Where Art Thou Confederation?


Pop quiz: What were the leading variable(s) colossally important to the confederation of Canada

A) A debacle between the colonies

B) British Columbia’s incessant need for a 365 day port

C) There were many, all dependant on the individual needs of each colony

D) Self defence from the rapidly industrializing United States

If you chose either A or B, then perhaps I can share several bits of my accumulated knowledge. For those of you who chose C or D, congratulations! You probably have a basic knowledge of ninth grade Canadian history.

The driving question for this project was: “How and why did Canada develop as a nation”. As you may have retained from that text, we were studying leading variables in confederation. In 1867, Upper Canada, Lower Canada, New Brunswick, and Nova Scotia signed the confederation deal, officially forming what is modern-day Canada. It was a day of brobdingnagian  proportion. The idea may seem viable and simple on paper, but trust me it was anything but. Over time, each colony joined Canada in their own interest, and only after debating with the rest of the fostering country for many months on end. At this point, you are most likely wondering “how did each and every colony come to a consensus”? This is a fair question, and I myself had trouble answering it at the beginning of this project. Yet, after justifying and researching, acting and filming with a group of peers, I have become more confident with my answer. As a class, we were tasked with assembling ourselves into the colonies, coming up with demands that suited the needs of current colony life, and present a persuasive commercial that includes all of our demands and justifications.

The process

Oct. 14, 1844 – John A. Macdonald is elected to represent Kingston, Ont., in the Legislative Assembly of Canada.

Feb. 02, 2020 – The civil students of PLP gather into their colony groups.

My group consisted of Rhiann, Gabe, Kaden and Grace. We formed a conglomeration of (cough*superior*cough) individuals who named themselves Nova Scotia. You could tell right off the bat that the group has been well conformed because we were all comfortable with sharing our ideas. This was a large contributor to the success of our final product

Dec. 31, 1857 – Queen Victoria names Ottawa as the new capital of Canada.

Feb. 03, 2020 – PLP 9 begins their first milestone on the confederation journey.

The first milestone that introduced us to this project was “Milestone 2: Initial Evidence.” This involved our colony researching ethical sources to justify why we should, as well as why we should not join confederation. This competency helped me because it gave me a chance to exercise the curricular competency “Evidence.” This involves determining all aspects of an article, as well as thinking deeply about the subject matter. This correlates to whether or not the article speaks the truth. In the past, as I have mentioned that I enjoy this process. Seemingly, judging is one of my strengths. I see large improvement between the way I used evidence in this project, compared to when I used it last time. For instance, I have gotten better at citing my sources, as well as delving deep into a subject rather than skimming the surface. Overall, I am incredibly proud of my improvement. Yet, in contrast to my peers my weaknesses in this category are obvious. My goal in the future for this competency would be to stop juxtaposing myself to others, but instead to yesterday. I can continue to do more, and go beyond what is necessary.

Sept. 7, 1864 – Maritime delegates at the Charlottetown Conference offer unanimous support for the idea of Confederation. The conference was supposed to focus on uniting the Maritime provinces, but an unofficial delegation from the province of Canada derailed the agenda and delegates agreed to the broad outline of a federal union that would eventually include Ontario, Quebec, Nova Scotia and New Brunswick in 1867.

Feb. 04, 2020 – The students of PLP recreate the Charlottetown conference, proposing their demands for confederation

Furthermore, we can see more of my potential when we consider Milestone 3: Our Preliminary Proposals. At this point, I had a good understanding of the historical significance of confederation. What I did not know, was how our demands would be met by the other colonies. Grace, Rhiann and I put together a set of proposals that we had tested against the research that we had done. In advance to the actual conference, I wrote a script that was revised, and inclusive of the research that we had done. I thought I presented this eloquently, using the skills that I had developed. On the other hand, I could have improved our slideshow. Because of a miscommunication, our slideshow was not done when I got to class in the morning, meaning that although several slides turned out well, others did not. This is my polite way of saying that the work was not cut evenly. Next time, I could communicate with clarity who is assigned which task over Basecamp. This would mean that the teachers would have the ability to see how much work I did, and my teammates and I could avoid the early morning rush.

July 1, 1867 – The collective colonies of Nova Scotia, New Brunswick, Upper Canada and Lower Canada sign onto confederation and form the united country of Canada.

Feb. 06, 2020 – Nova Scotia submits their final commercial in reach of forming confederation.

Of all of the tasks that I tackled in this project, this stage was by far the hardest. Using a green screen as well as our iMovie skills, we created a final product that involved interaction with our background, as well as our tech savvy ability when it comes to iMovie. I was particularity impressed with how we showed our breadth of understanding of iMovie, by extending beyond what we had been taught in class. Unfortunately, not all was well and done that quickly. We made several errors in the process. For starters, we gave our other classes priority over commercial filming. In consequence, our final project was summed up much later than our timeline implied. I talk about this subject a lot in my blog posts, yet I have made slim to no impact on my work habit. In the future, I want to assure that all I do is posted in Basecamp. If all of my progress is seen by both my teammates and teachers, I will be more inspired to improve and extend upon my work habits. By the time I post by next project summary blog post, I will have plenty of proof to indicate my efficiency.

Curricular competencies


How do we evaluate evidence to decide if it is adequate to support a historical conclusion?

As I mentioned in the latter paragraph, I have seen a vast improvement in my ability to asses evidence since the last project that we did. I have become more aware of indicators, as well as more adequate at citing my sources. To practice this competency, I created the following Keynote.

By using research on a given topic, laying out my questions and then elaborating from the answers I was able to effectively sum up my findings. I followed the same trajectory with this Keynote as I did with my confederation research. All in all, I am very happy with how I ended this term. Despite the fact that I may not be elated with the marks that I got along the way, letter grades are consuming less of my brain power. I am the judge of how much I have improved, an knowing that there is a possibility that I can become a better version of myself is more validating than any letter grade that I will ever receive.


What literacy skills am I using to write, speak, and represent in the texts I create? 

Have I used techniques applicable to the time in which I am studying? Have I used innovative, and thoughtful techniques to complete the task at hand? Have I effectively represented the story that I am trying to tell in my final product? All of the answers to the latter questions are yes. I used amassed knowledge about research to weave parts of Canadian history into my every day life. Speaking to my peers and debating on historical details and educating my little brother on the subject to be specific. I took a video that we had seen in class, and encapsulated the main idea using that technique, as well as others. We found these other techniques via playing around, and testing our limits with iMovie. Along the way, we overcame hurdles by using our creativity. For instance, we finished filming only to realize that half of our footage was rendered unusable. At 8 o’clock on a Tuesday, I gathered supplies to create my own green screen. The green screen was created from recycled material that I used during the winter exhibition. Talk about ad-libbing.

This was the map that we used in our video

Our journey does not end there. After presenting our final video, dazzling the other colonies and forming alliances (and enemies), we received less than stellar feedback. I am being open about this, because it is important both to me and to others that we understand that the mark is not what actually matters. Nonetheless, I have and always will strive to improve. I changed several details, such as the length and volume of the video. (Note to self: pay more attention to the length of the video). This was the final product.

As you can see, the video is far from perfect. What I do like about it is the fact that it uses interesting methods and engaging storytelling to convince the audience of it’s intention.

I have tried writing this paragraph hundreds of times by now. In all honesty, I gathered all of the footage and edited the video all by myself. I am in no way throwing my team mates under the bus, because I understand that they each have their own independent activities outside of school. I am angry about the fact that the video, animations, and credits were not done by my classmates. Predominantly, this is because I agree to too much too often. In the future, I need to assure that I am sorting out my priorities before agreeing to anything. There it is. I am going to go regret my decision now.

I am going to miss this project, mainly because having an excuse to debate with others is an automatic win with me. If I could go back, and do the process differently you would not need to ask me twice. Fortunately, I learned many important lessons along the way, and surprised myself with abilities that I did not think I had. Yes, confederation did not happen, because of derogatory thoughts and the fact that this is generation Z. What else would you expect. Thanks for tuning in today folks!

“Good morning, and in case I don’t see ya, good afternoon, good evening and goodnight” – The Truman Show

Polynomials, Algebra, And Popsicle Sticks


Have you ever wondered why we clap, when in reality all we are doing is hitting ourselves because we like something? Well, if you have so have I. But that has nothing to do with today’s subject, polynomials and combining like terms!

The driving question for this project was “How can we use polynomials to highlight the use of mathematics in art”. Our final product was a popsicle stick structure, a game for our classmates to enjoy, a slideshow presentation and an answer to this question. How did we achieve all of this? Good question.

The process

When we first began this project, I had a surface level understanding of polynomials. I could solve them, and simplify them. Where I really benefitted from this project was while presenting a creative take on polynomials to the class. It would be safe to say that at the beginning of this project, I could have not imagined presenting to my math class in an exciting way. I did not think that it was humanly possible. Yet, by learning about how polynomials apply to our lives, and society around us was very enlightening.

The first milestone that helped me discover this was our lego structure building contest. I have to admit that I felt like a child in a math problem, using many bricks to build a trailer. The creative freedoms that we were given allowed us to decided on a subject that truly interests us. After lengthy research, I discovered polynomial architecture. I based my lego structure off of polynomial architecture, and not only did it benefit the final product, but it paved the way to my final product which shows my creative thinking at it’s finest.

Gallery walk poster

Furthermore, I really benefitted from creating our gallery walk poster. I got to exercise my weakness, representing in a pictorial form. The fact that we also got the chance to design and execute helped boost my moral, which at the time was low. I felt unqualified to complete the task. It took me three weeks to understand that this task was the most crucial part of the process, as I walked out feeling proud that I had completed the poster, as if I had somehow tackled the issue.

Gallery walk poster feedback

Finally, it was time to create the final product. My partner, Rhiann and I took a similar approach in which we had taken with our lego structure. This was because we had confirmed that the process works, and we were able to collaborate well, as we have different disinclinations. To extend beyond what was necessary, I decided to organize a game for my peers. Since this method had worked well for us, I figured that they would enjoy it as well. Despite all of my planning, I failed to calculate one factor. Their competitiveness. As a result, popsicle sticks flew everywhere and several students have shunned me. Despite this, I am still content with how we created, and presented the final product.

Understanding and solving

Apply multiple strategies to solve problems in both abstract and contextualized situations

I used this competency every day, especially when I was doing independent work. I do feel that this competency comes naturally to me, making it easier to solve a complex problem than it would otherwise be. I used personal knowledge, as well as practice that I received in this class as a basis to understand a problem, and then solve a higher level of equations. I do really enjoy doing calculus, which is why I found it helpful to review, as well as gain a deeper understanding of polynomials. In the future, I would like to make it my goal to show this understanding, especially through the final presentation.

Communicating and representing

Represent mathematical ideas in concrete, pictorial, and symbolic forms

I saw myself using this competency in the final presentation. I would consider my strength in this area to be communicating. I am a good public speaker, and I enjoy discussing deep and investing topics. On the contrary, I found it more difficult to represent. In particular, I used a visual which I thought applied to what I was saying, when in reality those around me did not understand. The simple way to solve this would be to practice my presentation as many times as possible, in front of different people. They would be able to convert that the picture I display in reality contradicts what I am talking about, at least from their point of view. Then, I can reevaluate and rethink the message which I am conveying.

Connecting and reflecting

Connect mathematical concepts to each other and other areas and personal interests

This competency came into play when we fulfilled an algebra test. As I mentioned in my previous Scimatics blog post, I have made it my goal to gain comfort with taking a test. This competency solidified the fact that I am making good progress towards that goal. My strength in this competency lies in actually taking the test. I have a full and deep understanding of the subject, and I know that I have the ability to do well. On the other hand my weakness is the overwhelming height of my blood pressure. I put a lot of pressure on myself to exceed, especially considering the fact that this test was a significant part of our grade. Allow me to paint a picture. I receive my test, and I lead through the pages. I relax, as I know that I am able to compete the test. I finish the test within several minutes, and then I revise. And revise. And revise again. Oh did I mention revising? This is when other students begin to hand in their tests. I feel pressured, as I feel incapable compared to them. Eventually, after centuries of rereading my answers I hand in the test. This is a vicious cycle, and I am fully aware of how deteriorating it is of my self-esteem. My goal in the future: take a test every week. Even if it is simply quizzing myself on the past material, take a short test and calculate my results. It would also help to find a trusted friend adult for motivation, so that I improve next time.

 Applying and innovating

Contribute to care for self, others, community and the world through individual or collaborative approaches

I believe that I demonstrated a deep understanding of this competency through our first milestone, building the lego structure. I used a collaborative approach to contribute and analyze the mathematical community around me, while innovating in a mannerism foreign to me. In my opinion, I did well when it came to laying out our ideas. I hav always considered myself to be good at taking a complicated idea and simplifying it. On the contrary, I had the chance to speak up about the actual design, and I did not seize it. I did this because I already gave myself the impression of a manager, which I understand form my experience to be a very despairing role. If I were to comment on how my parter had build the structure, and the fact that she was breaking several rules then that could be interpreted as vain, which I do not want to be interpreted as.

Our lego structure along with the polynomial

I am of the full understanding that I should be comfortable discussing with my partner. In future projects, I will make it my goal to gain comfort correcting others. Of course, not in an overbearing way. Nobody likes a negative Nelly. Yet, if my grade rides on the final product then we must ensure that we give ourselves the vest possible chance of succeeding.

In short, I would consider this project to be very beneficial to my learning. Of course there are occurrences which I would adapt to in the future, and situations in which I am not proud of my reaction. I wish that I could flip a switch and make this all occur instantly. But this is not the Matrix, and I am not Neo. Until then, I need to diligently continue with the goals that I have stated in this blog post. My work ethic in this class is also a worthy mention. I used entirely class time to create the final product, as well as helping those around me achieve it too, which is a step up from my work ethic in the last project.

Part of the final structure

Thank you for attending my TED talk. The exit is on your right.

”Good morning, and in case I don’t see ya, good afternoon, good evening and good night.” – The Truman Show