The Last of Middle School Humanities
In 6th grade, I never imagined that my middle school years would end, but now, the end is right in front of me. I am leaving middle school with all my knowledge and experience gained in humanities. Including thinking, writing, speaking, listening, reading, and my learning habits. This year, I was introduced to Goodreads, Prezi, Posterous and other wonderful sites. I learned how to insert parenthetical citations and paraphrasing information into my own sentences. I also learned how to listen attentively and how to state my opinions firmly in discussions. In this reflection, I will write how I developed as a learner. I will also write about what I enjoyed and struggled with while learning.
As I look through all my blog posts throughout the year, I can see that I have developed as a writer and thinker. What I think I developed most as a writer is brainstorming. Before, I used to skip the brainstorming part or did it because I was asked to. Now, I realize that brainstorming is a very important step of the writing process. For thinking and writing, what I think I do well and what came easily for me is paraphrasing. Even though it was my first time to actually learn paraphrasing from a teacher, it was easy for me because I used paraphrasing while doing AOW and other projects. If there were parts that came easy for me, there was also challenging parts. For our research paper in human rights, I learned parenthetical citations, paraphrasing and many other things but it wasn’t an enjoyable project for me. I really had trouble in pulling all my information into a paragraph. My writing only consisted of information and the transitions between sentences and paragraphs were awkward. Overall, If I had to choose my favorite piece, it is definitely the Kony 2012 AOW. The topic about Kony was so far the most interesting AOW topic. I was really engaged in this topic and I felt very excited that I could write my opinions about it. As a result, my writing goals for ninth grade are to create better transitions and practice on creating research paper.
This year, I had numerous of reading experiences including novels, social studies, and poetry. I tremendously improved on expanding my vocabulary while reading. Before, I used to just skip the words I didn’t know, but as time passed by, I gradually began to search the words or guess them by reading the sentence over and over again. Also, I improved on writing notes down on places in the book I think it is important to remember or have a question on. When I forget something about the book, I can always flip back and read the sticky notes. Of my reading experiences, what I enjoyed most was reading “My Brother Sam is Dead”. The tension and the flow of the story was really fun and exciting, also it was good to naturally learn about the American Revolution while reading the book. Oppositely, reading the “Give me Liberty or Give me Death” speech was most challenging. It was mostly a challenge for me because there was numerous words I didn’t know, so I couldn’t understand a lot of senteces in the speech. As a result, I need to read more books to expand my vocabulary. I also need to widen my range of book selections because I tend to read only one genre. That way, I can earn the joy of reading in many different genres of books.
Throughout the year, I have had discussions and a variety of presentations and I can say that my speaking skills have improved a lot. I can state my opinions and ideas firmly in AOW discussions and literature circles. Also, the Boston Massacre debate and other presentations helped me gain more confidence in speaking to large groups and to speak more louder and clearer since it gave me more experience. Still, even though I improved my listening skills, I still struggle when presenting to classes because I tend to become nervous and stutter a lot. Making eye contact to the audience is also very hard. Additionally, I have also developed as an active listener during discussions and presentations. During discussions, I always listen attentively to what my group have to say and give them feedback. Similarly in presentations, I do not distract the speaker and I listen to them attentively. I think learning to listen is very important because you can learn new information and perspectives from different people.
Having good learning habits is important for me because when it comes to test taking time, it would be much easier for me. I wouldn’t have so much stress on myself and I would feel better knowing that I have prepared well for my tests. My learning habits improved a lot during the past years. For example, I improved greatly on managing my time wisely by creating study schedules and to-do lists. Also, I improved on working in an undisturbed, quiet environment because before, I usually worked in front of a television. I believe that my improved learning habits will help me a lot in the future.
It is now coming to the end and I am truly going to move on to high school with no regrets. I have greatly improved my writing, thinking, reading, speaking, listening, and learning skills due to all my wonderful humanities and writing teachers. All the AOWs, presentations, novel studies, and discussions would be a great memory and experience for me. Although there were many challenging assignments that I despised, nevertheless, all of them were enjoyable. They all gave a big impact to my learning skills. I will never forget my last year of middle school humanities class with Mr. Appino.
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