Math Reflection 2015 Semester 1

Q.1.  Does S1 final grade accurately reflect your academic progress and proficiency demonstrated (Exemplary, Proficient, Approaching, Concern).  Please use the evaluation sheet in your assessment folder to reflect on why or why not?  

I believe my grade should have been a little better then what my semester grade reflected.  I believe this because with the reassessment I improved my sequences and series to an A while the others went down.  But even though the other sections lowered I feel I showed a good understanding in the first tests for my grade to have been a little better.  But with my grade I am able to see how to improve and concentrate on for the exams.

Q.2.  Please look at the topic outline for IB SL Mathematics 2 year programme provided on the blog or on the board.  What topics do you perform well on/feel comfortable with?  What are your projected areas of study?  

From what is written on the blog and what tests I have taken this semester so far I feel comfortable with sequences and series because I feel I have a deep understand of the topic.  This also shows in my reassessment grade and my first assessment for sequences and series because it was my highest so far.  From last year and this year I think I still have a good understanding of scientific notation (because of my sciences classes) and I think I have a good understanding of factoring and linear equations as well.  Over all before the exam I feel I have a lot to work on but I also maintain my understanding of a lot so it shouldn’t be more then a review.

Q.3.  Aside from your academics, are there ESLR’s that you can set goals for improving upon in Semester 2? Do you feel ESLR’s have an impact on how your academic grades are formed/supported?  Throughout the 2 year programme, what have you learned about yourself and how you best learn?  (Please comment on notes, homework, peers, sleep, teacher feedback, appropriate seating arrangement, etc.)  Do you feel that understanding and following through your own personal guidelines of an ‘optimal learning environment’ would be effective beyond high school and into higher education?

You have made a comment a few times that I should switch seats to get the most understanding out of my class. I understand this but I feel if I am able to explain it to my table I will have a better understanding of the topic, then if I would sit next to someone telling me the whole time what to do because i would just keep asking them.  Sitting where I am still allows me to ask others questions but also try and help my table at times.  Over all I think my ESLR’s are good but I think I can improve by asking you personally more questions rather then just rely on the tutor for answers.  I think if I ask you more understanding questions I might be able to improve my ESLRs and grade in math overall.  Finally I do believe our learning environment will be effective outside of school especially during study groups.

Q.4.  Up to present day, when was your most stressful time frame during your high school years?  Do you have advice for the incoming Junior class concerning time management/college applications/IB requirements (EE, CAS, IB Assessments, Sports, Extracurricular Activities, College Essays, Applications, Teacher Recs, etc.)

First I would say when you get an assignment or project of any kind at least work partially on it right away because the projects seem to come at the same time so you will be stuck with 3 at once so if you get work done when you first get it it won’t be so bad later.  Second I would say with college applications get peers and teachers and parents to read it before you send it off.  A college essay shouldn’t be a fast thing it takes time to think of a good idea to write about that really made a change that will set you apart from the other applicants. Finally I just want to say Senior year didn’t hit me until I started getting acceptances from colleges so the soon you start the application process the sooner your life is going to change forever 😉

Chemistry 2015 Reflection

1. Are you happy with your grade in Chemistry?

I am satisfied with it but I feel I can do a little better in Chemistry then what my grade shows.  Although I feel I could have done better I feel my grade is still something to be proud of with everything else going on around Chemistry.  But I feel with Chemistry I understand the basics but I need to get a better deeper understanding of the concepts to be able to improve my grade.

2. Are you happy with your overall progress in the IB Chemistry program?

I am happy with my progress in Chemistry.  Last year class was more independent which I have to get used to but it is better for me to learn more efficiently to be taking hand notes and getting a lecture.  Compared to last year I feel I have improved my understanding a lot but of course theres aways more to do and improve on.

3. If you want to improve your grade this semester, how will you do so?

I do want to improve my grade and I am going to do that by instead of just listening to the lectures I am going to take notes before hand so I know what is going to be discussed during the class lecture.  Also I want to start reviewing now so later it is not all just piled up so I am going to try and go over one old sections every other week.  I think this will help me prepare for the exams and have a better understanding or the new and old topics. Finally I also want to focus on Organic because I feel I could get my grade up more if I had a little more time so during the free time we have I want to focus on organic too.

4. Do you think your current study habits in and out of class are going to help you be successful when you sit your exam?  If yes, why? If no, why not? And if no, what can you do differently over the next few months?

I think what I am doing is good but it needs improvement.  Like I said above I will take notes on the section the class lecture will be on the day before so I understand the lecture being taught.  Also before the tests I want to do minimum the book questions but if I still don’t understand I need to get myself to do the worksheets as well.  I think this will help with increasing my testing scores as well as understanding.

Chemistry Reflection 2014 Organic

What is working verses not?

Compared to last year where we were more independent learners, I think having class lectures every day has helped improve my understand of each topic.  Although these lectures are helping improve my understanding I think I could increase my understanding more if I took notes from the book before the class lecture on that topic.  This will allow me to have a background understanding before the lecture and then extra understanding when the lecture is taught.  If I could get into a routine where I can do this I think this will really improve my understanding of each topic and grade during the final test.  I think fi I can get these two ways of learning the one benchmark hopefully will increase my understanding and knowledge of the topic.

For the reassessment I will first go through the previous test and understand why I got each one I did wrong.  After this understanding I want to do all the worksheets given on iTunes U course and if I still feel like I need more practice then I will do the questions in the book as well.  After all these steps hopefully I will have a better understanding of Organic and do better the first reassessment.

Feeder (English Source 3)

My third source for you Fish is: (

1)  “American civilization is the most successful in all of human history for a reason. Our rule of law rests on the firm foundation of our cultural values, one of which is a common language.”  This quote demonstrated to me how language plays a big part in understanding the American culture.  Without knowing or speaking English, the American culture could simply slip away with the constant new immigrants moving to the U.S.. This would be disrespectful to the U.S. because without having English as the official language they could lose their identity and culture values.

2) “New Americans have always enriched our nation, and for American civilization to succeed, we must maintain and strengthen America’s civic culture.”  This quote emphasizes through the diction such as “enriched”, to demonstrate how the U.S. has no disrespect towards new immigrants.  Although to preserve the American culture knowing and understand English is a big aspect to maintains the U.S.’s identity.

3) “We believe we should continue to strongly encourage legal immigrants to become citizens, but it is important that those seeking citizenship embrace American values and the culture which bind us together. In order to preserve that bond, a common language is required.”  The U.S. encourages immigrants to become citizens of the U.S. but there are rules so the U.S. will be able to maintain their culture and language and not get overruled by the new cultures that are coming in.

4) “Specific citizenship reform measures for new legal immigrants should:

  • Replace bilingual education with intensive English instruction to help new Americans assimilate into our civilization, thus preserving our culture.
  • Return ballots to English language format, focus on English language literacy as a prerequisite of citizenship, and insist that dual citizens vote only in the United States and give up voting in their birth nation.”

All these rules made when trying to become a citizen are done to preserve the American culture and to do that one would need to know English.  To simplify this process the government could make English the U.S. official language considering they require it anyways if one is to become a citizen.  Requiring English to be known before one become a citizen shows discreetly how the U.S. acts as if English is their official language since they require it but don’t enforce it due to too much controversy between citizens and it sounding like the U.S. is taking ones culture away to learn those.  But in this text, one can see that is not that case but one just needs to know the U.S. culture values as an addition.

Feeder (English Source 2)

My second source for you to use is: (

1)  Steve King wrote this opinion piece and asked himself when pretesting for English being the official language of the U.S. “Why is anyone so offended by an official language of the United States of America? Why do they get so angry?” This is the same questions I was asking myself when I first read this question.  The majority of America is already speaking English so why not just appoint a official language?  These questions lead to his determination to get Iowa’s official language as English.  It took him 6 years but now Iowa is “the 28thstate out of now 30 states that have English as the official language.”

2)  When he was debating for English to be the official language he argued that “if you don’t the government will make all kinds of excuses and they’ll declare we’re a “national language.” It’s got to be an official language so that the official functions of government are in English.”  Without making the official language of the U.S. English this could easily cause conflict between foreigners, non-English speakers and the U.S. government.

3) “A common language binds people together more powerfully than religion, than common ethnicity, or by race or culture. There is nothing more powerful than language that binds people together.”  When he mentions unity and how language binds people together is a good debating pro point because without an official language of English it shows separation between the American country.  This could later cause bigger conflict then just making English the official language now.

4) “You ever notice a family that speaks in a lingo or different language that you can’t understand what’s going on around their kitchen table?” I have for sure all the time living abroad my whole life I can relate that not understanding does cause a separation.

5)  King says “it’s the language of success, it’s the language of politics and negotiations, it’s the language of business.” He is talking about English and I  did additional research and found that 470 million to over a billion depending on how literacy or mastery is defined in the world speak English. English is also when combining native and non-native speakers is probably the most commonly spoken language in the world.  These facts and statistics help support our argument for why the official language of the U.S. should be English.

Feeder (English Source 1)

Fish, here are some helpful sources I will explain to help with your debate.  My first source actually represents both pro and con for “Should English be the official language of the U.S.?” but I will only be summarizing the main points from the pro argument.


1)  ”English is the official language of 51 nations and 27 states in the United States.” – This statement can be argued for the pro side by mentioning how some states in the U.S. do have English as there official language but not the whole collective United States.  Since some states agreed to accepting English as their official language why not the whole country?


2)  A poll was taken and the results “found that 85 percent of Americans supported making English the official language of all government operations. Among Hispanics surveyed, 71 percent supported this idea.” – These statistics can support ones argument.  Also the mention of the Hispanics also taking this poll will most likely be on the con’s argument but with these statistics you could have a reliable and accurate statistics to prove false to their argument. (2010 Census counts of Hispanics in 33 states; Hispanics accounted for the majority — 58% — of population growth over the decade in those states.)


3)  Another quote / story related to the previous argument that could arise is: “In 2001, the U.S. Supreme Court ruled that Martha Sandoval, a Mexican immigrant who had lived in the U.S. for 10 years without learning English, could not sue Alabama because the state did not offer foreign-language driver’s license tests.”  This story shows how the U.S. seems to be acting as if English is there official language and won’t change there opinion based on someone who has had to the time to learn but just didn’t want to.  “We must unite our country behind our proud national language, help new immigrants advance by learning it, and save taxpayer dollars by making English our national language.” This quote demonstrates why the government should want to change English to their official language because it will clarify the confusion in the rights  “to foreign-language government forms, deportation notices, or civil service exams” as well as help save taxpayer dollars.

4) “This nation decided long ago that you must know English to become a citizen. So there is no reason to offer government services in foreign languages.” This quote can argue for the reasons behind the quote / story previously stated as well. Showing how people that aren’t citizens aren’t a priority and the ones that are should all speak English supposedly eliminating this problem.


AMPed Project

What is your first AMPed project? Why, why are you interesting in learning more about this?

I am doing my AMPed project with Jessica, Sharon and Liz.  Our project is called the Pet Care Project which is a blog were going to make to give the society of Shenzhen tips and advice on how to take care of there pets in China.  I am interested in this project because in the future I want to work with animals and being able to learn and gain knowledge about it now will help later when I’m in university.

How are you spending your time on this project? i.e. only at school, only at home, both, or I haven’t at all?

We have started slowly working on it in school and outside of school but we only have parts done but nothing completed.

What have you read or what have you learned (or both)?

I have learned so much about what vet’s do and look for during check ups and all the necessities I would need if I was going to get a dog in china. For example the type of brand of dog food that is best for a dog etc.

Math IA Reflection

My topic for my math IA is projectile motion, fireworks.  In my draft so far I only have my introduction.  I think my introduction is good so far and includes all the main components that the introduction needs but I know I still need to edit it and make it more detailed and not just state one thing then the next and so on.

For the rest of my draft I need to wait until after the forth of July because I want to take pictures of my own fireworks.  Hopefully this will allow me with a deeper connection to this project and to my life.  Also I have to do all the graphs with the calculator by inserting the picture and creating a parabola of the firework structure etc over the summer.  The technology and math section is what I’m most worried about most because I don’t know if I will be able to work the technology or have enough math in this project to have enough to complete the SL requirements.  But I am determined to make this project work and be able to get a good grade for it. Also I ahve to do a little more research for my conclusion about the different firework laws in America verse China and see if I can figure out the difference from the firework pictures.  Finally over the summer after I have my data pretty much done I will be able to write a raft conclusion.

I would like you (Ms. Gilmore) to give me feed back in August because I will have data and a real draft of everything by then so you would be able to give me more specific comments.  Over all I am enthusiastic about this project and can’t wait to see how it turns out.

Biology Article Response

1.) What does a synthetic type of DNA mean for the scientific community?

This means that the researchers have new and more developments to discover as well as improving or adding on to old ones.  An increase in the nucleotide bases would mean new and improved ideas which could possibly cure illnesses or diseases we have with no cure.  Finally this could mean an increase in understanding of our DNA strands which would given everyone a better understanding of how our cells and DNA’s work and function.

2.) How might having a fifth and sixth nucleotide base affect the future of drug delivery systems?

Having a fifth and sixth nucleotide base will allow researchers and scientist to develop new medicines and nanotechnology.  This will affect the future of drug delivery systems by allowing the transporter protein that come from algae, if it or the X and Y bases are lacking, the microbial cells revert back to the natural genetic code.  Saying this would mean there shouldn’t be much of an effect at the moment but as time goes on and these new nucleotides are spread there delivery system could either speed up due to more nucleotide bases or slow down because of them.  No one will know for sure until the spread of these cells but we can assume with more would mean faster and more development of different proteins that could help our body and other things in the future.

Biology Reflection Chemistry of Life

This unit in Chemistry of life I learned a lot about how to for example incorporate what we learned in this unit in making an experiment based off of it.  Last semester/unit I remember writing that I didn’t understand some of the connections between the unit and the experiments we did.  But this unit having designed  a lab ourselves allowed me to understand the experiment better before doing it.  My experiment I did was weather the rate of photosynthesis would increase or decrease if the light intensity increased or decreased.  Creating this experiment from what I took from the unit I understood rather then just read and did what the experiment asked.  This allowed me to have better understanding of Chemistry of life then I have with units in the past.

For next semester for me to improve I would say I should continue taking notes during your lecture because I feel I understand best after you explain it.   But I have to make sure I don’t just stop there but also read the text book and sources given to fully extent my understanding.  I realized this unit that understanding is better then memorizing! For the rest of the year I hope to continue to improve by not only taking notes on your lectures but also understanding the readings and resources given to us.  If I am able to continue to take good notes and maybe even become more independent and find my own useful resources then I think I will be able to continue to improve in Biology.