Reflection Exercises

B. Advice for Newbies

It's your turn to write the Advice for Newbies. Here's what I want.
  1. Bullet points in a word document, so I can cut and paste them into a master document.
  2. Several useful bullets for the newbies. Focus on study habits, attitude, and pre-requisites like algebra, etc. Don't focus on calculus knowledge since they don't know calculus yet and it won't be any help (yet). Think about what you wished you'd started doing on day 1 instead of day 100.
  3. A few fun bullets if you want, but keep it PG-13.
  4. Name your word document as <last_name>-Newbies.doc and put in the calculus dropbox on all-access.

C. Advice for Joshi

Time to vent your fury on me. What worked well for you this year in class - was there a particularly good lesson or class policy, activity, etc. that helped you learn or kept you motivated?
What didn't work for you? What do you want me to change for next year's AB class or next year in BC? Please be honest and offer feedback that will help me improve my practice as a teacher.

B. Listen to the Veterans

Go through the Advice for Newbies list again. Find at least 3 pieces of meaningful advice from last year's veterans that you think will help you this year. Construct a plan to integrate this advice into your academic habits and share it with me in this reflection.

B. I Can Teach

I think that you haven't really learned something well until you've tried to teach it to someone else. Every year I teach calculus, I come to appreciate some new nuance or subtlety that I hadn't noticed before. I want you to experience this.
After you've made your test corrections, review the chapter once more. Decide what the two or three most important concepts or processes are, and list them on a piece of paper. Pick one, prepare a lesson, and teach that concept to someone else. You can teach it to your parents/guadians, a sibling, another relative, a friend. Spend at least a half-hour on this with your victim. Think about the questions you need to ask to make sure they understand. Reflect on this experience. What went well? What was challenging? How did you prepare to teach the concept. Did you learn anything about the material from this process?
B. Clear/Unclear Windows model.
Clear Windows – Discuss what you understand about the unit content, what skills do you feel you are proficient in, etc. What makes sense to you? What evidence do you have from your test to support you clear windows claim.

Unclear Windows – what concepts from the unit are still mysterious to you? What don’t you currently understand? What evidence from your test demonstrates that you need to improve your understanding of these concept?

I don't want one line answers, I want thoughtful responses.

B. Kinds of Errors

Consider the errors you made on the test and/or Midterm. Go over all the problems and classify the topics into three categories: 

  1. Totally understood the calculus, but made a silly mistake.
  2. Understand the calculus, but killed by the algebra/trig/geometry
  3. Unclear on the calculus

Any patterns? What would have your score been if you fixed all the 1's? All the 1's and 2's? 


C. Study Habits Reflection

Think about how you studied (or didn't) for this test. Be honest, did you study? Where and how did you study? In your room? Listening to music? Watching TV? Texting with friends? What kind of studying did you do? Did you study solo, or with a group? Did you go over homework solutions? Did you re-read units in the textbook? Did you try unassigned practice problems? Tell me your studying techniquese and assess how effective they were. Do you plan to change how you study for future tests? If so, how?  Give me honest, thoughtful answers - this is for your benefit, so that you can acknowledge what's working and what isn't.


C. Study Habits Compare/Contrast

Compare and contrast how you studied for the last test and this one.
    (1) Did you do anything differently - if so, what? If not, why not? 
    (2) Do you think your studying was relfected in your performance on the test?
    (3) Do you think your studying had an impact on your understanding of the material? Note that #3 is a different question from #2.
    (4) Based on answers to 1-3, what will be your strategy for studying calculus (and other material for that matter) for the rest of the year?

C. Hard Lessons

Is there anything you understand better now after the test than before? If so, that's a rough way to find out. What could you have done to learn that lesson before the test so you could have gotten a higher score? 

C. Semester Reflection

go over all the units we've covered this semester and rank them on a scale of 1 to 4, where 1 = totally lost/confused to 4 = Totally understand/not a problem. Come back prepared with this list so we can take a poll of the class and build a study list for AP test review.

C. How Am I Studying?
I've asked you to examine how you've been studying and how effective it's been. There are many techniques that can be used to study. Here are some:
  1. Study groups
  2. Taking notes while reading the chapter
  3. Doing extra homework problems
  4. Watching online tutorials and lectures
  5. Doing (2) above and listening in lectures instead of taking detailed lecture notes
  6. Using Flashcards
  7. Taking practice tests/quizzes
  8. Cramming
  9. A little calculus every night
  10. Asking for help
  11. getting a private tutor
Which of these have you tried? Are you doing something that's not on the list? If you feel like you've improved since the first test (and many of you have), tell me what you did that worked for you. If you haven't improved, tell me which of the list items you have tried and which you haven't.
I don't want one-line answers. I want thoughtful responses to these questions.
C. Detailed AP Test Study Plan
As of 4/4, we're at 35 calendar days to the AP Test!  Go over your progress reports from 1st semester (handed out in class) and 2nd semester (online) and look at your standards performance.  Resort the standards based on your competence, weakest at the top.   Look at all your AP free response problems from your tests and sort these with weakest performance at the top.These lists  should be your road-map for studying during April. Is there any correlation between the lists? Consider the nature of your errors - understanding calculus, executing on algebra and trig, silly mistakes - what do you need to focus on from this perspective.
Develop a study calendar - for each day in April, decide what standard you're going to study and how much time per standard per night you will allocate. Attach this calendar to your reflection.