Today I will be reflecting on my first year of PLP! This first year of high school in the PLP program has been quite a roller coaster. There have been fun projects, and there have been stressful projects, and some times a little bit of both. Today I am going to be reflecting on all of my PLP classes, but most importantly my growth as a learner in all my PLP classes. These classes include Humanities, Scimatics and Maker. The driving question that I will be using to reflect on this post is “Why do you feel you are ready to advance to the next grade level?”
The first thing I will reflect on is Humanities. I think Humanities is one of the best examples of my growth as a learner. I started out this year with a project called The Media is The Message that was hard for me. I struggled with trying to finish all my work, trying to do it to the best of my abilities, and trying to stay on top of all my other projects. I learned from the projects we did for this Milestone that I need to pay more attention to instructions and details that we are told in class to help us wth our projects. I did a lot of revisions in this project. By mid-year, I was more focused in class and I was able to complete more of my work in class, which allowed me to get some immediate feedback on the work I was doing and correct things before I had done too much work in the wrong direction. I was getting better at balancing my work on all my courses so I was less distracted by thinking about all the other things I had to do in my other classes.
I was more focused and more engaged in class when we did This Changes Everything. I was also more interested in this subject matter. I realized by this time that when I have trouble focusing in class, it is often because of a lack of interest in the subject we are working on. In my mPOL my question for my teachers and my parents addressed this as I asked what I could do to keep my focus when discussions are about something I am not as interested in. I found one of the things that helps me is if I know there is group work in a project. I get overwhelmed and tune out if the subject is one I’m not interested in and I have to do everything myself. If there is group work, it eases my mind and I know I can do a part of the project where I can use my talents and what I am good at. As well, if I have other people to be accountable to for deadlines, I seem to do better with meeting them. I showed this growth in the It’s the End of the World project. I struggled with understanding parts of this project, but I was able to do a good job on the assignments because of the group work.
I had some struggles again when we moved to working at home and on-line classes because the group work wasn’t happening the same in Humanities. There were a lot of revisions in Argh Matey because I didn’t listen well enough to details and misunderstood how we were supposed to do our animations. I needed Ms. Maxwell’s help with this and I was able to show my growth as a learner in that I did my revisions and had a great comic at the end of the project.
The next class that I will talk about is Scimatics. This was one of my favorite classes since it was full of things that I was interested in, such as 3D modeling, lasers and diseases. I think that I have developed a lot from starting out in the year with having a hard time with Fractions of Your Time. I wasnt as focused since it was the begging of the year and I was forgetting to record how much time I spent doing different activities so I had to estimate some of the times. In the middle of the year for our Winter Exhibition, we did a project called Mazer tag. It was at this point in time that I decided to spend less time on worrying about assignments and instead start doing them right away. This was a big turning point and it was a really fun project to do since it was all about Star Wars, which has been my favourite movie ever since I was really young. It was a really good way of teaching me about light and lasers. This way of teaching enabled me to do really well on this project, and I got excited with my results and started to spend more time on doing my projects.
I had finally started to spend more time working on school and less time worrying about school, and I was starting to be more organized. I think that the next project that shows how much I have progressed as a learner was the Ultimate Design Challenge. This was a project that taught me a lot about 3D modelling, which is something that I have always wanted to learn. I think will really help me in real life since I am getting into game design and it really helps me whenever I decide to model characters. Another reason that it has shown how I have progressed as a learner is how it allowed me to take something that I really like, and push that skill to extend my learning and my project.
The third and final class that I will talk about in this blog post is Maker, which has been one of the most hands on classes, which I like, and also one of the most stressful. The first way that I will show how I progressed as a learner is in one of the first projects, Big Life Journal. I was very stressed when I did this project because of all of the work and trying to get to know all of my classmates so I spent more time talking to people than doing my work. This lead to me waking up super early on weekends to try to get everything done that was due for the week. In the end, I did well on the project and I realized that I should become more organized rather than just do everything early in the morning. I decided to start a tiny schedule in my head and whenever they would give us more work I would make a mental note for when I was going to do the assignment. This worked for a while until my mind started to get cluttered with when to do assignments and I had no room for how to do them.
The project that I think really turned this around was when we did DI. I found it really easy to find out when we were going to do things and how to do things since we had a burndown chart and I really started to get organized with that. Me and my group decided to plan a bunch of things and I became more organized. Even with the stress of this project I was able to keep my composure.
Something that I think helped the most with my organization was when we had to move to online school because of COVID. I found it really helped me get organized since my parents were always there to help me and remind me what to do. My mom wrote out a calendar in the kitchen with everything that was due that week. I found this really helpful except that sometimes when I left my room to go downstairs and check what I needed to work on next, I would get distracted by something and get off track. Eventually we decided to get a calendar for planning when I would do things for my room that was always on my desk so I could always see it. As soon as I did this, I was always on top of things. This is when we started the Witness to History project, which I was able to complete with a lot more ease than a lot of the other projects. This project is the project that lead me up to the project that I am doing now, our BlueSky project. In the beginning of the BlueSky project I didn’t see a few of the tasks so I was behind where I should have been. So I sat down with Basecamp and my room calendar and set times for when I was going to do things, and then I was on top of things again.
I have learned a lot this year about myself as a learner. I need tools to keep me on track for assignments so I can focus on doing work instead of worrying about doing the work. If I stay focused in class, I can do more work in class which means I have less work to do at home, and my work stays on track because I can get feedback right away. I learned that unlike in elementary school, I like group projects and I do well in them. I know I have more work to do on my focus and I need to continue to improve paying attention to details and keep up with my organization skills but I think I am ready for Grade 9.
Thank you for reading have a good day!