Growth mindset project
For our growth mindset project, my teacher (Mr.Carter), assigned my class to do something we love doing as a hobby for 2 weeks. It was the beginning of the year, so it was going to be a fun experience due to all my past years getting into a math lecture as soon as we got into the classroom. Mr.Carter told the class that we were going to be doing a live presentation at the end of the two weeks or do an extra credit assignment and do a video explaining your growth mindset project. I decided to do my growth mindset project on a Rubik's cube because it is a hobby of mine and it also takes true dedication and patience to get a faster time and remember all of the algorithms that go with it. All in all, I had no idea what I was getting myself into.
The growth mindset project sure did have a lot in store for me to do over the 2 weeks due to the fact that I had to remember a whole lot of algorithms and also get my dexterity up to get a faster time. I had a goal of getting my time under 20 seconds, but I sadly didn't get the goal time because I had trouble remembering algorithms to solve the cube. I didn't think that it was going to be that hard to solve a 3x3 cube under 20 seconds but I seriously underestimated the complexity and art of cubing. What this taught me was to always go into a mindset that never doubts or underestimates the complexity of anything and to always be ready to expect the unexpected. I do have to say that I haven't been practicing that mentality as much as I want to and I can still get caught up on some stuff that throws me off because I misjudged it completely.
On some good news, I do still solve my Rubik's cube from time to time whenever I have some free time or if I don't have any work. I have gotten way better than from where I started and I went from 1 minute to my best time being 14 seconds. I have lost some passion for this hobby because all I found it does to me is frustrate me and drive me insane whenever I'm 1 second off from my personal best or whenever I forget an algorithm. It is also very repetitive for me to be doing the same thing over and over again, not to mention the amount of noise the cube makes, and I can't do sessions as long as I used to when I was newer to the hobby. All in all, the art of solving a Rubik's cube can have it's ups and downs sometimes, but it will always be a hobby that I will never throw away.
As the year continued, I have seen and experienced more and more complex math problems that require a high cognitive mindset to fully understand the problems from all sides. The growth mindset project has allowed me to come into problems without the fear of making mistakes because everyone must start nowhere to get somewhere. You must start with a problem and end with a solution in math no matter how hard and bumpy the road may be. I have taught myself to not give up and to always ask questions if I do get stuck. This allowed me to understand problems easier because I am always on the grind for a solution and I can use my resources to help me out as well. As a result of this, I have gotten to understand all of the problems that have come my way and also learn how to explain it back to my fellow peers if they need help which I find to be huge accomplishment in my Junior math career.
The growth mindset project sure did have a lot in store for me to do over the 2 weeks due to the fact that I had to remember a whole lot of algorithms and also get my dexterity up to get a faster time. I had a goal of getting my time under 20 seconds, but I sadly didn't get the goal time because I had trouble remembering algorithms to solve the cube. I didn't think that it was going to be that hard to solve a 3x3 cube under 20 seconds but I seriously underestimated the complexity and art of cubing. What this taught me was to always go into a mindset that never doubts or underestimates the complexity of anything and to always be ready to expect the unexpected. I do have to say that I haven't been practicing that mentality as much as I want to and I can still get caught up on some stuff that throws me off because I misjudged it completely.
On some good news, I do still solve my Rubik's cube from time to time whenever I have some free time or if I don't have any work. I have gotten way better than from where I started and I went from 1 minute to my best time being 14 seconds. I have lost some passion for this hobby because all I found it does to me is frustrate me and drive me insane whenever I'm 1 second off from my personal best or whenever I forget an algorithm. It is also very repetitive for me to be doing the same thing over and over again, not to mention the amount of noise the cube makes, and I can't do sessions as long as I used to when I was newer to the hobby. All in all, the art of solving a Rubik's cube can have it's ups and downs sometimes, but it will always be a hobby that I will never throw away.
As the year continued, I have seen and experienced more and more complex math problems that require a high cognitive mindset to fully understand the problems from all sides. The growth mindset project has allowed me to come into problems without the fear of making mistakes because everyone must start nowhere to get somewhere. You must start with a problem and end with a solution in math no matter how hard and bumpy the road may be. I have taught myself to not give up and to always ask questions if I do get stuck. This allowed me to understand problems easier because I am always on the grind for a solution and I can use my resources to help me out as well. As a result of this, I have gotten to understand all of the problems that have come my way and also learn how to explain it back to my fellow peers if they need help which I find to be huge accomplishment in my Junior math career.
My favorite math problem
If you go through my digital portfolio and find the "Junior Year Math" page, I have been taught three different problems throughout my Junior year. These three problems were King Arthur's Table, Maximum Rectangle and the Cow Problem. Each of these problems had their unique way of solving them and that's what made Junior year math so fun for me. Aside from being taught lessons every now and then, we got to work in groups to solve this amazing problem that was full of math that was waiting to be explained. My favorite math problem has got to be the Cow Problem because of the fact that it was a silly (but highly intelligent) cow tied to a pole in a barn and it's only job was to eat grass all day long. The problem goes as follows: In the cow problem, we had a cow that was tied to a corner of a 10x10 barn, more specifically, the bottom right corner of the barn. The rope that tied the cow to the barn was a 100 ft. long rope. Let's say the cow's name is Bessie and she is trying to see how much land she can graze around her barn while still being tied up. She is a smart cow, so she is going to graze the most land as possible, we just need to figure out how much land that is.
What made this problem so fun for me was the fact that there was a lot of math hidden in this without me knowing at first. I thought that it was going to be an easy problem because the math would be easy to do, but people started asking questions and Mr.Carter answered them. What Mr.Carter said completely threw me off since I had never thought the cow would only reach this part of the barn or that the rope would get smaller because of the corners of the barn. I had my mind filled with all of these problems that were just waiting to be solved, but I had to get help from my tablemates in order for me to understand every detail about the problem. All in all, I just have to say that the Cow Problem let me view math in a totally different lens because I was actually excited to do math for a long time and it also taught me that there will always be someone with a question that can make your whole statement false and you would have to start again to answer that question.
What made this problem so fun for me was the fact that there was a lot of math hidden in this without me knowing at first. I thought that it was going to be an easy problem because the math would be easy to do, but people started asking questions and Mr.Carter answered them. What Mr.Carter said completely threw me off since I had never thought the cow would only reach this part of the barn or that the rope would get smaller because of the corners of the barn. I had my mind filled with all of these problems that were just waiting to be solved, but I had to get help from my tablemates in order for me to understand every detail about the problem. All in all, I just have to say that the Cow Problem let me view math in a totally different lens because I was actually excited to do math for a long time and it also taught me that there will always be someone with a question that can make your whole statement false and you would have to start again to answer that question.
My favorite content area
My favorite subject that I learned this year has to go to algebra and more specifically, functions and quadratic equations. As a little bit of background, I have always loved math and have gotten good at it, but algebra has always kicked my butt throughout my Freshman and Sophomore years. I have finally said "enough" at the beginning of Junior year and decided to try my best to understand algebra in order to get a better handle on calculus for Senior year. I really liked learning about quadratic equations and also functions in general because it built off of what I learned in sophomore year and also explained what I didn't get. Basically, functions are tied to quadratic equations because they can both be graphed and both can be solved the same. For example, for both subjects, you can put a number into a function and then you solve the function to spit out a number that then can go on a graph and tell you a lot.
I enjoyed these two subjects because it was a rough ride to get to the amount of knowledge that I have, but it was a fun process in gaining that knowledge. I enjoyed these two subjects because it was a direct connection from last year's math and I had a bit of experience in the field so I was naturally comfortable with it. I learned a lot (especially in the Maximum Rectangle problem!), and it allowed me to get a better understanding on what certain regions to shade on a graph when the equation is less than or equal to (≤) or how to combine functions. Aside from all of that, I really enjoyed this year's math and I hope that there is the same kind of structure for Senior year Calculus!
I enjoyed these two subjects because it was a rough ride to get to the amount of knowledge that I have, but it was a fun process in gaining that knowledge. I enjoyed these two subjects because it was a direct connection from last year's math and I had a bit of experience in the field so I was naturally comfortable with it. I learned a lot (especially in the Maximum Rectangle problem!), and it allowed me to get a better understanding on what certain regions to shade on a graph when the equation is less than or equal to (≤) or how to combine functions. Aside from all of that, I really enjoyed this year's math and I hope that there is the same kind of structure for Senior year Calculus!
How I have grown this year
This year has been a real interesting one because I did learn a lot and also touched up on some things that I didn't quite get in last year's sophomore math. I did see myself growing in math this year because I have learned a lot of foundation math and also complex math which can help me immensely when I take Calculus in the upcoming Senior year. I can provide evidence on this because I scored a whopping 118.5 out of 120 on my math final which I was immensely happy about because I tried very hard and also worked very hard for this grade.

What math Class I'm Taking Senior year
During our class time, we had several seniors come in to talk to us about what math class we should take senior year depending on how we feel about the subjects themselves. The two options on the board were Calculus and PreCollege Algebra, both of which have different levels of math for the varying amounts of people. I have chosen to do Calculus due to the fact that I score immensely well on my final and also because I feel ready for this level of math to come my way. I always want to get the next big thing that I can take on because I am always wanting to learn more about math since it's my favorite subject so Calculus felt like the natural decision for me. I know for a fact that I am going to have to work my absolute hardest to be able to understand the subjects that come with Calculus in order to get an A in the class. I hope that everything goes well in my journey throughout Calculus in my senior year and that I (hopefully) pass it with my criteria because it is not going to be an easy, but it's going to be worth it.
Plans for senior year and math
Math is definitely going to be a doozy this Senior year due to Calculus but I will try my absolute hardest to learn all (or most) of it in order to pass my final with flying colors. I know this might be a HUGE goal to come after, but small things can help a lot throughout my journey. I know for sure that I am going to have to be in a math study group in order to be able to understand half of the math that is going to be thrown at me. It has been a huge help this year because it helped me understand different perspectives of a problem that I haven't seen before. I just hope that I will be able to have the same level of ambition throughout the whole journey in order to achieve the A I want in the class. Aside from math, I also have plans to take another SAT to get the dream score of my life in parallel to the dream college I want to get into. I also want to have the best year every at my last year at High Tech High Chula Vista because I know that it is going to go by fast with projects and other fun stuff.
Honors
My first major decision coming into Junior year at High Tech High Chula Vista was choosing whether or not to take honors. I went over all of the possible details in every class and I made the huge decision to take all honors, all semesters. I wanted to be able to challenge myself and get a deeper thinking mindset in order to set me up for college and also for life since there will always be more than two choices at any given moment. When I decided to take math honors, I knew that it was going to be hard because I would be doing extra work on top of the hard work that I was already doing. I knew that I would be putting extra work in order to understand a small detail in the whole problem and also asking a lot more questions than I would like to understand a "simple" problem to others. I have enjoyed math honors this year because I got to push myself into harder math and also because of my love for math. I did learn a lot about myself during the honors project that we had to do because I always like to go big or go home, but never take the time to actually look at my schedule and make sure that I can do it. I learned this quickly after the fact that I didn't turn in my honors project on time because of horrible timing and also the amount of work that other classes required. I have since then done it, but it would be graded as late and teach me an immense lesson on why you should never bite off more than you can chew. Aside from that, I know that next year's math is considered honors no matter what class you're taking (Calculus or PreCollege Algebra) for some strange reason, but I won't complain because colleges love seeing that you challenged yourself. I did like honors this year but I felt like it kind of died out as the year came to an end. I didn't feel like I was doing extra math on top of the already assigned math, and I think that is because Mr.Carter wanted us to focus on our honors project. I'm not asking that we should be drowned in math honors every single lecture that we have, but rather have small piles of problems that require a little more thinking to solve. For instance, we could have a 20 problem worksheet and have 25 problems that require a new way of thinking about the subject that we learned in order to solve them. I think this would be a great addon to the lecture because it could give us a new way of solving the problems, and hopefully, a faster and more efficient way to solve the problems. In the end, I do give mad respect for my math teacher Mr.Carter for giving the honors students the best that he could and I hope that he keeps challenging us to be something we never saw we had in us.