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Freshman English has been a very eye opening experience so far I transferred my sophomore year; therefore I never took English as a freshman at Ursula. Being a senior in AP English, I can see how the curriculum is set to help a student progress throughout the years. While observing the class, I can see how important it is to know literary elements and how that follows through in all the years of high school. In order to write a solid paper, one must know the many elements such as conflict, irony, antagonist, etc, and the role they play in making a good cohesive paper, Mst Dingee is starting the freshman off with basics so by the time they reach senior year they are able to write a college level essay.
The first lesson was on plagiarism, I know sometimes students may think that topic is a waste of time or is unimportant but in fact it is the exact opposite, being a senior, I can’t stress how important it is.
Students really need to understand the relevance it has and will have as their English years continue at Ursula.
Plagiarism is not the only important thing however, at the beginning of the year, the class started off with analyzing and understanding their summer reading. The students had to read three books: The Giver by Lois Lowry, To Kill A Mockingbird by Harper Lee, and Of Mice and Men by John Steinbeck. Starting off, the students began to pick out important and significant details within the stories.
The students did a project in which they chose their favorite scene from one of the three novel, they talked about the novel exploring its importance in the story itself. This was a good start for the students because not only were they able to strengthen their analytical sense but also open up to their classmates and hear what they have to say about the topic, MstDingee allowed them to open up not only as a student but also as a peer amongst fellow classmates, I think that for the first month, a lot has been accomplished and the students’ skills have improved from when they first entered the class.
The students now know important key terms and are learning the first steps to becoming a great thinker and writer, Also a very important factor in English is vocabulary. Lately the students have been focused on vocabulary words that will improve many factors including their speech, writing, and a better understanding of the stories as the vocabulary words can connect to the stories the students read in and out of class. MsiDingee is letting the students start with the most important elements of English and literature, this way they can progress instead of rush and in turn they will be better English students because they will be more varied and a more well developed students. There was a bit of a discipline problem that occurred two girls were removed from the classroom and sent to the office due to their disruptive behavior in class, I think Ms Dingee did a good job in handling the situation.
The girls were warned multiple times and chose to not listen they only left themselves at a disadvantage because they lost a few days worth of information from not being able to attend class. These students really need to understand that time is precious and they need to work at developing themselves as a student and as a person English is a very important subject; you can use it for every class and in everyday life. This is a main reason why it’s important to have a good background in English and be able to analyze and understand the different elements both the language and the literature contain.
Hopefully, these students will begin to understand this and work on improving their skills, its important to always have an open mind and allow yourself to explore the different aspects of a subject. I sometimes hear some of the students complaining and I think to myself, “they have something else coming senior year.” Being in AP English is absolutely no joke, but neither is regular English too‘ Both classes are very challenging and push one to the limit and even beyond that. These students really need to start from now and push themselves to accomplish the best they can, I hope this year proves to be nothing but a success I look forward to working with Ms. Dingee and the students for the rest of the year.
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