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By Mark Heintz
Sep 5, 2019

Day 18

Student contribution by Anonymous 

Overview of the Period

Today, we started unit two and learned more definitions of the 3 physical factors and 3 human factors that influence the distribution of population, the density through the arithmetic, physiological and agricultural method as well as the definitions of each method used to calculate population density. Afterwards, we looked at maps that displayed the world’s population as if all 7 billion people lived in one city, and how large of a territory it would take up if it we lived as densely as various cities.  After that, we kept writing in more to answer our questions.

How have you grown as a learner?

As of now I’m writing the definitions down because its easier to memorize them if I do so and I think its hard to get everything memorized I’m not all the way there yet that I’m prepared but I’m slowly understanding, because now during class I’m not as lost as before and now because repetitively doing the things to prepare for the test the questions for example level 1-4 question or getting easier for me.

I started to solve the questions given to me easier, connect what I’m learning other topics I am researching. I like how we researched about our questions and went even deeper into them.

Each week I set a goal of how much vocabulary words to memorize. Then, I can understand what they are for; therefore, I will be able to use them further in what I’m doing in class.

I don’t really like how we go over all the definitions in the beginning because it just gets lost right after we go over it sometimes. I will improve this class by paying more attention to each and everything that’s given to me and ask questions.

My Response

The student pointed out that they are frustrated with going over the definitions at the the beginning of the class. So, am I. There is a lot to cover in this class. Since, I don’t have the students read the textbook and I’m not pilling on homework, at least the reading a textbook type,  I cover the “need-to-know” information through a brief, five-minute lecture at the beginning of class. Then, we get on to other things.

I struggle with covering the material in the way I do. I record the videos and let the students re-watch them if needed. It’s not perfect. I don’t enjoy it, and I see the kids struggle to pay attention for even the five minutes I do it. I hate that they think that they can will themselves to find it interesting. I hate that is part of our culture. They are giving up what they want to bend to me and my curriculum. As Seymour Papert states on page 55 in the Children’s Machine

The institution of school, with its daily lesson plans, fixed curriculum, standardized tests, and other such paraphernalia tends constantly to reduce learning to a series of technical acts and the teacher to the role of the technician.

 I minimize this, but I still do it.  As the student pointed out, there are more interesting things than the need to know definitions.  While I do allow them to use most of the class to explore those things, there is a degree in which I don’t allow them to do that.

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