Raymond’s Decent Blog

Aight Imma Head Out

Every Object Tells A Story

Welcome to the final Humanities blog post for grade 8. This project was called “Every Object Tells A Story”, basically all the knowledge that we were building was based solely around artifacts and what historical significance they have been through. The driving question for this project was “How can artifacts teach us about settlement, peoples, and life in New France?”. So as you could probably tell our project was about researching artifacts in New France. After researching artifacts and choosing an artifact we were to make a historical fiction story with the artifact included. The artifact that I choose was a mortar and you can find more information about it in the book. You can check out the book below.

One Lucky Shot

The important competencies being assessed for this project are communicate and evidence. We can start off with communicate and what is being looked at are things like the information you collected and shared in written form or any other form. For this I think that I can say I had very concise information about my artifact and I represented it in nice written form. An example for this was the “artifact research form”, for this the content represented New France competently and showed how the artifact was used during those times and what significance it has for today. I also communicated ideas by video on zoom to peers and teachers which is something that we have just been doing in the last few weeks but I have gotten used to it and it seems now like a normal class. Next is evidence and that is how you evaluated your artifact to decide that they were good to support a historical fiction story. I feel that I met this from doing the extensive research about how this impacted New France and fitting that into a fictional story. I think that I put my artifact into a story and it fit well.

Something that I feel that I succeeded in this project was the book, I feel that it every time I write another book it gets better and better and I think that this was one of my most interesting ones. Something that I struggled with was finding specific information about my artifact, I really had to dig deep to find information about it. A part of the end product I’m most proud of is probably the actual storyline of my book and I thought it was one of the most interesting ones I have done. The skill that I feel I explored the most was writing, I got better at writing and felt that it was easier to come up with ideas. The content that I enjoyed learning the most is the artifact, I chose because when I was searching for one and it caught my eye and the information that I found about it was really interesting and that is why I enjoyed learning that the most. To answer the driving question I would say I learned and gained enough knowledge to show what the impact that this artifact had on New France and also how it was used in New France. In conclusion this project was great also considering it was all done online and I feel that I have left off humanities on a good note. 

The Ultimate Road Trip

We just finished another Scimatics project called “The Ultimate Road Trip”. In this project we were asked to plan how to spend from $9500 – $10000 in an Ultimate Road trip. The driving question was how can we model changes over time, this would mean we would need to make a graph and so that brings me to one of our big ideas which is continuous linear relations. We then put these together on a graph and then we have graphing linear relations.

Next up are the curricular competencies

Reasoning and analyzing: I used this competency effectively when doing the budget, I made an accurate chart of the money I spent and also made it very close to $10000. 

 Communicating and Representing: For this competency I met it by showing understanding of equations graphing and creating a map to represent mathematical ideas in concrete, pictorial, and symbolic forms. I showed a good looking graph and also used an accurate equation.

Connecting and Reflecting: For this I have shown a great connection with mathematical concepts and have accurate answers. I am also able to connect that with this project and what I have chosen to do and where to go on my road trip.

My project was a trip going from Vancouver, BC all the way down to Yosemite, CA. It took me 14 days and I stopped at 5 different places in total. I started at Vancouver went to Whistler then down to Seattle, after at I went to Portland and then finally Yosemite. The total money that I used was $9985.95. In my opinion this was a great project even though it only lasted 4 weeks.

Transitional Presentation of Learning 2020

First of all… wow I can’t believe grade 8 is over I can tell you that some of the memories made in this year are some that I will remember for the rest of my life. I feel that this year has given me a solid foundation to build off of in future years and I really have to credit a lot of that to my teachers. The change from elementary to high school is pretty significant but I didn’t feel left out at all. Since the driving question is “Why do you feel you are ready to advance to the next grade level?” lets look back on the growth of me as a learner this year.

My goal from the Mid Year Presentation of Learning was to not get stressed out with work. Though this was something that I have always found that I have struggled with I have made efforts to improve this particular trouble. One of the big things that has helped me with this is listening to music while doing work, this really helps me forget about everything that is coming up and helps me just focus on the thing that I’m doing. Another thing is also going for a bike ride for the same reason, it helps me forget about all the stressful things and keeps me calm therefore getting my work done without stress. Although I feel that I have done this pretty well I think that I could bring this up another level.

Now lets check out my growth in humanities. Throughout this whole year we had 5 Humanities projects, The Medium is the message, Knockin’ on Heaven’s Door, The Renaissance, Argh Matey and our latest Every object tells a story. This was a subject that at the start of the year I didn’t particularly like but also didn’t hate it. Through this year it has grown on me a bit. I have gained more interest about this subject and have also gotten a lot better at communication. For my MPOL I stated that I am not very good at speaking but, since the MPOL and especially lately I have gotten better at communicating verbally. I feel a lot more confident and it feels less awkward. One of the things that have showed this is the peer critiques in zoom. My favourite Humanities project was probably The Medium is the message because it was included in the Oregon trip and I also liked it because I enjoyed designing the advertisements and refining them to get an awesome looking advertisement. Something that I could improve more is work ethic in this subject, as I said this has grown on me but I’m still not sold on it.

Next is Maker, in Maker we did Big Life Journal, The Power of a Pencil, Student Blogging Challenge, Star Wars Mini Blue Sky, Destination Imagination and A Sustainable Blue Sky. Maker is probably one of my favourite classes if not the most. What I have learned from Maker is super important, from mindset to teamwork and everything in between. Throughout Maker I have learned that mindset is a huge aspect of daily life, I’ve also learned how to work together in a group. I really enjoyed the Big Life Journal project because it really opened my eyes to different ways of thinking and also better ways to keep your life together. I will strive to improve my teamwork skills more which I think also goes with communication.

For PGP I think that my goal from the MPOL fits here. Not getting stressed is a big thing in getting things done. The ways that I have found to cope with this really help but they both have one thing in common and that is a way to forget about what is coming up next. I feel that really stresses me out. Another way is to get work done before it is due which I still have to get on board with. Obviously the most awesome thing this year was Oregon, In terms of teamwork since this trip I think have improved quite a bit. I can give my opinion in conversations, ask questions and also give answers. In PGP I want to be able to speak strait off my head without hesitation or freezing.


Last subject is Scimatics, For Scimatics projects we have done Fractions of Your Time, Tectonics Book, Mazer Tag, Chemistry Coding, Ultimate Design Challenge, Argh Matey and Ultimate Road trip. I have learned so much different skills and calculations in Scimatics and have definitely expanded my range of knowledge. My favourite project was probably the Ultimate Design Challenge because it was fun to design objects and also present it in front of the class. Something to improve on is to get the concepts in my head really good so I don’t forget them.

In conclusion I absolutely think that I am ready to move on to grade 9. After all of this gaining knowledge and learning different concepts about different things. I have also made changes to my work habits to be a better learner, but even though I have done a lot this year I will strive to do my best and be better than before in the coming years.

A Witness To History

Welcome to my third COVID-19 blog post, this one is all about the recent maker project called “Witness to History”. This project was all about how we can tell stories of the COVID-19 pandemic through photojournalism which brings me to the next thing which is the driving question. The driving question for this project was “How can we, as photojournalists, tell stories of our community during this period of physical distancing”. So for our final project we were asked to create a photo essay that showed aspects of COVID-19 and physical distancing. You can see my final draft below.


To answer this driving question I had to go out and find evidence of how COVID-19 have been impacting my community. So I set out to find some empty field and trails out in my community which showed the change that was triggered by the pandemic. Through my journey I quickly found that it wasn’t hard to find evidence for this. I also used the photos I took to tell a story, the way I ordered the photos I  made it so that you would see the progression in the community as it gradually gets worse.

Some of the other work that helped me to complete this project were seeing some other examples of a photo essays. You can find the link to the article here which is the one that gave me the most inspiration, what stood out to me with this photo essay was the empty ness. I have been to Las Vegas and it is packed on the strip all the time but seeing it like this is very eye opening and so that is where I got the inspiration to do empty places as a theme.

My final verdict for this project is that it was interesting to see the impact of the pandemic in our local community and also to see some other things like nice signs and things like that to boost moral.

Argh Matey!

One of the latest finished projects is a project that we called “Argh Matey!”. This project included Scimatics and Humanities which is four different subjects all together, Science, Math, English and Social Studies. For this project in particular it was Social Studies English and Science. In this project we were asked tho make a comic book about a 1600s explorer and we also had to implement a disease into the story for the Scimatics portion. The driving question for the Scimatics part was How do cells and diseases interact? And the Humanities driving question was what is the significance of global exploration. You can read the comic I made below.

Sir Francis Drake Comic

The image below is the project end mind map reflecting on what we added at the start of the project.

Next is about the curricular competencies

Questioning and predicting: I think that for this competency I completed the tasks as asked and pushing myself to do even better.

Scientific Communication: For this competency I showed a comprehensive understanding about how the virus interacted with the body and used proper scientific vocabulary and accurate diagrams.

Evaluating: This competency I showed an understanding of the outcomes and symptoms of the chosen virus and and implemented them with a story.

Connect: In this I created a good understanding of the explorer and implemented his life into a story consisting of texts that you read and texts that you view.

Establish Historical significance: I showed comprehension in this competency by giving an explanation about the significance of my explorer and what he was remembered for.

Overall this project was quite fun as it involved lots of creativity for making the comic while also gaining a lot of knowledge as this project involved four subjects.

Destination Imagination Online

So, I’m sure just about everyone on the planet has heard about COVID-19 by now. Due to this most people are self quarantining, so this means that we don’t have any school for the time being. This has forced our school to have to adapt to these new changes and that means Destination Imagination online. If you have not checked out my first post you can find that here. This for sure is a different experience but I’m always open to new ideas.

For practice our team used Zoom because that is what we would be presenting on. One of the big advantages of using Zoom for our presentation was that we could change our backgrounds on the fly. The changes we wanted to make to our presentation were the props, team choice element one and two and hydraulic element for our story, but the biggest priority was the story. Since this was the part that we could get the most points out of we wanted to maximize that for our second time around. The changes that we made were to make the story longer, to add more to the script so that it would have a better more clear explanation of what we were doing in the presentation, add some sound effects, and to also add the zookeeper telling the monkeys to get back to the zoo at the end. To make our team choice element with ukuleles better we also added lyrics to go with the story. Before all of this at school our team created a much more reliable and powerful hydraulic system to knock over our trees in during the solution. This included only one hose and two syringes as opposed to four hoses and eight syringes. Our plans were also to completely redo the bush to make the entrance and exit in and out of the bush a lot faster and easier. You can see the backgrounds that we used in the performance below.

Overall I thought that our team did solid on the performance and improved on the things that we could. With our efforts to the online performance I’m sure that we would have translated that into the actual Destination Imagination performance we would have done well at the provincial tournament. Remember to stay home and follow social distancing protocols so we can flatten the curve, see you next time.

Destination Imagination Regionals

The Destination Imagination regionals tournament was a hectic one for sure, it was my first time competing in this tournament but I’m not yet convinced that I would do this in my free time. We worked in a group of 5 with me, Ryder, Julien, Liam and Nathan to compete in a scientific challenge “The First Encounter”. Our team worked for about a month and a bit to create a solution for our challenge. Now let me take you through our journey to regionals.

Destination Imagination Regionals Video

It started off with our idea of proboscis monkeys, we wanted to incorporate these into our solution somehow. The next idea was was to have our local habitat the British Columbia rainforest incorporated into the solution because our theory about this was that because everyone live here that they would better understand the solution. Our story ended up being a zoo escape and proboscis monkeys tearing up the forest and growing claws as the morph.  They the would attack one of the local animals, the black bear. When we finished laying down the framework we started on building. Our first idea for materials was cardboard, and lots of it. This would start off the first major props for our solution which were the trees for the rainforest. Our idea was to fold some cardboard boxes into long tall rectangles and glue green paper on the top. To show the falling of the trees we decided to make a hydraulic arm. Julien was in charge for this but we all worked on it as a team to complete it faster and more efficiently. One of our team choice elements was music so you can listen to that below.

On our expedition trying to find more materials to use we came across two big wooden triangles. We kept the triangles for a bit then we eventually found a use for them. Our idea was to build a bush out of these to go with our theme. We nailed two planks onto the triangle so it was freestanding. We also made the bush super wide and that gave us a lot of room inside of it. So instead of that space going to waste we used it for the black bear to go in then pop out and also for the monkeys to morph. Just when we thought we were done we came across a roadblock, the bush couldn’t fit through a door. I’m sure it was inevitable for something like this to happen given the fact that we never measured anything and never even thought about taking it through a door for that matter. So we had to tear it down and rebuild it, this was a moderate setback for our team so we had to work extra hard to get the rest of the things done.

For the next tournament I think that we need to work on our story the most, we should add more clarity throughout our performance and a story that lasts longer. This should be our number one priority so the time that we have will be spent more on the story.


It’s The End of The World

Welcome to the renaissance, about a month ago I talked about the Middle Ages and now we have arrived in the renaissance with a musical twist. The driving question for this projects was “Who or what has challenged your worldview in the transition from elementary school to high school?”. A lot about this was also about worldview and what stated in the driving question which is the transition from elementary school to high school. So for that we were to create a song based off of the R.E.M song “It’s The End of The World As We Know It” with all of our experiences from elementary to high school. In this project I worked with Julien and Annie.

First of all the competencies being assessed. The two big ones that were part of this project were the create and the cause and consequence. Create was “What literacy skills am I using to write, speak, and represent in the texts I create?” and cause and Consequence was “Who or what influenced events to occur and what were the consequences of those events?”. For create I worked effectively to show the elements of worldview in a song of my own and in a collaborative effort. I used my writing skills to show the parts of the song in the form of my own lyrics and used my GarageBand skills to mix the tracks together to make the song sound good. For cause and consequence I made a mind map about who or what has challenged your worldview from elementary to high school. In this it shows all the aspects of worldview and what has effected me from each category.

Next up how to project went we started off with the worldview MindNode for milestone one, this included geography, time, beliefs, society, values, economy and knowledge. We took our mind maps from one of our other projects and added to it in this project.

Milestone two was the individual song lyrics. I enjoyed making this because it gave you a sense of creativity and it was fun to make your lyrics rhyme to what the lyrics were for the R.E.M version.

Milestone three was the final individual song and this was the first big one. This was when I needed to go to a quiet space and record and deal with my voice no matter what. In the end I was proud of my product.

Milestone four was the renaissance cause and consequence. This is where we chose a topic about the renaissance and I chose warfare. I talked about the battle of Marignano and the battle of Pavia.

Milestone five was the final group song that is at the top of this post. In this Me, Julien and Annie put all of our lyrics together to make one mega song. This is also accompanied by pictures of us from grade 7 to grade 8.

Overall this project was fun and I liked that it incorporated music. I am now curious about what the next project for humanities will be. I guess we will see in the next blog post.

The Ultimate Design Challenge

The latest scimatics project has been a fun one. Seeing the name “Ultimate Design Challenge” got me intrigued. The big idea for this project was The relationship of between surface area and volume of 3D objects can be used to describe, measure, and compare spatial relationships. “The driving question was “How can we maximize the surface area or volume of an object?”. This then lead us to make our own driving question that better suited our plan for the 3D object so me and my partner Josh made our driving question “How can we design powder skis for maximum surface area?”. Down below is what our skis and ski bindings look like. The next part is the competencies listed below.

Communicating and representing: This competency was about explaining and justifying mathematical ideas and decisions. I met the requirements by clearly explaining the formulas and also showing the steps and what the outcome of what I was measuring was.

Reasoning and analyzing: This competency was about modelling mathematics in contextualized experiences. I met this by writing and labeling the formulas I used in the final presentation and stating what shapes were for whatever formula.

Applying and innovating: This competency was to contribute to care for self, others, community, and world through personal or collaborative approaches. I met this by working well and efficiently with my partner in collaboration for our 3D models, calculations and final presentation.

Communicating and representing: This was about Explaining and justifying mathematical ideas and decisions. I met this by creating a keynote presentation and explaining the mathematical decisions that me and my partner made to ultimately find the surface area, volume and ratio of our 3D models.

Overall I enjoyed this project and now I’m looking forward to the next scimatics project associated with cells and diseases.

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 two Main competencies that we focused on was the Comprehend competency for the English part of humanities and The Continuity and Change competency for the social studies part. For the Continuity and Change competency I met this by showing my understanding of continuity in spice trade and change in the trebuchet. For the Comprehend part I met this by using my keynote notes, watching and listening to important videos and reading articles on the Middle Ages.

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.

Middle Ages Presentation


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