Service Learning Experience

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Information about Service Learning Experience

Published on December 12, 2008

Author: sanchezjiana


Service Learning Experience : Service Learning Experience Jiana M. Sanchez My first impression : My first impression On the first day of my service learning experience, I informed my master teacher that I would be needing to work with assessment tools. Without hesitation, he handed me a stack of vocabulary quizzes. Slide 3: Most students did poorly on the vocabulary tests, scoring well below 50%. I was convinced that these students were not stupid, but lacked the motivation to do well. Second impression : Second impression After grading the students vocabulary quizzes, I was able to take a look at student essays. These 12th grade students were tasked with writing eight paragraphs regarding certain topics, such as a brief literary analysis or a persuasive paragraph. Slide 5: Students did not fair to well with these either. For a group of 12th graders who were ready to graduate, most students did not understand how to use a comma, the difference between ‘no’ and ‘know’ and ‘their,’ ‘there,’ and ‘they’re.’ the content also did not reflect the proper paragraph writing format of having a introductory statement, three supporting sentence, and a concluding sentence. Why? : Why? I still could not think that these students lacked intelligence. Rather, these students lacked the motivation and any idea of how they were going to be graded. Students and the teacher stuck to the general rule that if a work was turned in, then the student received a decent grade. I do not agree : I do not agree However, I did not necessarily agree with that sort of grading methodology. While I understood that it was important to keep students motivated so that would at least turn something in, I did not agree that a work produced by a student who spent time and effort deserved a similar grade by a student who turned in a piece of work done half- heartedly. It was not fair. My Turn : My Turn My master teacher asked me, one day, if I would like to teach a lesson to the class. I did not hesitate to say yes. Since it was a literature course, I picked my all time favorite short story, “Sheer Dominance” by Christopher Polling. It was a short story filled with vulgarity and irony. In the literature hierarchy, it is considered lower literature in comparison to Shakespeare or Joseph Conrad. Teaching Lesson : Teaching Lesson The day that I taught my lesson, I got good student response even to questions that involved high analytical thinking. Students were enjoying the story and saw the story’s connection to more advanced literature, as well as pop culture reference. Assignment : Assignment After I completed the story with the students, I gave them a homework assignment, asking them to critique a cultural sub-group of people, such as emo kids or gothic people, with the understanding they we were going to bring to light stereotypes. I asked student to describe the cultural sub group and explain why they personally did not relate to them. Grading Criteria : Grading Criteria I told the students that their essays would be graded according to three criteria and good essays would exhibit the following traits: Length: the essay meet the page long requirement and included additional information Content: the essay addressed what it was supposed to address. Spelling, Grammar, and Mechanics: there were less than four spelling, grammar, and mechanical mistakes. Receiving the Papers : Receiving the Papers The following class period, if not on the day I issued the assignment, a decent number of students turned in their assignments. I was impressed by the quick return, because in prior experience, I noticed students were not enthused about doing, let alone turning in assignments. Grading the Papers : Grading the Papers While I was grading the students papers, I was impressed to find that most students did well on this assignment, partially because of the interesting content, but mainly because they knew what they were expected to do. Reflection : Reflection During my service learning experience, i learned one very important thing. In order for students to do well they need to be motivated and know what is expected of them. When students know what is expected of them, they can do well and make better academic decisions.

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