How I Learn by Emi
My Preferred Learning Environment
For a safe learning environment, I need lots of exercise, a good relationship with coaches, and some friends. I also am a visual learner and use different visual tools to help me.
I learn when I get lots of exercise. I get pent up energy. I like karate and brain boosts. When I’m in workshops with pent up energy, I look like this..
This is how I feel…
I feel like running around the building hundreds of times.
This is what I look like when I’m in a workshop with no pent up energy…
This is what I feel like…
I feel much better in workshops.
For the first exploration, I did not take my own brain boosts when I needed to. (A brain boost is when you get your energy out and get your heart rate up.) That changed when I wrote a summary on how I learn. I sent that summary to the coaches and then they made a better learning environment for me. Here is the summary that I wrote.
In between workshops, I used to go outside for a walk, but now that it’s cold weather, I’m too lazy to get into my snowsuit. Instead, I find ways to exercise inside. An example would be spinning in circles. I’m still trying to find new ways to exercise.
Circuits was a physiological exercise workshop that we did inside. There were different stations in the space where you had to do multiple exercises. For example, one of the stations was in the prototype lab and there was a video to follow for certain exercises. This helped me because after the circuits my body was calm and I could pay attention and participate in workshops. This especially helps me because the weather is getting cold.
I learn well when I have good relationships with coaches, friends, and other adults. When I don’t have those relationships, then I feel anxious. In my old school, I had a teacher that made me very nervous and I had a lot of anxiety when she came near me. I’m also a sponge and I soak up other people’s energy. When others are negative, I feel it myself.
Good relationships with coaches help me pay attention in workshops because I’m not worried that I will get in trouble. I need a good relationship and need to feel like I have my own coach to help me learn. In my old school, I had no relationship with teachers/coaches. Now at Blue Sky, I have so many relationships with coaches, especially my pedagogical coach, B. I don’t feel nervous and I feel okay. I don’t run away or not participate. This is important because if I don’t participate, I won’t learn anything.
For the last couple months of school, I’ve made some relationships with other learners. One of my strongest relationships is with an outreach learner, Harley. Sometimes I need to play with somebody that has the same imagination as me, and I find that Harley has that same imagination. Sometimes Harley and I imagine we are in a different school.
If I have a good friend who attends workshops with me, it motivates me attend. I look up to Grace and Will and that motivates me to be a role model for Harley. It’s like a chain reaction. I try to be the best I can. Grace always accepts me. Will is a role model in workshops, because he always looks engaged and I try to do the same for Harley. When Harley is distracted, I remind him of the imaginary game we are playing.
Another type of relationship is my relationship with animals. It is like I have a power that, I can interact with animals and feel what they’re feeling. As you can tell from my pictures, I love animals. They make me feel calm. They put joy in my life. They take stress off of me. Sometimes I'm overwhelmed with work because I sign up to do some things and sometimes the thing that I signed up for it overlaps with another thing that I also signed up for so I don't get a break in between. That can be stressful for me. So sometimes I need some animals to be around and to talk to. When an animal is around I talk to it and tell it everything.
I love all different types of animals. Some people don't think that this is necessary for my learning. But to me it's very important. Sometimes it's nice for me to see a cute face once in awhile and pet a furry back. At home I have a puppy named Magic and he's very important to me. We love each other so much. People even call him my brother.
Animals it's just an extra thing I prefer when I learned it doesn't exactly like help me learn. It's just an extra thing I prefer to have. Animals keep me calm. I work best in a happy place.
I am a visual learner, and visual tools help me learn in different ways. For example, I really like B’s numeracy workshops because she is understandable. I like the visual learning. Through her science workshops she helped me learn about the brain. I leaned how it works. Here is the slide show.
In this slideshow, you’ll see that there is a hand model showing you the different parts of the brain. One of the things about the brain is that when you get overly excited or overly mad, your cerebral cortex doesn’t work with your limbic system. The limbic system takes over.
Another visual tool, in addition to the hand model of the brain, is Route Maps. Route Maps are a type To Do list. They don’t exactly help me learn, but I learned how they work and how to follow them. Now that I’ve done that exercise, I’m open to the opportunity to use it. The coaches made sheets that look like this.
You fill it out and then try to follow it as much as you can. You also have to learn how to be flexible in case of any changes. This tool is good for me because it’s visual and it helps me learn about how to-do lists work. I hope I can use it again in the future.
A Fishbowl helps me visually learn how things are supposed to look like. For example, for a fishbowl of book clubs, the coaches tried to act like us (they are so bad at being learners - we’re better at it). Fishbowls are funny. I remember in the Fishbowl that the coaches had a big piece of paper on the table. Seeing the coaches act like learners was cute. When I’m in the actual book club, I know what to do and what to expect from other people. When I learn, I prefer to have a model or example of something.
As you can see, I need a lot to feel safe when I learn.