It has been a long time since I have posted something on my blog, so I decided it was about time to write a new post, so here we go...
It has come to a time where the end of yet another school year is coming close. Grade 7 has been quite a fun year for me, with many new opportunities and challenges. You might remember that I worked on some Kinetic Typography pieces a few months back. Well, just yesterday, I was helping a group of this year's Grade 6 students make their own typographies. It was really interesting to see their ideas, and also to refresh my knowledge on some typography skills as well! I have also followed a "Growing Up Digital" course this year, and learnt some new things about online safety and digital learning tools. One of them I quite like is a web tool called Tagxedo. This tool allows you to create "word clouds" that make visualizing a bunch of text easier. Give it a go!

By the way, have you noticed the "RSS Feed" button near the top of the page? If you click that, the link in the address bar can be copied and pasted into a service called Google Reader or into most mail programs. This way, you will be notified whenever I write a new post! You can do the same with other blogs and websites, as long as they have a link to their RSS feed!
Time passes so quickly doesn't it? Now, it is already the December holidays! Christmas trees have sprung up everywhere in the city along with many other festive decorations, and homes are starting to be decorated for this season and everyone is humming christmas carols both at school and even all around the country! Are you going to celebrate?
Image by fsse8info
Along with this festive season, I also now have a break from the first term of school. I don't know what I am going to be doing during this long time off school, but I am sure I am going to find many fun and interesting things to do!

Looking back at what I have done this term, one thing that was really cool to do was a game called "A Google a Day". It is a exercise to help train your searching skills by giving you a question you have to answer as well as the "par" time that they expect you to take. Once you found the answer, you key it in and see if you got it right!

I am thinking of making one of these games myself, but I think it would take a lot of thinking and research to come up with challenging yet fun questions to answer! In the meantime, here is one of the questions I have come up with.

"What is the scientific name of the species of pufferfish that is commonly called the "Sugar Toad" in the Chesapeake Bay region?"
How long did it take you to solve it? To see the answer, click "Read More".
As you may have noticed already, I have changed my author write-up from grade 6, to grade 7. Yup, you've guessed it. That is because I am going to start a new school year very soon! Yes, time passes so quickly... Don't you think so?

I have been enjoying my school holidays both at home and overseas, visiting family and friends and doing many fun activities! This includes hiking, biking, playing board games, I could go on forever. But what I really enjoyed most, was flying the A380 back home.
Image by nicolasrollier

The A380, as you may know, is the first fully double-decker aircraft ever manufactured. To me the A380 is really a marvel of modern engineering, because I mean, you don't see something like this being invented everyday do you?

The Airbus A380's first commercial flight took place on the 25th of October 2007, when Singapore Airlines flight SQ380 left Singapore for Sydney. Proceeds from this flight went to charitable causes, both in Singapore and Sydney. Since then, the number of operators has been continuously growing and growing. Now there are 51 A380's in operation! I think that you may have already guessed, that the A380 is the biggest commercial airliner in the world! If you are interested, you can go to this link to find out more!

Have you flown the A380 yet?
As I mentioned in my earlier posts, I have been working on, as well as completing various performances. Be it taking on a backstage role, or speaking on stage. But what about choral singing? Yes, I have been participating in this area as well!
Image by aleske
Just yesterday, the various choirs, bands, ensembles and talented students in my school performed in an end-of-year music showcase concert at the Yong Siew Toh Conservatory of Music. The sound in this theatre is amazing, as it is acoustically perfect! This is because of the wavy design and structure that diffuses the sound waves into all corners of the room. There is also maple wood in the structure, that also helps make the sound in the hall better sounding.

Yong Siew Toh is a 600 seater hall, which's main structure is constructed in a "shoe-box" kind of shape. This kind of concept can also be found in other famous concert halls in the world! 

I hope that everyone in the audience enjoyed our performance as much as I did performing it!
Today, I looked at a new app created for the iPad called "Puppet Pals HD". This app lets you create a digital puppet show. It is really fun and simple to do, and your show comes out really cool! Here's the one I made today:
You can add audio and different effects to create an engaging show to share. To use all the features, you need to buy the "director's pass", but it is equally fun to do without the pass. You can cut characters out of the web (making sure you state your sources) and use them in your show. Same thing goes for backdrops. Puppet Pals runs on iPod Touches, iPhones and iPads, and is really quick, yet looks like a real puppet show!
Image by jtjdt
Over the past week, I have been attending an iPad exploration activity at school. We have been focusing on an app developed by Apple called "GarageBand".

GarageBand lets you play instruments such as the piano, drums and guitar. There is also a function called "smart" instruments, which is the place to be if you are not so musically inclined!

Here is the first song I created with GarageBand on the iPad:

To play an instrument, simply tap on it and a virtual version of it will show up on your screen. If you just have the feeling to tap out a beat, or want to create a new masterpiece, there is something there for you in GarageBand!

There is also a Mac version of GarageBand that is equally fun to play with! You can create a song with the pre-mixed loops, capture audio and piece it together, or learn how to play an instrument with the lessons on GarageBand! 

Whatever you like about music, GarageBand pulls it together!
Image by jtjdt
As you may know, I have been working on a Kinetic Typography project over the last few weeks. I have finally completed this task and would like to share it with you now:
This video is formed with a mix of stop-motion animation and animated poetry (made with Keynote). Keynote is a program that can help you make presentations and even animate words for this purpose. Frame by Frame was another program that helped me make this video. It is a Mac application that captures images to create a stop motion video.
Image by paul.morriss

One example of a movie that was made using the technique of stop motion animation includes "Wallace and Gromit".

Stop-motion animation requires lots of patience. As for 1 minute of animation, it needs hundreds of photos to make it flow! Imagine how many it would take to make a movie that lasts for over a hour! That would easily take years just to complete!
Every year, each grade in my school has to put up a performance (except Grade 5, because they have an exhibition to put up) for the parents as part of their curriculum. But this year, the Grade 6's decided to take on a challenge to put up a full on Broadway Jr. musical! In case you have not heard of Broadway Jr., they are a company that makes normal broadway musicals into shorter and easier plays for younger students to put up. They have many musicals to choose from, but my teachers have decided on the heartwarming musical "Once on This Island". I am most likely going to take the role of the backstage crew. My area of interest is the technical part of it, but I am fine with doing other areas as well.
Image by Peter Watson Scenic
This particular drama production pulls together the feelings of sadness, love, as well as happy moments. The main character's name is Ti Moune (the girl to the right of the picture). She is a peasant girl who was saved by the gods from a big flood and sent on a journey that would test the strength of love, and stand against the power of death. The touching thing about this musical is that Ti Moune gives up her life to save the life of her loved one, Daniel (the boy to the left of the picture), a rich boy, who's car crashed because of a strong storm. The story is a Caribbean adaption of the well-known fairy tale "The Little Mermaid". I hope that we will be able to put on a good show and have fun moments along the way as well!
As I said in my earlier post, I have just learnt how to create newspaper black-out poetry in school with the Brushes application. Today, I got another go at it but my second one isn't finished yet. Though there is something else I'd like to share with you; a video on the process of creating a newspaper black-out poetry piece:
Image by chillihead

Even though the name of this particular type of poetry is "Newspaper" black-out poetry, you can still do it with other articles of writing. Such as magazines, posters and books!

The Brushes application runs on iPod touches, iPhones and iPads and is really simple to use. You can create real works of art with it, and many artists use it as well!
Last Friday, we explored a new kind of poetry in class: Newspaper Black-out Poetry. This is where we used an online newspaper article to create Found Poetry, which is creating a short poem from a piece of writing, such as a poster or magazine. I think that this was quite a fun task to do, as we got to enforce our knowledge of Found Poetry into a new concept! Here is my first try at Newspaper Black-out Poetry:
To do this, we used an application called "Brushes". It allows you to create many styles of paintings and strokes digitally! How we made this piece was by taking a screenshot of an online newspaper article and importing it into Brushes. Then, we used black "markers" to circle the words we wanted and colour out all the words that we didn't want. It's simple and fun to do as well!