During the first quarter, the first major unit that we were suppose to do was the Journalism unit. We were to write our article on any topic that we liked individually in 2 weeks. Though a lot of the unit was very straightforward and simple to follow, there were a lot of times where I felt challenged. The most challenging out of all though was working together as a group. Working in a group means you have more brains,  which means more ideas. This might sound pretty good, but ideas can be to diverse. If too many people have too many different ideas, it is hard to use all of them in one small paper. Sometimes our group had to cut out of a lot of ideas which caused some tension.

Aside from all the troubles that I had, I had numerous achievements during the project. One of them was writing like a journalist. A lot of writings that I've done in the past allowed opinions, which I soon got used to, so formal writings weren't too common for me. I was surprised of how little trouble I had of trying to adapt to this new kind of writing. 

A personal goal that I would like to achieve this year is getting straight A's for every subject that I study.

In the Renaissance Fair, my topic was dissections during the Renaissance and how it helped change medicine and health care. There were two parts to my presentation, the slides and the interactive component. The slides had the question that I was going to answer for the viewers. It was also a tool for me to remind myself what to talk about. My interactive component was a little matching activity. I gave them a drawing of a normal person. I told them to point out any organs they might know and their location. After that, I gave them another drawing of a person, but this time we could se his internal organs. I did the same thing that I did with my first drawing and you could clearly that the kids had a better score than before. A lot of kids asked me if this was how dissections helped doctors, and this makes me feel good because that was the point of my presentation.

In the role playing game, I picked the role of a butcher during the Renaissance. My goal in the game was to hire or get someone to help me with my buisness because I am very busy. I got extremely lucky on my dice rolls and completed my goal during the first time we played it. Though I was just having a fun time, I also learned a lot. One of the most important things that I learned was that there were guilds during the Renaissance that specifies in different things. These different guilds are put into 3 catagories; major guilds, middle guilds and minor guilds. It was all in all a great experience and it was also very educational at the same time.

The don't panic video is a video where we show changes into the world's economy. We used a website called Gapminder and used a graph making tool on it. I made a graph that shows the increase in GDP vs. babies per woman. An interesting fact that I found was that when a country's GDP rises, the woman in that country produces less babies. The video will help me make better decisions in the future because having less people to care for will make me richer.

In Language Arts, our job in the Dragon’s Apprentice is to aid the 6th graders by helping them find an organization to donate all the money made to. Last year when we did it, everyone would pick a random group to donate to. How it works it that every Language Arts class would split into small group, and each of those groups would pitch an organization the the whole grade. After that everyone vote for the ones they like, and the videos narrowed down to 5 videos that would be sent to the 6th grades where they would get the final votes.

This Monday, Dao, Pete Bridget and I made a tutorial video giving for 6th graders doing Dragon’s Apprentice about group work. Since we all did Dragon’s Apprentice or other things involving teamwork, we now how a good team operates. In the video, we listed a few dos and don’ts when working with a group. Number one tip is to avoid getting distracted and going off task. Most of the work during Dragon’s Apprentice is on your computer. The Internet is a useful tool, but can easily lead you off to things you shouldn’t be doing. It is better to use your time wisely rather than waiting until the last second. This will make your rush and make a lot of mistakes. The second thing is share the work among your team equally. No one should have all the weight on their shoulders while others go do their own thing. This will only give the person too much stress which will result to nothing getting done. Last but not least, everyone should have a voice in the group. If you see a person that seems that they're taking the spotlight way to much, tell them to stop in a polite way and suggest him/her to let others have an chance to speak up.

These tips are based on my experiences from last year. We had quite a rough time trying to do all the orders because only Leann had the materials to make the bracelets, which left us of believing in Leann making all of the orders by herself. That is why you have to somehow share the workload equally among everyone.



Lately, we've been working on building a water filter. Some of the guidelines for the build was that the materials had to be cheap, accessible, and at a small size. The sample water after getting filtered through our filters had to have

  • A pH between 6-8
  • No turbidity
  • No salt
  • No copper

After doing some researching online about possible builds, we came across one that uses natural resources. The reason that this idea caught our eye was because it fits the criteria. The materials were sand, gravel, charcoal, cloth, and a plastic water bottle. All the materials listed are accessible and cheap. After building, we tested our filter using the river water behind the school. We got all sediment filtered out and there were no visible objects inside of the water. Our ppm dropped from 600 ppm to between 100-200 ppm. The amount of salt decreased by only about 10% and our pH remained at 3. Now that we got our information, we now know that if we redesigned it, we have to get rid of copper and salt. We also have to try to get our pH to neutral.

In the end, we have not yet gotten rid of copper salt and get a pH level between 6-8. Though we got rid of most of the turbidity, which was good. 


Video: The video file was too big for the blog so I uploaded it to YouTube

To start with, I had to choose 1 out 3 poems that I made during the unit we did on poems. It was even harder when 2 of them are both suitable for making a digital poem. After some time, I finally chose "Loss" since it's quite emotional, and with pictures can really enhance the poem.

I was really proud of my editing because when I watched it, every part of the audio matches the pictures. The captions and everything also wasn't too long and sectioned pretty well. The kind of music that I wanted to choose was already planted in my head from the beginning of time. Since the poem contains a lot of depressing and sad things, I want a piece of music that would provoke the audience's emotions.  I wish my voice wasn't like reading off a paper and in some way enhance the poem.

The only advice I have for future students doing this assignment is that plan out everything. Plan out your music, section your poem beforehand, write down how you're going to use your voice at specific parts, everything!