Term 3 Reflection
This terms focus for our integrated unit was Natural Disasters. Throughout the unit, 5/6’s learnt about different types of natural disasters. We looked at how they were created, the environments required, the before and after effects and more of the basic facts to know about them. Towards the end of term, we moved on to developing our projects. Every 5/6 student was asked to pick a natural disaster of their choice and produce a 2+ paged information text around their topic. We started by filling out a question matrix then developing a few main questions from those. The project focuses on researching and answering these questions in a precise and detailed form. While working, we were asked to keep in mind and check off the success criteria during the course of the project.
The natural disaster I chose to focus on was Blizzards. I thought that it wasn’t a very popular natural disasters, I know little about it and I thought it might be an intriguing topic.
3 facts that I found interesting/surprising
- There are 3 different types of blizzards. A Traditional/Snowstorm blizzard, a Ground blizzard and a Lake Effect blizzard. They may function a bit differently but they all lead to the same effects. Some of the main differences include the way the different blizzards blows around the snow, the areas they occur in, how frequently each one occurs and a few more factors.
- The 1972 Iran Blizzard killed 4 000 people and injured many, many more. How the blizzards accomplish this is that majority of the time, people are buried by the snow or the snow becomes too heavy for roofs to hold so they cave n and possibly destroy houses. I found this surprising because I didn’t think that blizzards were so harmful. In fact, I thought they killed close to very little people.
- Blizzards can reduce your vision to under 3 metres in front of you, which is called Zero Visibility. This can definitely cause a major difference and danger to one’s everyday life. This fact I found quite surprising because all I thought a blizzard would be like is a simple snowstorm with an occasional bad spot. Obviously, the effects are a lot worse than I thought but I never actually realised that they would be so severe.
2 understandings I have
- Blizzards do have a lot of cautions to them and there are many ways that you could be killed or injured during one. There are a fair few different ways they can harm you such as reducing your visibility, make you seriously sick, cause a flood after the storm and could even hurt your economical state. All these could have a range of different results starting from hardly dangerous to severely threatening.
- Blizzards aren’t very frequent and don’t occur very often. They are one of the more unpopular natural disasters because they require such a specific, cold climate to actually take place and many places in the world aren’t like that at all. Although, there are still a fair few places a blizzard could occur but still less than for many other natural disasters.
1 wonder I still have
- A question that I wasn’t able to answer was more around the “who” area. For instance, who trains others or has the training to fight/be better prepared for blizzards. Is it voluntary or are certain people chosen? Who has the knowledge to prevent a blizzard? Who can develop better ways to stop or reduce the damage of a blizzard?
For me, this paragraph will not be about what I learnt, but about the skills and the strategies I used and developed and how I went about this unit.
What were the most important things I had learned?
Organisation is key.
Keeping your project and research organised is so important. Losing track of written paragraphs, researched information or even a web link could mean more and more time spent on regaining it appose to making your project even better. It is also a great habit for me to get into since I’ll be going into high-school fairly shorty, then from their Uni.
Check your criteria.
Looking at your success criteria throughout your project can really help you achieve the best you can. This way, you can see what you have done, what you are yet to do and where in your project that would fit. It also makes it a lot easier at the end of the process. Instead of having to read over and check you have everything set in the criteria, you will already know since you have ticked what you have done and left what you haven’t. Although, it wouldn’t be a bad idea to read over your piece, you just don’t want to have to be looking for that criteria as appose to reading it the way your audience would.
How did I learn this?
When writing the first information report we did, I realised how vital it was to be organised with your work. The topic I chose to focus on was earthquakes and everything I had learnt about earthquakes was split into 2 books (Integrated 1&2). Since we were writing the actual report in our draft books, this meant I had to keep track of the 3 books and make sure I didn’t lose anything or mess anything up. This is when I realised I needed to develop some type of system or strategy to organise all my information, at which point I did.
During my project was when I discovered how important it is that I check over the criteria provided. I knew that it would save time at the end of the process and it would also help me realise what I was yet to do. Having used it as a checklist throughout the whole project was a real help. I could see ways that I could use the criteria to help make my information report even better. It could also help me find the right place to put the things on the checklist in my report.
What am I going to do with what I have learnt?
For both strategies, I will definitely use them as skills for my future. Since I am going to high school in a matter of months and then university after that, I figure these skills and strategies will become most useful. Compared to primary school, I know that there will be a lot more projects and assignments then I’m used to and I’m sure that these strategies will help me through them. I also hope that I’ll be able to use and develop them in whatever job I am yet to follow. Whether I become a vet, accountant or a teacher, these are lifelong skills that I know will be useful in whatever the future holds for me.
I feel I covered the Assessment Matrix fairly well. There may have been parts where I may not have been as confident as I was in others but that’s’ just all part of it. Some of the parts set out in the criteria were new and have only been taught and used once so obviously I wouldn’t be so confident about those. An example is the Systems Analysis. I found it a bit difficult to grasp the concept of what it is and how to do it but I gave it my best shot and that’s all I can do. But then again, there were a few things that I felt comfortable doing and I feel I did them well.
Beginning Unit Goals
Click here to read my goals from the beginning of the term.
I feel I did the best I could to achieve my science goals. We covered the 4 in class but I feel I need to go deeper. Each topic was touched on and I still did learn a lot, just not enough that I hoped for which is completely understand regarding the time given. What I did learn I feel is the important part of my goals and will be of future use. It broke down the basics to give me a brief but solid understanding of the topic of my goal which I can now take and use to expand my knowledge.
Reading & Viewing/Writing
These two goals I feel I completed in my project. My R&V goal was about selecting and navigating my way around styles of text using tools such as table of contents, glossary, headings and subheadings. I feel I achieved this goal while researching blizzards for my project and have used these tools numerous times over the course of this term. My writing goal was to develop different types of text while experimenting with text structures, language features, images and digital resources appropriate to purpose and audience. I think I accomplished this goal while writing up my information report. I had learnt about aspects of this goal throughout the unit and I feel I put it to use while developing my report.
My personal learning goal was about challenging my academic ability and to challenge myself by trying something new (regarding my project). I feel I demonstrated this by choosing to focus my project on blizzards. Blizzards was never a natural disaster we focused on in class and I had never really thought deeply about them let alone doing a project on them. I figured that since I didn’t really know much about them, what better time to learn then now? So I do feel that I competed my personal goal.
Thanks for reading 🙂