1. Learning how to be resourceful when I’m confused in class
One main celebration that I would like to recognized about the first semester is learning how to be resourceful when I’m confused in class. Throughout the first unit of math, I felt very confident in the content we were learning, either because I already had studied it, or I had no trouble understanding the explanation. This lasted until we started learning basic trigonometry (sine, cosine, tangent). For some reason, I really struggled with remembering the rules of this particular skill. A few days before checkpoint #1 I was panicking because I didn’t know how I was going to be able to complete the test without knowing how to solve trig questions. To persevere through this issue I studied all the practice sheets we had been given, until I felt that I had a better understanding of the content, and could at least attempt the problems on the test. Once I actually started the test, I blanked on everything I had been studying, but by asking for a little bit of help to jog my memory I felt confident that I had done fairly well on the test. When I got my test back I saw that I had gotten a perfect score, including the the extra credit, which I was very proud of. - Evidence - Checkpoint #1
2. Learning to step back in group projects
Another celebration that I identified is learning to not control a group project, and allow others to become leaders. When I’m in a group project, I almost always want to have control over all the aspects of the project so I can ensure that I’ll have a good grade. I have been aware of this for many years, and recently in my biology group I decided to step back and let others take control. Although I was definitely still a very active member in group, I didn’t step in and take over other group members work load, even if I was worried it might bring my grade down. For the biology project each group member was responsible for their own infographic, but then we all wrote a paper together, each person wrote a different paragraph. Our final grade for the paper was a 78% which is probably the lowest grade I have ever gotten on a paper. Looking back at how my group could have improved our paper, I think we all needed to put more effort in, including myself. The hard thing about group papers is that everyone has a different writing style, meaning that the paper will be written with various writing styles that won’t necessarily blend well. Over all, getting that low of a grade on this paper was disappointing to me, but I think it was a good experience for me not step in and write the entire paper myself, which I tend to do in group projects. - Evidence - Biology Paper
3. Advocate when I’m confused in Advanced Algebra
One last celebration that I noticed from this first semester is advocating when I’m confused in Advanced Algebra. The class is definitely the hardest that I take, and it requires a lot of extra time outside of the set class time. We generally have a lot of homework in this class, and there have been multiple times where I am completely lost and don’t have the capability to complete the assignment. An example of this is a POW that we recently turned in. Before I could start the POW, I had to understand the content that the POW addressed, which was really confusing. I spent a few nights looking over my notes, and trying to understand what the POW was asking, but I didn’t get anywhere. Eventually I decided to go ask Dan for help on the content that we were learning so I could I actually start and eventually finish the POW. This is just one example, since the content in this class got more difficult, I have always advocated for help or an extension if I am confused in the class. - Evidence - POW #6
Areas of Growth -
1. Actively search for engagement
One area of growth that I really need to work on for next semester is actively searching for engagement in all my classes. Throughout most of the schooling in my life, I haven't been challenged, but that mostly changed when I came to Animas. This year I am definitely most challenged in my two math classes and spanish, and not very challenged in biology and humanities. This is not at all my teacher’s fault, I am constantly being given options to go above and beyond, and choose to not make an effort to challenge myself. One example of when a challenge extension was offered was in humanities when we were given the option of challenging ourselves with reading a difficult book about the subject matter we were studying in class. I decided to not accept this challenge because I wasn’t interested in what we were learning in class. In the future to engage and challenge myself I can talk with my teachers to in a way create my own challenge extension that I would be interested in and that would inspire me to do good work.
2. Focusing more on content and less on grades
Throughout my years of education, having a 4.0 has been incredibly important me. This semester I was very close to not achieving this goal, and that stressed me out more than it should have. I have learned how to do the amount of work necessary to achieve an A, and nothing more, this skill is not necessarily a good thing, seeing as it gives me the option to never go above and beyond. Next semester I’m really looking forward to the project that we’re doing in math and humanities, so I’m planning on trying to not pay attention to specific grades, but focus on work that I’m interested in and can be proud of. Working on this skill is incredibly important, because I need to be able to put subject matter and understanding content above grades if I want to succeed past high school. Overall, I need to pick my projects carefully in order to find content that will engage me, and push me to learn relevant information, not just learn something that will give me an A.
Question to Ponder -
- How can I personally create work that I think deserves I’m proud of and think deserves an A.
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