Reflective Post #7

This week, many of the activities were based on Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs). First, students got into two groups and researched about the concept of think tanks. They discussed the definition of think tanks, why they exist, and how they are formed. Then we put taped each SDG card on the whiteboard and used arrows to show how each of them could be connected to each other. Afterward, the class came up with four main topics for their discussions of the upcoming Socratic seminar. Under each topic, they collaborated about which SDG was connected to the four topics. Then they collaborated with each other to write around three to four compelling questions for the Socratic Seminar.

I’ve never learned about think tanks before; therefore, learning about them were interesting. I learned that think tanks are a group of experts that provide advice and ideas specifically to the topic of politics or economy. Moreover, as we were drawing arrows to see how the SDG goals were connected, my group realized that basically most cards were related to each other. This was an interesting activity because the students, including me, realized that these goals were not separate. We began to become aware that if we start taking action to achieve one goal, it could mitigate the other problems from other goals. These wondering thoughts allowed students to easily write questions for their Socratic seminar. I remember that when the students were first introduced to the SDG, they didn’t really know much about it and weren’t able to discuss the goals. Nevertheless, with all these amazing activities, I realized that students were gaining more understanding of the current goals that experts are trying to achieve. I’m really excited about the discussions that students will do at their Socratic seminar!

Reflective Post #6

After coming back from the spring break, the EAL students started the class by making posters about street art. Mr. Sostak gave the students the outline of the content that was needed in their posters, such as the definition and the positive and negative aspects of street art. The difficult part was that students had to use visual representation to convey their message, which meant that they couldn’t write any letters on the poster. I was assigned to work with Yujin. Together, we collaborated ideas about why someone would do street art, even though it’s illegal, and the benefits and disadvantages of street art. Afterwards, we researched about the work of Invader, who is a famous street artist. The next two classes were really interesting. On Wednesday, students were divided into two groups for a competition to see who could make a better sentence that depicted the two pictures on the board. Each group was assigned to one picture. When we were brainstorming, I led my group by having each member tell me either nouns, adjectives, and verbs that came up in their mind when they saw the photo. After we had enough ideas, we incorporated different brushstrokes with these words. The next activity was also a competition to see which group could create an attractive poster with the greater amount of evidence, points, and SDG goals. The topic of the poster was from a New York Times article on “Why Trees Matters.” At the last class of this week, students practiced making a CER by debating. The resolution was “humans should worry about other things rather than the environment.” I used Socratic questioning to help students come up with points and evidence.

The classes for this week was tremendously interesting. I really liked how Mr. Sostak made the learning more exciting by making friendly competitions. As I was helping Yujin with her poster, I was also learning about the purpose and cause of street art. I’ve always been amazed by the astonishing graffiti that covered the streets, but I’ve never deeply thought about the reason why someone would do this. On the other hand, when I saw Invader’s work, I immediately recognized his piece from the streets. It was really interesting to learn about Invader. Moreover, when students were making sentences to describe the picture, I was very pleased because I saw great improvement in their utilization of the brushstrokes. Additionally, when we were reading the article on trees, I was shocked about the immense amount of benefits that trees brought to us and was happy to see all the students were actively participating to the creation of the poster. On the other hand, during the preparation of the debate, many of the students had trouble coming up with points. I assisted them by letting them critically think about the impact of a bad environment (as my group was the negative team for the resolution). I used the technique of slippery slope to link the horrible consequences that a poor environment would bring to the earth. After giving them an example, I talked to students one by one to help them make a point. I think that the debate was really helpful to the learning process because it allowed the students to practice their public speaking, as well as gain the ability to quickly come up with rebuttals. This week I was able to clearly see the improvements from each student. This has sincerely made me feel so proud of them!

Reflexive Post #5

During these two weeks, students were mainly working on their student-led conferences (SLC) that they were presenting on March 26th or 27th. They planned their conference on their blogs with a “claim, evidence, reasoning” (CER) format. This meant that they wrote a claim, found pieces of evidence to support their claim, and wrote an explanation that talks about how their evidence supports their claim. After a couple of days, Mr. Sostak laminated the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) cards and had everyone cut them. Afterward, students looked at an inspiring video about a man called “Lai Chi Wai.” He was a father who had accidentally gotten into an accident near the time when his wife was pregnant. However, his determination made him climb the ‘Lion Rock’ with his wheelchair. Students analyzed a writing about him and used their reading strategies to take notes. Mr. Sostak also had the students make a book cover on Lai Chi Wai. This is because he was able to get in touch with an author that was planning to write a book on Lai Chi Wai. The editor was going to look at the students’ covers and said that they might consider using the students’ ideas for the actual cover. As the students were working on their posters, I suggested them to play with the different fonts, sizes of letters, color, and so forth to help them enhance their work. At the last class of March, Mr. Sostak was absent and there was surprisingly no substitute. He didn’t inform me about this. Confused and puzzled, I organized the class to do their humanities and science work. After a while, I had a strong feeling that the students had to have a supervisor; therefore, I went around the hallways and soon found out that Mr. Sostak left a small note at the opposite room for the students to go to the FA space. At the FA space, a teacher assigned the students to watch a video called “Smile Pinki” and had them write their notes on a padlet.

These two weeks had been amazing because I feel like I’m starting to truly get to know each student. As I was helping students with their SLCs, I was surprised that they were doing CER because this was something that we do during our 9th-grade science class. Because I’m familiar with the CER format, I was able to help easily help the students. As I was giving feedback, I first had the students organize their thoughts and then told them to use various sentences, such as “adjectives out of order” and “appositives” to ameliorate their writing. During this process, I used Socratic Questioning to help students think and reflect deeply on what they had learned and improved during this school year. For the evidence portion, I suggested students to compare their work from the start of the year to now. On the other hand, I was inspired by Lai Chi Wai’s determination. He reminded me that nothing is impossible and to never give up on my dreams. Additionally, I was also inspired by “Smile Pinki,” a video about an organization ‘Smile Train’ giving free operations to patients with cleft palate. Seeing the smiles on children after getting the operation made me feel extremely happy for them because they were now able to receive education and feel proud of their face. I was also very thankful and amazed of how Smile Train was determined to get as many patients as they could to get the free operation. Seeing that the Smile Train workers were genuinely wanting to help the children also allowed me to think about ways that I could help people in our society. I had learned so much from the content that the EAL students were learning; therefore, is exhilarated about the upcoming learning session!

Reflective Post #4

Throughout this week, students were mainly independently working on revising and editing their individual revolution story. At the start, students were introduced to the requirements that were needed in their writing and learned about the differences between revision and editing. They had discussions on the methods that each student could do during the revision and editing process. Examples that were discussed were using varying sentence types, reading out loud, looking out for punctuation and so forth. Afterward, I went around the classroom and gave individual feedback to each student. Later on during the week, students learned about the different “brush strokes,” which were the different types of sentences. For example, appositive, adjectives out of order, and so forth. With this knowledge, students went to the IB exhibition and chose an artwork that personally connected with them. I worked with Yujin and after she chose an artwork she liked, together, we came up with adjectives, nouns, and verbs that came up to our minds when we looked at the artwork.

I learned a lot during this week. I’ve always thought that revision and editing were the same concepts. But after the lesson, I learned that one was more about grammar and the other was more about the entire writing. Moreover, after giving feedback to each student about their revolution writing, it allowed me to recognize what specifically I needed to work on with the different students. As I was reading the revolution story, I was also learning about revolutions that I never knew about. It was reminiscing because I started remembering what I wrote last year. Additionally, revisiting the brush stroke was also a reminder for me of what I could use in my own writing. On the other hand, the visit to the IB art exhibition was also breathtaking. I saw numerous artworks that were absolutely spectacular. Seeing the various ways that each artist was able to express their thoughts was intriguing. Furthermore, when Yujin and I were exploring the artwork that she liked, it was really interesting to see how her interpretation of the artwork was different from mine. Once again, this week has been absolutely remarkable as I was both teaching and learning from the students!

Reflexive Post #3

I have done a lot of tutoring over this two weeks. Instead of going to FA, I ended up working with Mr. Sostak. For my first tutoring session, I helped students come up with ideas for their hook on a presentation. I utilized Socratic Questioning for students to be able to make the best introduction they could. One example that I did was with Jack. He was analyzing a song called “Demons” by Imagine Dragons. He didn’t have any hook, so I asked him what words came up to his mind when he thought of demons. Because he was having some trouble, I told him to go online and find pictures of demons. After that, he was able to come up with some adjectives that helped him create a hook. In the two next sessions, Mr. Sostak wasn’t here; therefore, I had to run the class with the substitute. I helped students with their presentation by giving them suggestions such as having a louder voice, making eye contact, utilizing different tone and so on. During one of the days, because Hoon had asked me some science questions, I helped him understand the concepts he was learning in class. When Mr. Sostak came back, I helped students analyze a passage called “Eleven” and used Socratic Questioning again to make them develop critical thinking. During my last session, students had a pop quiz that tested on whether or not they were using the reading skills.

Right from the start of my tutoring session, I was able to help numerous students. It was interesting to see what Socratic Questioning could lead me to. For example, I never thought that I would ask Jack to search pictures of demons online until I asked him questions, which made me realize that he didn’t really have an understanding to what demons actually looked like. Moreover, for the sessions that Mr. Sostak wasn’t here, I thought that this benefited me because as a tutor, I was running the class and setting time deadlines for students to complete the activities. As I was listening to the speeches of students and continuously giving them feedback, I taught students on some of my strategies that I have found helpful when I had to present something. Moreover, when Hoon asked me about science, I was surprised at myself for remembering what I had learned last year. Additionally, when I was reading the passage “Eleven” with the students, I was learning a lot because I had never read “Eleven” before. I have been getting closer with each student and is starting to know their personalities, which will help me know what kind of method of teaching each individual prefers. This week has been amazing and I can’t wait for the upcoming tutoring sessions!

8 Takeaways From Reading The Help

The Help by Kathryn Stockett reveals the authentic community of the African Americans and the whites during the 1960s in Mississippi.

  1. Black wives were abused by their own husbands.

We all know that during the 1960s, black people were not safe when they were with white people; however, black women were not safe even within their own society. Their husbands would “scream…all night, [throw] the sugar bowl up [on their wife’s] head, and beat [their wife] stone-cold” (Stockett 359). This shows that although there was great discrimination amongst the whites to the blacks, black women continued to feel threatened at home. Their hearts were never at ease. The innocent women never knew when their husbands would beat them up and create “cuts” and “bruises” that would “[sting] like a razor” (358). Furthermore, using the feminist lens to view this, this illustrates how the patriarchal humanity that we live was prevalent in the past decades.

  1. There were some white people that treated the African Americans well.

Throughout the story, there was a “naked man with a fire poker” (367) that approached Minny, who is a black maid. As Minnt was about to get attacked, “Miss Celia (a white lady) whacked the [man’s] face and caused “the man’s jaw [to go] sideways and [there was blood bursting] out of his mouth” (363). Most people would expect that white people would ignore the scene of black people getting hurt; however, the action that Miss Celia took completely contradicts this expectation. Although there was huge discrimination between the two races, there were some people that knew that segregation was amoral. Moreover, Miss Celia would constantly care for Minny as she once “gave [Minny] a dozen peaches” for her to eat. There were other women that treated the African Americans well. For example, Miss Skeeter would always say ‘thank you’ whenever a black maid served her. Furthermore, Miss Skeeter, who was beginning her writing career, was determined to arrange secret interviews to write a book about how horribly blacks were being treated. This is similar to Atticus Finch, a white lawyer, in To Kill a Mockingbird by Harper Lee, who defended a black man, Tom Robinson for raping and beating a girl.

  1. There were myths that African Americans carry diseases.

Because whites had the most power in the community, they began to make myths that said that [blacks] carry different kinds of diseases” (10) because they felt that “colored people and white people [were] just so different” (218).  These ridiculous myths were created for more people to treat blacks differently. Along these myths, came the separation of bathrooms. The wealthy women in Mississippi were soon “upset cause the Nigra uses the inside bathroom and so do [they]” (9). There were even laws that stated, “no colored barber shall serve as a barber to white women or girls” (202). Other biased legislation that included having “a separate building on separate grounds for the instruction of all blind persons of the colored race” (203). In the 21st century, African Americans and whites share the same bathrooms; however, the segregation still continues today. According to DoSomething.org, “the average white student attends a school that is 75% white, but only 1/12 blacks.”

  1. White babies called their black maids “Mama”

As Miss. Skeeter was writing her confidential stories about African Americans, she was surprised how white children would call their maids “mama” (181). This was because most white women did not know how to take care of their children and even though the white ladies don’t do anything to raise their child when their children don’t do something they want, some of the white mothers would slap their children at the back of their bare legs. Therefore, the only love that these white children would get was from their loving and warmhearted maids.

  1. Blacks were always holding their anger in.

Because blacks had no right to speak up, they had to keep all their thoughts to themselves. Since they were treated poorly, they always internally judge white people: “Miss Skeeter always look like somebody else told her what to wear” (5). When white people would insult them, the faces of African Americans “[would go] hot and [their] tongue [would] twitch” (35) because they weren’t allowed speak out. It is always frustrating to keep one’s opinions to themselves. This is not mentally healthy for an individual as it meant that the African Americans during this time never felt safe and comfortable.

6. The lives of whites were not perfect.

Although the white people had the most power in the society and didn’t have anyone against them, paradoxically, a lot of them were not happy with their lives. Miss Skeeter knew that she would never be able to tell her mother that she “wanted to be a writer” (65) and Miss Celia “won’t leave her house” (56) because she doesn’t have any friends. The prejudice to whites not only made the African Americans have a tremendously miserable life, but the white people, who were causing the inequality were also not satisfied with their lives as well.

Racial discrimination has begun to reduce after the 1960s; however, it is still prevalent in our society today. Everyone that is born should be treated equally because we all deserve it. Our race, gender, wealth and so forth shouldn’t determine how we get treated; therefore, we as individuals should work together to reduce these discriminations that are destructing our world.

 

Reflective Blog Post #2

In the third week of the tutoring training elective, I had finished the online tutoring course. After that, I have contacted teachers to see if any of their classes fit with my schedule; however, because the middle and elementary school has a different schedule with the high school, it was extremely hard to find a class because the middle school had enrichment during my free block. At the end, Mr. McLean, who was a 6th-grade EAL teacher, was the only faculty that had a class during the block I was free. But after talking to him, I realized that the classes that he had during the time I was free was only a half class; therefore, I wasn’t able to go to his class. Because of this, at the fourth week of this elective, Mr. Dilts suggested me to go to Mr. Stostak’s class with Siming. Nevertheless, because Mr. Stostak’s class has only a few students, he wouldn’t need two people to help him; therefore, Mr. Dilts told me that he would connect other teachers to see if they have an available class. If they are not, I will probably work with Siming to help the students in Mr. Stostak’s class.

This week has been like a roller coaster. I had finished the online course, which I feel proud about. The online course made me realize that tutoring requires more than just teaching people about education. There are numerous other concepts, such as, effective listening and speaking, culture shock, using praise effectively and so forth that tutors need to pay attention to. These concepts have allowed me to begin noticing more things about my surroundings that I haven’t done before. When I’m talking to people, I try to use the skills that I have learned, such as, non-verbal communication, to others. On the other hand, at the end of the third week, I was extremely excited to begin my tutoring practicum because I thought that I would be able to start tutoring; however, because the middle school has enrichment during my free period, I wasn’t able to start it. Throughout the obstacles of finding a class to work with, I have learned the importance of schedules. Without schedules, everything will be chaotic; therefore, I have learned that it is very effective for people to have their own plan that they will follow. I sincerely hope that when I come back from the Chinese New Year break, I will be able to start tutoring because I really want to start applying the knowledge that I have learned to others and become the help that students need.

Weekly Blog #1 (Week 1-2)

Throughout the first two weeks, I have mainly been working on the online module on Crossroads. Because I worked on it over the weekend, currently, I only have one unit left to do. Moreover, as I began this elective, I’ve told Mr. Dilts about the classes which I had preferred to work in and he suggested me to email some of the teachers. So I contacted Mr. Craig to see if his schedule fit with mine. He was delighted and welcomed me to come help his class; however, I realized that his schedule didn’t match with mine. At the same time, I was also notified that Mrs. Forslund (another teacher that I wanted to work with) wasn’t free during the time I had tutor training. So as I was pondering about which class to go to, Mr. Dilts suggested me to go help with the Future Academy (FA). In order to do this, he told me that I would need to sign a contract and have the FA facilitators tell me about the expectations of behaviors. In addition, I would need to inform the FA facilitators about my schedule each week, so that they will know when I will come in.

As I started the online module, I was extremely fascinated and amazed by the amount of learning I was doing online. Either than searching for video, words, and reading articles, I’ve never used the internet to do an actual course. Therefore, I found that the comments from my mentor, whom I had never seen before, really interesting. As a person that had never properly educated about the system of tutoring, I learned a lot through the articles on the module, such as the good etiquettes, the cultural shock, effective praising, listening skills and so on. Furthermore, I really liked the recall quizzes and the unit tests because it had allowed me to think about what I had learned and made me remember the information. On the other hand, even though each topic of the module was really interesting, the assignment called “Exploring Our Own Cultural Message” really made me think deeply about my community. This task was to have me think about the messages that I’m sending to others as an individual, girl, a person with my ethnicity, and so on. As I did this task, I realized that even though I’m one person, I represented many groups in the society. I had never thought about how the messages that I’m sending to others had an influence on the group I belonged. On the contrary, I never realized how difficult it was to find a class to work with, due to the fact that each teacher had different schedules. However, I’m really excited to have the opportunity to work with FA. I have never been in FA and I feel that I will learn a lot from the students. I look forward to starting tutoring and helping the students!

Road of Love

  

In the thriller Digital Fortress, the theme of love was written throughout Dan Brown’s writing. This allowed me to think of numerous text-to-text connections. The point of view is told in third person omniscient narration because readers are able to know what each character is thinking and feeling during each scene. Right from the exposition, Brown introduces the plot of the story. The United States National Security Agency (NSA) is an organization where they use TRANSLTR, a supercomputer, to break every single code. This has allowed the company to hack into the account of every individual, which allowed NSA to stop the plans of terrorists, drug dealers and so on. Shortly, before the antagonist, Ensei Tankado dies, he creates a code called ‘Digital Fortress,’ which he claims to be unbreakable. Trevor Strathmore, NSA’s Deputy Director of Operations used TRANSLTR in attempt to break Digital Fortress; however, it couldn’t. When Digital Fortress got into TRANSLTR, it made TRANSLTR get an ominous virus. Nevertheless, Strathmore found that Tankado owned a ring, which had an inscribed writing to the passcode of Digital Fortress. During the rising action, Strathmore calls Susan Fletcher, the head cryptographer of NSA for help and without her knowing, he asks David Becker, who is explicitly characterized to be Susan’s benevolent and intellectual fiancé to go to Seville, Spain and find the ring. David decided to go on the mission for Susan as Strathmore is her boss; however, this assignment turned out to have David almost get killed, as well as experiencing other types of troublesome situation. While David was in the sizzling weather of Seville, Susan and Strathmore were trying to fix the external conflict of NSA. The major dramatic question is: will TRANSLTR be saved in time?

As the story reaches its climax, “the shadow advanced up the inclined passageway and Becker saw walls on all sides-a dead end behind him” (Brown 273). This foreshadows on the external conflict that David faced. He sensed danger and knew that the assassinator, who had a rifle was determined to get him. As David could smell the eagerness of death wanting to take him away, “he did not pray for deliverance from death; he did not believe in miracles. Instead, he prayed that [Susan]…would know…she had been loved. I love you [Susan]…know that forever” (273). Moreover, when Susan was notified about the situation of David, “the thought of death did not frighten her” (313), she knew that “death would stop the pain and that she would be with David” (313). Furthermore, Susan was completely “bewildered and numb, calling over and over to the man she loved” (334). Even at the most menacing time, David didn’t think about his own safety, instead, he thought about the women he had loved, the woman he felt happiness from and the only women that he had ever loved. Likewise, when Susan was notified about the situation David was in, she called for death and was absolutely devastated as she felt that there was no point of taking her next breath and to even take a glance at the world that was as brutal and barbarous as the Spartans. This is similar to Romeo and Juliet written by William Shakespeare, where because of the aversion the two family members had to each other, Romeo and Juliet, couldn’t be together. Despite that, their feelings for each other didn’t stop and as time passes, their love was burning. Because of this, when Romeo thought that Juliet had died, he faces an internal conflict and resolves it by sacrificing his life for Juliet. Love is unpredictable. You never know what can happen. It is like lemon-either bitter or sweet; however, once someone finds the person that matches with them, the force from love can the most powerful strength that can determine one’s fate.