Wednesday, May 27, 2015

Documentary Reflections

The process we went through to complete our documentary was a very (very) long and complicated process. First we had to pick a topic, (with the group I had it took awhile to just agree on one!). Next we researched the main idea, so we were prepared for our interview. We though of questions and topics to bring up during the interview so we would have enough footage for our movie. After hearing from a professional it also gave us a good understanding of the process itself. We researched stained glass (our topic) in depth and also found lots of pictures to insert into our movie. For the topic of stained glass it helped seeing examples in pictures of what we were learning. My group was fortunate enough to actually get a seperate tour and also an interview. Sara took lots of video in the glass studio, the footage mostly included video of each worker describing the exact job they contribute to the making of stained glass. But it also included videos of the workers while they were in "action." I thought this asset added a lot to our documentary. After all of our video, research, scripts, recordings, and pictures were edited and complete we added them all into iMovie. In iMovie we inserted everything and then spent lots of time perfecting each little mistake. As I said, a very very long process.

Some interesting facts I learned about my topic, stained glass, was how it is actually made. I had no idea how many different steps and how long it took to fully and successfully complete and stained glass window. I understand now it takes a lot of patience and talent to work with stained glass. You can tell by just looking stained glass windows, they are absolutely beautiful.

From this project I learned how important the actual filmmaking is to a movie. If you do not have a correct area and settings on the camera it can ruin everything! It is also important to take shots from angles that complement the person or subject. Lighting plays a big key in the way your video will look in the end.

The part of our documentary that make me most proud are the sections where there is footage from Bovard Studios. It took a lot of work to get a tour set up, we were so excited when we actually got to visit a place where stained glass was the main idea. We learned so much from the touring the studio, I feel like the footage also adds a lot of interest to our movie. Watching the workers in action really helps you understand the process.

If we had more time, I think we could improve our documentary by adding in more of our footage and pictures. The footage has so much important information within it! It was the correct length for our class project, but if you didn't know anything about stained glass there could be some parts that are left out.

Trip Reflection

I think the most fun and also my favorite part of the Des Moines trip was staying overnight in the hotel. I really enjoyed getting to spend quality time with our goal "family." We are a very close group in a classroom, it was interesting to see how we all acted when both classes were together outside of school. Not much of a change either!

My favorite piece of art in the Art museum was a piece made of a variety of different types of string titled Élément spatial by Elsi Giauque.

 I thought the best example of art was a painting done by Childe Hassam, titled "Bridge in Snow" on oil canvas.

I thought the best example of "Why is it art," was a piece titled Tennyson done by Jasper Johns. It seemed like there really wasn't much work put into this piece. There were so many others that had so much more to offer just by looking at them. This piece looked a lot like a blank grey canvas with the words Tennyson across the bottom.

The most famous person I found in the museum was Pablo Picasso. I found two paintings done by him. I was very surprised a museum in the middle of Iowa would have such famous artwork.

For me the most educational part of the trip seemed to be the Iowa Hall of Pride. I learned a lot of information about our state. It was amazing to see how many great people grew up in the same state we live in. I loved listening to the person who welcomed us speak about all the great things Iowa has to offer. He was very inspiring.

To improve the trip for next year I suggest shortening the History Museum and Iowa Hall of Pride times. They were both very interesting in the beginning, but after seeing the same things for more than an hour it got very boring. It would also be very cool to visit the science museum, that was the first time I have ever been in there. Just from the small section I saw it looked very interesting.

Monday, April 6, 2015

Images of Greatness

    For my Image of Greatness I chose Maya Angelou. I wrote an essay and created a poem about Maya's life, and then displayed the information on a trifold.

      What I enjoyed most about my project was reading Maya's poems and biographies. Researching her life was interesting, but reading the powerful words she wrote helped me understand even more. It felt like everything I learned made sense after I read about it happening.
      Learning about Maya's childhood into adulthood, was one of the most interesting parts of my project. I couldn't believe how many obstacles she had to overcome, and how she managed to do so while having so many different careers. (Dancer, singer, producer, performer, author, etc.) Discovering Maya worked with Malcom X and Martin Luther King Jr. I thought was also very interesting. I had no idea they worked together, but at the same time it didn't really surprise me. Three of the most powerful African Americans (at the time) working together to make a difference.
      The hardest part of my project was making sure everything was completed and ready for the big night. For me it wasn't terribly hard to memorize my bio riddle, but keeping that in the back of my head while finishing my display board was kind of nerve wracking, and speaking on stage didn't help!
        From this project I became a better student and learner by really caring about what I was studying. This was one of my first projects where throughout the whole thing I was still learning new things and was interested in my topic.
         If I could do the whole thing over again I would read Maya's biographies sooner. I finished the first one and started the second one. But if I was reading while researching, some of the information would have made even more sense. ( Like I said in the second paragraph.) I also would make sure the music notes were not backwards! That really bothered me.
          After finishing the project I am most proud that I really learned in the process, and wanted to know more about my person the whole way through. While having fun of course! These pictures prove it-


Monday, January 5, 2015

To Kill A Mockingbird

    To me To Kill a Mockingbird is book everyone should be required to read! There are so many lessons you can learn from this book. Probably the main one referring to racism, but also along with how much a child can do. There were so many parts in the book where Scout saved the day without really knowing it. Just from hearing her point of view, it could change someone else's for better. (Mr. Cunningham)
     My favorite character in the book is Scout. She wasn't afraid to say what she believed was right, even if it was wrong. Throughout the story Scout helped many people by simply just talking to them. My other favorite character is Atticus. He knew Tom Robinson's case would cause many problems, but felt Tom deserved the same rights any man would. Atticus took pride in defending Tom while others hated him for it.
     I think the movie is perfect for the book. I just wish some more of the smaller but important parts were included.  I think all the characters in the movie represented the characters in the book perfectly. Scout, Gem, Dill, and Atticus were almost exactly how I imagined them in the book.
     The lessons in the book are still very important 50 years later, currently racism is still a major problem. You think by now we would've learned from mistakes we made in the past. But unfortunately we haven't. There are people like Atticus in the world who are to afraid to stand up for what they believe in. To Kill a Mockingbird shows an example of what can happen when someone does stand up.

Monday, November 3, 2014

Quarter- Self Evaluations

         1. I met my goal for independent reading this quarter. I read 12 books, and also met my goal for English 8.
        2. Out of the books I read this quarter, The Raft was my favorite. I really liked the action in this book and couldn't put it down.

        3. This quarter I have read all realistic fiction with a couple mysteries. I really like this genre because they all are stories that could happen. When I read fantasy for example, I don't really get into the book because I can't picture what's happening as well.

        4. For second quarter I would like to read 10 books or more. I also want to read more Science Fiction books. (at least 2)

       5.  This post is better than my others because, I asked more than one question and made an easy topic for a discussion.

       6.  I met my wiki goal. But I should make more posts, and make sure I'm not talking about something that is already being discussed in another post. I would like to make at least 3 posts next quarter.

      7. I think I have a fixed mindset. Sometimes when things are hard for me I get disappointed and very frustrated. I am better at not getting as frustrated, and now understand that things are going to be harder for me than others. To improve this I will keep trying even when I don't understand something.

      8. For the second quarter I think we should spend more time on the wiki to discuss our read aloud.

     9.  This quarter I did well with completing my homework/work on time, and reading more outside of school. Challenges were making us missed work after being absent, and reading more genres of books for independent reading. Next quarter I would like to try reading books that wouldn't normally be my first choice.

Thursday, September 18, 2014

Analyzing Our Own Differences in Learning

Jung Typology Test: ENTJ
Multiple Intelligences Test: Body Movement 4.43, Social 3.71, Spatial 3.57
VARK: Visual: 8, Aural: 4, Read/write: 5, Kinesthetic: 12

       These tests tell me that I learn better by seeing the things I'm learning about in person, and by doing the activity myself. By knowing my learning strengths (and weaknesses) I will know what to work on or when to pay better attention in class. For example if the teacher I teaching us by only talking I would understand better if I write down some of the more important things in the lesson so I can see what I'm hearing. This information will also help me outside of class, if there is something I can't figure out (or a problem) looking at pictures or trying on my own before reading instructions may help. I will be able to better advocate my learning by knowing which ways I work best and applying those in the classroom. 

Sunday, September 7, 2014

Differences in Learning

The video we watched about Autism and differences in learning, really helped me understand what Autism is and how it works. Before I watched the video I had no idea what it was really like having Autism. I thought of it as just a disability that made learning harder. But know (after watching the video) I think of it barely a disability. Yes, it does make learning difficult for some people but it also gives people a chance to be really passionate about something in particular. Once they find the thing they are most passionate about small details most of us overlook they would notice. I have a cousin that has Autism named Guy. We recently just spent a week with him, and my Aunt and Uncle this summer. This was our first time being around Guy for more than a few days during the holidays. While we were staying with them it was very clear what things Guy was most interested in. These things included, movies and music, but also he is very good at remembering the exact spot where places (shops, restaurants, etc.) are located. Guy can remember every character in every movie he owns, the characters real name, how old they were when the movie was made, their age now, year when the movie was made, and certain lines they spoke in the movie. After watching the video on differences in leaning it made me think more about all of these things my cousin was great at remembering/learning and helped me understand why.