GCD- Community Engagement

Community Engagement

Over the previous years, I have helped prepare meals for the homeless people in Ishikawacho as part of a service activity. With more than 800 meals being prepared, homelessness and hunger is a genuine issue in the community.

 

In order to act upon this issue, I have participated in the Chiku Service group as I considered this the most ‘direct’ and hands-on way to tackle the issue. Rather than raising awareness or advocating the issue, I wanted to do something that would have a direct impact, hence I chose to volunteer in this service activity.

 

Whether it was during the morning sessions or the lunch sessions, I felt that I was always able to create a positive impact both for myself and the community there. During the sessions, I found that there was often a shortage in volunteers and thus I had to help according to the situation. Thus, sometimes I would be helping to distribute the meals, but when I realized that other processes were not running efficiently, I would switch and help out in those necessary areas. Although this was a challenge in the sense that I had to constantly be aware of my surroundings and monitor other processes as well, I enjoyed these experiences as I was able to interact with others and learn more about them.

 

Although I had to wake up early for some mornings or miss class during other times, I felt that this volunteering experience was a crucial experience for me. Overall, I think that I was involved in this activity for 5 sessions, and it was a really beneficial activity for both me and the community around me.

GCD- Academics

Academic Skills

I believe that the development of ATL skills are just as important as the academic grades. These skills can be applied in daily situations as well as the future. Although I have not developed all of these skills to my greatest extent, I believe that I am proficient in many areas- such areas include my research, communication, and thinking skills.

 

My research skills have greatly developed over the past years in the sense that I am now able to access relevant information faster and more accurately. I have learned to digest information from a range of sources while effectively checking to see if these sources are unbiased and credible. Finally, I have learnt to present my work through different platforms that are most appropriate for each project.

 

For instance, in Individuals and Societies, I have practised researching from a mixed range of media sources such as videos, articles, charts, maps, and diagrams. I have realized that each of these media types require specific skills to comprehend and therefore I have developed these skills such as literary analysis or symbolism. In addition, ever since I was taught the CRAAP method (evaluating a source based on its currency, relevance, authority, accuracy, and purpose), I have been able to evaluate the credibility of sources as well as distinguishing fact from opinion. I am now also able to present my work in different ways because of the varying projects I have completed in the past. I have learned that some methods such as videos and presentations are more engaging at times, while posters and diagrams are easier and faster to understand in other circumstances. With this in mind, my research skills are proficient in the fact that I am able to select the most appropriate form of presentation.

 

Another class where my research skills are evident is in Science. Primarily, I have to use a variety of sources during science class- this includes the use of graphs, data charts, models, and diagrams. I have learnt to use and understand these mediums and I am able to comprehend the benefits and limitations that each possesses. Hence, I often make appropriate decisions on selecting the right medium to use to convey my information in an easy and simple manner.

 

In terms of my thinking skills, I have developed in this area through the subject of English. Over the previous years, I have learnt to think critically when analyzing a text or evaluating a source. I have learnt of several methods such as visual and literary techniques to convey a certain theme or message. Moreover, I was able to apply my creative thinking skills when producing a text based on my personal opinion. I constantly thought of new ways in which I could express a certain point, such as when I had to recreate a scene in “Romeo and Juliet” in grade 9. Rather than writing in the form of a story or acting it out, I decided to try something new and write in a newspaper format. This was the result of my creative thinking- something that I would not usually think of doing.

In addition, I have been able to use my thinking skills when in Music class. I often apply my critical thinking skills when analyzing or “breaking” down a piece. This helps me to not only identify the composer’s choices but also their intentions when creating the piece. Similarly, I have practiced using my creative thinking skills mainly when composing or performing. For instance, rather than playing the same phrase when I solo each time, I constantly think about trying new techniques when playing on my instrument to establish an interesting sound or tone. In addition, I often use rare and uncommon instruments in my compositions to discover new sounds and to further enhance my creative mindset.

 

Thus, over the previous years, I have developed my approaches to learning (ATL) skills to enhance not only my learning, but myself as a person as well.

GCD- Intercultural Communication

Intercultural Communication

Throughout the years, I have consistently been using a variety of strategies to communicate with people from all around the world. One example of this was during the summer of 2017 when I visited Vietnam.

 

One of the first and most important issues I experienced when arriving in the country was a language barrier. The Vietnamese language was very different compared to the languages that I spoke, and since everything was in this foreign language, I had to find a way to communicate with people in order to survive for the two weeks that I was there. Being an intercultural student, I applied different strategies to solve this problem.

 

The first and most simple solution was to study the local language. Therefore, I spent my first day reading guides and learning basic phrases. By the end of the day, I realized that these phrases could only be used in a handful of situations and that two weeks would not be enough to memorize enough of the content. This troubled me and caused me to panic as to how I would survive the remaining days without a clear form of communication.

 

For the following days, I decided to use another form of communication. Despite speaking different languages, I figured out that an universal language that everybody would understand would not be through words, but through actions or gestures. Whenever I tried to communicate, I used gestures to physically show what I was talking about. This seemed to work as people would understand and subsequently act out their response.

 

Although I was able to communicate with people using this method, I continued to learn and practice the Vietnamese language as well. By the end of the first week, I was able to understand and speak basic words/phrases as a result. Again, in some areas that I visited, people spoke in French, which I used to my advantage as I was able to implement my French skills that I have developed over the past years.

 

Overall, this experience has helped me to understand that I do not have to speak the same language as someone in order to communicate with them, although it could be helpful. Furthermore, I learned to appreciate the language barrier as it stimulated me to find new, creative ways of communicating with others, while adapting to a new environment. Finally, this experience helped to remind me that at the end of the day, everyone is the same in the sense that although there are +6,500 languages, anyone can understand basic actions or emotions.

 

GCD Reflection- Wilderness Engagement

Throughout 9th grade’s Field Studies Expedition in the October of 2017, I developed and nurtured my collaboration skills as well as my outdoor skills in terms of dealing with nature and the environment as a whole. During the 120 hours in Niigata, I experienced sleeping in tents, hiking for long hours, and team-bonding exercises. Although there were times that made me tired and hungry, the breathtaking views made up for it.

First and foremost, I developed my skill of working together with others in a group. Towards the start of the trip, I was still unfamiliar with some of the members of my group, and thus it was hard to interact with them. However, as soon as our group was in the mountains, we relied on and helped another to achieve our goal: arriving at the campsites. Despite the fact that on occasions our group argued and had conflicts in opinions, we were able to come together and develop a type of trust and respect that brought us together as more than just a hiking group.

Another aspect that the trip helped me to enrich was my outdoor skills. For instance, during the hiking activities, my group and I used gadgets and instruments that we do not frequently use, such as compasses, maps, and large backpacks. Typically, I do not use or even see these materials in my daily life, thus it allowed me a chance to practice getting good at using them. At the start of the trip, it took time for me to navigate the way, but at the end of the five days, I was able to smoothly figure out which way we were heading, how steep the trail would be, and even how long it might take to get to our destination.

Again, there were some challenges that I faced throughout this trip. For example, sometimes our group lacked in energy and motivation which caused us to become silent and interact less with each other. Being the positive person I am (or at least I hope so), I tried my best at times like these to cheer people up by telling jokes or initiating conversations- which I think boosted our energy levels up.

Overall, it was a fun experience, and I hope that I can build more experiences like this one.

 

Phase 2 SPanish Reflection

Throughout have improved on my Spanish skills through multiple aspects. The most important elements that helped me to develop were the activities and exercises this year.

To start off, I am most proud of the success that I have achieved this year. This success includes my ability to speak and comprehends the Spanish language throughout written, listening, and reading exercises. I think that the conjugation helped me the most since it was very similar to that of the French language, which helped me to progress rapidly.

I will consider myself as a Spanish speaker. Although I may have started taking the Spanish program this year, I am now able to hold basic conversations in the language, and I am now able to understand things that are written and said in Spanish.

If I could restart this year again I would organize my notes a lot more clearly and spend the time a lot more carefully. When looking back at my notes, I have found that my handwriting was messy, and all of my understandings were on different pages.

I think that I have a lot of places to improve to be able to enter phase 3. Below is  the list of things I should be able to do until next year:

  1. Conjugation: Although I am confident in terms of the past, present, and future tenses, I still have to improve on my imperative conjugations because I am a bit unsure. In addition, I have to work on special verbs (unusual verbs- I forgot what they were called rn oops)
  2. Expressions: Since I have learned a lot of new expressions this year, I would like to further apply these into my learning or when I am writing or speaking to allow people to understand what I am saying easily.
  3. Accents: I would like to have a better understanding of where my accents are, and how to emphasize certain accents to pronounce my words easily.

Thus, I had lots of fun in Spanish class with Ms.HIll this year. I have learned a lot of things, and I look forward to learning more next year.

Unit 3 Spanish Reflection

In the third unit of Spanish this year, I think that I learned a lot on the topic of travel and vacations. I gained new knowledge of vocabulary, expressions, and verb conjugations.

 

1. What are 7 ways what you learned is like Harry Potter, Star Wars, or another movie of your choice?

My learning in Spanish is like the James Bond Movies.

  • Learning Spanish vocabulary is as fast as James Bond’s Aston Martins
  • I learn new expressions that are deadly like his guns
  • I can conjugate verbs that are irregular like the mysteries in the movie
  • The preterite is something that happened in the past like James Bond movies
  • There are many Spanish speaking countries just like there are many James Bond movies
  • Dialogue in Spanish is fast-paced like the movie
  • Command terms must be conjugated differently just like how James Bond sees the world in a different way

3. How is what you have learned relevant to other classes/material you are learning?

The things that I have learned in Spanish are relevant to other subjects in multiple ways. For instance, I have learned about the preterite conjugation in Spanish, which can be applied to any subject in order to have correct grammar and inform the reader of the time and place context that the text is in. Furthermore,  the fact that we learned about Spanish-speaking countries can be tied into the subject of I&S, to show or understand why certain countries speak French, especially because of colonization reasons.

7. Write down key words from your learning. Arrange them into a poem. (freestyle bars?)

Learning about travel and Spanish-speaking countries

This is all apart of my Spanish-learning studies

Preterite, irregular, and command verb conjugations

Should be all easy because they’re learning expectations

Hotel and travel plans, souvenirs and shopping

I’ll talk ’bout all of these in my new track that I’m dropping

Expresiones Del Pasado como la semana pasado

Signify the events that happened sometime ago

Frecuencia y Secuencia

Show how often something happened

Just like the times that you can hear me for thinkin’ I’m rappin’

9. Make a wordle or mind map of your learning.

 

 

Grade 8 Showcase Portfolio

 

Research Skills:

I demonstrated research skills in the subject of science. In the class of science, I was able to successfully gather a series of information from multiple sources in order to provide accurate facts and figures for my assignments. In addition, I have learnt how to improved my use of keywords, which has helped me to narrow down search results and access relevant answers.

https://docs.google.com/a/yis.ac.jp/presentation/d/1zW75cn8RuvAVt8jdLwWxUgyrho_2vwReNrnsTXkcASY/edit?usp=sharing

Social Skills:

Social skills are abilities that I have demonstrated in most subjects. I believe that I have shown these skills most effectively in the classes of music and physical education (PE).

 

In music, my group and I have worked on constructing a song from scratch. I have consistently collaborated with my group members in order to create different roles for different instruments to play. I have discussed and actively engaged in conversations which has helped to improve and make changes to the final piece.
In PE, I have interacted with classmates in order to discuss strategies and tactics to help win games as a team. Furthermore, I have communicated with my teammates on the handball court to give advice and help. In addition, I have worked with my teammates to use the attacking/defensive principles of play in matches.

https://docs.google.com/a/yis.ac.jp/document/d/16ZwFpeK03jPNC0p4WVQEDFBtLaxA2p9P6l8OHdqLbew/edit?usp=sharing

Communication:

I have shown the communication skill in drama, english, and art.

 

In drama, I have communicated not just verbally but also throughout the use of facial expressions and body language. Moreover, I used the elements of drama in order to convey a simple message or a story in unit 1. In unit 2, I used my body stance and positioning to show my character for the Commedia d’ell arte.

 

For english, I have effectively shown communication skills throughout my writing samples. I have conveyed a story in my creative writing prompt and analysed the message and symbols in the novel “Skellig” by David Almond in unit 1.
I was able to communicate my personal interests and tastes in art throughout the construction of multiple pots. I created a coil pot and a pinch pot and designed them according to my interests and hobbies.

https://docs.google.com/a/yis.ac.jp/document/d/1WwHjAdiM5f19nEyi-GxfFWp2ACLqqyl1bS3nB20whUg/edit?usp=sharinghttps://docs.google.com/a/yis.ac.jp/document/d/1khMVcNlQcALcUVlZnZzg02y-S1XEf4efMoZNRXvB3I0/edit?usp=sharing

Thinking:

I showed a variety of thinking skills in the subjects of design and individuals and societies.

 

In design, I demonstrated both creative thinking skills and critical thinking skills. I used creative thinking skills when I was generating ideas for my animation, while I used critical thinking skills to analyse whether these ideas would be realistic and/or easy to make.
For Individuals & Societies, I used critical thinking skills in order to analyse and compare the development of different nations and the impacts of each nation during the data for development unit. I transferred my previous knowledge to make connections and bonds between information from unit 1 to unit 2.

https://docs.google.com/a/yis.ac.jp/presentation/d/1nu1iouxCULs8IUsmafBfNrbXD0uaT1QMco3QuFwYV5k/edit?usp=sharing

Self-Management:

In the subject of Spanish, I think that I am performing a good job of self-management. I have been able to stay on top of my homework and manage all of my papers in my binder. I have found the time to study new words and revise the phrases/expressions that I learnt in class.
However, I still need to improve on my self-management skills for math. Although I have been able to complete my homework on time, I still need to find time to revise and study my notes so that I can feel more confident during tests.

 

 

My Goals

Goal 1 For next semester, I would like to start being more productive and organised by prioritizing my homework. I will check the due date for each homework assignment and start on the assignment that has the closest due date, which will help me to finish the task on time.
Goal 2 I would like to manage my time and use it effectively next semester. I have not been achieving the grades that I have wanted this semester due to amounts of homework and assignments. By spending time on revising, practicing, and looking over my notes, I will be able to score better on my tests and assessments.
Goal 3 Finally, I would like to take neater notes. Since some of my notes were disorganised and untidy this semester, I was not able to read my own notes and lost key information as a result. Thus, I would like to focus on creating organised, neat notes for next semester in order to be successful when I revise my notes.

‘Expanding my comfort zone during G8 Expedition’

During the expedition week in October, I faced a wide variety of challenges in an unfamiliar environment in Minkami, Gunma. This trip has undoubtedly expanded my comfort zone, as I experienced a range of activities, including canyoning, rafting, rock-climbing, geo-caching, mountain biking, as well as multiple team building activities. In this expedition, I got out of my comfort zone when I performed mountain biking, rock climbing, and canyoning.

Mountain biking got me out of my comfort zone, as I rode a bike with a different braking system as well as a different type of suspension system. In addition, I rode on steep courses in the mountains, as well as extreme hairpins, which was a new experience for me. Even though I had lots of fun and was able to manage the courses, the experience was challenging and indefinitely got me out of my comfort zone.

 

 

Unit 1 Spanish Reflection

In terms of reading, I think that I am capable of understanding words that are unfamiliar by using context clues in order to make sense of the word or expression. I think that I am able to understand basic sentence and paragraph structures which helps me to comprehend the text effectively. However, I still make mistakes and errors when I am answering the reading comprehension questions. Therefore, I think that I should make sure that I reread the text twice in order to minimalise my mistakes.

My Goal for Reading: Reread the text and read carefully not to miss out on any important details or facts.

I think that my writing skills have the most areas of improvement. I am able to write with some flow and accuracy, however, I am not that confident in terms of verb conjugation and the spelling of some words. In addition, I think that I should use more terms and expressions from the unit in order to apply my learning in a piece of writing and familiarize the verb. Thus, in order to decrease the number of errors in my writing, I will make sure to create flashcards on Quizlet and try to memorize as much terms and expressions from the unit vocabulary in order to be able to use it in my writing.
My Goal for Writing: Use Quizlet more often to memorize key terms and expressions from the unit, as well learn the correct spelling and conjugation of some words.

In the area of speaking, I think that I am making a consistent progress, which is allowing me to speak with accuracy and fluency. This allows me to hold a conversation with others and understand the context. I think that I can work on using more expressions and vocabulary from the unit (again) in order to really comprehend what I am learning and apply it to my speaking skills.
My Goal for Speaking: Use more vocabulary and expressions from the unit by using the terms on Quizlet (mentioned previously)

Lastly, in terms of listening, I am confident in my listening skills, however I make mistakes from time to time when I do not understand a word and therefore try to spell the word and spell it with an error or errors. IN order to improve on my listening skills, I will listen or watch some Spanish videos in order to get familiar with the accents and flow of the SPanish language.
My Goal for Listening: Watch/Listen to Spanish videos in order to familiarize the SPanish accents and different vocabularies.