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  • 1. Reflective Letter Matt Blanchard Professor McCrimmonEnglish 111 03CP

2. Dear Professor McCrimmon,

  • I have chosen to do my reflective letter as a power point because I feel that it will help me to organize all of my thoughts better than just dumping them on to a word document.
  • I hope that you will notice that almost every slide has a hyperlink to an artifact and clicking on it when playing the slideshow will take you to the artifact.

3. Habits of Mind

  • I would like to start off my portfolio with how I have been able to develop some of my 16 habits of mind during the last semester.
  • At the beginning of this course I would reflect on how I had developed my habits of mind almost every week in my reflections but I lost some interest in it.
  • Looking back on the semester I realized that I had really grown as a student and developed many of my habits of mind.

4. The 16 Habits of Mind 5. Persisting

  • I have only very recently learned to really develop this habit of mind. The past two weeks I was diagnosed with walking pneumonia, and now an intestinal infection which I am still not quite over yet.
  • This has all been while I have been dealing with tests, final projects, presentations, and exams. I didnt know if I could do it with the lack of sleep from the coughing and all of the demands I was facing.
  • It took a few days of rest to get back to normal and countless late hours putting the final touches on papers and studying for exams but I was able to get through all of it.

6. Managing Impulsivity

  • I reflected on this particular habit in my first reflection.( A1 ) I talked about how I pass two Starbucks on the way to school and I would always get coffee before class until I realized what a waste of money it was.
  • I think I have further developed this because to this day I havent stopped before school, or after for that matter, to get coffee.

7. Taking Responsible Risks(A1)

  • When I first enrolled at JSRCC I thought that I was going to be able to handle going to class until 12:15 and then coming back to class for a 2:30 class until 3:30 then running to work at 4:00.
  • It sounded fine at the time, until I realized how much gas that was going to cost me a week and how much driving it would entail.
  • Instead of just quitting the class however I decided to take a test to clep the credits so that I would still get credit for the class.
  • I passed the test and was very happy with the outcome because I was able to keep the credits and my schedule wouldn't be so tight.

8. Thinking Flexibly( A2 )

  • As I talked about in my fourth blog ( A2 ), I chose to go to a community college because I know how bad the economy is and since I have a twin brother going to college the same time I am, I decided to give my parents a break and save them some money.
  • I wanted to go off to a four year university like all of my friends but I realized that I could do that in two years and I will of saved a lot of money in the process.

9. Striving for Accuracy( A3 )

  • When I was enrolling in my classes for this semester I was stressing to my advisor that I only wanted to take transferable classes since I wanted to transfer to JMU in a year.
  • Unfortunately I was put into a non transferable math class that would take two semesters to complete.
  • Since it is an online math class I realized that I was going to be able to work at my own pace, that meant that I would be able to get through both math classes in one semester so that I could at least get one college level math class under my belt for when I transfer.
  • I knew that it was going to take a lot of hard work and self motivation but I was up to the challenge because I knew that it would ultimately help me accomplish my goal.

10. Applying Past Knowledge to New Situations

  • I would like to think that this is what I am doing here.
  • I have always preferred to do power points instead of papers because I think that I can organize my thoughts better and be a little more creative.
  • I have also developed this skill by working on the class wiki.( A5 ) I made a lot of changes to the wiki including adding pictures, posting my articles, and leaving comments.
  • I made a website for my business class ( A4 ) this semester and have made several others in high school so working on a wiki site was really fun for me and I was hopefully able to bring a little experience to the table.

11. Questioning and Posing Problems(A6)

  • Over the thanksgiving holiday I was stressing out over the wiki that was due and the reflection.
  • I didnt know if they were put on hold until the next week or if we were supposed to turn them in on the regularly assigned days.
  • My solution to this problem was to simply email you. Im really glad I did too because it put my mind at ease.
  • I am constantly questioning things and I think that its a good way to live because if I am always questioning then I can always find out the right answers instead of being uninformed.

12. Reflection

  • I know that I have become a better student and person over the last semester because of the education I have received and all of the new challenges I have had to face. There were so many tough decisions that I had to make and I know that by developing my habits of mind this semester I was better able to adjust to them. I may not have known at the time that I was developing them but I realize now that its exactly what I was doing. I can honestly say that I am a better person because of taking this class.

13. Writing

  • I have always thought of myself as being an above average writer, especially when it came to papers for school. I knew that when it came down to researching a topic and writing a full size paper on it, I would have no problem.
  • In your class I developed my writing skills to the fullest because of your mandatory blogs, wikis, and reflections.
  • At first I thought that it was going to be a hassle and that no fun could come of it at all but I quickly realized that having group mates respond to your entries and give input on what your talking about is really great.

14. Writing Contd.

  • I have to admit that at the beginning of the semester I didnt care about reading my group mates entries, I just wanted to post mine and be done with it but at about a quarter of the way through the semester I found myself reading all of my group mates entries and in some cases responding to them.
  • It was a great feeling to know that I had an impact on other peoples writing and that I actually had an audience for my writing.

15. Writing Contd. ( A7 )

  • At the beginning of the semester we took a writing assessment.
  • Then you asked us to write our second blog about how we feel about standardized tests and of the assessment we were given.
  • My opinion still holds strong that they are not a good way of showing how capable a student is because there is not prior preparation.
  • However my theory of why the prompt have changed since grade school has changed. I now think that they have only changed because the new ones require us to think more about how we feel and our opinions on life.

16. Groups

  • At the beginning of the semester I didnt understand why we had to be put into groups and was not very thrilled with the idea because I thought that it would require a lot of awkward experiences.
  • It turned out that it did require a good amount of group work but it was enjoyable, and not awkward at all.
  • My group in particular got to be pretty close and we were able to talk pretty freely with each other. I actually started to look forward to coming to class on Tuesdays so that we could talk about our previous writing assignment.

17. Artifact 1

  • While I was looking through the blogs by my group mates, I started to notice that we all had many of the same strengths and weaknesses. Almost all of us find it hard to respond to things with wonder and awe. I think that the reason for this is that its hard to listen to another persons opinion of something and be completely impressed by it. Most of us all like to think our way or the highway when it comes to doing things. Almost everyone who posted also thought that they needed to develop their impulsivity. I am one of them. A lot of people do however feel very comfortable when it comes to finding humor in a situation. I think its such a big hit with all of us because its very easy to do and it comes naturally. We all apparently need to work on being persistent and sticking with it, which I know is a very hard thing to do sometimes. It was one of my weaknesses too but it may be the most important of the 16. If a situation gets too stressful we are all inclined to quit. But with that mind state we wont get very much accomplished, especially if its something like trying to plan a trip to a foreign country. This week I think that I have slowly but surely started to develop my impulsivity. When driving to school I pass two Starbucks and I always used to stop and get a coffee before school but lately when I drive by them I just think that it is a waste of money and that I dont need it. I have to admit that when I registered for my classes I thought that I coul