🎙Totally Awkward Random🎙

   Hello ladies and gentlemen and welcome back to another summative learning portfolio post! This post is monumental in the fact that it marks the end of our first project of our grade 10 year. Honestly you don’t know how weird that feels to say, grade 10, wow. It’s been quite the ride being here since I started high school in 2018 and honestly I still feel the way I did then. Confused as can be. Obviously I’ve learned a lot through my experiences and I’ve come a long way both academically and personally. But as it always seems to be, I’m still constantly asking myself, do you know who you are? Over the past couple years we’ve been asking ourselves questions like, how would you define your worldview, or how does where you are impact who you are? Now we’re at the grade 10 checkpoint and the questions we’ve answered in the past all sort of come together. Over the past 5 weeks we were challenged with the question, what does the term identity mean to you, and how can your represent a part of your identity through a podcast? Check out my milestone 2 post that answered the first part of that loaded question.

johnhain / Pixabay

   I’ve never been one to listen to podcasts in my free time. I much prefer TV or a book or even human interaction, until now. Our task for project podcast was to create a podcast plan and and trailer. We had to come up with an original idea or a podcast that we’ll be adding to for the entirety of grade 10. Of course, to tie in our understanding of identity, this had to be a topic with a twist that made it more you. I chose to create a podcast that covers conspiracy theory’s but isn’t somber or serious like most other conspiracy podcasts. Instead mine will be funny and upbeat because while some people might disagree, I can be funny and have a typically loud and arguably obnoxious personality.

   After we had our plans set and ready to go, we did some classic peer critique, something we’re very used to by now. My classmate, Angelo was my partner and I had the pleasure of critiquing his podcast plan, which by the way is totally awesome so go check it out once our first episodes air! The entire point of peer critique is to give and receive kind, helpful, and specific feedback so you can make improvements. At that point I was still very weary of my podcast idea and didn’t have a solid plan to pitch but as I started to talk about my ideas the rest sort of came to me. This is the reason I love peer critique. I always feel like the pressure has been lifted because I’m pitching to someone who is trying to figure it out just as much as I am so it a lot easier to go with the flow. 

   The making of a podcast is a feat I have yet to tackle but will soon. Making a trailer on the other hand was the task that I feel I did a really good job with. My trailer below is my final product, one I have yet to receive feedback on. I’m pretty proud of it mostly because the music I created in GarageBand slaps hard. For each of our trailers we had to create our own intro and ending music in GarageBand. Overall we’re pretty familiar with the software but here’s always so much more to learn. I also made the choice to have music playing behind my voice over. All these tiny decisions about music, context, wording, sound effects, naming, and recording are what made our trailers as good as they are. Everything comes together to show how well myself and my peers can use our technology to creatively and effectively communicate. Funnily enough that our only competency for this project was Creative Communication. What a coincidence!

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

(This is my podcast trailer, enjoy!)

“Totally Awkward Random”

   All in all this project was a success. I’m happy with the final product that I brought to the table and I’m very excited for our next project, which entails creating our first podcast episode. Wish me luck! 

Thanks for coming to this Ted Talk

C

💳ID Please💳

   Hello and welcome back! It’s been months but I’m active once again. My first blog post of Grade 10 has already arrived despite feeling like I’ve hardly settled into my new routine. Today’s topic is Identity. I’ve touched lightly on the subject and idea of identity in the past, but now we’re really getting into it. For the first couple week of the new year we’ve dove straight into defining identity. Our answers vary as everyone has their own interpretation of what identity means. The dictionary defines identity as, “the fact of being who or what a person or thing is.” My job in this post is to explain my understanding of identity.

   So what exactly is my idea of identity? Well when I think about my personal identity, one that is different that every other person on earth, reaching the deep stuff can be daunting. Sure, I am a soccer player, a student, a teenage girl, and so much more, but that’s just scraping the surface of my identity. I’ve said it once and I’ll say it again and again, I’m only 15 and I still have so much to learn about myself. For me that means not necessarily having a clear idea of who I am. It’s different for everyone and that’s what makes the question, “Who am I,” so special. I could ask my younger brother who he is and theres a 99% chance he’d say he’s a soccer player or a Jedi but honestly that’s expected from him as he’s only 11. If I asked my dad the same question chances are he’d go on a whole journey from when he was a little kid in Ireland to when he chose to become a teacher instead of a lawyer all the way to now. Of course there is still a chance he’d say he’s a Jedi but never mind that. I think that since the older you get the more you learn about yourself, your answer to the question at hand can mature just as you have. 

 

   In the passing weeks we’ve read multiple excerpts from novels and such as the “House on Mango Street”. In this particular reading we read about a Latina girl who described her name, Esperanza. She described it in harsh detail and in the following assignments we had to analyze why she hated her name so much and why it caused such a toll on her. It was obvious that Esperanza’s name was a huge part of her identity and it got me thinking about how much of my identity surrounds my name. It’s a lot. For reference here’s my name story assignment where I had to re-write Esperanza’s story with my own name. In doing so I was reminded of my heritage and how much I take it for granted simply because it so normalized in my head. I swear I can count maybe three times in my entire life where a substitute teacher has pronounced my name correctly on the first try. But as I explained, that’s okay, I’m used to it and it’s part of me now.

Identity is who you are. It’s your race, ethnicity, culture, sexuality, beliefs, values, appearance, career, upbringing, worldview, location, name, age, and everything else that makes you, you. Stopping to try and define it can be hard but all in all in helps you to better understand yourself. Below is a gif I made to represent some of my identity. It doesn’t seem to need much explanation but I could go deeper. I won’t though, I’d like to keep some things to myself. 

My Gif!

Thank you for coming to this years first Ted Talk

Ciara 🙂

👏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 

🦠Witness to History🦠

Hello and welcome back! In the past few months the entire world has been struck by the 21st century’s biggest and most destructive pandemic, COVID-19. If you have yet to be greeted by the oh so lovely pandemic you’re either Patrick Star and living under a boulder or Jared Leto coming back from meditation. Anyway, PLP 9’s first maker project since our online DI tournament is all about being witnesses to history. History being the current global pandemic. Our task was to learn to and execute a video essay covering how a topic of our choice is being affected by social distancing. Anyway lets dive in!

It’s been a while since my class has done a video in maker so we needed a bit of a refresher. We started by combining our maker and humanities projects to make an iMovie trailer. The goal was to tell the story of what was going on in Canada before the first gold rushes. I was very, very excited to get back on the video making train and in the end my trailer was really great! After we were back in the video makers mindset, we started to build upon our knowledge of COVID-19. While you’d think that we’d be completely caught up with the pandemic, lots changed every day or so globally. In an effort to control our curiosity on the global and more widespread effects of the pandemic we focused on choosing a community within our community, Deep Cove, or just North Van in general.

I chose to focus in on school. My peers, friends, and family are all greatly impacted by what happens in the education community. Obviously myself and all of my friends are students, plus I’ve got two younger siblings and educators for parents. Every single day all I would hear was one person after another talking about school or work or what the next steps would be. I got tired of sitting around and just listening to my parents, neighbours, and other family talk about school right around when we were assigned our first research task. I took it upon myself to sit down and interview my dad. Before I pressed record we had a hefty conversation that made me as a student and as a witness to history, much more comfortable and aware of everything happening around me. I eventually narrowed it down to asking three questions, each one concerning a stakeholder in the education community. In my video my dad answered each of those questions with extremely informative responses that added to my understanding of how our community will move forward. The three big “stakeholders,” per say are, the students, the educators, and the citizen that comes out of the education system able to make a contribution to society.

Once I had my research, interview, and script I started collecting lots of b-roll. The most challenging thing about making a video essay during quarantine is getting screen content. There isn’t a lot to film and when there was, I treasured it. I took a chance with social media and other graphics that could aid me in explaining the effects of social distancing. I think I did a good job with that and overall I’m writing this feeling confident in my video essay. The final piece of this project that I am 100% sure helped me to the finish line was simply editing my video. While editing wast a milestone or anything it certainly always helps me recognize my mistakes and learn to improve my skills. Not to mention, I am a person who typically has a lot to say. Editing helps me confine my thoughts and express them in less words, something I’ve been working on a lot lately.

As PLP students we are very familiar with core competencies. We focus on specific ones for each project we partake in. Being a witness to history has opened up fresh avenues for any student, not just myself, to being an active digital citizen. In making this video and writing this post I am actively connecting to others that may be going through similar things somewhere else in the world. In my video I used examples of social media, newscasts, articles, and other media to present my understanding and tell my story. Media is one of the biggest forms of communications in present day and we use all kinds of technology to get there. I used my photo and video skills to capture shots and my ability to find images free for use to incorporate into my video in order to get my message to my audience.

In conclusion, my time being an active witness to history is not nearly over and while that may not be ideal considering the circumstances, it’s reality. To tell a story through a video essay is a fantastic way of documenting one aspect of the COVID-19 pandemic. In 70 years when a classroom filled with grade 9 students is learning about this period in human history I can only hope that they find resources like mine. Stay safe, wash your hands, wear a mask, and stay a hockey stick apart.

Thanks for coming to my Ted Talk

– Ciara

☎️DI Why…Online?☎️

   Hello ladies and germs! And of course I can’t forget about all the gentlemen out there. But really this is a lovely welcome to the newest edition in my life and the lives of billions of others, germs! Except these aren’t regular germs. There are the kind that carry a bad virus that caused a global pandemic resulting in the closing of schools and what feels like an eternal life of loneliness due to social distancing! This is me trying so very hard to be optimistic but as you can see I am struggling. One of the things that is getting me through this period of social distancing is online school. That may seem very weird as most students hate this new format, but as a proud member of PLP I’m kinda used to it. We do everything through iPads and technology so the learning itself hasn’t changed much. The weird part is not entering my classroom everyday and not seeing our teachers and learning from them in person. This entire situation has really made me think about how much I took getting up at 7am every morning for granted. It’s almost like when you get a cold and are stuffed up and you start to regret taking clear sinuses for granted. Anyways enough about my lonely existence and on to more important topics!

sumanley / Pixabay

   On April 4th 2020 Gabe, Thomas, Felix, Brenton, and myself were set to present our revised version of our DI skit. But due to COVID-19 the provincial tournament was cancelled. When the news of school being closed all together came around we thought that we had put in all the hard work for nothing. Out of seemingly nowhere, our teachers decided to improvise! Although it wasn’t perfect, and we couldn’t show all of our work on the most important elements of the challenge, my team, and all the others, presented our skits over a Zoom call to an improvised panel of judges including one of our own, Zoe Wooles.



   Before I dive into how this Zoom presentation went, I’d like to cover all of the improvement my team made after the regional tournament. At regionals, my team may have come first, but all in all, we didn’t really deserve the win and we definitely wouldn’t have gotten that far if we were in a different category. After our presentation, we immediately decided we needed to step things up to a whole new level. In class a few days later we had a discussion recalling all the things that went poorly and needed to be fixed. We made plans for a new and improved backdrop, designed possible improvements for our bridge, and edited our script to fit our missing group member, Felix.

  • Script page

   When we were hit with a brand new challenge, my mindset was already in a delicate state. Not being able to socialize, go out, have fun, or learn in familiar and enjoyable environments was a difficult adaptation to make. Adding to that with a Zoom DI presentation, ouch. After we’d heard that school was cancelled, my team kind of gave up and stopped communicating overall. Obviously that was a mistake that we later made up for in what I thought to be a pretty good presentation, especially under the circumstances. As we couldn’t show the bridge, backdrop, or props that would’ve aided our skit, we depended heavily on the story, which I wrote. When preparing for regionals I felt that I should put my strengths to good use and write a creative story that was still realistic and met standards. In doing so I felt like I didn’t really help the team enough with the bigger elements. With the improvised skit, my hard work and “creative genius,” as I like to call it, came in handy and made for a fun and successful presentation! We also put together new backgrounds and utilized Zoom’s virtual background feature to set the scene. 

   At the end of the day we were forced to drop everything and improvise. I personally think we were successful and to be honest, the online tournament was a fun kickstart to our new online schooling! After all my entire team was able to understand the new process, navigate the changes, and make adaptations in a time crunch, which I count as a win, especially with the competency we’re being assessed on.

Thanks for coming to my TED Talk…and please, rember to stay home and wash your hands!

– Ciara

♠️♥️♣️DI, Why Bridges?♣️♥️♠️

Welcome back ladies and germs. I usually have a more creative intro but I think it’s necessary to welcome every single organism out there, including coved-19. All coronavirus  jokes aside, welcome to yet another DI portfolio post. Destination Imagination has been quite the rollercoaster this year. As the process has had me up and down for months I haven’t had much time to reflect, so here we are!  To read all about DI and my experience with it last year click here! Anyway, as I previously said, DI has been all over the place this year and if I’m being 100% honest, it has been nothing even remotely comparable to my challenge solution last year. That being said, I’m going to take this post in an abnormal direction, one that is more subjective to my experience this time around!

When my group was first brought together, I will admit I was anything but excited. Obviously I had a bit of a rock brain going in and as soon as I recognized that, I changed my views and tried to connect and collaborate with my teammates. As we’ve gone on I soon recognized the assets that each of us brought to the table. Skipping ahead a few weeks and there is still some conflict between team members but we have come a long way, especially considering our group dynamics. Being the only girl in my group of five did admittedly feel intimidating at first, which is very abnormal for me. But I realized that I was put in a situation that was going to be challenging because of that group dynamic and even more so due to the challenge we selected. Engineering involves math and science more than anything else. That alone made me uncomfortable because I’m not someone who can easily understand challenge requirements that are all about measurements, weights and efficiency ratio’s. The recognize portion of this project wasn’t just about learning the challenge requirements, or understanding the scoring this. Instead it was a mix of both understanding the challenge in full, finding ways to work peacefully with my group, and most of all step outside my comfort zone. Now almost two months after we started, I can see that I achieved in understanding my challenge and collaborating with my team. It was the fact that I failed to take risks that weighed me down.

Thinking in the most creative ways possible is what allows for success in DI. That along with a strong sense of teamwork, intuition, and leadership are what make for a great DI solution. In our initial team com react, we out each of those thing down and committed to achieving each of them. Overall our challenge solution is strong in some areas, just not the ones that will put us on top. As a group we completely failed in communicating and appointing a leader. All of the work would pile onto one person at a time and left us very divided. Leading up to provincials I’m striving for a first place trophy that we deserve. Whether that is for our challenges overall success or the success of our team really matters to me this time. I want to take risks and step outside of my comfort zone and into the topics and concepts that I’m not as strong with. While I did contribute to the solution in writing our story and working with the set, I didn’t do enough with our bridge and load. Provincials is only a few weeks away and I am determined to not let anything, whether that be my teammates, time management, or my own thoughts get in my way. We have come together as a group and discussed all that needs to be done in order to succeed. We need to allow for everyone’s voices to be heard and I cannot express enough how much we need to practice and prepare. Improvised acting and superstitions aren’t going to get us to where we want to be. Practice makes perfect and we were nowhere near perfect at regionals. For provincials I honestly think that we should edit our contract. We need to practice better communication between DRI’s. We need to practice better teamwork with preferably much less conflict. And finally we need to have every team member put in the same amount of effort in order to succeed. 

Over the past week or so, and into spring break and the return to school after, I plan to work hard on the parts of our solution that need help. Our set piece is going to be flawless and our bridge will be much more reliable than the last. I’m going to be able to put the bridge together even if it’s not my part in the actual performance. My determination is there this time around and I’m fired up for the next tournament!

Thanks again for coming to my TED Talk: Quarantine Edition!

✌️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 ✌️

   

   

🛸The Return of This Reflection🛸

 

  Hello ladies and gentlepeople and welcome back to the late night show with me. No, I’m not anywhere as cool as Stephen Colbert but I’m trying so please, cut me some slack. We are now continuing from where I left off in my last post so if you haven’t read that already, I recommend you go and do so now! 

   To briefly refresh your memory, as a class we were split into 4 groups. Each of these groups were assigned a planet and story to write. Along with those components we also had to create an artifact that represents our part of The Hero’s Journey. As I was the conclusion this was a difficult task for me seeing as our character dies at the climax of the story. You might be confused as to how that even worked and trust me I was too but we eventually figured it out. Anyway, back to my artifact!  Our story evolves around a character called Pudge. At the climax of the story, Pudge is sacrificed in order to save the life of Luke Skywalker himself. In my part of the story, part 7, our protagonist takes the form of a force ghost, a figure commonly seen in the Star Wars universe. Usually force ghosts only appear when Luke, Anakin, Rey, or even Ben Solo are in need of guidance of someone, typically a Jedi master or an influential figure from their past. Since force ghosts are usually only Jedi or main characters, my artifact idea was a little risky. I wrote in the sense that Pudge had moved on to a spiritual form and followed alongside Luke in his training to become a powerful Jedi master. In order to represent this through my maker project, I built a hologram.

   Holograms are very, very common in the Star Wars universe and yet we don’t see many of them hanging around these days. Who am I kidding, Elon Musk probably has a few lying around and simultaneously hidden from the public eye. Back to my hologram. With projects like these, our teachers have us follow what is known as, the LAUNCH Cycle. Last year’s spring exhibition was my very first time using the LAUNCH Cycle for a project and this was only my second time around. That being said, I’m not going to lie to myself in saying that on both these occasions I was very good at keeping up to date and actually following the journal’s steps to success. In recognizing that I don’t do particularly well with keeping up to date on regular repeating assignments, such as literacy circles, I can identify that this LAUNCH process is not one of my strong suits. I undeniably stumbled and went off that tracks for a while during this project but I certainly let myself down in not being able to move forward. All that aside, I’ve made it a goal for my next time using the LAUNCH Cycle, to try even harder and really show the effort in keeping up to date of everything. A great example of an opportunity to do so in Term 2 is Destination Imagination 2020, trust me you’ll be hearing a lot about that soon enough.

   As the night of the exhibition approached at a rapid pace I got closer and closer to finishing my hologram and lets be honest it was really stressing me out. Eventually, after I had completed multiple drafts and worked with different spectrums and images I finished off with a bang and created something that I’m genuinely proud of. Looking at my hologram now and reflecting on the exhibition as a whole I can see where things could’ve used some editing, but nonetheless I’m still very proud. 

The curricular competency for the maker component is “take creative risks.” As I have just reflected upon my LAUNCH Journal and my performance with it this year I would like to jump into the competency side of things. Taking creative risks simply poses us with the question, “how can we use technology to create in new ways?” I feel that with the LAUNCH cycle I didn’t take creative risks in the best way I could have. I was very keen on creating a holographic image but I know that I could have challenged myself more when it came down to it. For instance I could have animated my hologram more or made a recording allowing for the illusion to speak. I recognize that while I did succeed in the end, it was on low standards. Having blue sky again at the next exhibition provides me with a chance to improve and succeed with the LAUNCH cycle and take creative risks more so than this time!

My holographic image (Pudge the Tauntaun)

   Alongside every PLP exhibition project comes the set up and preparation for the big night. I had the responsibility of being my team’s DRI, also known as the “Directly Responsible Individual.” This simply meant that I was in charge of making everything happen smoothly. At least that’s how I determined it this time around. While taking charge in my PLP 9 team was difficult, I like to think that I did well in the position. Add six grade 8’s to the mix and things tend to go awry. Yes, you read that right. Our teachers assigned us six grade 8’s to have in our planet rooms during the exhibition and all it did was leave me another six people to keep on the same page. That’s a bit of a blunt way to put it but nonetheless, I was more stressed handling 13 people, including myself in set up. Setting up took us hours and hours, days actually. We mapped out the room and presentation areas and make plans for decoration that would evidently lead to the recreation of the planet Hoth. Another simply delightful challenge we faced was turning our classroom into a literal ice desert using paper, sheets, lights, and ice. We drove the temperature of the room down by opening all the windows and used LED white lights to bring the room to life. I kid you not this set up took hours and was a serous commitment. In the end our room was surprisingly fantastic and it really looked and felt like you were stuck in the eye of a storm. A cold and wet storm but still. 

  • Hoth Exhibit Set Up

   When it comes down to it, I believe that I did well and I can recognize that with my performance in the curricular competency side of things. We were challenged to answer the driving question, “How might we build an interactive exhibit which explains the hero’s journey?” I am able to identify literary elements and use the proper vocabulary to provide evidence of my understanding’. I am able to create and extend a shared understanding and build upon shared ideas to reach goals. And finally I believe that through the entire process leading up to this exhibition I was able to strongly express and support my opinions using credible evidence. Providing examples of my accomplishments comes in these posts in the form of a reflection. Going ack to my launch process again, I was able to recognize the steps that had to be taken, even in the situations where I fell behind. I have goals for the next exhibition and surprisingly enough I’m not hating the idea of doing another one in a short 5 months. We answered the driving question confidently and took the exhibition by storm. Our exhibit clearly allowed for our guests to understand the hero’s journey and our story, Pudge’s story. 

Here is my LAUNCH Journal in which I kept track of my progress going toward the exhibition!

 With that , I am concluding this long, terrible TED Talk ✌️

   

   

🪐The Story Struck Me Hard🪐

   Good Morning, good afternoon, good evening! Wherever you are, whenever you are reading this, I feel it is my sole duty to represent the intensity of this portfolio post in just the opening sentences. Now before I get into the nitty gritty, I would like to pleasure you with a clever pun. Enjoy…

What is the internal temperature of a Tauntaun?

Lukewarm 

   Diving into the details of this years Winter Exhibition we shall begin with our project launch and building of knowledge that lead us to an amazing final product! When we initially launched the subject of story telling and literature analysis I honestly didn’t expect for there to be an entire story writing, Star Wars extravaganza awaiting us on the other side. All expectations aside, we dove right in. Starting out with our first milestone, a simple opinion piece, the topic of which, “why is Star Wars still relevant in modern pop culture?” Our task was simply to identify an answer and support our reasoning and logic behind it. As this was our very first milestone, it was important to set the bar for myself and try my best as from there, I could only improve. I think that I did myself a solid in setting a standard that I needed to meet for each of the following steps and I feel that my works speaks for itself in this case.

   Advancing in our understanding of opinion and the importance and overall influence that Star Wars has over modern film and media, we stepped into the basics of story analysis. We began to spend classes discussing the ideas of literature and comprehending the terms used to describe different short stories we were assigned to read. In doing so, I found some of the fiction very interesting, especially that of Ray Bradbury’s, “The Veldt.” All of the stories we read were helpful components in identifying literary terms that would go into our short story charts. Eventually, the building knowledge lead to our final test on literacy analysis. This entire process was one of two vital steps in the completion of our short stories. 

   “The Hero’s Journey,” is a phenomenon in the world of storytelling that was proven and developed by a man named Joseph Campbell. Our example of The Hero’s Journey was the Star Wars saga and the trilogies within. The concept itself explains that all stories follow the same outline. Not exactly an unfamiliar idea but undeniably more complex than a simple beginning, middle, and end. The Hero’s Journey explains the story alongside the main characters development. Using Luke Skywalker as an example, the story begins with a call to adventure. Luke receives a message from Leia through R2-D2 and the story begins. When he complains that he is “late for supper,” he is simply refusing the call, which happens to be the second steppingstone in this storytelling chart. We worked with different examples of The Hero’s Journey over a couple of weeks and eventually were tasked with creating our very own story using it. 

   Our stories, what a subject! In order to not give every single student in my class a heart attack, we were divided into groups. The best part about this particular grouping was that each of the teams were assigned a planet. The Death Star, Endor, Tatooine, or Hoth. Each of these Star Wars planets are filled with seemingly unimportant characters and that gave us so much opportunity. Our initial task was to select an “unimportant,” character from our planet and tell their story. My group decided Hoth was our best fit and we started to brainstorm ideas for a character. When we researched all the scenes on Hoth from the Star Wars movies, we found one very important character that doesn’t get nearly enough credit for the role he played in the overall success of the Resistance against the Empire. This is a character like no other, a vital role in the survival of Luke Skywalker himself, Pudge the Tauntaun. No his name isn’t actually Pudge but this is our story so we named him what we felt was right. Now at this point in my seemingly never ending rambling session you may be confused as to what Pudge did to deserve so much credit. Well, do you remember that scene on Hoth in the Empire Strikes Back? The one where Luke is help captive by a giant abominable snowman, also known as a Wampa. Well if that doesn’t ring any bells  maybe the part where Han Solo slices opened a giant snow lizard horse thingy and stuffs a nearly frozen Luke inside for warmth will. Yeah that things that Han slices open, that’s Pudge. 

   Not to spoil anything, but my group, Meg, Felix, Julia, Angelo, Brenton, Kaden, and I all did an amazing job at creating a story, Pudge’s story and using The Hero’s Journey to do so. On a more reflective side of things, there are undeniably parts of our humanities portion that I could have done better at. Earlier I talked about setting a standard for myself with our first humanities milestone. I’d really like to say that I met that standard with everything but lets face it, I’d be lying to myself. I can confidently say that I worked on this story whole heartedly and it took time to build something that I was proud of, especially being the representer of the stories conclusion. With each group member writing one part of The Hero’s Journey being last was difficult considering that our main character literally dies at the climax. Okay, that’s enough spoilers! I’ll be explaining a lot more in the post linked below!

   Thanks for coming to tonight’s comedy special and we hope to see you again soon ✌️ 

   Click here for part 2! (I’m so sorry for how long these are, concise writing isn’t my strong suit)

🕳Maker 9; An Endless Rabbit Hole You’ll Never Come Back From🕳

   Good evening ladies and gentlemen and welcome back to another episode of metal breakdowns with tonight’s host, yours truly, me. Okay to be fair, I’m tired. I’ve had a lot on my plate lately, so please, no criticism on this posts opening. Please. Now in case you were wondering, which you probably weren’t, I have managed to keep my head above water for the past couple weeks. How? I have absolutely no idea what to tell you. In the past three months we have had by far the busiest term of school I’ve ever experienced. And yes I know, “it only gets harder,” “you’re only in grade 9.” Blah blah blah. Yes I’m in grade 9 but that doesn’t in an way dilute the amount of effort I have to put in on a regular basis. So why am I rambling on and on about the amount of stress that is slowly drowning not only me, but almost every other PLP 9 student? Because of one of the core contributors to said stress! Maker! Now despite the high expectations and pressure we’re put under, I love maker. It’s always so fun and leaves so much wiggle room for creative opportunity. That what I though last year. This year, term 1 to be specific has given us an entirely blank canvas when it comes to creative and skillful development. This has been amazing and had contributed to my growth in this subject so much. To really break it down for you, we’ve been assigned a full out reflection on the term and our performance and growth in the curricular competencies we’ve been working with lately. I’m now going to demonstrate the innate art of full sending it into reflection mode. Enjoy, and don’t forget to fasten your seatbelt because you’re in for a bumpy ride!

qimono / Pixabay

 First up we’re going through the process of explaining the curricular competencies. Taking a first look at what you see below way back in September was a tad intimidating. Considering I was fresh off of summer break, still sporting a tan you can see how now that it’s the beginning of winter and nonetheless almost the new year I’m definitely more confident in my ability to comprehend the meanings of each of the competencies. Each and every one of the videos that I’ll be sharing with you today are ones that I can recognize the peaks and valleys of my performance with the competencies and my growth going forward. Take a look at the photo below and read the “simple,” description for each of the competencies and see how you feel. Now try making a grand total of 10 videos that are supposed to meet and eventually exceed the expectations that follow. Fun isn’t it!

The Beginning:

   I kid you not. PLP teachers have a gift when it comes to launching a project. From last years REM related project to that of this terms most recent Star Wars project. With maker this year we had the experience of creating a video on the spot. Zero preparation. Very little time. A task created solely to show us our improvement later on. Sounds very familiar. We were tasked with creating a four shot film. That basically meant only using four different shots and angles to create a mini movie. This was…well. A disaster. Video making was alway simply compiling a series of clips in iMovie and pressing play. It would always do it for me and that was the extent of my knowledge. I feel as though this was one of the best examples for the beginning stages of being an empowered learner. I leveraged technology in order to take an active role in choosing, achieving, and demonstrating competency in my learning goals. How so? Looking back upon our video now has given my insight on how the goals I set have come along and what I have done over time to get to where I am now with my skill set and knowledge of video making.

Alberta:

   In both my Alberta posts from earlier this year I ramble on and on about the up and downs of any and all aspects of the trip. In my PGP reflection on the trip I looked back upon my attitude and work ethic whilst in my This Land is Us post I cover everything related to our project on which we worked throughout the entirety of the trip. In Alberta we created a total of three videos each very different. Before embarking on the trip we started mapping out ideas and planning for our ghost town silent films. Working with groups of 5/6 was a beneficial component in the making of this video. While we had what seemed like little time to prepare, I have now learned that a week is plenty. Managing time and working with different technologies to plan and execute our video was definitely something we didn’t do a great job with this time around. In saying that I will credit myself in meetings if not exceeding the competency, computational thinking because of how quickly I had to find and facilitate a solution to our planning and filming fiasco. Getting from the point of confusion and simply “looking around,” for an hour instead of getting down to the nitty gritty and working with what we had was one hell of a transition for me that day. And I’m glad to say that I am still very proud of the work we did.

   Our next video in Alberta was sprung upon us out of nowhere. On our day trip to Drumheller’s  Royal Tyrell Museum we had to create a one minute video in one hour. Seems like a simple task right? Nope. We needed to really gab a hold of our knowledge constructor competency for this one. Our task was to find one artifact that fascinates us and talk about why. I think that the real challenge was finding something to be my topic. I swear ask Anthony who was my partner for this project, I changed artifacts maybe 3 or 4 times before finally deciding on one. Once again, I believe that the competency knowledge constructor is really emphasized in this video and the process that went with solely because of how we needed to apply the information we had already gathered to our video.

   The final video done in Alberta was a the big one. In my This Land is Us post I talk about the process for the video and the entire project as a whole so check it out. While doing this video I feel that I found solutions to the many obstacles I faced. Whether I displayed empowered learning or innovative designing didn’t really matter because I feel that as we went through the many different stages in making this video, I showed all of them. At different points in the pre and post production I was faced with obstacles relating to my preparation or my use of technology and resources. During the production on our trip, I had to manage multiple other components all the while having fun which proved my ability to be an empowered learner. I talk a lot about this in my recent PGP post regarding Alberta as a whole. 

Humanities & Maker:

   When we started our Revolutions Through The Ages project we knew that research would be a massive contributor to both our collective and individual success. In making four videos each on a different revolution all the while highlighting cause and consequence I believe that I strongly represented a creative communicator. In my portfolio post regarding the project I talk a lot about the competencies that we worked on. Aside from the project as a whole, I believe that in each of the videos I had to change from time to time. For example, the French Revolution video we made involved acting and the idea of creating a mini movie. In doing so I believe that I used a variety of technologies to solve problems in ways that that utilize tools and resources provided. We not only had to research deeper into the topic to accurately represent historical figures such as Marie Antoinette and Napoleon Bonaparte. I can confidently say that with each of these videos I demonstrated my abilities as an empowered learner and creative communicator with room to grow but still enough to meet expectations.

   Run was our big video project in maker this past term. We worked for weeks in each of the production stages all in order to create a carbon copy of the short film, “Run.” In my post on this specific project I talk about the process itself and the final product so go and check it out. For now I want to simply go over how I met and fluctuated a lot with the competencies for this project. Using different technologies to enhance our videos was a huge part of the production from the beginning to the very end. I felt that as an individual I worked well with finding new solutions when problems arose. In the production stage particularly, I believe that I contributed to the video’s success in figuring out the logistical side of things considering the set, time, and directing. Despite this I do clearly recognize that in the earlier stages of the pre-production I was a little bit below my personal standards. I do believe that the competency best represented through my process as a learner for this project is the innovative designer.

PGP/Careers:

   The final video that I tackled this term was that of the Take Your Kid to Work Day event. In my post on the day and my experience as a whole I talk about my answers to the driving questions and I dive deep into my understanding of the working world, now what I’ve experienced parts of it first hand. With this video I believe that I was a total knowledge constructor. I know that by now I’m getting carried away with these competencies but I’m very excited at this point. This video was a huge challenge for me as I went to a hospital, specifically a cardio ICU where confidentiality is taken extremely seriously, leaving me with very little to work with. I somehow found a way to find solution to these issues and ended up with a stellar video that I’m very proud of. I really represented a knowledge constructor here because of how I leveraged the technology and resources I had to communicate and send a clear message to my audiences.

TeroVesalainen / Pixabay

   This is it. I have learned an insane amount of things from this course in the past few months, most, if not all of which will go on to help me later on. I fell that I confidently represented my learning and reflection of my growth in this post so its best to wrap it up! 

Thank you for coming to my TED Talk ✌️