Welcome to my Tpol blog post. I’m happy to say that this year of grade 11 PLP has felt long. Not in a bad way. Covid is finally out of the picture and the year hasn’t felt like one blur of online school and small projects. Getting to have exhibitions and show of my hard work has been great. At my Mpol we had a really good conversation about what the plan for the second half of the year should look like. Let’s take a look at what really happened.
In the time between my Mpol and Tpol we have done three more projects. The first project I want to talk about was the persuasive writing project. I think the end result to this project may not have been the most exciting or unusual. I wrote a letter to my mom talking about why university may not be the best option for me. More important was the skills and practice of those skills in the build up to the end product. As I talked about in my final Blog post for this project, Persuasive writing is something that will help almost anyones future. I think overall I demonstrated some good work during this project, especially compared to the ones before it. I want to mostly focus on how I reached my learning plan goals. I came to almost every office hours (or at least to the library early if I didn’t have anything specific to work on). I also did a bunch of Zetlles. One thing that I also tried really hard to do was focus on handing in everything on time. I find if I back up on work, it’s almost harder to start because I know how much I will have to do.
The next project and probably the biggest of the three is our Mozart Movie project, Hide your Fires. This project was in my opinion the coolest of the year. I love using Video as a medium because there are so many different aspects that you need to focus on. Once again I really tried to focus on getting my work in on time. This helped me do some of my best work of the Year. On the Act Quest sections of this project, I got to demonstrate my revision skills. Although at first my writing was not to the level I wanted I revised and used the knowledge I gained from that revision to help me continue to improve my writing so that I could get an extending on that assignment. This was a great feeling because I felt like working harder actually helped me improve. My contributions to the end product, our movie, we’re not anywhere as big as Angelo’s, Fraser’s and all the other people who really took charge of the production or editing. I still feel like I contributed by having a small role, helping wherever I could and also being my official title, the location director.
Our final project of the year and the one we showed in our year end exhibition was my best project of the year. In this project we had to study and define “crazy ones” and impact makers.
I enjoyed some of the class discussions that we had, specifically one class where many people were either away, or sick, or decided not to come. Of course I like all my piers and don’t wish any of them to be unwell, but the small class made debating and discussing really easy and comfortable. Because of that our discussion lasted almost the entire block and it was also very valuable. In this project I was given the best opportunities to demonstrate my skills in a Socratic seminar. In the first two this year I contributed nothing. I found the cards we had really challenging to use. Luckily for me, the third Socratic seminar had no prompts. I came very prepared and I think I contributed some valuable questions and ideas. I also demonstrated more consideration for the final product of this project. Usually I pick and idea and go with it. For this project I changed my impact maker serval times.
This did give me less time to create my portrait, but in turn I felt like my foundation was much stronger than it otherwise would have been. Up until this point I had been handing in every assignment on time, also I was not late for every single class (maybe a few expectations). Unfortunately the final portrait I decided to make was quite late. This wasn’t because I wasn’t working on it every night, but because it turns out that animating is really challenging. I decided to hand my portrait in late in exchange for me to be able to take more pride in what I had done. I think this completely paid off and I was really proud of what I had created, as well as the information I had gathered.
So what were my most successful parts of this second half of the year?
- One thing I improved massively was handing things in on time and I think my teachers would agree, maybe with a few exceptions. I achieved this by trying to meet a few of my learning plan goals. The biggest one was getting used to working on something for even just 20 minutes every night. If I was exhausted from the school day and my extra curriculars I also got comfortable again waking up at 6:30 or 7:00 in the morning when my Brain functions much better. Going to office hours probably 10 times as much as the first half of the year helped me a lot with getting my revisions done.
- Another area that I showed the biggest growth in was in the Socratic seminars. It took me a while to do, but in the end I feel very prepared for any we might have next year.
- Specifically in the Hide your fires project our class had to use our best teamwork skills if we were going to succeed. This was a great opportunity for me to demonstrate these skills to my teachers as I helped with many different aspects of the project.
- Finally I think that I was more motivated to do good work In these final projects which is why I am feeling a lot more positive about English in general.
I hope to carry all these things into the next year. I think if I can do that and stay on top of my work, keep my energy levels higher and stay motivated I will be very successful.
Of course everything can’t go to plan. So what went wrong?
- Firstly my Zettle Kastens. I am sure that I was on par with the majority of my class mates on the quality and number of Zettles I completed. This isn’t good, because the majority also did not meet expectations. I can see why these kinds of notes can be very powerful, that’s not the problem. They were always something that I would just push aside for something more urgent to me at the time. I don’t want to give up on these and I know Ms Willemse and Mr Hughes will definitely not. For next year I think what I have to do is spend 10 minutes everyday writing one note. This is not a lot of time at all, especially compared to my video games or tv shows.
- The other thing that I failed was my plan to attend every office hours. Although for the first project I was in school early every day I had PLP this changed quite quickly. It really helped me get work done so I didn’t stop because of that. One of the reasons that I often missed coming in early to PLP office hours was my other classes. Especially at the end of the year we ran out of time in math and chemistry. This meant that we were sometimes doing three units at the same time, in two different subjects. Instead of being in PLP office hours I was often in math office hours. This isn’t an excuse but I actually think it worked well. I still did my PLP work at home, our writing and projects are very individual so I didn’t need help from my piers. By doing my math and chem at school I could collaborate and work with my piers to get the work done as we all had the same assignments. Overall I still want to be ready to go to PLP office hours especially if I feel like I am struggling in the material we are learning, but I think coming in every morning was to extreme.
Overall, I feel like I ended my PLP year much better off then I started it, no matter what my final grade says. I learned a lot. Met many of my goals. I am excited for my summer break, but also feeling more positive than I could have expected for my final year of Humanities in High-school. All these successes are the reasons that I feel ready to advance to the next grade level.
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