mPol 2023

Bonjour!

Welcome to my first mPol ever! In this post I will be reflecting on my growth as a learner so far and how I can continue to improve for the rest of the year. 

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.

First my learning plan… I set extending as my proficiency for all of my PLP classes, which I have been maintaining so far. At the start of the year, I also chose competencies for communication, thinking and personal and social.

COMMUNICATION

Throughout the first part of the school year, I have really improved on my communication with my teachers and peers. Some examples for this include contacting my teachers about catchup work when I miss school, asking for clarification on a project or assignment as well as planning and collaborating with other students.

I think I still need to improve on communication to achieve my profile 5, especially around confidence speaking to those I’m not as familiar with.

 

COLLABORATION

Though most of the projects so far were individual, I have definitely improved on my collaboration, especially because last year I struggled with group work because I am a perfectionist and like to have everything done my way. One of my main opportunities for growth on this was the winter exhibition, because I collaborated with a group of both my grade and the grade 9s. Though not everything was exactly how I would have liked it, I was very proud and happy with how our exhibition room turned out, which helped me realize that not everything has to be perfectly how I envisioned it and making compromises to satisfy everyone can still lead to a great final result.

 

CREATIVE THINKING

Though I have always been a very creative thinker, this semester has encouraged me to improve on this even further. For example, for the Pandora’s box project, I quite literally thought outside the box when instead of using a typical square box, I created my own round box to better represent my message.

I think that I have mostly achieved a profile 5, because I also had a few struggles with the creation of my box, but managed to persevere through them.

 

CRITICAL THINKING

For critical thinking, I have improved a lot but still have more growth for the rest of the year. I think that my most recent project about the renaissance is a good example for this. For this project, everyone created a triptych, showing pre-renaissance, renaissance and the present. I had to think of what themes/aspects to include to represent the different eras and then research what those things were like during each time and how to represent them. I also did a lot of research, which helped me improve on choosing the most important and useful parts to note and connect the ideas/learning from different sources to make conclusions, as well as branch out or elaborate on certain parts. 

 

PERSONAL & SOCIAL

Though I planned habits and systems at the start of the year for time management, I didn’t really end up using these.

Because of that, I struggled with time management, mostly putting too much time into one assignment and therefore not having enough time for other assignments. An example of this is the Big Life Journal, which I put a lot of work into some parts and though I was very happy with those parts, the other bits did not reach my standard. For the second semester, I think that I will try to use my systems, because I think that they will improve my time management, not so that I won’t put as much effort into work, but so that all my work will closer reach my standards.

Now I am going to reflect on some other projects that I haven’t really mentioned yet.

 

MEMOJI & USER GUIDE

One of our first projects for Maker was the laptop Memoji and user guide. Both of these were assignments that I was mostly happy with. For the Memoji, I think that I had a lot of stickers, but it wasn’t over-crowded and the stickers were unique to me. The only thing I would change is to make it even more visually appealing, probably by choosing a colour scheme or aesthetic to follow.

The user guide also represented me well and there was a good amount of text under every section. In this project, we also had to refer to ourselves in 3rd person, which was different than normal and kind of confusing, however towards the end, it became less challenging.

MAKING INTERESTING IMAGES

In November, we did a little week long Maker project about making interesting images, which consisted of learning photography skills, testing and reflecting on them and then finally compiling all the work into a small book/presentation. Unfortunately, I felt really rushed for time and I did not at all produce my best work. I think that my photographs could have been a lot better, because I really enjoy photography and in the past have created some images that I am super happy with.

Once again, I think that if I had used my time management systems, I wouldn’t have felt as rushed in this project, or at least not as rushed for other classes so that I could focus more on the photography.

 

GEEK OUT CHALLENGE

The week after this, we had another project in Maker, called the geek out challenge. Though this section was also only a week, it didn’t feel as rushed as the previous one and I was much happier with my work. For this assignment, we chose a topic that we, well, geek out about and wrote two blog posts about it (and then a reflection). I chose French, because I am really passionate about it and it isn’t very commonly liked. It was easy to write about and I didn’t ever struggle for ideas because it’s one of my interests, therefore there was more to say. It can also be hard to explain why you love something, but I was eventually able to identify some of the main reasons. At one point, I had an issue when the document didn’t save and all of the draft for my second post was deleted, however I managed to rewrite it and it was probably better than what I had originally anyways.

 

THE MIDDLE AGES

In late November/early December, we did a humanities project on the Middle Ages, where we created two presentations, one on the feudal system and Middle Ages and one more specifically on the Crusades. The first one, I was very proud and happy with and I think that it shows some of my best work. I thought that I had a good use of animations, as well as the little drawings done by myself and there was a good balance of text and visuals.

(Low quality due to being a GIF)

The second one was almost the exact opposite. I felt much more rushed making it and though I met all the criteria for an extending, I was not as happy with it. I did not make my own visuals, the slide layout was kind of boring and there were no animations (though, I did export it as a pdf).

In conclusion, through many success as well as FAILs, I have definitely grown a lot as a learner so far and will continue to grow in the next semester. Thank you for coming to my mPol, that’s all for now.

Kaia out ♥︎

From Past To Present (Renaissance Triptych)

INTRODUCTION

Ideas from Europe and Asia changed the world by creating more opportunities and making lives better all across the world. From few religions to diverse religious choices; basic and often superstitious to advanced scientific medicine; reading stones to glasses; hand-copying to modern printing presses; and sundials to clocks or even watches, simple innovations of the past have become incredibly advanced. Over time, these ideas have greatly impacted our world and our lives would be so much different without them.

 

RIGHT PANEL

Though these innovations were just the start to what they have become today, they already began changing lives mostly for the better. During pre-Renaissance times almost everyone in the Renaissance world followed the catholic religion, therefore giving the church lots of power. Medical understandings were not very advanced, people believed that the body was made up of four humours (yellow bile, phlegm, black bile, and blood) and each of those humours was controlled by an element (earth, water, fire and air). Reading stones (usually round glass or crystals) monocoles were used to enlarge text. During these times, everything had to be copied by hand, which was exhausting and time consuming. Techniques like the sundial were used to measure time, however it wasn’t very accurate yet. Despite being fairly basic, these innovations were very important building blocks for the future’s innovations.

 

LEFT PANEL

Ideas from past times developed further during the Renaissance to become a step closer to the impactful innovations that they are today. During the Renaissance, a man named Martin Luther began protesting against the church’s indulgences, starting the reformation as well as Lutheranism (the branch of Protestantism specifically following Luther) and eventually causing the Church to begin a series of reforms. Some of the first medical schools and hospitals emerged, along with several medical books written by Muslim surgeons, one of which was called The Canon of Medicine (English translation). The first eyeglasses consisted of two attached curved glass lenses, which later led to the inventions of microscopes and telescopes. Printing presses were also invented during this time, mostly replacing the hard work of hand-copying. And finally, mechanical clocks were invented, bringing the first accurate measurements of time. All these innovations were crucial stepping stones towards their modern versions.

 

CENTER PANEL

Innovations from the Renaissance have evolved over time to become what they are today and without them, lives would be incredibly different. These days, religion is much more diverse and atheism (non-religious) is also common. Medical knowledge has increased a lot since the Renaissance, generally extending life expentancy and the likelyhood of successful treatmeant/operations (though not always). Modern printers are now much more compact as well as effiecent and quick. Books are now often offered as eBooks that can be read online/in an app. Though they still follow the original ideas from Renaissance eyeglasses, they are much more sleek and can be used for either short and long distance (or sometimes both). Lastly, though clocks are still used, watches (or often even Apple watches) are used almost as commonly. From before the renaissance to throughout the Renaissance to now, these innovations have evolved a lot over time and will continue to change in the future.

 

CONCLUSION

In conclusion, ideas from Europe and Asia have had a huge influence in creating the world as we know it. From prior to the Renaissance to the present, ideas have continued to evolve and new innovations have emerged, all of which are now a crucial part in the lives of people all around the world. Every day they make life even a bit safer, easier and in general better. Just like these innovations have changed a lot over time, they will probably continue to in the future.

Bonjour!

This post will be reflecting on the final project of Humanities in semester 1! In this project, we learned about the Renaissance and created a triptych as a final result (a triptych is a piece of art that contains 3 panels, the center one usually being the largest).

First, we started learned about the Renaissance, using resources provided by our teacher, as well as our own research and took notes in an app called Craft. Then we sketched out a plan for our triptych. Each panel was supposed to represent a time period with the version of the innovations from that era. The left panel was for the Renaissance, the right panel for before the Renaissance and the center for present times. The innovations I chose to include were religion, medicine, printers (and kind of books), eyeglasses and clocks. (My sketch is in the slideshow at the end.)

After the sketch, I started actually creating my triptych, mainly using SuperimposeX and sometimes Sketches Pro or Procreate to edit it together. I used images from Google Arts & Culture, Pixabay/other Creative Commons images and some of my own too. I made several drafts along the way, which are included in the slideshow below.

Overall I mostly enjoyed this project and I learned a lot about the renaissance and its important and impactful innovations and ideas.

  • Final Draft of Triptych Sketch

That’s all for this post!

Kaia out ♥︎

Winter Exhibition 2022

Bonjour!

In this post I will be reflecting on my first winter exhibition ever as a PLP learner. I already knew a lot about the exhibition process from my brother, Fraser, but I learned some more too.

Our theme for this exhibition was Avatar. The driving question for this project was what does James Cameron’s fantasy world of Avatar reveal about our own society?

For grade 8s, our final product was a box, that represented our theme statement. Before I explain what a theme statement is, it’s important to understand what a theme is. A theme is a main idea or message in a story (but it is not the moral or the plot). The main themes that we extracted from Avatar were conflict between humans and nature, racism, corporate greed and militarism. I chose to focus my project on the conflict between humans and nature because it’s a very important issue to me, both in Avatar and the real world. A theme statement is the answer to the question: what does the movie (or whatever the theme is from) teach me about the theme (insert the theme here).

Here is my theme statement:

Some humans focus on the profit from nature’s resources over its spiritual value and the consequences that their actions may have on the future.

Next, we planned out a prototype, before starting to create the box. This is my prototype:

The process of making the box went pretty well, I think that I worked hard and managed my time well. Unfortunately, my box didn’t turn out as round or smooth as I was hoping (I popped the balloon while it was still a bit damp, which made it a bit deformed when dry), but I managed to sort of fix it. My final product changed slightly from my original plan. There are photos of the final box in the slideshow down below.

I was really happy with the way my box turned out. I think that I did a good job of representing everything from my theme statement, with some deeper or metaphorical too. If I had more time and resources, I would try to make the trees a bit more realistic. As well, the box could have been a bit bigger and as mention before, rounder. I would also have more light for my box, because the combination of circular box curving in towards the top and the dark room setting, it was hard to see unless I used my phone flashlight.

After we finished our boxes, we started preparing for the exhibition. We were split into groups by our theme (there were two groups per theme) and theme statements, with some grade 9s too. In my group, I think that most of the 8s and 9s collaborated really well together. We brainstormed and decorated our rooms, planned out food and an interactive station for the audience and thought about our presentations. 

I feel like the exhibition went pretty good, especially considering it was my first one. My room was based on the theme of conflict between humans and nature (especially it’s spiritual value). We used large fabric scraps and wrapped them around the post in the middle of our room (the annex) and then added some green spreading out onto the ceiling, to represent the Home tree. We also turned off all the lights and put black light bulbs into lamps we borrowed from around the school, to recreate the bioluminescence. We made some little woodsprites (the air jellyfish) out of white pipe-cleaners and hung them around the room too. For food, we had gingerbread cookies decorated like trees, pretzel sticks, blue Gatorade and tonic water (which glows in the dark, but tastes disgusting apparently) and our interactive station was face painting.

At first it was a bit awkward and stressful presenting to people, but later on it went better, because I started memorizing what to say. Sometimes it was also hard to tell if they were just quickly looking at my project or wanted an explanation.

I also found it hard standing for a long period of time, because I have knee problems and they were very sore the next day. Though the presentations look better standing up and I look more engaged and excited to talk about my work, it would have been nice to have a few chairs for a short break when there wasn’t anyone around my station, especially because everyone only got one break. However, there were a LOT of self-assigned breaks, which was another issue. And finally, there were some problems with navigating the rooms, because there several people who came but couldn’t find who they came for. Maybe in the future, it would be helpful to have lists in a main area of the locations and members of each room.

Anyways, that’s all for this post!

Kaia out ♥︎

Here are the links to my group members blogs:

Lila

Neko

Kennedy

Evelyn

Izzy

Matteo

Sydney

Blondie

Frankie

Jupiter

Charlie M

Tom

Magnus

A Picture Tells A Thousand Words

Bonjour!

Welcome back to my blog! In this post, I am going to be reflecting on our driving question, how might I use the still image to create and communicate through technology? A lot of the time, solely words are used to communicate, but if time and thought is put into it, an image can communicate too. One of the key parts of capturing the story behind the photo is mood or emotion. There are endless techniques that can help show the mood of an image. As well, choosing the right angle, background and foreground and then more technical things like lighting and filters, can also help tell the picture’s story.  Images could also aid the understanding of something, instead of trying to explain every single detail.

The 3 skills that I found the most useful are probably rule of thirds, adjusting angles and manufacturing mood. For the rule of thirds, if your image was split into thirds (both vertically and horizontally), the main subject should be placed where two lines converge. Using the rule of thirds actually makes the image more appealing to the eye than if the main subject was completely centred.

Adjusting the angle of your shot also helps tell the story of your image. Some angles include:

  • Close up
  • Long shot
  • Worm’s eye
  • Bird’s eye
  • Canted perspective

One of the main reasons that angles are so important, is because they can really set the mood or emotion in you image, which is the final most important skill. As mentioned earlier, the mood really influences the way the image is perceived. There are several ways to adjust your photo, so that a certain feeling is portrayed.

And finally, here is a Keynote presentation, reflecting on some of my pictures from this sector. For some of these images, I was happy with the result but I think I could still improve on some of them too.

 

That’s all for now!

Kaia out ♥︎

Becoming A PLP Learner

Bonjour!

Welcome to my first blog post ever!

For this first sector of Maker 8, we have been answering the driving question, who am I as a PLP learner? The activities and projects that I have completed over these last 2 months can show some answers to this question.

 

One the assignments was to use Keynote (and a few other apps) to create a laptop Memoji with personalized stickers. To do this, we first had to customize a Memoji to look like us, add it into the app Keynote and then edit images and designs onto the laptop that represent you. This is my final product:

I was really happy with it and I think that the stickers really showed who I am. I included stickers showing friends and family, because I am supported by them as a learner, and I balance my time between school work and spending time with these people too. The sport jersey 9 also demonstrates this, balancing between work and playing volleyball or running.

 

Another project we did was making user manuals about ourselves. I think that this was a really cool project, because we wrote about ourselves as if we were devices and used 3rd person. Here is my user manual (click on the button below to see it):

 

I think that my user guide is very reflective of my personality and demonstrates who I am. One of my functions is thinking outside the box, which is an key quality for PLP learners. As well, I think that my student setting tells a lot about who I am as a learner (my work ethics, the kind of student I strive to be, as well as my perfectionism issue). As a student in general, I can be a bit shy or uncertain at first, but as I become more comfortable with the people around me, I will be more outgoing, answer questions or contribute to the classe’s conversations more. I also believe that honest communication and respect is very important (for me with others, and them with me too).

 

This next piece of work is one of my favourites.

This is my dream board, which shows my goals for the future, both short and long term. I think that it really shows me and my dreams, and I’m super happy with the way I had a green theme. My dream board helped me realize and organize some of my dreams and goals. Most of the elements can relate to who I am as a learner, but I think that some of them really show it clearly. The rainbow represents that I work hard to reach an extending proficiency for all my work, which will also help me get into the university that I want, when it comes to that time. The quote “whether you believe you can or you believe you can’t, you are absolutely right” is a saying that I’ve heard a lot and I think it’s very true. I try to remember to stay positive and persevere for both school work, and in my personal life.

 

The last thing assignment that I will be sharing for this post is my concept for a YouTube channel. For this, we planned out ideas for if we were to create our own YouTube channels. This is mine:

 

I think that my YouTube channel really showed my creativity. My favourite part was the banners that I created with Canva, especially the way I edited a chef hat onto a picture of my puppy (the photo credit goes to my brother, Fraser)

I feel like I did good job of sharing ideas that appeal to both me and my audience, and connected to what’s important to my life (Maruka is very very important to me!)

So in conclusion, I think that these projects show and have also helped shape who I am as a PLP learner. I strive to be an engaged and hardworking student, trying my best to think creatively and extend on my work. Thank you for visiting my blog, that’s all for now!

Kaia out ♥︎