Thursday, June 9, 2016

June Blog Post - Reflective Essay for Jacob Fano

This essay was for the reflective essay component of the writing porfolio. I am not very happy with this essay because I had to rush this piece since all my teachers were assigning massive projects. As a result, it is not that good but I think it still sums up what I learned from English 1 Honors.

    Throughout my time in English 1 Honors, I have learned that I am a better writer and poet then I thought and I understand myself better because of it. I came into English 1 as a slightly confident writer, but not so confident I wrote easily and without thinking. At first, I was just coasting and writing without considering what I was doing and hoping it would work out. Of course, that wasn't what happened; I found my writing grade was not where I wanted it to be, but I could not manage to raise it at my work ethic. The year went by and the issue just grew worse. By the halfway point of the year, I was embarrassed by my low effort writing. I decided I needed to make improvements to how I wrote and my work ethic doing it.

    Because of my embarrassment at my poor grade, I began improving. I became a much better poet and writer in general, and I began spending more time checking my work and making sure it is good. Here is where English 1 Honors helped me; if I hadn’t been forced to write and embarrassed by how poorly I was writing, I would never have tried harder to write and improved. My time in English 1 Honors taught me who I was and where I wanted to be, as well as helped form my work ethic. For example, I began working harder in my other classes because I was more professional and well rounded, despite the fact I didn’t try any harder in those classes or think about them more. If I never took English 1 Honors, my grades could have been much worse and I could have never recovered.

From the improvements I made by becoming a better writer and becoming more determined to succeed, I also learned a few key lessons I continue to apply today. First, I learned that you need to stay focused on your goal and not give up. When I start any test, I focus on getting a A and don’t get distracted. By applying this simple technique, I have saved myself from many disasters by being able to push forward through large workloads and projects alike, as well as giving me a improved general work ethic.. Another lesson is that you must be able to keep ahead of your stress. When teachers, work, or family stress starts to overwhelm you, you need to just take a day and try and get ahead of the tide. This is very important to remaining sane while dealing with large projects and work both imagined and real. I am very glad I discovered these lessons because they helped me a lot this year.

To finish my reflection, English 1 Honors was an important year for me because it developed my work ethic and allowed me to discover myself as a writer. Because of the struggles I faced during the year I was able to learn who I am trying to be and gain a greater understanding of how to succeed as a writer. While it was not enjoyable to experience the struggle, if I had not I would never have grown into a better person. I learned a few lessons about how to be a good student and how to be a good writer, and I am very thankful I took part in this class.

Jacob Fano

Wednesday, June 8, 2016

Reflective Essay

My goal for this piece was to include the most important things that I have learned this year and the things that will help me succeed in the future.

During the course of English 1 Honors projects and written compositions, I found that as a writer, I have greatly improved because before this year I didn’t even know what quote integration was and I can now integrate a quote comfortably. Through every essay and piece I write, I find myself improving my analysis, relativity to prompt and selecting appropriate quotes.  Also, before this year, I didn’t use google drive that much and now that I use it every day, I can’t see how I would live without it. Even though I got A’s on all of my major essays, I found that because I have learned so much, I’m using higher vocabulary and writing much more sophisticatedly. For most technology projects, I would usually just stick to google slides, but after being assigned a variety of websites to use such a Powtoon and thinglink, I have learned how much your presentation can be impacted by your choice of website and how creative you can be with your project. Doing a big portion of our work with our groupmates really helped me to cooperate with other people and work as a team to accomplish something. You get to share your ideas and thoughts and build off of what other people have to say to make your claim stronger. Working collaboratively with your group helped me to feel confident raising my hand to analyze or answer a question because before you answer, you get to hear everyone else’s opinions and add to your own thoughts. If we worked alone all the time, I would be frightened to raise my hand because I would be so conscious of being wrong like I used to but now that we have participation points, participating becomes a normal daily task. I also really learned how to manage my time. In 8th grade, I would wait until the very last minute to do my work and I would face the consequence of not getting the grade that I want. Now that I know how to be productive and focus on how I use my time, I can feel accomplished when I see straight A’s on my report card. Most of all, English 1 Honors prepared me to face the challenges of English and the rest of my classes in the coming years of high school and college.
-Alexis F. 

June Blog Post-Andrew Miranda

Future Me Essay. This is an essay that I am writing to my future self on how my freshman year went and my goals. Andrew Miranda

Dear Andrew,
You have just finished your sophomore year, and I just wanted to remind you what we achieved during freshman year. When I started this school year, I was scared but excited to meet so many new people at this new school. I was scared and nervous because I didn’t know anyone in a lot of my classes. It was fun to meet all of the new people  The school year got easier as it went on and I met and became comfortable with more and more people. I enjoyed getting to know a bunch of new people and new teachers.  Although, I wish I started becoming more outgoing at the beginning of the year, so I could have had more opportunities to meet even more people. One thing I disliked and found frustrating about my first year of high school was my grades. I felt like I could get B’s very easily, but it was a big struggle to bring those B’s up to A’s.  Next year, I planning to join a lot of clubs, especially science related clubs and volunteering clubs, like key club and YAT. For the science related club, I was thinking of joining the science olympiad, which is a club where we go to science competitions. I really think that club would play to my strengths. Next year, I plan to continue with the Medical Certificate Program which is a four year program where we learn about the medical field, do research, obtain internships, and perform experiments. Also, I plan to continue being a member of the National League of  Young Men (NLYM) which is an organization of highschool boys who volunteer at charities together and get to know each other. I am also going to take up every opportunity I can to make more friends, so my sophomore year can be even more successful than this one. For the first few months of this year, I was very quiet and tended to not talk unless people talked to me. I want to be able to approach and talk to more people so I can build my social skills and make my school year more fun.   Being more outgoing will also help with my participation grades, since many teachers seem to like students to contribute a lot in class.  In conclusion, next year really want to be more social and explore more opportunities. Now that sophomore year is coming to a close, I hope that you have accomplished all of these things and more!

Reflective Essay

I have been told many many times that my essay was too short. I have lengthened it, but not by much.

I think that I have not improved much, I still write in a short and to the point style. I have not learned anything about technology that I already didn’t know, because everything was covered in previous grades. I have not improved my ability to work with others, as I had to (verbally) fight with half of the groups just to stay on topic. My work ethic has not improved from the previous school year.

Robert M.

Tuesday, June 7, 2016

Future me letter: Lauren Frank

Give your piece a title. Write a 1-2 sentence reflective introduction to your written piece (discuss the subject, your goals for writing the piece and how you'd like to improve the piece or what makes you proud of the piece) Paste the written piece here. End w/ your First Name and Last Initial

I wrote this letter to my future self to remind her of what I believed was important as a freshman starting high school. I hope to have accomplished most of my goals to prove to myself that I can achieve anything I set my mind too.

Dear Future Lauren,

This year has been great. It has been filled with new and amazing friends, and many new activities that I never thought I would be interested in. Although some teachers and classes weren't as I expected, I know that in the future, they will hopefully get better. My favorite part about this year was being able to not worry about SAT’S, and to focus on trying new things and getting the experience of being in high school. I loved talking with my friends in the halls or having fun study groups. On the other hand, the worst part of this year was having to sit through a class with a teacher that made me question why I was even taking that class. However, I know that it is only for the good of my future, and to benefit myself.

Next year I expect to learn about chemicals and more information about the periodic table. I also hope to learn about new literature and where different things originated from. In my sophomore year I plan on joining at least two clubs, and gradually trying to get involved with leadership activities. In the best case scenario, my friend group would be as similar as it is now, but on a positive note I will meet new long term friends. In addition, on top of honors classes I want to become more familiarized with what I want to major in, which is medicine. My main goal for “participation” is to get more comfortable with talking in debates and seminars, and to be less nervous. I believe that if I have more self confidence, I will be more successful.

Some long term goals that I hope to accomplish by my senior year or by college are the following:
If I have the time I would like to take ROP classes. Through research I heard that it not only looks good only college application, but it also accustoms me to what I would expect in my particular major. For example, if I find that I can't stand hospitals or that environment is just not for me, it is easier for me to drop out then than in the actual class in college. Next, my other goal is to be on the varsity lacrosse team. My freshman year was my first time ever playing lacrosse, let alone a sport. Making the team this year was one of my biggest accomplishments so far. So, if i can get as far as varsity, and have a decent amount of playing time it will definitely be a major confidence booster. Lastly, my considerably largest long term goal is to get accepted into the University of Irvine. Ever since I was a little kid, my dream was to go to school in Irvine and get into a good medical program. For me, everything starts at UCI. Profession wise, I want to be a pediatrician because I love kids. I have the urge to make kids better and do everything that I can to heal one kid at a time. The opportunity to be a pediatrician would be a great experience for me because I get to be with kids everyday, but I would also get to practice medicine daily.

I hope you meet all your goals and are proud of how far you have gotten no matter what.

With much love,

Lauren Frank.

Monday, June 6, 2016

East Meets West

I wrote this poem based on the memoir Eat Pray Love by Elizabeth Gilbert (Also known as Liz). She has taught me that life is full of adversities and that it is important that we must never lose hope.

In a world of disorder and disaster,
I find it easier to blame the world instead of
finding fault in myself,
Though I have battled with depression & loneliness
They do not dictate my self-worth
Balance is the key to happiness
I travel to seek pleasure, wisdom, & love
and I have found it within myself

Zoe T.

Future Me Letter

Dear Diana,
Before this school year had even began, I had been very stressed and I would easily get nervous by just thinking about what might occur in the upcoming year. I had been overthinking little things, and my anxiety was increasing, as the first day of school neared. I started this school year new, and didn’t really know anyone, I had thought that this year would have been harder, academically and socially. Surprisingly it went by fairly smoothly and quickly, along the way I met many people who are very lovely and kind. The thing I love most about this school year are the friendships I have formed. I really hated that participation can have a great impact on my grades, and it only made me get more nervous. This upcoming year I really hope to be able to maintain good grades, without having them slip and to try to  participate more. Now that I am a little more comfortable with my new classmates, next year it should be easier to participate during class more. This year my grades slipped because I hardly studied, and thought it would still be easy like middle school, for next year I plan to actually study more and try harder than I did this year.

Sincerely, Diana

Reflective Essay

This piece is a reflection of my experience in English I honors. My goal for writing the piece was to provide a detailed summary-like page of how I have improved as a writer. I'd like to improve the cohesion of the piece in the future.

As a writer, I have improved greatly. The rigor of the course forced me to work harder than I thought possible, and improved my writing by making me be very exact in my word choice, creating cohesion within an essay, and the creativity of the course allowed my writing style to develop and flourish.
As a technology user, I reinforced my previous knowledge on programs to make them seem familiar and easy to work with. I can now expertly use programs that I used to be barely proficient at. As a technology learner, I became comfortable with a variety of new programs and made me versatile when it comes to incorporating many types of technology into projects. I was introduced to many, relatively new programs to keep my presentations diverse and engaging for the audience.
The amount of participation within the classroom developed my social skills and enhanced my ability to work well with others. With the amount of leaders present within an Honors course such as this, sometimes it is better to let others be leaders and to encourage them to share their ideas. Activities such as the Socratic Seminars and Philosophical Chairs made me able to form arguments when presented with points from both sides, and to listen to others’ arguments and formulate responses, and made me overall more of a team player because I actively incorporated others.
As a student, I was expected to work hard to get an A. I created better study habits and formed a daily routine so that I could fit more work into a smaller amount of time, learned to manage my time both in class and at home wisely, and balance sports with academics.
My experiences in English 1 Honors influences how I understand my work ethic because in addition to managing my time wisely and working harder, I developed a daily routine to keep myself on track with an increased workload.
My writing process changed by making me break down my thought process, step by step, into brainstorms, asking questions and participating in related conversations, writing a rough draft, peer editing, and self-checking. Previously, I preferred to finish an essay in one sitting, but with a prolonged process, I could write a more effective response.

Gabriella B.

Reflective Essay - Warren Lee

Give your piece a title. Write a 1-2 sentence reflective introduction to your written piece (discuss the subject, your goals for writing the piece and how you'd like to improve the piece or what makes you proud of the piece) Paste the written piece here. End w/ your First Name and Last Initial

In my short yet fulfilling time in English 1 Honors, I have seen much improvement in myself as far as the ability to quickly compose writings and entries regarding any topic of literature or analysis. Throughout my course of taking this class, I learned the skill of responding to passages and in contrast to plainly reading through them. By analyzing each phrase and understanding why the author has used them, I am able to gain a more thorough insight of the indirect message that is being conveyed through the writing.
By integrating technology into the class, learning has become increasingly accessible to me as a student since it provides resources, up-to-date online information, as well as the ability to find new ways to share my ideas. Using technology in our projects and work, I have also been more connected to my peers though the exchange of helpful critiques which improves the quality of my work. For example while reading Romeo and Juliet, we used the website/blog Verso which allowed my peers to give positive feedback and analysis which helped me to see ideas from a different perspective. In addition to Verso, we were all part of Writing Groups in which six people sat together and read their writing to the group. The group would then help edit everyone else’s work. This experience has improved my ability to work with others and collaborate our inputs in order to create a final product.
Because of the high expectations in this class, English 1 Honors has helped me improve my work ethics and my time management, and has motivated to complete assignments ahead of time. The rigor has set the bar high and allowed me to see the bigger picture of each analysis. During the ORB project I was required to read a 250 page book within a semester. However, because I moved in the middle of the semester, my time to complete the project was shorter. In order to complete the assignment on time, I learned to pace myself and balance different assignments from other classes so that I could allocate time to read.
These experiences helped me manage my classes and progress as a student. Learning from Mrs. Lam in English 1 Honors, I have acquired the skill to express my thoughts into a structured format, and convey my ideas clearly. Through frequent practice in class whether it be on blogs, new websites, or essays, I feel more confident to write and share my ideas with others. By collaborating on projects, analyzing passages from varying novels and plays, and practicing consistency with writing, I have seen myself improve my work ethics and ability to write and analyze works of writing.

- Warren L.

Sunday, June 5, 2016

Reflective Essay

My reflective essay about how I see myself as a writer dives into the importance of working with others. If I were to improve the piece, I would choose to relate the technology part a little more to the idea of group projects to keep consistency.

After writing pieces consistently and completing English 1 Honors projects, I have changed as a writer. Because we have used technology constantly within the class, I have adjusted to using technology. Whenever we switched books in class and new units (such as Romeo and Juliet: Unit 4 Love and Fate vs. Free Will), we utilized our school computers often. As a result, I can more easily navigate through my computer to more easily access tools for writing. However, I wouldn’t say I depend entirely on technology to write. In fact, sometimes technology distracts me while I write and thus is probably not the most efficient method of working for me.

In my English class, I have also learned to work with others more efficiently, which helped improve my writing and cooperation skills. Every month or so, I meet up with my writing group and bring a writing piece for them to deconstruct and help edit. Meeting up with others especially helps me, because it offers new perspectives on writing that I am already familiar with. Additionally, I help edit peers around me which influences my editing and constructive criticism skills. Because all the members in my writing group are dependable, I enjoy working with them on various writing projects. Despite working with others, however, it has come to my attention that my work is greatly affected on the relationships I have with those I collaborate with.

In my experiences with working on English 1 Honors projects, I have come to a realization that my work ethic is lacking. Usually, I have tendencies to procrastinate to the point where if a big project is due the day after, I will have to cram my hours into working on it. Not only are my methods unpreferable to my family and me, they can negatively affect my performance at school and project grades. On the other hand, when I am working with others (which brings up my last realization about being a team player), I am often motivated to do better because I don’t want to affect others’ grades. Also, working with others inspires me to work harder and at a steady pace. Communication and collaboration help me in both projects and writing.

In conclusion, while I recognize that I do have several weaknesses in writing and project processes, I have begun to see myself as a team player for the most part. Technology can act as a potential distraction now and then, but is extremely useful in group projects and allowing communication to occur even when all the members in the group are not in the same area. Because I am prone to procrastination, I have found over the school year that group members can hold me liable to working harder. Working with others has proved to increase not only my work ethic, but my actual writing ability as well. Overall, I found that I have improved over the school year as a writer.

~Faith O.