This week was pretty exciting because I went to the unit 11-12 NVOL test for math! It went pretty well, and I got a score of about 90%. I also worked on writing about the Renaissance, because I feel like I need to study history more (as I haven’t really studied history that much). So I started learning about the Renaissance and I wrote an essay about it! Then, I worked on Spanish, because I haven’t really been learning languages much either. I used an online learning website called Duolingo, and I think it’s really good because the lessons are funny but clear at the same time. I’m learning Spanish! Sí, estoy aprendiendo español. ¿A qué te refieres? No estoy usando Google Translate. And the most important part of the week… Drumroll… I did a lot of coding! I worked on making a system for making Bezier curves in Scratch, which works pretty well but is REALLY slow and laggy, so next week, I want to improve it. I also worked on making a joystick controller for my games! I also went to taekwondo (Monday – Thursday) and violin class (Tuesday). For taekwondo leadership, I started teaching a second class! And it went pretty well!

Here is my writing about the Renaissance. I think that this was a great learning tool for me because I don’t learn about history that much. Another reason that I wanted to write about the Renaissance was that I had to look up a lot of stuff and research a lot. For example, I had to learn about all the textiles and art of the Renaissance, and so I actually had to look at a WIKIPEDIA page! (I know, amazing) I think that researching with written text is a great way to learn how to research.
I also wrote summaries for a few short stories, because I haven’t had much practice summarising stories, but also to practice writing clear descriptions of what I think the story is about. I read a story called “Through the Tunnel by Doris Lessing” and I read one called “B24 by Sir Arthur Conan Doyle.”
I did the Unit 11-12 quiz for my NVOL math. I got 90.9%, which I’m happy about, but I could have done better if I studied a bit more and memorized how to calculate everything. I got two questions wrong because I just forgot how to calculate them.
I studied for the quiz on Khan Academy, because I haven’t been on KA for a while. I also used Khan Academy because I think Khan Academy is a great resource and it’s really easy to do quizzes. I learned about algebra at Khan Academy because that was what the NVOL math quiz was about.
I went to Duolingo to study Español (Spanish) because I need to study languages. I need to study languages because I haven’t been studying language much, and I feel like I have to now. I feel like I have to now because it’s useful to know a pretty common second language. I haven’t done Spanish before, so it seemed like a good option, because it’s not too different from English, and you can guess what some of the words mean.
I then worked on coding after all my studying was finished, and I decided to try and make a joystick controller, and it came out really well! I’m now going to add this joystick to literally every single game I’m going to make. I wanted to make a joystick because I wanted to play my games on mobile and I wanted to make my games more accessible to other people. So I decided to add joystick controls to my games! I’m going to make a video tutorial on making a joystick controller soon. I made this in Scratch!

I then worked on a way to create Bezier curves in Scratch. I wanted to make this because I learned about Bezier curves and they looked really interesting with lots of math behind them. This Bezier curve creator uses a system called De Casteljau’s Algorithm, which uses the halfway points of lines and connects them with more lines, and this method can create any “degree” Bezier curve. My engine is creating a Cubic Bezier curve because that’s the most common Bezier curve out there. The first image is an example of a cubic Bezier curve setup, and the second image is what the setup would draw! The third image is another Bezier curve, and the fourth image is the setup that creates the curve. You can play with this engine here:

LC Response

Hi Ethan,

Sorry for the delayed response — I had some internet troubles this week that set me back. Other than that I’m doing reasonably alright thank you. How are you doing?

Thanks for another great short story summary! You’ve given a thorough summary of the plot, and named important messages. I notice in your conclusion you summarize the main message again, like I suggested you do last time — awesome! I have two comments below. [Disclosure — I haven’t actually read this short story yet, though would like to soon! It looks like an interesting one. I’m basing what I’m writing here entirely off what you wrote in your summary; it’s possible I’m misinterpreting something about the story’s messages.]

I notice you also used more formal, less conversational writing/grammar than last time, and also did a great job of introducing the name of the story and the author, which is great practice for writing things you would submit at school. A minor note on formal language: many teachers say not to use contractions in formal writing like paragraphs and essays (e.g. write “did not” instead of “didn’t”), and many teachers say not to write in the first person in formal writing unless you’re explicitly asked to write about your own opinion (e.g. write “Another message is to not believe everything that you want to believe” instead of, “I also think another message is to not believe everything that you want to believe”). It’s more of a guideline than an unbreakable rule, but is common advice from high school teachers.

I have a note about examples in introductions. In your introduction you give the example of the judge not listening to the main character; I would find a way to emphasize this detail a little more in the body of your summary (“body” means not in the introduction or conclusion), because it sounds like an important point. Generally, if you give an example in an introduction or conclusion, it should be a major detail in the body of your writing. Also, if you’re mentioning examples in the introduction/conclusion it’s generally best to mention all the main examples that you’ll be talking about in the body, rather than just one. A good way to mention the examples in an introduction is at the end of the introduction to have a sentence very briefly overviewing the story’s major examples of the main message. (Then also include those examples in more detail in the body.) I’d be inclined to take out the judge example sentence in the introduction, and at the end of the introduction add a sentence that overviews the story’s key examples of people being wrong about trusting instincts/assumptions. E.g. “The main character was betrayed after trusting someone he wanted to trust, and later, could not win the trust of a judge who presumed him guilty.” There some other ways to approach introductions though, not just my way!

Your summary is great! I love how much time and effort and thought you’ve put into developing your writing skills. It takes a lot of practice. I can say though, having read lots of grade 8 writing, that you are in very good writing shape 🙂

Taxes — yes, I’d be happy to help. Is it a matter of having difficulty understanding how to calculate sales tax on items in general? Or is it something more specific? Let me know, and I’ll share some ideas in my next response.

It’s awesome you’re writing an essay on the Renaissance! That’s a great idea. I’m sure you’re building a lot of knowledge about the era and I look forward to hearing more about what you learn about history.

I know just enough Spanish to be able to make sense of what you wrote without needing Google Translate. It’s very funny! I’m glad you’ve discovered Duolingo and hope you keep enjoying Spanish. Yes, having a large English vocabulary, as you do, really helps with making good guesses at the meanings of Spanish words.

Congratulations on teaching a second taekwondo class! That’s amazing, and I’d love to hear more about it.

How cool to make your own joystick controller! That sounds like a great addition to your gaming, and I hope you have a fun time making a tutorial about it. I’d be curious to know how you figured out how to make it.

I’m glad to now know about Bezier curves. They sound very interesting, and I’m glad you found them so interesting too. I had fun trying out the tool you made thank you.

Thank you for your Observing for Learning, and thank you again for your great story summary!



Week 23 Question Reply

Hi Shannon!

How are you doing?

Thank you for reading my short story summary and giving great feedback!

Yes, i will check out the short story you recommended, thank you!

Could you please review the short story summary under this block? Thanks!

Here are the answers to your questions.

Are you feeling more comfortable with tax now, or are you still looking for resources? 

I’m pretty comfortable with taxes but I think it’s still a bit difficult (to calculate), so I would really help me if you had any more resources!

Do you find making videos reinforces what you’ve learned?

Yes, I think it does, because when you make a video, you need to edit it, and while editing, you can reflect on what you learned. 

B24 Short Story Summary

Story B24 by author Arthur Conan Doyle, available online for 4 years and 7 months, Short Édition

Writing a Summary of a Short Story | Learn On Point

In Sir Arthur Conan Doyle’s short story “B24,” about a criminal trying to steal from a rich house, the main message is to not trust your gut instinct all the time. For example, the Judge didn’t listen to the main character. I also think another message is to not believe everything that you want to believe. 

The setting is in Portsmouth, and the story starts in an alehouse. Then the main character/narrator is told about Mannering House, which is where most of the story takes place. 

The main characters are the narrator/main character (who is narrating in first person), the Innkeeper (whose name is Allen and tells the main character about Mannering House), and the Ladyship (who pretends to be the friend of the main character but betrays him at the end).

The conflict of the story is the main character trying to get all the riches of Mannering house but then is thought to have murdered the old Lord, even though he didn’t. The main character is trying to defend himself that he didn’t kill the Lord.

First, the main character/narrator is trying to find himself a job in Portsmouth. He works as a mechanic, and he works for 10 days before visiting the alehouse (called “The Willing Mind”).

Then, the innkeeper named Allan tells the main character about this really nice and rich place across the road called Mannering hall, and the main character thinks that it’s a great place to try and steal from. 

Next, that night, he decides to try and rob the place. He climbs over the fences to try and get into Mannering house, before finding out that the lady Mannering was watching him the whole time, and supposedly wants to help him. She then shows the main character where the valuables are.

Finally, Lady Mannering murders the lord and lets the main character take all the riches, before calling out for help that there has been a murder. The police come and think that the main character murdered the lord and arrest him. 

The conflict was resolved by the police who arrested the main character, thinking that he had murdered the lord and stolen all of his treasure. The main character went to court and was not able to convince anyone that he didn’t commit the murder. 

In conclusion, the message of the story is that you can’t trust everyone you meet, like Lady Mannering. I also think that the main message is not to trust your instinct all the time, like how the main character wanted to trust the Lady.