This year, I was able to continue some of my service as action projects from grade 9 as well as branching out and trying more diverse activities. I am now an executive member of the Reading Tree and a regular member of Lilypad. Additionally, I also took part in construction work during Experience Week in Vietnam to help the local community build cement floors in their playground to prevent germs from spreading easily.
How did you undertake challenges that developed new skills?
The most challenging activity that I did this year would probably be construction work during CAS Week. In the 2 days that we were in the village, we had to mix sand, water and rocks together with shovel and buckets (very primitive and limited tools), carry and transport it, then pile it up and covering it over the soil. We also planted some trees in the garden so the school could sell the melon harvested and make more profit from it. This was extremely mentally and physically challenging work since we were doing menial work outdoors in high temperature for 5 hours each day. I went in being very dedicated with the mindset to finish spreading all the cement, but I realized it was unrealistic. I needed to take shifts with other peers and make more realistic goals. I learned how to manage myself better and set more realistic goals for myself
How did you persevere in action?
This year, I have continued to participate in the Reading Tree and Lilypad (for one full academic term now). This shows how I continuously work with organizations and strive to advance in these areas. I am now allowed to put my ideas I have into actual action and hopefully bring about change. This perseverance comes from motivations from my peers and the long-lasting passion that I hold with educating children.
How did you become more aware of your own strengths and areas for growth?
I realized that one of my greatest strengths is communication and problem solving under pressure (responding quickly under pressure). I became aware of this with continuous experience in the service activities I am involved in. By becoming more aware of my strengths, I am able to select my service activities more efficiently: to keep doing the activities that I am strong in while picking out a few others that could improve my weaknesses in the next year.
In this picture, I am interacting with my Grade 1 buddy from Lilypad.
All the cement on the floor was constructed by us from scratch in 2 days.
Evidence that I am one of the program mentors of Lilypad.
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.
Here are some pictures of the final package that I created for the design unit:
I do not have a specific target audience for this package, but I assume that it can be customers who wear or use sunglasses on a regular basis. This package is light, it can fully protect the sunglasses inside (due to its shape) and it can be carried around easily. Most of the sunglasses or even glasses packages out in the market are all relatively heavy, and they all look the same (similar shape). Using my package will be more convenient for customers to carry their sunglasses and fit them inside their bags, which makes it more user-friendly and accessible in general. With a more creative design like mine, customers that use my sunglasses will give a unique impression to other people and show the fun side of their style. In addition since the shape of my package is quite attractive, customers can display the package with the sunglasses at their houses as well. From the environmental aspect, my package is made simply with only using one layer of cardstock without using any adhesives to attach the different faces at all, which does not cause too much unnecessary waste.
Even though it is made out of cardstock paper, the package is still not strong enough to put into real use. The tabs (especially the one that is on the upper face that acts like a cover) can rip apart easily. The surface area to volume ratio of my package is 1: around 0.8, so it takes more materials to make space that is even smaller. My package is not as “green” because I could have used fewer materials instead of by shortening the height of the package. Some of the benefits of my package are high usability and unique appearance. I applied both my design and mathematical knowledge/skills into a real life, “design and create” situation. After acquiring all the skills and knowledge, I can now pick and choose the elements that I want to include in my final package.
The interdisciplinary aspect of math and design helped me create the net of the final product as well as calculated the surface area, volume, surface area: volume ratios, etc. I also have more practice with drawing nets to create irregular 3D shapes and folding the nets to transform it into a 3D shape, which might help me better visualize irregular shapes in the future. The disciplinary approach (the design aspect) was extremely helpful at the final stage of my final product creation because that was where I used the CARP design elements to design the outside of my package.
I will probably plan and allocate more time for the final package production instead of focusing too much on the drafts and other design mockups. Although making multiple drafts is crucial for creating a successful final product, but I found that I ran out of time near the end of the creation process, especially with designing the exterior of my package. Secondly, I will be more careful when adjusting the dimensions of my package to ensure that for every 1 unit of surface area, the volume created will at least be 1.01 unit. I will need to take the surface area to volume ratio into consideration when doing the adjustments. The final package that I created does not satisfy this, so it is not as environmentally friendly.
The recording was due on Wednesday and I started practicing on Friday the week before. I learned from previous experience from last year that I shouldn’t wait until the last minute to practice and record. I had 5 days to complete this assessment, so I wasn’t very stressed about time. On the first night, I practiced way too much (for 1 hour) and I had already started recording for some reasons. Looking back at it, I shouldn’t have practiced for that long as my embouchure and muscles around the mouth became weaker, causing my performance to drop as well. Additionally, I shouldn’t have started recording on the first day at all. I was being very impatient to get it all done so I could move on and work on other assessments. It was only the first day and I should’ve used this time to plan ahead and figure out what I needed to focus on in the remaining days. On day 2 and 3, I practiced 20 minutes each and each day I sped up the tempo of the scales and thirds. As for line #104, I worked on playing the high notes as well as the slurring and phrasing. I continued to record after I thought I was “good to go”, but obviously, it didn’t turn out with good quality at all.
The first part of this assessment was quite easy because we had already played and recorded the concert Bb scale and the thirds last year in grade 7 as one of our assessments. I only had to work on speeding the tempo up to 120 BPM in which I was successful because, after a few practices with the metronome, I could play it up to 120 BPM independently. However, the songs were slightly more challenging, especially the line that I chose (#104). Playing this song required more skills and techniques because the range of this song was quite wide, the transition from the high notes to lower notes was immediate, there was a certain dynamic requirement, specific phrasing throughout the song and articulation (legato) for some parts. I wanted to challenge myself by choosing this song because I could strengthen my skills and I thought that I was going to learn more instead of playing other lines that are relatively easier.
I learned that I should not rush through and try to get everything done on day 1 of practicing. I definitely didn’t try my best if I did so, I was not going to be successful and the quality of the recording was going to be poor. I also needed to set a fair amount of time to practice and try to get a balance between music and other work I need to do. On the first day, before I began practicing, I should work out what I needed to work on each day and set plans for myself to achieve. I should also make sure that I didn’t spend too much time each day for practicing because the muscles would become too tired and my performance level was going to decline with a tired muscle. Next time, I will need to make sure I don’t overdo my practicing on the first day and try to get it all done. I have to understand that this process requires moderate and high-quality practices every day in order to be successful.
I am not very satisfied with my performance. I squeaked when I played line #104 and I think that the difference in dynamics was not played very obviously (from piano to mezzo forte). Dynamics is always one of my strengths, however, this time I felt that I didn’t do as well. Some of the phrasing and articulation (slurring) was incorrect. Sometimes, I played slightly earlier than what was written on the music and sometimes I was late. If I had more time, I would definitely fix this part by practicing each phrase or each combination of slurred notes slowly first and then speeding it up once I get the hang of it. The scales and thirds were quite steady overall, but I could include a slight crescendo or decrescendo as I move up and down the scale. I also struggled a bit in the thirds with the pairs involving high B and C. I had to move my fingers really quick to play these two notes and the breathing had to be quicker for the high notes. Something that I did well was the note and rhythm accuracy as well as the appropriateness of the tempo. This was probably because I practiced using a metronome and I practiced by gradually increasing the tempos each day.
The most important thing I took away from this process is that the short practices with high-quality each day will benefit me by improving and building up my techniques. It will also make me a stronger performer in the long term. Practicing is the key to being successful at whatever instrument. Additionally, I have also become more aware on some of my strengths and weaknesses on playing with this assessment. My strengths are definitely on note accuracy, rhythm accuracy and occasionally a coherent dynamic. My weaknesses are probably the precision of the articulation and phrasing and sometimes the tone quality with the higher notes.
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.
Ray Zahab is a Canadian ultramarathon runner and the founder of the organization, i2P (Impossible to Possible) that came and spoke to us about all his adventures this morning. He is known for trekking long distances in different biomes around the world. He dropped out of college and started smoking (about 1-2 packs per day). His brother is a professional athlete and is a really confident person, and under his brother’s influence, Mr. Zahab decides to just start running and quits smoking. Mr. Zahab introduced to us some of his experiences and interesting stories of the adventures he has been to. He like to go on an adventure because he finds that he could learn a lot of new things of people and culture all around the world, which make him become a more open-minded person. His goal is to educate, inform and empower young adults and students from around the world that everything is possible and feasible if you put your mind to it. I like Ray Zahab’s humble, open-minded and risk-taking attitude.
It has been eight weeks since school started. There were a lot of new things that we needed to adapt to. One of the new subjects in grade 7 is humanities. I think humanities is going to be an useful subject for the future (especially our jobs). Humanities is a really interesting subject because it covers both geography and history (this year). I can predict I’ll learn a lot and develop a bunch of knowledge by the end of this year. We’ve doe a summative test as well, which I’m satisfied with, I really tried my best and it turned out pretty good.
I think history is stories and events that happened in the past or in time. By learning history, we could learn lessons from the past. Evidence is crucial for learning about the past and peoples’ lives in the past. For example, a diary of someone is a type of primary source. It is a piece of evidence for knowing how people felt during an event and their opinions. TO WHAT EXTENT CAN WE TRUST HISTORY?
We’ve also done a timeline to show the major dynasties in China:
The first part of the digital learning table is planning. I think I’m about level 2 for the logo competition, which is “focusing”. Next time, I need to add more details to my plan (size, dimensions etc.).
The second part is adaptability. I think I’m about level 2-3 (Focusing and Extending), because I can take a new feature from (Illustrator) and find images from the internet as a sample and create my own drawings.
The third part is organizing the information. I don’t have any evidence on my blog now, but I think I am at level 2 (close to 3) for this, because the only part that I don’t constantly do is referencing.
The fourth part is the product. I think I’m on level 2 for this. I met the requirements for my exhibition logo, but I didn’t do anything further on to improve my logo because I needed more time to do it and my teacher didn’t remind us as well.
The fifth part is being able to problem solve. I’m on level 2 for being able solve problems. First I try to figure it out by myself, then I ask my friends and/or people around me, if I still can’t solve the problem, I’ll search it up on the internet to try to solve the problem.
The sixth part is to be able to connect. WE STILL DON’T HAVE ANY EVIDENCE FOR THIS YET.
Yesterday was our Christmas class party! It was a really fun time (2 periods) and full of awesome activities that all of us enjoyed.The purpose of the party was a reward to all the great work we’ve done so far in grade 6. We had some some junk food (chips, pretzels, chocolate, fruit), sodas and juices.
First, we made our own Oreo reindeer pops with antlers, a red nose(edible), some eyes and colourful X’mas theme/colour sprinkles (Picture Bellow). We first took an Oreo and put some vanilla buttercream in the middle to make the 2 biscuits stick well together. Next we dipped it into warm chocolate fondue (yum!). Afterwards, we took the skewer and pretzels and stuck it in the rich cream and decorated it with different things.
Next, we played a teen trivia game. The class was divided into 3 groups, the Reindeers(us!), the Snow People and the Elves. After 15 questions, there was a tie between the reindeers and the snow people, so we did extra questions. However, we all got the correct answers for all of the 3 questions, so the mums decided that there was definitely a tie winner! The prize for the winners was a candy cane.
Everyone loved and enjoyed the party. Class moms: Thanks so much for organizing such an exciting and jammed-pack party for us, 6E!!! We all wanted to continue to party, but unfortunately, we needed to go to Chinese and some of us had a test…:( I think I got sugar-rushed because my cheeks were blushing, I was really hyper and active during the test and I drunk half of the water in my water bottle during the test….. ooooooppss!
Here are 3 of my chocolate reindeers!:
As you may know, the grade 6 has the ISTA Festival (Please view previous blog post for more information about the organization) and today is the 2nd day!!! Today was far better than yesterday. First, in our ensembles, we brainstormed ideas about superheroes and practice transforming our ideas into skits and acts. We also thought about this sentence “If someone did_____________ (for me), they would be my superhero.” I wrote that if someone stood up for me and someone helped me out when I was struggling really badly, that person would definitely be my hero. We also played a few different games like yesterday and I enjoyed it as well.
In the afternoon, we had different workshop activities(e.g. Juggling, Stage Fighting, Movement and Music, Revolution, Story telling and Singing). I participated in the Juggling and the Movement and Music one. It was a FASCINATING experience, the ISTA artists were hilarious, and I learnt how to spin plates, creating different movements and dances with chairs in groups (with different students from different classes in the grade) and changing our movements somehow to match the mood of the music. (e.g. Latin, Ballet and Country)
Tomorrow, we are going to perform on stage and showing what we’ve achieved/learnt for the past few few days to our parents, teachers and other students. We are also going to get our very own ISTA T-shirts! I am so excited, I can’t wait!