9th Grade Semester 1 Reflection

January 18, 2016

1.What did you manage to do well this quarter?

I managed to get some good grades in many of my classes as well as improve my grades from lower grades to higher grades and learned from my mistakes of making those lower grades.

a.What are a few concrete things you did to achieve these outcomes? Maybe you got all your homework finished and turned it in on time, success on a particular project or test or a particular way that you studied that contributed to your success.

b.Write about the specific actions you took to be successful.


  1. a+ b. For getting good grades for many of my subjects, I just worked hard in class, tried my best, and did my homework so I was prepared for such tests. In improving my grades, I learned from the mistakes I made on the projects and tests where I got bad grades and applied what I knew after to the future projects and tests I got.

2.What areas do you want/need to improve?

Sometimes, I’m not actually completely prepared for tests of a subject because I don’t understand everything or I don’t have time to completely study it, along with all the other topics. So, I want to fix those mistakes and improve my grades by trying to understand topics more or asking my teachers until I understand what I don’t.

a.What are a few choices you made that resulted in these outcomes? Maybe you did not complete all your homework or you struggled on a particular project or test .


I didn’t ask my teachers when I needed help all the time (I only sometimes asked), so I didn’t always fully understand everything before a test.

b.Write about what you could do differently to be successful.


I just need to ask my teachers more for clarification on topics I don’t understand.

  1. Do you see any trends in your comments? If so, what are they.

Well, all of them are positive, about my positive traits.

  1. Do you see any anomalies (stands out as different from trends) in your comments? If so, what stands out and why?

Only a few comments have suggestions for what I could improve on, because I made mistakes on tests in those classes.

  1. What activities am I involved in?

I’m involved in Crafts for a Cause (CFAC) for my clubs. I was involved in French Club and Badminton as well. Now, I signed up for semester 2 clubs such as CFAC again, Badminton again, and replaced French Club with MUN (Model United Nations), since French Club wasn’t on the options list anymore.

a.Am I over involved?

b.If so, what can I take away?

c.If I am not involved in extracurricular activities what is one that I could join?


I don’t think I’m over involved because I can still manage to finish my homework and have at least some free time. To me, an over involved person would be a person who is in 5 or more clubs, but I’m only in 3.

  1. What is your goal for Q3? some examples are:

-Turn in all my homework on time.

-Meet with my English teacher 2 times each week for additional help.

-Raise my hand in class at least one time per day.

-Meet with a study group one time per week.

-Use my planner every day.

-Limit my outside activities to two after school activities each week

My goals are to meet with teachers who teach classes with hard-to-grasp topics any time I don’t understand anything, so I can have clarification on topics to make tests easier. I also need to raise my hand in class more since I just realized that I barely raise my hand, since there are always others to answer for me, but I should participate more.

  1. Did anything happen in or outside of school that negatively or positively impacted my learning?

Well, at home I have chores and sometimes I can’t really work on my homework so I don’t understand everything, but mostly I can still manage to do my homework even though I have chores, so chores don’t impact my learning THAT much.

  1. Are your grades an accurate reflection of your ability? Why or why not?

I think my grades are an accurate reflection of my ability because I feel like my level of hard work in those classes are accurately expressed through my grades. However, some classes’ grades, I believe, are not that accurate on my ability because they are lower that what I have done in those classes. I feel like I understood the topic, but then my grade on the subject it low, even though strongly feel I have good understanding. Sometimes teachers are too strict on grades, I think.


First Semester Reflection (P.E. Class)

In the swimming unit in P.E., we learned rescue techniques, including guidelines. We were supposed to learn three techniques, but I only learned two, because I was sick on the day they were teaching the third technique. The two techniques I learned were the reach rescue and the front rescue. My favorite rescue technique out of the two is the reach rescue because you don’t have to get in the pool and do more work. Even though I know the front rescue is more important if someone is in more danger, I like the reach rescue better because you don’t have to get in the water and possibly endanger yourself (imagine if it was at the beach). Please don’t judge.


We played a few games during this unit as well. My favorite game was underwater hockey. I like holding my breath and challenging myself to stay underwater longer, so I liked the game. It was also pretty hard to play, because we had to go underwater and try to get the puck to the other side, while being attacked by other people that are also trying to get the puck. Though those things happened, I still thought it was fun, even though some people accidentally kick you while others use their hands to help move the puck when they’re not supposed to.


If I were to assess myself and rate my effort and participation in this unit, I would give myself an 8.5/10. I’m giving myself that rate because I missed three classes of swimming, but it wasn’t really my fault because I missed two classes due to the fact that I was sick and I never missed a class because I forgot my swimsuit or because my swimsuit was in the wash. So, I guess my participation was okay (it’s not really my fault), but I wasn’t always participating (three classes). However, when I wasn’t swimming, I took notes on what people did in that class, so that was alright and I made up for the classes I missed after school on other days. In swimming, I tried to swim well, even though I’m not so good at swimming. I guess I could rate my effort as pretty good, and I really tried my best.

Dunununun (CSI Blog Write-up)

Screenshot from 2014-12-18 08:41:12

Ooh, Isn’t this exciting??? I’m going to write a blog about CSI!!! Okay, so I’m not actually talking about the kind of CSI you’re thinking about and writing this isn’t actually super duper exciting and I just wrote something with that title to make you read it. THIS CSI doesn’t have to do with crime but rather, with vocabulary. In this case, CSI stands for Color Symbol Image. In class we were introduced to CSI and it’s where you have to define a word and show what comes to your mind when you think about the word. You have to show the color you think about when you hear the word, and you have to have a symbol and image to represent the word. For all these things, you have to clearly explain why you chose that color/symbol/image.

Screenshot from 2014-12-18 08:39:23                                    Radom CSI I found on Google Images.


We just recently did CSI’s in class, but this time, there couldn’t be any words on our CSI and we had to do it on Google Drawings. We’re also to explain it later by talking. On my CSI, I chose to show the word I chose to do a CSI on as well, without any words to show it, so I had four boxes for my CSI (below).

Screenshot from 2014-12-18 08:36:42


My CSI is on the word “labor“. The definition is, “(n) human effort used to produce goods and services; (v) to work; (adj) requiring considerable time and effort“. I chose to show the word labor by the image on the top left corner. You can see a stick man and a cow. Just so you know, it’s not a cow and it’s actually a wild boar (the teeth shows the difference). There’s a red arrow pointed to the man. On there, I was actually trying to show the man laying down. “To lay”. I drew all this to show the word “labor”, because when you say those two images out loud, it should come out as “lay” and “boar”. “Lay, boar”.


The color I chose to show the word with is white. When I hear the word “labor”, I know it means “work”. When you work, you sweat. What color is sweat? White, I guess? Close enough. So I chose to show the word with white, to show labor in the color of sweat that comes from all the effort you make when you labor.


On the bottom left corner, you could see something that looks like meat and sausages or something. I was trying to draw a fist, alright? The fist is my symbol for labor. It shows effort as well, just like sweat. I didn’t want to draw sweat because it would just look like water, and also I didn’t want to repeat the idea of sweat or anything, so I draw a fist which also came to my mind when I thought about the word. Like sweat, it shows the same things. Effort. Strength. You make effort and your strength comes out when you work/labor.


The image that I’m representing labor with shows a circle with small rectangles on it on top of an ant. That circle is supposed to be a cookie with sprinkles and the ant is supposed to be carrying it, not balancing it like a pro (I tried). There is also a big ant head in a puffy cloud with small circles below it. The ant head is clearly decapitated from its body and for some reason, there is a drop of water next to that ant head. No, the head isn’t decapitated but zoomed in on and the puffy white cloud is actually the ant’s thought bubble. The drop of water is actually sweat, but cartoon sweat, so it’s blue. The ant is thinking about the fact that he’s tired. He’s carrying a cookie back to the nest and he’s working. This image shows labor, because it shows the ant working, and working hard too.

Killing Me Slowly (End of Semester Reflection – Algebra Class)

Algebra is one of my hardest and most tiring classes. One of my best successes this semester in Algebra was understanding how to graph a system of inequalities correctly because it took me forever to clearly understand how (learning it was really foggy for some reason…I couldn’t really remember all the important things that’s part of solving the equations) to graph a system of inequalities and when I DID understand how, I was really happy, proud, and felt like it was one of my best successes.


Something that I found challenging was definitely graphing a system of inequalities. If finally understanding it was one of my best successes, then it should have been challenging. I’m not really a person that likes to graph and when I DO graph, I’m just super slow. Mostly, if the problem where I had to graph was difficult, I probably would have gotten it wrong. I’m already pretty bad at graphing, and now I have to use two equations to find where points are on a graph. THAT’S ALSO HARD. So, I took forever working on this skill, getting most of it, A LOT OF IT wrong. I also clicked on the “show me how” option a lot, because I just wanted to see the answer, compare it to my answer, and move on because for each time, I thought I understood it enough. Nope, I didn’t. All of this repeated as I did it again and again until finally, I decided to read the steps taken to solve it in “show me how” because I couldn’t take it anymore and…why not? Amazing choice. Why didn’t I decide to do that before? *dull face* *facepalm* Anyway, I read it, I finally correctly understood it, and that greatly helped me to solve all the problems and get them right too.


I’ve really improved in graphing a system of inequalities (again) because after I’ve compared myself at first (before I really understood how to do it) to now (after I’ve understood it), I could see a huge difference. At first, I failed almost every problem and couldn’t get three consecutive correct answers. I was really bad at it, literally. I took an incredibly long time to get the points for the graph (and a lot of times those points weren’t the right points), forgot to flip the inequality sign when dividing a negative, really forgot about using the slope to find a point by using it to find the rise and run, didn’t KNOW the slope in the equation was the variable with x…you get the idea. Let’s just say I was really ignorant on this topic and bad at it. But then after I studied the steps and finally understood it, I remembered to do everything that I did wrong above, did it right, and it didn’t take me that much time to solve it. I even learned things I didn’t know before.


An area I need to work on is basically anything that has to do with negative numbers, algebra, and graphing. Although I succeeded with graphing a system of inequalities, I sometimes still make mistakes, careless or confused, with negative numbers, anything algebra, and graphing. I’m just not that good with these topics and I know I’ll get something wrong at some point. So, I need to work on it until I know that I won’t get something wrong at some point.


In Algebra this semester, I surprised myself by knowing how to do all the things I learned in algebra, because I learned so many things that I would’ve been like “Wahhhhhhhhh?? I don’t get anything.” if I was told to solve it at the beginning of the Semester. Also, it’s pretty hard to keep track of so many topics. I surprised myself especially by FINALLY SOLVING THE PROBLEMS OF GRAPHING A SYSTEM OF INEQUALITIES, because you can see the difference above of before and after I understood how to solve it and you can tell that when I finally understood how to solve it, I was surprised that I understood it and did it right. I’m actually surprised I solved almost everything correctly.


Something that helped me this semester was www.khanacademy.org with its “show me how” options. That really explained to me the things I didn’t understand and helped me grow as a learner. Something that would help me for the remainder of the year or next year is www.khanacademy.org with its “show me how” options. If it helped me well and a lot before, it would continue to be great help for the rest of the year, unless they decide to shut down the website. That won’t help.


WE’RE DONE! So proud ;) *wipes tears*

WE FINALLY FINISHED MAKING OUR VEHICLE 😀 !! I learned that planning clearly for the vehicle first was really important and that it’s hard to agree on ideas as a group, since we argued a lot on how to make the vehicle. I learned that it’s very difficult and complicated and that we should have used a nail and a hammer to poke the holes in the wheels before since that worked well for another group and we had a lot of problems with the wheels. Instead of a nail and hammer, we used scissors and knives (the ones used to sharpen pencils) to put holes in our plastic bottle wheels and later, we simply changed to cardboard wheels. This is also what I would’ve told the group to do differently if we were to do this project again (and if we used plastic bottle caps), since there were a lot of tries to make the vehicle successfully work, we made six different prototypes that didn’t work the way we planned, and our vehicle changed a lot from our original plan. If I did this project again, I would also try to make the plastic bottle vehicle idea work since we had to change it and make it a cardboard vehicle in order for it to work or maybe I’d just make a more simple vehicle with my group from the start. This also applies for if I had a chance to do another project like this one, and if I WERE to, I’d try to make it able to move on water. In this project, I learned that Newton’s Three Laws of Motion are really important when creating the vehicle since a lot of factors affected the way the vehicle worked and it was hard coming up with what to do to the vehicle to make it able to demonstrate all three laws. I also learned that Newton was a very smart man to come up with these three laws because they make sense. They speak the truth!!!

Screenshot from 2014-12-16 08:19:20

PRO-TO-TYPE!!! (Newton Vehicle Blog Post #2)

How does our vehicle incorporate the three laws of motion? Well, let me explain. It represents the first law, the law of inertia, because it wouldn’t move without the balloon since the balloon has air in it and the air pushes off the walls of the balloon, creates a force that comes out of the opening, acts on the vehicle, and makes it move. It incorporates the first law because the force coming from the balloon is the nonzero force that acts upon the object (the vehicle) and makes it move. Without the balloon and most importantly, the air in it, the vehicle wouldn’t move, but rather, stay at rest. Because our vehicle moves at the rate it’s moving at, it shows the second law. It doesn’t move incredibly fast or incredibly slow because it has mass, but not too much or too little. That’s why it moves at the rate it’s moving at, because of its mass and the net force applied. If it was lighter (instead of a bottle, the body is a thin piece of cardboard), it would move faster. If it was heavier (now it’s a rock) it would move slower. Okay, so you’re still wondering how the vehicle includes the third law of motion. Well, it moves on the ground. Why doesn’t it fall through the ground? Because the ground is applying an equal but opposite force on it. Also, the sticks (that connect the wheels) under the bottle don’t break when the bottle is left on top of them and is pushing on them because the they are applying an equal but opposite force on the bottle.

Screenshot from 2014-12-12 18:05:04 Screenshot from 2014-12-12 18:03:29

OOOOOH…New Facts & Vocabulary!! :O (Newton Vehicle Project #1)

In science, we learned about physics, including vocabulary. Three of the vocab words are inertia, friction, and gravity. Inertia is “the resistance to change in motion”. It is the property where an object’s going to keep going until an unbalanced force acts on it, or a non-moving object wouldn’t move unless some force does something to make it move. The second word, friction, is “the force that two objects exert on each other when they rub against one another”. So if two objects have a lot of friction, they have a lot of force being exerted between them, making them harder to move. The last word, gravity, is “a force that pulls objects toward each other”. So when you’re falling, gravity is pulling you toward the ground. It doesn’t pull you toward the ceiling because Earth is larger, so the gravitational pull between you and Earth is stronger. It’s just like a big magnet and a small magnet; the big one is stronger than the small one so the piece of metal would come toward the big one.


We also learned about Newton’s Three Laws of Motion. The first law is also known as the law of inertia and it explains that an object would not start moving or stop moving unless an accelerating combination of two or more forces acts upon and makes it move or stops it. The second law states that an object that has more mass would need more force than an object with less mass. Lastly, the third law states that if there are two objects and if one exerts force on the other object, the second object reacts with an equal though opposite force. In class, we are making vehicles in groups that are to demonstrate Newton’s Three Laws and I think that it is important to keep inertia and mass in mind because these topics are really essential to our project. We need to know what could cause our vehicle to start moving (that aren’t motors, batteries, or us helping it move in any way) and that’s important because it’s what powers our vehicle so that it could move the requirement of at least 1.5 meters. When making sure it could move that far, we should keep mass in mind and create a vehicle with little mass, but still able to demonstrate the second law.

Screenshot from 2014-12-08 22:20:50

More: Lucid Chart (the link to our full vehicle brainstorm)

Pacman’s Revenge (Scratch Game Robotics and Coding)

Pacman’s Revenge At first, I had no idea which game to make and I struggled with thinking of one. IT WAS SO HARD and it was KILLING MY BRAIN since I couldn’t think of any originals and when I thought about remixing games, I thought they were either going to turn out as a boring game or too hard to make. I didn’t want to think way too much on my game and I wanted to make it fun and simple. And then a classic game that I sometimes played when I was bored came to my mind: Pacman.


At first I was like, “Nawwww, no thanks” to the idea of making the game, but then, I thought that the idea was pretty cool and started thinking of remixes I could make with Pacman. After a while, I shook the idea away again and focused on thinking of something else. That took about 10 minutes. Still nothing much. So, I came back to the idea of remixing Pacman and after a while, I finally decided that I would do it.


The first thought that I had on remixing the game was remixing Pacman with the gun game that Mr. Bertoia gave us on the Scratch site as one of the classic game examples. I thought that maybe instead of the ghosts having the most power, Pacman should be Mister Supreme. Then I thought that instead of eating the white things, Pacman should shoot them out of his mouth like bullets from a gun. Then I also thought of the meteor game (another classic example from the site) and thought that maybe I should have the ghosts rushing in from one side and Pacman would be shooting from the other side. But then, I thought that was TOO simple, so I made myself first just draw sprites instead.


I drew and drew and drew all the sprites and backgrounds and when I was done, I had a complicated background. Because I had a complicated background now, I changed my ideas almost completely and my game became WAY more complicated than my original plan of it. I don’t know what happened, but I ended up with over 50 sprites and a lot of scripts. I guess it was possible to make myself stop being so lazy and do more. I now had a game that had Pacman able to move around, deadly walls that could kill Pacman, ghosts that could also move around but only to a particular destination and being able to shoot ammo that could kill Pacman, and more.


However, I did have quite some difficulties in the process of creating my game (which I fixed later on). For example, the ghosts kept reappearing even after I scripted them to stay hidden and I found out that it was because “hide” wasn’t in a forever loop. The ghosts’s ammo also kept reappearing later and I found out that it was because I scripted some other things which I forgot were there that interfered with that. Pacman’s ammo also kept shooting in the wrong direction or shooting too much and too far at first and I fixed that by shortening the distance that the ammo could shoot and changing up the scripts. I had a little bit of help from Mr. Bertoia from fixing these problems, but I mostly fixed them myself. My last problem with time. Pretty much everyone finished and I was really behind and I felt freaked out since we were on the next unit and I still wasn’t done. Luckily, Mr. Bertoia gave us people that didn’t finish extra time and that was amazing because by using that time, I FINISHED.

Overall, I am really proud of my game because I never thought I could create a game like that and was amazed that I actually finished (when I strongly believed it was impossible) and it really worked. I am proud of all I did on the game and that I actually successfully corrected my wrongs on the game (overcame difficulties). Please, check out and try my game below! If it has problems, just press the green flag again. If it’s slow on here, go to the link below.

Orrrr….play here: http://scratch.mit.edu/projects/35263468/#player


We got a lot accomplished today in class, continuing to work on our sculptures. I finished making the mold for my sculpture and now, I was moving on to covering it in plaster. First, I dipped the pieces of plaster in water and then, I put it on the sculpture made of paper and tape and smoothed it out around it. Around and around, for the whole rest of the class. It was really fun and my work space ended up REALLLLY powdery 😛 Again, I hope I continue to progress very well as I work on my sculpture.