Reading Log #35


Book # 35                                Words: 27945                        Date: April 30th 2015


Title: the Sign of the Beaver                                                          Author: Elizabeth George Speare


Genre ~ Non-Fiction / Fiction Type: Historical Fiction


  • Opening Sentence:

Matt stood at the edge of the clearing for sometime after his father had gone out of sight among the trees.

  • Favourite word / phrase / sentence:

Matt could not find the words he needed, but he knew there was something he must do.

  • Vocabulary and new terms (with part of speech) and definition:

Vocabulary: Finicky
Part of Speech: Adjective

Definition: Liking things only when they are correct


  • Reflection, Connection & Personal Response:

This story gives us the background during the western expansion times in America. During the book there
interactions between the white main character Matt and the IPOA (indeginous people of America) regarding
the conflict between the possessions of land. I was able to understand this because in Social Studies, we read text regarding this in our text book TCI. Learning about this period in Social Studies helped understand this book

Reading Log #34


Book #34                     Words: Unable to count                  Date: April 17th 2015


Title: The Pocket Dangerous Book For Boys “Things to do”    Author:Conn Iggulden & Hal Iggulden


Genre ~ Non-Fiction / Fiction Type: Non-fiction    



  • Opening Sentence:

There is something magical about small books.

  • Favourite word / phrase / sentence:

It’s worth the effort, the sweat, the cost, even the blood, if whoever builds it is careless with power tools.

  • Vocabulary and new terms (with part of speech) and definition:

Vocabulary: Sleight

Part of Speech: Noun

Definition: Clever and quick use of your hands


  • Reflection, Connection & Personal Response:

This books introduces things all boys should know, from building a tree house to building a wooden bow. I really enjoyed this book as it taught me how to make many things as well how to do things such as skipping a stone. I spent days pouring through the pages and even once asked if I could make a bow as explained in this book. (However at the end we, my mom and I, decided it was too dangerous and getting the required equipment was also difficult in Hong Kong.)




Reading Log #33


Book # 33                                Words: 51040                        Date: March 30th 2015


Title: Beneath the Wheel                                                       Author: Hermann Hesse


Genre ~ Non-Fiction / Fiction Type: Realistic Fiction



  • Opening Sentence:

Herr Joseph Giebenrath, jobber and middleman, possessed no laudable or peculiar traits distinguishing from his fellow townsmen.

  • Favourite word / phrase / sentence:

“What extravagant notions. You seem to think I’m a bank president.”

  • Vocabulary and new terms (with part of speech) and definition:

Vocabulary: Grimace
Part of Speech: Verb

Definition: To make an ugly expression by twisting your face


  • Reflection, Connection & Personal Response:

This story shed lights on the life of a child who goes to a school due to his parents consent rather than due to his dream. This makes the child very unhappy throughout his student career and causes him to give up his own
life. This taught me that your dream should be yours and no one should change your choices. Other people
may give you advice but they should not specifically state something.

Reading Log #31-32


Book #31 ~ 32                         Words: 102088                                  Date: March 22nd 2015


Title: Splendors and Glooms                                              Author: Laura Amy Schlitz                                


Genre ~ Non-Fiction / Fiction Type: Fantasy    



  • Opening Sentence:

The witch burned

  • Favourite word / phrase / sentence:

Clara gazed at them intently.

  • Vocabulary and new terms (with part of speech) and definition:

Vocabulary: Coverlet

Part of Speech: Noun

Definition: A cover that you put over the other covers on a bed


  • Reflection, Connection & Personal Response:

This book is one of 20 books the battle of the books committee chose this year and it was my favorite by far. It was intriguing the whole time even though of its long length. I think the storyline was the reason it was so intriguing, a puppet master having the power of magic, which allows him to change people into puppets. This book was really a great read from the start till the end





Reading Log #30


Book # 30                                Words: 47205                                    Date: March 20th 2015


Title: The Great Brain                                                                        Author: John D. Fitzgerald                                  


Genre ~ Non-Fiction / Fiction Type: Realistic Fiction       



  • Opening Sentence:

Most everyone in Utah remembers 1896 as the year the territory became a state.


  • Favourite word / phrase / sentence:

“How can you think such a thing?” Tom asked indignantly


  • Vocabulary and new terms (with part of speech) and definition:

Vocabulary: Martyr
Part of Speech: Noun

Definition: A person who is killed because of their religious or other beliefs



  • Reflection, Connection & Personal Response:

I thought the story line was very humorous, a child who uses his crafty brain to logically but very immorally take money from other children by persuasion and deals. Although the main character is John, John is not the crafty child. Tom is the older brother of John and the one everyone calls the Great Brain for his numerous
ideas to take money or get something valuable from fellow children.

Reading Log #29


Book #29                                 Words: 15,996                                               Date: March 8th 2015


Title:  I Know What You Did Last Wednesday                             Author: Anthony Horowitz                                


Genre ~ Non-Fiction / Fiction Type: Horror/Mystery    



  • Opening Sentence:

I like horror stories – but not when they happen to me.


  • Favourite word / phrase / sentence:

It’s not fair. I do my homework. I clean my teeth twice a day. Why does everyone want to kill me?


  • Vocabulary and new terms (with part of speech) and definition:

Vocabulary: Biro

Part of Speech: Noun

Definition: A kind of ballpoint pen


  • Reflection, Connection & Personal Response:

I liked how Anthony Horowitz twisted the ending of this story. He didn’t choose any of the people within that where stranded but a person way off the castle, killing people using model airplanes and other devices. Throughout the story, since the plot was so interesting, it caused me and most likely other readers to probably be hooked.





PBL Post Reflection

  1. How did you use the design cycle in your testing and refinement?
    I used the design cycle effectively as whenever there was an error during our testing, I used the process to guide what I had to do. For example, when I found out that our motor was not generating enough electricity for the light bulb, I collected the average electricity use of a light bulb and got another motor that would create such voltage or higher.
  2. Evaluate the effectiveness of your model.
    Our model is very effective as it optimises the safety for the rider. Not only does it help the sight by creating light, it also provides a sound to inform people who are in front of you to move out of the rider’s direction. Furthermore, the rider only needs to go 2m/sec to generate the light.
  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?
    I would try to make it more stable. Although our machine worked, after sometime, motors and our machine started falling apart. We could find better ___ materials.
  5. Discuss how this project helped you better understand the meaning and importance of creativity, resilience and collaboration for success.
    In a large project like this and with limited time, I once again felt that creativity, resilience and collaboration was crucial for success. During the time when we had to decide on what we would connect to the motor, creativity solved this. Rather than using a lego wheel which seems ordinary, we decided to test a glue cap which eventually became the final choice. Regarding resilience, this project taught us it was an important factor because whenever we faced problems, it reminded us we should never give up. Countless of failures and tests, thus resilience, led us to find the best possible object we could attach to our motor. Lastly, since time was limited, collaboration was crucial. the only reason we could make this device was because we split the work between the three rather than having everyone work on one part. If we did this, it would have been impossible to finish the building in time.

PBL Test

Our Penny Board had a total of 2 functions

  • To produce light during the dark for the riderand
  • To produce a beeping sound from the NXT Brain

We took 2 videos that included both of these functions



PBL designs

We first had a penny board that I brought in from home. Penny BoardSince we had to attach something to the motor that will turn it, we took everything that might work. We found wheels in Ms Chan’s lego box, glue caps from home and many more.

Photo on 25-2-15 at 1.28 PMGlue top

After tests, we decided the glue cap was the best object that would suit our needs. In our first design, we originally decided we will put it at the front. However, after seeing how the motor will go on, it was evident that the motor would not fit on the front wheels unlike what we anticipated on our first and the second plan as you can see below.

blueprint 1 bluepring 2

We attached it at the back wheel as you can see in the bird eye view photo and in the close up.

Bird eye viewMotor   However, since the motor could not become stable, we had to use cardboard to lift the motor up that can make the glue stick touch the wheel like the above.

After we attached the motor that produced light, we decided to increase the safety a level higher by attaching a device that can produce sound when the rider wished. In order to achieve this, I decided to use an NXT system. This is how our third plan came into

We attached an NXT Brain connected to an ultra-sonic sensor below the skateboard. I programmed it so that when an object came into a certain distance within the sensor, a sound would come out from the brain. The picture of the 3rd and final plan is below along with the side view of the Penny Board.

Photo on 21-3-15 at 4.59 PMPenny Board Edited