Letter to Middle School Teachers

Monday, June 18th, 2012

 

Dear Middle School Teachers and Principals,

My name is Sarah.  I have been living in Vancouver most of my life and lived in Paris for second and third grade. Coming from Mexico, my parents instilled into me the beauty of language. In addition to English I can speak Spanish and French. I cherish creative writing and am fascinated by the beauty of language. I love photography because it allows you to capture a moment’s beauty, pain and emotion.   Living in Paris, even if it was just for two years changed the way I saw art and culture, going to art museums, especially contemporary, is tantalizing. Language and the arts are an important part of my life and hope to include them in my education in the middle school.

 

Over this past unit I have learned a heap about myself. Particularly I feel that I have always known, I just never acknowledged it and used it to my advantage.  Listening to voice or sound is the way I learn best because I am an aural learner.  In a classroom setting this is applicable by listening to lectures. Being an aural learner coincides with musical intelligence, I am musically intelligent, but unfortunately music is not always applicable in a classroom. Since music relates to the how you hear, getting explanations orally is the most efficient way to learn.  I prefer working in solitude and appreciate reflections of self. Being intrapersonal gives me an advantage of knowing myself well.

 

Generally, I do quite well in school, but sometimes I end up doing a whole project on one night because of lacking organization. Next year in the middle school, organization goes up to a whole new level, so I really have it step it up. If this year it seems tough, next year organization is vital so you don’t hit rock bottom. As this year comes to an end and the next starts approaching I am going to plan out which days I am going to be doing certain assignments varying on their due dates. I am going to start improving now so in the middle school I will already have the routine of planning out tasks.

 

Next year because of the new choice of electives my hobbies will be able to be more applied at school. Embracing my passion for creative writing, I hope to join a creative writing class therefore my writing will improve. Hopefully a wider audience will take the joy of reading them. Continuing the co-curriculars I am doing now is also something I look forward to. Both in grade 5 and 6 I have been playing the flute in concert band, next year I hope to play more and improve my technique and the variety of pieces I can play. Leadership has also been a significant part of my grade 6 experience and in the middle school I want to join the leadership club to volunteer and generally help out around the community. Giving a helping hand is going to be a huge element of my middle school years.

Sincerely,

Sarah

Kes Narrative: A Glimpse of Happiness

After watching the 1969 British movie  Kes we wrote a sequel to the story. I enjoyed this project because I love writing and this year we haven’t had many assignments that included creative writing. While writing i realized that because of the main character’s (Billy Caper) social background and his family, he wasn’t going to get many opportunities in the future.  He had been momentarily happy because of the love for his bird, Kes, that had been killed. So i thought to create another characters that would bring him happiness and I created a short love story.

Click here to read the short narrative.

Visual Representation

During the unit, Who We Are our main focuses were learning styles and multiple intelligence. The reason we did this was so in the middle school we will know ourselves better and know which way we learn best. The visual representation was a way to once we knew what were our learning styles and multiple intelligences show that we comprehended it well. It gave me time to research a bit more on my aural learning style and my high intelligence musically, intrapersonally and linguistically. Also it me gave a chance to show what i knew. I strongly I enjoyed painting the canvas and making the collage which is in the middle of the canvas.

Reflection After Exhibition: A Journey Into The Unknown

Always after big projects we have to reflect. Reflecting is a great way to simply acknowledge what you did right and what you did wrong. When writing a reflection i look back and rethink everything, if we didn’t do reflections we would never really comprehend what all of the projects were for.

A Journey Into the Unknown

Exhibition is over; one of the biggest academic journeys in my life is done. I’ve ended with a new understanding, not only of child labour, but other things as well. What it means to be a 21st century learner, being able to use a variety of sources and incorporate technology into a final display of your findings.  I learned also how to make presentations more informational, engaging, thought-provoking and inspiring your audience to take action as well.  Most importantly what I could improve for presentations in the future.

 

Our group was very difficult, at first all hope seemed lost, but eventually we were able to work collaboratively. The first couple of sessions, we would sit in silence, there was absolutely no collaboration, and my initial excitement had disappeared. When we decided what was to guide our research, things went smoothly, and the results were excellent. When we started the actual research it was a complete mess, one member’s was all historical facts, we thought our research was done, but when we read it, what went through our minds was “This doesn’t have anything to do with our questions.” After that realization was when the real researching started, firstly on the Google doc I organized all of our existing research and typed the questions for everyone to classify their research. Since we took our research seriously and finally gathered lots of info, the presentation was fairly easy to make. Overall, I feel that I largely improved on the ability to research and have direction.

 

The night of exhibition was one of the most nerve-racking experiences I’ve had yet. Our presentation showed depth and had tons of information. Action was an element, which wasn’t explained and we weren’t engaging our audience. I would give our exhibition Practitioner because action was an element which wasn’t explained. Watching The Plastic Vortex is how I came up with these conclusions because their presentation highlighted action, their audience was engaged and was kept thinking about what they could do.  I was happy with my presentation but more action and audience interaction would have made our presentation more interesting for the viewer.

 

I remember last year, I got to be an ambassador and at that time I never actually thought to myself that I would have to do this as well. For the future grade 6s, if they do enough research and have a clear understanding their exhibition will go smoothly, if not, unnecessary difficultly will be added towards creating a presentation.  It is very important to really make the audience think about the topic by asking questions on their perspective. Principally you have to know your information inside and out.

 

Exhibition has been a powerful journey.  This experience has opened my eyes to a world that I’ve never seen before.  It improved my research and presentation skills that will help me for the rest of my life.  Exhibition has showed me how fast time is going, when I look back to a couple of years ago, I realize how I’ve changed as a person and I’m growing to be a citizen of the world.

The Monolouge for Exhibition

In exhibition it is required for you to have a performance aspect of your presentation. While researching I had read many shocking stories about child labourers. I combined the stories and created my own short monologue. The reason i decided to write a short monologue was because the stories of former child labourers are shocking and touching. After reading these stories you see a more personal side to the issue instead of statistics. I could never bear living in the conditions they live in.

It’s been a while since my father died, since I’ve been sent with this strange lady. She said I would be going to school…I guess not.  I’ve been cleaning and washing this house for 3 long years, instead. How I wish I could go to school! Whenever I made a mistake she beat me. Now I’m at a new lady’s house, she’s supposed to take care of me.  I work 16 hours a day washing and cleaning. Yesterday, my new “parents” left home; while they were gone their son ate a roll. When they saw the roll, gone, her face turned a bright red. I was scared; they were surely to blame me.  I lied and said that I had eaten it. What would happen to me? The boy’s father pulled me away into a room, and slowly heated a knife in the charcoal of hot fire. What will he do? Raced through my mind. I squeezed my eyes tight shut, and then I felt a scorching pain in my arms and legs, then a rising burn in my lips.  I had to get out! I rushed out the door, ignoring the smoldering pain all over my body. I was out. Would I ever be valued?  Would I ever end this horror of abuse? Would I ever get an education? Would I ever find a better life?

Exhibition Written Component

For exhibition we had to chose one topic that related to our UOI: Sharing the planet.  Mostly everyone chose environmental topics but, no one looked at the part of the Unit that was about equal opportunities. So my group and i did child labour.  In the beginning once we got a handle on what we were going to be researching, was the time to write the written component of exhibiton, which is supposed to include in what directions you’re going in. The lines of inquiry were what guided your reasearch throughout exhibition as well as your final presentation.

Written Component:

In this paper I’ll be talking about the direction my group on child labour is going in for our exhibition presentation. By extensive research, my group and I were inspired by the horrific conditions that an estimated 218 million children around the world are suffering in. What caused my group the most curiosity was, why does something so terrible, that is a violation of human rights, exist? Hopefully at the end, the true meaning of child labour will be acknowledged.

 

Our first line of inquiry was “An inquiry into the treatment of child labourers and how it affects their future” and centered on child labourer’s futures being ruined.  Reading all the mistreatment of children was alarming. Physical, sexual and verbal abuse, can leave the victims permanently injured, make them feel worthless and in some cases attempt suicide. The problem is that millions of children aren’t getting an education due to having to take a job for the needs of their family. When they grow older they can’t get a well-paid job that supports their family and have to get their children to quit school to get a job. At the end of the research it became clear that child labour continues the cycle of poverty that ceases to break.

 

Our second inquiry was “An inquiry into how child labour has an impact on the economy of developing countries.” Child labour impedes the accumulation of human capital because of kids not being able to get an education, that’ll allow them to purse a job. Even with physical labour, most child labour is unskilled that doesn’t allow children to acquire the skills necessary, as well many children will be severely injured or their bodies will weaken after hard labour as children. What will happen is that in the future few people will be qualified for certain jobs. If child labour isn’t stopped the economy of many countries will crash in the future.

 

Our final and third line of inquiry is “An inquiry into our responsibility for the children in developing countries that are used for child labour.”The fact is that many kids from 1st world countries aren’t aware of the growing issue of child labour.  Our responsibility as children is to learn about it and develop awareness. The responsibility of governments around the world is to instead of wasting all of their money on warfare to spend a bit on the problem of poverty. We all have a responsibility.

After exhibition, I have gained a greater understanding of child labour. A childhood in labour erases children’s futures; education is a key for a brighter future.  Everyone should have awareness about child labour. Children are the future, we have take care of them.

 

Sleeping Sickness

We  created either a prezi or a glogster to show our knowledge of a specific disease after reasearching it for a period of time. I chose African Trypanosomiasis (Sleeping Sickness). The main reason I chose this disease was because I was intrigued by why it was called Sleeping Sickness, after finishing my reasearch I found out. I made a Prezi to display my knowledge on Sleeping Sickness. Click  here to watch it

Bread Mold

Over a span of about a month, in our classes we conducted an expirement to see how mold grows on bakery bread vs. Wonderbread and how human breath, human touch, coffee and toilet germs affect mold growth.  It was interesting to see how much more mold grew on the bakery bread than on the Wonderbread. Underneath are  the notes from the experiment

Name:  Sarah                                                                     Date: January 5th 2011

Bread Mold Experiment November 2011

 

Purpose: To find how mold grows on bakery bread versus Wonder bread. In addition, to explore how human breath, human touch, coffee and toilet germs affect the mold on the bread

 

 

Hypothesis (Prediction): I predict that the bakery bread that has the washroom floor germs will grow mold faster, I think so because wonder bread has lots of preservatives that make it last longer while the bakery bread does not and the floor has lots of bacteria.

 

 

Initial Observations of Bread: Both the bakery bread and the wonder bread were bought fresh. Both of loafs were white in color. The wonder bread was approximately 1cm thick. It was also spongy and appeared to absorb more coffee compared to the bakery bread. The bakery bread was slightly thinner than the wonder bread and the texture was rougher. The bakery bread made fresh and appears organic, whereas the Wonder Bread is processed. The bakery bread had an odor of yeast. 

 


Equipment/Materials:


  • Ziploc bags x10
  • Plastic dish x10
  • Bakery bread x5
  • Wonder bread x5
  • Coffee (poured onto 2 pieces of bread)
  • Sharpie
  • Breath of 66 students
  • Touch of 66 students

 

Procedure (written in :

  1. 1.      Place a piece of bakery bread and Wonder bread into separate containers and seal with Ziploc bag. Label as control
  2. 2.      Circulate one piece of bakery and one piece of Wonder bread. Students ensure to touch both pieces of bread with hands. Place in container and label Ziploc hands bakery and hands Wonder bread
  3. Circulate one piece of bakery and one piece of Wonder bread. Students ensure to breathe on to both pieces. Place in a container  and Label breath bakery and breath Wonder bread
  4. Take one of the bakery and one piece of Wonder bread and wipe the area around the base of the toilet. Place in a container and label bathroom floor.
  5.             Take one of the bakery and one piece of Wonder bread and pour coffee on them. Place in a container and label coffee.
  6. Place all samples in the same area. Ensure all Ziploc bags remained sealed until disposal.

 

 

 Controlling the Experiment:

To control the experiment we, all the breads are in same spot:in the classroom beside the window. All the samples are at the same temperature not to warm and not to cold. They all get the light from the window. The bags are sealed so that no new bacteria come in and for nothing to come out.

 

Observations:

Variable

W1

Dec 9

W4

Jan 4

B1

Dec 9

B4

Jan 4

Control

No mold No mold 1/3 of crust covered in green mold 

 

99% of bread covered in green murky  mold

Hands

No apparent mold No mold -fuzzy mycelium green mold on 15% of the crust All the top of bread covered in green light mold. So 50%

Breath

No mold No mold -fuzzy mycelium green mold covering about 3% of crust 90% oif bread covered in green mycelium

Toilet Floor

No mold No mold _ green 5% of crust 25% of bread covered in dark  green dusty mold. 50% of bread covered in light green mold

Coffee

No mold Soggy green mold covering 21% of bread and blue mold covering 25% ands puffy white mold covering 15% -blue mycelium mold-2% with mold 50% of  bread covered in green mold.25% of bread covered with  white fuzzy mold. Gap in the middle 5cm

 

 

 Results: The bakery control bread grew the most mold. My prediction was half right half wrong. All of the wonder bread grew no mold except the one with coffee.

 

 

Conclusion: My conclusion is that wonder bread grew the less mold, because of all the preservatives . And that the bakery bread with the coffee grew the most mold. Mold likes to grow in moisture because the ones with the coffee grew the most mold.

 

Further Inquiry Points:

Following the experiment, there are other questions I would like to research…

  • What is the effect of inhaling air infected with the essence of mold?
  • Does inhaling air with the bacteria from mold affect more children or adults?
  • What types of mold are the most deadly?
  • Is there any type mold that is used in medicine?

Assembly

Every Friday, one class presents an assembly  based on what they’re learning in UOI at that time.Our class, 6RJ,was to do an assembly on our houese representatives: Winston Churchill, Marie Curie, Martin Luther king jr and Michael Smith.  In our class we were put into four groups based on which house we’re in. Each group made a segment on why their house representative changed humanity and influenced those around them positively.

Click here to view the script.