👏tPOL 2020👏

   Aloha and welcome to my tPOL! As the summer approaches all I can think about is how much I want to be in the beautiful Hawaiian sun or basking in the Southern California heat. Unfortunately those dreams won’t come true for a while due to the massive pandemic currently striking humanity hard. On the brighter side of things, summer vacation is still summer vacation, even without the wonderful Kaanapali waves, the smell of Splash Mountain’s waters, and the most delicious thing in the world, the Dole Whip. Now that I’ve gotten that out of my system, its time to get into what we’re all really here for. I’m here to explain why am I ready to transition to grade 10 and I am going to do it in a whole new format. In the past I’ve gone subject specific, project specific, and even habit specific. Now due to my having all the time in the world to reflect, I am doing this on a goal basis. 

Tumisu / Pixabay

   Going into grade 10 is a milestone in my eyes. It marks the halfway point in high school, as well as marking when things start to get difficult and perseverance, resilience, and determination are all key. As a kid, and into my early teen years I prided myself on how easily things came to me. I was always so proud of that fact that I was always breezing through school unproblematically. The number one thing that grade 9 has taught me was how wrong I was all those years. It took a hefty amount of failure and not meeting my self made standards to realize that I have a lot of problems to work out. My 2 goals going into the next grade apply to all subjects and my personal life. Up first is goal 1!



Goal #1.

Find ways to effectively work with/around my executive functioning issues.

(Specifically organization, concentration, and prioritizing)



   In the past year we’ve done god knows how many projects, some of which I felt I succeed in above others. On the other hand, there were multiple projects which I failed to complete or meet my personal standards. In writing this I took a microscopic look at each of the reasons that I failed to meet standards. I came out the other end recognizing for the first time in my life that I have some issues when it comes to executive functioning. I’ve always been disorganized and often have trouble prioritizing and balancing the academic and social aspects of school. 99% of the time the lack of organization and prioritize skills lead to my inability to concentrate for an extended period of time. Even in writing this I’ve gotten distracted a million times. Other examples could include our Confederation Commercial project in February. I got carried away trying to come out on top of every other group for personal reasons and failed to prioritize the project. It lead to a loss of focus and an overall lacking contribution to my group. I honestly believe that my contribution or lack thereof in Confederation Commercial lead to my B on my Term 2 report card.

mohamed_hassan / Pixabay

Another example of this is this year’s Destination Imagination. DI was absolutely hectic this year. I found that I was 10x more unorganized than usual and compared to my performance in DI last year, DIWhy Bridges was a flop. After our improvised online tournament in April, I reflected on how unfocused I was during the entire project. I was admittedly very petty and not really helpful with DI and obviously that was a huge problem. In my post I reflected that the reason for that was due to the challenge being so far outside my comfort zone that I felt very useless. This leads me into my second goal.



Goal #2.

Be more open minded/less rock brain when things don’t come easily. Move past the barriers when it comes to asking for and accepting help.



   I’ve heard from reliable sources that grade 10 is when high school starts to become more challenging. I’m always up for a good challenge but I have a feeling that next year will wear me down. In order to stop that I need to start asking for help instead of shutting down and giving up when things get hard and I can’t understand. I am a kinesthetic learner and that has been very challenging for me since I was little, especially in math and science. Math is the one subject that has more power over me than I have over it. I have always struggled and cracked under the pressure of not understanding mathematics as quickly or easily as my peers do. This year has been a great example of that. For every project that we did the minute that I didn’t understand something I would get stressed out and fall behind instead of getting help. While this didn’t happen during every project, it did when I was uncomfortable with the people I was with or expected to understand something that I was really confused over. Not understanding and not doing anything to fix that often lead to sidetracking and loss of focus. This is where I would start to be more social rather than concentrated in Scimatics, which is clearly an issue that needs fixing. Whether it’s a tutor I need, or just more confidence it’s my goal to have a flexible mindset going into grade 10.

terimakasih0 / Pixabay

   Now that we have my goals, I need to dive into how I’ll actually achieve them. In the past couple months we’ve been focusing on the 7 Habits and how we can apply them to our daily lives. Each and every habit has it’s place in my life but there are some that trump the others when it comes to my 2 big goals. Habits 1, 2, 3, and 7 are the first batch of habits that will help me get to where I need to be. Starting with myself, or have a private victory, is what I need in the beginning of grade 10 so that I can sustain it through my remaining years of school. In PGP I often deny that I need any of the information being given to me, but thankfully in the past few months I’ve begun to recognize that I was wrong. I need to be proactive and have a plan for where I want to be, as well as prioritize some things over others in order to bring myself to that level. 

  Over the course of grade 9 I have had triumphs and failures. Each taught me a lesson that was necessarily planned. Once the COVID-19 pandemic begun and we were all quarantined I had to step it up and work hard to improve my executive functioning skills or I wouldn’t have been able to get any work done. Remote learning has had its silver lining in forcing me to take initiative and get a handle of my own learning. I know for a fact that in term 3 alone my performance has improved so much compared to the rest of the year. I am determined to get to where I want to be so I can only better myself from there on out. My final words for this tPOL are a simple question. In the coming school year, I’m striving to do my part in overcoming all the challenges I just expressed, including my inability to ask for help. Next year what kind of support can I expect from you?

Thank you for coming to my Ted Talk 

– Ciara 

💸Money Doesn’t Grow on Trees 💸

Salutations and welcome to my Time is Money portfolio post! During the past month or so my Scimatics 9 class has been studying linear equations. To do so in a PLP fashion, we accompanied our basic math practice with the challenge of integrating our knowledge into finance. The basic blanket explanation if you will, we were tasked with providing a product or service of our choice in order to calculate our expenses, time, and profits in a simple spreadsheet. Furthermore, we took said spreadsheet and converted it into a linear equation with which we created our final graph. As for presentation, we each created a short video explaining the process and competencies.

Understanding & Solving:

The first competency being assessed is all about proving our ability to “apply multiple strategies to solve problems in both abstract and contextualized situations.” In creating my spreadsheet I believe a did well with this competency. The time, expenses, and startup costs per each session are all accounted for and were used to calculate my equation later on.

My Equation

Communicating & Representing:

Our second competency requires students to “represent our mathematical ideas in concrete, pictorial, and symbolic forms.” Although I came through in having my linear equation to determine my profit per service I didn’t come up with a prediction for my NET earnings over the span of a year. I fell a little behind with this competency but I feel that I have improved in representing my graphs and equations since projects in the past.



Connecting & Reflecting:

The third and final competency of Time is Money asks students to “connect mathematical concepts to one another and to other areas of personal interest.” The entire premise of this project is to make and predict a profit of a job or service of your choosing so in doing so I chose something that I typically enjoy. While gardening isn’t something I could make a living off of, nor is it all that similar to my future aspirations, it was what I felt to be a good example and choice for this project. I also chose it to ensure that I wasn’t doing something that I utterly dreaded.

suju / Pixabay

All in all this project did it’s job in helping me learn linear equations. Below is my final video that explains my service and my linear equation. You’ll probably find that not every flower and plant has bloomed as that tends to take a while!

Thanks for coming to my Ted Talk!

– Ciara

❓mPOL 2020❓

   Hello ladies and gentlepeople and welcome to this years very first presentation of learning. This is only my third time taking part of mPOL’s and I’m much more comfortable with the situation compared to last year. I think that I have a certain boost of confidence this time around having done it twice in the past. Anyway, let’s jump right in!

   This year has been kind of a rollercoaster in each subject and in all honesty, I got dizzy there for a while. We’ve been introduced to many, many topics in each subject and we’ve even revisited some from last year. This especially comes into play with PGP. In the first month or so of school we didn’t really visit the idea of PGP more than a couple of times. This surprised me considering that it’s what I’d think of as one of our staple PLP subjects. That being said we eventually got into our first PGP project. You can read my first PGP portfolio post of the year here. Our first challenge was to reflect on our time spent in Alberta. This didn’t seem like much of a difficult task to begin with but we were asked to closely look at how we balanced our impulsivity throughout the trip. When I began to look back upon how I balanced my work and simultaneously had fun I found it difficult to decide where I needed most growth. I eventually came to the conclusion that there is still a part of me that needs to recognize the importance of managing my impulses, especially in school.

   When we moved on from our first reflection we had our first meeting of the year. At this time we were introduced or shall I say re-introduced to the idea of goal settling. Last year we worked with goal settling in term two and read the book, “What Do You Really Want.” This year we started out with goal ladders and looking closely at the habits of mind that go hand in hand with our personal goals. Looking at the various different habits of mind, I can confidently say that I can improve in each and every area throughout the rest of grade 9. That being said, starting off with one simple goals and sticking with it with the help of a few habits of mind was probably a good start. In my goal ladder I focused in on something that I desperately want to achieve and figured out how I could get there in the next few years. Observing my goal ladder as the weeks have gone by has proved to me that I can stick with a goal and start working towards it as soon as I kickstart my motivation. By the time tPOL’s come around I’d really like to see myself striving for accuracy, especially in school. Habit 6 is a great example of something that can be overlooked. Thinking that striving for accuracy simply means getting to where I want to be can be flawed. I believe that Habit 6 represents what I want my mindset to look like. I want to see myself commit to putting in the effort for everything even if I find it difficult to get myself into the rhythm at first. 

   Speaking of getting into the rhythm of things, lets jump way back to September. We kickstarted the year with our absolutely amazing trip through the Rockies and Alberta. Along the way we had to ask ourselves specific questions concerning identity and the impact it has upon different groups in society. Read all about my project and driving question in my post on the project here. I found that this project was the perfect way to let me gain insight and knowledge on what identity is and how different impacts can change someone, someplace, or something’s identity drastically over long or short periods of time. Moving on into our next unit we took a closer look at the concept of ideas driving change. We began reading Jennifer Donelly’s, “Revolution,” which I thoroughly enjoyed due to the historic mood it provided. We studied different revolutions through the ages and make informative videos explaining how the driving question could be answered with each example. Read my full post on the project here! In the end, I decided that this project really helped me with my video making skills, perhaps more than any other this year.

   Moving on lets dive into some of the other project we’ve done this year. On the flip side of things, there have been multiple occasions this year where I messed up. I’m not afraid to say it and it’s honestly affected me in some good ways as well as bad. To be more in depth on this topic lets start with this years very first big maker project, Running a Remake. The challenge for this project was to recreate our own copies of the short film, “Run.” My post on this project can be found here! Recreating “Run,” was honestly a very difficult task and I found that it really did help me develop my skills in video making. This project is a beyond perfect example of where a better sense of teamwork and interpersonal thinking would’ve been key. I found that with my group, I struggled with that and it might’ve been the reason our final product wasn’t as great as it could’ve been. 

   My next example of a fantastic FAIL was this year’s Student Blogging Challenge. I actually never completed the challenge and in hindsight I really could have done better. I tend to find that when I’m not interested in the topic at hand I lose focus and often forget about certain tasks that go with. I didn’t struggle with this much last year but I’m finding that I can recognize when it’s happening. For the next time I participate in the student blogging challenge, I am determined to keep an open mind and not let my judgemental side take control. Aside from that factor there is also my massive issues with organization. I’ve struggled with keeping organized throughout my entire life and I’ve tried many things to help improve. Since the beginning of grade 8, there has been so much growth in that area. As I go on I sometimes get lazy and put things that I should be paying attention to on the back burner. Working towards becoming a confidently organized individual is a huge goal of mine and I plan to closely consider the habits of mind that can help me get there along the way.

   Star Wars. Where do I even begin. The Story Strikes Back has probably been the biggest project I have completed individually all year and I must say it was no easy task. Let’s begin by saying that there was a lot to unpack with this project so yes I did write an entire two blog posts on it and no I am not proud of my of incapability to write and reflect concisely. You can read all about the project here! We had an amazing task with this exhibition. At first I kept asking myself how the heck I was going to transform my everyday classroom into a planet and yet we still came out the other side with a success. That being said, the journey to that success was rough and very bumpy. I can confidently day that my LAUNCH Journal this time around was a FAIL. I’m striving to achieve more with my next LAUNCH experience because I really didn’t try enough with this one. All in all the FAIL has given me insight that I can’t simply expect to get away with minimal work even if my final product matches standards. Not only does it let my teachers down but I end up hurting myself more than anyone. By not trying my best I brought down my personal standard and that isn’t something I ever want to let happen. 

   Finally let’s talk science! My absolute favourite project in scimatics this year was our chemical bonding animations. You can read my post on it here. Chemistry is not my strong suit but I still enjoyed making my own animations and understanding chemical bonds. I definitely struggled a little bit in the beginning but I began to get a hold on things after a few weeks. This is my best example of keeping my eye on the prize because of my commitment to trying my best to comprehend the science behind it. I’m typically an English and socials kid so some fields of science and math really get me down. I’ve always had a hard time learning based on my personal styles and I find it easier to connect and engage in a humanities classroom verses a that of science and math. With our chemistry video’s things were hands on and had a very creative and imaginative side which I really enjoyed. My definite goal for scimatics the rest of the year is to try and engage myself in each lesson more and more as we go.

   And that’s about it. Congratulations you’ve made it to the end of my third presentation of learning. Now we seem to be forgetting one thing. My question to the teachers. As I mentioned previously, I tend to struggle keeping my thoughts contained or to a minimum. When I write reflections and portfolio posts they almost always exceed 1,000 words which is probably torture for those reading them. My goal for the rest of the year is to write my reflections more concisely and to try and get my point across with fewer words. This doesn’t mean I have to cut the word count in half, it just means that I want to be able to express myself more clearly without going overboard. My question to you is how can I do that? 

Thanks for coming to my TED Talk ✌️

   

   

🧪There is No Chemistry Between Me and This Project🧪

 

Hydrogen iodine electron vanadium erbium yttrium oxygen neon! Or shall I say, hi everyone! Welcome back to another scimatics portfolio post. This time around, we’re putting a bit of a spin on things as we dive into everyone’s favourite field of science, chemistry. I say that with a bit of an edge in my voice only because, chemistry is confusing for the most part. But like always, I’m up for a challenge and believe me, this project was amazing race worthy!

   Project Plan & Milestones:

   The first component in completing this project was gaining an understanding of not only our task, but also the basics of chemistry as a base for our learning. We started out like anyone would, with Kahoots! Believe me when I say that these definitely helped me. I’m not typically someone who can read a text and automatically have an understanding of the topic, especially in science and math. With the Kahoots I could pick up on patterns, concepts, and vocabulary used in chemistry. To further our understanding we did some readings and practiced identifying elements, polyatomic ions, multivalent metals, formulas, and both ionic and covalent bonds. Soon enough we began practicing our animation skills, and for most it was simply building upon hat we had already learned. As we got into making our final animations, we began to properly demonstrate ionic and covalent bonds through characterizing polyatomic ions, multivalent metals, and covalent bonds and clear and concise voice overs.

   Big Idea:

   The big idea for this project comes as; The electron arrangement of atoms impacts their chemical nature. With our driving question asking us, “how to atoms and ions act like characters,” we answered this in an animated video. My understanding of the bid idea is that atoms bond and act differently depending on the amount of electrons they brain and which shell they are situated on.

   Communicating:

   The first competency we focused on was communication. “Formulate physical or mental theoretical models to describe a phenomenon.” I believe I demonstrated and improved with this skill in creating the physical Bohr models to represent atoms, ions, and bonds. Seeing as though I think I’ve improved with this, I know that the source of said improvement is in the vocabulary that I gained. 

   Processing & Analyzing:

   The second competency we worked with was processing and analyzing. “Construct, analyze, and interpret models and/or diagrams.” I did so in each of the milestones. Starting with the creation of of my storyboard that I constructed from the information I had already interpreted over the first couple of weeks. Physically creating and animating Bohr modes allowed for me to interpret information and analyze my work in the multiple drafts completed. On our final test, I demonstrated my ability to do each of these things with my knowledge of chemistry. Finally, in watching my classmates animations, I had to once again interpret their message and analyze how the were choosing to represent it.

   Questioning & Predicting:

The final competency was questioning and predicting. “Demonstrate a sustained intellectual curiosity about a scientific topic or problem of personal interest.” I think the best example of this is my use of cases time. While it’s something I can undeniably improve at I think that in comparison to my other projects this year, I did a decent job. Not to down myself, only to admit to having some room for improvement. This is something of. A goal for the next project we do in this class and I’m setting out to do my best next time around. Other than class time, my final video is another example of this competency. I’m rather proud of the final product and I believe it’s a good, if not the best way of showing my full understanding now, in comparison to the beginning of this project.

 

   Overall this project has been a point of interest and while I found some aspects of it difficult, I know now that I can understand and demonstrate my learning and knowledge of chemistry!

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 ✌️