# Chemistry Coding… Coding with Chemistry?

So we have just recently finished our chemistry coding project. The key to coding is to never give up, even if it seems like it won’t work. I learned this over the project. I found it pretty hard, but I am proud of my finished product.

The point of this projet was to create something that showed our knowledge of atoms and molecules. It also included:

• Different states of matter
• The Kinetic Molecular Theory
• Different models of atoms
• Physical and Chemical changes
• Some key vocabulary
• What makes up and atom

The driving question of this project was: How is the motion of atoms and molecules related to temperature?

At the start of this project I created a mind map to show what I knew, and what I hoped to learn. On the left there are my questions from before, and my answers from now. On the right there are things I knew about atoms and molecules, and in green there are facts that I just added.

Chemistry Coding

Now onto the core competencies!

• Questioning and Predicting:

Demonstrate a sustained curiosity
about a scientific topic or problem
of personal interest.

I think that during this whole project I did a pretty good job of being interested the whole time. I didn’t play games on my iPad during class. (I may have read my book a little when I was done, but other than that I was pretty focused.)

• Scientific Communication

communicate ideas, findings, and
solutions to problems using
scientific language
representations, and digital
technologies

For this competency I’m very proud of how I did. I used different states of matter during my project. I included a “historical model” of 2 atoms and 1 molecule. I have a little temperature sign that shows the temperature of my the atoms, and how fast they’re falling. I struggled with making the atoms fall at a different speed for each temperature. I needed some help, and even now, I’m not sure if I 100% understand the code that is there. I did some pretty good problem solving, so that there are actually 2 variables that say the temperature. You only see 1. 1 controls how fast the atoms move, and the other controls at what degree they freeze at. For each different atom and molecule the temperature in kelvin they freeze at in the game is the one they freeze at in real life.

• Reasoning and Analyzing

Use
logic and patterns (including
coding) to solve puzzles and play
games.

My scratch game is very interactive, and it does make sense. I’m pretty proud of how well it works. It didn’t used to really work. It was very frustrating and I found it hard to keep going and not give up. I am proud of how it turned out though.

Goodbye for now!

-Kate

# This Changes Everything… Right?

So… to start with an introduction. Intro… Intro… Intro… Oh well 😔. Maybe I’ll try a different tactic. Back to the bullet points:

Intro

Working everyday! Not getting payed! Not having enough food! That is what life was like for most people in the Middle Ages.

We just finished a project on Change and Continuity in the Middle Ages. Imagine living back then! It would have been really difficult, especially if you were a serf. We started the project by learning about the feudal system. We did a lot of fun activities around this, including each picking a different role. I ended up as a serf and a merchant, and I wrote some interesting things on this. (To be visited later).

Competencies

The driving question for this project was: What was life like in the Middle Ages? How does it compare to today?

We started with the Comprehend competency. What literacy skills did I use to read, listen, and view texts that we studied for understanding? I’m actually kind of impressed with myself on this one. I read A LOT and I didn’t realize that some of the things I do while reading help me understand the text more. These include, but are not limited to (hee hee. I really wanted to say that. I feel like I sound like a government article! Anyways): Visualizing myself in the book, highlighting and looking up words I don’t know, and writing a little note at the end of each chapter.

Purple = New people who were just introduced

Pink = Passages I find interesting and helpful

Blue = Words I don’t know

My favorite technique is visualizing myself in a book. I feel like I’m actually there. I can get lost in a book, unaware of what’s going on around me. Sometimes I pretend that it’s like a movie, with headshots and music. I feel like what I’m saying inside my head is reality. I completely understand what is happening in the book, and I feel like everything the characters feel, I feel too. I the emotions of the characters aren’t always written clearly in the book, and you need to puzzle them out. I think that if you pretend you are there with them, you really feel what they do, and you can understand their emotions.

The second competency is identifying Continuity and Change. How are lives and conditions alike over time, and how have they changed? To figure out this competency, we made a keynote of somethings that have changed, and ones that have stayed the same. The ones that me and my partner Nate made (you can visite his blog here) were communication as change, and golf as continuity.

Here is a slider of some of the different slides we made. The ones I made were on change. They were called How and What. I think that when researching communication in the Middle Ages, I realized that then and now is very different.

There didn’t used to be telephones, messages or even a mail man. Their only means of communication was by coming to someone and showing or telling them the news. But I didn’t say it was you who had to come to them. If you were very rich, you had a private messenger, who would deliver your letters or words to them. Kings didn’t always stay in their castles, like in the book of the lion. Before king Richard arrived at the crusades, he had messengers spread the news. Other kings were like this too.
People didn’t have many options for communication. If you wrote a letter, you would use parchment, and write with ink and a quill. Unfortunately though, not all people knew how to read or write. Serfs and merchants were illiterate.Mostly though, word just travelled by word of mouth, from city to city.

I think I had a bit of trouble at the start with this competency. I didn’t understand how to show that things have changed or stayed the same. I really worked on it through the project, and by this presentation – which was the last milestone- I think I kind of understood it. It’s all about finding evidence to show what it was like back then. That’s the hard part. The easy part is showing evidence for now, because “now” is where we are! Another thing I didn’t really understand was how we know what it used to be like. This ties back into the evidence, but really do we know all this 100 %? Now I’m asking all these hard questions, but I really want to know. Is it possible that all the discoveries we think we are making now, for example iPhones. What if we used to have things WAY more advanced than this, but suddenly something happened and it was all destroyed. Even though I don’t like all types of history, these kinds fascinate me.

– Milestones

My favourite milestone we did along the way was the Character Letter. This was a pretty long milestone, but I found it amazing! We started by getting specific roles from the feudal system. Mine was a merchant. We then wrote a letter from the point of view of this character. I decided to put a creative spin on it, and write it from the point of view of a merchants son. There were certain things we had to cover in our writing. These included a description of where we lived, a description of our day, and other interesting facts. I might have said this in earlier posts, but I love to write. I am currently trying to write a series of short stories about a girl and the ocean. Anyways, I really enjoyed writing this letter.

April 11, 1995

Left on a basket left out from yesterday

Dear Father.

I’m righting this letter to you as a goodbye. I have reached the age of 14, and I feel it is now my time to go explore the world. I shall take my best friend Scruff, and all my belongings. I hope that I shall meet you again, maybe in a dream or maybe in reality. This letter is also a thank you, as I would not of been able to write it without your secret schooling. I know you learned from your father, who was a knight. I will never forget that he died when you too were fourteen; protecting our dear England. I feel as though a life as a merchant is not for me, but after my explorations I shall return and see. I know you work very hard everyday. You collect your wool from the peasants who gather and sheer it, and then the hourlong journey by carte that you take to the market every other day. O the market. I have been going there for so long to help you sell your wool that I think I have become a bit overwhelmed. I am so accustomed to the shouts of the vendors that it just blurs into one. I took Scruff to the market last day, and I tried experiencing it from his point of view; the first time I experienced the overall amount of desperation and longing from the workers. I feel as though Scruff has been scarred from this experience, although I cannot ask.

My favourite part of our life together is our relationship. I feel as though we bond ever closer each day we go to the market. I loved playing the games you made up, from tag to throw the stick. These are my best memories so far, apart from speaking to Scruff. Thank you for always being cheerful, even when times were bad.

Now I’m not saying that I shall grow tired of Leicester city, or our humble house. I shall think fondly of those old wooden walls. Of the creaky old ladder that leads up to my straw bed under the beams of the attic. I loved the dirt path that lead up to from the highway just beyond. I do sometimes stare longingly at the larger houses of some of the richer children, but I always come back to our sweet, modest home. I try to share all my longings with Scruff, but he doesn’t seem to understand. He is so innocent. It is quite calming to pet his soft, feathery down. I am glad I finally have a best friend. I have longed for someone to share my thoughts and inner feelings with. When I try to share them with the other village children, they just laugh and run away. At least Scruff doesn’t run. I think he enjoys my company, although he never gives any indication. Sometimes when I feel particularly lonely, I give Scruff a voice, and I imagine that he was human. He is a real person of course, just not one of our kind. His voice is all quacky, but I don’t mind. I find it endearing he answers back to my conversation.

I’m righting this letter after we returned from the market. I remember today very clearly for some reason. Usually the days all blur into one. First we woke at sunrise. The rooster crowed and startled Scruff. We arose and fixed ourself a large breakfast of porridge. I helped you pack the wool you had gathered from the night before. After, I went outside to affix the donkey to the cart while you finished prepping your wears. I got donkey saddled up and went to gather the wool. On the ride to the market you asked me “Son, I won’t be around forever. So what do you plan to do with your life?”. “I don’t know, Father”, I replied. That was an odd question, and it got me thinking. Did I really want what he did? I didn’t have an option. You did what you were born into. But there was another option, I could run away. So here I am now, writing hunched over on my small cot, with the sun setting though the cracks in the wall.

I apologize for the grief I may cause you. Our business may not continue without me, but I shall try to return. The probability of me righting again is low, as in my new life, people of my class do not read or write.

One last farewell Father. I bid you good luck for the rest of your life.

When I was writing this letter I was in a weird mood. I wrote it about a boy who is unhappy with his life. He is very lonely. His best friend is a duck named Scruff.

– Book

This is kind of another Milestone, but during this project we also read a book. This book was called The Book of the Lion. It’s set in 1195 and is about a young boy – Edmund – and his experiences with the crusades. Each week we wrote or did an activity about that third of the book. For week 1 I was a Creative Comparer. This meant that I had to compare things in my life to the book. For week 2 I was an Artful Artist. I made a beautiful drawing about the important parts of the book. For week 3 a was Smart Summarizer. I summarized that third of the book.

– Conclusion

*Ahem. Well, over all, I think I did a pretty good job on this project. I definitely tried my hardest on the project. I think that I struggled a bit with some of the milestones and some of the competencies. I tried my hardest and am pretty proud of my work.

TTFN

– Kate.

# mPOLs… Huh?

mPOLs, what are they? mPOLs are “Mid Year Reflections of Learning.” What we have to do is write a blog post about our year, goals, thoughts, questions and basically reflections about our learning. It is basically the PLP version of parent-teacher conferences, except that these are student lead.

Here is the driving question: What is your learning goal that you want  to reach by the end of this school year, and how will you meet it?

When I first started working on this presentation, I didn’t really know how to “tell a story.” So I decided to start with the things I did know. My favourite thing to do is write, I like writing essays, fiction, and even letters! So maybe if I tried to put it all down on a page that would help. So I wrote bullet points of all the things I wanted to talk about.

• The project that I failed on

I think the project I did very badly with this year was “The Medium Is The Message.” I didn’t really understand if something looked good or not. A lot of my ads were WAY to wordy. I didn’t get how you were supposed to convey things without words. I wasn’t good at taking photo’s, and whenever I did, they didn’t go with what I was trying to say. My parents actually helped me with one particular draft in which my words conveyed the complete opposite meaning.

“Where you used to go?” Seriously? That kind of gives the impression that it is completely run down, and that you can only go there if you’re, like,  80 years old. Also, the black line in the middle? In retrospect I probably could have made it look a little better. Now though, thinking back, I have learned something, and every draft that wasn’t good, the next one got better. I continue with this learning, and while watching TV I do identify ads based on Pathos, Ethos and Logos!

• The project I’m most proud of

I think the project that I really had fun doing, and enjoyed, was our second project in scimatics, Tectonic Plates Book. Like I said earlier, reading and writing is my favourite thing EVER! I really like how I can express my thoughts and feelings, without stumbling over my words.

Here is a good example of how I think I can be creative and go outside the box with writing. Whatever I write doesn’t have to look the way other books do. It’s like whatever is in my head, I can draw with words. Of course I also learned a lot about tectonic plates. For example the fact that some hills are created by 2 different types of tectonic plates forcing under the other.

• Things I struggle with

Some struggles I have are when we are working in groups. I try to listen to others ideas, but although I listen, I might not always go along with it. This year I really realized that just because I don’t like something, it doesn’t mean it’s not a good idea. I’m getting better, although sometimes when there are some crazy ideas, I might veto them without considering them seriously. I have learned that sometimes the craziest of ideas make the building blocks for a good project.

• Team work

I’m getting better at team work, and I think a good example of this is the Winter Exhibition. We worked together really well when setting up the Death Star. Some people cleaned, some added decoration, some curtained… etc. I worked really hard, and I feel like other people did too. I tried to accept all ideas, and this was a group in which we all contributed pretty equally. This leads to my goal:

The Death Star/ Library

Don’t feel responsible for others’ work and learning, just focus on your own.

• Goals to continue with

I think this is a good goal for me. I always feel really worried that other people won’t do their work. I become slightly freaked out when I realize that I can’t change what other people do. I need to be open. Maybe if I tried to not be in charge in one of the group projects we do next. When I try to let it go, let it be what it is, I forget to trust. I feel as though everything that needs to be done is impossible. That if I don’t do it, no one will. I need to believe that other people will step up and do it. The first part of this year has really helped me realize that I can’t just assume people will follow me. I need to lead by example. This has allowed me to think about how I could improve MY OWN work, not others.

Another problem I have is that get a teensie, little bit, very small, mediumish bit stressed. I would like how to learn to balance my school and work with some fun and time to relax! I don’t think my problem is time management, here is my Things, which is pretty full of the stuff I need to to and when. I think my problem is just to stop focusing on that, and shift my attention to something else.

Now lastly, on to my question:

While focusing on MY OWN learning, how can I do work well, and shift away from school during other activities?

-Kate.

# Star Wars and LAUNCH

Hello again! I know it’s been a while, but we took a break from writing blogs over winter break. But now I’m back!!! In this blog post I will be talking about our “mini Blue Sky” project, and also the winter exhibition. The winter exhibition is when we do a big project and then show off our learning to all the parents and just people who want to come. This time the theme was Star Wars and we transformed the library into the Death Star! Now to the project.

For the mini Blue Sky project, our theme was Star Wars.  To do this project we had to follow the LAUNCH cycle. The driving question was “How can we build an answer to our own inquiry?”

The first step in our project was to Look, Listen and Learn. I think I did a pretty good job for this stage. I became totally absorbed with finding out all the things vaguely related to Star Wars I was interested in. Farther down, there is a video of my LAUNCH journal where you can see my brainstorming. Some of the things I was interested in were : animals, planets, cloning, music, bounty hunters and more. Later on I will decide to go with animals, but we’re not there yet.

The second step was to Ask Tons of Questions. I had some trouble at this stage and ended up going back to L. We had to come up with a “how might we” question. A HMW question is a question that a) starts with how might we? And b) is open ended, so you have to do a lot of thinking to come up with and answer, and two peoples answers wouldn’t be the same. I just couldn’t get the right question for the topic (music) that I had chosen. I decided to go back to L and brainstorm some more.

The third step was U, understand a problem. It was here where I finally got my HMW question: How might we see what role do animals that don’t interact with the main characters have in the movies. I did a lot of research on the animals in Star Wars and really expanded my knowledge. I noticed a general theme, the animals were only there to help the main characters continue there story, they didn’t have a story of their own, so I decided to make one.

Now onto N, navigate ideas! Once I got my HMW question, I had to narrow down my ideas to see what I should actually create! I did some more brainstorming and arrived at the idea to do a puppet show. (It took a lot of brainstorming, and I had to sort though A LOT of ideas)

Then to C, create! I had lots of fun at this stage. It took a while but I was able to make a puppet, background, and script! Here are examples of each:

Narrator: Once upon a time there was a Dianoga. Her parents named her Diane. They then abandoned her, where she was scooped up by a general working on the Death Star. They through her into a garbage chute to keep the rat population under control. She cloned herself and gave birth to babies. One day 3 humans and a Wookiee fell into her house. Diane: Well, what should I do? I’m very hungry… I haven’t found a rat in daysssssssss. I think I sssshal eat them.  I’m ssssstarving and very weak. I need to protect my children, they need to eat ssssssooon. That one looks the scrawniest… Narrator: Diane then decided to attack Luke Skywalker. The humans then tried to hit her with a stick as she dragged him under. Diane: I’m starving… I can’t keep a hold of him much longer. I must protect my children. It is crucial that they survive! Help, he’s going to drown me… I need to eat! I need to save my kids. They must have a better life! Narrator: Suddenly, Diane felt the chute begin to move! Diane: I have to get out of here fast. I need to dive deeper, to ssssave my children. Narrator: With this last chance of food gone, Diane knew she would not be able to survive much longer. Diane: Goodbye my children.  I shall try to give as much food as I can to you. Remember all I have taught you. Don’t forget how to hunt rats! Narrator: And with that, she died. So you see, there are many parts to a story. Luke, Leia, Hans, and Chewbacca inadvertently and indirectly killed her. In their quest to live, they let other innocent, starving creatures die. And I have to say. By the end of the movie, you probably forgot all about Diane too.

IMG_1084

My final puppet

And next, H, highlight and fix. For H I basically found problems in my design, and fixed them to be more useful. Some of the problems I had was that my puppet’s eye kept falling off, it was hard to open and close the mouth, and my script was way tooo long. And this is just the beginning!!! I finally thought I had made it the best I could, and then I would find another problem! By the day of the exhibition, I was exhausted but happy.

Finally, LAUNCH to an audience! I was done! All that was left to do was share it with the world!

Here is my LAUNCH journal, where you can see in even more detail the steps it took to arrive at my beautiful finished product!

Reflection: in the end, I am very proud of the work I did. I think it really showed how much work and thought I put into it. There are some core competencies to consider however, so I will write down those as well.

1. “Engage in a period of research and empathetic observation in order to understand design opportunities”

I’m kind of proud of how I did this competency. During this stage, I went a little crazy. If anything remotely related to Star Wars popped up somewhere I would read/watch/listen to it. I found out so many things related to Star Wars, and I became fascinated with all the many different aspects of it.

The Death Star/ Library

2. “Identify potential users and their requirements for a chosen a design opportunity. “Identify criteria for success and any constraints”

I think that at this part of the project I kind of struggled a little bit. I had some trouble asking questions that were related to my topic. Another one of my weaknesses is not coming up with questions, but whenever I try to voice them. I try to ask a simple question but it just doesn’t sound the way I want it to, and people don’t understand what I’m asking.

Need to knows- some of my questions

3. “Identify and use sources of information.” “Critically analyze and
prioritize competing factors, including social, ethical, and sustainability considerations, to meet community needs for preferred futures.” “Choose an idea to pursue, keeping other potentially viable ideas open.”

I think that this was my best faze of the project, as I am generally pretty good at doing research. When I started thinking of what I was going to build, I started with an idea, but I wasn’t necessarily changing it. My idea started as a movie, but I realized that with the resources at hand, it wasn’t very possible. Instead I decided to do a live presentation/puppet show. I used the information I had gotten from my movie and tweaked it a bit to serve my puppet show. I used socks from my closet, and an old Easter egg to build my puppet.

4. “Generate potential ideas and add to others’ ideas.” “ Screen ideas against criteria and constraints.” “ Develop a step-by-step plan that identifies key stages and resources and carry it out, making changes as needed.” “Identify and use appropriate tools, technologies, and materials for production.”

For this stage I’m very impressed with my action plan. I like that it’s very organized and I actually followed it. By now I have actually started collecting materials for it, and they are from things I already had. I used lots of things and people to help me in this part. I occasionally asked my moms if they thought it looked good, and they were happy to offer advice.

5. “Explore and test a variety of materials for effective use and potential for reuse, recycling, and biodegradability.” “Prototype making changes to tools, materials, and procedures as needed.” “Record iterations of prototyping.” “Use materials in ways that minimize waste.”

I used all reused materials for this project. This included: socks, an Easter egg, paint I already had, a recycled cardboard box and old newspapers. I made a lot of mistakes but did not give up and added and improved my product.

Me cutting a cardboard box to be the walls of my garbage chute

6. “Share progress while creating design to enable ongoing feedback. Decide on how and with whom to share or promote design.” “Critically evaluate the success of the design and explain how their design idea contributes to the individual, family, community, and/or environment.”

I really liked presenting my project. I was very proud of what I made. I have to say though, a lot of my first designs kind of didn’t work (a lot). An example is when I tried to attach and Easter egg to a fabric sock with duct tape! Duck tape. Wow, that really didn’t work. We also made a keynote that showed all our steps along the way while presenting.

You can see the eye falling off

7. Innovative Designer.

I think I used a lot of different types of technology to make my puppet show. I tried new and creative things and even if it didn’t work out, I’m still proud of what did.

8. Computational Thinker

I had a lot of problems with my project. Especially at the start when my HMW question didn’t go as planned. Whenever I wanted to give up, I would try to take a break and think about what was working. This usually cheered me up and I could get back to what wasn’t working.

9. Creative Communicator

I used lots of different tools to create my project. Some of my favorites were that I used and egg, and I tried to make a poster that described my project. I tried to talk to people and get their opinions on things. When presenting, instead of just talking I put on a puppet show!

Phew! We’re finally at the end of this blog post! The winter exhibition was fun and so was this project. There is one more project we did for the exhibition in scimatics, click here to check it out!

Yay,

Kate

# Mazer Tag

Hello everybody! It’s that wonderful time again where I am done (almost in this case) a project! But what project have I been doing? Well, as you might have guessed from the title, it’s called Mazer tag. But now I’m getting ahead of myself. Let’s start with the basics. The goal of this project was/is to understand Pythagorean’s theorem and the laws of reflection. Well, here’s a sneak peak at the end result.

This is the version without the lasers turned on.

Back to the start. First we started with learning about Pythagorean’s theorem. We started by reading some textbooks on the Pythagorean’s theorem and reflections.

To summarize, A2+B2=C2 (I couldn’t make a little 2, but you know that it’s supposed to mean squared) this is the formula to make a right angled triangle.

For reflection, we learned that there is an invisible line in the middle of mirrors, and when light hits a side of it, the angle will be the same on either side.                     (We did learn a bit more than that)

It all started by asking lots of questions and recording what we know on these 2 topics. We recorded it in our “project start mind map”. Here is mine:

These were the questions I was trying to think about while making my project.

Big Idea: That you use the light of layers to create a triangle. I think we, my group, did pretty good job of doing this. We were able to calculate the third side of the triangle by using Pythagorean theorem, and the lasers were pretty clear that it was a triangle.

Competencies:

Represent mathematical ideas in concrete, pictorial, and symbolic forms. 2 sides of our triangle were measured, and we were able to get the third side of the triangle by using Pythagorean’s theorem. I think that we also showed this by having a poster that had: Pythagorean’s theorem, our equation, and a picture of our triangle.

Co-operatively design projects. Each member of our group helped a lot on building our project. We were able to communicate what we wanted to do and agree on a solution that looked good and made us all happy. Also on the day we were presenting it, we all helped set up our project and make sure all the lasers were turned on.

Demonstrate a sustained intellectual curiosity about a scientific topic or problem of a personal interest. I am very proud of the work that I did on our project. I think it looks really good and I spent most of the class time we had to work on it. I think I could have probably done a tiny bit more constant work, but I am proud that I worked on it for around three weeks, and it turned out the way we wanted. Sometimes I did get a bit frustrated and needed to take a break, but I always was able to work around, or fix the problem.

# Reflection… Is It The End?

Hello everybody 1 last time. Sorry, that was kind of ridiculous. This is not the end of blogging for me, as I will be submitting some of my work along my high school way. It is just the end of the student blogging challenge this year. I gotta say, while writing this post I happened to be playing the song Skyfall by Adele. Anyways, moving on.

First things first, or rather second things second. My favorite part of this student blogging chalenge was the freedom it gave you. There were parts in which I didn’t enjoy the tasks it gave us so much, but I still enjoyed this chalenge. Even though all of it wasn’t my favorite, I really liked writing the posts where you could be a bit more creative. My 100% favorite one was the photos one and a close second was the holiday one we did last week. I’m really proud of how I described copyright and the ways in which I analyzed the photo I took. The patterns in the rain… sound familiar? If not just click the “photos one” link above to view my copyright post.

Another part of the student blogging chalenge I did was the comments. I really liked reading other peoples blogs, and then being able to share my thoughts and compliments on them. I really liked that people all over the world were doing it. Writing and posting a comment was so satisfying. It was kind of like just sharing something with somebody you couldn’t necessarily  talk to face to face. Also, I have to say, I really enjoyed receiving comments from other people and seeing what they thought of my blog.

Here is a photo of my self appointed award!

I think in the futur I will definitely blog more about school and stuff, but I really like sharing my ideas with the world, so I might keep doing it in my spare time. I think it would be cool to do a blog, like, every week kind of like a diary. Then you could go back and see what your past self was up to!

Goodbye for now! Hope to communicate with you all again next year in the student blogging chalenge or just for fun!!!

# Holidays… Which Do You Celebrate?

Hello! It’s the middle of November and my mom wants to put up the Christmas lights! I celebrate Christmas, but in a very family oriented way.

To start: Each year my family celebrates Christmas, but my close family, like my parents and I, host a “Christmas Eve curry”. On Christmas Eve we invite all our close family and friends to come to our house. We do a sort of thing where everybody brings something. It’s called a potluck. It didn’t start as a curry, but after a few years we found out that almost everybody likes this type of food.

My parents send out an invite around the start-middle of November, and then they RSVP with each other and everybody who’s coming to make sure we don’t have the same food twice. We do lots of types of Indian foods and my personal favorite are the pappadams. Pappadams are kind of like really crispy and salty chips. They are the size of a dinner plate and they taste really good!

GOLDINPIC / Pixabay

Here is how the day goes:

1. I try to sleep in but I am forced to get up and clean the house 😉

2. I clean the house and probably read a book for a while

3. My parents are in a rush to make food and my mom usually cuts herself with a knife. (She always does that when we are having guests)

4. I get dressed into slightly nicer cloths.

5. Around 20 minutes before it starts my grandparents arrive

6. My cousin who is my age arrives

7. We catch up and talk for a few minutes

8. Our friends who have twin boys that are 3 arrive (they are usually late). Me and my cousin are charged with making sure they don’t get into trouble

9. We start to eat dinner. Me and my cousin are put at the “kids table” because there’s not enough room at the normal table

10. Dinner passes in a blur and it’s time to exchange presents. Not everybody exchanges presents but the kids usually get 3 or 4 things.

11. We look at the “Santa tracker” to see when Santa is coming.

12. Everybody leaves and I go to bed to clean up the next morning.

And that’s it! My favorite holiday/day of the year.

Here is a picture of a wooden Christmas tree that I made when I was six years old.

I quite vividly remember picking out the stickers very carefully and then putting them on this tree in exactly the right spot. I really thing I had fun colouring this tree. Every Christmas I try to put it out and then I remember all the different stickers!

Snow may or may not be falling outside

Children do not frolic, they just scream

Christmas music does not fill the air.

Again, back to the screaming

Family argues over who made the best food

We are together

We are happy

We are family!

# The Power of a Pencil

Howdy-do-da! ( I really like saying that for some reason. It makes me feel accomplished and happy.)

Hello again, today I am going to be sharing and possibly reflecting on my Power of a Pencil project.

The driving question: How can we use our Apple Pencils to support our learning? I think what the driving question means, and what I was trying to think about during the project, is how can we use technology or the Apple Pencil to make our learning easier. Another way of thinking about it is how can we make it so that we make something better, or more spectacular than we could have made on paper. Another example is when we did sketch notes. We used our iPads and Apple Pencils to draw and take notes in a different way.

How was I an empowered learner during this project? I think I really tried hard and was proud of the work I did. I am not a good drawer… yet. Just kidding. I think I could draw pretty well on paper, except it never turned out the way I wanted it to in my head. During this project I realized that the iPad could really help me with these things. When we had to draw a portrait, I used lots of layers so I could trace myself and get the dimensions right. I must say though, my all time favorite thing to do was use the eraser. No smudgy marks! (Except when your using the smudge tool (;  ).

Now onto my art work. The first thing we did was the Word Art. I wrote my name and I tried to make it look like smoke floating form a fire.

The techniques and tools I used for this one used mostly the smudge tool. First I wrote my name and then did the outline of the fire, then I smudged all of it.

The second thing we did we did was sketch noting. Sketch noting is when you draw and write little symbols to help you remember things. We watched a YouTube video called The Power of Belief.We then made sketch notes on it, here are mine.

I first drew all in black and then went back and outlined/coloured in the important things.

The third thing we did was to make a self portrait using layers. Layers is a very neat tool that could be described as locking somethings in place so that you can draw over top without ruining what you had before. Here are the layers and the drawing I made.

The piece of art we made using layers was a self portrait. First I took a picture of my self wearing my favorite sweater I got in Oregon. Next I traced myself with the really thin pencil tool. Then I traced the pencil with a thicker pen. Then I added a splash of water colour and Voila!

The next step in our learning was to create a still life. A still life is when you try and draw an object that doesn’t move. One of the most important things about drawing still life is that you shade. A LOT.

I drew a bowl of fruit. First I took a picture of the bowl, then I traced it and added colour. To make the ombre effects on the grapes I put a bit of dark green, and then light green. After I got the colours just right I erased a little near the top right to be where the light is shining, then I got out my smudge tool and smudged the colours together!

The last step in our learning was to create a logo. I am very proud of my logo. It is a logo for the program I do, called PLP. I think I heard someone say, maybe my mom, that the program has 3 main pillars. This got me thinking, when somebody says pillars, my brain immediately jumps to the kind of Greek or Roman building that have pillars. I delved deeper into my theory and then tried to include all the aspects PLP is about. I’m really happy with what I came up with and I really like how there are many ways to look at my logo! Here it is: After all this, it was time for 1 final activity. The final drawing that is a new drawing from your favorite type of style. I chose the self portrait and drew a picture of me from the past. I think my mom hopped out of the car to get something and I crawled into the front seat and pretended to drive!

If you look closely at the bottom you can see I’m kneeling on the seat!

1 final thing: In retrospect, although things didn’t always turn out the way I wanted them to, I’m still really proud of the work I did on this project. I think I used my Apple Pencil and iPad well on this project to create something I couldn’t necessarily create on paper. All in all, I really liked this project and I think I learned  A lot!

Until next time,

Kate.

# Emojis… Are They A Language?

For the first part of the week 6 Student Blogging Chalenge I chose to make a story that you can finish in the comments if you like.

(ahem) Once upon a time there was a fish who wasn’t aloud to do anything. One day he was swimming along when a helicopter came and stole him out of the ocean! He was in the helicopter when he realized that there were other animals too. The one he specifically noticed was a turtle. He was still looking around when he noticed also in the helicopter was a girl. She was looking at a bee and talking to it. He couldn’t make out all the words but he heard: little pet, keep and forever. This was when he got really mad. He head butted the glass of his tank, and ended up on the seat of a bicycle. He then jumped of the bicycle and flew through the air back into the ocean which the helicopter was flying over! The end. Epilogue. Three years later the fish was sitting in his coral house eating ice cream when… (for you to finish!)

Here are the emoji prompts I used to create my story!

Now onto an emoji guessing game! All these emojis are really weird expressions we keep saying and people don’t always understand!An example of the type of expression would  be:  Under weather, for if someone is sick or not feeling well.

1. “It’s raining cats and dogs!” 2. “Kill 2 birds with 1 stone.” 3. “Penny for your thoughts?” 4. “Cost me an arm and a leg!” 5. “It’s a piece of cake!”

Now for the last part I made an emoji that I think I would use often. I like the rolling eyes emoji but sometimes it’s kind of hard to tell if I’m joking or not. To change that, my emoji looks like me and the mouth is kind of smiley. My favorite part of me (the emoji) is that it’s perfect for when you’re  joking that you’re  annoyed with someone and you don’t want them to get accidentally offended. I really think that for some reason my emoji really captured me in real life. I think that the expression on my face is one I wear often; I’m joking around pretending to be serious but you can still see that under all that there is a hint of laughter. I like pretending that I don’t find the whole thing hilarious and then bursting into laughter when I can’t hold it in anymore

bye for now

-Kate

# The Medium Is The Message… And How Does It Influence Us?

Howdy! It’s November, I can’t believe it! About a week and a bit ago we got back from our Oregon field school. So, now I’m here to talk about what we did. First things first, we went to Oregon to get some real life experience on advertising (and other things) But before that, there were a lot of steps leading up to Oregon. It all started with us doing this project called “The Medium Is The Message”. It’s a project where we had to find out a lot about advertising and sharing thoughts and ideas. Here is one of the first and pretty important things I learned. It’s not important to the project, but it’s important to how I understood the project. Here it is: The word “medium” is the singular version of media. This blew my mind. I had no clue of this fact. Anyways, now we are done the project and the last step we have to do is our reflection.  Here are, in my opinion, some of the most important steps in this project.

MILESTONE 1: Welcome home dissection.

For milestone 1 we had to watch and then dissect an ad. The ad be watched was called “welcome home” and is advertising the Apple HomePod. Click here to watch it.  The dissection didn’t have to be long, just a paragraph. The skills we were being assessed for were: Text Comprehension and Appreciation Strategies. This means that we had to explain what the ad was trying to say and then how it was saying it.  I didn’t do very well on this milestone, but thankfully there were lots of other opportunities to show my work on this skill. This step was showing us how to understand text and trying to teach us how to see that everything we see makes us think about something.

Here is my analysis of the welcome home ad. I was able to think about the different colours they used and why and the different ways they showed emotion.

In milestone 2 we were given some questions we had to answer. These questions were about advertising on everyday products. An example of 1 of the questions is “Have you ever bought any products based solely on advertising? Which and why?” After we were done answering the questions, we then had to ask them to an older demographic than us, and see how their answers differ from ours. I asked my Grandpa because he is not just 1 generation but 2 generations older than me. I recorded his answers but I am not going to include the questions in this post. They were not the most important part. The most important part of this assignment was the paragraph we wrote, describing the relation between my answers to the questions and my grandpa’s.Competency Being Assessed: Historical Perspectives.  This means we had to explain “different perspectives on past or present people, places, issues, or events, and compare the values, worldviews, and beliefs of human cultures and societies in different times and places.” The thing this part of the project is trying to teach us is that people who are older than us may see something differently, and that each ad is trying to appear differently or better to a certain demographic or, target audience

Here is my paragraph:

The paragraph: “For the first questions it asks if we collect any advertising products. My grandpa said that he did not come into contact with these things where as I do come into contact with them, just I just don’t buy them. I think this shows that with an older demographic such as my grandpa, he doesn’t believe in these things, he never started, so he never has to stop. But I come into contact with these things, and I don’t strongly disagree like he does, I’m just not interested. I think this all means that he was raised in a time where you could do things with out ads popping up constantly. So now when they are everywhere, he just ignores them.

Grandpa believes that if you like something, you should buy it. Not because the advertisement for the product was the most creative. I believe that the better the ad, the more effort they put into it, so the more effort they are going to put into the product. Our world views are pretty different, because he focuses on the product and I focus on how the product was made.

Milestone 4: the Highest Tide analysis

For this Milestone we took the long process of reading the book The Highest Tide By Jim Lynch. In the book, the main character Miles finds a giant squid and then suddenly the news people are really interested in him. Miles is a little wary at first but then warms up to them. In the end he realizes that what he is thinking is more important to himself and the people who care about him, he doesn’t need to share everything with the press. We had to read the book and then analyze it.

stacyr / Pixabay

Competency Being Assessed: Literary Identification and Analysis. This means that we had to use literary devices and analyze the text throughly. I think this step in the project is to teach us about how news people act, and how to understand why people do what they do when trying to collect stories. Here is my analysis:

In the Highest Tide by Jim Lynch, did the conflicts with the media lead to the start of when Miles started to learn about his emotions? During the book, Miles went through a lot of conflict, What with his mom moving out, the media’s sudden interest in him and Florence’s death, but when does Miles start to appreciate and learn about his emotions? In the start of the book Miles doesn’t really think about anything of real importance to his emotions, mostly just about sea life. For example, he states that he can’t read a Rachel Carson book and then fall asleep, so he is thinking more about that than anything going on in his family. In the second part of the book, the setting really changes; like when he visits the cult, and he starts to think about what people think of him. When Miles is at the cult’s place, he at first doesn’t want to talk about sea life, but then can’t stop talking even when he realizes that there is a news reporter there. Near the end of the book when Florence dies, Miles realizes that he can’t let the news people see that he is upset, he has to pretend everything is fine. Jim Lynch uses words to describe things like grey, somber and souls howling to portray the fact that all is not right with the world. In the end, I think that Miles learned that you have to be carful with what you say and act around the media because everything is connected to the media, and that his emotions are his alone to feel, not share with the world.

(Just a little side note here, there are three types of persuasive techniques. Pathos, Ethos and Logos. Pathos appeals to you emotionally. Ethos appeals to your sense of credibility in the product. And Logos appeals to your sense of logic, like if something makes sense. We will come back to this later, I’m just warning you, it has something to do with different types of people.

Milestone 5 and 6: Awesome Ads

For this step 5 we had to make ads for a business in  Deep Cove and then for a business in Oregon. My business in deep cove was deep cove kayaks I think my ads started out ok and then really progressed throughout the different revisions. We had to do A LOT of revisions for these ads. First we had to interview the business and then we could get to work on our ads. Here is a slide show of my deep cove ads:

• Draft 1
• Draft 2
• Draft 3
• Final Draft

My first draft could have been a lot better. I just used a photo I didn’t take and I didn’t take and my colours didn’t really follow the colours of Deep Cove Kayaks.

My second draft wasn’t terrible but there was still way too much writing.

My third draft was a big improvement but I still didn’t use white space correctly

My final draft I am actually pretty proud of. I used the right amount of writing to pictures, I used the space correctly and I used the right colours. I am really happy with the evolution and how this latest one turned out!

I think the point in the ads step in this project was to learn how to create ads. I think this is what the whole project was leading up to and now it’s our chance to use all we learned! The driving question for this project was: how does what we hear, read, and see influence us. I think this is the part where we could put all that we learned in the past milestones and stepping stones into our ads. I think that different styles of ads, even really sneaky ones, influence us in different ways. Throughout this project I developed a theory that there are 3 different types of people. 1) the people who are more moved by funny things. 2) the type that if the ad is emotional it really sticks with them and they are constantly thinking about it. 3) the type that really likes it if there is something in the ad that is really smart and really sticks with them, they are thinking about how it works all day. I am the third type of person. These three things also line up with pathos, ethos and logos. I think advertisement developers have this theory too and they make ads that line up with these 3 types of people and/or a different demographic.

Now on to the Oregon ads. I think these are also really good and I am REALLY PROUD (with lots of emphasis) of my Oregon ads. Our business is Clark’s. We really did a good job on the interview and I think that my ads have really improved since the start of this projet.

• Draft 1
• Draft 2
• Draft 3
• FINAL DRAFT!!!!

I think my first draft was ok, but I didn’t have any photos yet and it was a bit wordy.

My draft 2 was definitely and improvement but it was still a bit wordy and it didn’t really make sense

My draft three was a big improvement but it still didn’t look right. I think the photos didn’t blend together very well in a seamless ad. Some of the feedback I got was that I needed to make it look like someone other than me made it.

My final draft was BEAUTIFUL I am very impressed with myself for making something beautiful like this.

In conclusion, I think my ads need to include more pictures and less words, but overall I really got better at advertisement making.

cheers,

Kate