Wednesday, April 01, 2015

Moving to the Future!

Through the course of this last semester, I've learned many things. The value of your learning, the importance of a student's commitment in school.

If I were to walk through a hall with my school experiences from my middle school, I would clearly see areas where I've grown, where I might have struggled, and where I was very successful.


Growing in my academics has always been something high on my priority list. It makes moving forward in life a lot easier.

An area where I improved the most in, was my Portuguese. When I skipped B, so going directly from PFL A to PFL C, it showed I was showing growth in my knowledge of the language. Especially in my writing have I improved. Take this blog post from 6th grade, and this one from 7th grade. In the newest one, I wrote it all by myself, and I finalised it without many teacher-corrections. On the other hand, in 6th grade, I hardly wrote anything. Most of it was my teachers or google translate... This is why I'm really proud of myself, as I know I've improved a lot. Additionally, I used to think that if I just listened in Portuguese class, I could pick up the language easily. Though now I know that participating in class is essential to be able to practice it as well. Also, writing challenging things could help me know what I should aim for in my Portuguese career. For example, you could check out this legend I wrote, called O Lugar de Negociacao. I wrote it based of a Dutch legend, called Vrouwe Van Stavoren. I know for sure that last year, I wouldn't at all be able to have done this. Throughout my growth in Portuguese, I demonstrated perseverance, for keep on trying to write the correct things. When I struggled, I kept in mind that everything would be cool in the end, and it did!
The whole class wrote a legend, and in the end, we put it together in a cool online book! Here it is:

Another area where I showed growth was in Math. Last year, in 6th grade, my teacher, Ms. J, assigned us the project of making a video that explains how to do certain problems. She called it the metacognition project. This year, my 7th grade math teacher, Mr. Hancock, assigned us almost the same thing! We had to create some kind of presentation that would explain a problem. Before I started the project in 6th grade, I thought that if I just knew the formulas, I could solve a problem quicker. Though now, after both of these metacognition problems, I know that understanding the problem helps you to apply your knowledge in other math situations as well.

Lastly, I showed growth in my reflections in PE class. I used to think that PE was just about exercising and writing reflections wasn’t something that would help me in this class. Now I think that reflecting helps me understand things better, and it also shows me how I’ve been doing in this class and how I can improve for the future. Furthermore, I've improved in my reflection writing. Since my teacher, Ms. Arcenas, is very strict (in a good way) with our reflections, I was able to write it to the best of my ability. Now I know how to write a good one, and make sure it is effective.


Of course, I faced challenges throughout this semester. They occur everywhere, you just need to find the right way to overcome them. That's something very important that I've learned over the course of time, and I applied that knowledge in my classes.

One challenge was probably being curious in science. I used to think that projects in science were just about doing the work and getting it done. Now I think that these projects help me know more about the world. After doing some good projects, I know more about how I can impact the world and change some of the troubling situations. For example, we recently completed our water issue presentations. I did a prezi on ocean acidification. To be honest, I was shocked to find out what it was. That's why, when presenting my speech to the class, I wanted to be as 'emotional' as possible and advertise the extremism of this issue, as it really is extreme. When researching, I was actually devastated to learn about all the bad things human activity is doing to the ocean. I got curious and I asked myself questions, which I looked up, answered, and included in my presentation. I know that being curious will help me get very far in life, as it is a skill a life-long learner would have.

Furthermore, during advisory, I didn't think that being innovative was that important. Basically, I thought that these 45 minutes weren't as important compared to my other classes. Now I believe it has just as much value. For example, through the passion project we got to be creative and that is something good to be as well. When we started this long process, I didn't really spend time on it, though near the middle end, I actually wanted to and I knew it was always good to put in my best effort, so I spent a lot of time on it. Now I know that this class is just as good as others. For my final passion project presentation, I created a prezi. With that, I flipped through the pages of my book to point out cool things that would interest the audience more. In the end, I think that I overcame this challenge, which I'm happy about!


Finally, there were many successes during this academic journey. From experiences, I know that by working hard and trying your best will get you somewhere.

Firstly, I was very balanced, especially in humanities. In this specific class, I used to think it was all about writing and reading, meaning there wouldn't be that many interesting things. Now I know for sure that it is important to be balanced in humanities, and that writing and reading aren’t the only things you do in this class. Presenting and making comics is also something we do! I’ve been very successful at these things. In December, my classmate, Talia de Beer, and I created a comic about plastic pollution, and how it is affecting our society. We also recently learned about governments, and we had to write a blogpost. This shows that I was very balanced at doing different things to represent my learning. Lastly, for my book presentations, I did a prezi, a poster, and an oral talk. I wanted to mix it up to keep it interesting!
These is a little sneak peak from the comic... 

Furthermore, in Geography, I've demonstrated clear responsibility. I used to think that this wasn’t a very important class, as it is considered an elective. That is why I didn’t want to put that much effort into it in the beginning. Now I think it is equally important as math, science, or humanities as it teaches me skills I could use as a lifelong learner. As I quickly noticed this in the beginning, I was responsible and I was prepared for something such as my infographics presentation. It was a lot of work, but it turned out really nice, and I'm glad that I reflected and thought about the responsibility that was needed in this class, as otherwise I don't know how I would have made that final presentation!

Last but not least, I (personally) think I was a great communicator in the Arts subjects. In the past, I thought that the Arts electives were just hobbies and students did them for fun. Now I understand that the Arts can help a person make better sense of things, and it also makes something a lot more fun! Additionally, I’ve communicated my messages and ideas very successfully, as is seen in my theatre blog posts or my art and clay website. In theatre, my classmates and I did a Theatre in Education project, which is when you create a short skit that will send a message to people. I never knew about this, but when we had to create this, I think I was successful in educating people on the topic we were acting on, which was cyberbullying. Also, in my Art and Clay projects, I sent messages about myself through sculptures, which I thought was really interesting as well.


Now, with all these core values, subject areas, and experiences in mind, I can easily make a good and helpful goal for myself. I think that to end this year strongly, I am going to be a better curious person. As I said before, I was did improve in science, but I think I could still improve even more. Not just in how something works, but knowing more about events or issues in the world. I don't feel that I'm really exposed to that as much as I should be. A way to achieve this goal by the end of the year, is to involve myself more in things such as Model United Nations, as they debate about real-life topics. Also, just motivating myself to read the news at least three times a week is good. I know I'm on my phone a lot, so I think that if I download a news app, such as the BBC, then chances are I'd visit it a lot more.

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