Sunday, August 30, 2009

It's Time to Research!

Hello, I'm Sherman, and I'm in Mr. Ashley's Project Science class. This is the first time I've blogged for the I.B. Seashore Guide we've been working on. Well, last time we met in class, we took a look at some of the guides already in existence, and we as a class talked about what was good in them and what was not. We were also assigned an organism to research on for the actual guide. For me, I got assigned the limpet. We have until Wednesday to find out information about our organism. Until then!

Saturday, August 29, 2009

Done with the beach and back to the Class!

Hello this is Priscilla McCullough reporting on what we did in class today.

It's time to start working on our class book!

Today we chose the creatures we are going to write about.
We chose numbers out of the fishbowl. The numbers are coordinated to a picture of an organism that we will be writing about. Christina is choosing her number, she selected number seven which turned out to be Ulva.

Here are some pictures of students' selected photos. All of our photo assignments will be published in our seashore guide along with information about the organism. Information will contain common and scientific name, size and range as well as interesting facts.

Now that they have their assignment they must find the scientific name for their sea life as well as write a short paragraph on what their sea life is like.

The picture to the right is a picture of a seagull and the one to the left are snails.

These girls are putting their minds together to come up with some great ideas for our book!

After we chose our sea life, we went through books and wrote down things we liked and disliked about the layouts of the books.

We took into consideration the amount of information, lighting on pictures, and how big or small the pictures were.

We liked that the information was easy to read and right next to the picture.
Mr. Ashley gave us some advice on how we should create the book too.
When you make a book you have to take into thought your own experiences on when you you've looked at in previous books and if you had to change some things what would they be?
Also, how long your information is, you don't want it too long.

They are showing off the cover and explaining their ideas. We decided as a class that an interesting cover would be ideal.

It's their turn to tell the class what they think of the book.

In our class assignments we don't want our book to be completly boring so Mr. Ashley thought of a fun way to make things more exciting. We could name the phyllum our creatures are in. Also, research and find myths or folk songs about them. In additon to the two above, we could use personal experiences on the sea life we chose. Finally we could tie our short essay together by taking a picture of our sea life.

Monday, August 24, 2009

The day on the beach: Our second photo walk- last chance!

Hello! My name is Priscilla McCullough, I am a junior in Mr. Ashley's Project Science class and this is my first time blogging, I'm going to talk a little bit about things we have done on the jetty.

We learned in class that taking good photos is a lot of work. For example, you need to consider lighting and the position of the photo as well making sure that the photo is focused and not too cluttered.

Mr. Ashley gives students one of his "lectures" while on the jetty.

LOOK! He found something! What's under there?
Many things are found under the jetty like crabs and little organisms that wash up and stick to the rocks.

Here are some students preparing kelp for a photo.

One student hands the other a ruler so she can measure the length of the wreck.

The students make sure that the wreck is clean and will remove a piece of it so that the photo isn't too crowded.

Hmmm, looks like we found something!

Friday, August 21, 2009

Photo Analysis: The Good, The Bad and The Ugly

Today we spent time reviewing the photos that we snapped on our beach walk. We learned that not all photos are good photos. In fact, Mr. Ashley had us apply a whole set of criteria to each photo to determine if we could use it in our guide. Here's a few of the good, the bad and the ugly.

We all liked this photo
; good detail, great color and a straightforward focal point. We'll call this one, "The Good".

This photo will be filed under, "The Bad". There are just so many things wrong with it. Here's a couple weaknesses: The background for the fish is really busy, the angle is bad too- you can't see any identifying markings on the fish. And don't get me started on scale... how big is that thing anyway?

The "Seagull eating the pigeon" was a huge hit. There must have been five versions of this photo. This one falls easily into, "The Ugly" catagory. We don't want to scare any small children away from our guide book so we'll try to leave out the ugly photos.

Here's our class holding up all of the points that Mr. Ashley typed up about good and bad photos. And the, "If you ever do this with the cameras you'll never use one again" guidelines... sheesh!

Some of us are so into it
we're going to meet Mr. Ashley at 5:30am on Sunday to try to snap some additional photos... and it's not even a school day. Are you kidding me!

Here we are in class reviewing all of the photos. If you decided it was a bad photo you had to explain why using the critiques that Mr. Ashley gave us. This photo was bad because it needed something in it to give the viewer an idea of scale. Next time we'll put a ruler in the photo or a pencil so that you can get an idea of how big the object is.

Here's another really good photo- it kind of breaks the "Busy" rule but it's an interesting angle on the pier and it's got cool colors in it.

And this was a great bird photo it's close enough so that you can easily see the bird's markings- important for an identification guide. This is definitely a keeper.

Wednesday, August 19, 2009

Photo Walk Day 1: Period 6 takes their turn at the beach...

Today it was period 6's turn to head down and capture some photos of Imperial Beach's sea life.

Here, the girls take a close up shot of a piece of green algae. We'll take that photo back to class, identify the algae and add it to our seashore guide.

No, JR's not taking a rock photo. He's found a piece of dried red algae and he's trying to get just the right angle on it.

Reyna got to use the City of Imperial Beach's
beach wheel chair....STOKED! Here Lifeguard Art Ayala sets it up for her. A big thanks to the City of Imperial Beach and the I.B. Lifeguards for taking care of us.... you made Reyna's day!

We're going to call her "Hot Rod" from now on... she was zipping all over the beach on that thing!

Tomorrow: Back to the class to identify the organisms and begin our research.... also.... time to brainstorm our Sea Shore Guide: What should it look like?

Tuesday, August 18, 2009

Photo Walk Day 1: Period 5 heads to the beach

Off to the beach! Today was our first trip down to the beach to snap the photos that we'll be using for our Sea Shore Guide. Everyone met at room 404 right after lunch and after a couple of the girls made bathroom runs, we were off!

Pamela got to do the honors
and hit the gate opener button. One click and we were FREE!

Mr. Ashley timed the walk down to the pier. It took us just over ten minutes to walk from the classroom to the pier. Mr. Ashley had rules for walking. They were: 1. Nobody walks behind him on the way to the beach- that way there's no stragglers. 2. Everybody walks on the same side of the street. And, finally: 3. We all walk on the sidewalk. Can anybody say, "Control Freak"?

In addition,
we had to be on our best behavior. No foul language, no horseplay- all the school rules apply even at the beach since this was an "official" field trip. He did cave a little and let us listen to our ipods but we could only put them on once we were off campus.

We had an hour to start working on our photo "hit list". A couple groups went out onto the pier to get some snap shots of fish from the fishermen out there. Here's a group under the pier checking out the creatures living on the pilings. Obviously everybody's snapping photos.

Other groups did work up at the jetty. The tide was low at 1:56 pm so it was a perfect time to walk out and grab some photos. Johnny Golden even saw a rat! I hope he got a photo of it.

Monday, August 17, 2009

Getting Started: Cameras!

Getting Started: Today we took some time to learn about our cameras. Last year, the Poseidon Academy purchased these for projects just like ours. The cameras are really cool, we can't wait to use them.

The cameras are sweet! They are Canon S10 IS superzooms. Mr. Ashley chose them because they are easy to use, shoot high quality photos and store their data on easy to use SD cards. An additional bonus is the fact that they shoot excellent video. We're super lucky to be able to use them. Thanks Poseidon Academy!

One of the cool features of the S10 IS is the powerful 20x zoom. These cameras can reach way out and snap some nice photos. Mr. Ashley told us that the when the camera's zoomed all the way out it's like shooting with a 600mm lens. They'll be perfect for shooting shorebirds and marine mammals. Here we are in class taking turns working the zoom and snapping photos.

Tomorrow we'll be walking down to the beach with the cameras and our "scavenger hunt" list. Mr. Ashley made the list and it contains things like, "three different types of sea birds", "pier piling life" and non-living things like, "a rip tide" and "two different types of waves". The idea is that we'll select the best photos and use them in our seashore guide. You can tell these guys are getting excited for the walk.

Check back for photos of our first trip down to the beach.

Friday, August 14, 2009

Welcome to our blog!

This year our project science class has decided to make a guide to the Imperial Beach seashore. We'll be researching, photographing, writing and laying out a multipage, print-on-demand guide of the seashore animals of Imperial Beach. Our dream is to produce a well written, information packed guide book that will help both visitors and residents enjoy the waterfront of our awesome little town.

Check back for project updates.