Tuesday, April 11, 2017

National History Day Reflection

     For our National History Day project, I made a group website with three other members, describing how Alexander Hamilton took a stand in history. We went over his early life and his major life accomplishments. These include his work towards the financial system of the U.S. and the writing of the Federalist Papers. Our group decided on making a website because we believed we would all be most effective on a website due to our set of skills.
     Our group did not make it to the state competitions because of the ruling the judges gave us. One of the points where we missed the mark, was where we were supposed to relate our topic to the theme, taking a stand in history. After we saw the grading, we all came to the realization that we could have related to the theme more on our website. Therefore, we all agreed with what they gave us, although we are sad that we got the grain the first place. We all learned something from what they told us, and we'll use that information to further improve any new project that comes our way.
     The most interesting thing we learned while researching our topic, was just how much Alexander Hamilton accomplished in his short life. He died at the age of 47 with so many things under his belt. He served as an important figure in the revolutionary war, he fought for the existence of the Constitution, and he fought all opposition for one of the strongest financial systems in the world. His life's work was for a strong Federal Government, and I believe we got it. It's so disheartening to hear that such an intelligent and innovative man died so young, with so many things he could have still done with a longer life. That is by far the most interesting thing I learned.
     The hardest part of our project was definitely all working together efficiently and without procrastination. I feel like if we all buckled down and worked out hardest till the very end, we would have made it to state, but now all we can do is learn from our past mistakes. Nearing the end of our project, we came across some problems without annotated bibliographies and website. These came to be a big problem for a couple days. We had to virtually remake all of our bibliographies and fix the. Then our website also kind of messed itself up, so we had to fix that. In the end, we were faced with many complications.
     I improved as a student in many ways because of this project. I learned a bit more on how to be a successful team member, and how to work and communicate effectively with a team.I also learned just how much I can procrastinate, which is something I definitely need to keep working on. Finally, I learned that you only get out, what you put in. If we put more effort and time in our project, we could have made it to state.
     We could improve our project by relating each written section and page back to the main theme, taking a stand in history. This was definitely a huge oversight for us. This area was where we lost some points during the grading. Also, we could have refined our website more to make it as crisp, clean, and smooth as possible while still being unique. Maybe this is just me being critical, but I still feel like our website still looks unrefined and clunky.
     What I'm most proud of during our project, is near the end of it. When we were nearing the final due date of the project, we all quickyl shifted gears and worked overtime to make up the time we lost. We worked in class and outside to get everything we could done and ready to go. I'm really proud of my group for doing this and accomplishing the project in time with a respectable end product.

Tuesday, November 29, 2016

8th Grade GOAL Independent Project Reflection

     This year for my independent project, my topic was on the idea of free energy, and renewable energy sources. I talked about what free energy and how we would need to achieve it. Also, one of the big aspects of my project was on the concept of perpetual motion machines, which makes there own energy out of nothing. I presented all of this through a prezi slideshow, with help of one very basic model of a perpetual motion machine. What I like most about my project, was how unique and important the topic is to the whole world. What would the world be like if we had free energy or infinite energy. The idea behind my project pertains to everyone and to the future. The hardest part about my project was finding legitimate resources and cites. Especially on the internet, there are a lot of websites that seem to be made my some less than sane people, and even though what some of it says may be interesting or maybe even true, It's just too hard to tell.
     This project was probably my favorite out of all of mine, and I feel as though I learned the most from it. Not just about the topic itself, but as a learner or student. During this project, I'm proud to say that I did not procrastinate as much as I normally do, even though I still procrastinated far too much. I feel like as I'm getting older, my procrastination is becoming less of a problem, but rather more of tool to use to think of new creative ideas, by letting my brain sub-consciously think on things. If I were to do my whole project over again, I think I would make more models of perpetual motion machines. My first very basic model was a very good idea in my opinion, and my project would have been even more engaging if had even just one more. Also, if I made enough, I could have replaced the video that showed a bunch of perpetual motion machines entirely with just the ones that I had made. That concludes my reflection on my independent project, below I've embedded my presentation.

Monday, October 3, 2016

Shakespeare Unit Reflection

     For the last couple of weeks we've been learning about Shakespeare and his different works. When we were first told out unit was going to be shakespeare, I think the majority of the class felt as if it were going to be boring. But right after the first assignment, which was creating our own shakespearean insult, we all changed our minds and really looked forward to the rest of the unit. My favorite insult from the class was "Paunchy Ill-neutered Malt-Worm". The play that we we're going to be or not to be focusing on was The Taming of the Shrew, and when learning about the story and meaning of the play, the question our teacher made was if in the end Kate was really tamed. I believe that Kate was only trying to get back at the widow and Hortensio, and even her family who insulted her for calling her a shrew. Or maybe that her and Petruchio were just continuing they're little sun and moon game. You can never tame a shrew such as Kate, she's too wild and fiery.
     To this day, and possible far into the future, I think that we should continue to teach and learn about Shakespeare. His works laid down the foundation of a large amount of the literature and stories that exist today, and without his innovations, how world would be a very different place. We need Shakespeare's revolutionary works. This concludes my post on our Shakespeare unit.

Wednesday, August 24, 2016

2016-2017 1st Blog Post

     With the new school year kicking off, I have three big goals for myself. In school, I wanna get all A's and get at least a 3.8 GPA by the end of the year. I want to make my self a more well rounded, caring and fun person to be around. I want to expand my knowledge and experience of the world. Also work on cutting down on my procrastination which is a problem of mine. Gaining or improving my good work ethic. Overall making myself better as a person. My grades are really important to me, I want to be able to have a nice education and go to nice college, hopefully Ivy League. One day when I figure out my profession I'll be educated and set for that career path i'm passionate about. The goals I have for myself as a person are equally important, I always want to make myself better. My character and traits and improving myself as a person, having a good ethic, and making me the best me I can be is the foundation i'll use to fulfill my other goals. Along the way, maybe I can improve my bad habits like procrastination. Ok that's all I got for y'all today.

Thursday, June 2, 2016

Breakout Box Reflection

       A breakout box is an activity in which there is a box that's locked shut by multiple combination or letter locks etc. You're aim is too open each lock by means of solving clues and learning the combination, or finding a key. Inside the box is reward of some kind or whatever the builder of the breakout box wishes. For the last portion of the year in GOAL, this is what we did, we solved other groups' breakout boxes, and even designed our own for others to solve. For our class, there were three groups of four. Each team was tasked to design and plan their own breakout box, It was challenging and really fun. Also, there are some skills or attributes a person may want that can make the process of solving the breakout box easier and/or more fun for everybody. First, it's really helpful if you think outside of the box. In some cases in our class, we could have gotten past a clue quicker if we took a second to think about the clue in a new light or perspective, or maybe stopped analyzing it too deeply. Some of the clues we stuck on the longest had a somewhat simple solution but we overthought it too much. One other quick skill is that you can easily cooperate and work with other people. This activity is much easier if you work as a team, and complete it as a team. You can be much more efficient if you develop strategies.
       A skill that helps in the design of a breakout box, is creativity. This can make the whole box more fun and challenging. Also, the ability to put yourself in others shoes is very important. Because when you build a box, you understand how to open your locks and understand your clues. But when you're actually trying to solve it without any prior knowledge, it is much harder. There were several cases where this happened in our boxes, this made it frustrating for the builders to watch the solvers over complicate or be looking in the wrong direction. When the the other students were solving our box, they did quite a bit right. They separated into groups working on different clues, and one kid even completed 2/4 locks without anyone even noticing. They solved the clues that we expected to be a bit challenging. But, of course there were things our group was cringing over. For instance, one of the starting clues leads to one of the number locks. Our group expected it to be one of the first ones they get and it to be rather simple. It took them maybe 5-10 minutes and were looking in all the wrong places. And the final clue was definitely the simplest to solve, and they sat there for maybe 15 minutes over complicating it. Although, they're not completely at fault, our clues weren't perfect and sometimes were coincidental sometimes leading them to another answer that we weren't even aware of.
       I think a good topic for a breakout box, is one where we have some prior knowledge or have learned about in our class earlier in the year. This was the case for the Mark Twain breakout box. I believe a good topic would be the Stock Market. Despite everyone griping over that unit in our class, I think with the right clues, it would be challenging and maybe a little bit fun. Hope you enjoyed reading..... The end.

Tuesday, May 17, 2016

Hannibal Field Trip Reflection

       For our 7th grade GOAL class' 4th quarter unit, we have been learning about Mark Twain and his books. We first did a web quest to learn everything we could about Mark Twain and his life, career, and writing. In our groups, we each had to read certain chapters in the book The Adventures of Tom Sawyer. After we made a presentation using the information we gathered, we watched a 40 minute documentary further explaining his life. After that, our teacher Mrs. Edlin read the chapters we read previously, aloud. To finish it all off, we had our annual GOAL field trip, which in this case was to Hannibal, Missouri. This was Mark Twain's childhood home. In our field trip we visited museums, Mark Twain's childhood home, and the famous cave Tom Sawyer got lost in. As well as various general stores, and even an ice cream parlor.
       When we arrived, we went into this information center telling us about all the spots to go, they pointed us out to Tom Blankenship's house. Tom is the real life person Huckleberry Finn in Mark Twain's books is based off of.  We then continued to museums and stores, until we got to a trolley that shows tourists around the city, and tells some history. That lasted about an hour. Once we got back, we quickly rode the bus over to where the famous caves talked about in The Adventures of Tom Sawyer, were located. We first had lunch at a nearby park, and when we finished we headed into the caves. The tour guide guided us around the illuminated and public parts of the cave, telling jokes and clever anecdotes along the way. Then to end a great day, we drove back to town and visited a candy store and an ice cream parlor. We even visited the lighthouse on a giant hill overlooking the Mississippi. There are about 300 steps to get to the top, which was...... tiring to say the least.
       I think the most educational part was the second museum. We got to learn about his life,  which we've already done, but the museum added interest because you could interact with some of the exhibits. I learned about his life as a cub pilot, seeing and using a steamboat wheel, and the corresponding whistle.
       I think the most fun part of the trip was by far the caves, the tour guide made it so interesting and fun. Traversing the caves was all by itself amazing, the atmosphere was great. The caves were fascinating, it had such a rich history. He talked about how Jesse James' posse could have potentially lived there for a time. Their evidence fore this claim is that in one of the corridors the cave, you can see his signature on the wall.
       One thing I would change for next years class, is that I would rather have gone on a steam boat then the trolley. Although the trolley was cool, and learned some cool facts, and some some cool sights, like Lover's Leap. The boat seems maybe more interesting or engaging, and it could get to more interesting locations and angles. Although, riding on a steam boat on the Mississippi could distract us. One more thing I would change, is that if possible, not sure if it is or not, I would have liked to visit more places mentioned in the book, like maybe turtle island. That would be really cool.
       My previous knowledge of Mark Twain really helped me understand some of the things I heard and learned. I could also appreciate it a little more because I had some basic understanding. For instance, I never could have enjoyed the caves as much if I didn't hear the Tom Sawyer story that goes with it. The story of Tom and Becky getting lost in the dank dark caves, and how they eventually met Injun Joe. It made the experience more enjoyable.