SML Reflection

  1. What is your topic and why did you choose it?

My topic is how to perform an appendectomy, which is a type of surgery. I chose this because I really like science, especially biology, and want to work in that field when I’m older. More specifically, I want to be a surgeon when I’m older and that’s why I wanted to learn how to perform a simple procedure.

  1. Describe your experience so far: What challenges have you faced? Did you overcome those challenges?

The challenges I’ve faced so far are the research, because it’s very heavy and I need to be able to memorize the steps, which is a bit challenging. Another challenge I’ve faced is my final product. Right now, I’m not completely sure what it’s going to be, but I’m thinking of a model. Constructing my model will probably be a future challenge for me as I need to gather materials and build it in a short amount of time. I think I’ve overcome the research challenge, as I’ve been able to manage it by splitting it into different sections.

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

No, my project has not really changed since the beginning, it’s stayed fairly the same, but I have picked two different types of appendectomies to research.

  1. What are you proud of so far?

So far, I am proud of the amount of research I have completed, and that I’ve spent time researching the medical terms I don’t understand until I fully comprehend everything. I’m not just listing the steps, I’m trying to make sense of them.

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

I don’t exactly feel creative right now, as I am just learning how to do something, but I think I will be creative later when I make the model for my final product as I will need to be creative about the materials and how I will show the different parts and steps to an appendectomy.

  1. 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 for you?

I feel like such a long lesson of SML only once every six days does not help me as a learner. Maybe if we had SML for a shorter period once every two-three days would benefit me more. Sometimes I feel like the structure of SML is very limited and doesn’t help me to organize my research very well, but sometimes I think it’s a good guideline to work with.

LA Reading Blog #15 -16

Book #15-16                                 Words: 110,354                                           Date: 20/11/15


Title: Allegiant                                                                  Author: Veronica Roth 

Genre ~ Non-Fiction / Fiction Type: Science Fiction


  • Opening Sentence:

I pace in our cell in Erudite headquarters, her words echoing in my mind: My name will be Edith Prior, and there is much I am happy to forget.

  • Favourite word / phrase / sentence:

“I think you’re still the only person sharp enough to sharpen someone like me.” 

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

OMISSION = someone or something that has been left out or excluded

Synonyms – forgotten, excluded, oversight

Antonyms – included, addition

VIGILANT = keeping careful watch for possible danger or difficulties

Synonyms – anxious, attentive, aware, cautious

Antonyms – careless, heedless, ignorant

PRAGMATIC = dealing with things sensibly and realistically in a way that is based on practical rather than theoretical considerations

Synonyms – efficient, logical, practical, realistic

Antonyms – impractical, inefficient, impractical, irrational

EXTRAPOLATION = educated guess or a hypothesis

Synonyms – hypothesis, calculation, estimate

Antonyms – doubt

  • Reflection, Connection & Personal Response:

Allegiant is the third and final book in the Divergent series. I loved the first two books, so of course, I had to read this one. However, I didn’t like it as much as the first two, though I did enjoy reading it. Although I have heard many people did not like the ending of this book, I loved it because I thought it was unique and unexpected. I thought the whole concept of the book was unique as well. Personally, I enjoy reading dystopian science fiction books, and Allegiant fits perfectly in this genre. Even though it has a serious nature to it most of the time, it can be quite humorous as well. It’s thrilling and suspenseful. But, this book can be a bit of a hard read, but it’s worth it. I liked the use of switching perspectives throughout the book, which is something I have used in my own writing by inspiration from Allegiant. Overall, I enjoyed the book and would highly recommend it to anyone looking for a good series to read.


LA Reading Blog #14

Book #14                               Words: 83,892                                            Date: 13/11/15


Title: Two Little Girls In Blue                                                                   Author: Mary Higgins Clark

Genre ~ Non-Fiction / Fiction Type: Mystery


  • Opening Sentence:

“Hold on a minute, Rob, I think one of the twins is crying. Let me call you back.”

  • Favourite word / phrase / sentence:

With its paneled walls, antique tapestries and carpets, Hepplewhite furniture and sweeping views of Long Island Sound, it was his favourite room in the mansion.

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

RENDER = provide or give

Synonyms – deliver, distribute, restore

Antonyms – hold, keep, take, withhold

DEFT = neatly skilful and quick in one’s movements

Synonyms – nimble, quick, skilful

Antonyms – awkward, clumsy, slow

TEMPERAMENT = a person’s or animal’s nature, especially as it permanently affects their behaviour

Synonyms – attitude, ego, individuality

Antonyms – inability

UNSENTIMENTAL = not displaying or influenced by sentimental (of or prompted by feelings of tenderness, sadness, or nostalgia) feelings

Synonyms – hardheaded, plainspoken, sober

Antonyms – irrational, unrealistic, unreasonable

  • Reflection, Connection & Personal Response:

Mary Higgins Clark, in my opinion, is an amazing author, and I’ve read a few of her books. They are always very suspenseful and get you thinking. This book in particular kept me on the edge of my seat all throughout me reading it. This book is about two twins, Kathy and Kelly, who get kidnapped, but only Kelly is delivered to the parents after they pay a ransom. A note from the kidnappers claims that Kathy is dead. However, Kelly is somehow communicating with Kathy, and their parents are hopeful that Kathy is still alive, and start looking for her. Two Little Girls In Blue is probably one of my favourite books by Mary Higgins Clark because there is never a dull moment in it, and it keeps you biting your nails until you finish the book.

LA Reading Blog #13

Book #13                              Words: 65,913                                            Date: 27/10/15 


Title: Avalon High                                                                 Author: Meg Cabot

Genre ~ Non-Fiction / Fiction Type: Fantasy 

  • Opening Sentence:

“You are so lucky.”

  • Favourite word / phrase / sentence:

Evil won’t stand for any interference from the Light.

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

INSURMOUNTABLE = too great to be overcome

Synonyms – invincible, unconquerable

Antonyms – vincible, conquerable, vulnerable

FLIPPANT = not showing a serious or respectful attitude.

Synonyms – shallow, carefree, irresponsible

Antonyms – mannerly, nice, respectful

ALLUSION = an expression designed to call something to mind without mentioning it explicitly; an indirect or passing reference

Synonyms – quotation, reference, citation

Antonyms – reality, expression, mention

THWART = prevent (someone) from accomplishing something

Synonyms – frustrate, foil, block, defeat, stop

Antonyms – aid, encourage, assist, help

  • Reflection, Connection & Personal Response:

I decided to read Avalon High because I had read other books by Meg Cabot and really enjoyed them. The same could be said for this book. I loved Avalon High, and for a short period of time, I was obsessed with the medieval times, King Arthur, and Camelot because of this book. In the back of the book, there is some information about people such as King Arthur, The Lady of the Lake, Elaine of Astolat, Lancelot, Merlin, Guinevere, and Mordred. This is a fun and easy way to learn about the middle ages as the characters are in high school, and they are the reincarnations of the people mentioned above. The plot of this book is a modern version of what happened in the medieval times. Disney had released a movie adaptation of this book a while back and when I was flipping channels one day, I saw it playing on TV and decided to watch it as I loved the book. In my opinion, the movie was OK, but the book was much better. In the book, the main character, Ellie, is the reincarnation of The Lady of the Lake, but in the movie, she is the reincarnation of King Arthur. Ellie being the reincarnation of The Lady of the Lake plays a big part in the ending of the book, so changing her role in the movie was a bad idea in my opinion.

LA Reading Blog #12

Book #12                                      Words: 82,339                                               Date: 17/10/15 


Title: Girl Online                                                                  Author: Zoë Sugg 

Genre ~ Non-Fiction / Fiction Type: Realistic Fiction


  • Opening Sentence:

Hello, World!

  • Favourite word / phrase / sentence:

“Sometimes you have to face up to your fears to realize that they aren’t actually real.”

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

REFINED = with impurities or unwanted elements having been removed by processing

Synonyms – clarify, process, filter

Antonyms – dirty, corrupt, pollute

HYPOTHERMIA = the condition of having an abnormally (typically dangerously) low body temperature

Synonyms – cold, chill

Antonyms – hyperthermia, hot

STROPPY = bad-tempered and argumentative

Synonyms – bad-tempered, grumpy, sulky

Antonyms – calm, cheerful


  • Reflection, Connection & Personal Response:

The author of this book, Zoë Sugg, is a youtuber. I enjoy watching her videos on YouTube, so when she released a book, I was ecstatic- and when I found out that my friend had gotten me the book for my birthday, I was even more excited. When I first started reading Girl Online, I liked it, but as it progressed, I started to lose interest. I didn’t find the plot interesting and thought it was a bit cliché. However, I kept reading to see if it would get better as I really liked the author. Sadly, it didn’t. Zoë Sugg released a sequel to this book, but I don’t think I’ll be reading it as I didn’t enjoy the first one. But this book is quite an easy read, and I was able to finish it in just a couple of hours. If someone is looking for a book where they don’t have to pay attention to a lot of detail, then this book is perfect for a light read.

LA Reading Blog #10 – 11

Book #10 – 11                              Words: 130,949                                               Date: 13/10/15 


Title: City of Bones                                                                  Author: Cassandra Clare 

Genre ~ Non-Fiction / Fiction Type: Fantasy 


  • Opening Sentence:

“You’ve got to be kidding me,” the bouncer said, folding his arms across his massive chest.

  • Favourite word / phrase / sentence:

Sarcasm is the last refuge of the imaginatively bankrupt.

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

INSOUCIANT = showing a casual lack of concern

Synonyms – nonchalant, untroubled, calm, serene

Antonyms – concerned, anxious

REVULSION = a sense of disgust and loathing

Synonyms – dislike, distaste, horror, loathing

Antonyms – liking, loving

FOLLY = the trait of acting stupidly or rashly

Synonyms – craziness, foolishness, idiocy, stupidity

Antonyms – carefulness, sense, intelligence

FASTIDIOUS = giving careful attention to detail

Synonyms – choosy, meticulous, perfectionist

Antonyms – uncritical, sloppy

RUMINATIVE = deeply or seriously thoughtful

Synonyms – absorbed, attentive, engrossed

Antonyms – thoughtless, nonreflecting

PRECIPICE = a very steep cliff

Synonyms – cliff, bluff, crag

Antonyms – slope


  • Reflection, Connection & Personal Response:

When I first started reading City of Bones a while ago, I found it to be boring and uninteresting just into a few pages. Three years later, I decided to give it a second chance and loved it. I will most likely be reading the second book in the series, City of Ashes. This book has characters who are easy to love, a plot which is easy to follow, with occasional twists to keep it interesting. While reading, I though this book was realistic as well, even if there are demons, werewolves, warlocks, and vampires in it. I thought this because the characters in the book have conversations that don’t always relate to the main idea of the book. In most books I’ve read, everyone’s conversations always relate back to the conflict in the book, but in the City of Bones, you can find people talking about their favourite food and their hobbies. This is one of the reasons why I liked this book so much.

LA Reading Blog #9

Book #9                                 Words: 35,928                                               Date: 27/9/15 


Title: Boy: Tales of Childhood                                                                   Author: Roald Dahl 

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


  • Opening Sentence:

My father, Harald Dahl was a Norwegian who came from a small town near Oslo, Sarpsborg.

  • Favourite word / phrase / sentence:

When writing about oneself, one must strive to be faithful. Truth is more important than modesty.

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

AMPUTATE = remove surgically

Synonyms – cut away, sever, dismember, cut off

Antonyms – join

INGENIOUS = showing inventiveness and skill

Synonyms – creative, imaginative, innovative, intelligent, resourceful

Antonyms – dull, foolish, stupid, uncreative, uninventive

FOLIAGE = the aggregate of leaves of one or more plants

Synonyms – leaves, greenery, vegetation

Antonyms – treeless, deforested

JAUNTY = having a cheerful, lively, and self-confident air

Synonyms – breezy, carefree, perky, playful, jolly, impish

Antonyms – depressed, sad, serious, unhappy

MALIGNANT = dangerous to health

Synonyms – deadly, destructive, fatal, lethal

Antonyms – harmless, healthful, helpful

  • Reflection, Connection & Personal Response:

I had started reading this book when I was younger, but never finished it. Roald Dahl used to be one of my favourite authors so I had decided to read another one of is books. At the time, I mostly only enjoyed reading fiction so I didn’t really like this book. A few years later, I picked it up again and now I really love it. Most autobiographies, to me, sound boring, but this one was exciting- it was funny, relatable, serious, and sad all at the same time.

LA Reading Blog #8

Book #8                                 Words: 68,904                                               Date: 17/8/15


Title: Taylor Swift: The Whole Story                                                        Author: Chas Newkey-Burden

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


  • Opening Sentence:

As Taylor Swift looked back over the year 2013, she could hardly believe what a momentous twelve months it had been for her.

  • Favourite word / phrase / sentence:

Being fearless isn’t about being 100% unafraid. It’s being terrified and jumping anyway.

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

BEWITCHING = to enchant, charm, fascinate

Synonyms – captivate, dazzle, enchant, enthral, fascinate

Antonyms – bore, disgust, repel, repulse

LEGIONS = a vast number of people or things

Synonyms – myriad, countless, populous

Antonyms – few, numbered

SPECULATION = the forming of a theory with firm evidence

Synonyms – belief, conjecture, opinion, thought

Antonyms – reality, truth, disdain

COMPELLING = evoking interest, attention, or admiration in a powerfully, irresistible way

Synonyms – fascinating, constraining, captivating, gripping

Antonyms – boring, unimportant

  • Reflection, Connection & Personal Response:

Taylor Swift is my favourite artist, so I jumped when I saw this book. A lot of people may find this book boring, but I found it very interesting. The book is about Taylor Swift’s life, her song inspirations, her motivations, and much more about her. The biography also includes full colour photos of Taylor which makes it much more appealing. If anyone is a fan of Taylor Swift, I would recommend this book to them.

LA Reading Blog #6 – 7

Book #6-7                                   Words: 101,182                                               Date: 28/10/15


Title: The Maze Runner                                                                                      Author: James Dashner

Genre ~ Non-Fiction / Fiction Type: Science Fiction 


  • Opening Sentence:

He began his new life standing up, surrounded by cold darkness and stale, dusty air.

  • Favourite word / phrase / sentence:

If you ain’t scared, you ain’t human.

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

BOMBARD = Address with continuously, as if with a barrage

Synonyms – blast, bomb, harass, hound, strike

Antonyms – leave alone

CASCADE = Rush down in big quantities

Synonyms – avalanche, torrent, force, flood, deluge

Antonyms – drip, dribble, trickle

DEVOID = Completely wanting or lacking

Synonyms – bare, barren, lacking, vacant

Antonyms – full, complete, filled

DILAPIDATED = In deplorable condition

Synonyms – battered, broken-down, crumbling, damaged, decaying, dingy,

Antonyms – good, healthy, neat, nice, repaired, sound, stable

PREDICAMENT = A difficult, unpleasant, or embarrassing situation

Synonyms – circumstance, crisis, dilemma, hardship, mess

Antonyms – advantage, agreement, benefit, solution

WRITHE = To move in a twisting or contorted motion

Synonyms – recoil, squirm, wiggle, wince, distort

Antonyms – straighten, be still

  • Reflection, Connection & Personal Response:

I had heard a lot about The Maze Runner, so I wanted to see what the hype was about. When I started reading, it did not disappoint. I was glued to my seat reading- even at PEAK at times. This book made me want to keep reading it as was very suspenseful, and neither the main character or the reader knows what is going on for most of the time which makes it easier to relate to him.

LA Reading Blog #5

Book #5                                    Words: 62,496                                               Date: 29/9/15


Title: Thirteen Reasons Why                                                                          Author: Jay Asher

Genre ~ Non-Fiction / Fiction Type: Realistic Fiction     


  • Opening Sentence:

“Sir?” she repeats. “How soon do you want it to get there?”

  • Favourite word / phrase / sentence:

I hope you’re ready, because I’m about to tell you the story of my life. More specifically, why my life ended. And if you’re listening to these tapes, you’re one of the reasons why.

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

CONTEMPLATE = Reflect deeply on a subject

Synonyms – aim, consider, ponder, think of, propose

Antonyms – forget, ignore, neglect, reject, disregard

PROPOSITION = A suggestion offered for acceptance or rejection

Synonyms – offer, invitation, motion, premise, proposal, recommendation

Antonyms – reality, truth, denial, opposition

AVERT = Turn away or aside

Synonyms – avoid, deter, halt, preclude, deflect, divert

Antonyms – aid, allow, support

CONDESCENDING = Characteristic of those who treat others with arrogance

Synonyms – arrogant, patronizing, snooty, egoistic

Antonyms – approachable, friendly, humble

ORNATE = Marked by complexity and richness of detail

Synonyms – beautiful, elegant, fancy, lavish, magnificent

Antonyms – dull, offensive, plain, poor, ugly, simple, unsophisticated

MEANDER = A bend or curve, as in a stream or river

Synonyms – drift, ramble, roam, snake, stray, stroll

Antonyms – straighten, untwist, go direct, stay on path, stay

  • Reflection, Connection & Personal Response:

Thirteen Reasons Why is a book based on suicide, so it can be quite sensitive to some people. However, I thought this book was well-written, and I loved it. Most of the book is stretched out over one night, which may seem unnatural but it worked well. On the other hand, the story can get a bit confusing at times because there are many different characters mentioned- and they all tie together at one point. This book is a fairly easy read and I would highly recommend it.