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Day 25: Awake
By Mark Heintz
Sep 16, 2019

Day 25

When students write their reflection, they put the name they want to appear in the post. Today, the name is funny, but don’t let that take away from his reflection, as there is a lot to digest in it. Before you read, I wasn’t going to what we did last Friday. However, one of the local news channel hosted part of their morning show at our high school and the students could come in at 5 a.m. to be a part of it. As they poured into my class 3 hours later, I could tell they were tired. I changed the plan to keep them moving. You have to adapt to what they need and the conditions they bring in with them.

Student contribution by King Kwasny of The Lanky Empire

Overview of the Period

On this scary day of Friday the 13th, our class and I did our first SAQ, and no, I don’t know what SAQ stands for. It might be “Short Answer something something”. We had to read a passage and answer the questions that followed. It highlighted feudalism and the political developments of Europe. I learned about more about ACE as well (Address the prompt, Cite the specific evidence, Explain the evidence as it relates to the prompt). Then we rotated groups and read each others work.

How do you feel you are preparing for the AP exam?

I am preparing for the AP exam by completing the checklists at home, which helps me learn about the content of this course, and I am participating in class. While in class, I learn how to address what really needs to be mentioned while writing something, such as a SAQ, and ACE helps me with that. In class, I get so many “ah” moments because things about the AP test and this course are coming together piece by piece, such as what I just mentioned, that being what I really need to address. The PB&J activity even helped with writing to someone who is very ignorant. Mr. Heinz has also given us several of the infamous “AP cheats”, which I can’t recall right now.

How have you grown as a learner?

To be honest, I don’t know if I’ve grown as a “learner” because this year, the word “learner” that I knew has been contradicted by another meaning of it. I’m sure if you asked me before the start of this course what learning is, I would associate it with school and the grades that students are so addicted to, including myself. I don’t really know what a learner really is…yet. A month of my sophomore year has gone by and maybe I have grown as a “learner”, or maybe I have not, but I still feel that urge to get those appealing grades. However, I have learned that connecting learning with an opinion or an interest definitely makes being a “learner” better.

Our research projects, whiteboard table assignments, random PB&J writing assignments that actually had a deeper meaning to it.


My Response

I feel King Kwasny is right. I started the year questioning to what extent can they be learners and pass the AP exam. Last week, I strayed from developing them as learners and went right to the test. I’m thankful for his thoughtful reflection on what we are doing. As a teacher, it’s easy to get caught up in I’m doing and not really listen to them.

I’ll post later on grades and how I am moving away from his “urge to get those appealing grades” at the cost of what they want to do. And I hope that his second comment, ” I have learned that connecting learning with an opinion or an interest definitely makes being a “learner” better” is what the focus becomes.

I appreciate the honesty I’m getting from the students. Just the way that I operate, most of the students will do what I ask in the time I have with them. I could dictate every minute of what we do, and most students would be okay with that. But, that would not develop them as learners, nor would it connect to what they individually find interesting. When people are connected to what they are doing, as King Kwasny put it, “makes being a learning better.”