My English Summative
21st Century Literacy Course
The 21st Century Literacy course also known as English and Business studies for some is a unique course that I, Alexander Sasha Roiter had the pleasure to experience. If I was to give the short version than I would say that teaching high school English there is a very very big field of limitless possibilities on how you can teach it and boy did we experience it all. However as for the long version I can definitely say that I always went into class not knowing what to expect. Throughout the 1st term we were taught all the different ways to give off an effective presentation whether it was practising giving off oral presentations or being taught different ways of thinking. This started out as choosing a song from the band Tragically Hip and giving a presentation about the songs background, meaning, etc. This was where my talents really started to so surface. Two things I was really effective at was, one giving a oral presentation as I could speak clear and with emotion as well as improvise on the spot which usually freed me from writing a script. A second thing that I was good at was my thinking as I usually tried to give unique and different presentations from other though admittedly some of them were a bit far fetched. However on the other hand I quickly came to realize that I was lacking in the writing department as I sometimes struggled to put all of my ideas on paper. However as we continued to write essays and give off presentations I found myself starting to write more frequently. This eventually was wrapped up by a final project called a business summative where we were expected to create a portfolio and have an interview with our teacher like we were auditioning for a job.
What I just said however only scratches the surface of what we did. Some things that we did throughout the year was novel study where we read two books called Flowers For Algernon, All American Boys and The Tragedy Of King Lear. Flowers for Algernon was a more independent sort of read as we were split into three different groups. Every other week the groups would meet up and talk about the chapters that we read and tried to answer some questions that were provided by either the teachers or the students themselves. After each meeting the students were given some chapters to read based on where their group was. Though originally it was intending for there to be different groups each time however the first groups selected bonded quickly so the same groups were kept. All American Boys and King Lear on the other hand were more full class oriented. All American Boys were read to the full class by the teacher and then after we answered online questions posted by another school who was having the same novel study. King Lear however was a play created by Shakespeare so instead of us reading or the teacher reading we watched different play interpretations as well as summaries while we followed along in our book. We got to see different kinds of acting,different genres, you name it.
Most of our work was done digitally as most of our free work periods was spent working on computers. An app that we found ourselves using frequently was google classroom which was where our teachers frequently posted homework reminders, future announcements, suggestions, surveys etc. This entire course was split into 13 weeks all which were consisting of different themes such as: Individualize, Curiosity, Organization Design, Respect, Perspective/Point of View Adaptation Etc. Each theme basically represented some of the work and activities that we’ll be most likely doing that week.
Another thing that I have been doing all year and will continue doing the remainder of term 2 and 3 is Drama. Drama may at first seem like some sort of a easy A where you just come in and play games all day but little do you know just how wrong you are. There is actually a lot of elements to drama that has you have to practise and most likely master so let me explain. Our entire year has been split into different units which we have currently done 2 of them, classroom dynamics and voice. We are currently wrapping up our second unit and are getting ready to move into our third unit, Mime and Movement. Acting is one of my few talents but it doesn't mean that I don’t have flaws either. Over the first term I have gotten feedback that I am more of a physical actor which means that use movement to my advantage as well as use lots of props. Another thing that I have been complemented on frequently was my voice and expression. Prior to taking this course I have spent years taking drama as an extracurricular activity so i had walked into class with experience. However some things I have been criticized on was my pacing as I had been known speed through my lines and monologues. Though I do believe that I have begun improving its still a problem that persists. Another thing that I have been criticized on was the volume of my voice but I don’t really believe that it's a problem any more as it had been a while since I’ve gotten that compliant.
During our first unit classroom dynamics it was basically what it sounds like. Since it was our first unit it had begun as playing introduction games so we got to know each other as well as well as it gave the teacher opportunity to find our strengths and weaknesses. As the unit continued it became less and less about playing improv games and more on discussions and planning for the future. The unit eventually ended with a final project where we were put into groups of two and we were tasked with creating a scene using smell, touch, taste, and hearing as the person we were performing for would be blind folded. The second unit that we did was called voice. This was a bit of a slow unit but it was still necessary as we were spending most of our classes practising our voices and even went a little bit into the singing category. We eventually wrapped up this unit with monologues where we had to take pieces of texts from the internet, practise and memorize them, then finally present them to the class on a certain day.