of the quotes I got was “How are you progressing as a reader?” (Scow 01/09/11). I was progressing as a reader because my comprehension was improving and I was able to write about the in my M&Ms notebook. Therefore when we got to choose our choice novel, it was easier for me to understand and make life connections to after I finished reading it. Now I have found myself reading more because I can find ways to connect to the books and express that in my M&Ms notebook. By doing all of this I have found myself becoming a better writer as well.
In my opinion the best part of the M&M notebook is that it helped me become a better writer. I feel that each entire I learn something new about myself as a writer in American studies. I’ve not only learned to how write properly but also how to make connections to what I have learned in class and make that a part of my writing. Throughout the year I have found that I have become more interested in writing because of my M&Ms notebook. It has taught me to take my time on writing assignments because if I don’t I tend to make simple mistakes that shouldn’t be made. I feel that in future English classes I will succeed more than I did this year because I have learned to write properly and dig beneath the surface to find myself as a writer. One thing I have become better at this year is citing my sources within my writing. One of my entries this year was about how I have increased my writing scores by citing my sources in my essay. “This takes a lot of practice!” (Scow 02/21/11). Throughout the year I have practiced citing my sources in my writing and I have found that I have become much better at it.
Finally, most students feel that the M&M notebook is just a waste of time. I believe that it has helped not only me but many other students as well. The book allows you to write what you feel and what you know rather than just tasking it to get it done. When I was first introduced to the notebook I thought it was going to be just another homework assignment that came up every week and got in the way of things. But as the year progressed I learned that there was a purpose to the book and I took advantage of it by finding another side of myself. Even though the M&M notebook was a fly, bugging and annoying, it was highly beneficial to my learning as an American studies student. It made me a better reader, writer, and most importantly a better learner.