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Blog #1

Throughout my educational career there have been many educational experiences that intrigued and engaged me in class.  Although no one has every given me an iPod to use for educational purposes, there is one event that changed my perspective on how I can learn.

During my junior year of high school I decided to take our AP Spanish class.  It was challenging but I liked the idea of learning a second language and had already completed all the lower level Spanish classes offered at my school.  Having already taken some AP classes, I kind of expected more or less the same thing, that being constant practice for the holy mother of all tests, the AP test.  But when I went to class my teacher surprised me.  On the very first day he broke the mold by asking us to call him by his first name, Kai.  Throughout the course he implanted innovative ways to create what I can only describe as a “family”.

After the winter break he hit us with the most innovative learning experience I have ever had.  The assignment was to spend 10 hours volunteering in an environment where native Spanish speakers would surround you.  The task seemed daunting at first, especially since this had to be 100% individual, there would be no friend to help you out.  I decided to pursue an interest of mine through this project, and volunteer for our local radio station.  Every week the organization “El Centro de Muchos Colores” put on an all Spanish radio hour.  By volunteering there I got to take my in class learning to an environment that was intriguing. In chapter 3, the author says “students aren’t failing because school is too hard, but because it doesn’t interest them”.  My teacher effectively gave us an assignment that could be manipulated to anything of your own interest.  I was interested in radio, so I joined a Spanish radio program.  Whatever a students interest is, they could tailor a Spanish assignment to interest them in other ways.

This assignment took what I was learning in a classroom setting into a real world setting.  All the mundane exercises from the classroom suddenly became a necessity in order to perform the usually subconscious task of communication.  By pulling my learning outside the classroom Kai helped me revolutionize my own personal relationship with Spanish.

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Categories: Uncategorized
  1. September 15, 2011 at 12:20 am

    Sounds like an interesting class! To receive credit for this blog entry, you’ll need to also incorporate some reference from the second chapter, “How we measure.” Did this Spanish course also have an innovative way of evaluating your learning? In other words, how were you able to demonstrate what you learned in the out-of-class setting? Or perhaps you didn’t receive credit for that experience, but it enriched your in-class experience in some way? Did it help your critical thinking or did communication tech play a role? (if not you don’t need to bring that up). How might this relate to a boss-level challenge for the class? Good start but you’ll want to edit this down so you have room to incorporate more into your reflection. You can edit this yet tonight if you’d like to get credit.

    • September 15, 2011 at 3:44 am

      I cannot find a way to edit my previous post so I am posting my revised blog entry below. Sorry!

  2. September 15, 2011 at 3:43 am

    so i cannot find out how to edit this! sorry! for now I will post it here in the comments section with my revisions. Thanks so much for the feedback!

    During my junior year of high school I decided to take our AP Spanish class. It was challenging but I liked the idea of learning a second language and had already completed all the lower level Spanish classes offered at my school. Having already taken some AP classes, I kind of expected more or less the same thing, that being constant practice for the holy mother of all tests, the AP test. But when I went to class my teacher surprised me. On the very first day he broke the mold by asking us to call him by his first name, Kai. Throughout the course he implanted innovative ways to create what I can only describe as a “family”.
    After the winter break he hit us with the most innovative learning experience I have ever had. The assignment was to spend 10 hours volunteering in an environment where native Spanish speakers would surround you. The task seemed daunting at first, especially since this had to be 100% individual, there would be no friend to help you out. I decided to pursue an interest of mine through this project, and volunteer for our local radio station. Every week the organization “El Centro de Muchos Colores” put on an all Spanish radio hour. By volunteering there I got to take my in class learning to an environment that was intriguing. In chapter 3, the author says “students aren’t failing because school is too hard, but because it doesn’t interest them”. My teacher effectively gave us an assignment that could be manipulated to anything of your own interest. I was interested in radio, so I joined a Spanish radio program. Whatever a student’s interest is, they could tailor a Spanish assignment to interest them in other ways.
    This assignment took what I was learning in a classroom setting into a real world setting. It also took the place of a formal final. Instead we presented our volunteer work to the Spanish department in hopes of encouraging volunteering within the community. Kai also took the stance that “if we are on the verge of new testing of a digital age, we should think about what we want to test.” Kai believed that being able to communicate, even imperfectly, in a social situation was infinitely more important than being able to conjugate verbs properly on a standardized exam. The mundane exercises from the classroom suddenly became a necessity in order to perform the usually subconscious task of communication. My true final “exam” or “test” was self fulfilling. If I could communicate with native speakers with ease why should I sit in a classroom and do drills. By pulling my learning outside the classroom Kai helped me revolutionize my own personal relationship with Spanish.

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