“Thank you for coming to my presentation of learning. I am the expert on my own learning. I am also responsible and accountable for my own learning. You can expect me to give an honest evaluation of my progress. We will discuss my strengths and opportunities for growth. Thank you in advance for listening and for offering feedback that I can use to improve as a learner.”

The first half of grade 11 is complete! It’s been an interesting half a year with some ups and downs for sure. We’ve been through 3 projects, and discussed many topics in that time. Today I’m excited to reflect on my work so far, but also plan for the future. I have several goals to set for the upcoming semester, and I’m excited to share them with you today.

My media I created for my democratic principles.

I think the most interesting thing that we discussed this year was definitely the history of politics in the first project of the year. I love learning about different political ideologies and how they were practiced, and I love learning about the political parties in Canada. The lessons we did in this project we’re probably still my favourite to hear and participate in. I think my blog post about democratic principles showed evidence of not only me listening and paying attention to these lessons, but also forming my own opinions on what we learned. I formed a strong argument for my idea that citizen participation was the most important of democracy, and provided evidence. My interest in this topic really shone through in this post, and I think that’s part of what made it good. Interestingly though parts of this project were also my least favourite part of this year. Forming our own political parties and creating a campaign wasn’t fun for me. There was very little challenging of any of our ideas, and pretty much all of our political parties preached the same things, this made it very boring. Our video, and party, were mediocre, and much like my post, my interest affected my product. This problem, although not my main goal is something I want to work on this year, as I want to be able to put out good work no matter how I feel about the topic. 

The project I really struggled with this year was the Manhattan Project (Project). In the past we’ve worked on trying to look at things from a very objective, and historical point of view, but we have never really discussed the ethics behind historical events. At times it was so hard for me to stop the knee-jerk reaction of taking a simple one sided view of the atomic bomb, and say it was bad and never should have happened. To actually understand history you have to look at things through multiple perspectives, and try to avoid bias, but I found myself having to actually stop myself and look through those other perspectives. Keeping an open mind, and my critical thinking cap on, is something I look forward to doing in the rest of the year. As we discuss more interesting history topics, I definitely plan to keep the lesson this project taught me in mind.

A big skill I’m working on developing this year is the one I mention in my learning plan, proofreading. As we tackle more work with long pieces of writing, like the song analysis we just did, it becomes extremely important for me to have correct grammar and spelling in my work. I’ve started making progress on this goal by myself. I read over all the work I do, but often times it isn’t enough. I don’t have enough practice catching errors just yet, I intend to continue practising this for the rest of the year, but I think I need to work on getting in the habit of asking for help from others. My parents are great resources for helping me proof my work, and I’ve not been asking for their help nearly enough. Proofreading is an important skill for me to develop this year, and I need to take advantage of the help that I can get to improve my skill, and build the habit of asking for that help.

My plan for this post

I think I have shown growth in my learning this year, particularly in reflection. Looking at my blog posts from the start of this year, as well as much of last year, I think I really improved on being able to reflect on my own learning. I spend much more time thinking about the big takeaway’s from projects and my personal connections to them, as well as being able to communicate them better in my posts. I also was proud of the work I made in our last poetry project, as I think I was very successful in developing personal connections to the songs. A lot of this comes from the work that I’ve been putting in planning my writing, as I’ve been working a lot harder to isolate my ideas before I write my pieces. However as I continue this year with more English related projects like Macbeth, I want to work harder at text analysis and understanding the literal meaning of the text, rather than their meaning to just me.

A Zettle I’m proud of

The main goal I have for the rest of this year is really to improve my zettelkasten. I’ve been working on it, slowly I’ll admit, but it’s really not at the level that it needs to be for it to be helpful. A major piece of feedback that I received this year is that I need to work on creating more sophisticated connections, basically I need more thoughts. Maybe I’m biased, but I’m pretty sure I think, and if nothing else I like to ask questions. But currently I don’t think this is properly reflected in my work. When I look back on my past projects, I see many opportunities where extra research (and literature notes) would have greatly strengthened my work. For me I think my Hiroshima response journals would’ve been far stronger if I taken the time to connect my responses to bigger ideas outside of the text. Like talking about actual psychological issues trauma survivors deal with, rather then surface level analysis of emotions. I know my zettelkasten can help me better organize my ideas, if I’m proactive about actually using it. And my goal is to really build that habit of writing down ideas and gathering my thoughts. 

Thanks as always,