January 8

Winter Exhibition 2023 ❄️

‘How do ideas drive change?’ This was our driving question for our winter exhibition of 2023. We were shown many examples of of how ideas drive change in revolutions, and that is what we focused on showing and connecting in our metaphor machines. Our class of 50 people were divided into seven groups, each assigned to different revolutions. As you read on, you will learn more about my revolution, the process of building my machine, and my experience in the actual exhibition.

Xinhai Revolution

The revolution that my group was assigned to was the Xinhai Revolution (a.k.a. The 1912 Chinese Revolution). You must be wondering, what the heck is the Xinhai revolution?!?! Well, the revolution started because of power imbalance between the local people and foreign investors, and government injustice (when the government is violating individual liberties.) in 1911. Because of that, the people started riots on the streets, and 14 provinces declared to be against the Qing government. Because of that, the 14 provinces banded together and killed a bunch of Manchu garrisons in different cities. Because of that, the Qing government forced Yuan Shikai (former military leader) out of retirement and because of that he betrayed the government and sided with the rebels. The full explanation and timeline of this revolution is written on the infographic that I made below. 

Rube Goldberg

We had to learn many things to start creating our final product; the Rube Goldberg machine. In my opinion, a Rube Goldberg machine was the perfect way to present our learning in this particular topic since Rube Goldbergs are machines that work through chain reactions, similar to how revolutions happen because of small ideas which cause ‘chain reactions’. For example, in my revolution, the whole thing was sparked when the current government (Qing Government) took away the Hukwang railway project away from the local people and gave it to foreign investors. Once we learned everything we needed  know about our revolutions, we got to building. The video below is the documentary of our building process explaining the connections of our revolutions showed through our machine, and also includes a fun little drama skit we made inspired by the show ‘Keeping Up with the Kardashians’.

Overall, I had a lot of fun preparing and presenting this year’s winter exhibition. Even though we didn’t have a theme this year, it had the same elements of team building and creativity required like every other exhibition did. There were definitely some points throughout the exhibition when I felt like we weren’t going to make the deadlines or our machine wasn’t going to work, but we managed to push through and had a pretty successful exhibition. This year’s exhibition took a lot more planning and effort than I put in last year, probably because the project was so much bigger since this year’s was a group project while last year’s was individual. This experience helped put everything we learned on our previous trip to Loon Lake to use, and I was really able to fulfill my promise of working with a team and not a group. This was only the second of many exhibitions to come, and I can’t wait to experience and learn everything the future exhibitions will teach me. I hope this blog post taught you a little more about my revolution as well as my experience in this exhibition. See you at my next post!

December 11

You’re Next…

Dark, Mysterious, Creepy. Those are the emotions that you typically feel when watching a thriller video, and those are the emotions that PLP 9 was trying to make our audience feel when creating our own thriller video. In one of my previous posts, I talked about how PLP 9 was running a remake of a short thriller called ‘Run’. Well now that we had the basics of cinematography down, it was time to create our own original thriller short films. I think that this was a really fun experience because we got choose who we worked with, we got to write our on storyline, and we got to choose where and when we filmed it. Since we had a lot more freedom to work with in this project, it turned out pretty well. My video is called ‘You’re Next’ which you can see down below.

Even though this turned out pretty well, there were obvious a lot of things that we change and add to make this film even better. Before making this film, we watched several mentor text videos to guide us when making our own videos. Watching these mentor text really helped me personally see what our videos were supposed to look like. Since we only got a short amount of time to plan, film, and edit our films it didn’t turn out exactly like we would have hoped, but I think that as we continue to put these skills to use our videos will get better and better. Practice makes perfect right? I had a lot of fun making this video and I hope that my audience has just as much fun watching it.

December 8

Loon Lake Adventure!

How do the choices we make set our future path? That was the question that the entirety of PLP 9 was trying to answer on our trip to loon lake. During our time there, we learned about 5 main subjects to help us answer this question. Emotional Intelligence, Internal Talk, Clear Communication, Social Awareness, and Leadership. Before our trip, I knew nothing about any of these subjects. But as you read on, you will see my growth in my learning about my own self-awareness, social-awareness, etc.

5 Key Subjects

As I mentioned before, I had no previous experience with the 5 main subjects. In loon lake, we took seminars, and participated in activities both indoor and outdoor to help us understand and learn these subjects. All of these activities had one thing in common. They were all team building and bonding activities. Through this camp, I feel that I have bonded with my classmates very much, and I feel that we are more of a team than we were before. I learned that Emotional Intelligence is a skill that we learn, teach, use, and develop all throughout our life, and that we are %85 more likely to use our EI (Emotional Intelligence) than we are to use our IQ in most situations. I learned that Internal Talk is the little voice in our head that helps you reflect on yourself as a person, your self-awareness, and understand your impact on others. I learned that Clear Communication includes expressing your emotions and desires clearly, and Social Awareness includes status, certainty, autonomy, relatedness, and fairness. Last but not least, Leadership. In my opinion, this was our main focus in this program. I learned personally, what skills and abilities I had that could help form and lead a team, and not a group. We learned that a group is a bunch of people with common interests, while a team is people you can put your trust in and work better with. 

Put to Action

To put our learning to action, we participated in different activities such as trust falls off of a chair standing on a table, low ropes course with our peers as support, partnered high ropes course, team crate building. These activities that we participated in really helped reinforce everything that we learned, and helped us bond together as a team. My favorite activity that we did that really helped me bond with people I normally wouldn’t bond with was the low ropes course. I think this was my favorite because it was extremely fun, and since the course was right off the ground we had no harnesses. We had to depend on each other, and put our trust in each other to catch us if we fell. My group set and broke many records in this course, and the fun we all had brought us closer together. 

The Change

At the end of this program, after we had learned and practiced all these new skills, we had to put together an exhibition to present to our parents about everything that we learned. One of the many things that we had to talk about was what new skill we were planning to take home and use from now on. I said that I was going to bring home my reinforced leadership qualities to work with and build teams and not groups both in and out of school. Overall, I think that this experience was and amazing one that definitely help me find out more about myself and others. Now that we are back home, I can’t wait to put the skills I learned to use. 

November 6

Take Your Kid To Work Day!!

When I was little, I used to wonder what my dad actually did when he went to work for the day. Well today I got a chance to find out. Today was take your kid to work day at our school, and I was told to make a video showing what a day in my dads work life looks like. Unfortunately my dad wasn’t in Canada, so I couldn’t go with him to his office. Luckily, I was able to show my learning by interviewing over a call and I was still able to make my video.

My Video:

This interview taught me a lot about how my dad lives everyday, and what it would be like working an office job verses other jobs. After this experience, if my career path as an anesthesiologist doesn’t work out, I’ll make sure to keep this one in mind. I’m very lucky to have been given this opportunity, and maybe next time I’ll be even luckier by having dad actually be here so that I can experience his work life in person. Hopefully my video and this blog post has inspired you to go and learn more about your parents or guardian’s job. And who knows? Maybe you’ll find a new career path to keep in mind like I did. 

November 1

Running a Remake!

Action! In class, we watched a short horror film called “Run”, and had to remake our own versions of it in groups. We were trying to get it as close to the original as possible, which includes shots, angles, timing, sound, etc.

Original Video:

My group’s first try went pretty well. Our sounds matched the video clips, but the timing was off. Everyone presented their videos to the class and received critiques. After that, we were given a second chance to re-film our remake with the critiques that we received.

Our First Draft:

The second time went better than before, because we knew exactly what we had to do to make our remake better. We made sure to focus on the length of each video clip and watched the original video, and our remake side by side to make sure that it was as similar to each other.

Our Final Draft:

I think that something I would want to do better next time would be the time management. When our group went out to film we were focused on where to film each clip and arguing about what would look better, instead of actually getting to filming. Overall, I think that we did pretty well both the first and second time around, and if we were to do this again, we would definitely have improved even more than we have now. Thank you for reading this blog post, and enjoy watching all of our videos!!

October 12

My Rocky Mountain Adventure!

Crystal blue lakes, huge Rocky Mountains, cool white glaciers. That’s what I think of when I remember Alberta. In September, we started a new project in humanities on the geography of the west. Our driving question is ‘how does the geography of the west shape who we are?’ To answer this question, we decided to go to Alberta, and see for ourselves and learn about the wonders of the Rockies. To make sure that all of our information was in one place, we had to fill out our book creator field study journals. In the book, we had a page for each stop we went to, as well as sections explaining what geography is, what made and makes the west, and what the 5 themes of geography is. The book has information in the form of text, voice notes, photos, videos, and even a comic strip which you can see below.

My 5 Themes of Geography Comic Strip

I worked on this book both on the trip, and at home, and worked on perfecting it for all the readers that will learn from it. I’m so grateful that I was given this opportunity to be able to go to the place that I was learning about to really experience it and understand it better. To be completely honest, I didn’t really enjoy making this book, because I only wanted to focus on having fun on the trip, instead of worrying about getting the information I needed to put on my book. But every time I felt like that, I reminded myself that I was on a filed study trip, not a vacation with friends.

How Does the Geography of the West Shape Who We Are?

Now that I have been to Alberta and I was able to experience everything myself, I think that I can answer the question ‘how does the geography of the west shape who we are?’ I think that the geography of the west shapes our lives through it’s climate that we had to adapt to, and the change of resources that we had to use. The geography of the Rockies, with all of it’s mountains, lakes, and glaciers are like no other, which makes the culture and people different from other communities. The evidence to my thinking can be found below in my book.

My Field Study Journal:

Esther’s Rockies Field Study Journal

Conclusion

I’m very proud of my work, but something that I would do differently next time would be to make it more aesthetically pleasing. I had all the information that I needed on this book, but the way I formatted it was quite plain. Even thought I won’t make it my main focus, next time I want to at least make an effort to make it a little more aesthetically pleasing. Enjoy reading my book, and I hope that you learn just as much as I did about the Rocky Mountains! (P.S. To discover more about my video project, click here!)

October 11

Movie Making in School!!

“Action!” I heard that word too many times to count throughout this project. Few minutes of acting and filming turned into hours of editing. “How might I use moving images to tell a story?” That is our driving question that we were trying to answer for Maker. The assignment was for us to make 4 different kinds of videos about the west or in the west. A TikTok, an Interview, a Silent Film, and an at home video. The TikTok and Silent video was more for fun and putting our videography skills in use, the at home video was more putting our video editing skills to use, and the interview video was more related to answering the humanities driving question. 

Silent Video

We filmed our Silent videos in Three Valley Gap (a.k.a Ghost Town) because it had many different buildings that we could go to as well as a village out line to use. Since this was a group project, we made a story spine to help us get a grasp on what we were going to do once we arrive at the ghost town.

I am really proud of this work, and I learned so many new filming and angling skills while creating this video. Something that I would make sure to do next time, would be to make sure that the music that I used for this video is not copyrighted. Because after I published this onto YouTube, I found out that the music was copyrighted, so I had to re-edit and re-upload the whole video.

TikTok Video

The TikTok was filmed in any location we went to that we thought fit our individual TikToks. I really enjoyed making this one the most, since it was a short and sweet story about what my journey in Alberta looked like.

I learned about transition skills, since most of my TikToks included a transition. Something that I think I could do better for next time is the lighting, because in one of my transitions,, you couldn’t even see the faces of anyone on screen. 

Interview Video

The interview videos were filmed wherever we could find someone who was comfortable being interviewed (tourists or staff members), which was very nerve wrecking, because we had to talk to strangers in a different province. I think that this was the hardest video to make, because it took the most preparation, research, and editing.

Something that I would do better next time would be to be more prepared with my questions beforehand, because I interviewed many many people, but I could only use 3 of those interviews because I wasn’t prepared enough, and screwed the rest of the other ones up. 

At Home Video

The at home video was about what inspires me? We had to film a video talking about ourselves and introducing ourselves a little bit to the world. The video was made up of short clips that I filmed in my house and put together with a voice over reading out a script that I wrote. I really enjoyed making this video because this video was solely about me, which meant that I didn’t have to go out and research and gain information, because I had all the info I needed to create this video.

Something that I could have done better, was my attention to detail. I had to start over or re-upload this video many times because of my lack of attention to detail (e.g. music, voice over, video clip, time limit).

Conclusion

I learned many things through out this project, such as learning how to tell fictional, informational, and personal stories through videos, and learning new video filming and editing skills. Thank you for reading this blog post, and make sure to check out my YouTube channel! And if you want to learn more about my trip to Alberta, click here!

August 16

My Summer Learning of 2023 ☀️🏝️

Now that I am going into grade 9 of PLP, I need to prepare. To help me do that, I was assigned summer learning to get me ready for this coming school year. I was told to create a goal keeper on book creator. My teachers provided me a book to download and read to help me make my goal tracker. In the book, it talked about why I should set goals, how to know what I truly want, how I could set S.M.A.R.T (Specific, Measurable, Attainable, Realistic, Timebound) goals, how to stay on track, and how I could celebrate my success. I learned many things while working on this assignment, and I am very grateful to my teachers for giving me an opportunity to prepare for this coming school year. Making this goal tracker was very fun and a good learning experience and it helped me set goals that I could clearly understand, and want to do. Since I had so much fun with this assignment, I wanted to recommend everyone who reads my blog posts to try it out themselves. The link to the guide book as well as my own goal tracker is down below. Thank you for reading this blog post, and make sure to try out making your own goal tracker!

My Goal Tracker!

Esther’s Goal Tracker

The Guide Book

June 20

Journey to the Center of the Earth!

Over the last few weeks in science, we have been studying what is on and under the surface of the ocean floor. We learned about continental drift and lines of evidence for Keystone 1, then we had to make a GIF about continental drift for Keystone 2. The for Keystone 3 we had to film a video of us ‘cooking up’ a natural disaster caused by sea floor spreading.

Keystone 1

The first thing that we had to do for this project was learn about continental drift. Continental drift was Alfred Wegener’s theory that all the continents used to be one big continent called Pangaea. This theory was ridiculed at the time since he could not explain how the continents moved and so no one even thought about his theory until after he was dead. Alfred Wegener first thought of this theory when he saw that some lines of mountains and same types of fossils were on different continents, but looked like they could connect to each other.those were the lines of evidence. To learn about that, we had to make fossils. We pressed dinosaur skeleton figures into flat slabs of play dough, then took the figures out and filled the play dough mold with plaster. That became our fossils, and our lines of evidence for Keystone 1. Here is my fossil, and a few facts I learned.

Keystone 2

Now, for Keystone 2 we learned about sea floor spreading and went deeper into how continental drift was real. We learned that the cracks in the ocean floor spew out lava, and the lava spreads across the ocean floor while cooling down and turning into rock. When the ocean spreads and hardens, that pushes two continents either away, or towards each other, causing continental drift. To show this, we had to make a GIF of the process of sea floor spreading or continental drift. I chose continental drift, and this is my GIF below.

Keystone 3

Last but not least, for Keystone 3 we learned about how sea floor spreading and continental drift causes natural disasters. We learned about the three different types of ways tectonic plates (pieces of land that the continents are on) move. There is divergent, which is when sea floor spreading happens in between two continents, pushing them away from each other. This can cause trenches to appear in the ocean, or cause one continent to split apart. The second one is convergent, which is when sea floor spreading pushes two continents together. This is how mountains are made. When the two continents get pressed up against each other, if their density is the same amount, they will rise up to form a mountain. But if one tectonic plate’s density is less than another, then the one with less density will get pushed under the other. The third way tectonic plates move is called transform. This is when two continents rub against each other and one is moving forward while the other is moving backwards. Since the edges are jagged, when they are pressed up against each other, pressure builds up. When that pressure is released it causes huge earth quakes to happen. To show our understanding we had to film a video explaining the tectonic plates with food with a partner. My video is linked below.

Conclusion

I learned a lot through this project, like how the continents move 1-12cm a year, or how sea floor spreading is what causes natural disasters. I hope that you enjoyed looking over all of my projects for this unit. Thank you for reading this blog post, and I will see you at my next one!

June 17

My Transitional Presentation Of Learning

POL Declaration

Thank you for coming to my presentation of learning, I am the expert on my own learning. I am also responsible and accountable for my own learning. You can expect me to give an honest evaluation of my progress. We will discuss my strengths and opportunities for growth. Thank you in advance for listening and for offering feedback that I can use to improve as a learner.

Introduction

Since my MPOLs last semester, I’ve had a lot of time to improve, reflect, and work on many more projects that have been assigned since the beginning of the second semester. Now that Grade 8 is finally coming to an end, I think that I am ready to transition into a grade 9 student. I feel that I am ready to take on grade 9 because I am excited for the coming challenges to overcome, and field studies to go to, as well as the exhibitions to present in, and projects to make.

What Were My Strengths This Year?

Some of my strengths that I think will really help me in my transition to a Grade 9 is my ability to manage my time wisely. So far this year, there wasn’t a project that I struggled with because of lack of time. Most of the time, I was able to get the projects or assignments completed in time, but sometimes I forgot to turn it in, which might be something that I have to work on next year.  Another one of my strengths this year was my ability to plan ahead. Thanks to this, I was able to know what I was going to do, or say, or make, or prepare for a project or assignment and it made the whole process so much easier. One of the projects that I did that I needed this skill to do was my Cells Field experiment. This experiment was basically where we had to swab parts of the school and make a hypothesis and prediction, then observe the bacteria that was swabbed to test our hypothesis. This assignment needed me to plan ahead not only because it was part of the assignment, but also because it made the whole process for me so much easier to manage. My journal for this project can be seen below.

  • My field Journal

Another example of how this skill was useful was my gummy bear diffusion project for science. This assignment really needed a step by step instruction, not only because it was part of the assignment but also because it helped making this project happen so much easier for me and my group members. What the gummy diffusion project is, is it’s basically a science experiment that a group of 2 or 3 people had to make, record, observe, and present. It had to include 2 or more ways of diffusing a gummy bear in a beaker with some sort of liquid (pop, hot water, cold water, etc). My group recorded our process using a Canva slideshow video. Here is our Gummy Bear Diffusion Presentation.

What Were My Weaknesses?

Something that I need to work on for the remainder of this year, and all throughout next year, is my attention to detail. What I mean by that is sometimes, when an instruction is written down on a craft document by the teacher, I forget to read all of the instructions thoroughly. A time I did this was when in Keystone 1 for our triptych project in humanities last semester, we were supposed to use things and calendar to make time blocks. I did understand the basics of what I was supposed to do, but ended up not turning it in correctly, because I didn’t read the instructions carefully. Another example of my lack of attention to instructions is for my MPOL last semester. I thought that the blog post was just there because we had to write blog posts for everything we did, and that I was allowed to use a Keynote presentation for my MPOLs. So I went ahead a made a whole slideshow for it, only to find out after, that I was only supposed to use my blog post. Whoops! Another one of my weaknesses that I can definitely work on is checking my iPad out of school more often. Most of the time, when I’m out of school, I tend to never open my iPad, unless I have homework that I haven’t turned in. Once an assignment is turned in though, I never open my iPad during weekends or holidays to check on showbie, or Gmail, or Basecamp for any mistakes or feedback, and the revisions end up being overdue. One of the projects that this happened was actually again, Keystone 1 of my triptych projects. After I had handed in my time blocks and checklists to showbie, I never open my iPad during the weekend so I was unable to see Ms. Willemse’s notes for revision. 

What are My Improvements Since Last Semester?

Since my MPOLs last semester, I was able to reflect on my weaknesses, and improve on them throughout this semester. One of the things that used to be my weak point, but now something that really helped me throughout this semester and will probably help me for next year, is my photography. Not only did I use the tips that I got from Maker for the perspective photos assignment to work on my photography skills, but I have also learned to unconsciously go straight for the photo opportunities. This talent helped me a lot in Oregon, when we had to take photos to fill in our Field study journals. A lot of my friends forgot to take their photos at locations they were supposed to take photos at, while I was taking a photos of the landscape, or a selfie of me or my friends everywhere we went, even if we didn’t need one. This skill definitely helped filling in my journal so much easier and much less stressful.

My Oregon Field Study Journal

Esther’s Oregon Journal of 2023

Something else that I improved on throughout this whole year was my blog post skills. As I said before in my MPOL, this was a whole new skill for me to learn and I definitely struggle at first. But now that grade 8 is coming to a close, I already feel like this is part of my learning process and I know exactly what to write for each project. It’s all coming to me so much more naturally, as if I have been doing this for much longer than 10 months. Even writing this TPOL blog post is easier that writing the MPOL blog post. 

My Learning Plan

 Looking back on my learning plan now, I can see so many adjustments that I know I will make when writing my learning plan for next year. I know now, that science is not my weakest subject, and that I should not have taken last year and assume my abilities and limits to my learning. Now I know that next year, I’m going to set the highest expectations for my self instead trying to play safe and be lazy. I’m so proud of myself for exceeding my own expectations and now that I am reading my growth notes that I wrote down, I realized that I was worrying a bit too much. I hope that when it is time to start another year of PLP and I have to write a whole new learning plan for myself, that I have more self-confidence, and choose to push myself out of my comfort zone.

Conclusion

Overall, I think that this year was a great first year of high school and PLP. I have learned so much this year and grown so much as a learner, aging new skills that I can actually put to use for the real world, and not just school. I’m ready to take on grade 9 PLP because I want to grow from my weaknesses and put my strengths to use. I’m looking forward to all the upcoming exhibitions, POLs, projects, assignments, challenges, and especially field study trips that will teach me so many things next year. Bring it on grade 9!