Communications (2): English and Japanese

My nationality is Japanese, and I speak fluently in both Japanese and English.

Before I was born, my parents worked/lived in different parts of the world together. So, when I was born, they decided to raise me as a bilingual, so I started learning English from a very early stage. I went to an English-speaking preschool in Japan, which enabled me to understand both languages at around the same time.

At the age of 4, I went to live in Australia for 5 years. I started going to a public school near my house, starting from grade 1 until the middle of grade 4. I guess being brought up in a country where you need English to survive, really shaped my identity as a bilingual. However, along with that, my Japanese never really improved. I could speak in Japanese, but not as well and fluently as a regular Japanese child around my age. My English improved rapidly, but my Japanese never caught up. So, from around grade 2, my mother put me in a Japanese supplementary school once a week after school, so I could improve and not lose my Japanese. This paid off quite well, as my Japanese gradually started to improve.

When I came back to Japan, I started going to a public Japanese elementary school for around 2 years. This experience sadly made me realise that my Japanese was really behind. I struggled in every subject, especially during tests as I couldn’t understand the question itself, before thinking of an answer. So, I started going to a supplementary school again near my house for 帰国子女 kikoku-shijyo (Returned Student), and gradually started regaining my Japanese at a point where I felt confident in Japanese. However, since I was in Japan, where speaking in English wasn’t a necessity, I slowly started to lose my English. This was also due to the fact that I felt embarrassed speaking in English in front of my classmates and friends. Because of this, I started going to a English supplementary school in Tokyo every Saturday, in order to maintain my English.

After spending 2 years in a public school in Japan, I started going to YIS, entering from grade 5. This has allowed me to regain my English at a very fast rate. Although English is mainly spoken here at YIS, the Japanese classes we have regularly have really helped in maintaining my Japanese. Going to this school has helped me balance out my two languages (although English is still my stronger language). On top of that, I also started learning Spanish from grade 6 to grade 9, which I enjoyed a lot, but made me realise how difficult it is to learn a new language.

As an IB students this year, I am currently taking Japanese A Standard level, and English A Language & Literature. By taking Japanese A SL, I hope to regain my confidence in communicating in Japanese, and become more fluent than I am now. Additionally, I would like to continue balancing out my two languages, so I do not lose them.



Fit for Life (Practice of Activity): Basketball Season


Since the start of my sophomore year, I have been looking forward to basketball season which is one of the winter activities. I was able to join the varsity team and participated in two tournaments; WJAA and AISA. At the beginning of the season, our team had the goal to win both tournaments as a team. I realised that in order to win both tournaments, I, as an individual had to improve on my skills by focusing during practices, and exercising during my free time. So, I decided to set some goals for myself.

My first goal for the season was to get more shots in. During games in the beginning of the season, I had the least amount of shots in my team. Because of this, I was quite embarrassed and ashamed of myself. So, I decided to really focus on my shooting by changing the way I shot. First of all, in order to improve on this, I asked for advice from my team mates and from my coach. When I showed my coach how I shot, she told me that my shots were not going straight. This was due to the fact that one of my hands were pushing stronger than the other, or because my supporting hand wasn’t supporting the ball well enough. Even after I got home, I often grabbed my basketball and practiced by shooting the ball into the air slightly, and paying attention to my hands when I shot. As a result, these practices really helped me better my performance during both practice and at games.

My second goal for the season was to sustain my stamina. Although I feel like my stamina has not really improved much from the start of the season, I tried to improve on this by going on runs during the weekends whenever I have time. Additionally, during practices, our coach often made us run suicides, so I tried to improve my time each time, by pushing myself harder. This really seemed to pay off, because by the end of the season, not only was I one of the first few people to finish, but there was also a few more seconds left until the timer went off, which usually ran for around 35 seconds.

For WJAA, my team was able to go to the finals where we competed against SOIS. Unfortunately, we were not able to win and became 2nd, but my team and I were really proud of ourselves as we all thought that we improved tremendously as a team, and individually. Furthermore, for AISA, we won the semi-finals and became 3rd place overall. Although we were kind of disappointed by the fact that we could not go to the finals and win the tournament, especially because it was the last year for the seniors, in the end we felt like we improved so much comparing to the first half of the season, and the WJAA tournament. Personally, I felt really relieved and happy that I was actually able to help the team more by scoring more, and keeping up my stamina.

Media Fair Reflection

For the media unit in English class, the grade 10’s had to choose a certain topic (which had to be somewhat controversial) and analyse 5 different forms of media concerning the topic. On a poster, we had to include these different types of media, and analyse any techniques they used in order to serve its purpose and spread its message; positive or negative. On June 4th, we had the media fair in which people talked about their topic to another peer and went around listening to other topics.

I decided to focus on the movie “The Interview” which was quite controversial because of its plot of two American TV show creators attempting to assassinate Kim Jong-un. Prior to its release, Sony (which was the publishing company for this movie) was hacked by an unknown group naming themselves the “Guardians of Peace”, demanding Sony to cancel the release of the movie. Although Sony did decide to cancel the release at one point, they released it for a limited time only on Christmas, causing a huge division between those who support their decision, and those who don’t. The 5 different mediums I focused on were; official poster, official trailer, magazine article, news report/article, and opinion column.

The first person I went to was Monica. Her topic was on the TV series, Game of Thrones, which was very interesting as her sources had different opinions on the show itself. The 5 different media she focused on were; trailer, twitter post, magazine article, fan site, and a charity video. Most of her sources were positive, except for 2 which were against Game of Thrones mainly because of the rape scenes. The magazine article published by Mary Sue which is a feminist magazine, and a twitter post written by a woman were both centered on how the rape scenes were disturbing and unnecessary to the show, and that the creators are promoting sexual violence. Although Monica and I agreed with their opinions partially, we both came to the conclusion that the show is not promoting sexual violence. As GoT watchers, we both talked about how although the scenes are quite troubling for us to watch as teenage girls, it is not completely unnecessary. Including these scenes does show how the character who got raped deals with the tragedy, and how they change as a character. SPOILER: for example Sansa looks more broken mentally and physically, but her goal to get back Winterfell from the Bolton’s is stronger. For the positive sources on GoT, I found the Red Nose Day video (a comedy about Chris Martin making a musical with several actors from GoT) very interesting and the most effective source in promoting the show. Although the trailer does an amazing job in advertising the upcoming season, I really liked the idea of the Red Nose Day video, combining a charity event with Game of Thrones to promote both things. Especially because there are so many people who watch GoT, the collaboration between the GoT cast and Coldplay encouraged them to donate to the charity.


The second person I went to was Emily, whose topic was on how different media portray Tumblr. I personally found her topic very interesting as I also use Tumblr. The mediums she focused on were; news article (editorial), YouTube video, speech, comic and news broadcast. The news article was the most interesting source to me, as it had a very negative view towards Tumblr, which I haven’t seen/heard before. According to Emily, the main audience of the source is American people who are more conservative and old. The article focused on how Tumblr is redefining “depression”, and that Tumblr users are not actually depressed. It mainly talks about how many Tumblr users (teenagers) self victimise themselves by posting depressing quotes, or photos. When I asked her about her thoughts on this particular source, she told me that she thinks that the source is very bias, as it doesn’t take into account the opinions of people who actually use Tumblr. I completely agree with her as this article was written, and read by adults who don’t use Tumblr. Another source I found interesting was the news broadcast which indirectly promotes Tumblr by talking about how Taylor Swift loves Tumblr. Emily and I both agreed that this is convincing and effective way in increasing young Tumblr users as Taylor Swift is a big icon to many teenagers, especially girls.


The third person I visited was Kyra, who focused on Dissociative Identity Disorder and how different types of media depict it. I personally found this topic pretty interesting but also a little frightening as well, as I have no idea what it’s like to go through this particular disorder, or to be around someone who has this disorder. Although I’ve heard about this disorder and seen some TV show episodes which have characters with DID, it’s something that most of us have no clue about. Her 5 sources were; a video interview, an image, an article, lyrics, and the pilot of a TV show. I found the video interview interesting as it featured a life of a mother with DID. Kyra told me that the during the interview, the mother changed alters, and that her daughter who was sitting near her looked uncomfortable with some of the alters, and even cried when her mother changed. When I asked for her thoughts on the video, Kyra said that the video really helps show the reality of families dealing with the DID, and spread awareness of the disorder, as many of us don’t know much about it. It shows how serious this disorder is, and how families deal with it. As opposed to the video interview, the TV show pilot portrayed the topic comically. In the show, the mother has DID, and changes between 3 different alters in small reactions, again showing how the different alters affect the family. Again, I asked Kyra what she thought about the source and she said that it helps raise awareness of the disorder, just like the video interview, even though they portray it differently. I agree as well, as although one portrays it seriously, and the other comically, they both show the struggles of dealing with DID, and how the mothers family deals with it.

In conclusion, the media fair was a very interesting and exciting event for me, as I was able to take a look at a variety of different topics, and how different types of media portray it. All of these topics were intriguing as there were some that I wasn’t familiar about, which allowed me to know more about it. Also, it was fun looking at some of the responses from different mediums and talking about it with my peers, especially because some of them were over the top.

Book Recommendation – “The 5th Wave” by Rick Yancey

book-5thwaveAs a lover of dystopian novels, I strongly recommend this book.

“Now it’s the dawn of the 5th Wave, and on a lonely stretch of highway, Cassie runs from them. The beings who only look human, who roam the countryside killing anyone they see. Who have scattered Earth’s last survivors. To stay alone is to stay alive, Cassie believes, until she meets Evan Walker. Beguiling and mysterious, Evan Walker may be Cassie’s only hope for rescuing her brother – or even saving herself. But Cassie must choose: between trust and despair, between defiance and surrender, between life and death. To give up or to get up”

This novel is particularly interesting as it is written in different perspectives (mainly Cassie’s), both in first and third person. It may seem a little odd that the point of view changes at a random chapter, but you don’t notice it at all, as it pulls you into the story, and keeps you informed on the whereabouts of the main characters. At first, the story goes kind of slow, mainly focusing on what has happened to humanity since the alien invasion, but it suddenly picks up its pace as so many things start to happen. Honestly speaking, once you read this book, you’ll never be able to put it down until you finish it. It literally only took me a day to read it. It has none of the love triangles you read in most YA books, and it isn’t centered on romance. Also, this novel really gives you a whole new perspective on alien invasions, and how aliens seek to take over humanity. A movie adaptation of this novel will come out in 2016, so I encourage you to read it before you see the movie.

These are the books I have read/currently reading/want to read:


Design Criteria Summary and Challenges

During our first fews lessons in Design class, we had to cut out and paste the specifications of the 4 criteria’s, in the right criteria. The 4 criteria’s are, Inquiring and Analysing, Developing Ideas, Creating the Solution and Evaluating.

Inquiring and Analysing:
This stage is basically the investigation stage where we have to first explain the need of the solution for the problem. Then, we have to identify our research and also prioritise it so we know what to research first. After that, we need to give examples and analyse a range of other existing products, similar to the solution. Finally, we have to summarise our research.

Challenges: I think that I may have trouble prioritising my research. I often start researching whatever comes to mind first, instead of thinking deeply about what to research first. Because of this, I sometimes forget to research about some things, which makes me go back to it while I’m already on another stage. 

Developing Ideas:
In the planning stage, first we have to create the design specification. Then, we have to develop several amounts of design ideas for the solution, to get ready for the creating stage. After that, we have to choose the final design and explain why that certain design is the best. Finally, we have to make a sketch of the final design.

Challenges: I think that I am going to have some trouble creating my design specification. For the past years in Technology class, my specifications were too general, and were not specific enough, making my final product around average level, but not beyond it. In order to boost up my outcome, I need to construct an efficient and detailed design specification so I can refer back to it and make sure that my product actually answers it, even the smallest detail.

Creating the Solution:
In the create stage, we have to actually create the solution. First of all, we have to construct a logical plan for the design and also demonstrate good technical skills while creating the product. We also have to carefully follow the plan, and also justify any changes made during the creating process.

Challenges: One thing that I might have trouble with is, recording every change that I make while making my product. Whenever I start creating I tend to make some adjustments, but I either forget to mention it on my process journal/document or I don’t describe the change in detail and why I made that change.

When we get to this stage, we first have to construct a testing method, in other words, if the product worked or not. Then, we have to evaluate the success of the solution and also justify any improvements. In addition, we have to explain what kind of impact the solution had to the intended audience.

Challenges: I think that I may have trouble with the word length of my evaluation. While writing my evaluations, I tend to make it either too short, or too long. And when my evaluations are too long, it is because I sometimes repeat myself. I really need to look back and proof read my evaluation before submitting it.

Defeat the Aliens!! – Final Scratch Product

This is my final product, for this unit. I hope you enjoy it!

Global Perspectives – The Burmese Work Camp

For our 9th grade field trip, we went to Phuket to learn about their environment, lifestyle, culture, and religion. One of our main tasks was, to build an elementary school in a Burmese area in Phuket. This task was the most memorable moment of my trip because, I rarely did any voluntary activities here in Japan, and I was able to interact with the Burmese kids.

In order to prepare for this task, there were several requirements. First, we had to buy our own masks, and work gloves so none of the chemicals and dusts went on our face and hands. When we got to the school, I was quite surprised at the fact that their classrooms were dirty, and how they used plastic chairs. However, the children had smiles upon their faces, no matter how the classroom looked like, which made me realise that it didn’t matter to them, since they were enjoying their time at school. As soon as we got to the camp, we were instructed to paint the outside walls, the inside walls, and the doors. I, along with my friends decided to paint the outside walls of the school. We took a huge roller brush and dumped it in the white paint and went straight to work. After some time with the big roller brush, I decided to use a big paint brush to cover the gaps between the bricks with the white paint. After a long time of work, we were able to finish the outside wall. I was really happy at the fact that even though we were just some teenagers from Japan, we were able to do something for these children. After everyone was finished with their job, we all went into a classroom and watched as the children started singing an english song. After some time, we all joined and sang along together. I was quite surprised how these little children were already learning a new language, and that these children were so eager to learn new things. After singing, we interacted with the kids for a few minutes, and talked to them about school and if they enjoyed it. Every child I asked said that they enjoyed school and that it was fun, which was great news.

IMG_1174On our second day, the people who took art class back in our school decided to make a mural in one of the classrooms. Since we had 2 art classes, we decided to paint 2 murals, and split up. First of all, our art teacher, Ms. Rude gave us some designs we could use for our mural. We all decided that since the classrooms were for the little kids, that painting some characters might be nice. We also decided to make the background in the jungle, with different creatures lurking around it. My partner, Hye-won and I decided to paint a creature, with a fish tank as a stomach. It took us around an hour to 2 hours to complete the whole mural. I really enjoyed this because not only was I able to interact with my peers, but I was also able to share the same goal with them, which was to create a mural for the Burmese children who are less fortunate than us. I also liked how we worked really hard as a group, and expressed our creativity through this. On our final day of visiting, we also gave the children at the school our art/school supplies that we brought from Japan.

In conclusion, this experience was very valuable to me as I was able to help people that were in need. In addition, it made me realise how lucky I was to live in Japan, and that there are many children that want to go to school but can’t because of where they live. I was able to learn about the situation the Burmese people lived in, and how important education is, not only to them, but for everyone. I felt disgusted at the fact that I sometimes wished that I could skip school. These children motivated me into trying harder at school, even though I am the one who needs to help them.

Unit 4: The Visual Communicator – Graphic Design Reflection

1. What are the strengths and weaknesses of your work during each step of the graphic design process?
Define the task: I think that I have all the information needed to define my task, telling me when its due, what size the actual design has to be, who’s the client and etc. However, it is too simple and looks boring because I only wrote notes and not any drawings.
Research: I think for my research stage, I did quite well because I wrote in detail about what I like about each design. I included 3 good designs, and 1 design that I wouldn’t want to use. I also included a mini sketch/thumbnail of each design in my own way and how I would change it. I think that since my research section is thin and long, it is hard to read what I wrote. In addition, everything looks so jammed. I could have used the space more wisely.

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Research page from sketchbook

Brainstorm: I think I did not that well on my brainstorm, because I didn’t spend a lot of time on it. I kind of just jotted down my thoughts and just left it. In addition, it is not visually interesting to read and I only have a few ideas, without any details. However, I did include colour, but I think I could have worked harder on the brainstorm as it is one of the most important section in order to plan/make the final design.
Sketching: I think that I added a lot of detail into my sketches, especially on the part where I explain which design I like the best. I described why I like the design the most, and the challenges of the design. Because this was a rough sketch, I didn’t include any colour, but I think I should have, just to show how the design will turn out, and represent the mood of the design. Again, my sketching section is not visually interesting, and looks normal and not that appealing. I think I should have used colour pens/pencils for the writing and colouring in, to make it look more interesting.
Design direction: I think my design direction is good as I made sure the lines were easy to see, as I used markers, and I coloured in the two designs. I also tried not to include a lot of words, and just a few. However, I think I should have explained why I chose that particular design and why I didn’t choose the other one.
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Design Direction page from sketchbook

Tight sketch: I think that my tight sketch is okay, as I made sure the design was the actual A4 size. However, although I did measure the dimensions, they were not accurate, making my banners of my final design look a bit slanted. In addition, I did not write down the actual dimensions on the tight sketch. However, this was not really a problem for me, as I scanned the banner to my computer. But as I said before, if I was careful with my tight sketch and was precise with my dimensions, the shield part of my final design would have looked straight.
Client review: I think that my client review section is too short, and is just words. However, I did include everything my clients said, and I used colours to make the page look more bright. However again, it looks empty because I didn’t include any visuals, making the page look visually uninteresting. In addition, I think that I should have asked the clients more specific questions because I asked general questions. I should have asked what fonts I should use and such. However, I was able to tell them why I chose to do a certain thing.
Finalising: I think that I did well on choosing the fonts, and making the lines more clearer. I spend the most time on finalising my design. I zoomed in as far as I could and painted the areas that were pixilated, from the scanning. Again, I think I could have worked more on straightening the banners, because I could have erased the lines from the scan and added a new straight line.
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Final Product

2. Evaluate your final work. Discuss color scheme, font, composition, spacing, mood and target audience.
The colour scheme of my final product is triad, including the colours of the landmarks of Minatomirai. They are red (the background colour), blue (Mount. Fuji), and yellow/orange for the buildings. I made the colours of the buildings tint, and the background more vivid. The font I used for this design are, American Type writer for YOKOHAMA, Karl Wright for INTERNATIONAL SCHOOL and MIDDLE AND HIGH SCHOOL, Archistico for STUDENT, Dark is the Night for the HANDBOOK, and Cheese Cake for the 2014~2015. I used a variety of fonts to make the design look more visually interesting. I didn’t really plan which fonts I wanted to use, but rather just looked through some fonts online and on the fontbook.  I think the fonts match well. I really like the composition of my design. I think there is more negative space, but the positive and negative space almost looks equal. I think by centering the sheild-ish thing, it shows how organised the school is, but the variety of fonts shows that there are variety of people and nationality in this school. The mood of this design is cheerful, and shows how bright the school is, because of the background colour, which is the school colour. The target audience of this design are both girls and boys in middle and high school. Although the design may seem a bit childish, I think it fits the target audience, because the design is not girly.

3. Explain how you used feedback when identifying strategies to develop and improve your work.
The feedbacks really helped me with my design. A lot of advice I received was to change the background colour. At that time, my background was bright red, making it look too aggressive. The majority of people said that they liked the landmarks, and how the design was simple. One feedback that really helped me was to change the small banners so they were facing the same way, which helped make my design look more organised. I did receive feedback from my clients and one suggestion I got was to make the landmarks bigger. Unfortunately, I could not do this because I already scanned the design. Another suggestion I got from the peer review was to change the font colour of the small banners. First it was white, but the person said that it was hard to read, so I changed it to grey, which was easier to read. These feedbacks, especially suggestions really helped me fix and make the final touches on my work.

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Peer feedback and client review

4. What two things did you learn that will most help you as an artist and two questions that remain unanswered?
I learned that the planning stage is very important, as if you don’t plan well, there will be some mistakes in your final product. I didn’t plan well for this unit, which made is hard to remember what I did and such. Because of this, my book was also disorganised. I had to flip back through the pages because my stages were not in order. Another thing I learned is to be precise in my measurements and dimensions. As I mentioned earlier, because I wasn’t careful with my measurements, the banners look slanted. The first question that still remains is, Should I work more on the planning stage or on the actual product? The reason why I want to ask this is because I feel like both of these stages are very important, but I tend to spend more time on the actual product. My second question is, Does the message of my artwork have to be clear and big? Or can it be a small message and can you let the viewers think of the message themselves?

Invasion Games: Futsal

During this unit of futsal, we have been learning about ‘Game sense’ or ‘Movement concept’. We have been practicing on running into space, passing and moving to the best position, and running off the ball. To be able to do this, we have been teaching each other drills, and playing games in small groups. Our unit question is, “How effective are you on the field?”.

Being a coach was a new experience for me, because I am usually the one who receives the instructions and tips. My coaching group, the ‘Super Mario’, were the first to create a Tiki Taka Brazilian Style warm up. Our first instruction to the class was to run 3 laps in the turf. Secondly, using this video, we instructed the class to do the ‘Brazilian rollbacks’. This drill was quite challenging for me, because you really needed good ball control in order to to this. But, after some practice, although I wasn’t able to do it perfectly, I managed to get the hang of it. The people around me were also getting better at it, which was quite impressing. Our third warm up was juggling, but since this seemed quite hard, we made it optional. Since I wanted to work on my juggling/lifting, I practiced it with my friends.

The next lesson, we presented some drills to the class. Since we have been learning about how to create space, and the passing triangle, we decided to do a drill which includes these two. We instructed the class to make 3 lines on the other goal, and 2 lines beside the main goal. Basically, the 3 lines are where the offensive players line up, and the 2 lines beside the goals are the defenders. The person in the middle starts with the ball, and the offensive people attack. The main goal for this drill was to move into the best position, while still creating a triangle, so the other team mate can easily pass it to you. After each person was done with their line, we instructed the whole class to move clockwise. We decided to add the defenders to make the drill more challenging, and to put pressure on the offensive players. I think that the class did quite well at this drill, and they were very fast at switching into a new game.
(orange = defender, green = attackers, arrows = directions, red = goal, blue = ball)

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For our second drill, our main goal was to teach the class how to make/pass in an angle. We instructed the class to make a group of 4 people. Then, we placed 4 cones in a square for each group. There, we instructed 3 people to go on each cone, and the middle person to have the ball. The left out person would be the defender. The aim of this drill was so the cone adjacent of the person who has the possession of the ball, is never empty. In order to do this, after the middle person passes the ball to either side, the person who didn’t get the ball has to move so the cone next to the person who now has the ball, is not empty. As people got used to it, we asked them to speed it up a bit. At the right time, we asked the class to switch the defender. I think that this drill helped the class to control the ball, move into the best position, and to pass in an angle.

For our next lesson, which was our last coaching day, we organised a game for the class. We thought that by making the groups before hand, so each team has equal amount of people with different abilities, would be the best way to make our teams. These are the groups we made:
Screen Shot 2014-02-23 at 11.42.59 AMWe were going to make our games 5 minutes long, but due to our time running out, we make it 3 minutes long. We decided that there should be 4 people on the field. We also made many rules such as, everyone has unlimited touches, but everyone in the team has to touch the ball at least once, before anyone scores. However, if someone scores more than 2 times, they are only allowed to have 3 touches. I think most people were satisfied with our teams because it was equal. However, there were some people who were disappointed but we explained that this is the most efficient and fair way in order to make all the games fair.

My strengths during this unit was moving to the right position and making a triangle. During games and attacking drills, I think I received the ball quite a lot because I was in the right position. This may be because I was confident in doing soccer/futsal. And also because the drills we did in class were mostly about these skills. I think my other strength is shooting. During one of our classes, we focused mainly on shooting where we made 2 lines on each side towards each goal, where we had to dribble and shoot. Our teacher told us to lean forward when we are shooting from a close distance or want our shots to be lower and powerful, and lean back when you want to aim high. I think this helped me improve my shooting, because my shots got stronger and more efficient. I think I have several things to improve on. Firstly, I want to work on my dribbling and control with the ball. I want to focus on using the inside and outside of my foot while dribbling so I can get past the defenders more easily. But, I think the cone drill we did during class helped me improve on it. Secondly, I would like to improve on my communication. During games, even though I was in a good position, I didn’t really call for the ball. I was always just waiting for the ball to come to me. If I called for the ball, then I think there was a higher possibility to score. I also think I lack leadership. I feel like I was always the one getting the instructions from my other team mates than contributing and sharing my ideas. Next time, I would really like to improve on this, because leadership is very important, not only in soccer.

In conclusion, I really enjoyed this futsal unit, and I think I improved on a lot of things. In addition, I was able to find where my weak point was, and how to improve on it. I think that being a coach really helped me communicate with the class, and I learned how to explain things to the class. Being a coach also helped me improve on my leadership skills, although I still need to work on it. I also learned that to be able to master a skill, I need to practice and practice, so I can get used to it, and become confident with it. As I said before, I would really like to improve on my dribbling, and my possession/control of the ball. Since I am trying out for the HSG soccer team, I would like to use these skills, improve on my weak points, and practice them during my free time, and pressure myself more.



What makes a good/interesting game?

For this unit, we will be creating an educational game for the kindergardeners. Last class, to make this game purposeful and interesting for the kindergardeners, in a group of 4, we discussed about what kind of games we should create, and what kind of questions we should ask them. These are the questions we came up with:

  1. What are you interested in right now?
    – If they say Pokemon, we could perhaps make an educational game which involves Pokemon characters telling the kindergarteners what to do.
  2. What they are learning at the moment
    – This can perhaps help them with their work
  3. What challenges they are facing with work
  4. What they dislike
    – For example, if they hate math, we can make a game which will make them like it.

I think that this is important because, some educational games are less interesting than others, and it all depends on what they use in the games. For example, as I said before, perhaps including a character that they like at the moment will help them enjoy the game more. But this can also be a problem, because everyone has different tastes in things so, even if one kindergardener liked pokémon, it doesn’t mean that the other kindergardener will like it, too.
In order to make a good game, there are several requirements. I think that a game needs to have good graphics like Sims, be challenging like Flappy Bird (unfortunately it is now deleted), and have plenty of play time and simple instructions, like Temple Run, where you can play forever. Some games may not have all these requirements, but are still good, like Minecraft. Minecraft does not have the best graphics, but it has a lot of options and various servers. For a game to be good, it does not always have to have all the requirements. In order to make a good game for the kindergardeners, I think that these requirements are still needed. For example, for the kindergardeners to understand what to do in the game, we need to make the instructions really simple, so we don’t have to explain it by telling them in person. Anyone on the internet should be able to understand what they have to do.

These are the 3 educational games on scratch I found interesting:
1 . Time Tables.
Likes: The reason why I like this game is because, it let’s you choose which times table you want to work on. I think that this is very helpful because you can focus on the times table you want to improve on. Also, it has a character talking to you and explaining the rules and goal of this game, which is good for little kids. Not only does the character tell you what to do, but it also cheers you up when you get a question wrong.
Improve: I think that there are 2 things that can be improved. First, when you click on the 7 times table, it always goes to the 8 times table which is confusing. Also, I think that it should have an option that mixes all the times tables for you.

2. Riddle Squirrel
Likes: I really like this game because it has a cute squirrel asking you different riddle questions, and the riddles are quite challenging. Also, because it is challenging, it makes you think a lot, but you still enjoy it because it isn’t THAT hard. When you don’t know the answer to a certain question, the game has a ‘skip’ button, so you aren’t always stuck on that certain question.
Improve: I think that this game should give hints to people if they’re stuck on it for a long time. Not everyone wants to skip challenging questions, so by giving hints, I think that it will make everyone want to play more.

3. Number Catcher – Addition Facts
Likes: I really like this game because I think that it is a fun way to learn your additions. I really like the idea of catching the correct number with a shopping cart, as it falls down. Also, this game is simple, because all you have to do is move the cart with the arrows on your keyboard.
Improve: Since the numbers fall down in order (0, 1, 2, 3, 4…), the person who made this game should make the numbers fall down in random order.  

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