Friday, December 12, 2008

Semester Reflection

What changes have you seen this semester in regards to your education? What role did technology play in that change? What role did the constructivist philosophy play in that change? (constructivist-students becoming producers of information, students in charge of their own learning. What suggestions for improvement do you have for me next year? What are some of the things you would suggest I do again?

Make sure to include specific examples and expand on each other's ideas. Your feedback- honest and reflective- is important!

26 comments:

EricL2009 said...

I have seen that I have grown as a writer and that i have become a better comprehender. Technology has helped with the writing of the papers and the look up of the information. I really liked being in charge of my own learning since the fish bowls were very helpful. Fishbowls are very succesful adnn help with the learning and understanding of what is going on textually and morally.

MollyT177 said...

In regards to my education I have seen a sinifagent change, mainly in my motivation. Technology played a big part, In fact I feel more connected to technology, I know how to work it so it was easier to participate in class using somehting I really knew how to work. AS far as improvement I don't know what to suggest. Somthing you should do again is the use of laptops, I think kids participate a lot more when they're able to use them. It gives them more control.

KCH2009 said...

i have seen a change in my typing skills and quickness in typing words because thats what we would do all day everyday so that really improved.

i think scribe was a real good itea because if u missed a class, you could always look online so keep that but i think we should do more group projects

sorry if this isnt long enough or more useful but i really want to play games now haha.

SarahE2010 said...

My education has become so incredibly hectic compared to last year. Last year when people were talking about junior year being difficult, I was always like "oh whatever. I can't be that hard". But oh my gosh this semester has been insane, my AP classes are so hard. The constructivist philosophy made me feel pretty smart realizing things for myself, but the part about being in charge of it myself was a struggle. I find that this year I have zero motivation. My suggestion for next year would be the post guidelines for assignments online, because I would be trying to do one of your assignments, and I felt like guidelines would have been helpful. You should definitely continue to have food Wednesdays because they were fun.

RickM2009 said...

This semester was the first semester I used laptops in a class. This change was a good thing, as I prefer working with computers to writing everything by hand. The constructivist philosophy was applied in my use of technology, and this improved my overall learning experience. Next year, I suggest not giving too much weight or importance to any one assignment. We're seniors, work isn't always going to get done. The 0's we get on these assignments don't necessarily reflect our comprehension of the material, just how busy our lives are. Keep using technology as much as possible, it works wonders.

DrewB2009 said...

This semester I have been more successful than any time in my high school career and I think that is because I have stopped worrying about the grades and just trying to learn instead. I've taken education into my own hands and instead of trying to get good grades for my parents I just worry about what I think. The only suggestion I have is more discussions, especially fishbowls. I loved those and that was the best learning tool for me because you got everybody's perspective and opinion on everything. Debating seems to help me learn and help the information stick.

IreneL2010 said...

I think that I am more confident in my writing and that it shows in my papers. I am able to write creative yet analytical pieces and I'm very happy about that. Technology has let me feel a little bit more carefree in class. Having a laptop makes sitting in a classroom for an hour less stingy and because of that, I am more willing to work. I think that the constructivist philosophy helped to make me a more confident student. I am able to be in charge of my learning and that is really preparing me for college life.

I'm not quite sure what I would improve for next year. Maybe more doughnut days...:) But I love that you encourage us to email you our papers early so you can give us feedback. A lot of teachers don't think they "have the time" to do that and I really appreciate that you do. I also love that your class is laid back and we can joke around with each other. It gives the students time to get to know each other and enjoy coming to class.

MackenzieL2009 said...

This semester it seemed like we focused more on what we individually wanted to learn and improve on. We were always able to come in and chat about ideas or things in our papers that we wanted to fix. Because we got to use the computers in this class we could work on papers in class, or blog during fishbowls. I really liked the blogging becuase there was always two conversations going, and if you didn't have anything to say in one convo you could always switch to the other one. I think that by leading fishbowls ourselves and by asking questions when were reading has helped us be "constructivist". I think we should switch it up a little more second semester. We did a lot of just reading in class and then discussing questions, but I think we should incorporate other elements a little more. (I don't know of any examples though...sorry!) I liked the fishbowls that we did and most definately doughnut wednesdays!! : )

Pat said...

The changes in my education this year has definitely been the lack of motivation and interest I’ve faced in school. Working with the computers have been extremely helpful to me because it helps correct my spelling and find better vocabulary for me to express more accurately what I want to say in my writings. I feel like my writings have been better because of the freedom I have faced within my English class. I feel I learn much better when I am in control of my learning because I get what I want out of the class. The only thing I would improve in the class would have more free writing topics. I think the fishbowls worked very well because of the participation of the class but I would maybe change the way we were graded on it.

TaylorS2009 said...

I think I have been a lot more responsible this year so far and I have learned to manage my time. Technology has helped me keep things organized and the live blogging made the fishbowls more interesting to participate in because if you didn't like one conversation you could see what was going on in the other discussion. I really liked being in charge of my own learning, it gave me the opportunity to see things from my persepective and I wasn't forced to learn in a certain way. For next year, I would keep the food days and the scribes, the scribes were very helpful to me.

LaurenB2009 said...

This semester I have seen my writing skills and efficiency grow. Not only am I writing better worded essays but I’m also finding it easier to write in general. The technology in the class can be really helpful when I need to look something up and also the live blogging is great to hear my classmates’ point-of-views. The constructive philosophy I think is a great way to prepare us for college. We have to choose to learn and choose to get the grade we want. One suggestion I would have is to somehow change the fishbowls so the outer circle is more involved and informed with the inner circle discussion. I know it was our job to pop into the circle and make comments but it was very difficult to keep up with both conversations and give opinions in both. Maybe try to get the outer circle to comment about the topics being discussed on the inside. Overall I think the class shouldn't really change. I vote to keep the doughnut Wednesdays, fishbowls, and in-class readings.

KaitlanW2009 said...

I have seen a great improvement in my writing and also my thesis statements.Technology helped me in using better word choice, it helped me find juicy synonyms for the boring words I used. Which make a world of difference when writing a paper. The fishbowls, and class reading of plays such as Hamlet helped me to understand more what the writing was saying. For next year I would say that more group work may be helpful in understanding all that is going on in the plays we read. I suggest you do the fishbowls again next semester, they put some amazing ideas on the table.

shellim2009 said...

I have become much more literate this year with the stories and plays that we read. I know that I have referenced all the stories at least once in other paper, especially and SAT or ACT writing portion. They have really helped.
Also, I have learned how to create a very good synthesis essay as well.
Thechnology helped to not make my hand cramp from frantically writing, and to provied useful resources much easier.
Constructive philosophy was interesting in this class especially in fish bowls. We were in charge of our own learning for EVERY aspect of the class, and we ended up having some very good conversations that I took a lot away from.
I think that we could do more fish bowls actually. I enjoyed them quite a bit and it was a chance for all of us to really show what we knew... which was a lot. Also I think you could improve on the ammount of food we have in class, because I am greedy and want more. :)
I think you should do the reading out loud again becaus it is a fun way to be stupid and interact with the text in ways that will stick. I still can't believe that I sang...

TaylorH2009 said...

This semester ive noticed that my interest in shakespeare has definetly grown. I think that now i understand the language and ways he writes about things really makes it more interesting to read and causes you to think about what you've read which is the key. I'd say taht my writing has improved a little but i still struggle with organizing my ideas and feel like i just write and write and write until i've exhausted my ideas. Other than that though i have had an awesome time this year and wish we could do it again.

AdrienneB2009 said...

In your class freshman year, I learned the structure of an essay. This semester, I learned to analyze more thoroughly and actually wrap it all together in the end of my papers. I love live blogging because's it's more fast paced and no one has to wait to say something. I also find it easier to take notes and use those specific examples later. I think kids being in charge always starts out slow but becomes more intense because we get to talk about details we notice. Next year, I'd find it easier to write a paper if I recieved feedback on my specific quotes as we read. The conferences are helpful because I don't ever understand some concepts simply from the text. The movie clips are extremely helpful because understand better when I see emotion attatched to the text.

Wilberry09 said...

To reflect one's thoughts in word is so incredible, so brilliant that to not fully understand the language may be detrimental to the writing technique. I believe i have grown not only as a writer, but as a person as well. The factual evidence does not find itself embedded within my semester work, but on the heart of my lyrics, the soul of my ideas. I have come to realize that finding myself, truly becoming self-actualized manifests itself in my writing, and the knowledge you, my peers as well as Ms. Smith have bestowed upon me. Thank you, and I hope you all have only be best winter break yet!

Lauren L said...

I basically hate writing papers because I only get moments of inspiration and I am a huge procrastinator! The fishbowls were the best part of English for me because its all about opinion and I am very good at speaking infront of people. Overall this semester was pretty good.

EricB2009 said...

I really have seen my overall attitude towards learning improve along with my ability to write a paper. I care more about what I learn rather than the grade that comes with it. Technology really has helped me because if I have a question about homework or something that I want to learn more about I can look that information up and learn more about that topic right then and there. Fishbowls really helped clarify questions that I have about Hamlet because Shakespere does get confusing at times.

Kim C. 2010 said...

The changes I see are better critical thinking and connections. I see myself more prepared for college, and I feel like it will be alot easier to apply to colleges now that I see what it takes to get in. The role that technology played was making information way easier to find. It helps alot when you need help finding a different word or when you want to apply other knowledge to a paper.The Constructivist philosophy is what I have always tried to live by when I write a paper and participate in a Fischbowl. I feel like as I go through this class, the connections in my mind get stronger and my ablility to question literature increases. The suggestions I have for improvement are that you take foci one at a time. for instance instead of working on college essays and Oedipus, we can take less time on each by just focusing on one thing at a time. I think the literature choices were really good though and the only thing i might suggest is a modern book to back up the idea of the tragic hero. This could help other students connect to modern day more easily. Make sure to do the Oedipus project again that was soooo fun!

KatieM2009 said...

This semester I have really taken responsability for my own education. Technology makes it easier to multitask with assignments. I feel like I get more done when I'm on the computer because I can type a paper for class and research at the same time. I really liked that we as students basically ran this class. We were the ones discussing during fishbowls and stuff. For next year I think that you should just put more emphasis on students being in charge of their learning. Also, for next year I think you should continue with donut wednesday :) and the fishbowls. Those fishbowls really helped me understand the books and the deeper meanings of everything.

HaileyM2009 said...

This semester I did not have a math class! It was grand. My classes were really focused on writing and English, which was really good, and I have expanded my writing abilities so that I can comfortably do anything from creative pieces to journalistic to analytical essays. I loved having technology available in classes, especially the laptops in this class, as I am incapable of writing essays on paper.
In many of my classes the teacher would basically let us go our own ways, so I have been a lot more of a constructivist-student, especially in yearbook. In this class and in Creative Writing I have really benefited from the class style (both have allowed me to be producers of information).
I would say less reading in class for next year. We read everything in class and it reduced homework but it was so time-consuming. I wish we could have done more writing though.

KatieO2010 said...

This semester I have seen myself grow more and more contented with my education, last year I was miserable because I hated everything we studied, this year we are reading things I like. Technology didn't play any role in that change, because I had a laptop English Lit classroom last year too, I do like being able to use them though, it makes the class easier and more enjoyable because we write more- I like Writing. I Also like capitalizing random words. I liked having discussions in class, and students thinking of questions to discuss, that way it wasn't Ms. Smith telling us what Hamlet meant, it was us asking each other what it meant. If anything I would encourage more group discussions, especially small group discussion. Small groups get off topic allot, but it can lead to conversations that make great papers. I also want some independent reading assignments too, I would love to get credit for reading Austen or Tolkien! And more creative writing! I thought discussing the history behind Beowulf was really interesting, I was disappointed that we didn't for Hamlet. Thats all I got, I hope it is long and elegantly phrased enough for you.

KendraS2009 said...

I feel that this semester I have become a much better writer. Although I hated all the essays we had to write, they did improve my writing skills. I also feel that I have become faster at typing. This is due to the fact that I take notes on my lap top and also having to type in class essays fast. Also, I know how to use the computers better. We should definitely continue Doughnut Fun Filled Wednesdays!! Also, we should continue the use of lap tops. It is much more fun to take notes on lap tops than by hand.

mollyp2010 said...

This semester, in this class particularly, technology really did play a bigger role in my education. This is the first laptop class that I've had while at Arapahoe, and it was interesting. I discovered that I'm not really a fan of taking notes in class on the laptop, but it was really nice to have a plethora of resources immediately available to me on my laptop. I think the constructivist philosophy allowed me more freedom this semester. Sort of like, I was able to come up with theories, and my own ideas for what I wanted to write about for papers and such. I don't have any specific suggestions for you for next year, but I think you should keep playing devil's advocate during fishbowls, and keep asking for our opinions on matters. And DEFINITELY keep doughnut wednesday alive...it got me through the semester.

mollyp2010 said...

As Molly said, I think I have also become more motivated this semester perhaps because of the fact that we were more in charge of our learning. Also, I was glad to take this class as a junior because of all the helpful college tips i recieved. Just less for me to do next year!

mollyp2010 said...

I meant the other molly in that last comment by the way...I sound like a crazy person.