Being WEIRDO is confusing but makes sense after a while
Learning about different tenses in Spanish also helped me understand, not just how to conjugate, but the uses of different tenses in other languages, mainly german. I now really understand the uses of the subjunctive in Spanish and the differences between preterite and imperfect in both languages (German and Spanish).
Another class where we were covering similar material (information wise) was in PSHE when we talked about body image and what beauty means to us. In both units, we looked at similar material and learned more about how beauty means something different to every one of us and explored what it means specifically to you.
Outside of classrooms, this unit has also helped me understand what beauty means and might be able to give this information on to others when they need it, i.e. when someone is unhappy with their appearance. For this reason, I think it is an incredibly important unit to go through.
What I have learned in this unit has both moral and ethical implications. As this unit focussed on beauty and what it means to be beautiful, the main thing I learned was that everyone is beautiful in their own way. I already knew this previously but through this unit, I go to develop this idea even more.
Link to Wordle
This year was my third year of expeditions (but the first where it was called expeditions). This time I went to Niigata on a hiking trip. The hike itself was 3 days and 2 nights. Here we had to overcome many challenges and learn a lot of new lessons.
What I learned:
I learned a lot of practical skills for hiking such as how to put up and take down a tent properly and how to put on a heavy hiking backpack on in the best, most convenient way. However, I also learned a lot about how people behave differently in different environments and how it is important that we don’t always just take the easiest route. The second I learned when the hike split into two paths. One was an easy hike on the road and the other was a steep mountain that had a distance twice as long as the road. My team decided to take the mountain route. The other team decided to take the easy route. Even though my team arrived later than them, we felt accomplished and I got the feeling that the other team ended up regretting taking the easy way out.
How my views changed on things:
I am not a very athletic person so I was surprised at how quickly I made it to camp with my team and that I could keep up the pace. One thing I am incredibly glad that we had on the hike was one of our teammates who would always ask if anyone needed a break and made sure people were okay. We also had a person keeping track of how far we had gone. Whenever we heard the number we surprised and proud of us for making it that far. Everyone in our team played an important role
Another way in which my view changed was when we had to take down our tent. We had to try multiple times to fit all of the tents into the bag but in the end, we always managed. The lesson learned was that even if something seems hopeless and you keep on failing, you can succeed if you just try your best. This was an important lesson to learn, especially for me as this is something I struggle with.
Problems we had on the hike:
We had quite a few challenges during the hike. Not only was the hike a challenge but our group had some issues too. On the last hike, we got split into three groups: the front, the middle, and the back. I was alone in the middle. Eventually, I caught up with the front but we were still in two parts. This then became an even bigger problem because the back people decided to stay at the top of the mountain while we were waiting at the bottom. In the end, we had to go back and split into even more little groups. Finally, we all arrived at camp. I think this was an important lesson to learn. We have to stick together.
In this first unit on cultural art, I feel I have improved in my reading and writing skills. I now find it easier to identify and recreate certain text types. I also believe that I have improved drastically with using unit-specific vocab in my writings. Something I struggle with with reading is full comprehending the reading. A way I could improve here is by doing more complex readings and practice recognizing certain repeated features.
I also feel I have improved on my speaking skills but only when I have had practice in the specific area, for example during a presentation. An area where I really need to improve is my speaking without practice. At the beginning of this week, we had two spanish speakers come and all we were meant to just talk about anything. I found this incredibly difficult. Something else I need to work on is my listening skills. This also became apparent when we were talking to the spanish speakers. However, I did see that many other people were struggling with this too so maybe it is something we can practice together.
I believe I am doing reasonably okay with the unit vocabulary and grammar. The reason for this is that in class we often repeat the explanations but go a bit more into detail each time. Also, games like the fly swatter game help me learn vocab. However, the most useful tool for me for learning new vocab is still quizlet.
To further improve in the skills where I am lacking is by really trying to use to opportunities we are given to practice, mainly speaking. At the beginning of the year, I made asking questions in spanish my goal. I have had some difficulties with this but I will most definitely continue trying. Another part of my original goal was to ask questions when I don’t understand something. I feel I have really done this (and sometimes even received points for them which is a great way of keeping us motivated).
My goal for the rest of the year is now to really use the learning and practice opportunities we are given. I shouldn’t shy away from learning experiences. This is something I need to remember for all of my subjects but it is particularly important in the spanish subject.
- My first goal for this year is to stay as organized as I was last year. This is not something I necessarily need to improve but rather something I need to continue doing. I will see how well I am doing this by how often I miss the due date or forget to bring my material to Spanish class. I am hoping that both of this will never occur. I know that I am capable of doing this as I managed last year and it should not be much harder this year. This is relevant as it is one of the student expectations for this year.
- My second goal for this school year in Spanish is to use translation less when doing out of class writing. I will set myself an amount of times I am allowed to use Spanish.Dict per writing task and slowly decrease this number. With this, I will hopefully decrease how reliant I am on translation devices at the moment. I hope to come close to writing a few pieces with almost no translation needed. This is relevant as last year I used Spanish.Dict a lot and so in inclass essays I wrote in english a lot which made my score go down.
- My third goal for this year is to use the opportunity the class gives us to speak more Spanish. A way in which I can do this is by attempting to ask questions in Spanish. Sra. Hill will not expect this to be perfect right from the beginning so don’t worry about it being perfect. I will see how this works by the fluency of my questions by the end of the year. This is relevant as luency is something I really want to work on this year.
- My fourth goal is to stop ignoring when I don’t understand something but rather to ask for it to be explained again. It is ok if I do not feel comfortable enough to ask again in front of the class, I can go to Sra. Hill after class as well. I will see the progress of this by not finding myself confused as often at home unable to get help. Also this should help me score better on tests as I understand the material better. This is relevant as I did this a lot last year and got bad scores because of it. I want to work on this this year.
Where am I from? Where is my home?
This year in PSHE we asked our selves these questions. For a multicultural kid this is a difficult question to answer. At first I really struggled with trying to answer this, however once we were told that we don’t need to answer with one sentence but can write a whole poem about it it became a lot easier. Here is the poem I wrote:
The process of doing this was interesting. At first I was worried because I am not a particularly good poet but once I had an idea on my structure it was ok and relatively easy to do. Then came the actual writing. I decided to start of with the actual locations I am from or where I have lived. As I wrote this at the very beginning of the year I had not considered adding Yokohama yet. This first verse was easy as it was just stating facts but the rest was slightly more challenging. For this I chose locations I enjoy being, people I like being around and things I enjoy. The last line of each verse was always slightly confusing and now looking back at it I see there are a few things wrong with them. However I decided to keep them the way they originally were as I am sure I had good reasons to write what I did, plus they still mean something to me.
I feel this activity really helped me understand that it is ok to be from multiple places and that most people are. It is hard to say that you are just from one place and only one experience made you who you are. Everyone is made out of many parts and it is important to know that to really understand the way people are and behave.
I think this is something everyone should try, especially multicultural kids as we are the ones often confused about where we are really from. Also I think I might make this into a yearly activity as my locations, people and interests do change every once in a while but I will slightly change the structure as I am not longer happy with the way the last line of each verse is laid out.
This year we did the MBTI Test to further understand ourselves. My results are in the following PDF and I’d like to use this as an opportunity to look deeper into this and to try to really understand the information this offers me.
For the Criterion Fit for Life I decided to observe my sleep for the month of May. I did this by using the iPhone app Sleep Cycle. It has movement sensors so it knows when you are in deep and light sleep and how well you are sleeping.
link to presentation
Through this I started to learn that I actually get a lot more sleep than I thought. The worst habit of mine that I discovered is that my family eats late. This is bad for sleep as your stomach needs at least a few hours to empty after you eat. If you go lay down before this process is over it is easy for acids to spill out of your stomach which can lead to acid reflux. I should definitely work on this and try to eat earlier as just sleeping later would decrease the efficiency of my sleep.
Whilst doing this whole process I also checked to see how listening to music would effect the quality of my sleep. The result was that I slept just as well with as without music. This was a great result as I now know that I can listen to music whilst I sleep without effecting how well I will sleep.
From this experiment I conducted on myself I learned a lot about how sleep effects you during the day and what effects simple things like if your in your own bed or not have on the quality of your sleep. I will now add a few more careful steps my daily sleep routine to further improve my sleep quality and maybe even get my sleep quality to 100% efficient.
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