Over the last quarter, I really learned a lot about my learning habits and the best way for me to learn in Science. I realized that the organization of the binder is actually very helpful and that I'm more of a physical learner than a technological one. By writing things down and organizing physical papers, I find that I'm more organized and learn better. I also found out some things I do wrong when it comes to assessments and projects. I didn't turn in assignments because it seemed like a lot of work or I wasn't aware it was due. Despite the wide range of resources I have, I didn't study for my tests, formative or summative. I discovered that it's not in my nature to study for these tests because I feel like I know the information, even if I don't. This results in lower test scores and mistakes I wouldn't have made if I had studied. I think that by studying, I get a fuller understanding of the topic instead of learning it and then forgetting about it when I get a new unit. I found that happened particularly with Unit 2 and 3. When we were learning about homogenous and heterogenous mixtures, I didn't understand the information;I still don't fully understand the difference between a suspension and colloid. For some reason I didn't think to ask a question and completely forgot everything I did learn when I received Unit 3. I was too busy focusing my efforts on that to review Unit 2. This wasn't particularly the case when I transitioned from Unit 1 to Unit 2 because Unit 1 was more of review while Unit 2 was mostly new information. However, when I was on Unit 2 and 3, it still felt like the beginning of the year and I was still adjusting and figuring out how to work. I never really had to think about this before high school started, because grades never felt like a huge deal. I feel like grades count now and I need to work hard to get the results I want. I realized that I can't get straight A's by lying around and thinking about it. Fortunately, by now I have my strategy and am much more organized. Hopefully, I won't have anymore NTI's due to laziness or forgetfulness this year. I feel like in this first quarter, I figured out how to work and study and by Unit 5, I'll have everything down pat. I now have a system of reminding myself of homework and getting it done on the day I receive it. I figured out a way to have free time, study time and sleep time without having to sacrifice one or the other. Of course, I'll be making mistakes in the future, but I'll learn from them just as I've learned from my mistakes in this first quarter.
If there's one core value I've been succeeding with this quarter, I think it would be Reflective. I constantly looked back at my work, realized what I was doing wrong and tried to improve upon that. I realized that writing notes with images and different colors makes them more engaging and easier to remember, and that charts and graphs are actually very useful. I got this information by making mistakes in the past; writing all of my notes in pencil, with no color or image to break up the information or make it easier to process. This made it harder to find information that was very important among little tidbits that I could survive without. Not only did I reflect upon the more direct things I was doing in class, like the way I was interacting with classmates and participating in labs, I also reflected upon how I did the work at home and how I could improve upon. I'm now trying to be more communicative, responsible, and balanced. Learning habits, studying and completing homework has been a struggle for me since the 5th grade. I feel like this year, I'm finally reflecting upon my behavior and changing it for the better.
In the following months, I want to try to be more curious. I feel like in a topics as vast and interesting as the ones we're studying, finding out more information will do nothing but help me. I want to learn a lot more about the Carboniferous period, because the way the Earth was billions of years ago is genuinely interesting to me. I think I will learn more about fossil fuels, the main topic we're learning about, because I know more about that period. I think that if I'm interested in the subject, it improves my learning. If I find a way to be interested and curious to learn about even a small part of each topic we learn about, the information will stick to my brain easier.
For my SMART goal for Quarter 2, I want to have gotten an 85%+ on a summative assignment by the end of this next quarter. This is not for the grade, as many people would think (although its a bonus), but as proof that I'm making changes in my learning habits. The only way I could get a very high grade on an assessment is by studying and engaging with the topic so that it's easy to remember the information. If I take good notes, find at least a part of the subject interesting and develop the skills to study well then I'll be able to complete the goal for sure. But this can only happen if I improve upon the core values I'm struggling with and continue to try to create better learning habits.