Student blogging challenge week 5: Music!

It’s the fifth week of the blogging challenge, and this weeks tasks were all about music! There were many tasks to choose from, and the first one I knew I wanted to do was the survey. So yeah, I made a survey to find out what kind of music you like, and maybe with this survey data I’ll make a song in the genre that you guys like the most in my next blogging challenge post! The next task that I chose to do was talk about an instrument. I’m going to be talking about the trumpet, because it’s the only instrument that I ever really learned how to play.

The main reason that I learned to play the trumpet in the first place was because I tried it one time and I liked it, so I joined the elementary school band. I did it for a year or so until I quit, but I still know the basics of the trumpet. Playing the trumpet is pretty simple, it takes a lot of practice to master. Basically, you have to purse your lips a certain way and press down on the valves down in certain combinations depending on what note you want. It starts out pretty easy, but gets harder to play the more complex songs you do. If you’re thinking of trying out an instrument, I’d say give the trumpet a try. And the final task that I decided to do was make a song. I don’t really have much to say about it, but I ended up making it recently when experimenting with GarageBand:

FullSizeRender

So yeah, that’s my week 5 post, make sure to do the survey and comment what you thought of my song, and stick around for next week’s post!

Correlation vs causation

We just finished our science project on correlation and causation, and as always, it’s time to do a blog post, so let’s hop right into it! So, the premise of the project was “correlation vs causation”. Before we were even starting our milestones, we were explained what correlation and causation where. Basically, correlation is a mutual relationship or connection between two things, and causation is when something causes something else. Now, the whole point of our project is that correlation does not imply causation, so that even if it looks like this causes that, it may not always be the case. Anyways, before we started the first milestone we were put into pairs, and my partner was Holly. Our first project milestone was mostly to help us get a grip on the concept, we where put into randomly selected temporary groups and had to come up with questions we had about the project. Then we had to make a mind map with a bunch of questions from our group and other groups that we would hope to answer by the end of the project.

The next milestone a little practice for us on conducting a survey. We had to get the height and hand size of everyone in the class, and once we did that to find out if there is a correlation between hand size and height. Long story short, there was a correlation, but we couldn’t confirm if there was any causation.

Our next milestone mainly helped us understand the concept of correlation vs causation better so that we could do better on our final project. We had to take a quiz that would supposedly calculate how tall we would be when we were older. As a class, we discussed the quiz and of the correlations in the quiz implied causation. We also were given a Wikipedia article to read more on the specifics of correlation and causation. Overall, this was a very helpful milestone as it really cemented my understanding of the concept.

The next milestone was the start of our final presentation, it was a plan on what questions we would ask in our survey. In our final product, we needed to talk about two correlations and one causation, so we needed to come up with some questions that we knew would give us those results. We also had to predict if there would be causation in the questions we asked and how we would use a chart to plot the data, but ultimately only four questions would make it into our final presentation. Our next milestone was similar, it was a basic layout of what our presentation would look like when it was complete, this was just so we would know what we were doing in advance.

Our final milestone was the presentation. With our survey plan, and our survey data we had collected over a few days with a google form, me and Holly finished our presentation:

I think we did well because we completed all the requirements, we had the two correlations and causation, we had a slide addressing any potential bias in the survey, and I think we made the slideshow look pretty good as well. Afterwards, we had to revise our mind map with all our questions answered, and my finished one is right here.

So overall, I learned a lot in this project, as I am confident in the concept of correlation vs causation, and I am confident that I showed proficiency in all the curricular competencies we were being assessed on. This was a really interesting project, and I hope we will do more like it in the future, as it really pushed my learning forward.

Getting ready for Halloween!

As you all know, Halloween is just around the corner, and today I’m going to be talking about some of the the things me and my family have prepared in decoration for Halloween! Also, if you were wondering what my picture sentence from my last blogging challenge post was, it meant “My dog ate my homework”. If you got it, give yourself a pat on the back, if you didn’t, say what you thought it was in the comments! Anyways, so for Halloween every year, my family likes to make decorations like jack-o-lanterns for our house for the trick-or-treaters. The first thing we made was a jack-o-lantern.

My brother Daniel made this one, I think he got some inspiration from Frankenstein because when I look at the top I think of the stitches that Frankenstein has on his head. The next decoration we made was pretty simple, you just get some coloured paper and cut out the shape of a pumpkin, bat, or ghost, and voila, you have an easy to make Halloween decoration that looks great on window or doors:

The final decoration we had we didn’t make ourselves, but we had it left over from last year:

It’s just a neat little sign that greets the trick or treaters as they come. Anyways, that’s everything me and my family have done for Halloween, is there anything your family likes to do in preparation for Halloween? Leave it in the comments below, and remember to have a happy Halloween!

Alberta field school reflection

It’s been a while since our Alberta field school happened, but we’re not done with it yet! If you’ve been following my blog, you may remember some of my posts about PGP, which is all about self improvement, you can check out those older posts if you want to know more about PGP. You can also check out my post I did on the Alberta field school as a whole if you want to know more about that. Anyways, our first PGP post of this is a reflection on the Alberta field school, more specifically on what strategies I used to manage my time and impulsivity to make sure that I could complete my project and enjoy myself at the same time. Well, the first thing I’m going to do is outline what our days looked like in Alberta. We would usually wake up early, have a quick breakfast, and be off to our first location, do our research/activities, go to the next location, do our research/activities, eat lunch, next location, research/activities, then dinner, and then we would go to wherever we were staying for the night and go to bed. So yeah, most of the extra time we had was on the bus, and if you didn’t get everything you needed from a location, well, tough luck. So, needless to say you really had to make sure you were on task and getting things done in the time you had to do them, or might not get them done at all. So, let’s get on to some of the strategies I employed. Well, the first strategy I used was planning ahead of time. I would usually check the itinerary in the morning so that I would know what to expect from the day, and put tasks that required time outside of our activities to complete in Things, an app handy for putting down to-dos and such. With this advance planning I knew what to expect from the day, and could easily keep track of what I had to do. However, this tactic couldn’t help me if I was distracted during our stops at different locations, and lots of the information we needed was usually just at one location, so if we were distracted at the location we wouldn’t get our things done, so how did I manage myself at the locations? Honestly, it kind of just came down to common sense and knowing that if I don’t do it now I won’t get it done at all, an example of this was our Ghost town video. Basically, we had to make a random story in the ghost town at Three Valley gap and shoot a film of it. We only had an hour or so to shoot it, so we really had to be on task for the whole time. We were kind of goofing off at first, but then we realized we needed to get going, so we got focused and finished the film on time. Another example of my first strategy in action was our daily note. For our daily note, we had a question assigned each day, and we were given a bit of time to finish it, but I usually wasn’t able to get all of my thoughts down in the time we were given. So if fell to me to make sure that I completed the notes I planned when I was going to finish them, and instead of wasting time on the bus I actually used the time to finish the notes, and got them all done on time. Although I still think that if I was more on task during the time we had specifically for them, I wouldn’t have had to do as much on my own time. So in conclusion, while I did have some good strategies to finish things on time, I feel like I could improve on working my best for the entire duration of the work period, so that way I don’t have to rush at the end.

Student blogging challenge week 3

So it’s the third week of the blogging challenge, and here is my entry for it. So, our first task was to educate others about using non-copyright images. “What do you mean non-copyright?” Well, lots of images you find on google and the rest of the internet are copyrighted. That means you have to get direct permission from the creator\owner, and saying who created the image isn’t enough if you want to use their image(S). So, how can you legally use pictures on the internet? Well, there are several different ways. The first is probably the easiest, just make your own image! That way it belongs to you, and you don’t have to worry about any copyright issues. The second way I don’t really recommend, but you can buy stock photos from places like shutterstock. The third way is to use a Creative Commons or royalty free image. If a image is royalty free or Creative Commons, you can use the image without permission and do what you please with it. You can use google to do this, but there are several websites dedicated to royalty free\creative commons images. My favorite of these websites, and the one I use for my blog, is pixabay. Pixabay is the one I recommend using, but there others if you can’t find what you want on pixabay. The next task of this week is the first thing I mentioned, creating your own image! I decided to create a visual depicting the pros of using Creative Commons/royalty free images:

Our next task was a bit different, we could make a slideshow of some cool Creative Commons or royalty free images we found, or we could use the pictures we found in our next task. I chose the latter, and our next task was also a choice. I decided to make a sentence out of the images I found or created, so let’s see if you can solve it!

Do you think you know what it means? Leave a comment down below, and stay tuned for next weeks challenge.

Blogging challenge week 2 post

So it’s week two of the blogging challenge, and this is my post on what I did for the tasks. So our first task was to make a post on our blogs commenting guidelines. My post is here. Our next task was making a post on how to comment. That post is here. And our final task was to comment on other people’s blogs. The first blog I visited was Taylor’s blog.

I really liked the avatar made, but the poster didn’t provide one, so I put that in my comment as well. The next blog I checked out was Payton’s. He did a video about Utah, which had lots of interesting facts in it. The video left me wondering what the state dinosaur was, so I asked about it in my comment.

The final blog I visited was Jordan’s blog. He wrote a post on how to help the environment by cutting down on plastics. I really liked it, and told him what I liked about it in my comment.

Well, that’s about all the tasks for the week 2 challenge, I’ll have a post on week 3 soon, so stay tuned!

How to comment

In this post I’m going to be teaching you how to post comments. First you want to look for a promo that says comment or looks like the picture below. Once you’ve found it, you’ll need to write your comment in the comment box. After that you’ll have to type the anti spam word so that it knows you’re not a bot. After that you can put your name, just your first name if you’d like, and then put your email address. After you’ve finished all that, press the button that says post comment, and your set! Feel free to comment on this post, or my blog in general!

Alberta project blog post

We just finished a HUGE project, and as always, it’s reflection time! So, the reason that this project was so big, was because it was the focus of our field school in Alberta. I’m not going to talk much about what happened overall in Alberta, but I will talk about a few locations we went to that were particularly important to my project. It’s about time I talk about the project itself, starting with the driving question: how does place impact who we are? For our launch milestone, we had to reflect on the driving question, and really think about how place affects us. We then had to create something to show our thinking. This is what I made:

It’s basically a few examples of how place impacts you. This wasn’t a particularly big milestone, it was mostly for us to brainstorm answers to the driving question. Our next milestone was called using a lens. Basically, there are 4 different ways to look at something, lenses, if you will. There are the political, geographical, economical, and societal lenses. The political lens focuses on politics, the geographical on the environment, the economical on money, and the social on how it impact peoples social lives. We then were assigned an article, and had to choose a lens to focus on. I got an article on the B.C. wolf cull, and chose the geographical lens. I pretty much just talked about the effect the cull would have on the environment, but this milestone was very important in showing us how to use lenses. The next milestone was pre-trip plan. By this point we had been assigned our groups, and I got the First Nations. That means I was officially doing a project on how place impacts the First Nations, and what has changed over time. For the pre trip plan, we had to do some research on our group, and make up a shot list for a video, which was the final goal of the project, to have a video answering the driving question. Most of the pre trip plan was just written research, but I have a photo of a timeline I made that I can show you.

And after that milestone, we finally went to Alberta! I really want this blog post to be about this project and my learning, and not about random things we did in Alberta, but I feel I should still put a map of the route we were traveling.

As I want this post to stay on topic with the project, I’m only going to write about the places in the trip that were useful to my research. One of the first useful sites we went to was the Banff cave and basin.

I actually managed to talk with one of the tour guides, and got some pretty good information on the kind of things that happened to sites of cultural significance like the cave and basin when the Europeans came. The next site we saw that was very helpful was the Glenbow museum. The place is a treasure trove of First Nations history, art, and artifacts.

I got pretty much all my photos from there, and a great deal of information as well. The third really useful site, and what I think was the most helpful out of all of them, was the heritage park. We started out looking at old buildings and learning lots of European history, but not much First Nations history. And then near the end of our stay we came across a First Nations man in a teepee with all sorts of traditional tools on the floor. Apparently he was there to teach people about First Nations history, and although I wasn’t able to record an interview with him, I was still able to talk to him and ask him some questions. The information I got was invaluable. I got an answer to my every question about what had changed for the First Nations after the Europeans came. I think more than half of my information came from this guy. It sucked when we had to leave the heritage park, because I probably could have come up with more questions, but I still got all the information I needed. The final important site was the Rocky Mountain buffalo ranch.

This was important because as you probably know, the First Nations used the buffalo for many things, and I got to find out what kind of many things they were used for. Leo Downey, the man running the ranch, also knew everything about the buffalo, including the cultural significance the buffalo had to the First Nations. After this stop, I was not short on knowledge of the buffalo. And that’s pretty much all the important stops in Albert, but when we got back, we had to actually work on our video. The fifth milestone was to make a draft of our video and get critique. Here is my first draft, and you can see why I got critique. Seeing this critique, I immediately set to changing my video, as it was our final milestone. It was hard work, but here is my final video! So yeah, that video was my answer to the driving question, how does place impact who we are, and what has changed? In conclusion of what I learned, I definitely learned the answer to the driving question, and now really know how important place is to me, and all of us.

Math exponents game blog post

So, we just finished a big math project, and this is my project on how it improved my understanding of the big idea and my proficiency in the curricular competencies. So the big idea of this project was “How does math make games more complex, interesting, and replayable?”. So yeah, basically we had to make a card game with math, specifically a certain type of math, exponent laws. That’s not what we started out doing though. Our first milestone was to make a dice game. Just a normal dice game, with no fancy math involved.

I didn’t really understand the point of this at first, but later I realized how it helped me understand the basics of pretty much any kind of game. Our next milestone was a math quiz, to test our knowledge on exponent laws. There wasn’t really anything special about this milestone, it was just a regular old math quiz. However, the next milestone was pretty important, as it was the first draft of our actual game. I had Alex as my partner, you can find her blog here. For our game, we ended up deciding on a card game where you draw and play playing cards on your turn to earn points, all while using exponent laws. The goal of the game is to get to 500 points. However, to spice things up a bit, we decided to add attack cards. If you get one of these cards you can use it on your opponent to stop the, from playing playing cards. However, if you draw and play a brain card, you can play playing cards as normal. The full rules are right here if you care to read them.Our next milestone was a second draft of our game. We had this feedback to base our second draft on:

For our next draft, we did exactly that. We specified our rules so that you just add up the numbers on the playing cards, as opposed to calculating he exponents themselves. We then had another group play test our game, only using the rules we wrote and not using is for reference. They got gist of the game fairly quickly, but were disorganized with where they put their cards, so we put a picture of what the layout was supposed to look like in the rules. Our final rules draft is right here:

The final milestone was to have another class come in and play our game. This went pretty well, and lots of people from the other class had fun playing our game. So, overall, I think our game was a pretty good success, as it was pretty fun, and helped me learn exponent laws in the process. So now I can confidently answer the big idea, “How does math make games more complex, interesting, and replayable?“, in that math makes games more random, and gives more of a sense of chance to games. It can insure that every game you play will have a different outcome. It is also useful for points. And for the curricular competencies, it definitely helped, as I knew nothing about exponent laws before, and now I can confidently say I am proficient in using the exponent laws. And that’s about it for this blog post, thanks for reading!

Spring Exhibition learning portfolio post

I survived the spring exhibition! What is the spring exhibition? Like the winter exhibition, we presented a bunch of projects that we had worked on, although this time we weren’t in groups. The first project we worked on was the Blue sky project. This was a very interesting project, so I’ll go through by talking about each of the phases of the launch cycle in the order we did them in.

The first phase we did was the look, listen, and learn phase. We did brainstorming to find issues we really cared about and would want to fix. I am a hockey player, and I always end up falling on my butt, but the problem is there isn’t as much padding on the hockey pants as you would think, so I hurt my butt a lot and even sometimes bruise my tailbone, so I chose that as my problem. We then had to do research on how to fix the problem we chose, and summarize it. I summarized my idea, a cushioned pad to reduce the impact of falls, as a blueprint:

The next phase of the launch cycle was the ask phase. We had to make an action plan to schedule what we would do and when we’d do it so that we could stay more organized. Here’s mine:

The next phase was the understand phase. This is where we did most of our research, which we had to get from a primary and secondary source. My primary source of research was interview with local hockey players and one of my hockey coaches. I used the feedback from the interviews to improve my idea. My secondary source of research was the internet, which I used to find things like how big the pad should be and what materials I should use. 

The next phase was the navigate phase, where we grouped together all our ideas, and then selected our best ideas, which we would use to make prototypes in the next phase.

The create phase was the next phase, which is where we had to make prototypes based off of all the research and idea grouping we did. Here is what some of my prototypes looked like:

I got some people to test out my prototypes, and used their feedback for the next phase.

The next phase was the highlight phase, where I took the feedback I got and used it too improve the prototype. The original pad was this:

The feedback I got was along the lines of “the padding works, but it falls off too easy.”. I tried it myself and found this to be a problem, so I added some Velcro, and there was my final product:

That was a brief summary of my blue sky project, what I presented during the exhibition is right here. What I actually put in my launch journal is here.

In reflection, the blue sky project was a great experience, because it was cool to actually create something to fix a problem you had instead of whining about it, and it will definitely be useful later on if you are going to be creating products of any kind. That was only one of my projects I had to present however, we also had a science project to do.

As you can see, the science project is about space probes. We had to choose a space probe, find out different facts about it and stuff like that. The main thing it was about, however, was different frequencies and wavelengths. There were questions we had to answer like what kind of wavelength the probe took pictures in, stuff like that. We also had to find a picture and get when it was taken, what it was, how far away the object in the picture was, and what wavelength it was taken in. In reflection, I guess it was good, because knowing about wavelengths and different kinds of light is important.

The third and final thing we had to do was present our time machine. I’ve already made a separate blog post on that, so go and check it out! Anyways, that’s my reflection on the spring exhibition, which as a whole was a very good and educating experience, happy summer vacation!