Capstone Blog Post #3

We are done with Capstone. These last few days we have been presenting in front of the class to practice for the real presenting day. I was really terrified of sharing in front of the class but when I was done it wasn’t as bad as I expected it to be.

After all those weeks of researching, interviewing, writing scripts, and working on my slideshows I am FINALLY done with this project. I am really proud of myself for finishing all of the steps in time and not going over the due dates. I’m also proud of all the hard work I’ve done.

The first few steps were picking your topic, picking your main and sub-questions, and researching a whole lot. I already talked about picking my topic and main and sub-questions in my first blog post so this leaves me to just talk about the researching part. When I say it was a lot of researching I mean it. I thought it was going to just be a little more than normal researching but the researching step was long and scary.

I’ve had a lot of ups and downs during this project. For example, the interview part of this project was really stressful and hard for me and once I was done I was really relieved. After I interviewed my interviewee (Tania Sole) I realized I was worrying for nothing.  One of the ups I’ve had in this project is writing my script. Once I finished my introduction the rest was easy. After I was done I asked some of my friends to read it and they gave me great opinions to make my script better. Some of my friends also helped me time my script.

When Mr. Casal our tech teacher gave us the three choices which were: ted talk, ignite, or movie I thought I was definitely doing a movie because I was really scared of memorizing and talking in front of the screen, but then I thought about it more and I started to change my mind to ted talk because I thought making a slideshow was easier than making a movie. In the end, I picked a ted talk and I am happy with my choice.

We presented our capstone and we got separated into two different rooms. I was in the ar t room. I brought my flashcards because I was scared that I would just forget it and I recited it during art. When it was my groups turn to go to the computer lab to record I was so terrified. I was scared I was going to forget. I was going to go second but when I went on the screen I was shaking because of nervousness. I started my introduction but than  my slides started going by themselves I panicked and I froze. Thankfully, Mr. Casal let me start over again. But the same thing happened again! Mr. Casal finally figured out the problem and it was that my hair was touching the smart board and It went to the next slide because of that! I just had the worst luck ever today!!!  Than I started again and I froze. At this time I was really regretting my choice that I didn’t do a movie. At the end, I had to go last so I could recite it. Finally, when I was actually presenting I did it. The only thing I wasn’t happy with was that I had messed up the ending and forgot a slide because of my nervousness! Im also really scared to present in front of the parents because I can’t redo if i mess up and I will be even more nervous.

In the end, this was a really terrifiiying and a bit fun project but I’m glad I’m over with presenting.





Capstone Blog Post #2

In school, we are still working on Capstone. In my last blog post, I was talking about what Capstone is and my topic. In this blog post, I will be talking about the interview process for this project.

The first thing we had to do in the interview process was to write a request and find an expert to interview. This was the most challenging part for me. I started looking at some articles on air pollution to see if they mentioned any experts about air pollution but I didn’t find anything.  So I asked Mrs. Boyer for some help and she called a site about air pollution. When we got the phone number we tried to call it but nobody picked up. The next day we called again but it was the same. So we called that same site again and they gave us another person’s number. We called this new number and nobody picked up. I felt really frustrated because I thought it was going to be easy to get an interviewee, but it was actually really hard. When I went home that day I asked my parents if they knew someone related to air pollution. And my dad said that he knew someone named Tania Sole. When I heard this my stress lessened and I was thrilled.

Once we got Tania’s email, I sent my interview request. I didn’t waste a single second. I just wanted to be done with the interview to get on to the next step. Once Tania replied back we set up a date and she said that Fridays were generally good for her. So we set it up on Friday at 11:30. But on Friday I was at home and I got nervous because I thought we had to cancel it. But to my relief, the zoom worked! When I was done I got most of the answers to my questions. Only 4 or 5 weren’t answered. I think that my interview went great and I got the answers I was looking for!

The interview step to Capstone was fun but a little stressful too. I’m kind of glad I am done with it because now I don’t have to worry about this!

Blog Post #1 Capstone

We started a new project a few days ago. This project is a really big one. It is the biggest one we ever did this year!  It has a lot of steps to complete it. It’s called Capstone. All of the 5th-grade students in all the schools in the District are working on it. Capstone is when we have to choose a topic and spend a lot of time researching it. We also have to conduct an interview like the last project we did. We need 15 interview questions, 5 sub-questions, and 1 main question. The first thing we did for Capstone was to make a Curriculum Wheel we had to put our topic in the middle and come up with questions, related to our topic. I knew that Capstone was a very big project but I didn’t expect it to have that many steps. When Mrs. Boyer introduced the project to us I was a bit nervous because I didn’t know a lot about it and my friends seemed to know more about this project. At first, I thought that Mrs. Boyer would pick our topics for us but when she announced that we got to pick our own I started liking this project a bit more.

Coming up with a topic was the hardest thing to do for me. I had no idea what to do my capstone on so, I watched some of the other students so that I could get inspired. I changed my topic a lot of times The first one I came up with was ocean pollution because one of my other friends had done that. But then I didn’t want to copy them so I tried to find another great topic. A few days later, I found another topic which was Disneyland. I got this idea from a student that made a presentation on this. But I wasn’t really interested in it so I was on another mission to find another topic again! My next idea I  got inspired when my mom suggested that I could do Paris or the Eiffel Tower. This gave me my third idea: landmarks! I didn’t do this topic because I had to choose one landmark and I didn’t know which one. Finally, I chose a topic that I actually stayed on and one that I liked. It was air pollution. I chose this topic because I was really interested in it, I also wanted other people to know about it and how we could help before it gets worse. Honestly, picking a topic was the most hardest step for me to do so far. 

Before we started researching we needed a research question, but Mrs. Boyer told us that we could come up with our question while we were researching and the purpose of this was to get inspired by the articles and the books. I figured out my research question thanks to the articles I read. When I was reading my 4th article I noticed that all the articles I’d read all talked about two similar things. The cause and effect of air pollution. While I was thinking about this my research question just came to me!  It was, how does air pollution affect our daily life?  I figured that it would have a lot of information about it because all of the articles about air pollution would talk about how it affects us and our daily life. Honestly, finding the main question was not as hard as I thought it was going to be, and I didn’t face any challenges in finding one.

Coming up with sub-questions was harder than coming up with the main question. It was harder for me because I had a lot of them and it was hard to decide which ones I should pick. I really liked all of my choices, and when I asked Mrs. Boyer how many sub-questions we could have she said 5. I was surprised because I was expecting more and 5 didn’t seem a lot.  Once I came up with all my sub-questions, all I had to do was to pick my 5 sub-questions. I picked the ones that were the best and the ones that I could answer with research. One of my sub-questions are what is the cause of air pollution? I picked this because these were one of my two choices for my main question and a lot of articles talked about this. One of my other sub-questions are, how can we help and what are some solutions to solve air pollution? I really like my main question and I’m glad that I could decide on my sub-questions.

Capstone is the end of the year project and I was really scared about starting it. But the farther we go in the project I get more comfortable with it. I can’t wait to finish Capstone!



Immigration Project Reflection

In school, we just finished a very different and awesome project that is called Immigration. We had to interview a person who is an immigrant and make a video about them based on the answers they gave to the questions that we made. After we made the interview we had to make a script which helped us make our video. For the project, I interviewed Nadia Roumani, who is my mom’s work partner.

I learned a lot because of this project because it gave us the chance to interview someone which I really enjoyed. One of the many things I learned during the process of this project was when I was making the questions because I learned that you cannot just ask a yes or no question, you have to ask a question that will get the interviewee to start talking.

I also learned how to use Adobe. For the other projects, we were working on, we always used WeVideo and I forgot how to use Adobe, this was a great chance to learn more about it.

One thing that I found that was really surprising to me was when Nadia said that her home country, Morocco had a queen and king. Before she told me I thought that it had the same government and that it had a president.

One of the things that were frustrating was Adobe because the narration wasn’t really similar to WeVideo. We had to press a button and hold it and a lot of times I accidentally stopped the recording and didn’t realize. Another problem with the narration was that if I started before 1 second then the narration would glitch and it would be ruined. My slides were also very long and mostly I tried to go faster so it would be under 6 seconds. Lastly, I tried to make my voice sound the same as the other slides which was a little challenging for me. I didn’t really like adobe after these problems.

One of the good things that I liked about Adobe is that you could play around and resize the photos. I also liked the transitions and the theme.

Overall, I really enjoyed doing this project, and the part I loved best was when we got to conduct an interview.

Here is my final immigration video!

Refugee by Alan Gratz

In school we are reading a book called  Refugee by Alan Gratz, I wonder how all of the characters get the confidence to do things, and how they get so brave?

I think that the war expands their braveness because they have to act like grown-ups, grow up quickly, give things up, and learn to survive which takes great braveness. For example, Josef had to slap his dad in the face and talk about him behaving at the check-up place, which took a lot of bravery because his dad is kind of the boss but he had no choice, he had to do it to survive. 

Secondly, the character Isabel had to do two things to survive. The first thing was saving a man from drowning. She risked her life for her best friend’s dad. I think she did this because her grandmother drowned and she didn’t want the same thing to happen to Ivan’s dad, she didn’t think about what would happen to her. The second thing she did that was very brave is giving up her trumpet for gasoline to get away from danger. Her trumpet was really special to her and she really loved it but she had to trade it for gasoline to survive.

Lastly, Mahmod had to take care of his siblings when their home was being destroyed. He was in shock but he had to gather up all of his courage in him and find somewhere safe to stay.

Another thing I wonder about, in the book Refugee by Alan Gantz is what would the refugees’ journeys be like without the things that are helping the most?

I think that one thing that helped Isabel is the trumpet that she traded in for gas. If Isabel hadn’t had the trumpet then she wouldn’t be able to get gas which would cause the boat not to start and without the boat moving they flee away from danger.

One thing that was important for Mahmud’s family was their money. With their money they could afford the ship and a hotel, but if they didn’t have money they might’ve lived in the streets and they couldn’t afford a boat.


Rube Goldberg #2

We are still working on our Rube Goldberg. In the last blog post, I was talking about what was a Rube Goldberg, my difficulties, my solutions, and my inspirations. In this post, I am going to talk about the next step in this project.

Some of the failures I had in this part of the project was that sometimes the books wouldn’t topple over or stop midway. The ball also didn’t go the right way. And the marble would go out of the cardboard thing. I didn’t have that many failures. I also found a way to improve them so it wouldn’t happen again.

In my Rube Goldberg, I improved a lot. I think I improved every single step in my Rube Goldberg. The first thing I improved in my project was the first step. I pulled the ribbon and the shoulder rest got lifted and the ball was supposed to go but it went backward or it didn’t hit where it was supposed to. So I put a book beside the ramp so it would go straight where I wanted it to go. The third step was the part where the books would topple over each other, but the last few books weren’t hard enough so I changed them to hardcover books. The most helpful and important improvement I did was putting the Jenga blocks. It added one extra step and it made my Rube Goldberg easier. Instead of the book pushing the marble to go the book pushes the Jenga blocks and the last block would push the marble. We changed this because the book sometimes wouldn’t push the marble. Also even if the book did push the marble, the marble would stop exactly when it was going in the cardboard. But a bad side of the Jenga blocks was that I had to set the Jenga blocks and the books 53 times because it took me 53 tries. We also put tape over the cardboard slide because the marble always got out while going down. The last thing I did was change the last step. I have to thank my dad for the last part because he helped me a lot with the last step. If I hadn’t changed it I would have to do a lot more tries than I have right now.

I also had to change the last step of my sketch because my first design didn’t work and it was very complicated.

I had more success than failure this time. One very big success for me was that the tractor plugged in the computer! I thought this wouldn’t work when I did it, but it did work! Another success I had with my Rube Goldberg is that the Jenga blocks pushed down the marble. And after I improved the cardboard thing, The marble could go down without falling once!

Now onto the video part of the project. This part was actually the hardest part for me. I had to figure out a way to catch the marble going downstairs. We had to put different cameras every few steps of my Rube Goldberg. We had to find a way that they wouldn’t see the other cameras. Also when I was finished, I had to sort all of the fails and other things in a folder. Another thing we had to do was find the part of the success’s in each device. We all took everything in one whole video so we had to cut the parts that were the success parts and put them together.

Some things I learned in this project were how to make a good video, to keep trying, that it feels good to succeed,  how a complex machine could complete a simple task, and the six simple machines that help people’s lives easier.

Even though this was a kind of fun project, I am kind of glad that I am done with it. When I had the successful run I was so happy!! It felt like a rock had been lifted off my back!


Rube Goldberg #1

In school, we are working on  such a cool project. It is called Rube Goldberg! It is a complex machine that could do a simple task with you just pressing, or pulling something. My simple task is to plug my laptop. You have to use simple machines in your Rube Goldberg.

In our case, we have to use 3 simple machines or more. There are 6 simple machines: the wedge, pulley, inclined plane, wheel and axle, lever, and screw. The simple machines are very important to our daily life. They help us do simple tasks, that is why they are called simple machines. I used the inclined plane, ( ramp) the wheel and axle ( car), and pulley. I made the pulley by putting a ribbon on the doorknob and tying one end to my shoulder rest and the other side was just hanging so I could pull it and the shoulder rest lifted.

It took a lot of time to plan everything out. First, I had to gather the supplies for my Rube Goldberg and I had to think of some ideas that could work for me. I also had to find a simple task. We had to make a sketch of our project.

I used a lot of supplies for my Rube Goldberg. Some of the supplies I used were : Jenga blocks, books, marbles, and a ,ball. It took a lot of time to think out how I was going to plug the laptop. I think that the sketch part wasn’t that hard, if you planned it out. I have 13 steps in my Rube Goldberg, but I am trying to aim for more. It took a lot of time to plan everything out.

The Rube Goldberg had a lot of difficulties for me. First of all my brother and sister. When I was testing out one part of my project I used one of his toys. And my brother stole his toy out of my Rube Goldberg and hid it so I couldn’t use it. I had to find another supply to replace that one. My sister was very clumsy when she went near my project. EVERY time she was near it she would either knock the books down or the train track. At one point I was out of patience and told her to not come near my Rube Goldberg. Another difficulty was one of the things I was using: the Jenga blocks. I was very frustrated with it. Every time I would put the last block on it would all get knocked down, or my siblings would “accidentally” knock them down. The biggest problem for me was making the marble go down the stairs and make it go down in the marble maze. It took a million tries. It was very exasperating. The dinosaur wind up toy was also very hard. I had to balance a block on its head so it wouldn’t go. Finding the right supplies to make it do what I want was hard too, For example the pulley was really hard to make. I had to think a lot for this.

Even though I had a lot of difficulties I had a lot of success’s too. One of my success in my Rube Goldberg project was the simple machines I used. I made my pulley with a ribbon, violin shoulder rest, and a door knob. When I first made this I didn’t think it was going to work but it did, and when it did I was so happy! Also when I chose that i was going to a wheel and axle I didn’t know how to do it. But then I realized a toy car was basically a wheel and axle. I think that the inclined plane was the easiest simple machine to make.I just had to put books under the art kit so it would be a ramp. Out of the six simple machines my favorites are pulley and inclined plane. After I got the marble to go in the marble maze I was really proud of myself. After this I thought that if I made the marble go in the marble maze than I can figure out a way for the wind up toy to go straight.

I also had a lot of ideas but most of them I didn’t use or I made it a better idea.  Before I picked my simple task I had a lot of choices. One of the big ones I really wanted to do was pulling a curtain. It was really hard. It was almost impossible. I was going to pull the curtain by tying a string to it and a remote control car was going to pull it. But the remote control car wasn’t strong enough. While I was doing this I noticed that our curtain was a pulley.

I had a lot of inspirations for my ideas. The biggest inspiration was my house items. Every time I looked around I saw how things I never noticed could be one of the simple machines or that I could use it. I didn’t have to buy anything from the store I could just use the things at home. Another inspiration was the past Rube Goldberg videos. They helped me  and inspired me a lot. Mrs. Boyer also helped me a lot.

In conclusion, this project is very fun and I hope we do more of these kinds of projects. At first when I heard that we were going to do this project I thought it was going to be really easy, but when we actually started this I realized that there was more to just building it. You had to sketch it, take a video about it, and it took a lot of tries.


Constituion Project Blog Post

I think that the purpose of this fun project was to learn about different topics in the past. This is related with our Constitution unit because the 19th amendment was in the constitution and it was the amendment that gave women the right to vote. A lot of women fought for their right. Women vote today because of women in the past. We should be grateful for the women who fought in the past. They organized a lot of societies and protests. I chose this topic because I was really interested in the 19th amendment, Also before I researched this topic I realized that I had never thought about the women who made voting a amendment.

There were a lot of steps to this project and the first step to this was to pick your topic and research it. At first I was going to pick civil rights then I changed my mind because I knew a lot about civil rights and not a lot about the 19th amendment so I  chose the 19th amendment. Then we had to research the topic. I used a lot of resources for this project.

The second step to this project was the script. I thought that this step was going to be easy but it was challenging to make it less than 6 seconds and not more than 15 second. Fist i thought that all slides had to be 15 seconds. And I didn’t know what I was supposed to write in the script.

The third step was the slideshow part. We had to put our script in the speaker notes and practice it out loud. The we had to put pictures in it and record.
The recording part was the last step to this project. It took a lot of tries to make it perfect. It almost took like 15 tries. It took a lot of patience. Even if I did every slide right the time would sometimes be over. Also another problem was that I made a lot of mistakes while recording.

I think that the most challenging part of this project was the recording because you had to try a lot before you got it right. It was also challenging because the screencast always went overtime.

The part that was most enjoyable for me was the research because i learned a lot of facts also I went to new sites that I didn’t know. I learned a lot of things about the 19th amendment. One of the things I learned was that the women did a lot of things for women to vote. Another thing I learned is that a lot of women believed  that they should have the right to vote. Also when they were rejected they didn’t back out.

I really liked this project and it was similar to the ignite we did last year in 4th grade. I learned a lot about the constitution and the 19th amendment. The thing i am most proud of is my screencast recording and my slideshow.

Comparing Fly away home and Smoky night

In class we read two great books named fly away home and smoky nights by the same author: Eve Bunting! I personally like fly away home more then smoky night.

Something i noticed in these two stories there are two symbols. They were both animals.  The symbol in fly away home is the bird and it got stuck in the airport and it couldn’t get out. But Andrew said “Don’t stop trying, Don’t you can get out” And when the bird found a door that opened it got out. And when Andrew thinks when the bird found a passage he knows that one day he is going to get out of the airport too.

Smoky night had a symbol too. It was a cat and it represented friendship. Their were two cats and they did not get along. But they did not get along because they never knew each other that well. Then the fire happened and they helped each other. The same thing happens with Mrs. Kim and Danny’s mom .But when they put their differences aside and tried to be friends they realized that they could be really good friends.

The setting in both stories are different.The characters, Dad and Andrew live in a airport because they don’t have a house. If the setting was a different place like a street then they wouldn’t have to act like nobody and blend in the airport. Even though everyone is different on the street nobody really stands out.

On the other hand the character and the mom have a house and they do not have to worry about being caught like Andrew and his dad. They have a different problem. Their house gets caught on fire. But because of this problem they all get together.


These are your Right : by Adam Lambert

We watched the video These are your Rights with the class and answered some questions.

I think that the most important rights that a american citizen should have is that you can practice your religion because in the past people in the colonies could not practice their own religion so they broke up with King George. And after the bill of rights were written they could practice their own religion.  For me the  most important right is that if students get punished it should not be cruel. Because if they do something wrong and get a time out of punishment it can not be cruel. Another important right that students should have is the right to have the freedom of press. Because students should have the freedom to write in their notebook or doc freely. If i had the choice to make a new right is that every single student should be treated equally no matter how they look like and which religion they are from.

I think that all citizens should have equal rights because King George did not give everyone equal rights and this started a war. King George only taxed the Americans and not his people he didn’t treat everyone equally. And he didn’t give everyone the equal rights they deserved. This is why everyone should have equal rights.

I think that the right to bear arms should be limited because you really don’t need to go around everywhere with a gun to protect yourselves. I think that they should limit this right because they could use the weapons against innocent people. Another reason that they should limit this right is because if they hunt a lot they can endanger the animals.

I think that a right that we should have is to protect the rights we already have.  One reason that we should protect the rights we already have is because nobody can just come over to us and take a right away from us for example they can’t take our right to vote.