Book 43: Animal Farm

Date: May

Word Count: 29060

Author: George Orwell

Genre: Dystopian Animal Fable

Opening Sentence:

Mr. Jones, of the Manor Farm, had locked the hen-houses for the night, but was too drunk to remember to shut the popholes.

Favorite word/phrase/sentence:

All animals are equal, but some animals are more equal than others.

Vocabulary and new terms (with parts of speech) and definition:

N/A

Reflection, Connection & Personal Response: 

I was surprised at how thin the book was, when I first borrowed Animal Farm from the library. Although 1984 is pretty long, this book was very short in comparison, and I was confused as to whether this book could actually convey all the aspects of the Russian Revolution that I researched about. However, from the moment I started reading this book, I was intrigued. Because we did the research beforehand, I could clearly see the comparison between Animal Farm and Russia in the early 1900s. Not intentionally, I started making comparisons to Stalin and Trotsky, as well as Czar Nicholas II and Marx. Although the book was quite short, I thought it was very enjoyable to read. Furthermore, I liked the ending because it wasn’t a happy-ending – it was much more realistic and similar to history.

Book 41 ~ 42: Insignia

Date: May 20 ~ May 30

Word Count: 89639

Author: S. J. Kincaid

Genre: Dystopian

Opening Sentence:

Favorite word/phrase/sentence:

1) “Come on, Beamer! I beheaded you for your own good.” 

2) “What’s being crazy like?” Wyatt blurted.

“That depends, Enslow. What’s being tactless and completely inappropriate like?”

3) “We thought you fell down a hole and died somewhere.”
“Close. I was with Blackburn.”

4) “Nigel Harrison Nigel Harrison’ed me?”

5) “Oh, and I died horribly at your hands. Gruesome murder is always a foundation for a beautiful friendship!” 

Vocabulary and new terms (with parts of speech) and definition:

Insignia (n): a distinguishing badge or emblem of military rank, office, or membership of an organization

Reflection, Connection & Personal Response: 

I found the beginning of the book quite dull, and I couldn’t get into the story for about 3 days – I continuously read the same chapter over and over again, eventually giving up and moving on to do something else for awhile. But once the action really started happening, the book was interesting and riveting. I personally found the book quite humorous, and I found myself laughing at loud after reading certain lines that I found particularly funny and nice (hence the large number favorite sentences in this book). In a sense, this book is not very different from the many dystopian books I’ve read this year, but I still think there was an element to it that made it unique and just as enjoyable as the rest – what was the reason, though, I’m not too sure. However, I do think that despite the quite bland beginning, I found the book witty and enjoyable to read, and overall, a good personal book to end the year with.

Book 39 ~ 40: The Lord of Opium

Date: May 1 ~ May 13

Word Count: 119524

Author: Nancy Farmer

Genre: Dystopian

Opening Sentence:

The poppy fields were beautifully maintained, thought Matt, who had learned much about opium farming.

Favorite word/phrase/sentence:

I think people have an instinct for a family. You look until you find a mother, a father, a sister, a brother. They don’t have to be blood relatives. They just have to love you. And when you find them, you don’t have to look anymore.

Vocabulary and new terms (with parts of speech) and definition:

N/A

Reflection, Connection & Personal Response: 

After reading The House of the Scorpion, I was interested in what happens to Matt and the rest of Opium, so I decided to borrow The Lord of Opium from the library soon after. It was enjoyable to read about the continuation of life in Opium, the troubles Matt now faces as leader of Opium, after El Patrón. I enjoyed reading about the new people Matt met (besides the usual Esperanza, Celia and María). Although thoroughly analyzing The House of the Scorpion wasn’t bad (I did learn a lot in LA class while we studied this enjoyable book),  but reading without the pressure of answering questions and just reading to thoroughly enjoy was also fun. Once again, each character was described so well that they seemed like they could be real people – Nancy Farmer did a fantastic job bringing her characters to life. I overall really enjoyed this book as well, as much as or perhaps even more than The House of the Scorpion.

Book #34: Under a War Torn Sky

Date: March 16 ~ March 20

Word Count: 66335

Author: L. M. Elliott

Genre: Survival, Historical Fiction

Opening Sentence:

March 1944.

“Pull her up, Hank! Pull her up!”

Favorite word/phrase/sentence:

1) Ha, you missed me, he thought.

2) “Okay, boys, let’s see what part of hell we’re visiting today.”

3) Henry had learned to cheat death at the very last second during flight training.

Vocabulary and new terms (with parts of speech) and definition:

pell-mell (adv): in a confused, rushed, or disorderly manner

Reflection, Connection & Personal Response: 

As it had been quite a while since I last read a historical fiction book (Dec, 2014 – Code Name Verity), I decided to switch gears from dystopian and fantasy to something simultaneously informative and enjoyable. This story took place during WW2, much like Code Name Verity, and I’ve found that I do enjoy reading historical fiction related to WW2. My favorite part of this book was the interaction between the main character, Henry, and the child who helped him along his journey. It was enlightening to read about a determined little child who, despite the dangers and frights in war, “fought” valiantly against the harsh situation. This part especially makes me wonder if I would be able to act that way in the same situation. Every time, I know that I wouldn’t, which makes me further respect the child (especially) and the main character, and all the people who lived like this during WW2.

WebPubB – Soobin Choi – Project One Reflection

Live Link: http://webdesign.hkis.edu.hk/~190113/

I learned a lot through this course. I learned a lot about Dreamweaver and Photoshop. Previously, I’d never used Dreamweaver before, but now I learned how to use certain devices to use such as the ‘AP Div’ and how to create scrollable screens (on Photoshop and then transferring them onto Dreamweaver). I learned how

Book #33: The Girl With All the Gifts

Date: March 10 ~ March 15

Word Count: 

Author: M. R. Carey

Genre: Post-Apocalyptic Fiction, Science Fiction

Opening Sentence:

Her name is Melanie.

Favorite word/phrase/sentence:

1) “You can’t save people from the world. There’s nowhere else to take them.”

2) The truth is the truth, the only prize worth having. If you deny it, you’re only showing that you’re unworthy of it.

Vocabulary and new terms (with parts of speech) and definition:

imminence (n) –> imminent (adj) : about to happen

Reflection, Connection & Personal Response: 

By a friend’s recommendation, I began to read this book. At first, the book was confusing, because nothing was really explained, but I believe the author intentionally wrote it out this way to create a bit of suspense and curiosity. Another point that was mildly confusing was the perspective was constantly switching. Although it was a bit confusing for the first few sentences, I think it was a good method for this book. This way, the author was able to expose different scenes to the reader from multiple different perspectives, or let us in on something that the main protagonist is not aware of herself.

Book #32: The Rule of Thoughts

Date: March 2 ~ March 8

Word Count: 78290

Author: James Dashner

Genre: Science Fiction, Dystopian fiction

Opening Sentence:

Michael was not himself.

Favorite word/phrase/sentence:

1) I don’t give a crap if you’re a Tangent or a really smart llama. You’re my friend and that’s all that matters.

2) Michael was not himself. He lay on the bed of a stranger,

Vocabulary and new terms (with parts of speech) and definition:

N/A

Reflection, Connection & Personal Response: 

After the cliffhanger in the first book (The Eye of Minds), I was eager to begin reading the second. As I had not been able to borrow the book in the first week after finishing the first, I was all the more impatient to begin reading. The second book flowed very well from the first, and the overall action scenes and interactions between the main character and real humans was very interesting to read. I felt that I was right there next to Michael and his friends as they ran around trying to defeat Kaine. Later in the book, there was another huge twist that signalled the end of the book. When Helga reappears all of a sudden, I was extremely shocked. At first, I thought that this was the end of the series. I was so disappointed, I just left the book in a corner and forgot about it. But after looking up the series (Mortality Doctrine) on Google, I found out that there was another two book to this series – a prequel and a sequel! In all, I was not disappointed by this book, and I look forward to reading The Game of Lives, if it is available in the library.

Book #31: When You Reach Me

Date: Feb 30

Word Count: 39253

Author: Rebecca Stead

Genre: Science Fiction, Mystery

Opening Sentence:

So Mom got the postcard today.

Favorite word/phrase/sentence:

1) “I’m an old man, and she’s gone now. So don’t worry, okay?” 

2) “Bookbag, Pocketshoe.” 

3) Just like you said.

Vocabulary and new terms (with parts of speech) and definition:

linoleum (n): a material consisting of a canvas backing thickly coated with a preparation of linseed oil and powdered cork, used especially as a floor covering.

epilepsy (n): a neurological disorder marked by sudden recurrent episodes of sensory disturbance, loss of consciousness, or convulsions, associated with abnormal electrical activity in the brain.

Reflection, Connection & Personal Response: 

Although I attempted to read this book before, When You Reach Me touches base on a very philosophical, difficult topic that I could not even begin to comprehend when I first read the book. However, I made sense of the general idea of the book, and it intrigued me. The second time I read through the book, I read at an even slower pace, stopping and really thinking about the concept of the time machine. The second time round, I could more properly grasp the concept. At first, I didn’t get why the laughing man said he went back in time to save “your friend and myself”; I didn’t see how his death as an old man prevented his death as a teenager. Likewise, for the rest of the book, I was able to think more deeply and fully comprehend what the author was talking about. I enjoyed this book and it was very riveting to read.

Science PBL – Blog Post Reflection

Questions to answer in your design folder:

1. Building the model

  1. Discuss difficulties encountered in construction
  2. What was the cause of the difficulties?
  3. Discuss how difficulties were overcome.
  4. What improvements or alterations were made during the building process?

The initial problem with both our designs was that the two batteries were not stuck together very tightly. This therefore opened up a gap in the circuits. 

For Model #1, it was not that much of a problem as that gap was the only one. Instead of attempting to solve this minuscule issue, we embraced it instead, because it was possible to have this gap become the switch to our Model #1 flashlight. Therefore, the way this flashlight worked was that  when pressure was applied to both ends of the attached batteries, the circuit would be completed and the chemical potential energy would go through the wires, and the LED diode would light up as a result. It would stay on as long as the pressure on the batteries was maintained, and when one releases the pressure in their hand, the circuit would have a gap in the middle (namely the space between the two AA batteries) and the electricity would not flow. This, therefore, was the way we “resolved” the issue for the first model.

For Model #2, however, this was a more significant complication. The difference between Model #1 and #2 was that there was a switch, another potential gap in the circuit of the second model. This, therefore, meant that there were two potential gap areas in one circuit. For our original plan, only the switch was supposed to open and close the circuit. And since there was a second gap deeper within the contraption, the LED diode just wouldn’t light up. We knew that we had to fix this issue as soon as possible. After debating and brainstorming for a while, we came up with the idea of adding a magnet to the top battery, to automatically apply pressure without the user having to manually add pressure there. In all, we were able to ultimately resolve the problem of an extra gap in the circuit.

Another complication we had with our 2nd model was the actual switch. Initially, we had decided to use a paperclip and two brass tabs to create a switch. This, however, proved to be a problem. The paperclip would accidentally move a little, and it would accidentally contact the second brass tab, even when we intended for the flashlight to be turned off. Therefore, this paperclip switch was unreliable and it was not the most effective switch we could think of. To resolve this, we  found an actually switch that requires the user to push a button to turn on the flashlight. Compared to the former switch that was difficult and annoying to use, the final model’s switch was a lot more effective. In the end, we were able to make our Model 2 the most effective flashlight possible in the time given to us. 

Testing the model

For each of your model/ materials test 

– Explain the results of the test.

– Explain what changes/improvements you made.

We did not exactly have tests the way other groups had. All we simply did was to make sure the LED diode lighted up, the switch worked well, the Model 1 Flashlight would light up when pressure was applied to the batteries. For Model 1, we applied more tape to make sure they were connected firmly. As mentioned before, we changed the switch and added a magnet to the batteries for Model 2 to improve our apparatus due to the results of the test. 

Reflection questions to answer in your blog post

  1. How did you use the design cycle in your testing and refinement?
  2. Evaluate the effectiveness of your model.
  3. What did you learn about your machine that was “deeper or more effective learning while developing your model?
  4. If you had the chance to do this project again, what would you do differently?
  5. Discuss how this project helped you better understand the meaning and importance of creativity, resilience and collaboration for success.

We referred back to the design cycle to refine our apparatus. In the end, both of our models were mostly effective. For Model 1, it was mostly effective, although I personally thought it was a bit difficult to use because the user has to apply a lot more pressure than on a usual flashlight. For Model 2, it was a lot more effective in my personal opinion, but it started to fall apart after the Parent Conferences, which is my only regret. 

While building this apparatus, I learned how a battery works in detail. If I could do this project again, we would manage our time better so we could even try to make a flashlight with variations so that we could display our learning better. 

Through this project, I learned the importance of creativity, resilience and collaboration for success. I also learned that it’s important to do the project in a way that you know will be most effective, rather than doing it like everything else. I know that a lot of other groups divided up their work, but we found that working together was more effective and it worked for us. We collaborated very well, which is why we could effectively get things done without any destructive arguing (instead of constructive and helpful). We needed to be creative, so we could expand on things we found, instead of blindly copying something on the internet. Resilience is also important, because that is what made us create a more effective model (Model 2). For Model 2, we were resilient and kept finding creative ways to solve our problems.

Science PBL – Reflection Questions

Questions to answer in your design folder:

1. Building the model

 a. Discuss difficulties encountered in construction

b. What was the cause of the difficulties?

c. Discuss how difficulties were overcome.

  1. What improvements or alterations were made during the building process?

1a. Difficulties during the construction.

The initial problem with both our designs was that the two batteries were not stuck together very tightly. This therefore opened up a gap in the circuits. 

For Model #1, it was not that much of a problem as that gap was the only one. Instead of attempting to solve this minuscule issue, we embraced it instead, because it was possible to have this gap become the switch to our Model #1 flashlight. Therefore, the way this flashlight worked was that  when pressure was applied to both ends of the attached batteries, the circuit would be completed and the chemical potential energy would go through the wires, and the LED diode would light up as a result. It would stay on as long as the pressure on the batteries was maintained, and when one releases the pressure in their hand, the circuit would have a gap in the middle (namely the space between the two AA batteries) and the electricity would not flow. This, therefore, was the way we “resolved” the issue for the first model.

For Model #2, however, this was a more significant complication. The difference between Model #1 and #2 was that there was a switch, another potential gap in the circuit of the second model. This, therefore, meant that there were two potential gap areas in one circuit. For our original plan, only the switch was supposed to open and close the circuit. And since there was a second gap deeper within the contraption, the LED diode just wouldn’t light up. We knew that we had to fix this issue as soon as possible. After debating and brainstorming for a while, we came up with the idea of adding a magnet to the top battery, to automatically apply pressure without the user having to manually add pressure there. In all, we were able to ultimately resolve the problem of an extra gap in the circuit.

Another complication we had with our 2nd model was the actual switch. Initially, we had decided to use a paperclip and two brass tabs to create a switch.