SML Reflection

What is your topic and why did you choose it?

In fourth grade we were asked to choose a human ‘celebrity’ figure, living or dead, to talk about. We were meant to make it so it were like a wax museum, where we’d talk about them in first person. We’d come to class dressed like them and we’d talk as if we were them. My historical figure was Helen Keller. Helen Keller was a woman who was blind. She couldn’t see and also was one of the people who spent her time not only learning math, science, and all the regular classes, but also was one of them people who spent her entire life dedicated to learning braille, and teaching it. I have always been interested in learning about Helen Keller, and because of that I got interested in learning about braille. Therefore, I chose learning about braille for my SML project this year.


Describe your experience so far: What challenges have you faced? Did you overcome these challenges?

Through the time I had for my SML project, I had some struggles. One of the struggles that really impacted my time through learning braille was the fact that I was learning a whole new language altogether. Learning a new language is hard. For example, I have been learning Chinese since I was a toddler, and yet I still am not fluent in the language. I feel that learning a whole new language, such as braille which also brings some other harder aspects to it, was hard, but because of perseverance I was able to learn at least some letters by heart.


Has your project changed since the beginning? If so, how?

When I first handed in my project idea the teachers didn’t accept my idea because I was planning on learning a whole new different language in 12 weeks. This was unrealistic and hard, so then I decided to learn a few letters to write an introductory paragraph about myself. This was still quite challenging, but I am glad that I chose to not learn an entire language as it would be most likely impossible for me given the time I have.


What are you proud of so far?
I am very proud of what I have accomplished so far, I have finished writing my sentence as well as made a whole booklet documenting my days during the SML time we are given. This has taken lots of time for me, and because of that, I am very proud of what I have accomplished so far.


Do you feel creative when doing SML? If so, what are the conditions that help you to be creative?

I don’t think that there are many creative aspects in learning braille, I just think that it takes lots of memorisation and time because it’s just like learning a whole new language.


Can you share any specific samples of your learning?

I have learnt a couple letters, such as A, B, C, D, R, and L, as those are the easiest letters in the braille alphabet in my perspective. I also documented all my days of learning braille on paper, which I will put together in my presentation later on when I am completely finished with my whole SML.


What have you learned about yourself as a learner? How do you learn best? Does the structure of SML help? Or is the structure frustrating you?

I don’t think I learned much about myself because I have known my habits because of my past experience in school since the second grade, but I think that through this I have taught myself to persevere through tough times because you can do anything if you are persistent and determined to get the work done.



春节是中国人的传统节日,虽然我是新加坡人,可是我的爷爷奶奶都是华人,从小就一直和爷爷奶奶一起过春节, 爷爷奶奶不但会告诉我们年的故事,而且也会准备 各式各样的 美食让我们吃。

每年春节我们都会在外婆的家团圆。我对外婆的家太熟悉了。外婆总是把家布置得很漂亮,有春联,有鲜花,有糖果,很有节日气氛。除夕那天一家人坐在一起吃年夜饭,外婆包了饺子,煮了糖醋排骨,炸了春卷,蒸了新鲜的鱼,鸡鸭鱼肉样样有。我什么菜都喜欢吃。外婆告诉我们蒸鱼希望年年有余,还告诉我们吃年糕希望生活一年比一年高。春节除了有很多好吃的食物以外,还有红包收。外公外婆会给我们很大包的压岁钱,舅舅和阿姨一般都会给我们二十元红包。外婆说我小的时候 一见到人就会说“恭喜发财,红包拿来!”在欢笑声中,我们迎来了新年。


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Sheryl Fong


我最好的朋友是Annette。四年前,我们在同一个班学习。 Annette和我一样都有一头黑色的长发。她的眼睛小小的,额头宽宽的。她长得又矮又瘦,而我长得又高又苗条。因为我们有很多共同的爱好,所以我们见面时,有说不完的话。我们都爱好音乐。Annette喜欢一边听音乐,一边画画。我喜欢一边听音乐,一边看电影。除了爱好音乐,我们还喜欢一起购物。














To Kill A Mockingbird by Harper Lee – Reading Blog 35

Book # 35                                Words: 99121                                      Date: 24/Apr/2015


Title:  To Kill A Mockingjay                                              Author: Harper Lee                  


Genre ~ Fiction Type:  Realistic Fiction/Historical Fiction     



  • Opening Sentence:

When he was nearly thirteen, my brother Jem got his arm badly broken at the elbow


  • Favourite word / phrase / sentence:

Mayella’s face contorted, and I was afraid that she would cry again.



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

Inconspicuous – Not clearly visible or attracting attention



  • Reflection, Connection & Personal Response:

Once I read the first passage of this book, I already knew that this book was going to be a book with complex vocabulary. Although I thought that this book was hard to understand, as this book was not my level, I still felt that this book kept me interested and excited. At some parts I knew that I would stumble and have a hard time in understanding it, but I still kept on reading anyway. This book is about a young African girl named Scout Finch that live in Maycomb, Alabama. According to the book, this place was the most boring town you can find. In Maycomb, this book then talks about the life of Scout Finch and the adventures she went through while she was there. I wouldn’t just call this book a book with only one climax and ending, because in my perspective, I see that there are many. There is the part where she joins school, the part where Miss Maudie’s house catches on fire and burns to the ground and there are lots more. I don’t have any experiences like Scout’s because I personally never had gone through anything like what Scout went through. Although I have been through mourning over death, I still don’t find my life as exciting and filled with stories like Scout. I’d recommend this book to whomever that enjoys reading classics like Oliver Twist or Huckleberry Finn. I’d recommend this to them because I feel that they all have one characteristic of having plenty of adventures throughout their lives.





Ashes to Ashes by Jenny Han – Reading Blog 34


Book #  34                          Words: 75943                                          Date: 14/Apr/2015


Title: Ashes to Ashes                                                                           Author: Jenny Han                              


Genre ~ Fiction Type:  Realistic Fiction      



  • Opening Sentence:

     I’m high up in the rear balcony of Holy Lady of the Sea, and it is pure agony.


  • Favourite word / phrase / sentence:

We ride in silence, except for the swish, swish, swish of the wipers as they push the tiny snowflakes off my windshield.



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

Compensate: Give someone something typically money, in recognition of loss, injury, or suffering



  • Reflection, Connection & Personal Response:

When I took a first good look at this book, I knew that it was one that was depressing. My sister had recommended me this book as she thought that it reminded her of something that she had read before. I took it and started reading. Along the way I had noticed that it was similar to a widely watched and read series. Pretty Little Liars. I thought that it was similar because of the fact that it had a person that ended up dead and friends unite because of this incident. Instead of having a person killing people, it was just death. But I think that it is similar to the Pretty Little Liars series. In this book I read about death, friendship reuniting, a girl that was broke that had no family, and also trouble between relationships because of lies. Each girl had a memory of Rennie that was personal that they didn’t want anyone to know. This book reminds me of when these two specific people in my school died because of certain reasons. It took everyone in surprise because it was so sudden and no one could have said bye to them before they had passed. I think that this book taught me to not keep secrets from anyone and to not make anyone feel bad about themselves or feel bad because you did something to hurt them. I think that this book is an amazing book with tragedy and also friendship. These four girls have to go through tough times when their friend died and with that they came together to become friends and grieve together. I think anyone should read this as it teaches lessons that cannot just be taught by saying that you cannot do this. 

PBL Reflection

Throughout the PBL unit, I feel accomplished because I thought that I had done my best in everything. I personally feel that this unit had got me thinking about science in a different way and I felt that it also made me study and get more information so I am able to present and build my model. I think that my learning from this unit is more thorough as I think that it is more involved than just listening and I think that I had learned a lot better this way than we usually do. For my model, we were supposed to use the design cycle in my testing and refinement, I think I used this because we did have lots of issues we needed to solve and to do that, we needed to use this cycle to make it possible. I think we used this cycle because firstly, for define, we had to get what we needed to improve and what problem it was, after, I think for collect information, we then took everything we knew and also collected materials that we thought we needed to solve the problem. Next was brainstorming ideas, I think we did this when we were collecting information too as we can think about both things at once since it is about the same thing. Then I think we did developing when we were building and making the model better. I think that we showed and got feedback from our peers when we did the peer presentation in class and that really helped us practice our presentation skills and also helped us gain feedback on what we needed to work on and what we did well. Lastly, I think we had finished this last step of improving because without that, we wouldn’t have been able to get things to a higher standard or level and if we didn’t improve, we would always be at the same level as we were when we started. I think that the effectiveness of my model when I am teaching someone about my system would be very effective to their knowledge of the heart. I personally think that my model shows a basic idea on how the system works, but I think it shows an even more detailed amount of information of the heart. In the heart of the system, my model has shown the four chambers, the valves and also the way the heart pumps. It also shows the aorta which was supposed to be the funnel and also it showed us a clear simple understanding of the pumping and the valves. What I have learnt when I was building my model was the placement of things on the heart, for example the tubes and where the veins went and where the arteries went and so on. I say this because we actually had to place these tubes on the correct spaces so our information would be correct, so I think that it made me learn more about the placement of things in the heart. If I did have another chance into doing my model again, I would say that I would maybe try and make a different model that was a bit more complicated and more advanced than this current one. I say this because I personally think that we ca take it one step higher and make the model more like the actual system we have in our bodies. With that, I think that it would give us a higher grade and also a higher level of understanding. This project helped me understand the importance of creativity, collaboration, and resilience because firstly, if I didn’t have creativity, I wouldn’t be good enough to build a simple model secondly, if I didn’t have collaboration, I wouldn’t have gotten different types of thinking from a different perspective. With collaboration, I also was able to have an extra hand that helped me cover the holes of the bottle when it was leaking and also help me whenever I needed help. Lastly, if I didn’t have resilience, I wouldn’t have been able to last through the whole time with all the problems we have faced. If I didn’t have that, I would have given up a long time ago. Overall, I personally think that this project taught me lots of things that I can even take and use in my future life. I think that even with the hardships and problems my partner and I have faced, we still did a good job and we also had great teamwork that pushed us through the times of making the model.

There You’ll Find Me by Jenny B. Jones – Reading Blog 33


Book # 33                                Words: 76194                                                Date: 11/Mar/2015


Title:  There You’ll Find Me                                                                         Author: Jones, Jenny B.                                


Genre ~ Fiction Type: Realistic Fiction        



  • Opening Sentence:

Sometimes I think about when I was little, and my older brothers would take me out to fly kites.


  • Favourite word / phrase / sentence:

Some peace. Some healing. To hear God’s voice again.



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

Contemplated: Look thoughtfully for a long time



  • Reflection, Connection & Personal Response:

This book is about this teenage girl named Finley who is grieving for her dead brother who died a few months ago. She came to Ireland to seek God and to also continue her senior year. On the way there she meets this boy. He is a celebrity everyone adores, but Finley hates him. Once they leave the airport, Finley then finds herself in a hotel. In this hotel, she then encounters the celebrity Beckett Rush. He then asks her to become his personal assistant. With that, everything changes. I have never experienced death on my sibling so I don’t really understand what Finley is going through. One thing I do understand is the aftermath of when someone in your family dies. My grandfather died when I was only eleven years old and when he died and when I got home and ‘left’ him, I felt like that there was his ‘ghost’ that was haunting me. I felt like I haven’t done enough even though I had spent three of my school days back in my hometown where he had died. I think that was how Finley was feeling. I think that she felt as if her brothers ghost was haunting her and she felt like she needed to go to the places where he felt god truly was. With that she then goes to Ireland. I never really did anything when I felt that there was a ghost because I thought that I was dreaming, I was right. I was just dreaming because after awhile that feeling was gone. I then confirmed that he was in heaven with god and he was safe. I feel that after this book, I feel like I’m not the only one who feels alone and also seeing things. After Finley’s story, I finally feel understood by at least somebody. I would definitely recommend this book to any teenage girls out there. Even if some boys what to read this, they should. This book not only talks about Hollywood and filming movies, it also talks about religion and this girl who is trying to seek god and his ‘home’. I think that anyone should read this, it is such an amazing book that could be read by any person of any age.

City of Glass by Cassandra Clare – Reading Blog 30 (31) (32)


Book #  30 (31)(32)                             Words: 150516                                  Date: 4/Mar/2015


Title: City of Glass                                                                  Author: Clare, Cassandra                                


Genre ~ Fiction Type: Fantasy, Adventure       



  • Opening Sentence:

The cold snap of the previous week was over; the sun was shining brightly as Clary hurried across Luke’s dusty front yard, the hood of her jacket up to keep her hair from blowing across her face.


  • Favourite word / phrase / sentence:

Isabelle entered the room in a swirl of black hair and tiered silvery skirts.



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

Ozone: a colorless unstable toxic gas with a pungent odor and powerful oxidizing properties, formed from oxygen by electrical discharges or ultraviolet light.




  • Reflection, Connection & Personal Response:

This third book of the series the Mortal Instruments is another book that I love and I think that it is as amazing as both of the other books Cassandra Clare has written. This book starts off with the permission of the Clave to go to Idris. According to the colorful description of the city, I would find the city an amazing and pretty place. I think that this book is called ‘The City of Glass’ because of the city, Idris. I picture this place as a place with buildings covered and built in glass and everywhere you look, it is transparent and blue. Another color I see is green. From the description of the lake I also see green. I can relate to this because once in a movie, I saw a city that was entirely made of glass. It was gorgeous even though it wasn’t real. Personally I think that so far, I am in love with the series of the Mortal Instruments. I find it so good that I had already read three of the books in two days! I find that it has an amazing description of everything in the book so it makes it seem like this book is placed in the real world. Sometimes, when they describe some scary things, I can see the picture of the scary things and I would get so scared. I personally would recommend this series to anyone since it is such a good series that I personally think everyone would enjoy.

City of Ashes by Cassandra Clare – Reading Blog 28 (29)


Book #   28 (29)                                  Words: 120608                                  Date: 4/Mar/2015


Title:  City of Ashes                                                                 Author: Clare, Cassandra                                  


Genre ~ Fiction Type: Fantasy, Adventure         



  • Opening Sentence:

The formidable glass and steel structure rose from its position on Front Street like a glittering needle threading the sky.


  • Favourite word / phrase / sentence:

She smiled fleetingly. “We were human once.”



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

Condominium: A condo



  • Reflection, Connection & Personal Response:

I personally loved this book so much that I had to read the second book right away. From the last book, she left us at a cliffhanger. I really didn’t like it so I had to read the other book to continue my fantasy. This second book is as good as the first one I had read. This book does have the same concept as the first one and I like that because it is so appealing to me that I find it so hard to tear my eyes away from the page. I feel that if I didn’t read the book right away, I would think that the book would just vanish into blank pages. When I started this book I felt this tension between Jace and Simon, Clare’s friends. To me, I think that this tension is going to mess up the time when they stop the bad guy, Valentine. Another issue is the fact that his step mother or the woman who took her in after he had gone from Valentine, his father had threatened Jace and set him an ultimatum of saying that he didn’t like and hated Valentine or else if he didn’t he wouldn’t be allowed to stay in their house. Like every son or daughter, you cannot say that when this particular person raised you. Although Valentine is the bad guy in this situation, Valentine still did act as the fatherly figure in Jace’s life and Jace cannot thank him enough for doing that. I can connect with him because if I were ever threatened by a person to say that I hated my parents, I would automatically be set back because why should I hate them? They had raised me to become who I am today and they took care of me. I once again think that everyone should read this book, but like always, in a book with a series, you should always read the first book before moving on to the second book.