I never dreamed about success. I worked for it. -Estee Lauder

Category: Grade 4 (page 1 of 2)

Project Entrepreneur: Prototype 2

This past week, my team and I have made two different prototypes of our book cover pencil case. For Prototype 1, both Samantha and I made a version of our product. This took longer than expected because the sewing machines kept breaking, and we also had to share the limited amount with another group, and this slowed down the process a lot. We then went and did some market research for some color combinations that some people may want to see for our product, and what additional feedback they had. Based on this research, we then started to make our first Prototype 2.

Something we learned when making our product this time was that if we used a glue stick to attach the fabric to the front of the book cover, it would work much better than liquid white glue. This was because the glue stick wouldn’t leave a stain on the fabric and darken its colors, it would keep the fabric smooth, prevent the edges from fraying, and was still very strong and durable. Something else I learnt was more along the lines of working as a group. Samantha and I had trouble figuring out the workload when making Prototype 1 because even though we had decided she would sew and cut the fabric, and I would gut and glue the book covers, I finished much faster than Samantha did. This was because measuring, drawing, and cutting out the fabric took too much time for one person to do. When making Prototype 2, Samantha and I would measure and cut the fabric together, then she would sew and I would decorate the book cover. This worked much better and we were way more efficient. The last thing I learned from making our prototype was that hot gluing the zipper to the book cover did not make it look very nice. The hot glue was making the zipper hard and bumpy, and we also thought that it’s not very durable or strong. We don’t know what adhesive is best for our situation to substitute hot glue yet, but we know we won’t use hot glue anymore.

Some wonders I have for Prototype 2 is that, will people like our second prototype more than the first one, now that we’ve improved it? What other feedback do people have for us? What other patterns and colors could we explore for future designs, now that we’ve found out more people really like the patterns? Hopefully we can answer these questions when we do our second round of market research. I didn’t mention Sally much previously (sorry), but that is because she has been working really hard on designing the logos and keychains, then printing them out. After we’ve found out that we cannot laser-cut on a precious plastics cake, and also because it’s really expensive, we’ve decided to use cardboard, which is also sustainable, for our keychain. Sally has made two different designs with the Earth and some recycling arrows for our keychains, and we have our first prototype of these done. Something we’re thinking we could improve is adding our business name onto the keychain, so that will people remember our name and hopefully this will help promote our business more.




River Field Study: Data Collection 6

On Monday, April 8, we visited the Wenyu River for our 6th data collection of the year. Most of the trees were already starting to look very green, grass was sprouting, and there were many purple flowers as well. The sky was bright and it was sunny, but also cloudy at the same time. Something my group and I noticed was that the water levels were lower than before, and we had to reach farther down to record the temperature.

Picture of Samantha taking the temperature at Site 2 during the April Visit

During this field study, the LabQuest wasn’t working so unfortunately we weren’t able to record the mg/L of dissolved oxygen, but we were able to collect the temperature for all three locations. For Site 1, the temperature was 15ºC, Site 2 was 13ºC, and Site 3 was 9ºC, which you can see in the data table below. Last time, my group thought that as the temperature increases, so does the amount of dissolved oxygen. But now, we aren’t so sure, because we had asked another group who was doing dissolved oxygen as well to give us their information so that we could fill in some of the blank spaces in our data table. We found out that in January, the amount of dissolved oxygen in mg/L for Site 1 was 15.94, and for Site 2 was 16.34, with an average of 16.14 mg/L. The temperature of both sites was 5ºC.

Updated data table

The pattern we noticed last time does not make sense anymore, since the average amount of dissolved oxygen in November was 13.5733333, with an average temperature of 7ºC. The amount of dissolved oxygen in January was greater than the amount in November, while the temperature in January was lower than the temperature in November. So right now we are not sure what pattern and connections there are between our data points. Next time when we collect the amount of dissolved oxygen in the river, I wonder if it will show that the data from January was wrong and the pattern we first noticed is correct, or if there’s another pattern that hopefully we’ll be able to figure out next time.

Site Visit vs Temperature: Graph that shows the average temperature of the river during each visit

Site Visit vs Dissolved Oxygen: Graph that shows the average amount of dissolved oxygen in the river during each visit


Eco-Friendly Places in ISB 学校的那个地方环保?♻️

This is a photo of a wooden box in the cafeteria where we get our eating utensils. I chose to take a photo of the box and its contents because I thought it was an improvement the school has made in terms of being environmentally friendly. The past few years and even during the beginning of this school year, the cafeteria used to have plastic straws, cups, forks, knifes, and spoons that would only be used one time and was thrown away. Now, the cafeteria has changed all our utensils including cups to be stainless steel so it’s reusable. Takeaway cups are now made paper because it’s biodegradable. I think it’s great that the school has become aware of the marks we’re leaving on the environment, and making small improvements in our daily life to help resolve the environmental crisis.

Project Recharge

Looking back on Project ReCharge, I think that freedom and power are related because whoever is in power, determines how much freedom you have. For example, when we were learning about forms of government at the beginning of this unit, we learned about the different types of government, and who has power in each type. For example, in a dictatorship, the dictator of the nation has all the power and can make any decision he/she wants to at any time, and the citizens of that country don’t have much power or voice. But for a democracy, although there is the executive branch and a president, the people of that country are able to vote for decisions that need to be made. So in this case, the citizens of a nation have some power as well, as they get a say in decisions that need to be made.

Connecting back to our final topic in this unit regrading child labor, the owner of child laborers that are forced to work in the Ivory Coast and Ghana have all the power over these children. The child laborers have very little to no power at all especially because they’re children, and therefore they have no freedom. So people with the power are able to determine who has freedom. I also learned that power can come in different forms. For example, when you have many people protesting for something, you have power, because power can come in numbers. You can also have power in the form of force, and an example of this are dictators. Dictators usually have their power from military force. Another example that power can come in is wealth, where some people have more power over things or others because they are rich and wealthy.

During this unit, I also learned that when you are learning about a new topic or problem, you should always define the problem first. Making notices and asking questions first, and then trying to find answers to these questions would help you know more about this topic. After this, you would start doing research, making connections, and looking through different viewpoints that people have on the topic, so that you can understand this topic in a more in-depth level.

Something I also learned in this unit is that if you look at an issue through multiple perspectives, you are able to better understand the topic. This is because when you try to understand different people’s opinions on something, you are able to learn more and be able to further develop your own ideas as well. In class, we watched a video that says when you have a hunch, or the “seed” of an idea, you are able to develop that hunch when you share ideas with other people, or as the video put it, combining two hunches together. This shows that when you look through different lenses on a topic, you might develop your original idea and improve it, or you might even completely change your opinion on the issue, because someone has given you a completely new idea.

When you share ideas with each other, you can also strengthen your own idea, because other people might have questions about your perspective that you may not have the answer to. By answering these questions, you have a stronger argument for your opinion. An example of this during the unit is that we had to interview someone in the ISB community about their opinion on child labor in the ISB supply chain, and what they think we should do about it. We would then write an avatar page about their perspective on this issue, and a proposal that states what our character thinks ISB should do about it. My peers would then pose questions they had for our proposal. By answering these questions, we would have a better argument for our proposal, and if someone asked us these questions in the board meeting, we would be prepared with an answer for it.

Before this project, I didn’t think that seeing a problem from multiple perspectives would be important, because I thought you would have one argument and one opinion on something, and you would be arguing against another opinion. Now, I think that even if you don’t agree with another opinion, you should still try to understand why people think that, so that you can fully understand the issue and then solve it with information from all sides of the story. Overall, this unit was really fun, and I was able to learn a lot. Working with my group, looking at an issue through different viewpoints, and being my avatar in a board meeting was all a great experience.

Kevin, Angel, Julian and I creating a door with gargoyles in drama class.

Our board meeting regarding the topic of child labor in ISB’s supply chain.



Gordon Korman book review: Schooled

Hi guys! This is one of my book review for my Author Study, he book is called Schooled. The Author Study is when we choose an author and read book that he has written. Then we need to write different things about the book, and one of them is the book review. Hope you like this book and read it!



Capricorn Anderson knows nothing about middle school. He’s a hippie who lives on a farm with his grandmother and is home schooled (by his grandmother). But when Cap’s grandmother has an accident, Cap has to go to a public school, move in with a temporary guardian who has a fussy daughter, and basically everything is new to him. Popular kids bully, prank him, and even purposely elect him grade president even though he didn’t run for it. What will Cap do?

I think this book is a very interesting and inspiring book. It talks about how Cap solves his problems and tries to help people. When Zach, the most popular kid in 8 grade keeps pranking and bullying him, Cap has never once got angry, mad, or sad, he just solved the problem. When the popular kids kept bullying Cap and keep failing, it made me think that Cap was invincible. Cap also never gave up trying to fit in. I thought it was inspiring to me because he was always very calm, and I think that’s a good thing because when you’re calm, you can do anything without any problem. I think that when Cap keeps trying it’s a good thing too because you have to keep trying and have a growth mindset because if you stop trying, you won’t get better at it and you won’t get to try anything new.

I think the reading level for this book would be grade 3-5 or above. But if it’s the right reading level for you, you should definitely read it, it is a amazing book, and you will enjoy it a lot. Also, you can read other Gordon Korman books, the author if this book!

Gordon Korman book review: Masterminds

Hi guys! This is one of my book review for my Author Study, the book is called Masterminds. The Author Study is when we choose an author and read book that he has written. Then we need to write different things about the book, and one of them is the book review. Hope you like this book and read it!



Serenity is probably the best town in the world. Everyone is honest and never lies. Everyone believes Serenity is the best, and don’t want to ever leave. Why would anyone in such a perfect place? That is, until Eli Frieden’s friend Randy, leaves town and leaves a note for Eli. Eli gets help from his friends: Tori, Malik, Hector, and Amber. “Something screwy is going on in this town were his exact words.” Together the kids sneaks into the factories, plans escapes while they find out what exactly is going on Serenity. “Criminal Masterminds.” “Getting weeded.” Can the kids get out before it’s too late?

Masterminds is an amazing book. It’s really interesting, and the way the author, Gordon Korman makes it so realistic that it makes you think that it could really happen, is happening. The story is so interesting that when you start it, you can’t put it down, like you’re trapped in it. It just sort of pulls you into the book, and you’re right there with the characters going through the events, like a portal to a world called Masterminds. At the beginning of the book, you don’t really know anything. How to solve the problems, what’s happening, nothing. I really like it at the end, when all the pieces of the puzzle comes together, everything makes sense, and in your mind it goes like, “Oooooohhhh yeahhhhhhh!”

The reading age of this book I think is about maybe 3-5 grade. But if you can read it, do read it! You’ll miss out on it if you don’t! This book is a series, so there is another book after this one. Don’t forget to read other Gordon Korman books too!



Gordon Korman book review: The Hypnotist

Hi guys! This is one of my book review for my Author Study, he book is called The Hypnotist. The Author Study is when we choose an author and read book that he has written. Then we need to write different things about the book, and one of them is the book review. Hope you like this book and read it!


The Hypnotist:

He can make people do what he wants. Now they want him to do what they want. Jax is a regular teenage boy, until he finds out that he can hypnotize people. He learns to control it in a company full of hypnotist called Sentia. But when he finds out what they want to do with him and his parents are on the line, he has to…you have to read to find out.

I think this book is a really interesting book, whenever I start reading it, it just sort of sucks me into the book, and I’m there experiencing the events happening in the story. You can’t stop reading it. Gordon Korman, the author of this book,  usually writes fiction, and I think he’s good at that. He takes different characteristics of fiction and ties them together in a book, such as super powers, a GOOD AND EVIL. But he also makes some things realistic, for example, they don’t live in a imaginary world, Jax lives in New York City.

I would recommend this book to grade 3-5, or above, because you’re never too old for fiction. If you have the right reading level, I totally recommend you read this book, you will not regret it!

The Cool and Beautiful Lakeside Great Wall 水长城 (But CRAZILY STEEP!)

During Spring Break I went to 水长城. It is the place where a part of the Great Wall has gone into the water, but it’s not like the normal place that some of you know of, it’s at HuaiRou 怀柔. At the beginning of our trip, we had to climb some really steep stairs of the Great Wall. Some steps were super high and steep, and once I lost my balance and almost tripped and fell. We had to climb 3 sets of looooooooonnnnnnnggggggg steeeeeeeeeeeeeeep steps and when we finished the third one, my parents decided to come back down. Double the hard work. At least we didn’t go even further, or it would be a longer way back down. Even though it was a really tiring way up and down, it was really fun. I ran with my brother down the stairs and up, leaving my mom and dad behind. It was fun and the view was AMAZINGLY AWESOME. All the cherry blossoms had bloomed and when I got really high, you could see lots of things. I saw the car park at the bottom of the mountain,  the lake the Great Wall went under, and all the mountains covered in flowers and cherry blossoms. It was especially beautiful because there was no pollution on that day! On the first set of the Great Wall stairs, it went all the way down to the water and came up at the other side. There was a wall in front of us so I had to tip toe over it so I could see the part that was broken off. If you didn’t know that it went under the water, you’d probably just think it broke off, because at the edge it’s all broken because people stepped on it. We also went on a boat to the other side and we walked in a park. When we were going to a bridge that was up close to the part where the great wall split, we saw a car that looked like a big jeep but the it was green and grey, like the camouflage military clothes. It drives into the water across the lake but you don’t get wet. When you go down the slope into the water some people were screaming, so I guess it’s like a roller-coaster and is sort of scary. I wanted to, but did not go ride it because we bought boat tickets for the ride to and back already. After we crossed the bridge, we could actually go further and and go to a part where the Great Wall was actually going into the water, without a wall blocking us. We went there and took a few pictures at the edge, but we defiantly did not go into the water. I thought that it was really cool because I wondered how the people built it underwater. Maybe they built it when there wasn’t water and after a while the lake got filled with water and covered up the part of the great wall. It was really cool being so up close to the part that broke off. After that we went back on the boat and back to the car park and went back home. I thought it was a really fun experience for me and I had a really good time.


Newsela Article-Beautiful Venetian Glass Art

In Newsela, I read an article about a short history of Venetian Art. Venetian Art is melting the glass so it’s nice and soft, and then you twist it to make it turn into different shapes, to make a glass vase, bottle, wine glasses, fancy goblets and bowls. People started making these a really long time ago in Venice, Italy. When they first were making the glass, the glass-makers were not allowed to tell anyone how they did it, so no one knew for a long time. Right now when people make the glass they go in rooms that have bright light and lots of fresh air. They also use very hot ovens that run on electricity called kilns. Before, the glass-makers had to go to an island called Murano, and they did not have good ovens like the ones today, and the rooms were very hot and did not have much fresh air. The glass-makers also used gold paint and a liquid called enamel to decorate the glass, and it was very hard. They also had to bake it in very high heat. The used wood to make the fire, and the had to hold the glass above a fire that is really hot, not like putting it in an oven. William Gudenrath is an artist and a teacher and he found out the secrets to making the glass. He teaches how to make Venetian glass making and started doing it himself when he was just 11. He studied the art in museums all around, old and new. Gudenrath has been posting guides on a website , and there are pictures and videos. He also posts how he thinks the glass-makers from a long time ago made the glass. Gudenrath said that what the artist could do then was amazing, and because of that, they kept their art a secret and people were trying to find that secret out.

I agree with Gudenrath that the Venetian Glass Art is a very beautiful art, and that the people back then without any electricity or resources as good as today were still able to make really cool and beautiful art. I think that the glass-makers a long time ago shouldn’t keep their art a secret because when you share things, you can learn form others and others can learn from you! And I wonder what is the penalty if you tell someone the secret? It think it would have been pretty hard to make the art when everything is way past boiling hot: the room, the glass, the kiln… I’ve atually been to Venice, Italy, and atually seen a glass-maker make the glass and twist it around. I thought it was pretty cool. I think that the Venetian art is a very interesting art because it’s sort of a combination of something like painting (from the decorations) and sculpting a statue (from making the vase) and something of it’s own because this is the only art I know of that has a bingo for all three things: melting glass, twisting it around, and baking it by holding it on top of a super hot fire. Event though I think Venetian art is really cool, I don’t want to be a glass maker when I grow up because A. I already set my mind on something else, and B. It’s really hot and I think I’ll mess it up on the twisting the shapes and holding the glass on top of the fire, but it would be cool to try once.

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