Chinese Studies
Chinese Studies is a hard subject to learn even though I've been doing it for at least 5-6 years now. Last year, I thought I had not improved one bit but this year I think I have improved a bunch more. Now I can prop up a conversation in Chinese about school, where I live, how to say basic sentences like "My I go to the bathroom?" and "May I have a drink of water?". I also have 2 Chinese tutors that come to my house 2 times a week to help me if I need any help. Last year I was in MNN which was way to hard for me- also for the last 3 years I was in MNN so that's probably why I didn't learn as much as I learn in MSL. Not only is MSL easier, I can understand a lot more and I can write a full paragraph in Chinese about being sick. I think I've improved a lot in Chinese Studies.

Art has never been hard for me. A few sketches and blends and you get a masterpiece. I think I was born with the artistic skill. A lot of people in my class dislike Art Class but I really like it. I think Art is a time when you can express your feelings any way you want to. From painting on a piece of paper to constructing a sculpture. The reason I really like art is because you can do anything you feel like- well apart from art class when we have to do a project- although most of them are still really fun. I love bright colors. It really all depends on what type of mood you want the art piece to look like. When I'm sad, and it's time for art, I use colors that aren't so bright like black, gray, brown and maybe even a little blue and purple. It's my style. This is why Art has been one of my all-time favorite subjects throughout my school career.

Music Class is okay, I'm not super excited when it's time to go to music but I don't mind going for it. We learned to play xylophones which are pretty cool instruments. We also sing a lot of cool songs like "Wade in the Water" that was made by Harriet Tubman- at the moment we're also doing our Civil War Unit for Social Studies. We watched a movie on Bach, a famous piano player. I think I'm improving on reading notes when we play the xylophone. I also have a much better singing voice. I love listening to music in general too.


I don't really like P.E but I guess I have to live with it.
I think I'm getting more fit and I'm getting more flexible because I'm stretching a lot at home and at P.E. We had to do continuous running and then do "the plank" for a whole 2 minutes and then run again and do another hard exercise (so on for one hour) until I practically died. We had to do that for 2 days, even though we didn't have to run so fast, I didn't like it, but I did it because I knew I had to get better and build some stamina.

Guidance teaches some good lessons. An interesting thing we did in Guidance class was to see what type of person you are. Meaning, do you use your right side of your brain more or left side. The left side of your brain thinks more logically, strategically and if you use more of your left side then you would probably be good at math- also, you would be a person who doesn't take so many risks, you like to be on the safe side. On the other hand, the right side of the brain is more risky, if your a person who likes Art, Music and English you probably use more of your right side of the brain. I got half and half. Which is a good thing- I'm risky and I love art and English, but I'm also strategical and I'm good in math.

Story of Learning

These were my goals in the beginning of the year:

Writing: My goal for writing is to write stories with a problem and a solution because I can think of a problem but often I can't think of a solution. I'm trying to do this for almost every writing piece I can and by the end of the year I want to do this for every single story I write.

I want to read more genres in reading because mostly I read either fantasy or general fiction. I want to go into historical fiction, science fiction, animal, biography, autobiography etc.

I want to use the right strategy for any math problem I do. Usually, I don't know what strategy to use in problem solving therefore
I often have a hard time solving problems. By the middle or end of the year I want to exceed this goal.

I've improved a lot in writing by writing a topic sentence that grabs the readers attention. I also try to stay on topic and try to make my writing interesting so the reader doesn't get bored. I realized this year that I'm better off writing about my own personal experiences than trying to make up a realistic fiction story- I'm not that great at making up stories but I'm still improving! I am also using new words that I find when I read and when I do vocabulary homework. Now that I know my weakness is in creating fictional stories, I'm going to try and make up more stories daily for 10-15 minutes using new words I have read. But I think I'll still stick to writing personal experiences at school rather than writing fictional stories at school.
I have achieved my goals for reading. Now I'm reading autobiographies/biography, Mystery, Historical-fiction, Science-fiction (Non-fiction project). Now, instead of reading only famous authors books, I'm also reading random books that seem good by the blurbs whether the cover looks good or not. I remember the saying "Don't judge a book by it's cover". I also think that in my literature circle group, we are reading a really easy book and my group agrees with me. Last year in 4th grade, we read a book that was much more harder- well in the case that, that book was a "Just Right" book for me. It's not that I didn't like the book, it was just that there were not any new words that I had learned. This was a book too easy for me. I don't want to challenge myself too much but I don't want to read such easy books either.
I still am really weak at problem solving even though I do so much- at school, homework, workbooks and the math puzzler. I guess I've improved on what strategy to use when I'm problem solving but overall I still think I REALLY need to work on that.

My Extra Goal for 6th Grade:
~To become better at problem solving and to collaborate with people even more.

As I've said earlier, some of my real successes are writing personal experiences and reading different books and genres. Some challenges this year were showing my work for some of the problem solving questions because I didn't really know how to work them out. I am really hoping I will overcome this challenge because I want to become better at problem solving- not only the math type of problem solving but just general problem solving. Last year, when I was in the "Math Olympiad" team we use to have practice tests and real tests for just getting the answer to these problems without any explanation. Even though I practiced a lot at home, I never seemed to get any of the questions right except maybe 1 or 2. There was only one time that I got 4 out of 5 but that was just once! I don't think Math Olympiad helped me at all- It was all about getting the answer. No explanation, nothing. Not that I got it or anything. I'm a little glad that I'm not in Math Olympiad this year even though my Mom wanted me to be in it again.

January 8, 2010

1. What is one piece of important learning in reading or writing you have gained this week?

It's important to "paint a picture in your mind" when your reading so you can imagine what the situation is like. I've noticed that the only time I can paint a picture in my mind is when the book I'm reading is interesting. Also, reading between the lines is important because it helps you comprehend what your reading better. For writing, I have learned that when you are writing something, always make sure that the reader does not get bored.
2. Explain how this has helped you in your reading or writing.

It has helped me a lot because I can understand what the author is trying to say even better when I visualize a scene in my mind and when I read between the lines. As I mentioned before, this only happens when the book is interesting. Now, whenever someone edits my paper, they find it a whole lot more interesting than what I did before. It grabs the reader's attention.

3. Explain what the difference is between a common noun and a proper noun.

A common noun is something that is general, for example: Dog. There are many types of dogs but a common noun is something that is very brief. Now a common noun is describing a specific thing. Instead of just "Dog", a common noun could be a name of a dog, what type of breed it is or anything specific, for example: Golden Retriever- this is a proper noun. Usually, anything that is capitalized gives you a hint that it might be a proper noun.