Tuesday, August 3, 2010


Year 11 will be even more intense than Year 10, and so I may briefly post how my five subjects are going, where I am in my learning, and the occasional grade, but I'll start to wind up on the heavy blogging. It's been enjoyable, and it still doesn't have to end, because this blog will stay here for a long time yet. All the websites I've been involved in, and all the Web 2.0 tools I've experimented with have caused a set of footprints, my footprints, to be traced in the sand everywhere that I went online. And there they'll stay.


I've made this a tradition now, but have discovered that noone ever stops learning if you keep your eyes wide open, as well as your mind.
I've learnt that success must be worked towards and changes to learning made in order to achieve at a higher level. I, for the first time, am starting to have to fight for my good grades and must continue to improve my work ethic before exams and next year. Perhaps what the world needs is a change to learning as well, but a change for the better. A change from old-school to using technology and Web 2.o tools? This could well work. It would equip students with more than what they need and teach them more than they can learn from the current style. I am still for electronic portfolios.
This blog started as an around five week experiment for my school. The others who started with me have long since given up, but I've kept mine going, four years down the track, because I warm to the idea of a big collection, preserved forever online, of all my school work, briefly, since Year 7, since I started going to school, learning to learn, rather than accepting everything I'm taught. With an eportfolio I can be more spontaneous, and that is a good skill to acquire. Perhaps this also shows determination, for I've made a point of keeping the blog going. One year, two years, three ... four.
There really has been no end to all I've learnt from keeping a blog, an electronic portfolio. It provides a good base to inspire from, and to teach from. There's a world of online tools out there.


In Year 9, I was involved with House Forum. I represented my tutor group to take part in organizing house events.
I was part of the Environmental Council and helped to clean our local stream a couple of times.
I joined the Junior Choir. We had 12 Year 9's and we sang some songs the whole year through.
I played my flute in the Junior Concert Band made especially for prizegiving.
I was part of the Flute Choir and was therefore involved with the annual Spring Concert of musical items.
I played tennis for the school in the first term, and later joined the Rockclimbing club (which I'd been waiting to join since Intermediate!). This was the constant highlight of the week. I learned about the grading system NZ uses for rockclimbing and progressed from climbing 16's to scrambling up two 20's.
I sat the Australasian Writing paper but had a catastrophe with being over the word limit. New to college, I didn't know word counts don't matter as much as I assumed, so I'm ashamed to say I had problems during that paper and got Participation.
I took part in Athletics Day which was especially for serious athletes. (!) A wee bit scary but I stayed with the younger girls and tried some javelin, 100m sprint, shotput, long jump and am pleased to say that I did better at discus than I thought I could.
I swam hard for the annual Swimming Sports day. My friend and I did well in our heats. Neither of us swim competitively. I received a 3rd place in freestyle, a 2nd place in backstroke and a 1st place in breaststroke.

This year, in Year 10, I rejoined the Environmental Council and have done a bit of treeplanting in the school horticulture garden. I was accepted into an elite garden renovating group too.
I came back to the Junior Choir. Year 9's outnumbered us this year. We sang 'Laudamus Te', 'My Gifts to Keep' and 'I'm a Believer' (as well as a few others, just for fun), for the annual Big Sing competitin in the Town Hall. We were a small amateur choir compared with the more prestigious schools but were awarded a grade one higher than what we expected!
This year I properly joined the Concert Band - it has been a lot of fun rehearsing on Friday mornings. We play 'Ash Lawn Echoes', three pieces from 'Sinfonia #4' and four pieces, but primarily two, from the 'Simple Gifts' movement. The really lovely piece in that selection is called 'In Yonder Valley' and, having a lot of flutes in our band, I volunteered for the part of the glockenspiel! I found I really like the glockenspiel, and although a little tricky straightaway, sight reading with everyone watching, a week of determined practicing later, I was away. I played the glockenspiel in the annual KKB Music Festival in the Town Hall. I was a little frightened because it didn't sound so good, but I had never played wih such impressive acoustics before and apparently from further down, where my conductor stood, it sounded beautiful. - Phew! The medal we received was the Silver Medal. We were one point off getting a gold! My conductor is very happy with our award this year, anyhow.
I sat a Year 11 Science exam - the National Chemistry Quiz - but haven't received my grade back yet. It was, however, very hard.
Again, I took part in Athletics Day, running 400m, 200m, 100m and 1500m (but remained a little daunted by the 3km run) because I had trained over the summer for the annual Round The Bays event and hadn't done it in the end. I also did quite well in long jump, getting shortlisted twice before jumping too short (I can hardly remember now but I think I jumped 1.97m on one of these), and attempted high jump. My friend and I did discus and shotput too. The highlight of the day was placing second in the 1500m - although there were two people from my house - I still received the little red card with number two printed on!
I did well in my heats in Swimming Sports again. I got two 2nd places and one 1st place. Virtually no-one wanted to do 30m butterfly, and they needed two from each house, so my friend and I went in for a laugh. I fell behind, but I was against professionals! Surprisingly, the two of us were nominated for the relay as well!

I also kept on rockclimbing this year. I improved hugely in technique when I ws coached by another girl who's very good. I've since climbed a further three grade 20's (and am proud of myself!) and made it up my first 21 ever. I was also selected for an exchange against another high school and put into a team of six. Four of us were at a similar level and two are lead climbers. From the other team of six, their climbers were all lead climbers. It didn't make too much difference. We were all instructed to climb a 16, 17, 18, 19, 20, 21 and 22, without racing, without being judged on techniques. We gained points the higher we got. I was excited to spend a day off school - climbing. This was my first competition. Fortunately half the climbs were some of my favourites, and they were all on my favourite stretch of wall. The 16 went well. So did the 17. It was a little nerve-wracking, knowing if we fell off a wall as easy as this there were no second chances. I did the 18, and would've gotten a fair amount of points on the 19. Unfortunately the chosen 19 was one I am starting to loathe because of the hard mantel move at the top. I made it 95% of the way, so it's okay by me, as I've tried for a few weeks to do that 19. It's a funny one how it divides any group in half. Some people can do it, like my climbing partner, and some people are very close but just can't, like me, and two or three of the others. I climbed a little of the 22, but it's beyond me at the moment. I didn't get any points because the competiton was practically over by then; I'm a little disappointed with the 21, which may have been slightly feasible, but it had a hard beginning. As soon as my foot lifted off the ground (a foot high) and was put down again I'd 'fallen'. However, the 20 made me happy. I wasn't sure I'd be able to do the whole thing because it was one of the taller ones, but bit by bit I made it up, and felt relief when I touched the bar at the top. This apparently substantially heped my points. I placed sixth out of the twelve of us, and was the third climber in the ranks from our school's six (just below our two lead climbers), making me pretty pleased that I was exactly midway and had had a good day too.

Another thing: the overhang I climbed in Year 8 that shocked me is now a very easy warm-up climb. That, I think, is progress, and with progress comes achievement. :)


German this year has been my second option choice. I'm still enjoying learning the language, although this year has been noticeably harder and more focused on the language structure; also I think I will drop the subject for next year, as I've done a year and a half of German now and have had lots of fun.

Twelve assessments are and were lined up for us this year for German. They're our TBL assessments and although we haven't received grades back, I think I've had quite a good year of tests.

First we had to film our small group introducing ourselves and each other; the footage was to be marked. The following extended to us having to talk about our family as well. I put together a movie using technology and programmes I wasn't quite confident with but scrubbed up reasonably well! The third was a supposedly pen-pal response in letter format, telling them all about us. We corresponded back to our teacher, but this was one of my best emails. :)
The fourth assessment was a simple MP3 recording done like an interview.

The following assessment was a Powerpoint of an itinerary and additional information for getting around a German city. I chose Bremen, and will post the Powerpoint up below. I made a twin Powerpoint just like it for Auckland, for the next assessment though, because we needed to do one in German, so the opposite from our last one, about getting around the city.

One big test we did was the Listening and Reading test. I'm quite sure that I got Excellence.

In German we use quite a few different types of technology. We are on the computers often and all our assessments have been Powerpoints, MP3 recordings, videos or emails. All our work is stored on a class Google Doc, and it is nice using this handy tool again as I hadn't since Year 8! (Please note I cannot link the Doc completely because it is secure but the link will take you through to Google Docs where you have the opportunity to create one if you would like.)

The most recent assessment was a group recorded dialogue of what would be said in a cake shop, ordering things to eat. We got ours done quickly and efficiently.

Bremen Powerpoint (TBL 5):
Slides can be enlarged for reading with a single click!

Auckland Powerpoint (TBL 7):

Our practice exam was the September assessment. There was a Writing paper persuading a friend to come to New Zealand. We had to write things like "We will take the bus to the beach. You can buy icecreams there," sort of thing. The Listening paper was challenging, but then again, it was a Year 11 exam. I got a Merit overall, and an overall Merit in the Reading paper too. I'm very happy with that!

That brings us up to date for German 2010. We won't be learning much from now on, rather revising for the real exam. That's okay by me, because I have learnt absolutely heaps this year.