Friday, 9 December 2016

Looking Back on 21st Century Literacy

For my last English assignment in grade 9, I am thinking back and reflecting on parts of my learning.  I will be talking about my strengths, skills and strategies, growth, areas of need as a reader, writer, oral communicator and media interpreter. I will be using evidence in text form and through photos.  All photos will be at the end of my assignment.  

Flowers for Algernon


When I was reading the book, “Flowers for Algernon”, I had some strengths such as being able to see the bigger issues. Some of the bigger issues in the book were: Should we “play God” and change people’s intelligence? How should we inform people with low IQs about surgery risks that they cannot understand? Should parents be allowed to hit their children? These are just a few examples of some of the bigger issues in “Flowers for Algernon”.

One of the skills that I had when reading “Flowers for Algernon” was being able to contribute and add to our group conversations. To help me understand and take in more of the information I used two strategies. One strategy was to use an audiobook to help me understand what I was reading. Another strategy was reducing the number of notes I took so that I focused on understanding what I was reading rather than what I should write down.  

I think that I have grown a lot by reading “Flowers for Algernon” by thinking more about some ethical issues that I have not thought of before. One of the ethical issues that I had not thought about was how we treat people with low IQs. One of the questions that I have thought about is: “What is the best way to help or treat people with low IQs?”

I had four areas of need in “Flowers for Algernon”.  These areas are: as a reader, writer, oral communicator and media interpreter. My area of need as a reader is that I find reading very challenging so when I was reading the book I used an audiobook. My computer read the book to me while I looked at the text.  My area of need as a writer is that when I write notes down while I read something, I sometimes lose the information that I just read. This is because I'm focused on writing and spending so much energy on what I'm going to write down. This time for “Flowers for Algernon” I did not take very many notes and I understood more of what I was reading. While I was doing this I remembered more than I usually do. My area of need as an oral communicator is that when I am in the discussion groups I am pretty good at presenting and supporting my ideas. One thing that I could work on is adding to other people’s ideas and not just talking about only my ideas. My area of need as a media interpreter was when I watched the movie, Charlie. I had trouble taking notes when the movie was playing. I did try to take notes while the movie was playing but found that I could not understand what was happening in the movie because I cannot write and listen at the same time. I also had difficulty understanding the movie because of the speed and also it was so different from the book. I did not know how to compare the movie to the book because it was so different.

Presentation Skills


The next unit of study that I will be talking about is Presentation Skills.  Here are my strengths with presentation skills: I can make engaging slideshows and Kahoots quizzes. I also practice my presentations a lot before doing them and I am told that I do not look nervous when I am presenting.   

A skill that I use in presentation skills is to always practice and go over my presentation before I present. This is a skill because it makes it easier to present the presentation as I am more familiar with my topic. A strategy that I use is to have jot notes on cue cards. This helps take some of the pressure off. That way when I am presenting to the audience and if I get nervous and might forget what I'm going to say, I can look down quickly at the cue cards and get back on track.

I think that I've grown a lot by learning how to make good presentations. By doing it more and more, I now know the process of preparing and making presentations so I can now make presentations more quickly.

I had three areas of need in presentation skills. These areas are as a reader, writer and oral communicator. My area of need as a reader is to be able to make easy, to read cue cards so that when I am presenting I know what I am going to say. My area of need as a writer is using tools on my computer such as spell check and Google Read and Write to help me get my writing and ideas down for my presentation. My area of need as an oral communicator is needing to try to memorize all of my presentation and to try not to get as nervous when I am presenting.


Week 3 Technology/Poetry


I will now be reflecting upon a couple of different weeks of my learning. In week three our theme was technology and poetry. Our tasks that week included creating a digital portfolio (blog) as well as a poem analysis on a song written by Gord Downie.

This week we also read the book “Flowers for Algernon” one of my strengths was when I was reading the book I really could understand the themes and messages. For example, one of the themes in the book is friendship including not being able to see who your real friends are.
 
I had some skills and strategies that I used this week. A skill that I had was helping design a really engaging slideshow for the poem analysis on one of Gord Downie’s songs. The song that I did was “Born in the Water”.  A strategy that I used when I was having trouble understanding the criteria for the poem analysis, I asked someone to go over the criteria so that then I understood what I needed to do. Here was the criteria for the poem analysis.

One way that I grew was in creating and posting on my blog. I have always been nervous about posting anything on the internet where everyone can see it. When I started posting more and more often, I started to feel more comfortable uploading to my blog.

I had three areas of need that week. These areas were as a reader, writer and oral communicator. My area of need as a reader was that I needed my computer or someone to read to me so that I could understand the text more clearly. For example, this was very helpful to use when I was reading “Flowers for Algernon”. My area of need as a writer was to use software such as Google Read and Write to help me write things down. This helped me make a composition that was called “Future Leader”. My last area of need as an oral communicator was trying to feel more comfortable presenting in front of people. That week I did not feel very comfortable standing and presenting my poem analysis in front of the class.  This is something that I hope to get better at in the future.  


Week 7 Organization


The theme of week seven was organization. One of my tasks included organizing my binder, Gmail and Google Drive accounts as well as working on an Ethics project. My Ethics project was on who owns your content on Instagram.

A strength that I had this week was understanding the themes in “All American Boys”.  This was a book that we read this week about racial tensions in the United States. An example of a theme in “All American Boys” is the moral dilemma of should you make your life easier and protect yourself or should you do what you feel is right?

A skill that I had this week was easily organizing my binder, Gmail and Google Drive accounts. I find organizing very easy and I enjoy being organized. For example, in my Google Drive I have organized my folders by classes and within my class of 21st Century Literacy, I have organized all my files by the week that I had done a task. A strategy that I used was listening to an audiobook that helped me read “Flowers for Algernon” which I needed to read this week.

I think that I have grown a lot this week by learning more about ethics online. I learned about who owns your content online. I learned more about Instagram’s policy on whether they own your content or not. I learned that it is not just as simple as they own it or they do not own your content. Instagram does not own your content but you do give them the right to use your content when you use their services.

I had three areas of need that week. These areas were as a reader, writer and oral communicator. My area of need as a reader was getting someone to read me “All American Boys”. My area of need as a writer was using jot form to help me write faster instead of writing in full sentences. I used this in my ethics project. My area of need as an oral communicator was not being able to memorize what I was going to say for my ethics presentation. This is something that I am still working on.

In conclusion, I think that I have learned and grown a lot in most areas of my learning this term.  Thinking back over this term I think that my organization skills have helped in different ways such as finding assignments quickly if needed or using my calendar so that I know when assignments are due.  I also think that one of my areas of need, which is my presentation skills, affected me throughout this course and still affects me in other courses such as Drama class.  Overall I think that I had a very productive term and that I learned a lot.  

Photos


This was the "Flowers for Algernon" group discussion. (Evidence for "Flowers for Algernon" Skills and Areas of Needs as an Oral Communicator)


This is the Audiobook that I used to help me read "Flowers for Algernon". (Evidence for "Flowers for Algernon” Strategies and Areas of Need as a Reader. Also, Evidence for “Week 7 Organization” Strategies)


These are the first notes I took for “Flowers for Algernon”. These notes are about the first 50 pages of the book. (Evidence for "Flowers for Algernon” Strategies and Areas of Need as a Writer)


These notes are the last notes that I took for “Flowers for Algernon”. These notes are about the last 33 pages of the book. (Evidence for "Flowers for Algernon” Strategies and Areas of Need as a Writer)


These are my notes that I took from the movie Charly. (Evidence for "Flowers for Algernon” Areas of Need as a Media Interpreter)


This is a slideshow that Ben and I made for Week 6 of our learning. (Evidence for “Presentation Skills” Strengths)


This is a Kahoot quiz that I made. It went with a slideshow that I helped make about "What Not to Do in Slideshows". (Evidence for “Presentation Skills” Strengths)


This is Sasha and I practicing our slideshow for our poem analysis. (Evidence for “Presentation Skills” Skills)


These are my jot notes for the poem analysis that I was talking about in the photo above. (Evidence for “Presentation Skills” Strategies and Areas of Need as a Reader)


This is a slideshow that I made when I was running for Grade 9 Rep. for our school’s Student Council. (Evidence for “Presentation Skills” Growth)


This is Google Read and Write helping me type a blog post about why my school is so different than other high schools. (Evidence for “Presentation Skills” Areas of Need as a Writer and also Evidence for “Week 3 Technology/Poetry” Areas of Need as a Writer)


This is me presenting a slideshow about why I should be in Student Council. (Evidence for “Presentation Skills” Areas of Need as an Oral Communicator)


This is the poem analysis slideshow that I helped make. (Evidence for “Week 3 Technology/Poetry” Skills)


This is the blog that I have made. It is the one that you are reading right now. (Evidence for “Week 3 Technology/Poetry” Growth)


This is Shauna, my teacher, reading us a book. (Evidence for “Week 3 Technology/Poetry” Areas of Need as a Reader. Also, Evidence for “Week 7 Organization” Areas of Need as a Reader)


This is my Future Leader Composition. (Evidence for “Week 3 Technology/Poetry” Areas of Need as a Writer)


This is how I organize my Google Drive. I have all of my school files on the cloud so that they are very easily accessible to me from anywhere and any device. (Evidence for “Week 7 Organization” Skills)


This is how I organize my Google Drive within my class of 21st Century Literacy. (Evidence for “Week 7 Organization” Skills)


This is my Ethics slideshow. (Evidence for “Week 7 Organization” Growth)


This is a different slide on my Ethics slideshow. I wrote in jotform for this presentation to help me save time. Also, it is better not to have a lot of words on slideshows because it is boring for everyone in the audience. (Evidence for “Week 7 Organization” Areas of Need as a Writer)


Sources



Keyes, Daniel. Flowers for Algernon. New York: Harcourt, Brace & World, 1966. Print.



Reynolds, Jason, and Brendan Kiely. All American Boys. New York: Atheneum for Young Readers, 2015. Print.

Charly. Dir. Ralph Nelson. Prod. Ralph Nelson. By Stirling Silliphant. Perf. Cliff Robertson and Claire Bloom. Cinerama Releasing, 1967.



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