This is a presentation with my plan for Service As Action in grade 10:
How did you consider the ethical implications of your actions?
How did you become more aware of your own strengths and areas for growth?
How did you develop international-mindedness through global engagement, multilingualism and intercultural understanding?
How did you undertake challenges that developed new skills?
It challenged me to take initiative to ask or communicate with people, especially by working together in partners instead of staying behind the scenes and allowing other people do the work. It is evident through the emails that we sent out to different teachers and each other when we need to complete certain tasks. This improved my ability to solve conflicts…
How did you discuss, evaluate and plan student-initiated activities?
We started off by brainstorming and doing some preliminary research to understand the situation of the problem in Hong Kong. A communication group was established through emails to teachers and students to help us collect data/information. We planned our service as action based on the time we have. For example, we only start creating the websites during summer, which is when we have more time to film and edit the video tutorials. This will give us time to do some research/collect any useful materials from now to summer and there will hopefully be enough content by the end of summer for the students to use it during the year. If we are successful, we will have some form of evaluation method later as well by receiving feedback from the targeted group that we can reflect on. We don’t actually know if our actions will work, but the statistics are on our side and there is an actual need for a solution to the problem.
How did you persevere in action?
How did you work collaboratively with others?
I was working with Nicola throughout the process and we planned things/brainstormed together starting from the beginning. We used shared documents to do so and communicate in between classes as well to ensure that we are on track with the work. Additionally, we did not have specific roles/responsibility for each person and we worked to divide up the work by 50% each. This way, we can support each other in areas that we are stronger/weaker at.
I am going to be creating an educational board game that will help students from grade 7-8 to thoroughly understand chemistry terms and apply those concepts in real-life situations.
I have done secondary research and looked at how to transform my unorganized ideas for my board game and turning it into an actual board game with the game mechanics. According to Evato Tuts+, I should base it off of the main topic, which is Grade 7-8 Chemistry. Then I should think of myself as a player of my game and visualize how or what my game should look like. Another approach could be adding or removing game elements from the games I analyzed, so I could think and play from another perspective, helping me identify certain needs and requirements (it would highlight the more important game elements) for my own game. The next step would be to flesh out my ideas, which is to make further connections with real-life events or situations (it could possibly be the theme of my board game) and writing it all down to make all my ideas clear. For example, if the board game topic is somehow related to California, a connection with Hollywood in Los Angeles might be made. The theme and the background story could then relate to actors or the entertainment industry. Lastly, I would need to go through the “content development” stage before drafting out my ideas/making prototypes. Here, I would be thinking of the components (cards, tokens, dice, etc) that I would include in my game. I have also done research on features that I could add to my board game to make it fun and compiled a list of chemistry related real-life scenarios that I could use on my board game. Fun features that I could add include more hands-on features (physical interaction between players and the game itself) such as spinners as well as multiple twists and turns to the plot/story which would build tension and excitement for the players. This could be a new storyline that the players can choose or “stop grids” that forces players to stop for a round. The research would allow me to be more prepared for the next few steps of the creation process to ensure that I know what I am going to do.
The most important aspect that I took away from the research was the client consultations (primary research). I now understand the learning styles of the selected group of clients (they generally prefer lots of visuals, hands-on tasks, and getting to move around a little) that I interviewed. I asked about their learning needs (specific “special learning” requirements), which have included topics from grade 7 and 8 science that students struggle with. They thought that the hardest topics were separation techniques, diffusion and osmosis and parts of cells/cellular functions (not chemistry related, just for reference for real-life situations). Finally, I asked the student’s opinion on different features that I could possibly include in my board game. My board game is going to be made targeted to these students, so it is important to know what they lack, their preferences and their expectations for the game so I can create a high-quality educational board game.
Building on to the 8 bar rhythm I have previously created, I developed the rhythm and turned it into a complete melody with chord progressions. We also focused on conjunct and disjunct as well as consonant and dissonant when creating this melody. Please have a listen to my melody!
Use the list below to check each guideline……….
O Yes O No
O Yes O No O NA
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The grade 8s had Design Day recently, introducing the new design unit combining maths and design. We started the day by looking at the general constraints for this project and understanding what we’re supposed to do. Next, we started researching and investigating in groups, looking at how to make packages and how the packages work (structure and form) to fit certain purposes. We also had a chance to make our own boxes to put our snacks in.
We deconstructed existing packages and analyzed its properties according to our restraints and Design challenge. The package that I deconstructed was the iPad Air box. The package was made from two rectangular prisms, one with larger dimensions and the other with smaller dimensions so the smaller one could fit in the larger one easily. I am guessing that the reason why whoever designed this package chose to put the package in this form because it is more sturdy and secure, especially when holding something fragile and valuable (the iPad). Depending on the object I’m going to package and its properties, I need to consider the different ways to put together the box(es) without using adhesives. For example, I can have two parts, one with longer dimensions than the other one, I can have handles for people to carry the package around or have tabs sticking out of the package.
Additionally, the iPad Air box had two layers for each rectangular prism (the base/top). The layer on the inside is made from cardboard, also the actual net that makes the form of the rectangular prism. The other layer is plastic and paper combined, which is made from thinner cardstock paper. Both have their own purposes, one is to keep a firm and sturdy form for the box to put the iPad Air (somewhat heavy) and the other is to provide the visuals: the decorations, tags and safety warnings. Even though the other layer may seem excessive and a bit unnecessary looking from the environmental perspective, but it is definitely useful because it offers protection for the cardboard layer on the inside. My goal is to try to use minimal materials to create my box, so I probably wouldn’t consider using two layers.
I’ve also done a little research on making packages for irregular shape objects and how to do so. It turns out to be easier than I thought. As long as you can all the measurements accurately, you can make a net of the package with sufficient quality. Therefore, I will try to look further into this in criterion B and my goal is to make a package that is original and creative.
Lastly, with the knowledge I have from geometry, I can create packages with the least environmental impact, reducing our carbon footprint. The total materials I use for my package can be measured with surface area. If the surface area of the materials is low, then I will not need to use a lot of materials to make the package. Fewer materials mean less waste and it decreases the carbon footprint of both the designer and people using the package.
Here are some pictures of my box for my snack that I made without using adhesives:
Investigating in existing packages:
1. Explain how you believe you are progressing on your instrument so far this year.
I feel like I have passed the beginner level this year and I’m starting to develop more playing skills. The most important thing that I learned this year is “crossing the bridge” (reaching the higher notes). I am now able to reach the higher notes, playing those notes in tone and then immediately going back down to the lower notes. However, I didn’t improve as greatly as I did in the previous years since I am now a lot more familiar with my clarinet, it is harder to advance. Therefore, I need to make a greater effort to improve and move on to the next level.
2. Explain specifically what you are currently doing to improve your level of skill.
When practicing at home (unfortunately, I only practice one to two times every week), I go back and review the songs that require more technique to play. I play songs with a mixture of high and low pitched notes, a variety of articulation markings and greater difference in dynamics. When playing the different scales in music class, I try to play the section that is higher in pitch to strengthen my newly developed skills and achieving a high tone quality for the higher notes across the bridge.
3. How often do you practice?
To be honest, I only practice once every week on average (yes, this is something I need to work on and take initiative for reminding myself). In the first term (before Christmas), I was in Concert Band, so I practiced every other day during that time in preparation for the winter concert. Now, as the school year goes on, I find much harder to practice. It takes time for me to set up and pack up my instrument after I practice and I’m so lazy that I don’t bother to do so. Additionally, my work load increases, so it becomes harder for me to find time dedicated for practicing.
4. Which of these are you most successful at: note accuracy, rhythm accuracy, articulation, dynamics, tone quality, breathing/phrasing?
My articulation is the best. I tongue very precisely on the staccato notes and I can hold my breath to play the slur notes to create a smooth and connected sound.
5. Which of these are you the least successful: note accuracy, rhythm accuracy, articulation, dynamics, tone quality, breathing/phrasing?
I find that I will need to improve on rhythm accuracy because
In this task, we need to create a rhythm that is 8 bars long with two four-bar phrases. I use two slurs to indicate each phrase and make it really obvious to identify the two phrases. To make it even more obvious to spot the two phrases, the two phrases end with a long note. The first phrase ends with a half note (longest note value in the entire rhythm) and the second phrase ends with two quarter notes tied together and a fermata on the last note. The two phrases are balanced rhythmically and they also have an equivalent amount of short notes and long notes. The first measure of both phrases is exactly the same. Since I want more of a variety yet sill maintain balance, I switch the order of bars 2 and 3 for the second phrase and making the two phrases end slightly different visually (but still sounding the same).
This task is quick and easy, but I have to make sure that this rhythm works before I transform these 8 bars into a melody, which is the next task that we need to do. One thing I might change is bars 4 and bars 8. These two bars are the endings of phrase one and two and they are quite different. I do not want phrase one and phrase two to be exactly the same, so I decide to change up the rhythm. However, I am unsure if I should change the rhythm up in the middle of each phrase and if either way will result in a complete sound.
This year, I am going to try to balance service within our school and service outside of school. I have joined the Reading Tree and the photography team. I can volunteer and actively participate in the events relating to these 2 clubs. I can extend the club activities outside of school where I can read to the less fortunate or take photographs of the poor and raise awareness. Last year during service day, I participated in a food drive event where we had collected and organized the food brought in by students, parents, and staffs and delivered it to Feeding Hong Kong. I want to do something similar again this year because the entire CDNIS community can contribute easily and help out. Additionally, I want to participate in walkathons and beach clean ups for more service participation around the Hong Kong community.
In the previous English unit, we were learning about poetry. First, we learned about different poetic devices, then we identified poetic devices in works of poetry. Next, we analyzed poems and discussed the effect of the poetic devices used on the readers. Explaining how the poetic devices affected the reader’s feelings is one of the main focus of this unit.
The students had a chance to explore many famous and unique pieces. We also got to write a couple of poems as an individual and a group throughout this unit. My favorite poem that I read was Ode to Tomatoes by Pablo Neruda. There was a range of poetic devices used in the poem, such as oxymoron, enjambment, personification, and hyperbole. The topic about tomatoes was interesting and unexpected as well. For me, the most challenging part about reading poetry is understanding the symbolisms, metaphors, similes and personifications. They are usually indirect and you often have to use the clues from the poem to help you figure out what they mean. I also find that after reading the poem a couple more times, everything becomes clearer. Writing poems were especially challenging for me in this unit because we had to use certain poetic devices in our different poems. In my opinion, poetry can inspire people differently. Of course, reading poetry can happen as an entertainment as well. The purpose of writing poems is to express feelings and tell a story. Reading poems can be an entertainment or enjoyment. A poem only uses short phrases (for most times) and poetic devices to help convey the message. Other works of literature can also express the author’s feelings, visual artworks also bring a mood or atmosphere when viewed.
In this unit, we inquired into blues music and learnt basic music composition techniques as part of the theory of our unit. We started off looking into endings, then progressing into composing simple, 8 bar melodies. We then looked at transposing instruments and the Concert F blues scale. Lastly, we looked at blues chord progressions and incorporating the major triads and the b7 tones for composing our solos. For our summative assessment of this unit, we composed our own 12 bar blues solo. I thought it was going to be an easy task, but it actually involved some thinking and reflection as well. I made the first draft and received feedback from my peers on my music composition (see the previous post). I read through all the feedback from my peers and have made quite a few changes to my blues solo composition:
Firstly, I had to make my composition sound bluesier. In measures 1, 3, 5, 7,9 and 11, I added the major third tones. Mr. Taitoko, our guest musician has talked to us about including the major thirds in our composition to enhance the “bluesiness” and have a better sounding melody. I have also replaced some eighth notes by adding rests, also have enhanced the blues feeling of my piece.
Secondly, I added performance directions in my piece, like the different dynamic, tempo and articulation markings. Not only have I added some dynamic markings such as p, pp, ff, etc, I’ve also added a few crescendo and decrescendo to enrich the volume and sound of my piece. Tempo markings were also used. I chose to use moderato because I wanted a steady and moderate beat for my composition. By adding articulation markings, I have also worked on another criticism from my friends: choppy transitions. Without smooth transition, the song would sound awkward and it wouldn’t flow very well as a whole. That’s why I have added articulation markings to try to connect the different parts together.
There is certainly room for improvement. I think I could fix the articulation markings. After listening to my solo a couple of times, I found that some slurs and staccatos are either unnecessary or placed in the wrong place. Furthermore, to produce a blues composition with high quality involves a strong melodic and rhythmic balance.
I feel like my blues solo is substantially convincing, it still doesn’t sound very bluesy to me. The feedback from my peers has greatly improved my composition. Nevertheless, I’ve tried my best and made a great achievement, as I have never composed any melodies before. I have further expanded my knowledge in this unit. Many new understandings such as the chord progression of composition and the system of transposing instruments have developed. I had loads of fun and I am looking forward to my next music composition!
This unit, we have been looking into blues music, playing scales and jazz/blues songs. We have also learned how to compose blues music using the Concert F blues scale (Bb instrument: F, Ab, Bb, B, b, Eb and F) and have inquired into different techniques that make blues music. The PDF bellow is my blues solo composition for music. Tones 1, 3, 5 and 7 sounds the best for blues music, which is most of the notes that I’ve incorporated into my composition. My piece so far is rhythmically strong but not quite balanced. I think I need to add dynamics and articulation markings to make my piece more interesting and smooth. The artist in residence, Mr. Scott Taitoko has also given us some tips for composing a blues solo. We could use notes from the major scale thirds in our solos as well.
Please give me some feedback as to what you think should be improved so that it sounds better. Thanks!
Recording of my Composition: