Cameron has now completed his second semester of taking three courses at the Community College of Aurora (via concurrent enrollment) and one at Colorado Preparatory Academy. It’s been quite a dual freshman year in high school / college for him and he has learned a ton. The biggest challenge that I currently see him facing is an overconfidence in his ability to assess his own knowledge. He’s had the “I know this” self-evaluation result in anything from A’s to F’s throughout the semester, yet he is adamant in trusting that assessment without taking time to confirm it. I’d say that’s pretty typical for a fifteen year old and he’s learning in an atmosphere of warmth and caring with this team. Over the semester, there were several classes that he was in danger of failing, but you helped him figure out a successful path and grow. Multiple times I’ve heard him pondering and saying things like, “I was too cocky.” That he feels safe enough to eventually admit challenges and grow is a testament to your teaching.
He says, "When I was taking the chemistry exam, I really had a feeling that it was all connected like I hadn’t before the test. It was really nice. I’d gone over all the tests and quizzes right before and there were some things that I didn’t understand, but most things I managed to get pretty solid. During the exam, things weren’t in order. It was all over the place. It’s all connected. I considered things as a whole and got better at seeing the relationship between things.”
His course page says he got 79.78% in the class; I’m not sure if that rounds to a B. Either way, he has learned so much and has a solid start in understanding this science.
He says, “I should have kept the reviews. I would have gotten an A on the final if I’d had those. I still got an A in the class. Note to self keep all the reviews. I felt I understood everything before each test and I feel ready to move on to the next level.”
Although he did get a C on the final, he spent the entire semester near the the top of the class. He thrived on the intensive amount of graded homework and quizzes. By the time he got to each test, he knew the material solidly. It sounds like he also learned about the need for reviewing earlier material before a final. He got 1050/1100 points, a solid A.
He says, “Read rubrics more carefully and write and outline before you do the real thing. Also, try to do it a bit ahead of time so I can run it by Dad. I think the learning process was figuring out how to do these different kinds of papers."
This was another course in which he was struggling. He thought he’d done a good job on early papers and wound up with a C and a D. It was awesome to see our team-work bring him out of a frustration / helplessness spiral. He barely squeaked an A in this course (90.13%), but what an accomplishment!
He says, “I liked taking my neighborhood walks and my martial arts counting as PE time.”
Although I seemed to need to remind him to submit his PE logs every week (when they popped up on my radar as overdue), he completed all the material in this course and I think the movement was highly beneficial. He received over 100% in the class.
Thank you so much for helping Cameron succeed,
P.S. He was featured in a local newspaper for his work with the local chess club:
"Nearing 9 p.m. at Douglas County Libraries' Parker branch on April 18, some faint shouting could be heard coming from a conference room on the second floor. As the library announced it was closed, a group of kids, originally three that grew to a team of six, battled one teenager in the final game of chess for the evening. It ended in a draw as employees began to put away tables.