🎃SBC Week 4: Choice🎃

Hi guys and welcome back to my blog! This week is so exciting as it is almost Halloween, one of my personal favourite holidays, of course we all know that nothing beats Christmas. Just kidding you’re entitled to your own opinions. Anyway as the years scariest day approaches at a rapid pace I’d like to use this weeks choice based challenge to talk about Halloween or more specifically fears in general. Now I was originally going to use this week for catch up and dial down the excitement for this post but where’s the fun in that! To really dive into my topic for today I’m simply going to talk about some fears and what fear really is. 

Pexels / Pixabay

   Everyone has them, something that haunts them in their everyday lives. I have friends who are scared of heights, flying, spiders, fireworks, and even bees. I myself have a rather odd but really quite sensible fear of the ocean. While every persons fears may vary there is a huge difference between a fear and a phobia. Phobias are also known as irrational fears and usually have an effect on people causing them to be inexplicably scared of a particular thing or situation. A fear is much different as it feels so much more real. When your adrenaline starts pumping due to fear induced emotions your very likely to do one of three things. Run, hide, or freeze. The sense of fear comes when your brain recognizes the impending danger something can oppose and has very little reaction time whereas a phobia is the set belief of something trying to harm you. When we are young our parents or guardians may cause a phobia to arise especially if for example they highlighted their irrational fear of spiders. This is simply one of the main causes of a phobia in a young child. Having examples set for them early on can cause a chain reaction and result in the passing down of a phobia. Fears are once again, vastly different. You cant inherit a fear from your family members it comes on its own. Most fears are born out of a bad situation or life threatening event. Deciphering the difference between the two can be very easy if you put another person in a situation that would typically cause a rush of fear induced adrenaline.

Wokandapix / Pixabay

   Talking on a more personal note, I’m scared to death by the ocean. Funny enough this is a fear not a phobia. Not being able to see what’s below me or having something touch my foot while I’m swimming is horrifying. I have had panic attacks whilst in the ocean, minor of course but still relevant. It’s story time, buckle up and enjoy! So this summer my family took a trip to Maui. We went to the island in the peak of summer and nearing turtle season. It was gorgeous and I loved almost every minute of it. On our second day there my dad tried to take me and my brother and sister snorkelling in shallow waters with a sandbar so that we could see clearly and stand up comfortably. The minute I set foot in the water I cracked. My siblings and dad started laughing as I leaped out of the water in panic when a small school of fish swam right by my face. It was terrifying, I swear I started hyperventilating. After that great experience I refused to go snorkelling for the rest of the trip. While my entire fear is based off of not being able to see what’s beneath me I realized that seeing everything isn’t much better. A few days went by, we hiked a volcano, ate to much ice cream, and went to some of the best beaches in the world (without snorkelling of course). Soon enough it was time for a road trip across the island. We stopped along at some cool beaches including a beautiful black rock beach known for the coral reef that spreads across the shoreline. Surprise, this was a snorkelling stop. I refused to go into the water because of the huge rocks and coral habitats filled with fish, turtles, and all kinds of sea life. Somehow I was convinced to give it another go and i made it out roughly 50 meters from shore when the waves kicked in. There was so much coral and fish below me and I couldn’t stand because I couldn’t see the bottom. This is where that dump of adrenaline kicked it and I began to panic. Being in the ocean far away from shore, I couldn’t hide, or swim very far at a rush. I ended up freezing which was not ideal as the water became very murky with all of the wave action. I eventually made it to shore after a lot of effort and its safe to say I will not be snorkelling for a long time.

   Anyway happy Halloween everyone and don’t let your fears, or phobias get to you! 

Ciara ✌️👻

🏞Alberta 2019, a Portfolio Post🏞

Hello ladies and gents and welcome to this years first PGP portfolio post extravaganza. You are one heck of a lucky reader as you will be her as I dive into the details of my overall experience whilst in Alberta with my class in September. As this is a PGP post I’m really talking about how I worked and learned on he trip and how my habits of mind came into play throughout the trip. So what are habits of mind? Last year we covered all things to do with our growth mindset and how we can further build them upwards by using our mental skills and trying better to understand what we need to improve on. Every grade really focuses on one or two habits of mind. As a ninth grader, we are working on our basic impulsivity especially in class. In order to get an idea of where we really are with this we were assigned a reflection in which we would analyze our work ethic and habits in Alberta. So why would we choose our trip, wouldn’t we be more distracted when travelling than in class? I think not. When we are taken on these trips it is our number one goal to learn as much as we can despite our specific projects or groups. Our challenge is to always be listening, always be curious, and always be intuitive in every location. That’s basically all I need to look at. How impulsive was I during our trip? How did I manage learning in a multitude of different locations daily, going from one to the other at fast paces? How can this been seen and proven by looking at my work ethic and portfolio from the trip?

   Our itinerary for this trip was insanity. We somehow managed to get though every stop enjoyably and the entire experience was amazing. As you may have already read from my earlier post for our main project we did whilst in Alberta, we were split into seven groups for our videos. I was part of the wildlife group and had ample opportunities to gather information surrounding my driving question most of which involved being outdoors or in environments with a higher population of wildlife unlike downtown Calgary, an ideal place for groups such as tourism, students, or business people. I am someone who absorbs information a little differently than what would be considered normal. I tend to take a lot of photos that remind me or are specific to what I learned. While most of my peers take notes, or draw out their findings I only take photos, video, and recordings. That is one of the reasons I think interviewing strangers is one of my strengths. When branching from one topic to another I can instinctively come up with more questions on the spot. I have loads of proof of this method and how well it works for me. I think that the defining reason for this working so well with my learning style involves my listening skills and awareness of my surroundings. Here are a few examples of how I managed to gather a bunch of information at all kinds of locations, some of which weren’t even assigned to my group.

   Aside form our humanities video project, we made another two videos both for maker. One of which we started to plan for a week in advance by writing up a storyboard and call sheet for our groups. My group mates, Kaden, Noah, Kaia, and Grace, and I decided to go with a horror movie theme for our movie. With the location where we did the filming being a heritage ghost town we had plenty of ideas for a plot. Of course being immature 14 year olds we went with the classic satanic cult/purge storyline. We planned out our scenes and our locations for each. Having never seen the ghost town in person we didn’t really know what it was going to look like until we arrived. With the set up and amount of opportunities we had with each space we had to revise our ideas and change things up to adapt to the vibe of the town and the unfortunate weather. With this project I was excited from the start. When we first came up with our idea for a plot I was so pumped for the filming and I really put a lot of effort into the video. When we got to the ghost town I was already very exhausted and I find it hardest to concentrate and really put myself into activities with a focused mind when I’m feeling that way. I honestly don’t know why I was so tired I mean I’d had almost 2 solid hours of sleep while we were travelling in the morning. Nonetheless I persevered and found that for the first time I was really determined to give the project my all despite my exhaustion. Here’s our final product, something I’m very proud of especially for the first real video we’d done.

   Next up we have more humanities talk! Sorry to be enthusiastic but my absolute favourite stops on this entire trip were humanities based and were places in which I gathered a lot of data going towards my final video. the best days of the trip in my personal opinion spanned from the 17-21st of September. Honestly, I just looked at our itinerary for reference and I can’t even express how awesome this trip was. Obviously the previously mentioned days were my favourite but I still loved the rest. And yes, for whichever of my teachers is reading this right now that does include the morning you made us get up super early and go to Moraine Lake. That lake was insanely gorgeous so thank you. Anyways, I simply wanted to talk about how I managed to constantly be ready to learn whenever possible as well as enjoy the scenery and vibe of the trip at the same time. My best examples come from Beakerhead, Studio Bell, and Heritage Park. Being your resident music student, visiting studio bell was amazing. I really just loved this stop because of the museums instrument displays where I got to go play and listen to music, specifically Canadian music while doing a a scavenger hunt. Second to Studio Bell is Heritage Park. I absolutely loved this day because we spent a solid few hours in Calgarys heritage park which was almost like a method acting version of the ghost town. I say this because there we people within the park that made it seem like we had really ben transported back in time to the late 19th- early 20th century. There was everything from horse drawn carriages, boats, and trains, to a fully operating amusement park. Not even kidding I’m talking ferris wheel, carousel, bumper car amusement park. Aside from the insane amount of fun I had in heritage park we also learned about the building of what is now Calgary. I used a lot of the information I gathered here in my video and I found all of it really interesting. Finally, Beakerhead. In Calgary, there is an annually held arts and science festival in which artists from all over Alberta and some other provinces showcase some of the most extravagant art and performances I’ve ever seen. On the first night we walked around Calgary’s public library enjoying some live displays of light based art, something I found very cool. There was a lot of method and culture that went into the pieces especially using the spaces in the park and library  with an extremely creative view. The second night of Beakerhead loved so much. There was fashion shows, fires shows, mechanical sharks, fire breathing dragons, and insane 20ft tall sculptures. Surprisingly enough, I once again managed to find some piece of information that went into my final video and let me remind you, I was in the wildlife group. The only wildlife we actually saw was a stray cat, some crows, and a rabbit. 

   Finally I have to mention the one project that I didn’t really put as much effort into and I’ve figured out why. When we visited the Royal Tyrell Museum we were assigned a short informational video based on the data we gather from one exhibit. Being at the museum was really exciting and brought out a lot of my rather unfocused traits. My overall excitably can be the downfall to some of my work and this surely happened at the museum. We went from hiking through the badlands to exploring the massive museum in what seemed like no time at all and I realize looking back upon my effort for the video that I was a little distracted. Nonetheless I still completed the project meeting all the criteria it’s simply that I knew I could’ve done better if I’d had a better handle on my impulsivity and overall mindset that particular day.

Last year in Oregon I was much different. I looked back upon all of my portfolio posts from last year when reorganizing my blog and I have really picked up on the amount of growth I’ve had since last year. Yes, I do regularly lose focus or get caught up in something else instead of what’s going on in class. That is something I really hope to work towards improving on this year. When we talk about the habits of mind we typically refer to them by grade but I personally think of them as a way of individually looking at ourselves and recognizing what needs work. By the time my m-POL rolls around this year I want to be able to show my improvement from the goals I’m setting because of this post. PGP forces me to reflect on everything I do and it will continue to do so until I do it instinctively. I can easily say that in Alberta I had an amazing time even though we had to be at school at 6:15 on a Sunday. I like to think that between 70-80% of the time I was attentive as to what was going on school wise while also being able to enjoy myself alongside my peers. I recognize that there were definitely times where I could’ve done more or worked harder but I can’t go back and fix that now, I can only move forward and strive to be better.

🔗SBC 2019 Week 3: Creative Commons🔗

Welcome back! This weeks challenge teaches us how to legally, safely, and properly use and credit online images without the risk of copyright. I honesty think that this is one of our generations most valuable lessons. Growing up in an age of technology is tricky especially when you’re uneducated on topic such as copyright safety. In the past year we have worked to really drill these simple rules and strategies into our brains and I have to give credit to last years similar challenge that taught me how to use copyright free images properly in any and all of my posts. Anyway, as per usual there are a few tasks for this challenge. Step 1, I’m going to show you one of my own photos that I took and edited myself. This is a simple way of getting us to use our tools and strategies to create our own masterpieces. Step 2 is a little more complex for a new participant in SBC. The task is to use our knowledge with copyright and Creative Commons to find a copyright free image and give it the proper credit in our post. Finally the last step to this challenge is to create a picture prompt using images we find online. 

   Lately my class has been experimenting with the newest IOS updates on our iPads and myself being someone who love editing photos, I’ve been trying our some new techniques with the apps like Snapseed or simply the photos editing tools. Last year I typically edited every photo I felt its was necessary for and I chose to stick with more traditional techniques and filters. This year I am challenging myself to work with new, more unorthodox editing tools. In the photos below I branched out and tried to recreate a trend online using reflections and making the reflected side look almost like a painting. I tried my best but please feel free to leave your thoughts and suggestions in the comments below!

Here’s my personally edited photo!

Now for the guessing game! Enjoy!

In the slideshow below there are a series of copyright free images I’ve used to help you identify my favourite sport! Good luck and remember to leave your guess in the comments below




Ciara ✌️

📜SBC 2019 Week 2: Commenting Commandments📜

Hello all and welcome back once again! It’s that amazing time of year again. The season in which leaves turn shades of orange, sweater weather is back, and kids everywhere are excited for Halloween. Autumn is that wonderful time of year in which we say bye to tank tops and sun tans and hello to the student blogging challenge. Wait hold up. Yes, I did just use that beautiful montage on why autumn is beautiful and amazing and turn it into an intro to this post, the first post for this years student blogging challenge. I know, I’m literally a blog god. Anyway back to the topic which I now realize I’ve neglected to really introduce.

   This weeks challenge is all about commenting across the internet. Having the opportunities that we as the next generations have such as the internet or social media comes with serious responsibilities especially with sites and apps in which commenting is permitted or encouraged. Last year I was introduced to the challenge and was tasked with similar challenges as to what we’ve seen so far this year. In grade 8 we learned and focused at lot on digital citizenship. Commenting is a huge part of being a good digital citizen. Just like the real world, interacting with other people online comes with great responsibilities. I made a poster that shows what being a good digital citizen looks like. Below are both my poster from this year. I’ve decided to put this in this post to really show how my understanding of what being a digital citizen looks like.

Ciara ✌️

🏔This Land is Us🏔

Hi, guess what! I’m back at it again with my grade 9 year of PLP. Somehow I managed to make it here alive and well, with the exception of the overwhelming pressure of my school, social, and personal lives. Just kidding, I bet I really had you there. Once again kidding. At this very moment I’m sitting, iPad in hand typing away at what some would call, a “she just drank 5 shots of espresso” pace. And no, I didn’t just drink 5 shots of espresso, it was only 4. Kidding again. Anyway, back to the fact that I’m sitting here, typing on my iPad for my school portfolio post alive and well. I wonder what that hints to. Considering the was identity works I’m simply saying that there is a reason that I have the opportunity, the privilege to be doing these things. To be learning in a way that makes it fun and more beneficial. And to be surrounded by a diverse community rich with culture that all have something in common. Place.

Our first project of the year is entitled, “This Land is Us,” and had given us the question, “How Does Place Impact Who We Are?” Why don’t you try and answer this question without any research or background knowledge. It’s hard isn’t it. Yeah I would know. So how does the place in which we live impact who we are? In order to properly grasp an understanding of the answer to this question we took a trip up north and through vast terrain. You guessed it, the Canadian Rocky Mountains. This trip was amazing and I think that I got so much out of it going towards my project. Since I now realize that I neglected to explain what said project is, I will now do so.

Incase you haven’t read any of my blog from October 2018 – June 2019 I’m gonna refresh your brain and explain briefly that grade 8 was all about still images and worldview. As I am now one year wiser I’m starting to recognize that we started with a big idea that we are now working our way inwards on. Worldview was one of my least favourite words last year and now its seems to be one of my favourite. On our trip to Alberta, we began to talk about identity and culture of an individual or social group. This resulted in the making of our “people groups.” These seven groups defined the final product, a video explaining the answer to the driving question. But like everything in PLP, this come with a twist. Our class was divided into seven different groups that we would research and interview. Albertans, Artists, Business Owners, First Nations, Students, Tourists, and Wildlife. In these groups the driving question was fit to each subject. For myself, “How Does Place Impact Wildlife,” became the driving question I was so determined to answer.

Okay so that I’m all caught up here comes the checklist you’ll learn to love.

1. I have now explained that we are learning all about the making of videos and working with technologies to do so.

2. I have also explained that we are working with the idea of identity and culture and were asked, “How Does Place Impact Who We Are?”

3. Finally, I’ve given a basic understanding of what our project was all about.

Perfecto! So how did we get here. And by here I mean to the beginning of our glorious project. We started out by discussion what make place a part of who we are and how living in BC impact us. We mapped out some ideas surrounding the general idea including politics, geography, education, food, and many more. We tried to summarize what we meant by this and not going to lie, not a single person in that room spoke up about identity and culture. As we went on into our next milestones we began to get and idea of how place impacts an individuals personal identity without really speaking about the word or concept of identity itself.

As we continued with our travels through Alberta we reached Calgary in which we visited the Glenbow Museum as one of our many ventures in the city. At this beautiful museum we saw tons of art relating back to our driving question, some of which closely related to my specific group, wildlife. With each stop we learned more and more about how the place in which we live, learn, and strive in impacts us and those related to our people groups. The most beneficial stops on the trip for my specific group were definitely anywhere from the Lake Louise Gondola Tour to Leo Downey’s Buffalo Ranch so clearly the topic was difficult especially when it came down to choosing between my many interviews for my final video.

Now I know that is is a dreadfully long post and you’ve probably given up on reading it at this point. The final point I’d like to make is all about my understanding of the curricular competencies. Before Alberta we were introduced to the idea of curricular competencies that would act as a guide line for what we should be trying to recognize in each milestone. “Compare and contrast continuities and change,” was the big one that stood out to me. I feel that with the way my video turned out, I did a good job and not only made something that I’m proud of but also demonstrated my solid understanding of the continuity and change in the impact of place on wildlife. When I finally got to answer the driving question in my own words it resulted in the idea that the place in which we learn, grow, strive and adapt to life in become one of the biggest parts of our identity as individuals. I would not be the same person if I’d grown up in Ireland. I wouldn’t be the same person if I’d gone to Dorothy Lynas instead of Cove Cliff for elementary school. Our place seems like a widespread area. Some would say that the place they come from is BC or Vancouver. But I really believe that its the close to home place that hits my identity hard. Where I learned to ride my bike and multiply 5 by 7 have gotten me to where I am to today.


ciara ✌️

🎲Game of Exponent Laws🎲

Salutations peoples and welcome back to my blog! It’s been a while since I’ve even checked up on here but that’s ok because starting this week I’ll be posting all the time. Anyway, I’m in grade 9 now and we’ve already gone through so much I’m not gonna lie, its all a little overwhelming. Since I’ve neglected to introduce the topic of this post I will now move into that.

geralt / Pixabay

In the past month we have been studying the laws of exponents and working towards creating a physical game in which at least 4 of said laws are used. We started to work with simple exponents and quickly moved into the more “complex” stuff. I say “complex” as if its not because once you gather an understanding of these laws they become less and less complicated, especially while solving them mentally. Since we got to the point where we could mentally do basic exponential equations when we went on our field study in September we were in need of a little refresher when we returned 10 days later. We soon picked up on what we had forgotten and worked with our partners on our games for the following week continuously receiving feedback and revising our rules.

My partner, Kaia and I decided to format our game using cards and a die. When trying to incorporate the 4 different laws into the game we struggled a little bit as to how we could make it more fun and easier for our audience to understand. We eventually came to the conclusion that it was best to make our own cards and use them as a base. This was what we though was the best solution at the time and it worked well. Our game wasn’t difficult to understand but we found that when putting it into words, especially in our rules, we needed to be more clear.

   This year we have been introduced to the idea of using curricular competencies as a guide to how our final products should look and work. For this particular project ur competencies were “Reasoning and Analyzing,” along with “Applying and Innovating.” The rubric we were given clearly explained that by the end of this project we should be able to, “demonstrate and apply mental math strategies and use logic and patterns to solve puzzles and play games.” I believe that since the beginning of this project, I’ve progressed in these competencies and gained a clear understanding on the big idea and exponent laws as a whole.

Working with these competencies allowed for us to get a rough idea of what we needed to accomplish and what we had to do in order to achieve that goal. Our game started with the idea to make a mash up of poker and go fish and we came through with a similar idea in our final product. Kaia and I went through multiple steps getting us to where we needed to be including the incorporation of candy as a betting pawn and interchanging the laws we used. As we look back upon our drafts, building knowledge, and milestones, we can easily recognize our growth in both the curricular competencies.

Ciara ✌️

🌸Spring Exhibition🌸

       Hello all, or should’ve I say goodbye, well for now at least. It is finally summer break and I am so happy!!! But of course, PLP being what it is we have to do one final piece of homework. I’m gonna let you guess what kind of homework. Yep! It’s a blog post! (Once again a slightly sarcastic exclamation point) Anyway, the topic in question is Blue Sky. This years final maker project was all about us choosing a problem or issue that we want to try our best to fix. Big companies like Google put 20% of their employees work time towards free work period and “genius hours” in which employees can choose to peruse any project they have. This is how things like gmail were born. This year at our spring exhibition we presented our very own blue sky products and our steps towards completion, otherwise know as the LAUNCH.

WikiImages / Pixabay

   Ok so what does a LAUNCH look like. With each letter in the word comes a step going forward in our project. I’m going too start with the beginning of course. Look, listen,  and learn. With the first step we had one simple task, think about a problem and how you are going to fix it. We started with some questions and a how might we paragraph. After heavy consideration and a bunch of switching from idea to idea, I decided to work with my own problem. Being what I consider as an athlete I tend to get hurt a lot. From strains to sprains I hate that the only thing that I really had to rely on was chemically induced products like heat rub which are horrible for you body. After talking with some people in my class whom also are affected by this issue I came to the conclusion that I needed to ask more questions outside of the teenage rage. This is where asking tons of questions, step 2 comes in. As you might know from some of my previous posts, asking questions through need to know charts are a very common concept in PLP. You can see some of my need to knows below but I will warn you that these were not entirely based on questions surrounding my project but the entirety of how blue sky works.

   At this point we had to have a pretty solid idea for our pitch forms. Once I got approved I moved on to the U stage. Understand the problem or process is where we started to do primary and secondary research. This is the point in which I started to fumble. After doing my honestly kind of lazy attempt at primary research, which is asking real people that would benefit or be knowledgeable about a product such as yours, I got feedback on how I needed to redo this part. I decided to contact a company that specializes stretching and healing sports injuries. Kinstretch did not however get back to me, even after I tried and tried again to contact them via email, live chat, and phone call. Since my U stage wasn’t the best I moved on to N as fast as I could. Navigating through idea can be challenging, but try having very little to go on and it gets much harder. I somehow found a way of bunching my ideas and cutting down to a final decision. I was going to make an app targeted at teen athletes. Once I had a conversation with my teacher I was introduced to app prototyping in keynote. This saved me so much time and taught me things I probably never would’ve figured out if I’d made a website or something of the sort. But with such little time and lots of information to input I needed to slim down my ideas. I chose to target three things. Fitness, stretching, and healing. On to C…

   Okay, the creative stage in this long process was probably the most enjoyable because I got to stress test my idea to people who would benefit it. Then I got a lot of feedback which kept me working for days leading up the the exhibition. I honestly feel like if I had done more to make what I made even better, I would’ve been happier with it in the end. I had a lot of ideas that weren’t realistic in the time period of one week. However I pulled through and I fixed a lot of little things which made my app prototype better in the long run. You can check out my LAUNCH presentation below! Before you go and do that I want to say that I have some big goals for the next blue sky project, they are quiet frequent around these parts. Although I wasn’t super proud of what I made, I did pretty good for my first blue sky and all that I can do in the future is improve!




– Ciara ✌️

⛈Colonizing in a Tempest⛈

Hello ladies, gents, aliens, etc… welcome back to my blog for another episode of, “Torture With Willemse!” Obviously I’m kidding, or at least I hope its obvious. Anyway if you aren’t familiar with my many, many humanities posts added to this portfolio you should seriously check them out cause these projects are awesome. Moving on, in my final term of grade 8 PLP I have experienced Shakespeare like no other in PLP 8’s, “Colonizing in a Tempest!” 

   So what is Colonizing in a Tempest? Easy answer. Basically, our teacher decided that combining the historically significant events of New France and the first European colonizations of what is now Canada and Shakespeare’s play, “The Tempest,” would give us a unique perspective on the two subjects. As a result we staged dramatic tableaus from “The Tempest” set in New France. This project was one of my favourite and one of the most stressful as our teachers were on a field study with the grade 10’s for two weeks leaving us with multiple TOC’s. Very stressful business! As I am talking about a PLP project, there has to be milestones with many, many stepping stones that got us to the final presentation. Only a few really helped me gain a true understanding of both the history and the play itself.

   Among the stepping stones that started us off after our initial launch came our anthropology viewpoint milestone. This basically challenged us to grasp a solid understanding of how the different viewpoints of an anthropologist. We studied terms like cultural superiority, imperialism, ethnocentrism, and a few more for a week or so in order to understand that in the process of first contact between First Peoples and Europeans viewpoints were flawed. This milestone helped me grasp more than a basic understanding of the topic in question and stared me off on a path of deeper meaning and constantly searching for that during the rest of this project.

   The next steps in this mega project included reading and writing about some of the history. We covered things like treaties and wars. We moved through the beginnings of the fur trade and came to a halt at the expansion of small companies. When the european colonists and traders set up efforts all throughout New France, some along the border of British territory. This is when companies such as the infamous Hudson’s Bay Co. were started and only few thrived through the beaver wars. In learning about all of this we wrote paragraphs that showed our understanding and only one really stood out to me. The assignment entitled, “why did the First Nations choose to trade with the Europeans?” So why did this challenge me? I found that with this assignment I took the time to really think and try my best to see both sides in order to grasp an unbiased opinion on the question at hand.


My absolute favourite milestone was our timeline. I love history. From peace and war, to government, religion, and exploration I can’t get enough. I found that with every project this year, the history has been the easiest thing to understand. Learning how to read and grasp the full Shakespeare experience was a daunting task for me but I found that with time and some close examination, I learned to read and comprehend it to the best of my current abilities. Moving back to our timeline. When combining the main scenes in each act of the play, with the historically significant events we needed to keep track of how they coincided to make sense of it for the audience. We started around first contact between First Nations and Europeans and aligned it with the first contact between the plays main character, Prospero and the shipwrecked nobleman from Naples. For each scene we needed to come up with a solid plan for the parallel history. In doing so we made a huge timeline stretching from 1600 to 1765. This was the point in the project where everything was beginning to make total sense. This final milestone was the one that has helped me answer the driving question, “How can we use Shakespeare’s, The Tempest, to stage dramatic tableaus and show the lasting effects of colonization to an audience?” 

   This final play was truly amazing and I loved every moment from costume set up to rehearsal and backstage coordinations. I think that we absolutely answered the driving question and I’m really proud that we could. The question in itself can’t really be answered without the play but I can take a risky shot. I believe that we allowed for the audience to understand the lasting effects of colonization through the dramatic tableaus we performed. In doing so we showed how the play aligns with the most historically significant events in the history of New France. That might not have been much of an answer to the question if you think of it as a very literal thing, but from a different perspective it answers the question by me simply saying that my 7 year old sister could basically repeat the history and big events to me afterwards.

    See ya’ll for about one more post in my PLP 8 year. It’s been great guys!

                                                                       – Ciara ✌️

💡tPOL 2k19💡

   Salutations people, as my grade 8 year comes to a rapid close, days feel longer and I plead for summer break to come faster. This summer is going to be amazing and its like my patience has been thrown into a a blazing pit of fire, in other words they are no more. But since school goes on for three more days I have had a jam packed schedule. As you may know from some of my recent posts and the few more to come we have had so much to do lately from humanities, maker, and PGP, to scimatics and all of my other non-PLP classes. If you’ve been here before, especially around the end of January you may know about the infamous mPOL’s. Guess what, we have a year end version of that presentation, tPOL’s! (The exclamation point might’ve been a tad sarcastic.) So basically, tPOL’s are the acronym for “transitional presentation of learning.” It is simply a student lead conference in which I review and reflect on the past year in any way I (and my teachers) feel necessary. Let’s get started!

geralt / Pixabay

   When I started writing this I went off track for roughly 45 minutes just thinking about how I was going to actually put this into words. I had a hard time because after my mPOL, Ms. Willemse challenged me to challenge myself. Instead of formatting my tPOL the same as my mPOL, which was subject specific, I should just talk about my accomplishments, my improvement, my goals, and my failures. You see I failed when I started writing this. Why? I am only human, and I work really hard to be the best that I can. Sometimes I get lazy, my parents would probably say that I’m always lazy, but the only opinion that matters is mine. Am I meeting my self set standards, am I achieving everything that I can? If I can confidently say yes, then I know that I can go higher and accomplish more. As I already said, when I started writing this, I failed. I have some bad habits and I have learned to set goals to fix them. One of those habits includes overthinking to the point of procrastination. I tend to think about one thing and somehow spend and hour thinking about the infinite possibilities of how I could do it. That specifically can take a huge toll on my progress and work ethic because when you spend so much time overthinking something, it eventually turns into procrastination. My first and most important goal for next year, is to find ways to help myself stop with this simple bad habit. I’ve said so many variations of that sentence this year and I am still getting there. But like most things in life, change takes time.

Free-Photos / Pixabay

   Once I got back on track I took a look at some of the thought or sentence starters given in the shared document. The first starter asks, what I am least proud of this year. To be completely honestly, every single project that we have done this year has been something that I am proud of in more than one way. Every time I failed at something, I learned a valuable lesson. One project that I mentioned in my mPOL was the beginning of our winter exhibition project. This specific unit involved us creating an explain everything video explaining a portion of our worldview that changed recently. Mind your this project took place in late October through early December so it isn’t that recent anymore. During this project I became, almost lethargic. I didn’t want to put in the effort and I had no desire to even start the explain everything. I ended up learning an extremely relevant lesson that I’m very grateful for. After I started to flat out procrastinate, I just let the work pile up. It soon became a huge snowball tumbling down on me, leaving me stressed, tired, anxious, and frustrated in myself. This is really the only thing this year that has made me feel pure frustration. Whenever I get the feeling, “I don’t want to waste my weekend doing homework,” or, “why would I do my part instead of watching Netflix,” I remind myself of that feeling of overall disappointment in myself. I remind myself of the goals I set and the reasons I set them. This is one of the ways I have significantly improved as a student and person. I like to think of my PGP unit about setting goals when I need a bit of motivation. I find that if I find something that I want in my future, long term or short, it makes me feel like I have more power. More power to accomplish and achieve, to reach all of the goals that I set, big or small.

TeroVesalainen / Pixabay

   When I talk about work ethic, like most people you’d expect me to say that I have great habits. I know for a fact that some of my habits in and out of school are good for me and the people around me. On the other hand, I have some pretty self destructive habits that I have either overcome or have set goal to do so. Some of the best examples of my work ethic and habits, both the good and the bad come from my scimatics class. Math is a subject that is literally just repetition of steps and formulas with increasing difficulty and variables. I am not a mathematician but not horrible at math. I simply find that with some forms of math I have zero desire to even try. I absolutely hate geometry. I can’t stand integers and fractions drive me insane. I do however find algebra particularly interesting. I would love to improve my ability to listen to everything in classes like math and science even if I’m really not that interested in the topic at first. 

geralt / Pixabay

   So far I’ve mentioned scimatics, PGP, and (my favourite class,) humanities. Next is the big one. If you’ve been here before anytime from January to April, you are familiar with DI. Destination imagination was the biggest thing I think I’ve ever contributed to. I was so overwhelmed with the simple idea or DI when I first heard about it this year. To think that I would create something so magnificent that it coupled go to a global tournament was flat out insanity. That’s the thing, I spent so much time thinking about the idea itself that I didn’t take a good first look at it. It’s almost like I put on the wrong pair of glasses. I wasn’t reading it right. I constantly thought of it asan impossible thing that I myself, even with a team could not accomplish. And yet, well you can check it out here! When I stepped up to the project we just completed in humanities I thought of it as something unique that I could do. I could do. I could do. When I was introduced to DI I thought, how could I possibly do this, how? That was a bad mindset, one that was difficult too work with for myself, and I imagine my peers. After the initial launch of our ideas my mind began to set back into place. I opened up to endless possibilities that I would’ve shrugged at mere weeks before. Something that I cannot wait for next year is my second attempt at DI. Not only is the project fun and valuable to our way of learning, but I learned to look at things with a completely opened mind before even starting. With our latest and last maker project of the year I did that exactly. Blue sky has allowed me to make something that I care about with endless possibilities. To quote Ms. Willemse, “You could literally work on your blue sky project forever and still would fix everything you weren’t happy with. Most authors don’t read their own books after they’ve been published for that exact reason.” My teacher said that in class yesterday and I found it super relatable. If I could’ve worked on any project forever I would not stop until it was perfect, which it would never be. A huge goal for next year, in and out of school is having an opened mindset. 

   Combine each of the things that I’ve mentioned in this post and there you have a full lifetime’s worth of work and improvement. For me, I will use that lifetime to always improve. Accept criticism, challenge myself, take risks, and learn how to learn so that I can teach.

                                                                                               – Ciara ✌️


⏱Time Machine⏱

Hi guys, I’m back with one of the final posts of my Grade 8 year in PLP. Not only has the year gone by in a flash, but in what feels like so little time, I have learned a tremendous amount of things about myself. This post is all about the course that forced me to step back, take a look at myself and the bigger picture, and show me the endless possibilities of improvement. PGP, the acronym that stands for “Personal Growth Plan,” has been a huge part of this year for everyone in PLP. With a course with such purpose comes an insane amount of information that somehow interconnects. How you may ask? It is different for everyone. We are all at different places in our lives and how we work, change, and learn differs from person to person. In order to show that, we have done one final PGP project entitled, Time Machine.

   So what is Time Machine? Yes I know there are hundreds or variations from Back To The Future and Men in Black to The Terminator and X-Men. This version is more of an artifact that would go in a time capsule addressed to my younger self. In order to complete our course, we were required to compile all of the information taken away from the past year and put it into anything. Anything? Yes, we had the freedom to represent the things that we learned in any, physical or digital way we chose. It sounds pretty great at first but once you need to actually decide on how you will format the project, it becomes something of a daunting task. After a week or so of deep contemplation, I chose to make a video. I wanted it to be unique and not just a clip of me talking about what I learned. I fixed that issue with my ever so glorious idea to make my video a “FaceTime Therapy Session.” What do I mean by that? Good question. The video is edited to make it look like someone is on a FaceTime call with their therapist ( me ). I structured it this way because when trying to make my learning stand out I find that it works in this particular scenario. 

Pexels / Pixabay

   The next step is explaining why I chose to use this as my way of expressing my learning. Not in the technical way of “because it works best with green screen,” or “because iMovie is easier to use.” I mean the way that I connect to the video enough to make it show all that I can take away from PGP on a daily basis. The project outline requires a thesis statement, mine was simple yet informed. We weren’t supposed to write like Tolkien but to only outline the purpose your format would serve. “Habit 5’s listening specific portion really stood out to me as it involves a lot of stuff I can easily agree with, learn from, and represent using examples from my everyday life,” is my thesis and I got approved immediately. Along with the thesis, we had to decide which part of our course to focus on, goal setting, productivity, or the 7 habits. Each of these “units,” took up a semester to complete. We needed to find the one that we found is most useful, relatable, or relevant to our everyday lives. I chose to use Sean Covey’s 7 Habits, habit 5 to be specific. When making the artifact that would go into our time machine we had to give information on all of the units. I did so throug feedback the therapist gives her patient near the end of the video.

   Below is My PGP Time Machine Artifact Video



   The last piece of the big picture is the driving question itself. “What do I know now that I wish I knew before?” My answers are endless, but the things that speak to me so much are the ones that I use daily or are extremely relevant to my life. I am going to start with productivity. I cannot begin to tell you how much I have grown productivity wise in the past nine months. Last year I was a completely different person, at least in the way of handling my schedule and work. When I was introduced to Things and time blocking I was sceptical and admittedly a bit close minded. But since opening up to the idea of getting help and using strategies like those mentioned my entire experience with school has improved making me love it that much more. Honestly if I could have had these tools at my fingertips a year ago I would have probably had a different experience leading up to high school.



    Moving on to the 7 habits. In our last unit of the year, aside from this project of course, we covered the “7 Habits of Highly Effective Teens,” by Sean Covey. The book taught us about 7 different habits that can help us become happy, healthy, and more effective when building relationships, handling productivity, and becoming a healthily self. When reading the book we had to complete workbooks and a creative reflection per part. My favourite reflection was my last as it was fun to make and I really enjoy looking at the final product (see more below). When deciding what to highlight in my video for this project I chose to use habit 5, “Seek First to Understand Then to be Understood.” I found that the main outcome of reading this and doing all of the work with it was my understanding of how others use the tools mentioned throughout everyday. My video itself is entirely about the different forms of listening, which I chose because of how much I can relate to it and how relevant it is in my everyday life. The things that I wish I knew before even starting grade 8 would definitely be habits 3,5, and 7. Each of these represent huge things that go on in my life and gave me ways to fix them.



  Finally, the thing that ties it all together… Goal Setting! If I am being 100% honest, I have always dreaded goal setting. In elementary school we were told to make up a goal that we would like to achieve by the end of the year. Guess what that goal was never brought up again and seemed to be lost in time. I never like goal setting because my idea of it was flawed. In the sense that; Step 1: write down a goal Step 2: Achieve it. I mean come on people give us something to work with!!! In term 2 we started a new unit in PGP in which we read, “What Do You Really Want.” The book taught me how to properly make and achieve a goal, constantly reminding me what the next step is or at least how to make a goal ladder. Once I had learned how to set goals I felt much more confident in actually achieving them. This is the thing that really ties up my PGP experience because of how everything, 7 Habits and productivity can fit into this section.

Alexas_Fotos / Pixabay

   Overall, if I could really give this information to my past self I would be much, much different today. I personally think that it says a lot that with just one 10 month course I can learn all of this. This is the stuff that is going to allow me to learn all of the stuff in my other classes. I can now be better organized, listen to people properly, work interdependently (something I REALLY struggled with), and set goals. I think that my Time Machine Video really shows that, especially in the genuine listening part (near the end)!

Thanks again

– Ciara ✌️