This is the last blog of my 6th grade life, and after all these days and months I have had many new experiences. Before, I thought PBL was just to make and iMovie and preset it to the audience (5th Grade). But now this is my second year of PBL and I have evolved and figured out the true meaning of PBL. It is about collaborating with other students, learning about real world problems, and knowing not only to answer the question but to question the answer.
Try It Out: PBL got me focused on getting out of my comfort zone and to try new things, as in making the front of our school look like a beautiful piece of land instead of a weeded area that has trash (Community Project), learning how to code a video game (Penny Arcade), and practicing how to use scale on a blueprint to create a house (Dream House Design).
I’m Interested: What really caught my attention was the Dream House Design project because the career that I would like to have is an architect. The Dream House Design project was a perfect example of architectural designs because we practice scale, square footage, and being precise on drawing the architectural symbols. My classmates broke up into groups that we chose ourselves so we can be comfortable with our teammates. The project lasted for a month and each week of this month we had to make a blog showing our progress of how much we have done. We also had special guests (professional architects) help us with what to buy, how to be more accurate on the blueprint, and how to figure out how big the stairs should be. When the final day of the project came (Exhibition Night) the audience was given two stickers to clarify who had the best design or the best collaboration in their groups. The day after Exhibition Night, my teacher, Mrs. Opp, announced the winners and my group ended up winning the best design by having the most stickers given.
Coding: In 6th grade we practiced coding, and we created a game out of it. Our games had to have a protagonist (the hero) and a antagonist (the villain). The games are based off of myths that we could make out of our imagination or an actual myth but with another story added to it. Each group was given an ancient culture so the myth that we create had to follow the culture. The project took about 1 month and 1/2 to finish. Our video game was named “Dragon Quest.” It is where a dragon (Youya Lung, The Protagonist) is enemies with a panda (Po Chang, The Antagonist). The website we used to code was named Scratch and there are many games/ trivia/ videos that are made by children by all ages and even adults.
Moved: On the first day of 6th grade I have not been in Mrs. Opp class yet, I had started in Ms. Weaver’s class for about 2 weeks (she was a combo class for 5th grade and 6th grade). I have been there because Mrs. Weaver had to change to teach only 5th grade so all of the 6th graders (there were six 6th graders) had to move out and move in to another 6th grade class.
Blogging: Something new that I have experienced is blogging it is a new way to write with expression. Instead of writing essays, Mrs. Opp makes us blog about reflecting on what we do in our classroom. We once blogged about our favorite PBL project, our Open Campus, the Makers’s Faire (our new science fair), and many more! I think that my teacher recommended us to do this so other students so teachers may read our blogs and see what we are doing in our class, to make writing more fun, and write our reflection on how much we have done over time in our PBL Projects. (Click on this link so you can see my blogs!)
Books: As I was growing up I have not taking an interest in reading books. But, in the summer of 2013 my Aunt told my cousins and me that we should start reading books that we would read in middle school or high school. So, to prepare us for that, she made up Summer Reading. Summer Reading is when there is a book for each of my cousins and each week they must finish the book then trade. After everyone has finished the book of the week we can all get to go to Great America, Gilroy Gardens, or to a swimming pool. After this experience, if you read books you could take an interest of reading, have a new adventure, or maybe go get a reward for reading. But now I understand that my aunt was right, there was a book that had to be read in 6th grade matching the ones we read on Summer Reading.
Extra Credit!: Now the end of the year is coming and my classmates and I look at are grades and make a devastated face, so to turn that frown upside down Mrs. Opp told us about EXTRA CREDIT! To have extra credit, she told us that we should create a lesson that contains your interest and the subject that you would like to improve on. My best friend and I are thinking of our interest and we came up with band, Pok’emon, and singing, we would like to improve on social studies, writing, and math. We had to teach a class about environmental conservation. So, we know that to teach the class about a certain subject and our inspiration, we must have an anticipatory set (the beginning of the lesson where we grab the audience’s attention to have them be interested in our project). Next, we start the main activity, (where most of the learning is at, it also aces more time to do this part), then it is the Assessment (the part on how would the teachers know that the students have learned what they have learned), and finally it is Question Time (ask the students questions and the students ask clarifying questions back).
Lastly, trying new experiences is an absolute way of learning more, so although it may seen tempting to try new things and get out of your comfort zone. It has taken a lot of bravery to have new experiences, but now this is my last year at Katherine Smith so it was worth it. Looks can be deceiving and as my brother always says, “You never know how it tastes, feels, or seems until you TRY!”