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The extended essay has been introduced to us over the period of two sessions. I learnt many things and clarified many things in these sessions, in particular to do with academic honesty policy and various ethical guidelines we should follow. The class of 2019 and EE site both are very efficient and effective, making it quite easy to locate the different resources required and explains them very well. If I ever need any clarification, I know I can use these two sites or ask my counsellor for this. The links are pasted below.

EE Site:

Class of 2019 Site:

Perhaps the most surprising thing I found out in the sessions was that duplication of ones own work is actually academic dishonesty. Meaning that you are not allowed to submit the same thing twice. This surprised me as I thought because it was my own work, I could submit it as many time as I wanted.

TOK: Emotion

Answer the first journal question and choose either two or three:

Are there any things that we can know only through emotion?

– You can only have feelings if you have emotions. Even though they may be defined by chemical release or some other scientific reason, emotion cannot be truly understood or “known” through reason. Feelings can only be “known” through emotion and feeling these emotions.


Is it possible to clearly separate emotion out from reason or are these two ways of knowing more intimately intertwined than we think?

  • There are different ways we can separate emotion out from reason. For example in English, we’ve started a unit of identifying bias or emotion within news articles, something that is assumed to be objective. This way of thinking can be applied into various real-world situations, allowing us to separate this emotion and reason. Even though this is where emotion and reason should not be found together, emotion and reason can be intertwined in things like science. Passion is an important aspect of science in finding results and maintaining drive. Furthermore, the study of emotions will also come out of reason.

IB Gold Coast Reflection

Over the course of the 17th and 18th of August, the class of 2019 embarked on a great journey, GESTALT! This course was aimed to help familiarise the newly DP students with the programme and the next two years of our lives. There were various challenges and obstacles I faced along the way and these two days helped me understand some things that had never come into my frame of mind previously.

We started the retreat off with a Crossroads poverty simulation. The purpose of the simulation was to mimic a slum  with the students being the residents of said slum. We were divided off into “families” and had to make paper bags just to earn enough to afford various things like rent, health, food, etc. During the process of the simulation, we were asked to give up many different things, like shoes, phones, “limbs” and “organs”. We did all of this without hesitation for the money we needed for the next round. While in the simulation, it was all fun and games, but what really struck me was not the simulation itself, but the talk afterwards. Then, we realised the gravity of the situation at hand. How while it was a game for us, it wasn’t a game for people actually living in slums. We were willing to give up our most valued possessions knowing we would get them back, but the people in slums would never get these possessions back. We would give up our organs, not realising the magnitude of this decision. We never thought of long term problems and were only focused on the short term, for once, we didn’t have an end goal, or a plan on how to advance. What we expected was very very real for millions and millions of people around the world. However, the biggest takeaway I think I realised is that the mentality of “i’m not big enough to change the world” is wrong. No matter what, you can still make a difference, whether it’s building a playground or donating for micro-loans, you can do something to make a difference. This new mentality is not only limited to poverty, but can be applicable to any real GIN issue

Speaking to Alumni’s of CDNIS also proved to be invaluable. From their perspectives and experiences, I was better able to understand the DP programme as well as various courses in them. I was able to better understand the extended essay, TOK and what exactly they were, what value they had and what I could do to succeed in them. They also provided lots of insight into the process of applying and choosing universities, being able to answer questions about the application process, what looks good on a CV and many other things.

Finally, another valuable thing I learned was concerning the requirements of CAS and how to fulfil them. CAS was always a very vague concept and never clearly defined. With the remix, I am now able to understand what needs to come out of CAS and what I can do to fulfil the requirements of CAS.

Intro to WOKs

Reason in Natural Sciences

In particular, inductive reasoning is used in a plentiful amount of natural sciences and is usually how new knowledge is acquired. Through inductive reasoning, scientists are able to test hypothesis and hence generate proof for the particular knowledge. Additionally, rationality helps judge how valid the knowledge is or the mechanisms behind the knowledge rather then just the process.


Knowing that WOKs are double-edged swords: they are sources of knowledge and are also fallible, how do any disciplines in the AOK you chose above guard against the weaknesses of the WOK you chose?

Most problems that arise from the way of knowing that is reason is that it mostly does not take into consideration more subjective aspects like faith, belief or emotion. Instead favouring reason and logic over human emotion. This plays a detrimental part in aspects like ethics and morals, where moral grey areas may be crossed simply because it is reasonable to do something, but not morally acceptable. Fortunately, in the area of knowledge of natural sciences, the user in most cases tries to be completely objective, avoiding things like first person language and personal opinion. Additionally, through the scientific method, it is ensured that only reason is and should be considered. However, this discipline does not have many guards when encountering it’s weaknesses concerning ethics and morals, and like many cliché movies, science, while reasonable creates disastrous results. This is overcome in some fields like medicine, where doctors have to take an oath, but is not considered in many other areas.

TOK: Personal and Shared Knowledge

Everyone is entitled to his own beliefs, but not to his own facts. Do you agree?

I agree. While anyone can choose what they believe in, no matter how far-fetched, no one can dispute facts. Facts can be defined as having the quality of being, hinging on reality, or also a piece of information presented as having an objective reality. This is the key difference between belief and fact. Fact is objective while belief is subjective. As long as belief cannot be proved, it will never be a fact. However, beliefs are beliefs for a reason, they cannot be proven right nor can they be proven wrong. This is the difference between belief and fantasy.

A grey area between facts and beliefs is the change from belief to fact. A belief may be something like a hypothesis and when proven, becomes facts. Therefore, we can’t entirely dismiss beliefs to not be fact, and as a result, it is somewhat hypocritical to say that you cannot be entitled to your own facts. I suppose the difference in this example is that facts are universal, and universally proven, while beliefs, while may be widespread, are not completely universal.

I agree with the statement in the broad sense, but if we go into grey areas like when belief becomes fact, the lines get much blurrier.

TOK: Knowledge and Explaining

With reference to the class activity today about knowing and explaining, in what ways might it be reasonable to suggest that people who disagree can both be right?

I believe that being “right” is rather complicated, there are two things we need to look into, a personal code of morals and a more societal code of ethics. What this means is that something someone personally may deem as right, may not be right in the laws eyes. This can be seen in the example of property. In Hong Kong, it is illegal to do additional construction to your property, like adding a room or a floor or whatnot, however a person may think that since it’s their property, they should be able to do anything with it. 

With this frame of mind we can approach the question of if people can disagree and both be right. For certain circumstances, this question cannot be supported. Some questions only have one answer and cannot be debated both ways, hence this statement is false. However, more open questions can have more then one answer, and depends more on the person in particular. Examples of these is that quantitative measurements cannot be incorrect, there is only one answer, whether it be mass, temperature, etc. However, qualitative measurements can have multiple answers, with people supporting both sides. For example, when an exam or a test comes, people may disagree with the feelings they have, one may say they are excited and one might say they are nervous. Both emotions are “right”, yet they disagree.  

In conclusion, we can say that it is reasonable, but not definite that people who disagree can both be right. 

Service as Action Reflection

1.How did you become more aware of your own strengths and weaknesses for areas of growth? 

  • As a core member of the photography in CDNIS, I managed to become more aware of my strengths and weaknesses. In the beginning of the year, I knew nothing about photography and still used auto. However, throughout the year, I learnt various new skills and now manage to shoot on full manual. I learnt about my weaknesses like exposure composition and learnt my strengths like the technique of Bokeh. As of now, I have achieved the highest position that a member can possibly achieve and am now tutoring and teaching other members on different techniques, particularly portrait photography. 
  • Photos Taken: Link

2.How did you undertake challenges that developed new skills

  • I achieved a first aid certificate for CPR and Bandaging from St. Johns ambulance after a 30 hour course. During this course, I faced many challenges, in particular bandaging. There were many many different methods for bandaging for different kind of injuries, As I was still younger, I had trouble remembering and associating them, as such, I failed my bandaging course for the first time. However, after careful study and asking for clarification, I managed to pass the second time and achieve my certificate. 

3.How did you discuss, evaluate and plan student-initiated activities?

  • As a UNICEF executive, I worked with my team to develop and execute various events throughout the school year. This includes two different bake sales, a clothes drive, a simulation and a mothers day sale. Though I was a UNICEF general member in the past, I have never contributed to the planning phase. Now, as an executive, we considered aspects I have never considered like fundraising, public relations and money handling.

4.How did you persevere in action? 

  • Prior to becoming a UNICEF executive, I was a general member for a number of years. One thing the UNICEF club is notoriously bad at is retaining general members. As the year went by more and more members started quoting or not coming to the meetings. This discouraged me as my friends were not willing to go as well. However, a friend and myself decided to persevere and continue to go to the meetings despite the diminishing numbers. By the final month, we were the only two general members in the club. As such, we persevered and gave a good impression, allowing us to be selected as executives the next year. 

5.How did you work collaboratively with others? 

  • In grade 10, I joined the reading tree and participated in their Friday after-school sessions concerning educating kids in english through reading and presentation. This consisted of many volunteers that had to work together in planning, developing and executing lessons plans. If we had not worked together, the sheer scale of the task would have overwhelmed us. 
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6.How did you develop international-mindedness through global engagement, multilingualism and intercultural understanding?

  • In my 2016 CAS trip to Fujian in China, we performed service by helping repair and preserve the “Tulou” in which the locals lived. Through engagement with these locals in various languages (chinese and english through translation), we learned the importance of these Tulou’s and the significance we had in our actions to preserve it. We learned about the younger population leaving to move into the city, leaving older populations in the initial villages. As a result, they find it hard to constantly repair their unique cultural practises, as such, to prevent them from losing their place in the world, we developed global understanding and helped them in preserving culture. 
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7.How did you consider the ethical implications of your actions?

  • he RDA plays a significant role in the rehabilitation and therapy of disabled children that otherwise would not have the opportunity to participate in equestrian. These sessions provide many noticeable benefits that range from increase in self confidence and esteem to strengthening coordination, core stability, balance as well as reducing spasms. Through this programme a child can receive an element of excitement and risk often denied to the disabled that also helps in a therapeutic way.
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Healthy Habits Reflection

During the completion of the HPE course in the first term, we managed to develop and practice a wide range of healthy habits, in particular, that of fitness. Through our various units, WODs and HIIT, I managed to develop fitness habits that helped me in the day to day life. However, all good things must come to an end and that was what happened with our HPE course. As it was only a half term course, during the second term, we did not take HPE. However, our ever persistent and dedicated teachers came up with a method that would ensure we developed healthy habits that would carry us for the remainder of our year and perhaps into the future. This is the reflection of my healthy habits that I completed during the second term.


Fitness: My goal was to take part in moderate-vigorous exercise 3 times per week.

I believe I have achieved and excelled in this goal. Throughout the process of my healthy habits, I made four posts on fitness, depicting the three types of fitness that I do on a regular basis. Of the four, two are pictures from equestrian lessons. This is one type of vigorous exercise I partake in twice every week. Through equestrian, I manage to practice muscular endurance while also muscular strength to a certain extent. At the beginning of every lesson, the horses will be quite feisty, requiring muscular strength in the upper body, particular forearms and shoulders to produce results like “on the bit”. After they are moved into the position, muscular endurance is utilized to keep them in the correct position. Additionally, lower body is utilized during the canter, in particular, to follow the movements of the horse during it’s wider gait. In addition to equestrian, I partake in two hours of RDA service. Through this session, not only do I communication with disabled kids but also lead the horses around the arena, through various exercises for the riders as well as leading them into a trot for a period of time. This helps with coordination, coordinating your own movements while leading the horse as well as muscular endurance, being up and about for two hours at a time without break. The third habit I partake in is AYP. During the term, we had multiple expeditions for AYP, walking over 40km in 3 days multiple times. This increases muscular endurance. Additionally, though not photographed, I utilize the gym to improve muscular strength through weight training. The reasoning behind the lack of evidence is due to the fact that I prefer to not get distracted by electronics during a hard workout, instead focusing solely on the task at hand. (This exercise was definitely completed and can be corroborated by multiple students and teachers, including but not limited to Mr. Shortt, Ms. Riverin, Mr. Wright)


Sleep: My goal was to ensure that I went to sleep without distraction

This was completed by turning on airplane mode on my phone prior to sleeping every night. Airplane mode prevents the recieving of notifications particularaly from social media. I did this every night and the proof can be seen in the images. From this habit, I learnt to be less dependent on my phone for entertainment, usually not staying up later than I needed to to use my phone.


Food: My goal was to include at least 2 servings of green vegetables per day into my diet.

I believe I have achieved this goal. From the images depicted, it can be seen that I am eating more vegetables in general and even home-grown vegetables at some points. I  found this particularly easy due to the easy accessibiility of vegetables in Hong Kong.


Inspired Composition

My Finale Score: 

Vance Mak Composition Summative PDF

My Inspiration Source: 


Pre-Production (the plan)

  • The inspiration source that was chosen is pictured below. It depicts a young boy visiting a circus for the first time, full of joy and excitement . The reason I chose this particular inspiration was the interesting dynamics I could convey with my piece. While excitement is the main emotion the child may feel, there are still different levels of this emotion towards different parts of the circus. I wanted to experiment with this, being able to convey different extents of emotion. For example, depicting his initial excitement as first arriving, running into the circus, or the mesmerizing and awe he gets from the animals. This provides a very interesting dynamic, hence my interest in pursuing this inspiration source.
  • The instruments used in my piece are the Flute, C Trumpet, Piano, and Percussion (mostly snares). The reason behind the choices of instruments are based off of what I am most familiar with. I started out with the Flute and Piano, the two instruments that I do play. This gives me a sense of familiarity and confidence when first starting to compose. Additionally, the flute was chosen as it’s quite high and energetic, able to represent the child that is visiting. When adding instruments, the first I felt was missing was something more “heavy”, so I considered a Trumpet, Clarinet, Trombone or a Saxophone. From here, I developed a simple melody consisting of long notes based off of the chords and played around with the instruments. I felt the Trumpet added to the exciting atmosphere, perhaps reminding of the sound of some kind of marching band in the circus. Additionally, the C Trumpet was chosen as opposed to other Trumpets due to familiarity like the Flute and Piano. The snare was chosen in conjunction with the “march” feel of the trumpet, providing a strong but light and jumpy atmosphere.
  • Rondo form was chosen within my piece as I felt it can be used well as a transition point. The piece is scored in ABACA form. The A is meant to represent the travelling of the child, the general walking from place to place. The B and the C are meant to be the two major highlights he sees during his trip in the circus. The A transitions between these points, able to bring the audience from one point to another using a familiar tune.
  • I finally began by developing a general chordal structure. I created three of these, for the three sections. From there on, I can add various melodies and notes to create the piece. Furthermore, I decided on what each of the three sections would be aimed at developing. The first would be the child first entering the circus, followed by the child observing the various animals then concluding with a performance in the top. The ways these are shown will be elaborated in the following section.
  • I mostly used Finale the compose the piece. This was due to the fact that when testing out the keyboard on Garageband, I found that the dynamics were very inconsistent and the rhythm was inconsistent. When I accidently pressed too hard or too soft, there would be a major difference. As such, I chose to use finale to compose the entirety of the plan.
  • One idea that changed was the tonality of the piece. Initially, I wanted the first and fifth section to be in C Major while the third section would me in A minor. However, after developing a general melody, I found it did not fit with the general atmosphere. The minor in conjunction with the slowed piece made this particular section sound depressing and sad. The atmosphere I was aiming for was mesmerizing and awe, and the minor had missed the mark. As such, I changed it back to C major and it managed to match the atmosphere slightly better.



  • I created original music through a two part method. First, I would use an electronic keyboard to figure out the various notes that I wanted. This is due to the fact that I find it hard to turn the visualisation of notes on finale to hearing it out loud. As such, it would be a lot easier to actually play these notes on a keyboard. Unfortunately, a problem I ran into was the fact that when typing using finale, my rhythm wasn’t exact. This means that it was very hard to type exactly what i wanted, hence the two part method. The second part concerns tweaking the notes, changing various aspects like dynamics and rhythm that is not to my liking. That is how I created original music using a keyboard.
  • I used three main sounds, one for each section A, b and C, for each section. Through the section, the pattern tended to be that the sound was played once, then repeated. However, the repetition would have something added or changed, the flute would go an octave higher in one of them, or the trumpet or snare would be added. In the section A, the same main theme is repeated twice. The change observed is that of an addition of trumpet and snare. The second section is also repeated twice, with the change being in the snare and the octave. The third section is repeated multiple times, adding an instrument every two bars in conjunction with raising the octave. Towards the end of the section, the two parts of melody shift by a crotchet, causing one to play after another.
  • For section A and section C, not much was deleted, but for section B, it underwent two iterations. The first is mentioned in the previous “production” section. The first iteration had the section at a minor key. As this did not pan out, it was changed to a major key.
  • The piece of music is divided into five different sections with an additional Coda. The following will explain what each section was meant to depict as well as several notable aspects with these sections showing the intent of my music.
    • Section one, A, takes place over bars 1-10. The section is meant to depict a child visiting the circus for the first time. Several notable aspects can be highlighted
      • The general speed of the piece as according to the notes selected is quite fast. This is due to a composition of quavers and semiquavers. This helps create a joyous and lively atmosphere. In addition, the staccatos used in conjunction with short notes helps the notes seem even shorter. These various notes contributes to the atmosphere at hand. The scene that is depicted is one of a child visiting a circus, being extremely excited and enthusiastic. These “jumping” notes are used to reflect the actual jumping or skipping of the child.
      • In bar 5-8, the chords are repeated from that in bars 1-4. However, one notable change is the introduction of two lines of music, one is a C trumpet and one is a snare drum. I believe this change reflects the attitude of the child. While the child is extremely excited to go to the circus, when walking around and seeing the different views, he grows more and more excited, anticipating the participation of the things he can observe around him. This is reflected in various elements. The additional lines of music provide a new melody that is uplifting and exciting, which conjuncts with the melody established in the first 4 bars. The snare drums provides a fast and energetic beats, reflecting the footsteps of the child running around, no longer able to contain himself.
      • In bars 8 and 9, the melody becomes higher and higher and louder and louder. This buildup is quite quick and is used to transition to the next section. Additionally, the snare drum part grows faster and faster, eventually reaching the speed of a hemidemisemiquaver. Proceeding this, the music stops and starts again with section 2. This is meant to imitate the excitement of the child, moving faster and faster, until he finally stops, finding something in awe that he wants to look at.
    • The second section, B,  takes place over bars 11-18. The section is meant to depict the child visiting the animals within the circus. Several changes to the overall piece can be observed here.
      • The first major change that can be observed is the deceleration of the piece. The previous section consisted of mostly quavers and semiquavers while this section consisted mostly of dotted crotchets and minim notes. This is done on purpose with the intention of bolstering the atmosphere. In a circus, it tends to be very very chaotic, loud and busy. This can be seen in the previous section. However, in this section, the child is mesmerised by the animals he sees in front of him, completely attentive and focused on the animals. As such, the music grows slower as he manages to get away from the chaos of the circus.
      • The second major change that can be observed is the thinning down of the texture of the piece. In the previous section, there were four lines of music at almost all times. In this section, it changes to a melody with accompaniment, with at most, two lines of music at a time. This once again enhances the atmosphere of serenity and enthral. The isolation of the texture ensures that the overall music in the second section is thinner, once again showing a less chaotic environment. This particular change takes part over bars 11-14, before a snare part is introduced. The snare marks a connection to the previous section where the snare was present. This is meant to show that the outside atmosphere is starting to take over the child again, bringing him back to the chaotic loud and busy atmosphere of the circus.
    • The third section, A2, takes place over bars 19-28.
      • This section repeats that of the first section of A1, being the same. This is meant to be used as a transition between the second and fourth section, representing the child, once again walking around the circus, looking for his next attraction.
    • The fourth section, C, takes place over bars 29-36. This section is meant to depict the child visiting the circus top for the show.
      • The melody is repeated multiple times here, with changes in each repetition. The first adds a flute to the melody, the second adds a trumpet and bumps the flute up an octave, the third shifts the trumpet so it ends up being slightly off with the flute part. The reason for the repetition and increasing in instruments is that it i supposed to illustrate the people filling up the top. While starting off with a few people, it gets more and more crowded, bringing about a louder and more lively atmosphere. The reason behind the shifting of the melody is it aims to show the irregularity of the circus performance. Since it is the child’s very first time coming to the circus, he is shocked to see these strange and unusual acts. Though strange, the atmosphere from previous is still kept, showing that while strange, the performance is still very enjoyable.
    • The fifth Section, A3 and the coda, takes up the rest of the piece
      • The section repeats that of the first and third section. This is used to end the piece, showing the child walking away from the circus. The choice for the repetition is meant to bring back the audience to the beginning of the piece through familiarity.
      • The coda at the end consists of two bars. It was chosen to end the piece in a perfect cadence, transitioning from the fifth section to the end with the progression of I, ii, V7, I. The notes selected in the melody was in conjunction with this progression. Additionally, the length of the notes are slowing down, as if representing the dying down and slowing of the circus.


  • Post-Production
    • Following the main melody of the piece being made, I added several things like articulation and dynamics.
    • Articulation can be highlighted in the second section. The intention was to create an atmosphere of awe and amazement. This is done in terms of articulation by creating legato notes throughout the ascending notes. This gives a feel of smoothness and elegance, contributing to the atmosphere that is being created. In the third section, there are many staccato notes. This emphasises the lightness and joy of the performance in the top. The staccatos notes help bring the melody up, showing the peaking interests of the crowd and the child watching.
    • In terms of dynamics, I mainly added them to the situations in which the melody changed. The melody constantly changes between the flute and the trumpet. The dynamics are used to highlight the melody, with the melody always being the loudest line. The way I added general dynamics was to listen through the piece, whenever I felt that a specific dynamic change felt appropriate, I would add it in. If the dynamic, after review, felt good in contributing to the piece, it would be chosen.



  • Feedback Given


      • Charlotte Tang
        • After listening to the composition, she gave general feedback that perhaps the chords were too repetitive or boring at some points in the composition. In particular, the A and C sections, where the chords were repeated twice and were the same. A suggestion she made was that perhaps to create more variation, the chords could remain at the same chord progression, but the inversions could be changed.
        • While some dynamics can be observed throughout the piece, the dynamics remained largely the same throughout each section. To create a more lively atmosphere that coincides with the main inspiration source, various dynamics could be added to liven up the atmosphere at hand.
      • Jenkin Chim
        • One piece of feedback he gave me was that the alberti bass played by the piano was too repetitive. While it added an interesting dynamic that contributed to the piece, towards the end of the piece, the alberti bass proved to be too repetitive and took away from the general melody. Instead, there should be large breaks in between, where the accompaniment is quieter and less abrasive.
          • In response to his criticism, I altered my sections, taking away an alberti bass from the second section. This gives a break from the constant sound and hence makes sure it is only used to contribute and not take away from the piece.

To what extent has the film raised the target audiences knowledge and understanding of how the theme/event influenced the central characters?

I believe my film managed to raise the target audience (grade 10 students) knowledge and understanding on how SARS in Hong Kong influenced the three central characters explored. For the first character, we gain an understanding of how the culinary industry was affected and his restaurant was closed. For the second character, we gain the understanding on how the medical industry was affected and how business plummeted. In the third character, we gain an understanding in how the aviation industry was affected and how business was reduced greatly. From here, the target audience is able to gain an insight on three major industries that were affected by the SARS epidemic and with that, an overall impact on Hong Kong. Additionally, a survey was given out, and from there, we gained insight directly into what the audience thought of the film. We found that 28.6% rated it 5/5, 64.3% 4/5, 7.1% 2/5 for the question “To what extent does the production answer the research question?”. The question was directed to a group of fourteen grade ten students. This meant we got replies from our target audience. While these results show the majority understood, our sample group is still too small to judge the extent to which they agree with the statement, however we can still surmise that  the vast majority of our target audience managed to understand how the SARS influenced our central characters.  

March Reflection

1.  Explain how you believe you are progressing on your instrument so far this year.

I believe I am progressing extremely well in my instrument this year, especially relative to last year. I believe this is due to the difference in learning strategy. Last year, we focused on mainly six different songs, three for each term, correlating with wind philharmonic music. While we became proficient with these songs, it would get repetitive and we would not learn much. In this course, the songs cycle quite quickly, all songs being different with various techniques to master. This allows a much more quick-paced environment honing skills in aspects like sight-reading. As such, I believe I am progressing very well as I am learning much more and doing a more wide variety of pieces. I’ve learnt and utilised many more techniques that may prove useful for the future as well. 

2.  Explain specifically what you are currently doing to improve your level of skill.  

I believe I am currently improving my level of skill through the playing of the various pieces of music in class as well as exercises in standard of excellence /accent on achievement. Through the playing of the various pieces, basic foundation is developed while some specialised techniques are introduced and practised. Through the playing, I am able to improve in note accuracy, rhythm, articulation, dynamics, tone quality and breathing/phrasing. An example of this specifically would be the improvements in accuracy. In the piece “Psalm and Celebration”, bars 123 – 128 contain a complicated rhythm in conjunction with extremely high notes (as I play flute one for this piece). This one section improves my rhythm (as it is composed of semi quavers and quavers), articulation (as the notes are all staccatos), tone quality (as I have to work to maintain this through a hard section), and breathing (as it is various high notes in a quick rhythm, making me plan ahead). Through the playing of these various skills, I also learn and work on various specialised techniques like trills. Overall, I am improving my level of skill by playing the songs learnt in class as it improves both my foundation as well as specialised techniques I can utilise.

3.  How often do you practice?

I do not consistently practice which is definitely a limitation towards my progress concerning ability with my instrument, however, when I encounter a weak part in a particular piece, perhaps a section of music I just can’t, I attempt to correct this weakness and play it over and over to get it consistently right. 

4.  Which of these are you most successful at: note accuracy, rhythm accuracy, articulation, dynamics, tone quality, breathing/phrasing?  Anything else?

I believe I am quite successful in note accuracy. Usually for most songs, I am able to play the accurate notes, taking into account accidentals and key signature. The only limitation to this is the high E note. I constantly play the high E as Eb as I have just learnt the E note and are still quite unused to it. Through more practise, maybe with either scales or chromatics, I can improve my ability to differentiate the fingering for E and Eb. However, I believe in terms of note reading, I am extremely proficient and can do this quickly and accurately. In terms of rhythm, I am also quite accurate. I am able to keep time well, knowing when to go in after an extended rest. I usually don’t rush or drag unless the entire band does so too. 

5. Which of these are you the least successful: note accuracy, rhythm accuracy, articulation, dynamics, tone quality, breathing/phrasing?  Anything else?

I believe I am not successful in breathing/phrasing. I constantly run out of breath when playing a piece. This causes my breathing and phrasing to be quite erratic and inconsistent. While, I do know where I should breath, I usually cannot reach that location, falling short and having to take a breath. I could potentially improve this by increasing my capacity for holding my breath. This can be done through various breathing exercises particularly progressive training, aiming to increase length that a breath does not need to be taken. Additionally, this can be done through practise, especially of long and low notes. I believe I am also not successful with articulation. While I do note the various staccatos or legatos within the piece, I usually can’t help ignoring them as I am too focused on the notes or other aspects. Additionally, sometimes when doing detached notes, I believe I am too harsh in my tonguing. This can all be improved through an increase in practise. The first part could be improved if I was more fluent in my piece of music. If i was more fluent, it would allow me to more easily consider the articulation as well as keep up with the notes. The second part could be improved through playing either staccato notes as an exercise or playing scales with staccato notes to improve consistency. 

6.  What can you do to improve as a musician?

In terms of a musician, I believe I should improve on my flute skills overall, but I should place emphasis on areas where I am least successful, meaning that I can become more well-rounded and an overall stronger musician. The specific things I can do with my various weaknesses are explained in the previous section in detail, but these can include various breathing exercises, focused/specialised methods of practise as well as increased practise. If I manage to complete these three aspects I will have succeeded in my various goals to become a better musician. However, improvement is never fixed and I will have to continue to put effort in the future. 

7. Discuss how other musicians have inspired you to be more successful (consider musician in your class and/or in the school and/or outside of school).

Jake Lee is one other musician who has inspired me. I believe in terms of skill and ability, he is superior to me in playing the flute. As such, I believe he has inspired me to improve upon my own skills to reach his level. We cycle between flute 1 and flute 2 for the various pieces we play in class and as such have some competitive aspects. However, we work together very well to provide an overall better sound. We support each other, giving tips on rhythm and fingering. Though he is leaving, I am sure his impacts as an inspiration source will not be lost. I hope to continue to improve, becoming more successful in the future. 

End of Year Reflection

Playing Test

Concerning the playing test on the 10th and 12th of May in which we played Stella by Starlight and minor scales, I was overall happy with my execution though I made a few errors. The requirements of this test was to play Stella by Starlight – a piece composed by the artist in residence Mr Taitoko with the addition of 5 minor (3 harmonic and 3 melodic) and 1 chromatic scale of our choice. When playing my scales, I made the mistake of not being able to keep in time. For almost all my scales with the exception of the last, I would play the scale too fast leading the deduction of marks. This is in part due to lack of practise with the metronome. This is one of the major things I can improve on as this was a consistent problem I had to deal with during practise and playing. I would give myself mostly a 5/6 for the scales. As opposed to my scales my solo had less mistakes but my tempo was still not in time. While I was consistent in the first few lines, towards the end I sped up. Luckily, I was able to catch myself and return in time for the ending. I feel I deserve the following. 

Note Accuracy: Excellent

Rhythm Accuracy: Limited

Dynamics: Substantial 

Tempo: Limited

Beginning: Excellent

Middle: Substantial

End: Excellent

Articulation: Substantial

Tone Quality: Excellent

Innotation: Excellent

Connection: Excellent

Air: Excellent 

Melodic Shape: Excellent

Overall, I believe †hat I have succeeded in this assessment in terms that I am satisfied and content with my own performance. For further future improvements, I could improve the accuracy of my scales as well as rhythm and tempo of my playing as a whole. 

Theory Test

With the theory test that was completed on the 18th of December, I was satisfied by my performance as I feel I improved from first term. In the first term, I achieved a level 6, with 71 points, but this term I achieved a level 7 with 85 points. In the first term, I was unsure about things like figured bass and transposition, knowing this, I studied extra for those sections. While I believe that I improved on figured bass and transposition, I believe I still need to work more of intervals and 7th chords. In first term, I managed to get these all right, as such, I put less focus in them when studying leading to a less comprehensive understanding and more errors. To see my theory test click on this Link

Personal Development

Taking this course as a whole has definitely improved not only my playing and theory, but it has also improved my time management skills. Over the course of this semester, I have improved my playing substantially. I am now able to tackle more complicated and complex pieces of music. My sight reading skills in particular have improved. By playing more and practising more, I believe I can now read music faster and translate that into fingering on my instrument. I learnt how valuable practice is, as it is not how much you practise, but how well you practise. As Mr O’Toole says, don’t practise until you get it right, practise until you can’t get it wrong. My theory skills have also improved over the course of the year. In previous years, I have taken the ABRSM grade 5 theory test. While this did improve my knowledge, I don’t believe I truly understood why certain things happen. I never understood what transposing actually meant and I never understood how different clefs worked. With this course, I was able to expand my preexisting knowledge and gain insight into the world of music. As mentioned before, practising music is a very important part of music. However, this takes a considerable amount of time. This course has better helped me organise my time better, completing certain tasks faster, leaving time for practise. With the skills I have learnt managing my time, I can and have applied this to not only music practise, but other tasks as well. I believe that the course has taught me valuable life skills that can be applied in our out of music class.

IB Learner Profile and My Music Development

When considering the IB Learner Profile, I feel this course significantly improved my knowledgeable and risk-taker traits. In our semester, we completed two presentations, one on theory and one in jazz. I feel as these presentations enhanced my learner profile of knowledgeable. One of the descriptors for this learner profile is that we engage with issues and ideas that have local and global significance. When learning about Jazz, we learnt a lot about the affect of history and events on music. Racial segregation and tensions created jazz. WWII created Cool Jazz. These are all global significant events. In terms of risk-taker, we achieved this though playing and composing. We approached tasks with determination and to explore new ideas. Previously, I had composed little to no compositions. Completing this semester made me take more risks and face challenges, leading to a better product.

Stella by Starlight Final Draft

Stella by Starlight Vance Mak

First and foremost, the composing of the jazz solo was significantly harder than the ternary composition. This is due to my lack of exposure to jazz as well as my confusion and misunderstanding of content covered in class. This included different 7-3 resolutions as well as ligons and digital patterns. However, over time and help from peers, I managed to solidify my understanding and develop my jazz solo.

What really developed my foundation to this piece were the key chords and guide tones provided by our lovely teacher Mr. O’Toole. This really set me up with my piece, allowing me to just build up the notes in between. Furthermore, help provided by Mr. Taitoko set me on my way. His use of complex rhythms as well as his use of interesting melodic tones inspired me and helped me create my piece.

Now, let me explain my choices that I made in my piece. I established focus on two major things. Establishing a good rhythmic pattern as well as utilising my flute’s dynamic range to the best effect. This can clearly be seen already in my first few bars. I utilise irregular rhythms as well as rise extremely quickly. This creates a captivating and memorable opening. This effect seems to work well as various peers commented on this opening. Furthermore, I try my best to utilise my flute’s dynamic range, playing both high notes (as seen in the last couple of bars) and low notes (bar 4, 7…) I feel that this is done well but it was hard to play.

Moving on the interesting rhythms, I feel I did fairly well, consistently changing and never staying regular. However, I feel that still, this could be improved upon. Some parts of the piece sound extremely slow while other parts sound extremely fast. I feel like I was hesitant on keeping consistent rhythm and this made my piece a little too irregular.

One part I felt I did poorly in was my spacing. I have a lot of notes in a small amount of bars. This was one note that was given to me both by my peers and by Mr Taitoko. I seem to not utilise space well and this has to change in my next composition

When completing my Jazz solo, I felt that I did well to take my peers recommendation from previous drafts and incorporate them into my final. Various comments given stated that the piece seemed a little plain or bland. As such, in my final, I aimed to furthermore add a diverse and different variety of interesting rhythms and melodic structures. This includes the use of various dotted notes in conjunct or disjunct rhythms as well as to use different digital patterns and ligons to there best abilities. I feel that these changes helped my piece greatly as it creates more of a “jazzy” feel as opposed to a classical feel. Furthermore, some advice given to me was to further check my melody and to make sure it worked with my bass and chords. I feel I did this and changed some certain notes, adding accidentals when they were in the bass. 

Ethics (10)

Decisions taken within an organisation may be made by individuals or groups, but whoever makes them will be influenced by the culture of the company. Within this unit concerning business ethics, we explored the SOI fairness and developness. In particular, we learnt definitions, things that affect ethics, how ethics change over time, differences between ethics and laws, corporate social responsibility and social audits. We have learnt that in order for companies to develop, they need good ethics to proceed smoothly. Take a real life example – De Beers. In the mid 1900s, De Beers practised bad business ethics, using blood diamonds and conflict diamonds. They faced much prejudice and hate, leading to a slower development. However, after they properly sourced diamonds, becoming more fair, in turn, there developness also increased. This relates to our previously learned economic models. As fairness increases the overall development will increase, if a business makes a move the public likes, the demand will rise, leading to increased prices on the companies hand.

Additionally to blog posts, I am going to create a mindmap, I will update it after every post. Link

Music Theory & Playing Tests

Playing Test Reflection 

Concerning the playing test on the 14th of December in which we played the main Nutcracker Theme, I was overall happy with my execution though I made a few errors. The requirements of this test was to play line 118 – the Nutcracker theme from our Standard of Excellence book with the addition of 5 major scales (with the exception of Bb major) and 1 chromatic scale of our choice. Every item on the list was marked out of 8, with 1 point deducted every time an error occurred. I felt I was not very fluent in playing scales prior to this test so while in practise, I focused mostly on the scales and chose the top 5 I was most fluent with. The 5 scales I chose to play were D, G, C, F, and Eb major, additional, I chose to do the Eb chromatic. Even though I practised my scales a lot, I felt that I made a few mistakes while playing in the test. I feel that I needed even more practise as I was not completely confident in my ability to play. In particular, when I played the F major scale, I encountered an error going down the scale as I accidentally played a Eb when that note was not part of the key signature. Furthermore, I feel that the tempo of my chromatic scale was not consistent as I slowed down as I went down the scale. Even though I made a few errors in the scales, I feel I did pretty well and stayed consistent. I believe I will get mostly 7/8s for the scales. For line 118, I believe I made more errors as opposed to the scales. My tempo was not consistent and my articulation was not on point, I feel that I rushed in particular on the second repeat bar and dragged towards the end. If I had to guess the marking scheme I feel I would deserve the following. 

Note Accuracy: Excellent

Rhythm Accuracy: Substancial

Dynamics: Substancial

Tempo: Adequate

Beginning: Excellent

Middle: Substancial

End: Substancial

Articulation Precision: 

Tone Quality: Excellent

Innotation: Excellent

Connection: Excellent 

Air: Substancial

Melodic Shape: Excellent

Overall, I feel that I have succeeded in this assessment in terms that I am satisfied and content with my own performance. For further improvement, I could practise more and become more fluent with my scales and piece. 

Theory Test Reflection 

With the theory test that was completed on the 10th of December, I was a little disappointed by my performance as I feel that I made errors. I tried my best to study the theory test thoroughly, especially the chords, 7th’s and transposition. As a result of this, I neglected a few of the numerous other parts that led to multiple errors. To be specific, my knowledge of figured base was not complete and I feel as I made many avoidable errors. One of said errors that contributed to most of my mark taken away is that I forgot what makes up a 7th chord for a figured base. I forgot to put the third note on multiple questions thinking that there were only three. As a result, next time when completing a test, I will strive to manage my tim better in such a way that I am able to cover all content with an equal amount of understanding. Attached is my Theory Test

Final Design Reflection

Over the course of this project, I learnt numerous things. Not only did I learn various technical skills and different graphic novel conventions, I also learnt how to execute a project more effectively. Over this project, I learnt different skills in which I was able to prioritise tasks, better manage my time and create this project more efficiently. One of these methods is the Gantt chart. The Gantt Chart is a visual tool which helps in showing tasks that have to be completed as well as the time period it will take to complete and the time it must be done. This helps keep track of parts of the project that must be completed as well as focusing ones self on a certain task at hand. Additionally to this, I learnt how to use Adobe Illustrator more effectively, in particular, live trace, live paint and the pen and paintbrush tools. I feel the general aim of this project was to help communicate a series of ideas – the plot of Empire of the Sun into visuals. I think that through this project I learnt how visuals help reinforce these ideas. While reading the book is all good and swell, a lot of information is left to the imagination. With the accompaniment of visuals, we are able to realise and help visualise the situation at hand better. I think that in this way, visuals can reveal meaning. Also, perspectives will change through the use of visuals as in a story, the perspective could be in fact first, second or third person while the perspective in a graphic novel is almost always third. Furthermore, it is much easier in a graphic novel for the audience to see the authors perspective as I feel there is less room left for the audiences creative thoughts. Overall, this project was quite fun and simple, however I did face many challenges concerning the technology at hand. Using Adobe Illustrator was difficult as it was a new tool to me and I had no prior experience whatsoever. I did not know how to use live trace or paint or even any of the basic tools. This hindered my progress very much. However, with the help of some research and intuition, I managed to get on track and figure it out. If I did this project any differently, I would perhaps refine my graphic sequence better as it was a little free and had to be changed a few times.

Economics (8)

Economics is a massive topic, it’s its own subject in DP, so in our Intro to Business Class, we may have covered the basics and laid a foundation, but we have barely scratched the surface. We learnt about market, supply and demand curves, quantity of supply, quantity of demand, equilibrium, surplus, shortage and much much more. As this is limited to a blog post, I will only talk about essentials of what we learnt, economic shocks. A economic shock occurs when something changes in supply or demand, this could be because of a change in market size, market production and many more. Essentially, one curve will move left or right while the other stays the same. At first, quantity supplied/demanded does not change and a surplus/shortage is created. Over time the surplus/shortage puts pressure on the quantity to change. It will change and a new equilibrium will be formed. (Note that this is very rough and multiple steps will happen in-between). This system is hard to explain, so look into my mind map for more!

Additionally to blog posts, I am going to create a mindmap, I will update it after every post. Link

Competition (9)

Relating to the SOI, businesses in a system, competition must be present to ensure the advancement of the system as competition drives businesses to innovate. We learnt that there are 2 types of different competitors. Direct competition is a market situation where two or more firms offer essentially the same good or service. Indirect competition is a market situation where two or more firms offer a different good or service that satisfies the same need or want. Discussing connection to previous learnt information, entrepreneurs must innovate to stay in business. Similar to competition, to beat competition, businesses need to innovate. This helps drive the system forward as the system grows better and stronger by businesses competing. An example of competition in real-life context is shown below.

  • Example MMA:
    • MMA, 
      • Direct competitors
        • Bellator
        • Strikeforce
        • XFC
    • Live Combat Sports, UFC
      • Indirect competitors
        • WBA (boxing)
        • Nihon Sumo Kyokai (Sumo)
        • MPL (Muaythai)
    • Entertainment
      • Abundant amount of examples.

Additionally to blog posts, I am going to create a mindmap, I will update it after every post. Link



Chain of Production (7)

Relating to the SOI of businesses operating in a system, we learnt the chain of production. The chain of production is a system made up of four sectors, the primary sector, the secondary sector, the tertiary sector and the quaternary sector. An example of this system would be that the primary sector is involved with harvesting natural resources, the secondary sector transforms raw materials into finished goods. The tertiary system then transports these goods to certain places. Finally, the quaternary sector can provide and share information. Previously, we learnt about entrepreneurs, now thinking on this, entrepreneurs are what make up every sector and the businesses they start up help contribute to each sector and the overall chain. Systems like these are used across the globe. Anything you use, collected in the primary sector, processed in the secondary and give to you by the tertiary sector. A real world situation where the chain is used is the oil industry.

  • Primary: Oil Rig
  • Secondary: Oil Distillery
  • Secondary: Thermal depolymerisation (Oil to plastic)
  • Tertiary: Toys R Us
  • Consumer: Squirt gun

Additionally to blog posts, I am going to create a mindmap, I will update it after every post. Link

Design – Design Day iFolio Reflection

Our task for the design project is to create a series of design panel sequences depicting a scene from Empire of the Sun. In order to prepare for this task, a grade-wide design day happened. This sequence will be created using adobe illustrator.

The design presented was to put in our own words the design task description, a KWL chart, a mindmap and an adobe illustrator creation.

The design task description helped me better understand the task at hand. It helped us recognise our design specifications, audience and so on. Here it is!

Screen Shot 2015-11-05 at 7.38.26 am


The mindmap helped me understand what I already know and want to know about this topic.


As a result of the mindmap, the KWL chart further helped me understand what I knew, what I wanted to know. This helped me create my goals and helped me realise my prior knowledge.

Screen Shot 2015-11-05 at 7.41.50 am

The adobe creation helped me hone my skills using adobe illustrator. Here it is!

Pentool-Excercise-2 Pentool-Exercise-13


Aquallegro Reflection

Recently in class, we have been indulging in a program called Aquallegro. Aquallegro is a music theory teaching software, it contains sections on note names, key signatures, and a ear training tool. We have been specifically using this ear training tool as it can help us recognise, major, minor, diminished and augmented notes in melodic and harmonic form.

As I started using this tool, I made many mistakes and was not consistent. This was due to the fact that I used to many of the options, selecting the 2nd, 3rd, 4th, 5th… (See image 1) Overtime, I learnt it was more important to focus on specific sections and not just guess my answers. What I mean by this is that instead of using all the intervals at once, using specific two intervals just to fine tune my ear on the differences. For example, just selecting the 5th and the 6th, so I can tell which is which more easily. This is when my results started getting more and more consistent (See image 2). At this point in time I also only focused on the major/perfect intervals.

After a while when I grew more consistent, I added another interval, using three intervals instead (See image 3). After this grew consistent as well, I started going back to two intervals, but adding minor or diminished intervals. That is where I am right now and I have been getting ok marks. I hope to improve on the minor intervals and if I do, I will add either more intervals or a mix between major and minor intervals.

Screen Shot 2015-08-20 at 7.52.43 am

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Screen Shot 2015-10-08 at 8.03.20 am


Industries (5)

What I had learnt about industry associations is that it contains many different companies or brands within the association not just limited to a specific skill. What I mean here is yes, the majority will deal directly in the business, however some other businesses may sit in.  So for example I owned a company which was skilled in bananas , I could join a food or fruit association and be part of that community. In a global context, industry associations are extremely useful to a company because it allows for the different companies in the same field to work together, share ideas and communicate. So if my banana company had a hard time attracting customers, hopefully another company in the same association with similar skills could help me advertise. This can help me as I use the same strategies while working in a group. While I thought these strategies could only be used in a small scale, I learnt that it can also be applied in a much larger system. A real life example of a industry association that we researched is the Aerospace Industry Association. This association contains many companies that have to do with Aerospace, however some of the businesses in the association are not in this field.

Additionally to blog posts, I am going to create a mindmap, I will update it after every post. Link

Ownership Forms (6)

Relating to the SOI, I have learnt that there are many types of ownership forms. And all entrepreneurs’s businesses are classified into a certain group. The types of ownership forms mainly include sole trader, partnership, public limited companies and private limited companies. What I have learned about these organisations in a global context is that every single business is made up of at least one of these organisations. Each business has pros and cons, strengths and limitations. This better helps my understanding of the SOI as it teaches me more on the basis of my prior knowledge. For example, before this lesson, I did not know that there were these types of forms, in particular I did not know the difference between public and private limited companies. Now with the help of this new information, It has better helped me expand my understanding of the SOI. A real life situation of ownership forms is really any business as they are all one or another type of ownership form.

Additionally to blog posts, I am going to create a mindmap, I will update it after every post. Link

Entreneurpership, Inventions and Innovation (4)

I learnt to innovate, entrepreneurship do not necessarily need to invent but will be more successful innovating, to sustain their businesses and stay in the game. Also, this fits in global context as innovations and inventions make up businesses which makes up the economy, and balance of the entire financial market. What I learnt that helps enrich my understanding is that the process of business is a lot more complicated than I had originally realised. I know that in the business cycle, innovation is possibly a bigger factor than inventions in the current market. A real-world situation we could look at is the smartphone market. Agains and again competitors try out-innovating each other instead of making an invention.

Additionally to blog posts, I am going to create a mindmap, I will update it after every post. Link

Music: Tenor and Alto Clef, Transposition Presentation

Our first assessment of the year was a theory presentation. Our group was in charge of becoming experts in a certain area of theory and teaching our fellow classmates about it. We were tasked with creating a presentation, information sheet, worksheet and answer sheet, all linked below.

Presentation Link: Link

Information Sheet Link: Link

Worksheet Link: Link

Answer sheet Link: Link

Reflecting on our presentation, I believe our group did well on explaining multiple aspects of the c clefs. Not only did we explain by drawing on the board, we also gave asked the audience members questions. This proved helpful as in the worksheet phase, as not many students had questions about clarification.

I believe the keys to our success was to give visual and practical demonstrations, making sure our audience was attentive and making sure they understood everything we told them.

When doing the presentation, describing the alto and tenor clef, we showed how to find C4, how to transpose and how to change from treble to alto, or treble to tenor. We did all these things by use of whiteboard and marker, showing examples and asking audience members to draw certain notes. I feel this has a more long-lasting effect then just speaking to them orally as people remember more doing then remembering.

Another key was to make sure our audience was attentive. We did this by asking various questions and telling them to write on the board. A particular example was when we told Benji to identify a note on the tenor clef and transpose it to another clef.

We could have improved our presentation by explaining more about instruments that may play in different clefs, some instruments such as the trombone can play in bass and tenor clef, and so can double bass. This confused our classmates as they were unsure how to answer a question on our worksheet (asking to put each instrument in a certain clef). I think we also could have explained more about transposing instruments and we neglected to talk about instruments that play in two clefs.

Overall, I feel I did well in my music presentation. We conveyed the message that we learnt well and kept the audience attentive and focused. Everyone understood the worksheet and could do it with ease, this means they understood the things we were teaching. The improvement we could make is to be more productive after our presentation, going around and helping others. I am very satisfied in my groups presentation, we did well in researching, creating our presentation/worksheets and presenting to our classmates. 

Starting a Business (3)

When starting a business, there are many steps required to succeed, and no matter how good your decisions are, there will always be failures. Quoting Arianna Huffington:” We need to accept that we won’t always make the right decisions, that we’ll screw up royally sometimes – understanding that failure is not the opposite of success, it’s part of success.”

The activity that our group did in class was to create a presentation about a successful or unsuccessful business. We chose The Huffington Post.  And just like any business, there were major steps and failures to becoming who they are today. In the beginning of her career, Arianna did not have much money, this made it extremely difficult for The Huffington Post. It was her goal to become a successful publisher in which she kept on trying, and after numerous rejections, she finally published her first book.

I learnt that when starting a business, entrepreneurs must innovate in order to remain competitive, making sure your product is unique or different is a key step when starting a business, if you do not, other, bigger businesses will take over and you will not have a large enough or sustainable consumer base. This fits in global context as entrepreneurs all around the world are innovating, creating new technologies, to better and more efficiently contribute to our daily lives. (Inquiry questions). Things I purchase or services I use are all innovations created by entrepreneurs who started a business, I would not have these things without them. Microsoft created the PC, and as it was unique and new, it appealed to the target audience, this lead to there blooming success.

Click here to see our presentation.

Additionally to blog posts, I am going to create a mindmap, I will update it after every post. Link

Needs and Wants (2)

As a group, we figured out that when businesses do market research, it is crucial that they figure out the needs and wants of their consumers. Appealing to these consumers is key if they want to stay in competition and survive. I also learnt the needs and wants of the consumers, this connects to the SOI because when being a good entrepreneurs, the entrepreneurs must do market research and learn the needs and wants of the consumers, particularly the wants. This fits in to relevant global context, as all businesses do is provide our needs and wants, this leads to a successful financial market and economy. (Inquiry questions). Everything we buy, or anything we use is related to our needs and wants, without my needs and wants, or everyone else, businesses would have nothing to provide. Look at any business and it will be a real world situation, businesses provide our wants and needs, in particularly, innovative wants, so they can earn more profit and be more successful

Click here to see our collage!

Additionally to blog posts, I am going to create a mindmap, I will update it after every post. Link

What is Business? (1)

An corporation involved with trading goods, or providing services with consumers. This is the working definition our group came up within Business class in the What is Business? assignment. This means that a business will give consumers either goods or services, note that we do not mention profit in our working definition. Even though most businesses are for-profit, distributing certain goods for customers in exchange for other goods, services or money. However, some businesses may also be not-for-profit. Take UNICEF for example, does it provide a good or service, yes, is it for-profit, no. Furthermore, I learnt the basis and foundation of business, and how businesses have to stay unique, and different, or innovate, in order to sustain their businesses and stay in the game. Also, this fits in global context as the we later learnt that business makes up the economy, and balance of the entire financial market. I learnt to connect possibly all the goods and services I have ever used. I learnt that businesses create and provide countless goods and resources we, the consumers require, this also compares to the SOI as the things we need are innovations from entrepreneurs. An example of a real world situation is the battle between Apple and Samsung, both businesses are trying to innovate and outdo each other, remaining competitive.

Additionally to blog posts, I am going to create a mindmap, I will update it after every post. Link

16 Bar Composition – Criterion C and D


Recently, the task give to us within music class was to create a 16 bar composition. This requirements of this composition included  a melody and a harmony part, the harmony must have a chordal harmonisation. The articulation, dynamics and tempo must be incorporated, using music notation conventions, and finally, must be in concert pitch.

My 16 bar melodies have indeed reached all these requirements. My intention within this assignment was to create a suspenseful and tension-filled melody. This was achieved with a relatively slow melody with plenty of dramatic sound changes. This helps create a deeper, darker piece, therefore giving it the name “The End”.

The first thing I did when composing the piece was decide on the “foundation” (ie. time signature and key signature, explained below). I created my foundation to better suit my progress, making it easier to create a successful composition. Then, I created my melody, naturally moving on with it, letting my brain flow and creating notes as i saw fit. After that, I added chordal structures trying to make it best suit my melody, this was by far the hardest part of my task. Finally I added dynamics and articulation to my melody.

Something else I chose to do was to use 3/4 time instead of 4/4 as this allowed for what I felt was easier  to create a stronger sense of rhythm. However this also made the chords more confusing to create and put together. If I was to repeat this task, I would choose to instead make it 4/4 time instead of 3/4 to make the composition easier to complete. Also, I chose to use C major as it was a lot easier to control my melody instead of dealing with flats, sharps and naturals.

One big major difference I would have definitely created my chord structure first instead of my melody. My “mistake” was that I created my melody first as I thought it was more important. However, the chord structure I created for my melody is not very strong and may sound weak. I believe that creating a strong harmonic pattern first before my melody would have benefited me a lot more, making this project more efficient and effective.

One thing I could explore more is a different format when composing, using one melody (ie. flute) and two harmonic lines (ie. Trebal Clef Piano + Bass Clef Piano). This could make my piece even more successful and create a better composition in general.

Overall, I believe I focused on my melody and rhythm more than anything else in this composition. These points seem much stronger than my harmony, dynamics and articulation. I feel that if I focused more on these points, I would have achieved a better result and final project.

Finally, throughout this composition, I learnt about musical theory and how to compose a successful melody. Even though I was not as successful as I wish it could be, I am still proud of my piece.


The composition I will critique is Louis Wong. Link Here. I feel that his piece has a very strong sense of rhythm and chord structure. This was one of his strongest points as the piece matches very well and sounds very complete. I think the dynamics fit the piece very well and it is appropriately named. I liked how he used Pachebel’s chord progression, as using something that worked very well is very efficient and effective. Finally I feel that his piece is a very strong one that he should be very proud of. 


Waste Not, Want Not III

My participation today was (excellent) because I attempted to answer the question “How do you move 3D/2D objects?” (7)

My collaboration was (excellent) because we worked together well and completed the task not only on time but also before the due time. (8)

My effort was (excellent) as I completed all of the requirements (see blog) (7)
My time management was (Excellent) as I finished everything by 14:03 (8)


Waste not, Want Not II

Screen Shot 2015-03-09 at 12.03.39

How Can Our Understanding of Geometry Help us Reduce our Carbon Footprint?

Using geometry, we can design a box that is very effective, but also using the least amount of resources. This lessening of resources could lead to reducing the amount of water and carbon dioxide used when creating and processing these boxes. Also making these boxes could lead to the promotion of organic foods which also harm the land less as opposed to factory farming. Overall, using geometry to solve our problem with carbon footprint.

Waste Not, Want Not


Design Criteria Achieved?   How Successful
Easy to Open To some extent Package must be cut to be open, this may prove difficult, but also provides an airtight seal for preservation
Secure To some extent Safe and unthreatened but not fixed/fastened
Contents should be obvious Yes Apple is written
Protective To some extent Protects the apple from some variables such as weather, but not to external damage
Appropriate Size Yes Has space for air to be contained, but has space for the apple to move
Attractive Sure According to article 19 of the Universal Declaration of Human Rights, every human has the right to freedom of opinion and expression, you have the right to decide whether this package is attractive.
Light Yes The package itself is light, with the apple, not so much
Durable Yes Able to withstand wear, pressure, or damage; hard-wearing.

Strategies to Work On

What strategies can you use to develop TONE?

I learnt that through a few strategies I can improve my tone. Some of them include:

Holding and balancing the flute properly:
– If you hold it too you collapse your stomach area and cannot take a proper breath or support the tone. If you hold it any higher you will create tension in your right arm.

Sitting up straight:
– Make sure your back is straight up and down when you are sitting and don’t slouch!

Breathing well:
– If your chest is the first thing to expand, or your shoulders rise upward when you breath, you are not getting as much air as you could.

Practising long notes:
– “Practice doesn’t make perfect. Perfect practice makes perfect.” Unless you spend a lot of time trying to play with good tone, you won’t develop it well.

Recording yourself:
– The acoustics of our own bodies and the space around them mean that your tone will sound different when heard by you as you play.

– You won’t find your ideal tone until you know what all the options are!


Breath Support
What is the benefit of having good BREATH SUPPORT, and what can you do to develop it?

Deep and sustained breathing is essential to creating perfect tone with a flute. Developing flute breathing techniques that produce correct tones requires time, practice and patience. Daily breathing exercises train your lungs and build the breath control necessary to play the flute well.

The first goal is to fill your belly with breath – “belly breathing”. How to do this is to place one hand, palm down, over your navel and the other hand, palm up, over the center of your lower back. The goal of belly breathing is to expand your belly as you inhale, so that your hands move farther apart. After you are comfortable with belly breathing, focus on filling the upper parts of your chest after your belly is full.

This is just one of the excersises you can do to improve your breath support.

iPublish: Design Day 2014

unnamed My favourite science book as a kid was the Magic School Bus. I liked this very much because the stories are not only very interesting but also has a lot of pictures and speech. I found that conservations between people explaining scientific facts were a lot more interesting than plain text. Some things different between adult and kid books are the number of pictures and visuals. This makes a kids book very interesting but makes an adults book very informal. Some things I like about children science books are pictures and diagrams, speech explained between people and magical adventures! What type of things do you find interesting about children science books? Or what do you want to see in these books! Please comment your suggestions, it would greatly help my design project. Thanks!

iFolio Questions to Think About

Somethings I learnt are how businesses make a profit and even how to be a more successful consumer and save more money.  I learnt the relationship between mark-ups and the wholesale price. Also, I learnt always to select a one part discount over a multiple part discount as it will help me save more money. Also, I learnt about interest and investments, how they work and the two different types of interest. Compound interest which is a lot harder to calculate and is applicable to real life situations. Simple interest which is simple but not used in real life situations. I also learnt a lot of vocabulary used in the business world, some of these include markup, discount, retail price, percents, principal. And one thing I find very important is that I learned to use Microsoft Excel well and this helps me very much.

Drama Year Reflection



1) How successful do you think you have been this year at drama?

I believe I have been fairly successful. I have accomplished many things, including getting out of my comfort zone.

2) Use a metaphor for describing your own process. Where were you at the start and where are you now?

I am a sun at noon, I started from behind a mountain, unseen. Now it is noon and I am high up in the air where everyone can see.

3) What is your biggest strength about you as a drama student?

One of my biggest strengths is to stay in character. I can really stay in this character.

4) What is the biggest thing you want to work on for next year?

The biggest thing I want to work on is making my DW neater.

5) Who is someone in the group you admire and why? Try and write this in a short sentence.

Someone I admire in this group is Danielle, because she does everything our group asks her to do, no matter how ridiculous it is.

KMT CourtCase Reflection

KMT court case iFolio Reflection

Please reflect on the court case including:

1)    Pictures/videos from the class website

2)    Do you agree with the jury’s verdict? Why or why not? Include at least 5 facts from evidence that was presented during the trial.

Yes I do. I do because I was on the prosecution team and the jury decided that KMT is guilty. One of the facts are an: New Newtonian Fluids are an exception and do not follow the rules of KMT. Sometimes liquids dont always evaporate because of heat. People move because of two things. 1. There are spaces between the particles. 2. Particles are in constant motion. When you heat up Oobleck, it turns solid instead of liquid.

3)    What was your job? Explain how you fulfilled your responsibilities.

My job was the Bailiff  my job was to make sure the evidence got in and to handle it in the courtroom.

4)    If you could do a different job during the court case, which would you have volunteered for and why?

I would probably have chosen to be a lawyer because when I saw the lawyers work I realised I could actually do and did do a lot of the things they did.

5)    Explain one or more thing you learned about KMT during the investigations

KMT is indeed true, however there are some exceptions such as New Newtonian Fluids.

6)    Explain how you improved as a scientist during the KMT investigations and the trial.

I improved over the trial because, before, my notebooks were very messy and disorganised, however after and during the trial, I made it a lot neater.

iFolio Reflection 詩歌

我學習了很多作品,有《小小的海哦》 ,和《太陽的話》。


我對自己的詩歌好滿意,因為我運用了很多不同的修辭手法,寫作手法,我這首詩表達了我跟小狗wowo 的感情,我覺得我自己寫得挺好的。


我可能可以加多點修辭手法,或者加多點好詞語, 運用多點成語或四子詞語。

CAS Week

Recently, our school had a trip into Inner Mongolia,  we went for  nearly a week. Our trip was called CAS week (community action service). There were three options on the CAS week, Inner Mongolia, Thailand and Taiwan. I chose Inner Mongolia, because of course it was the best option.

In total, we were in Inner Mongolia for five days and Beijing for one. On the first trip of the Mongolia trip, we arrived in Chifeng (after three hours of plane delays we arrived late and night and went straight to bed. On the next day, we went to a school in Inner Mongolia, we were spilt into three groups, one for cooking, one for dancing ad one for art. I was in the dancing group. I learnt the basics of Mongolia dance. On the third day we went to a nearby city and conducted a scavenger hunt where we tasted Mongolian foods, wore Mongolian clothing and tasted Mongolian tea. On the forth day we went to the Yu Long desert and conducted four activities, climbing a sand dune, riding camels, filling in a survey and conducting water tests. I thought the best activity was the sand dune, even though it was very very very windy, I was still able to roll down the entire sand dune. Unfortunately, little did I know that for the next three days, we were not able to shower… On the fifth day we went back to Chifeng and flew back to Beijing and finally on the last day we went back home.

The accommodation was fine, for the first two days, we stayed in a hotel. The third day a home stay with a native mongolian family. The forth day was a traditional mongolian Ger/yurt. And on the last day a hotel in Beijing. All the places we lived in were very comfortable except for the Yurt, it was very very cold. It was so cold that in the morning, I accidentally shattered the glass of the yurt we lived in.

The Inner Mongolia trip was at the end very very good, I enjoyed it very very much and I would go again if I had the chance I would definitely go again.

Math Criterion A Reflection

Compare your assessment to your pre-assessment. What new concepts did you learn? provide examples to help you explain.

I learned what a special operation is, I also learned to read the questions more carefully, I often missed part of the question so I did not get as many points as I could have.

What concepts did you find confusing in this unit? How did you study them.

I found the concept of algebra equations confusing, I studied this by re-reading the notes in class and remembering terms such as product, sum….

Comparison of My Community Action Service Week in Inner Mongolia and The Other Side of Truth’s Sade and Femi’s in London Differences and Similarities

Recently, I participated in a school trip to Inner Mongolia. Also known as CAS week, community and service. There were many similarities and differences between Mongolia and Hong Kong. Some of these differences included: the climate, the culture…. Some of these differences were also stated in Beverley Naidoo’s book: The Other Side Of Truth. The Other Side of Truth is a book about two children – Sade and Femi who are forced to run to London to escape the threat of the government.

One of these experiences my trip and Sade’s had in common was the temperature, Hong Kong quite a hot place, as is Nigeria. Both Sade and my trip went to someplace much colder than “home” Sade to London, and I to Inner Mongolia. The temperatures in Hong Kong at this time is 32˚ C while the temperature in Inner Mongolia is about 9˚. The temperature in Nigeria being 31˚ while London being 22˚. This is quite a big difference. Another similarity is when we arrived in Inner Mongolia, a lot of people started taking pictures of us nonstop. When Sade and Femi arrived in London they were also “Stalked” just because they were a different skin tone.

Something different between our two trips is the feeling. I went to Inner Mongolia for fun, for leisure. However Sade and Femi were forced to go to London. That is one of the differences between our trips.

Design Day #2

One personal strength that will serve you well in this unit – Making a script, preparation.

One personal challenge in this unit and how you will manage it – One challenge in this unit will be to show the cultural significance of pill boxes as pill boxes do not have any significance and is more about defence then religion.

Explain how yours was a good movie- We had many different angles, our voices were clear and there were no distracting backgrounds. We also planned everything well with a clear shotlist.

Vimeo Video: The video is too big to upload so please click the link in front of this sentance.

Criterion C + D

What did you do well when communicating your mathematical thinking?

What I did well was express what I wanted to say by drawing images and diagrams to show my mathematical thinking.

What could you improve when communicating your mathematical thinking?

Next time, I could work neater instead of going from part 1 -> 1/2 of 2 -> 3 -> 4 -> the other 1/2 of 2, I could put the two part 2’s on the same page.

Criterion B

Polygon Area Patterns

What are some strategies you learned when approaching Crit B (Patterns) task?

Some strategies I learned was to always make a table to organise data, this helps in seeing patterns within the data collected. When getting data, only change one variable so you can see what the patterns are. Ex. increase the perimeter points by 1.

If you could do this assessment over, how would you improve your approach?

Next time, I would make a table not using random shapes but putting them in order, I would add more examples to back-up my theory. This also helps instead of putting random numbers because if it is in order, it is easier to find patterns within the table.

YOTH Reflection

Recently, we had a CNY YOTH ( Chinese New Year, Year of The Horse) concert, I played the Flute in the Band part, I enjoyed participating in the Year of the Horse CNY performances very much because we worked very hard preparing for the concert and the happiness/pride we get from the audience, our peers exceeded my expectations (no pain, no gain). One of the other things i really liked about the CNY performances were the YOTH shirts, they were very simple but very effective, they were creative and i liked them very much. One of my favourite aspects of the YOTH CNY assembly performance was the music, the piece was composed very well, with a lot of diversity, this was one of the longest pieces i have played so that was one interesting thing that happened during this unit.

Some personal growth i recognised was to ability to play more on the flute for a longer amount of time, i also improved on playing the higher notes

ifolio Reflection

Recently in science class, we had to create a bird and list multiple structural and behavioural adaptations, explaining how these adaptations helped them survive in there environment and how they developed these adaptations.

Common Name: Dusky Penguin

Scientific Name: Aptenodytes Obscurus

Self Accessing

– I have drawn out a well thought out bird, with attention to details

– In my report, I mostly used scientific vocabulary

– I communicated my most ideas using scientific language

– I have indicated what environment my bird lives in

– I have listed and explained 10 structural adaptations

– I have listed and explained 7 behavioural adaptations

– I have explained clearly indicated what environment my bird lives in

– The adaptations I have listed fit in with the environment

How did my plan change

One of the major changes that happened during this project was that at first, i was going to make a falcon/penguin, but when i found out that this was not possible (bone anatomy) i had to change my thinking, and the bird I was designing.

Blues Blog

I have learnt more about blues music, some of this include the blues scale, the main “theme” of blues, how to compose blues… I think the best part of this unit was the composition because it was very fun and cool using the blues scale to compose your own song. I have not written a Blues Solo before, in fact i did not know there was a blues scale before. I really enjoyed working on the blues solo.

I enjoyed it because all the different tunes that the instruments play come together perfectly (if everyone plays properly.) I like the BDU song because it is very catchy and addicting. I have played a soloist in blues down under, if feels that everyone is being quiet/listening to you play, so i really enjoy playing as a soloist.

After this unit on blues, I quite like listening to Blues Music, i enjoyed BDU the most. Even though I enjoy blues songs, I have not listened to any more Blues music since the beginning this music.

Voluntary Service 2013

Over this half a year, i finished 2 voluntary services. One out of school and one in school.

The one i did in school was during the IB Regional Workshops between the 12th and 15th September. On the 12th, i stayed after school from 4-6pm to welcome 35 workshop leaders to school. On the other 3 days, I came to school at 9:00 until after lunch to help guide other participants throughout the school. On the 15th though, i was the only student ambassador to attend so I felt very proud of what i did.

The one i did outside of school was during the 15th of september (it was also the last day of the workshop which i left before lunch) we went to the HK Federation of Handicapped Youth, Lok Fu, Kowloon and helped the handicapped people by playing games with them, giving the presents… Basically having a fun time with them.

Another thing that i did that im not sure if its considered service but ball-boyed in the 2013 Crc Open(3rd boy).

Art Reflections

These are 2 art pieces that i have completed over this school year. The first one is a sculpture made of tape showing movement, the figure is playing tennis. eeeThe second piece is a one-point perspective piece i made of 3d shapes and other animals, i focused on shading.

Unit 2 Test – Rational Numbers

What rational numbers skills are you best at?

I am best at order of operations and working with fractions/decimals.

What do you still need to work on? Explain how you will get the practise you need to improve.

I still need to work on making less carless mistakes, i could work on this by doing more problems on a more regular basis to learn what i need to pay more attention to.

Explain a strategy that worked for you when learning the content in this unit?

A strategy that worked well was to look over all my notes and lesson plans from moodle.

Explain a behaviour or study strategy that you’d like to improve on either in class or at home.

I would like to take better notes to study before the next test.sys

Classification Summative Reflection

What was easy?
The tree diagram was pretty easy, all you needed to do was make it neat.

What was hard?
Question 5, this was about binomial nomenclature, I was not sure what the exact definition was.

How will you change how you study and take the science test next time?
Next time I would probably look over every sheet we got over more. I would also be more prepared for the test, getting a ruler or an eraser.

Book Jacket

There are two design mock-ups for the book jacket project. I need your help deciding which book jacket to go with. Please leave a comment with your critical feedback.

Please complete these sentence: I like…, I wish, What if… And make sure you tell me which book jacket you are referring to.

Mock Up 1.

Book cover 2

Human Ingenuity vs Environment

Some forms of conflict between the environment and human ingenuity


– The pollution caused the swaney swans to leave

– The dumping of waste in the river caused the humming fish to leave

– The cutting down of the trees and the limited food source caused the barbaloots to leave.

Beach Situation

– The artificial sand may cause harm to the living organisms
The Onclers built the town and the factory (Human Ingenuity), the pollution caused the animals such as the fish, swans  and the bar ba loots to leave, this connects to the beach situation, the artificial beach would be the town and the factory, the living organisms would be well, the living organisms. But this time instead of leaving, the organisms would die out.

The Beach environment is more relevant because for example making the beach would be equivalent to destroying a coral reef, taking a animals habitat away just for the sake of leisure. Im pretty sure we wouldn’t want someone destroying our house just to cover it with sand to walk on.

I used to think…Now I think

When we began this study of the Scientific Process, you all had some initial ideas about it and what it was all about. In just a few sentences, I want you to write what it is that you used to think about the Scientific Process.

Take a minute to think back and then write down your response to “ I used to

I used to think that the scientific process was a cycle with steps that you follow to do a scientific experiment. The first step would be something like researching the topic, then it would be drafting the experiment. The third step would be to actually do the experiment. Then it would be reflecting.

Now, I want you to think about how your ideas about doing credible experiments have changed as a result of what we’ve been studying/doing/discussing. Again in just a few sentences write down what you now think about the Scientific Process or doing credible experiments. Start your sentences with, “But now, I think…”

Now I know that the scientific method is actually the lab report. My ideas about doing credible experiments is to judge the reliability of the experiment.

  • How was your experience different from what you anticipated at the beginning of the day?
  • I thought today we were gonna work on a book cover for The Book Thief but instead we made one for a fictional autobiography.
  • If you could do the day over again, what would you do differently?
  • I would properly research more  on book covers, then look at some good examples, i would also use my time more efficiently


Please comment on my autobiography using the i like, i wish and what if.

Judge a Book By its Cover

What questions and feelings do you have as you begin this English & Design project?


-At first when i first heard of the design cycle i was a bit worried, a project that takes 6 weeks would be quite complicated

-I was not sure what the design cycle was and what the steps to this process was


-Do we really need as much as 6-7 weeks to finish the design cycle?

-Why do we have design day instead of a design class?

Math Test

I think i did well on the test by showing most of my working and calculating properly. I need to work on pacing more, saving extra time to double and triple check my answers trying to prevent careless mistakes. I would rank my participation in class around 8/10 and collaboration in my group around 8.5/10. One of the unit questions was :”How do i approach an unfamiliar question?” I learned that im a pretty good problem solver, i can usually see most patterns when solving problems.

PE Questions

Questions for G6 Blogs from Mr. Steiner

Students are to write in their own words or video themselves (using their laptops) answers to the following questions related to our central idea for team games –Success in games depends on skills, rules, strategies and sportsmanship.” Students need to post these answers on their blog. The words in red are possible ways to start your answers. Students are encouraged to comment on each other’s answers in a positive/constructive manner.

What does sportsmanship mean to you/look like to you? Give some examples.

-Sportsmanship looks like people encouraging others,not blaming others.

-Shaking hands

-Keeping a positive attitude at all time even if you don’t have the upper hand

 -Fairness, following the rules

-Treating others the way you want others to treat you

Why is it important to follow the rules of a game?

-It is important to follow the rules of games because rules are order

-To maintain the safety of all people involved in the activity.

-So the game to be fair

-To avoid arguments

Why are good team strategies important to success in team games?

Team strategies are important because without strategy, there would be no order and you would easily lose.

-No one will no what the others on the team are doing and might cause chaos 

Give examples of strategies for team handball?

-One person stays in goal, two in defense while the other 3 others continuously pass to each other until one gets close to enough to shoot and score.

How would you create and/or deny space in team handball?

You create space by always moving around and passing to people who are open when playing        

 You can deny space by blocking the other player and to intercept passes

 What is a strategy you/your team used in “Capture the Flag” to be more successful?

-Half of the team stay back in defense and the other half run as fast as they can to the other teams flag.

Describe why having strong skills helps your team be more successful?

Having strong skills are important because you cannot play very well without skills.

Give some examples of skills with a specific team sport in mind.

In basketball  it is important to be good at the following skills creating and denying space, shooting, dribbling and passing, because they are the elements which lead to success.

 Why does a team that is very physically fit have an advantage over a team that is not fit?

The team that is physically fit has an advantage(s) because they can recover and shoot quicker, leading usually to success. They can switch from offense to defense quicker.



Marshmallow Challenge!

Today, at school we went to the 6th floor cafeteria and did an activity called the marshmallow challenge, we were given 20 sticks of spaghetti, 1 meter of string and 1 meter of tape. my group decided to go with a pyramid with a cube on the bottom and the marshmallow on top, we had 18 minutes to finish this challenge. Even though our pyramid was complete and we were working efficiently, we ran out of time to build a cube. Our pyramid was 25 cm tall, but we still came in second. 🙂

This activity was to help us work better in groups, the group is similar to the exhibition groups because te groups were made of multiple people from 6B, 6E and 6D. It helps us harness our confidence and collaboration skills, risk-taking and respect, responsibility and enthusiasm, organization and leadership skills……

Huh? Concepts and Topics……

Recently in class, Ms. Holms (librarian) came to our class to talk about the oncoming exhibition. We learned about concepts and all of a sudden we were learning the difference between concepts and topics. What the differences were: concepts were abstract (cannot see, touch, taste……) and broad while topics were concrete (solid) and specific. Concepts are universal and timeless. We were discussing how some things were concepts and topics, we were told that art was a concept, we started debating wether art was or was not a concept (you can see paintings, touch sculptures……) all of a sudden I was confused, so the IDEA of art is a concept but some how some parts are not part of the “rules” (?)
Anyway we separated in to groups and on an A3 paper separated a list of items into concepts and topics. Our group did pretty well but confused a few concepts and topics.


History is like a million people telling stories to each other, not to anyone in particular but everyone. However some people tell the story in different angles, views and perspectives……

“History is a myth that men agree to believe” -Napolean


In this quote, it explains how some things in history might be made up while other parts of history may be more fiction than fact. Sometimes history is so bad or horrible that people decide to change history and give a more “happy” version. Sometimes they decide to make people heros, or seem evil.  I think what people should do is live on in there lives and don’t treat people the wau they do because of history and people should tell the truth even if it is better not to.


Photo Of The Day

Aldabra giant tortoises normally graze on ‘tortoise turf’, a blend of herbs and grasses that grows close to the ground in response to being cropped. Often, though, the tortoises will wander onto the beaches to eat washed-up seedpods. This female, who is probably at least 100 years old, regularly forages along the beach in front of a research station on Aldabra in the Seychelles.

“Tortoises are known to have made sea crossings between islands,” says Tom, “‘and so I was pleased to be able to use the ocean as a backdrop. I lay in her path on the sand, using an extreme wide-angle lens. The moment I took the shot, I had to roll out of her way to avoid her clambering right over me.”

Nikon D3 + 14-24mm lens; 1/200 sec at f22; ISO 200; Nikon SB800 flash.

Read the story

Photo Credit: © Thomas P Peschak / Veolia Environnement Wildlife Photographer of the Year 2010

Is a Book a Friend?

Outside of a dog, a book is a man’s best friend. Inside of a dog, it is too dark to read.

-Groucho Marx.

In class, our teacher asked us all if books can be a good friend. We all had different views and a opinions. Mine was: Yes, a good book can definitely be a good friend. Time and again you will return to this book, savoring your favorite parts. A good book can provide company and entertainment for years to come. Books are great to have and read. It’s been proven that just reading a simple book is like food for the brain. It boost intellectual, vocabulary, and speaking skills, it helps you with creativity……

Good books are friends, they never fight with you or argue, but still they give wisdom and knowledge. A book can give you smiles of joy, while it can give you tears of sadness. When you reach the end of a book, its like losing a friend. When we read good book we sometimes do not think that we are actually reading a book because the book is so good and realistic that the book goes to our heart .

Young Americans

The Young Americans

These three days, we had a workshop, it was called The Young Americans. We were to create a show to our parents in 3 days. The Young Americans were young, energetic, enthusiastic……

In the show there were many different parts. At first, we would do a dance, after the dance we sang 2 songs: Don’t Stop Believin’ (Glee Cast) and Let it Be (Beatles). Then do a dance/drama called happiness, where we would express our happiness by taking photos, watching sports, climbing a tree, etc. Later a few soloist would have to do the most famous Disney songs such as “supercalifragilisticexpialidocious” “Under The Sea” etc. At last we would do a lion king song “The Circle of Life”

Other then doing the performance, we had many other activities such as: games, dances, writing poems, drawing and many classes to improve our skills with the arts.

My favorite activity was the Trust Game that is a game which we sit on the floor, face a partner and when the music starts, one person makes a movement, the other person follows. There is another version where there are three people standing in a triangle. The first person makes a movement and the others follow, then the people on the triangle turn and follow the other person, this goes on until the music stops.

I think this workshop was a great learning experience, we learned not to fear performing and how to properly perform. I felt that this workshop was very meaningful and special because not only do we perform with the “young americans” we also form bonds and relationships. I think that we performed well and made our parents, teachers, “young americans”, and others proud, happy……

Photo Of The Day

Welcome back to the photo of the day. Todays photo is of :

Falcons in Socotra. A female Kestrel brings food to her offspring.


Photograph by Michael Melford, National Geographic. See more pictures from the June 2012 feature story “Where the Weird Things Are.” From

1st Unit Finished!!

Currently in school, we are finishing our first unit Who We Are. Our summative assessment was to be a counselor and solve a conflict situation. I think I did this ok on this unit but I need to put more effort into my process journal and improve it.

For todays picture of the day it will be:

Photograph by Paul Vecsei

This is a picture from

This picture was taken in Canada and the fish in the photo are Ciscoes. This was taken in the ciscoes natural habitat on August 19 2012 for more information go to the link above.

6 1/2 Weeks Already!

Its been 6 1/2 weeks since the start of the school year, and I am going to do something new. I did this once, is called photo of the day. Its a special photo that is interesting and unique. Here it is:



Skipton, England.

A sheepdog works in a sheepdog auction.




  1. math summative
  2. UOI smmative
  3. gasp! no! chinese test! AHHHHHH!
  4. Book review
  5. Mental Math





Grade 6

Now that summer is over, we go back to school. This year I am in the class 6D, this class is taught by mr Humphrey ( a new teacher ). Do you know this is the first year of school so far that I am taught by a male teacher.
As we do every year, we named our class. Our name is the 6D Dobbys. We started our first unit Who We Are, it is about values and conflict. For the summative: we are given a scenario of a conflict and we have to solve it. So far in this unit, we has several guest speakers and watched a movie called Lie To Me. It was about how a doctor could tell if someone lies and helps solve crimes for the FBI. My favourite part of this unit so far in this unit was the movie because it was exciting and intresting.

Floor Plan

Recently in class, we had a project. We made this project with minecraft. Our project was to make a dream house in minecraft, first we made a floor plan on a piece of paper. After we made a floor plan I started to mark my property and the border. Normally teachers would not use minecraft for school projects, but we used it because it is easier to use minecraft then to make a real model.

In this project I used a texture pack called featherlight and did it in survival ( special thanks to Too Many Items)

Here it is:[youtube][/youtube]

And here is my original floor plan:

The New Unit

Currently in school, we learned a new unit about the human body and how it changes. The lines of inquiry are the changes that occur in the human body, factors that cause our bodies to change and actions that affect personal well being. This unit is about how the human body changes and how it changes.

Some interesting facts are:  You can not be strangled from the back of your neck, you are taller in the morning then you are in the afternoon, you can sneeze as fast as 300 km, etc.

For my independent research, the human change I will choose to do the change when a baby gets born, and how the human body will react to it. Something that interests me is how the baby is like when it is still in the mothers body and how it changes when it gets out. My biggest questions are 1.How does the body change? 2.Whats the difference between the baby and the grownup? 3. What are the threats when the baby is born?

So far in this UOI in class we’ve drawn a human body and labeled the body parts, we’ve watched a movie about the human body. I learnt about bones, muscles, nerves, limbs, etc. What I still want to learn is about the changes of the human body.

My Masterpiece

By Vance Mak                                                                                                                                                                               May 15 Tuesday 20

This is a piece of art I did on Minecraft, it is related to geometry because it is made of shapes and it is also a shape itself. It is supposed to be a spiral.


Here is the PSA I did in class. A Public Service Announcement (PSA) is like a commercial, but instead of showing what to buy, it  shows what to do.Because of our sharing the planet unit we did this. We did this on child rights and to learn how other less fortunate children live. I did this on article 15, you have the right to choose your own friends and join or set up groups, as long as they are not harmful to others.

Our Unit Of Inquiry (UOI) is about sharing the planet, and how we can support or deny the rights of other children. The most surprising thing I learned is that other children are not as fortunate as others like me. Some questions I still wonder about is that how many children still do not have access to these rights, and how we can change the world and make a difference.

This shows I took action because I made a PSA which can change the minds of others. It shows responsibility because I made this PSA to help other children and take responsibility for what is happening in this world.

First it shows a Stykz movie that a child gets left out from others because he is a different race. At the end it shows that he finally goes and plays with his new friends. Then it shows that everyone has the right to play with others no matter how different they are. I chose this article because I think about how everybody likes to play and joke around, but others don’t get this type of fun. This made me think that I am very lucky to relax and enjoy life.
I made this by using iMovie, Stycks to create this movie . I hope you watch this and leave comments. Anyone can make a difference if they believe in it. Hope you enjoy!

Dynamo 13


Giant Rubiks Cube Art

Today at school my teacher showed me a picture of a man made a piece of art, completely  out of rubiks cubes. This art piece of art is of Martin Luther King Jr.I think this piece of art is very interesting because it is very original and different then others. This piece of art reminds me of mosaics because it is also interesting and creative.


Today was the SLLR,the SLLR is a day which a student leads there parents through the classroom showing them what they have learnt this year.
The SLLR included in the 10 subjects we were assigned to show. Those subjects were: Performing Arts, Physical Education, Personal And Social, Art, Technology, Literacy, Mathematics, French, Chinese and Unit Of Inquiry. For these subjects, I did finale notepad,my PE tracking sheet, a little bit about me, mosaics, iMovie, my mole book, fractions summative, Paris poster, Chinese essays, and history mini project.
Today my mom learnt a lot about what I did at school this year. We had lots of fun, and she said she was very impressed. This was a very fun learning experience for both of us as this was seen from a students point of view, not a teachers one.

Dynamo 4s Misadventures of Snorkeling

In the easter holiday, Dynamo 4 went snorkeling for the first time. Once he got in the water, he chocked on the salt water. He got out of the water and started coughing and choking. Unfortunately for him, at the same moment, he was stung by a small jellyfish, and started screaming and chocking at the same time.

On my holiday, I stayed at home and got a Paddlenose fish, when it did not eat the regular food, I got it expensive food, however my two Featherfin Squeakers now do not eat normal food, as they only eat expensive foods.

Spoonbill/Paddlenose fish

Featherfin Squeaker

Mid Unit Reflection

1. This unit is about what rights children have and how actions can support or deny them.
2. The key concepts of this unit are responsibility and causation
3. I have learned: every child have the same rights, Ive learned that children are being put to labor in lots of countries, most commonly in Iran, Pakistan, and undeveloped countries, unlike Hong Kong.
4. I think the most important thing that we learned in this unit is that we need to take action to make a difference.
5. The most surprising thing I learned in this unit is that: many people who have made a change in the world are very young (child heroes)
6. If I could join an organization to help others, I would join Building Walls of Wisdom, because it would help make schools and educate others.
7. Some ways people can support children rights are if someone could donate or volunteer to help an organization.
8. Some ways people can deny children rights are if someone forced them to do child labour.
9. I am thinking about doing my PSA on having the right against child labour.
10. This unit makes me feel that I am a very lucky child to be born and raised in a developed country and to have the proper child rights. I feel that it is unfair that others are not as privileged as me. I feel that it will be much better if everyone had the same status as everyone else.

Book Report

Now that it is spring into reading, our class was assigned a homework, to write a book report on a book of any choice. I chose to do it on Scorpia.
Here it is:
“Go to Venice. Find Scorpia. And you will find your destiny…”

-Yassen Gregrovich

Scorpia, an Alex RIder adventure, by Anthony Horowitz, author of the New York Times Best Selling Eagle Strike.

Following the events of Eagle Strike, teenage spy Alex Rider plunges back into the life of adventure, but this time he is not with the M16, this time he is alone. He is in Venice with his friend Tom Harris thinking about what his nemisis Yassen Gregrovich said before his death. Little does he know, he will be face to face with the most dangerous terroist group on earth. Sabotage. Corruption. Intelligence. Assasination, otherwise known as Scorpia.

With a gripping plot and a shoking ending, this first in children’s fiction bestsellers list book is a book that readers will want to read twice.

Trash Art

Our current unit of inquiry is about trash for this unit we have to make an art project that is to make a sculpture or object out of trash, we can use only maximum 2 types of trash including cans, bottle caps, cardboard boxes, tissue rolls, and so on. We also have to give a message out to the world saying something related to what we made. I chose to work in a pair with Dynamo 20, we collected cardboard boxes and our message was don’t throw away cardboard boxes after moving. We have decided to make a house with a garage next to it. Inside the garage maybe we will add a car if we have enough cardboard.

The Hong Kong recycling plant

Today 5D and 5E went to the Eco park. 5D went to a the guest center first, while 5E went to the recycling plant first. I learned that there are 3 landfills in Hong Kong, all 3 of them are in New Territory. I also learned in the center that all garbage in the landfill get compressed. After the tour in the center we went to the recycling area. When we got there I learned that every plastic product has to be sorted by numbers on the bottom of the plastic bottle or other places. Then when we learned about all the 7 categories. I learned that the 7th category has no specific order. We got to have a tour around. We saw the area where they sorted the plastic and where they cut the plastic bottles in to little pieces. Then they were burned to small pellets. After the tour we all left with a lot of information about recycling and garbage.

Hybrid Shark

Australia: Scientists discover first hybrid shark

Juliet Eilperin, Washington Post

Thursday, January 5, 2012

Scientists have identified the first-ever hybrid shark off the coast of Australia, a discovery that suggests some shark species may respond to changing ocean conditions by interbreeding with one another.

A team of 10 Australian researchers identified multiple generations of sharks that arose from mating between the common blacktip shark (Carcharhinus limbatus) and the Australian blacktip (Carcharhinus tilstoni), which is smaller and lives in warmer waters than its global counterpart.

“To find a wild hybrid animal is unusual,” the scientists wrote in the journal Conservation Genetics. “To find 57 hybrids along 2,000 km (1,240 miles) of coastline is unprecedented.”

James Cook University Professor Colin Simpfendorfer, one of the paper’s co-authors, emphasized in an e-mail that he and his colleagues “don’t know what is causing these species to be mating together.” They are investigating factors including the two species’ close relationship, fishing pressure and climate change.

Australian blacktips confine themselves to tropical waters, which end around Brisbane, while the hybrid sharks swam more than 1,000 miles south to cooler areas around Sydney. Simpfendorfer said this may suggest the hybrid species has an evolutionary advantage as the climate changes.

As a result, he wrote, “We are now seeing individuals carrying the more tropical species genes in more southerly areas. In a changing climate, this hybridization may therefore allow these species to better adapt to different conditions.”

The researchers – who had been working on a government-funded study of the structure of shark populations along Australia’s northeast coast – first realized something unusual was going on when they found fish whose genetic analysis showed they were one kind of blacktip but their physical characteristics, particularly the number of vertebrae they had, were those of another. Shark scientists often use vertebrae counts to distinguish among species.

The team also found that several sharks that genetically identified as Australian blacktips were longer than the maximum length typically found for the species. Australian blacktips reach 5.2 feet; common blacktips in that part of the world reach 6.6 feet.

Demian Chapman, assistant director of science of Stony Brook University’s Institute for Ocean Conservation Science, said the idea that sharks can interbreed is “something a lot of shark biologists thought could happen but now we have evidence, and it’s fantastic evidence.”

He added, however, that the fact that these two species were so closely related made it easier for them to mate than wildly divergent ones.

“It doesn’t mean we’re going to see great white/tiger sharks anytime soon, or bull/Greenland sharks,” he said. “If any species was going to hybridize, it was going to be this pair.”

This article appeared on page A – 4 of the San Francisco Chronicle

Read more:

Dynamos On Ice!

On December 13, 2011, at 8:25 am, Grade 5 went to the elements to skate. The rink was huge. There were a lot of toy penguins on the skating rink for people to hold on to . The ice had white with red and blue circles painted on it. Every student had to pay $25 We went back to school at 11:45.

National Treasure

For the past couple of weeks, our grade has been watching a movie called National Treasure starring Nicholas Cage. Benjamin Franklin Gates wants to find the treasure of history and sets off to find clues. The first clue is The secret lies with Charlotte Grade 5s have been watching National Treasure because is a fun adventure movie and is about history. As you might know, what we are studying now as our UOI is history. I really like this movie because it is very adventurous and it is extremely interesting. We all liked it very much. Watch the movie to find out more! My favorite part is when they get trapped underground and when they find the treasure Bens friend Riley Poole looks very relived and says stairs! I like it because it is very funny. People who like adventure and action movies should watch this.

Splat Creation

We went to the library today to watch a play called Splat. In the extra activities we made poetry this is mine.
School can be fun
School can be boring
School can bring friends
School brings rules
School you learn new things
School you try you best
School you never give up
Schools bring teachers you might like

The Artifact Game

In our unit Where We Are In Place And Time we are playing a game called the artifact game,In the teacher will show you a picture of an artifact and you will interpret it. This is what you need to do: write down what, where, when, and who. When you are writing down your answer you have to be quiet so other people don’t take your guess.

Can you guess what this is? And please leave a comment.

This connects to our unit by showing artifacts and finding out how these artifacts tell us clues about history.


Remembrance Day

In Flanders Field

by John McCrae, May 1915

In Flanders fields the poppies blow
Between the crosses, row on row,
That mark our place; and in the sky
The larks, still bravely singing, fly
Scarce heard amid the guns below.

We are the Dead. Short days ago
We lived, felt dawn, saw sunset glow,
Loved and were loved, and now we lie
In Flanders fields.

Take up our quarrel with the foe:
To you from failing hands we throw
The torch; be yours to hold it high.
If ye break faith with us who die
We shall not sleep, though poppies grow
In Flanders fields.


The Mako Shark

Mako Sharks ( Isurus ) are mackerel sharks ( Lamniformes ) . There are two living species of Makos, the Shortfin Mako(Isurus oxyrinchus ) is the fastest shark alive with bursts of 46mph. and the longfin Mako (Isurus paucus) The most distinctive features of the longfin mako shark are its large pectoral fins. Generally these species of sharks will not attack humans.

How I Express Myself With Communication Technology

After ending our ” How We Express ourselves” we were told to write a post about how we express ourself with communication technology. Well I express myself by talking on phones, typing on emails, writing blogs, etc. Everyday after school I always talk on my phone, sometimes send emails and write blogs. The most often way of communicate that I use is talking. I think the most convenient way of communicate  is talking.


My class is studying poetry right now. Our project is to make a folder of 10 poems. My favorite one is a poem called The Pizza The Size Of The Sun.

The Pizza The Size Of The Sun

I had a pizza the size of the sun

With everything I could possibly eat

With pepperonis the size of a moon

And anchovies the size of a whale

With miles and miles of giant cheese

I ate it all in a bite

And drank the sea to wash it down.


Building Walls of Wisdom

Today at school, we went to a website called Building Walls of Wisdom. It was about a charity that helps people build schools. We want to send approximately HK $2400 dollars to the charity to build a school for the children. We have many ideas like holding a bake sale, but we don’t know which one to choose. Can you please leave a comment saying . what we should do. Thanks