Friday, November 15, 2013

Thursday, November 14, 2013

        In my Rogate class we have 20% Passion Projects. This is where we take 20% of the week (every Friday) and use that time to work on a project that we are passionate about or interested in. We did this last year and I chose to do my project on squirrels. Squirrels seem like very uninteresting animals, but that is exactly why I researched them. to figure out how interesting they could actually be. This year I did another animal, but this time I chose an animal that was considered extraordinary and very mysterious to most people. My Passion Project this year is on platypi (platypus). Special thanks to my friend Marissa Mojena for helping me choose both of my topics. Also, Aarif Razak for moral support.
        We have had eight class days to work on this project, and sadly I have not been using my time wisely. I am looking up a lot of facts, but I feel that I am unorganized and could get a lot more done if I was more concentrated. We have eight days left to complete the project. In the eight days I will work very hard and organize my information. It is difficult though, to look up information about a platypus, because most of the time when you type in anything with the word platypus it goes to the furniture store or gives you all these facts about the venom glands on the male platypus. Yes, this seems to be the most interesting thing about the platypus. I will not go in to detail about this gland due to the fact I don't want to spoil anything in my project. But I have been able to figure out a lot about a baby and mother platypus. Also, I have found a lot of general facts about the platypus and how the Aborigine people explain the history of this strange animal.
       Obstacles I know I'm going to face is how to find the information. Also, how I'm going to lay out the information. I want to due a PowerPoint, but what category goes on each slide and in what order. The real obstacle I'm facing is staying focus. What I normally due is got caught up in cool facts about other people's project or I stop and tell the people near me what I just figured out. I feel that if I concentrate with what I'm doing I will be able to complete this project with outstanding results.

Tuesday, November 12, 2013

        Grades are a funny thing to me. To society they are basically what predicts are future. If we have bad grades then the term people normally use is "you're going to get no where in life." How is it that a number can run are lives? It's because those numbers are grades. This word can make any kid shiver. Every child has been trained to think that grades are the most important thing in life during the years that you are in school. Honestly some students probably get bad grades because they are worrying about getting good grades. Does that make sense to anyone? Grades are the very thing that make us get bad grades. Teachers, parents, and even friends make grades such a big deal. It's outrageous that simple numbers are controlling the world. Where you go to college, what job your going to have, if your going to be successful in life can all be answered by your grades.
        Now in school, grades are what they use to see how smart a person is. This is crazy because different people work better in different environments. Let's say you take a student who has a lot of siblings and they have learned to deal with noise or any annoying interruptions. And then we take a kid who grew up by themselves and is sensitive. You put them both in a loud room to take a test . Which one do you think would appear to be smarter? But, if you place the quiet and sensitive child in a nice calm room they would most likely do a lot better. These are the situations that the school doesn't consider. On report cards teachers might put easily distracted or can't pay attention. They write these comments and then expect the kid to completely change. I guess one way to put it is some teachers just don't really care how you get the grades, but what your grades are when the task is completed.
       Grades mean a lot to me only because people think good grades equals good life. Honestly I would be completely fine without grades. They only mean so much to me because they mean so much to the world. And I much as I hate to admit it I can't make the world stop using grades. I have to keep worrying about them because the world makes me worry about them.
        I don't agree with the current grading system we use today. The system is based off a hundred point scale. Schools summarize the hundred point scale by giving the numbers a letter. For example the lowest letter grade you can get is a F. This means your score is a sixty or lower. The next letter is a D meaning your score is anywhere from a sixty one to sixty nine. Then there's the letter C, seventy to seventy nine. A B is eighty to eighty nine and lastly the highest letter grade you can get is an A. An A is a ninety to a hundred. Most schools on report cards just show either your grade in letter form or your grade out of a hundred. They don't go into detail. They simply state what your overall grade is and what grade you got on individual papers. The current grading system should be able to state your specifics strengths and weaknesses.
        The current grading system doesn't clearly represent my learning ability or knowledge. I usually get A's or B's. When I get A's it shows me I am doing well in the class and understand the material. When I get a B though I don't know what I need to work on to improve my  grade. One time I had a B in a class because I had gotten a sixty on a five question quiz. On my report card all it stated was quiz 1, sixty. My parents didn't know what the quiz was on and what I had to work on. Therefore they could not help me. All in all the current grading system does not clearly show what I need help in and what I am strongest at.
        Instead of using the current grading system we should switch to Standard-based grading. Traditional grading is based on assessments, one grade is given per an assessment. While with Standard-based grading one grade is given per a learning goal. The Traditional grading system uses an uncertain mix of test, achievement, effort, and behavior to make the final grade. Standard-based grading either measures achievement only or separates it from the behavior and effort. Lastly, every paper goes in the grade book regardless of the purpose for the Traditional system of grading. On the other hand Standard-based grading carefully selects tests, quizzes and projects for specific purposes. In my opinion it would be better to use the Standard-based grading system.