Raymond’s Decent Blog

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The Middle Ages

The past 5 weeks we have been learning about the Middle Ages in our humanities class, throughout the project we have gained a lot of knowledge about the Middle Ages that all tied into our driving question, What was life like in the Middle Ages? How does it compare to today. The main thing that we focused on about this driving question was the “How does it compare to today” part of it because a big thing about this was identifying continuity and change. Going through this project we took notes throughout everything we learned about in Keynote. One of the main parts of our project was the Book of The Lion by Michael Cadnum.

The first Milestone in this project we started our literacy plan for the book of the lion. We had seven questions for ourselves the first one was “Do you consider yourself quick reader or slow close reader?” My answer to that was that I am a very slow reader. The second questions was “What types of books have you enjoyed reading in the past?” My answer to this question was Graphic novels because they help me understand what is happening in the book. The third question was “What time of day will you read your book?”, my answer to this was I will read 2 or more chapters during the week at about 5:00 on Monday to Tuesday, 7:00 on Wednesday, and the rest of the week will be at 5:00. The weekends I will read anywhere from 4:00-8:00. The fourth question was “How long will you read for?”, my answer to this was I will read for 45 minutes every day over the span of 3 weeks. The fifth question was “How will you remind yourself to read?”, the answer to this was to put the chapters that I need to read in Things. The  sixth question was “What three techniques will you use to comprehend what you are reading. The last question was “Who is your accountability partner?”, the answer to that was my mom. A competency that was being assessed was comprehend which stated what literacy skills am I using to read, listen, and view texts for understanding.

The second Milestone was our character letter we were assigned a simulated role and I got the part of being a serf. We were next taken into part two of this milestone which was to Brainstorm your identity. We learned all about the feudal system used in the Middle Ages and since I was a serf I had to find out how a serf lived and whatever else came with it. The third part was a page letter of what our character communicates to another made up person. My letter was about my serf talking to my cousin about my day and how my life is as a serf. The last part was to compare and contrast. We had to find out what the biggest differences were between me and my character, and what the similarities were. The biggest things that I thought of were that we have way more freedom now in relation to the Middle Ages, I similarity I found was that we both have leaders.

The third Milestone was the book chats for The Book of The Lion. We had three roles throughout three weeks in this, the summarizer being the one to summarize the chapters we read, the connector making connections to real life and the book and the artist creating a piece of artwork to do with what happened in the book. In our groups we chatted about how the reading was going and what we noticed that may have stood out to us.

Set in the Middle Ages during the reign of Richard I of England, American author Michael Cadnum’s young adult fiction, The Book of the Lion (2000), tells the story of a young English squire facing the horrors and moral contradictions of the Crusades. The first of Cadnum’s Crusader Trilogy, the book received a nomination for the National Book Award for Young People’s Literature. Edmund is a young man living during the twelfth century and working for a master Otto and his wife. In the middle of the night, Edmund and Otto are kidnapped by representatives of King Richard I’s Exchequer or tax collector. After watching the tax collectors drive an anvil through Otto’s hand, Edmund escapes but doesn’t get far before he is captured and chained up in his master’s house. He learns that Otto, who is nowhere to be seen, is guilty of making counterfeit coins. As Edmund is Otto’s servant, he is technically guilty of any crimes committed by his master. Nevertheless, Geoffrey, the Sheriff of Nottingham, gives Edmund a second chance to redeem himself by serving in the Crusades under Sir Nigel. Sir Nigel states that to secure a position as his squire, Edmund must defeat Hubert, another boy who is also interested in the job, in a duel. The morning of the duel, Edmund escapes the town to the countryside with some of Nigel’s silver and fine clothes. Unfortunately, he is intercepted the following day by none other than Hubert, the other squire he was set to duel. Waylaid with a swollen ankle, Edmund sees no other recourse but to return with Hubert to face his fate. Before they depart for town, they encounter a pagan knight Rannulf who once killed five opponents in a single tournament. After Edmund begs Nigel to let him live, the knight agrees to take on both Hubert and Edmund as squires. The night before they are set to leave for the Holy Land, Rannulf demands that Edmund fix his dented helm. Edmund works at it all night, and thanks to divine intervention summoned by Rannulf, the helm is fixed. They ride throughout the next day, with Edmund on a fine horse called Winter Star. The group of Crusaders finally makes its way to London, which is a real disappointment for Edmund who had been hoping for something more. Sailing down the Thames to the English Channel, Edmund and Winter Star both suffer seasickness, while Hubert is completely unaffected by the choppy waters. From Normandy, France, the Crusaders march to a much larger ship called Saint Agnes, which they then sail to Venice, Italy. There, they learn that the fighting in the Holy Land has already commenced, causing Sir Nigel and others to worry that they might miss the whole Crusades. After a night of drunken debauchery that leaves Edmund and Hubert chained up overnight in the hull of their ship, they set off from Venice with a new passenger on board, Father Urbino. After a violent storm sends Rannulf’s squire Miles overboard to his death, Edmund becomes Rannulf’s new squire. The storm pushes their ship even closer to their destination: The city of Acre in Northern Israel. The English Crusaders meet up with a group of Frankish Crusaders led by Sir Guy de Renne. They attack a walled city controlled by Muslim “infidels,” although Hubert and Edmund are too far back in the column to be involved in the fighting. The battle rolls on for days in something of a stalemate, as the Crusaders await the arrival of their king, Richard the Lionheart. While waiting by the shore for King Richard’s ship, Edmund shares a cordial greeting with an Arab Muslim known as a Saracen. Hubert ridicules Edmund for not killing the Saracen, but Edmund insists there is nothing noble about killing someone who poses no threat. King Richard finally arrives, but it takes a few days before he is well enough to lead the Crusaders into battle. Once he does, Edmund notches his first kill, striking down a Saracen to save his friend, Hubert. Though the Crusaders win the battle, Edmund and Hubert suffer from nightmares and post-traumatic stress disorder because of what they have seen. They are further traumatized when King Richard orders the Crusaders to murder all the men wounded or imprisoned after the battle, rather than have to feed and clothe them. Nigel insists that they have a duty to fight and to follow their king, who rules by divine right. While the French Crusaders abandon the cause, the English Crusaders continue to pursue an army of Muslims led by Saladin to the South. Near the town of Arsuf, the fighting continues, more brutal even than before. As the Crusaders advance, Winter Star is wounded and falls to the ground. Edmund realizes his beloved horse and companion is dead. After Edmund spends some time grieving amid the chaos, a knight named Wenstan finds a horse for Edmund, and they ride off to find Nigel and Hubert, who are missing. When they find them, both are badly hurt. In the end, however, they both survive, although Nigel is too hurt to continue fighting. Rannulf also must be sent home, which means both Hubert and Edmund will soon be back in England. Before getting on the ship home, Edmund looks in the distance and can see the glittering white city of Jerusalem. All Credit Goes to http://www.supersummary.com/the-book-of-the-lion/summary/

The fourth milestone was research about an example of continuity and change that we would have to create a presentation for. My parter in this project was Evelyn and our two main topics for this part of the project were spice trade as an example of continuity and the trebuchet as an example of change. We were to point out the key differences for change and and key points about what has stayed the same. This also tied onto the driving question. We created our presentation on Keynote and practiced how to project our voice and speak clearly in front of an audience. I think that the presentation went very well and the whole project in general and I feel that after learning this the renaissance is very fitting to learn next.

Chemistry Coding

This latest scimatics project that we completed was all about Chemistry but chemistry coding in particular, but what is “Chemistry Coding”?. The big idea for this project was “the behaviour of matter can be explained by the kinetic molecular theory and the atomic theory”. Our driving question was “How is the motion of atoms and molecules related to temperature”. Our final project was to make a interactive scratch applet that showed atoms, molecules and the three different states of matter. You can find my scratch game here and my project mind map below.

My understanding of the Kinetic molecular theory and the atomic theory starts at the first theories and models of atoms. The first one was the solid sphere model by John dalton in 1803 pictured below. His theory stated that atoms are indivisible which turned out to be incorrect. He also stated that atoms of a given element are identical and compounds are combinations of different types of atoms.

The next picture below was J.J Thomson’s plum pudding model in 1904. This model was a much better representation of an atom compared to John Dalton’s model. J.J’s model showed that an atom was composed of electrons scattered throughout a spherical cloud of positive charge. He did recognize that electrons were components of atoms but the lack of a nucleus in his model didn’t explain later experimental observations.

The third model is Ernest Rutherford’s Nuclear Model in 1911. This model shows electrons orbiting around the nucleus. Rutherford’s famous experiment was when he fired positively charged alpha particles at a thin sheet of gold foil. A lot of the particles passed through with little deflection but some deflected at big angles. He concluded that this was only possible if the atom was mostly empty space with the positive charge in the centre at the nucleus. One issue was the he did not explain why electrons remain in orbit around the nucleus.

Just two years later in 1913 was Niels Bohr’s Planetary Model. Bohr modified Rutherford’s model of the atoms stating that electrons moved around the nucleus in orbits of fixed sizes and energies. The problem with his theory was that moving electrons should not emit energy and collapse into the nucleus.

The fifth and final Model was the Erwin Schrödinger Quantum Model in 1926 pictured below. Schrödinger stated that electrons do not move around in set paths around the nucleus but in waves. Since it is impossible to know the exact location of the electrons we instead have what Schrödinger called “clouds of probability” in which we are more likely to find and electron. This model is still widely accepted as the most accurate model of the atom.

Something that I learned that I thought was very interesting was that you can actually reach absolute zero. Absolute zero is -273.15˚ Celsius (-469.67 Fahrenheit) or 0 Kelvin. The reason is that it would take and infinite amount of time and effort. Competencies: In the questioning and predicting competency I used my class time efficiently without distractions. In the Scientific communication competency I used several different atoms in my coded applet and and different states of matter but at first my different states of matter were not clear but I revised and made them very clear. The third competency was the reasoning and analyzing competency for this my scratch coded matter simulator was created with logical conditions and functional user controls. Overall I think that this project was pretty cool but I think that I still could learn more about the concept of the Kinetic Molecular Theory and the Atomic Theory.

Midyear Presentation of Learning

Halfway through the year we have done so much in school, this is the time where we have our mid year presentation of learning. The driving question for this project is “What is your learning goal that you want to reach by the end of this school year, and how will you meet it?”. My learning goal is to not be stressed with work. I will meet this goal by doing my work spread out instead of all at once at the last minute and to be able to do this consistently. With the first projects in PLP I quickly learned that I wasn’t going to have as much free time as before. Our Humanities Project, Maker Project and Scimatics Project were more than I have done in school at one time ever up to this point.

In Humanities we so far have completed two projects the first being The Medium is the Message project and our Knockin’ on Heaven’s Door project. Starting with the Medium is the Message project where it was all about advertising. In this project I failed multiple times. On my ads that I made for my businesses I revised many times but this lead to a very well made and refined advertisement. I found out early on that PLP work is very sophisticated and I realized that it would take a lot longer for me to develop skills to meet the expectations for all projects. As for the Knockin’ on Heavens Door project I found this quite boring because it was very repetitive in my opinion. A thing that I did like about this was the physical aspect of actually going to temples and getting to see in person what a religion is like. In this class I am striving to improve my create competency.

The class i’ll talk about is Maker, so far we have done the Big Life Journal Project, the Power of A Pencil project and our Star Wars Mini Blue Sky project. In the Big Life journal project I think that it has helped me with my mindset and goals and also giving me more confidence by opening up my creativity and generating ideas so this project taught me some valuable life lessons and I think that this project was appropriate at the start of the year. The Power of A Pencil project was quite fun and some of the artwork that I saw from my classmates blew me away. I think I could have done better at this in terms of the quality of my work. People were very into this project and so I saw that those people were the ones that succeeded and so that is what I want to incorporate into my learning. The latest project the we finished was the Star Wars Mini Blue Sky Project and this project was stressful. I found that it was a lot harder to work on than other projects because we were basically making our own project inside of another project. In this class I am striving to improve my empowered learner competency.

The next course is Scimatics, in this class we have done our fractions of your time project, tectonics book project and our mazer tag project. In the fractions of your time project I could say that I struggled a bit but I was still grasping the concept of PLP and doing math on an iPad. The second project is something that I really think I could have done better and that is the tectonics book. This also is connects to the evaluating competency which is to demonstrate an understanding and appreciation of evidence. The mazer tag project was the latest Scimatics project we completed and I enjoyed this project. I think I had a good understanding of the concept of lasers and enjoyed the project.

The final course is PGP (Personal Growth Plan), this is the course I am going to be particularly striving to better myself at. A huge part of this course was our oregon trip which we were assessed on by four competencies persisting which was persevering in task through to completion, remaining focused. Looking for ways to reach your goal when stuck. Not giving up. The next was Thinking before acting; remaining calm, thoughtful and deliberative. Thinking about Thinking (Metacognition), Being aware of your own thoughts, strategies, feelings and actions and their effects on others. The third was Questioning and Posing Problems which is having a questioning attitude, knowing what data are needed and developing questioning strategies to produce those data. Finding problems to solve. The final one was Thinking Interdependently which is being able to work in and learn from others in reciprocal situations. Team work. The big ones that I think I need to work on is Thinking interdependently and Questioning and posing problems.

Star Wars PLP Winter Exhibition

Hello it’s Raymond welcoming you back from winter break, this last PLP winter exhibition we worked on a blue sky project and a project called mazer tag were you can find here. For our blue sky project (do anything you want)  the driving question was “How might I design and build an answer to my own inquiry”. This brought me to my own how might we question which was “how might we create something to express different emotions using Star Wars music”. This is what kickstarted my project and had me going on a good path. This was what the first milestone was about.

What we used throughout this project was the LAUNCH cycle. Starting with the “L” phase Look, Listen and Learn, Saw the first Star Wars movie and heard music that was used in my final project. This phase included lots of research and figuring out how I could use this in my project. I learned lots of things from classmates and teachers wether is was important parts of the movies to understand more design opportunities  or even just encouragement with your ideas for a final project. The competency that was assessed was the Look, Listen and learn competency.

The next phase was the “A” phase ask tons of questions. In this phase I created a chart of questions ranging from robot questions, detective questions, judge questions and inventor questions, these questions could be answered by a simple google search or YouTube video, or it could be more complicated and required a different approach to answer the questions. This phase helped me refine my task and make it much easier to handle. The competency assessed was Ask the Hard Questions, doing this makes you have a strong understanding of what you need to know to create your product.

The “U” phase which was understanding the problem or process was where we had to use finer search terms while researching to find the exact bit of information we needed. Some of these questions needed some different or imaginative solutions. This is where the innovative designer competency came in, this included using a variety of technologies to create imaginative solutions to solve difficult problems. The other competency assessed was Understanding the problem or process. This included stating the source of information which could be in MLA format like we used in our third milestone. This competency also had choosing an idea to pursue but still keeping other ideas open.

The next phase was the “N” phase Navigate Ideas, this phase we made a video to show our innovative designer competency. The video included what our steps were to create our end product and what we have done so far towards our goal. The “N” phase included thinking inside the box but making the most as possible with the constraints we had. I use iMovie to make the video that showed these competencies. 

The second last phase was the “C” phase Create a Prototype, this phase i created a prototype of a Star Wars music remix the competency assessed was Create, Make, Design and Build and Computational thinker. This is were I used the power of technology and created music on my iPad. My plan at this point in the cycle for my final product I would use GarageBand and iMovie put together to make a video with visuals and audio.

The last phase was “H” highlight and fix, this is where you finish up your project and just tweak your product for the actual presentation or. This is where I also showed my teachers fail evidence. Without this failing I would probably not have done as well because when you learn from your mistakes you focus on it more and you make yourself complete that task with greater detail. I also identified the sources of feedback and made changes even self critique like if there was a little thing wrong with my product I would fix it. As for being a computational thinker I used apps on my iPad to show the power of technology and ultimately develop a solution to my inquiry. At this point it was time to LAUNCH our project to the world.




The area we presented our projects in was the planet Endor… not actually on the Star Wars planet though. Myself and a group of grade 8’s and 9’s made a replica of Endor in one of our classrooms. This place was decorated with lots of green paper had many cardboard trees and even had a pine scent. The room was somewhat dark like you are being covered in trees and we had some ambient noise included in our area. Other groups were assigned different places like Tatooine, Hoth and The Death Star. Overall this project was quite fun especially finishing it off with taking almost the whole movie theatre to ourselves and getting to watch Star Wars Rise of Skywalker.


Mazer Tag

This is the end blog post for our recently completed science/math project called “Mazer Tag”. “The driving question for this project was how are the side lengths of right angle triangles related to each other?.” The big idea in this project was “Light energy can be transferred as both a particle and a wave”. We used this law of reflection to show our right angle laser path at our PLP Star Wars exhibition. We were assessed by three curricular competencies, First Communicating and Representing: represent mathematical ideas in concrete, pictorial, and symbolic forms. The second was Applying and Innovating: Co-operatively design projects. The last is Questioning and Predicting: Demonstrate a sustained intellectual curiosity about a scientific problem of personal interest.

Communicating and Representing. In this competency I showed my knowledge of the Pythagorean Theorem by successfully measuring our laser triangle. We created an accurate poster for the exhibition room with a diagram of the laser path. 

Applying and Innovating. I showed the applying and innovating competency by having a good representation and aesthetically pleasing model and laser triangle. I worked on this project with Quinn and Dries. We all contribute to set up the laser path in the room.

Questioning and Predicting. I showed this competency by using class time efficiently to complete the project on time and having curiosity about the scientific topic of the laser triangle.


The Medium is The Message

This is another recap of a project called the medium is the message. This project was all about advertising. Our driving question was “how does what we read hear and see influence us”. This was the first big project for Humanities and we were all just getting into high school so most of our class was clueless and this brings us to our first Milestone.

Milestone one, this was the first milestone and to be honest I really did not know what to do. We watched an advertisement called “welcome home”. We then had to dissect this and show our understanding of the target audience and what message they used to reach their target audience. This was a fail (first attempt in learning), we say this because we just got into a new project and we were just getting to know the basics.

Milestone two, this milestone was surveying people that are not in your demographic. I chose to survey my mom. Like I thought we did not have the same perspective. We had different tastes in clothing and different perspectives in advertising. I learned that demographics can have impacts of what we think about advertising. I feel that most people have the same perspectives in advertising but different things could make the perspectives more broad.

Milestone three, this task was to make a chart and simply watch television. We were to record ads into this chart and show how they used either pathos which is a advertising strategy that uses emotional appeal, logos which uses logic, reason, statistics and facts and ethos which is when the advertiser makes you trust them. We also recorded some other strategies that the advertisers use. I saw that most of the time our classes advertisements we related to their particular channel. My channel was a sports channel so I got a lot of sponsors for the sports team advertising.

Milestone four, this milestone we wrote up an analysis for a book we read called “The Highest Tide”. We had to connect this to advertising like identifying literary techniques like pathos, logos and ethos. Another thing we had to find is some techniques that are different from pathos, logos and ethos.

Milestone five/six, these milestones were completed in Oregon. We made an ad for our local area business a couple weeks before this and this was for a business in Oregon. These milestones showed our shared understanding. We made many, many drafts and critiqued each other. We said things like you could add or have you tried doing this. Eventually we wrapped these up and that was the end of our first Humanities project of grade 8.


This was my first draft of my local business advertisement compared to the last.




This was my first draft of the Oregon advertisement compared to my final draft.



SBC Week 8

Hi, this is Raymond for the final time in the student blogging challenge.

My favourite part of the SBC was week 5, this week was about music and I was hoping this would come up. One of my favourite things to do is make music. Another thing is playing the piano. This week let me put those two things together and wrote about some things that I like. I think that that was definitely my favourite week.

My blogging plans for the future is to do it all through high school, from grade 8 to 12. I think of this as the introduction to all the blogging that I will be doing through my high school career. I will keep checking out other peoples blogs, I may add some cool experiences that have to my blog. Winter is on the way so you could expect some snow stuff on my blog.


SBC Week 7

This week is all about celebrations and festivities and the first thing I will be sharing is a photo of my favourite celebration.

My favourite celebration is Christmas. This photo first of all is pretty high quality like most pictures on pixabay. This is a picture of some ornaments in white Christmas tree background. This photo really reminds me of snow and I’m starting to get hyped up for Christmas.

The next part is a poem that I made.


The Power of A Pencil

This post today is about a unit maker that we just finished in school. You may be thinking, what is maker?. Maker is a subject exclusive to our program called PLP. It consists of designing being a good digital citizen and of course making things. I would like to show you what we have made in our project called “The Power of A Pencil”. This project was about using our apple pencils.

The first milestone in this project was name art. This was pretty cool and I enjoyed it a lot. I started off with my name in big block letters and then I added some two point perspective and I filled the letters in with the fill tool in sketches pro. It was still a bit blank so I changed the colour of the background and added some texture.

Milestone two was about taking sketch notes. We watched a video called “The Power of Belief” and we took sketch note on it. The big things about this was the lettering, connectors and symbols.

The third milestone was making a self portrait of ourselves. We utilized the layers feature in sketches pro. I tried my best with the shading. This does not really look like me, it’s a little bit scary but it helped me learn more about shading.

The fourth milestone was drawing a fruit bowl. Like the self portrait we used layers to trace the real life version. In this project we used lots of colour this time and the blending of colours with shading.

In the fifth milestone we had to make a logo. This logo represents me because I like baseball. For this we used an apple app called “Keynote”. This was about using symbols, shapes, colours and text to represent your company.

The most important thing about this project was the competency being assessed and that was about being an empowered learner. I have felt empowered by the apps that I have been using. I am lucky that I get to use these because they are so powerful. In my name art for example, it would have taken so much longer to make that if I did it on a piece of paper. It is just so easy to switch tools and create layers so this also made me like drawing more. I have learned that you are not limited of capabilities when you are on a iPad. This unit was super fun and I would like to take the things I learned and put that into what I do normally.

SBC Week 6

This weeks blogging challenge is about emojis. The first thing on my post is emoji art and I made an emoji in sketches pro.


The second thing is a emoji math puzzle, test you math skills and try to solve this puzzle!

The next and final thing is a emoji meaning guessing game.

The answer key can be found below.

Thanks for going through my student blogging challenge post. See you in week 7!

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