Since it is our last year in middle school, it is a time of sadness but also great joy as we remember old memories and look forward to new ones. For one of our final assignment we have to create our own playlist that sums up the up’s and down’s, and moods of our years in the middle school, which are listed below.
1) “Stressed out” by the 21 Pilots from the album, “Blurry Face”
In the title, it is quite easy to infer the meaning of this song is about being “stressed out”. Of course many people assume middle school is easier and less important in some ways than high school, but it can still be stressful. Whether its workload, athletics, academics or social, it seems human beings are hard-wired to find problems in life. In the song it talks about how as kids they weren’t worried about anything, and compared to adults we don’t have that much weight on our shoulder, however there is enough to give soem of us a sore back.
2) “Keep On Keeping On (Feat. Brendon Urie)” by Travie McCoy from the McCoy’s single.
Although middle schoolers are stressed out, we need to stay strong and keep going forward even when the journey’s rough. In the chorus of this song it says “…keep on keeping on, even when your feeling like your going keep losing, got to come back strong….” This applies to middle school because even when waters are rough and your not getting good grades, you need to persevere and keep studying.
3) “Unwritten” by Natasha Bedingfield from the album Unwritten.
Unwritten is about how everyone’s future is not planned and that it is waiting to be written by them. It also talks about how “no one else can speak the words on your lips,” which means all the ideas that an individual has is their own and they need to speak out and let them be heard. Although we are moving on to High School, we are still young and have our whole future ahead of us. Knowing this, we should “live with arms wide open” and embrace the world and take on challenges and make our own path.
4) “Masterpiece” by Jessie J from the album Sweet Talker.
Masterpiece is about being ambitious and on top, but also accepting their imperfections and letting it strengthen them. “I still fall on my face sometimes, and I can’t colour inside the lines but I’m perfectly incomplete, and I’m still working on my masterpiece…” Everyone makes mistakes and no once can also get the best grades or always win the house cup but we need to keep trying and also accept that we might lose sometimes.
5) “Here” by Alessia Cara from the album Know-It-All
Here is specifically set at a party and how the girl feel uncomfortable, wondering why she even went in the first place. This connects to peer pressure in some ways that happens in middle school. Although the affects are more commonly associated with High School, it still happens to us too. The feeling to belong is in all of us, which means matching and doing what everyone is doing. For example, black Nike shoes has become the new fad this year and almost every girl has a pair. However, the song is also about not succumbing to peer pressure, because even though it talks about her regrets of coming to the party, she also doesn’t participate in the alcohol, drugs, and other things that are happening in the party. Much like me with my yellow neon New Balance shoes that are the farthest thing from the popular black Nike shoes mentioned earlier.
6) “Everything Changes” by Rachel Sermanni from the album Everything Changes.
Everyone’s goals and ambitions are always changing, and Everything Changes both talks about it in the song and refers to it in its title .”I did not think I wanted anything other, did not think I needed anything more but everything changes.” A child might think the only thing they want is a stuffed toy and they will be complete, as they get older, that might change into a new phone, and for a middle schooler, it might be making a sports team, or getting a good grade. But as we move on to High School and get ready to pave a way for our new life, all our dreams and ideal will change. “
My topic was building a cake to look like the Hong Kong skyline in 10 weeks. I chose it because, learning from my experience last year, I needed a project the needed more research but was still interesting. Therefore, I chose to bake. So far, its been very time consuming because you have to do all the baking and decorating at home. I’m currently working on my largest building, IFC, and I am hoping that by time I get to my other buildings, the whole process will be a lot smooth and quicker because I’ll be more experienced and the cakes will be smaller. I needed to go out and buy some of my own materials, like baking pans, and spatulas and also ingredients. I think this has helped me because its definitely taught me discipline and how to manage my time well. As I mentioned before the entire process is very time consuming and therefore it is key to plan out all my time very well if I want the project to go smoothly.
This unit has been about racism, prejudice, identity, stereotypes. Before, I did not quite understand the meaning of prejudice but this unit has helped me better understand it. Our prejudice project brought back old memories of my life in local school which I was able to reflect on for this unit. We have had some very thought provoking debates in class however even though we were left with some unanswered questions I still feel like I know a lot more about these things than I did before. Previously, I have not really thought hard on any of these things as I personally feel that they don’t affect me as strongly, but discussing it in class has made me think about racism, prejudice, stereotypes and identity. For example, I always thought that the students at HKIS were not racist and that I wasn’t racist either. But in our conversations we talked about situations that I had been in, that I hadn’t even realised were racist (e.i. seeing someone’s last name and guessing their race). Race is something we identify ourselves and other’s with. Sometimes it means setting them apart from yourself or feeling connected to them because of it. My opinion on race is that it affects you depending on your situation. Race will affect you in every situation, however its impact will vary depending on the person. When there is a racial emphasis then it will affect you more. There is racism in HKIS and just because I don’t feel its impact doesn’t mean that other’s don’t. However, other people’s races do not impact me to actually act differently towards them because of it. It may be there in the back of my mind, me, judging them based on their appearance and first impressions, but it won’t lead me to have actions against them. Because I specifically don’t feel the racial influence as much, means it doesn’t affect me as much as it does others. The definition of racism that was introduced to us is that race is just what society makes of it. So really I think since it is made by people, people can change the way it is thought of too. Not everyone thinks the same, and that is a very important point because that means racism is different for everyone. We had a debate about racism in HKIS and shared personal experiences about prejudice along with reading passages on identity and stereotypes that helped me better understand how they work and that they do affect me although I feel its not as impactful.
This unit our theme was competence and I definitely feel more competent. According to the Oxford Dictionary, the definition of competence is “the ability to do something successfully and efficiently.” Our government unit was purposely jammed packed with tests and I feel I have become more efficient when it comes to taking notes and studying for tests. I learned to manage my time more and it helped me learn how to study for tests from scratch. What I mean by scratch is that usually tests are based off of what we learn in class however this time we had to study a new chapter every cycle and Mr. Pierce, for the most part, did not discuss in detail or explain the chapter. Therefore, I have learned to study for a test by myself and succeed. But, as I mentioned before, I think the most important skill I learned from the competence unit was being able to manage my time which greatly helped.
After the multitudes of tests we took I believe the best strategy for me is to look at the chapter or (if it is based off of what we studied in class) discussions and write down the essential ideas. Then make or take a quiz to gage how much I know and need to study. From this test I can then divide my time to see where I need to study more. For example, if I was very solid in section 1-5 in chapter 8, but need more work in section 6-9, then I would first focus my time on those sections and then continue on from there. After reading information I naturally am very good at absorbing it so for me taking tests to gage where I am is the key component of my study plan.
Currently, I need to take more risks with my vocabulary and also try and expand my vocabulary through my Words Wall and Quizlet. I should also set aside time to do ReadTheory, or Newsela which would help me with reading comprehension. Taking risks in my writing is definitely the most key goal I have this quarter. Although I do read consistently, I need to look for more challenging books and books in different genres, especially those in non fiction. As for communication in general, I need to listen to everyone before stating my own ideas because often I get very excited and want to say my ideas. When it comes to listening to instructions or in class I am attentive but when having a conversation I need to be mindful of my air time and be a good listener. This means being more patient when people are talking and being aware of my body language. Overall, I feel my work habits are rather good but I have something to work on in every area and I have steps to reach what I need to improve on.
Quarter 2 Goals:
Reading Goal: My goal is to read one book (approx. 50,000 words) every week. I will record it in my reading log and starting quarter two, I will also write how long it took me to read it. However, if it is a book that counts for more than one book, I will write the total time.
Writing Goal: My writing goal is to get my tenses right for all of my writing pieces. I will do this by highlighting my tenses in my drafts to make sure they are correct
Quarter 4 Goals:
Reading Goal: My goal is for every 2 books (any genre) I read I will read 1 non fiction book. It will be recorded in my reading log starter quarter four.
Writing Goal: My goal is to use words from my wonder wall in my writing. I should have at least 3-4 new words from my wonder wall in each writing summative we take starting quarter four.
The imperative mood is a sentence that gives a command.
Example: Hand me the towel.
In my conclusion I put background information on the top and bottom and sandwiched my thesis statement in between when I should have put the thesis statement on top and had the background (blue) together at the bottom. I got an ME- because I had the incorrect structure for the conclusion. Now that I know my mistake I can learn from it and make sure I don’t do it again. Other than my conclusion, I feel my introduction and paragraph was quite well. I took a risk my adding a small narrative hook at the beginning but I think it worked.
I was pleased with my details and descriptive writing however I feel there were basic errors I should have been able to identify and fix before turning in my work.
Overall, I feel I did very well on my narrative piece. What I have found is I have done better when the Narrative is more free flowing like his one. How ever I could have added more dialogue and had some careless errors.
I had a good hook in my introduction, and I also felt that the structure of my essay overall was in a clear and tangible order. However, I most definitely need to work on citing my source within the essay. One of Ms. Bevear’s most reoccurring comments was that I either didn’t cite my sources in the paper, or that the structure of it was confusing/ incorrect. Besides that I had a few grammar, spelling errors. Some of these were careless mistakes I had missed but others were words I actually didn’t know were incorrect. In the future I will search up words I am not sure of and also use the speech app as a helpful tool to make sure my words are spelled correctly. Overall, I feel my argument was still strong in spite of these mistakes.
After- Literary Techniques in The Giver
Before – Literary Techniques in The Giver
Summaries – Theme (Memories and History)
Literary Devices in The Outsider by S.E. Hinton
Overall, I think there was definitely improvement since I wrote “The Giver by Lois Lowry” essay. I remembered to cite my sources, underline names of books, do quotations properly and I think it was because I learned my lesson from last time and made sure to keep it in mind. I also kept in mind my writing goal and included 4 words from my wonder wall into my essay. Something that I wish I had paid more attention to, and something I always struggle with, is conventions. I had a lot of misspelled words or periods that, looking back, was just careless mistakes. My main take away is that I need to pay more attention when editing my final draft.
DEJ – Macbeth
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