I first learned to calculate energy consumption in Physics, and then a day later, I learned to calculate the cost of energy usage in AP Environmental Science. This kind of cross-learning is what I love about taking two science courses at the same time; being able to apply knowledge learned from one classroom to a concept in another class.
However, education system at my school actually encourages separation of these classes; most students only take one science at a time instead of taking a combination of Biology, Chemistry, Physics, and Environmental Science at the same time, even though they all correlate. While we have the ability to choose our classes, what we take is pretty much dictated prior to us choosing. When I signed up to take two sciences, I was first turned away and to come back if there are additional spots in the classes. High schools have to satisfy colleges by meeting the class requirements for a high school student, so they cannot guarantee double science or math classes until all students had satisfied the requirements.
Teachers expect us to hold on to what we learned from previous years, but come on, let’s be honest here. I hardly remember anything from Biology, my science class from freshman year, besides the basic photosynthesis/ respiration process and body systems, so it’s quite difficult to apply my dusty knowledge from that class to what I am learning now. By taking classes that overlap, it further cements the concepts into our minds, turning knowledge into wisdom, or application of knowledge. This is difficult to do so when you cannot remember what you learned years ago, or when you have not yet taken the class that teaches the information. Therefore, our school districts should consider investing in providing more classes so that students can choose to take a wider variety of classes at the same time.
For the past three years, it was a tradition in Japanese class to watch movies like “Howl’s Moving Castle” and TV shows like “Marumo No Okite” on Friday, and then write a reflection over the weekend about what we had watched in class. Now on Fridays, however, in AP Japanese 4, we take quizzes on vocabulary, take notes on grammar, and fill out worksheets on new proverbs and onomatopoeia. The goal of those assignments is to learn Japanese, yet that can also be achieved by watching movies and writing a reflection afterwards. Continue reading 4 Reasons Why Students Should Watch Movies in Language Class→
“Your presentation MUST be memorable.” That one sentence with the bolded “must” was from the instructions for the Frankenstein project for the 1st semester English final, and it was the first thing my eyes zeroed on.
Usually in an AP class, students go out of their way to impress the teachers, going beyond the requirements of the assignment. However, when the instruction requires you to make your presentation memorable, how do you achieve past that? Continue reading Do’s and Don’ts of a Presentation→
Five days a week, seven hours a day, I am confined in a classroom and fed with information regurgitated by teachers. The same setting is quite discouraging, and it does not motivate me to pay attention. However, I was able to escape from the learning cage on the occasional field study trips for AP Environmental Science.
Although over 6 months have passed since my exchange in Fukuoka, Japan, I still keep in contact with my host family and friends; yesterday, I wrote letters and wrapped gifts to send overseas. While doing so, I pulled out the gifts I had received from them: a home-made sign that reads “Mimi, welcome to Japan” that my host family held when I met them at the airport, a photo/ letter album that my classmates created for me, and care packages from my area representative and host family. Continue reading Throwback to Japan→
For seven days, I spent only a dollar on food each day, and I survived. The optional assignment was inspired by an article on CNN about a woman who did the dollar challenge for a year, and my AP Environmental Science edited it and shortened it to a week long so that it is school-appropriate and doesn’t anger overprotective parents. The dollar challenge allowed students to gain a deeper understanding of the lifestyles of impoverished people living in developing counties. In some countries, people earn an income of $370 a year, which estimates to around $1 to spend a day. Continue reading Living on One Dollar a Day→
After watching a video in English about a man who lived by himself creating trinkets of all types and sizes, I was inspired to also create things just for the sake of creating. The video reminded me of my childhood, of how I used to create crafts with my siblings for fun. The nostalgia spurred me to relive my past by making crafts once again, which is why I decided to create the online DIY tutorial website, Live How.The Tumblr site covers step-by-step instructions and pictures of household crafts and toys made from materials from around the house. Please check it out: livehow.tumblr.com/ !