Thursday, 29 November 2012

The 11th hour and how to take notes!

This week we have prepared ourselves for the mock-exam next week, and we have practiced and tested different ways of taking notes. We also saw a film called “The 11th hour”, which is a documentary about how humans have adapted or not adapted to the environment, and how we are affecting the planet with our way of living. First there is a short summary of the film, and then there is about the different ways of taking notes, and what I think is the best way to learn from a lecture.
The film “the 11th hour” is a documentary about our environment today and how it will be if we continue to do as we do now. The film has collected several scientists, authors, and other people with knowledge about this theme who are talking about our environment, how humans have affected it, and the consequences of how we are treating it today.
The film starts with a lot of pictures and small clips from great nature disasters such as the hurricane Katrina, and lots of other horrible disaster who has caused a lot of damage to our society. I can´t say you get a nice, cozy feeling when you watch the first part of the movie. As we see these clips from nature disasters we listen to all these different people who talks about what the problem is, and a lot about the consequences if we continue to burn so much coal and bring so much oil from the sea. We are living in a waste society, where we are trashing so much and not recycling it. The ice is melting around the polar areas, and lots of animals such as the polar bears are threatened. Some of the consequences will also be that the temperature will rise, and the ocean level will also rise and drown a lot of countries in the future.

They also speak a lot of what the main problem in this global warming of the planet is, and they conclude that people have to change their way of thinking. We have to be more cautious with our environment and our planet.

In the end we can suddenly see a light in all this misery and we get some advanced explanations of what we can do to save our environment. Some of the things I understood were the solar panels we could possibly cover buildings with, and windmills, and some other things.

So it was very interesting to know some more about the global warming, and what can be the consequences. The movie was quite advanced, and it was hard to understand a lot of what they said, but I hope I have managed to make a short useful summary here even though!
While we were watching this movie we were separated in three groups, where one group started writing notes on paper for the first twenty minutes, and the other group started writing on their own computer notes, and the last group started writing in a sharing document in class on their computers. Then we switched after twenty minutes so everybody got to write notes in every way. I thought the best way to take notes and to learn most from the lecture was to write on my own notes. Writing on paper also worked out well, but it takes a lot more time and is much more stressing. Writing on the shared document on Google-doc was okay, but it was quite annoying when a lot of people started to write in your notes while you were writing, and just wrote rubbish for fun. So writing on my own notes worked best! I think you learn most from writing own notes on either computer or paper, depending on what you prefer and in which way you manage to concentrate best. 

Tuesday, 20 November 2012

The Edublog Awards!

This week we are nominating blogs for the Edublog Awards, where there are different types of awards you can nominate blogs for. Even though there are lots of different awards you can nominate blogs to, we have only nominated for three. If you want to know more about the Edublog Awards and how you can nominate blogs you can click here. But you can only vote for a limited time, so do it soon! 

This year I would like to nominate the following student blog in category best student blog: English School Blog (Ingeborg) 

I would also like to nominate a blog in the category "best teacher blog": Teaching using web (Ann)  

Library/Librarian blog: Leselyst (the librarian at Sandvika High School, in Norwegian). 

Tuesday, 13 November 2012

Blogs or paper writing?

This week we just worked on correcting some of our texts and we focused on grammar, so we were not supposed to write any long texts about a special theme or something this week. But we got some questions connected to what we think about writing blogs compared to writing texts for our teacher only that we were supposed to answer in a short blog post. Here are the questions we were going to answer:

  •       Do you think there is more pressure on how you perform/write when you use blogs instead of writing a paper for the teacher only?

I think it´s in some ways more pressure on how we perform on our blogs because when the whole world can see what you write you feel more pressure on writing correct grammar and writing coherent sentences. But at the same time when you write on a paper to a teacher you feel a slight pressure then too because you get grades from the teacher and your grade is depending on how well you write. And when you write on a blog, even though the whole world can see what you have written, you may feel a bit freer to write what you want.
  •    Do you think the use of blogs reduces the difference between your work at school and your everyday life?

Yes, I think it reduces the difference a bit, because with a blog you feel more relaxed about the writing, and you feel freer to write what you want, and it does not feel similar to what you usually think school work is.  I think that when we write our blogs we get more inspired and motivated to write more than we are supposed to, and more motivated to write better answers. When I write a blog post I don´t think of it as unnecessary homework that not even my teacher is going to look at, but I rather think of it as something fun and useful. 

Tuesday, 6 November 2012

Sandy the Hurricane

In class this week we worked in groups of three, and was supposed to choose to either write about the Presidential Election, or Sandy the Hurricane. We chose Sandy the Hurricane, and we started with writing four things we knew about the case, four things we would like to find out, and four things we could to to know some more about it. 
Here are what we did:

What do we know?
1. It was one of the most powerful storms in a long time.
2. It hit New York, New Jersey, Haiti and Iceland as far as we know.
3. A lots of people are without electricity.
4. The storm has affected the presidential election.
What would we like to know?
1. How many are injured or has died totally?
2. How much has the storm cost so far?
3. Where did the hurricane begin?
4. Which place are most damaged so far?
How can we learn more about the topic?
1. Use different search methodes on internet to find information.
2. Look at some of the links to different sources we got.
3. Search for more information about hurricane/ storms and waves.
4. We can use social networks as Twitter and search hashtags for instance to find information.

Here are the answers we found to the questions under "What we would like to know"

1. How many people are dead or injured so far? 
The hurricane, Sandy, killed more than 65 peoples in Caribbean and 106 lives got lost. Sandy first hit the Caribbean, and then the USA. Threes has fell over peoples and roads. The dirty water and lack of food makes the numbers of dead rise every day because of illness like Cholera.
Later Sandy hit the west coast of USA. A water flood came with Sandy, and now all public transport and all kind of transport are down. Also in the USA threes has fell down and killed a lots of people. People has been found hanging out their windows dead. Building and cars are destroyed and there is no electricity. Peoples can’t call or go to Facebook for example, to tell their family and friends they are alive.
Numbers of injured peoples are still not published.

2. How much has the storm cost so far? 
According to IHS Global Insight, a forecasting firm believes that Sandy will end up causing about $20 billion in property damage and $10 billion to $30 billion more in lost business, making it one of the costliest natural disasters on record in the U.S., with a possible total cost of $50 billion. The Gov. Chris Christie said. "The devastation on the Jersey Shore is some of the worst we've ever seen. The cost of the storm is incalculable at this point."
The United States weren’t the only country Sandy affected. Both Cuba and Jamaica were some of the affected countries in the Caribbean, and is expected to use $88 million and $16.5 million to rebuild their countries. Haiti was also tragically touched by the storm, and while no specific number of the cost has been published, the country is suffering a great food crisis.

3 and 4. Where did the hurricane begin, and which place was most damaged?

The storm, Sandy, hit the Caribbean first, and it was Haiti who was worst hit. According to what we read Jamaica was the first to get hit, but it was still Haiti who was most affected and who got the biggest damages.

 The majority of deaths and the most extensive damage has fell upon Haiti, who was already devastated from the earthquake in 2010. The damage is especially significant since it already was 400.000 homeless people in Haiti from the earthquake in 2010, and now there are 200.000 more homeless people. On top of all this Haiti was also struggling with the aftermath of The Tropical Strom Isaac, which hit the country in August, and a cholera epidemic that killed thousands and afflicted more than half a million people.

The Hurricane hit Haiti worst, and then Jamaica and Cuba we think. As this article says, there has almost been given none attention to Haiti and the other countries in the Caribbean, only to the USA.
There has been given very much attention to the storm when it hit the USA, but almost nothing to especially Haiti who is most damaged. Lots of people are dead or injured, or without electricity in the US, but Haiti was also struggling with the damages from the earthquake in 2010 and the Tropical storm Isaac, and then they get so hit by Sandy to and gets very little attention. It’s important to help people in the USA too, but Haiti should have gotten more attention so they could get more help than they get now. Also because of the Presidential Election there is given a lot of attention to the USA, but maybe it would have been possible to wait for a little while and focus on helping all the countries who are hit? 
Heavy rains from Hurricane Sandy causes the Croix de Mission river to swell to levels that threaten to flood the homes along its bank in Port-au-Prince October 25, 2012. (Reuters/Swoan Parker)

Monday, 5 November 2012

"Big Miracle"- The Inuit and The Grey whales

In class this week we saw a movie called “Big Miracle” which was about three Grey whales who was trapped in the water in Alaska where they only had one hole where they could breathe, and where the rest of the water was covered with thick ice. We were going to find two topics this movie contained, and write about it. Since the movie is from Alaska and it involves the native people of Alaska, the first topic I chose to write about was the Inuit´s, the native people of Alaska. The second topic I chose was the Grey whales in Alaska, since they play a central part in the movie! 

The native people of Alaska

The indigenous people of Alaska are the Inuit, Aleuts, and Indians. The Inuit who numbers 30 000 of the indigenous people, are the largest of the three groups. Since the Inuit are the largest group I chose to write about them.

Before, the Inuit lived in skin tents in the summer, and sod or drift wood houses in the winter. They live in a cold climate, and because of this forced adaption to the harsh Arctic weather, the Inuit have created fur clothing even more resistant to cold than the jackets made in industrialized countries with the help of modern science.

In the summer, the Inuit wear only one layer of clothing, along with sealskin boots. During winter, Inuit tend to wear two layers of clothing consisting of a suit on the inside with fur facing the skin, and an outer suit with the fur facing the outside. This allows the air between the two layers to create insulation, while the fur on the inside evaporates any perspiration. Oftentimes, beads, fur, and good luck charms made of woodcarvings or animal parts are used as decoration in a traditional Inuit ensemble. The Inuit have also developed sunglasses made by wood, ivory, or bone, which have small, narrow slits in them to shield their eyes from the bright glare from the sun off the snow.

The Inuit people live in groups ranging from a single family to several hundred members, and have little contact with other cultures except infrequent and sometimes hostile encounters with people living farther south in the Arctic.

In spring and fall for example, Inuit come together in sizable groups to hunt large animals to ensure that all necessities are met. During the rest of the year these communities spread out along the coast and countryside in search of fish and other types of food. Men are traditionally hunters, and women raise the children and take care of the household. Depending upon location and season, food for the Inuit varies from whale to foxes and includes caribou, hares, fish, and seal. During winter on the coast a bowhead whale can provide meat for an entire Inuit community, while inland, caribou hunted in the fall can mean the same thing. The meat is usually eaten raw or frozen.

Transportation for the Inuit people during summer consists of walking on foot over land or water by boat. The two boats typically used are known as umiaks and kayaks. Umiaks carry up to ten people, are wooden, and open. During the winter months the Inuit travel via sled pulled by dogs.

Even though the Inuit are not religious, they believe in spirits. They uphold that all people, animals, things, and forces of natures have spirits. To keep the spirits happy, the Inuit follow rules and collectively believe that if these rules are ignored the spirits will punish them through sickness or misfortune.

We also got the question: "Do you think the movie gave a realistic picture of how it is to live in Alaska?"
I think the movie gave a quite realistic picture of how it is to live there. Even though I have done all this research about Alaskan natives, I do not know that much about how the people actually live there now, because I think that the major part of the society have a very similar way of living as us. But I think that the indigenous people have preserved their culture, and are still practicing their culture as Inuit at the same time as they live as normal people. So then if what I think is true, I think the movie gave a realistic picture of how they live. I don’t think that rescuing whales are everyday life, but I think the Alaskan Indigenous people has preserved their own culture while they have also adapted to the way most people live.

Alaska Whales- The Grey whales

There are eight species of whales that frequent the cold and icy waters of Alaska. The Beluga, Humpback, Grey, Orca, Bowhead, Blue, Right, and Minke whales. In the movie we saw in class “Big Miracle” the whales were three grey whales, so I chose to focus on them.

Like all mammals, whales breathe air into lungs and are warm-blooded.
Beneath the skin lies a layer of fat, the blubber. It serves as an energy reservoir and also as insulation. Whales have a four-chambered heart. The neck vertebrae are fused in most whales, which provide stability during swimming at the expense of flexibility.
The whales breathe through blowholes, located on the top of the head so the animal can remain submerged. Whales have a unique respiratory system that lets them stay underwater for long periods of time without taking in oxygen.

Whalers used to call the Grey whales "devilfish" because of the fierce defense they put up when hunted. In its lifetime, the average gray whale commutes over 400,000 miles – the equivalent of a trip to the moon and back. Each year, gray whales go back and forth between their feeding grounds in the Arctic to breeding grounds off the coast of Baja California, as we saw the Grey whales in the movie tried to do. They spend six months of the year just traveling!

It reaches a length of about 15.2 m, a weight of 36 tons, and lives 50–70 years. The gray whale is a dark slate-gray in color and covered by characteristic gray-white patterns, scars left by parasites which drop off in its cold feeding grounds. 

I hope you maybe learned something new about the Inuit or the Grey whales of Alaska, and that the text was informative!