Blog #6

Read Alouds: Ms. Allen read Animal School by Ellen Braun on Tuesday in class.  The barrier to learning for the animals was diversity because they were all different.  For instance, the duck worried about swimming, the bear was lazy, the zebra played hooky, the fish was bored, the eagle was a trouble-maker, etc.  The lesson that the reader could get out of the book is that everyone is different and learns and acts in their own way.  The age group that I would read Animal School to late elementary and middle school students because there are a few large words that younger children would not understand.  I like Braun’s book because it portrayed diversity in animals, which in turn can describe how human beings are diverse as well.

Learning Experiences: On Tuesday, Ms. Lewis, the Spanish teacher at CCSMS, came into our classroom to teach us about ELL students and how they may feel when they begin learning English.  To show us how it felt, she began speaking to us in Spanish very quickly. Having only taken Spanish for two years, I only understand a few simple words that were similar to English words.  Ms. Allen told us to answer three questions about our experience when Ms. Lewis was speaking to us only in Spanish.  I learned that being an ELL student could often be difficult because they learn at a slower pace that their peers.  At that moment, I couldn’t help but feel quite hopeless and stressed because I couldn’t understand; that is how an ELL student must feel!  I was also unaware that we’ve had a few ELL students at CCSMS and that being an ELL student is a barrier to learning.  Later in the week, Ms. Allen did a power point on Bipolar disorder.  Bipolar disorder is a medical condition in which a person feels extreme high and lows, also known as mania and depression.  Usually, this disorder is diagnosed in college-age people.  To go along with the power point, we watched a documentary about Evan Perry and his journey living with Bipolar disorder.  Evan experienced suicidal and depressive signs since he was very young.  For example, he would get frustrated if things weren’t perfect, he would be unmotivated, and had a flat tone of voice sometimes, and he mentioned death many time in song and to his teachers.  His parents tried many things to help Evan like, take him to doctors, give him medication, and show him love.  However, the moment they noticed that Evan was doing better, they took him after his medication at his request, but when things started getting worse again, they made an appointment to get him back on the medication.  Unfortunately, Evan committed suicide two days before his doctors appointment on October 2nd, 2005.  Although Evan had Bipolar disorder, he had friends.  When Evan would show signs of suicide, his friends joked about it and didn’t take it seriously.  The documentary was a great story of someone who had Bipolar disorder, but it was difficult to know that that is reality for some people.  Evan’s story is inspiring, whether he wanted it to be or not.  His story is a lesson to many people and enables those without Bipolar disorder to appreciate who they are.  We also had two Lit. circles this week where we discussed the book we are reading called Speak.  The book portrays the high school experience as one first enters high school and the many difficulties of fitting in when one has a reputation already.  Melinda struggles to find her place in Merryweather Highschool and we are learning that IT, Andy Evans, and her parents, play a large role in her silence.

Current Event: Physical education is now becoming a more mentally stimulating task rather than just a physical task.  Students are being told to do something while doing something else at the same time.  Multi-tasking is said to improve the children’s test scores in the long run.

Quote of the Week: “The beautiful thing about learning is that no one can take it away from you.” -BB King

I chose this quote by BB King because there are many things in life that can very easily be taken away, such as a boy from committing suicide, but education will always be there and can never be taken away.  Once you learn something it will always be in your mind, which will remain forever.

Observations: Since I work at a church sometimes watching children, I always have to remember that the way they are acting is normal for their age.  I always have to remember to be understanding and patient with children because they often misbehave.  Since children have a lot of energy I also have to remember that they need a lot of attention and need to be played with so they get everything they need .  

Reflections: This week I learned that ELL students are in our school and all throughout America at other schools.  They struggle with learning because learning a new language is difficult and English is said to be one of the most difficult languages to learn.  Bipolar disorder is a large problem in America and  many people suffer from it.  Through Evan Perry’s story, we learned a valuable lesson and it impacted all of us greatly.  Because of everything we have learned this week and will learn in future weeks to come, we will become more rounded people because of all the things we are learning!




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