Monday, October 26, 2009


While attending Loras I have learned different strategies to help me be successful in the future. As a senior, I have compiled a portfolio that demonstrates the different dispositions that I have learned while at Loras. The different disposition that I have learned while at Loras include: becoming an active learner, a reflective thinker, an ethical decision maker, and a responsible contributor. In this portfolio I have gathered artifacts that show how I have developed each year in the dispositions. To go along with the artifacts I have composed a narrative for each disposition. The narratives show how I have developed in the different areas throughout my college career.

By doing this portfolio I was able to how I have developed in each area while at Loras. I was also able to see that all the learning that I did goes more in depth than meets the eye. I have learned through this portfolio that Loras has given me all the tools that I need in order to successful in the future. I have become knowledgeable about what it takes to be an active learner, reflective thinker, ethical decision maker, and responsible contributor. These tools will come in handing in the future.

Active learning

Active learning is taking learning into a new direction. It is going outside of the box when it comes to learning. Learning is done by doing and experiencing different things, like seeing different point of views. By trying to think like someone different, one will become an active learner. To be an active learner, one has to put oneself out there to the world by trying new things and getting out of one’s comfort zone. An active learner will strive for more than what is expected, and will do different task to get more out of learning. Also, one has to know how to work with others in different situations, and to adapt in different situations.
I discovered that throughout my Loras career I have experienced active learning in many different ways. Almost every class I took dealt with some kind of active learning in one way or another. The classes that involved active learning the most were: Democracy and Global Diversity, clinical, and beginning reading. These three classes have transformed me into an active learner. Even though I picked these three classes, there are others that have developed me as a learner, too, so I have experienced active learning almost every semester.
During my sophomore year I was enrolled in Democracy and Global Diversity. At first I was dreading taking this class because I did not think I would get anything out of it, but I was wrong. By having to role play and getting involved during class has taught me a new way of learning. Democracy and Global Diversity has taught me active learning because it made me go outside of the box. Democracy and Global Diversity showed me a different way of thinking, showed me different point of views, and different way of looking at situations. To get the most out of something it is best to look at both sides or to look through someone else’s eyes. The artifact that I decided to use from this class is a paper that shows my point of view from a modern democrat. By having to play the role of a modern democrat from Athens I had to think differently than I usually would. My paper topic is over how people in power should be selected by lot rather than having certain requirements for people in power. 2.doc
As I grew as a person so did I as an active learner. In my junior year at Loras, active learning was a big part of my day. Two classes that involved active learning are clinical and beginning reading. These two classes gave me the biggest taste of active learning because they involved me doing more active learning than I was used to. Each class taught me a different part of active learning; which helped developed me as an active learner. These two classes made me get out of my comfort zone and try different techniques when it came to teach to see what would work, what might work, and what would not work.
First, clinical for this class I had to be in an elementary classroom for 60 hours for the semester. While I was in the school I did different task each time I went. Some of the tasks included: teaching a lesson, tutoring, and different variety of tasks. By being in the classroom I was able to try different strategies. By doing different strategies I would be able to know what would be a good way to teach the subject so the students got the most out of it, different ways of assessments, and all the different ways students learn. This is good because I was able to try different things rather than just write it on paper, and I when I become a teacher I want to have some ideas of what would work the best for my students.
My artifact is one of my journals that show everything that I did on that certain day. It shows how active I was while I was in the classroom. It shows the different tasks that I completed. Some of the tasks I did that day were: explaining my math center, assessing students, and tutoring. At the end of the journal there is a reflection part which I was able to get my thoughts out on how everything went or how everything is going. journal format8.docx
My last artifact comes from my beginning reading class. In this class I did a lot of group projects and developed lesson plans for the second graders that I tutored for reading. Without this class I would not be the active learner that I am today. This class was all about active learning. Everything I did involved developing and testing different strategies for reading or making lesson plans.
This artifact contains working with a group and teaching students the lesson plan that was developed by my group members and me. When I worked in this group it taught me many different things because I had to think about what the others wanted, it was not all about what I wanted. I also had to think about the students that we were developing the lesson plan. After we developed the lesson plan and tested it with our students we quickly realized that we had to revise our lesson plan. If we did not actively teach this lesson we would not have need realized that what we thought would work did not. So this taught me that by being an active learner I will get more out of a task rather if I was not an active learner. reading lesson revised.docx
Before I came to Loras I did not do much active learning, so I have to say that Loras has developed me as an active learner. I have received different tools that will help me in the future. Loras has put the tools of being an active learner in my hands which give me an edge on different ways of doing think, thinking, or even learning. By having the opportunity experience active learning this will give me an edge in my future career as a teacher. I will be able to accommodate to different tasks. I have a diverse way of thinking which is important because then I will be able to look at both sides when making a decision. Also as a future teacher I will have the tools to help my students become active learners. So I would have to say that I have grown on being an active learner.

Reflective thinking

A reflective thinker is someone who thinks deeper, and digs deeper to find and interpret new information. Reflective thinkers should be able to take different information and connect it to a relatable topic. A reflective thinker creatively connects the information that they interpret.
Before I came to Loras, I did a little reflective thinking in high school, but not much. Once I came to Loras my reflective thinking skills were magnified. I developed more into a reflective thinker; each class had me doing some kind of reflective thinking from writing journals to doing papers that involved reflection on a topic. By doing these different tasks, I became more knowledgeable about what a reflective thinker is and how to become a reflective thinker. My artifacts come from three classes which include: Clinical II, Math for Elementary teachers, and Irish Gothic. These classes have helped me develop into a reflective thinker one way or another.
My first class is clinical II, this class is for elementary education majors. For this class we had to complete 30 hours in an elementary school, and do different tasks while we were there. The different tasks range from teaching lessons to helping grade papers for our teacher. After each time I went I wrote a reflection on the day. The artifact I picked is a journal from one of the days I went to the elementary school. I picked this artifact because I reflected on my day, and talk about what I thought about different topics that I saw in the classroom. This helped me become a reflective thinker because I observed the teacher and looked back at my actions and looked at what could change to make everything better. This journal lets me express my feelings about different topics. 7.docx
My second artifact comes from my Math for Elementary Teachers class. This class teaches different ways to teach math strategies. By knowing the different math strategies it will be easier to teach students because each student learns different. During this class, we compared the way Japan teaches math to the way United States teaches math. My artifact is a paper that deals with a Japan text book and comparing it to United States text book. This artifact helped me become a reflective thinker because I had to think about the ways I was taught math, and math is taught now in the United States then compare it to Japan. When I compared it I had to be a reflective thinker and think deeply about the topic. By being a reflective thinker I will become an effective teacher in teaching math because I will be looking for the best strategies to use during math. So by looking at how Japan teaches math is being a reflective thinker and effective teacher at the same time. 5 page paper.docx
My final class is Irish Gothic. This class in an advance general education class which deals with the culture of Ireland and relating it to the Gothic genre. In this course we talked some about Ireland’s history, and the different ways authors used the Gothic genre in their writing. In this class I read five books. Each book fit in the genre of Gothic while at the same time each book was a little different. Also, each book related back to Ireland in some way; either the book was set in Ireland, or different parts referred to Ireland. Each book was different and had different messages, which we had to figure out. My artifact is a research paper that is over the material world vs. spiritual world in Le Fanu’s A Glass Darkly. A Glass Darkly is a book that has different stories put into one book. This artifact shows that I am a reflective thinker because I had to find the hidden message in the text. This was a hard task for me because I am not use to doing this, but it helped me become a reflective thinker. The reason for this is because I had to connect the information to the topic, and text. I found different resources that helped me develop my topic and thinking. My thinking went beyond the book A Glass Darkly; I had to think deeper in order to relate the material and spiritual world that is stated in the book.
Throughout my career at Loras I have developed my reflective thinking skills. Each class has given me a different tool to help me become a reflective thinker. By having the tool to be a reflective thinker it will help me greatly in the future. As a future teacher, I will need to be a reflective thinker because there will be things that I will have to change and in order for there to be change I need to be a reflective thinker on different topics.

Ethical decision-making

To become an ethical decision maker, one has to do the right thing even if that is going against what they want. Ethical decision makers have to look at society and see how their decision will affect society as a whole. Also, an ethical decision maker is honest and has the courage to do what is right.
Before I came to Loras I never really talked about what an ethical decision maker was or how to become one. I guess that in my past people just assumed that I knew how to be an ethical decision maker rather than taking the time to teach me.
Throughout my career as a student my ethical decision making has improved greatly. I learned how to think and become an ethical decision maker. Different classes have helped me develop to a better ethical decision maker. The artifacts that I have chosen come from different classes that I have taken over the years at Loras. The classes include: Ethics in Sports, and Foundation of Education.
One of the classes that has helped me become an ethical decision maker is Ethics in Sports class. In this class I learned about the different moral standards and how to apply them to different situations in life. The different moral standards are: justice theory, utilitarianism, care theory, Catholic social teaching, and rights theory. In class we applied the standards to different situations and different case studies. By learning the standards and applying them to different case studies I was able to develop my ethical decision making. Learning these different standards helped me become an ethical decision maker because I know how the standards relate to the world. I also know how to use the different moral standards in the way I think about different topics.
This artifact comes from one of my debates that I did in class. My topic was that it is morally unacceptable to give preferential treatment especially with regard to admission standards and tutoring programs to college students who participate in Division I intercollegiate athletics. For this topic, I wrote a paper on all the different standards that applied. By doing this paper I became an ethical decision maker because I had to argue the point that was best for society.
My second class is called Foundation of Education and from this class I have two artifacts. The reason why I picked two artifacts from this class is that because I learned different ways to be an ethical decision maker, and these ways will benefit me in the future the greatest. This class was considered a beginner class for education majors. This class taught me about all the different types of schools, the different types of laws, different roles and responsibilities that teachers have, and gave me the background information I need to become a teacher.
I picked two artifacts from this class because both of these artifacts helped mold me into the ethical decision maker that I am today. The first artifact is a paper that is called “Ethical Consciousness.” This paper talks about when I become I future teacher I need to make the right decisions so my students will get the most out of my teaching. One way my students will get the most of out of my teaching is that if my lesson plans do not work for my students, I will have to be an ethical decision maker and change my lesson plans. I also have to know when it comes to teaching it is not about me, it is about my students and what is best for them. When I wrote this artifact I had to look at myself then and what I need to change to become an ethical decision maker for my future students. That is making sure that I make decisions that will help my students get the most out of the education that I am providing. consciousness.docx
The other artifact that I picked from my Foundations of Education class is titled “Ethical Teachers.” This artifact is a reflection on what makes a good ethical teacher, and how to become an ethical teacher. This artifact talks about how teachers need to make the right decision for the students. An example of this is the teacher needs to make sure the students are experiencing the most out of education and if they are not then the teacher needs to make the ethical decision and change things. It also shows ways to make sure I am an ethical teacher. teachers.docx
Throughout my career as a Loras College student I have developed as an ethical decision maker. I have learned that I have to think about others when making my decisions rather than just thinking of myself. I also have to have the courage to make the right decisions. Being an ethical decision maker is important in my future career as well because as a future teacher I need to make the right decisions for my student so they will benefit the most out of education.

Responsible contributing

Someone who is a responsible contributor is involved in and outside of the classroom. Responsible contributor helps the community, and shares their abilities with others. The artifact that I have picked involves: tutoring a student in elementary school on reading, helping 5th graders develop an outdoor classroom, and helping Cedar Rapids after the flood of 2008.

Before I came to Loras I did some tasks that would fall under being a responsible contributor, but not a whole lot. As an education major responsible contributor is one thing that I would have to develop more over the years in order to be successful. I have learned many different ways to be a responsible contributor while being at Loras.

My first artifact comes from my Reading Across the Curriculum class. This class deals with learning different strategies for teaching the upper elementary grades how to read. Also, part of the class I went out to Lincoln to tutor a student on ways to improve his/her reading skills. I used the different strategies that I learned in class to tutor my student. My artifact is a think-aloud lesson plan. A think-aloud lesson is when the teacher shows the student/students how to use a strategy while reading. First, the teacher models the think-aloud and after modeling the strategy for a few minutes it’s the students turn to apply the strategy to the text. This artifact shows responsible contributor because I went out to the community and shared my abilities with a student to help develop his/her abilities as a reader. Now, the student in turn will be able to share his/her abilities learned from me to others, so it will be a cycle of responsible contributor.

My second artifact comes from my Curriculum and Instruction Social Studies class. In this class we learned about different ways to teach social studies, and different activities to teach. In this class we had one major project that we did, and that was to help the 5th graders of St. Columbkille build an outdoor classroom. I had five 5th graders in my group. First, we developed different ideas for what of kind of outdoor classroom they wanted. After we brainstormed we narrowed our list down to one topic, which was making a prairie grass setting. Once we got our topic the whole class took a field trip to Swiss Valley to get different ideas, and a resource for questions. My artifact comes from this field trip. It talks about how everything went, the different information we found, and how this field trip will benefit the 5th graders in finalizing their plans for their outdoor classroom. While this project was developing I had to guide the students on the right path, and help answer any questions they might have. This artifact shows that I w as a responsible contributor because I helped the students develop an outdoor classroom that will be used for all grades and the community. Also, this outdoor classroom will be a great tool for learning. trip.docx

My final artifact does not come from a class here at Loras but from my cross country experience at Loras. Each year as part of the preseason for cross country we do some kind of bonding experience and each year is a little different. In the summer of 2008 a disaster hit Iowa; the flood of 2008. As a team we decided that it would be a good idea to travel to Cedar Rapids and help with clean up process. We were assigned to a church called St.Wenceslaus Catholic Church, and helped haul piles of rock out from the basement, so the church could remodel. Also, some members of the team were assigned to help with demolition of a house by removing dry wall, aiding in yard work, painting, and etc. My artifact is an article that comes from the Loras College Magazine. The article talks about the different tasks we completed while we were in Cedar Rapids. This shows that I was a responsible contributor because I went out to a community and helped people who were in need.

By having the different opportunities at Loras to become a responsible contributor will help me succeed in the future as a teacher. I will have the skills needed to work in the community, and will also have the different skills needed to work with students.

Lifelong learning skills

Loras has helped me develop many skills throughout my career here. The skill that was greatly improved while at Loras was my writing skills. Throughout my high school career writing was my weakest subject, and Loras was able to improve it greatly. Before Loras I had many problems with grammar, and trouble with organizing a paper, and that was improved through my career at Loras.

Since I have entered Loras my writing skills have improved due to many factors. One factor is the classes that I have taken. I have learned through MOI, College Writing, advanced general education classes, and many Elementary Education major classes. In these classes I have learned different paper writing styles, how to organize a paper, and how to fix my grammar errors.

As a first year I was enrolled in MOI and College writing 091. College writing 091 is course that I had to take before I could take college writing. MOI is a class for first years that helps with the transition to college. These two classes had the biggest impact on improving my writing skills. The reason for this is because these two classes are the first classes that I took that involved writing skills, and gave me the tools needed to improve. College writing 091 taught me how to become a better writer by teaching me different ways to check my writing, how to organize papers, and the different rules that apply when it comes to writing.

College writing 091 I took College Writing and this class helped me apply all the different things I learned in previous class as a writer. Next, is my elementary education classes; these classes have helped me as a writer because in order to be a teacher I will have to send out different things that involves writing, so we had the pressure to make sure that everything was done right. This was good because it will help me in the future. Since I had to make sure I wrote everything correct it helped me become a better writer because I had to apply everything I learned and make sure everything was right.

Loras has changed me to become a better writer throughout my career here. I have more confidence when it comes to my writing. The classes that I have taken while at Loras have improved me as a writer because each class helped me develop and move forward.