The Friday Everything Changed

  1. Why are the boys so upset about the girls carrying the water bucket?

Carrying the water bucket meant you had strength and power. To the boys, having power meant that they were more important. They don’t want the girls to break this. 

2. What strategies do the boys use to pressure the girls into giving in? How do the girls react?

The boys used violence to try to get the girls to give in. They would bully them and threaten them. They also try to kick them out of the things they love doing or playing. The girls realize that they need them as fielders, so they were patient on coming back in. 

  1. Who is telling the story? What does she think of Ms. Ralston and the conflict over the water? From what point of view is the story told?

The story is told by one of the background girls. She thinks Ms. Ralston doesn’t know what is happening between the two groups. When the teacher comes in and hits the ball out of the park, they get inspiration that they might be able to make a change in the school. The point of view is limited omniscient. The story is told from a character who doesn’t have a main character role in the story and we still have access to her thoughts.

  1. What is the setting? How does the setting intensify the conflict? What kind of conflict is it?

The setting is in a small, one room school. The school is near a railroad station that is used to get the water. They live in Ontario because of the mention of the Toronto Maple Leaves hockey team. The mood is frustration at the start, but hopeful as the story changes. This story could be a person vs society conflict.

  1. Who is the protagonist? How do you know?

The protagonist is Alma Niles. She was the person who asked for the water bucket for girls to carry and forced the change. She also did all the talking and got teased by the boys.

  1. In what way, did everything change on that Friday? What is the significance of what Ms. Ralston did in the last paragraph? What is the message the author is exploring?

In the story, the boys and girls are now more equal. They have more power together from all the events leading up to the change. The boys now don’t have power over the water. When Ms. Ralston hits the ball out of the park, it showed the boys that girls can play baseball too. 

Connection Based Learning9

I have Toronto Blue Jays pitcher Nate Pearson on instagram and interviewed him for my communications project.

Why are you so passionate about your job?

“Every since I was a kid I always was passionate about chasing my dreams and playin ball. I would practice whenever I had free time and call up my friends to play with me.”

What obstacles have you faced to get where you are today?

“Definitely the largest obstacle was getting recruited by scouters. When I went to scouting sessions (where you show off your abilities), I was super nervous the whole way through which distracted me from playing to my best ability. Just something about the coaches watching you puts a lot of pressure on a player. But, I tried to strive through and do my best.”

What advice would you pass on to someone interested in what you are doing?

“I would tell em that they have to get past all of their struggles and problems they are facing and focus on one thing at a time. There’s a difference in playing ball and fighting personal problems.”

Would you be open to further contact from Riverside Students and if so, how can someone contact you?

“I really appreciate it, but I’m unfortunately busy during this time of year, maybe later like the summer.”

What do you love and don’t about your job?

“I really love how I can make a living on doing something I love and have loved throughout my life. This especially makes me and my family proud. I dislike practising too much. Don’t get me wrong, I love playing baseball, but some days I just wake up for practice and I feel very very tired. It’s a mix from lack of sleep, and muscle strains.”

What was the first step to get you where you are today?

“I don’t have a definite “first step” but I always just stuck to the game and played for my teams in my town all the way from elementary to high school.”

What I have learned

I have learned that I you want something or you have a dream in life, you have to give it your all to achieve it.

Source of photos:


What I learned in Grade 9 Solving Equations

What is an equation? 
An equation is a mathematic statement showing that on both sides of the equal sign that the two statements are equal to each other.


What are equivalent equations?

Equivalent equations are two or more algebraic equations that have the same solution as each other.


How to solve equations (find what x = ?)

Visually with algebra tiles:

First, model the equation with the tiles. After that, to find x, you need to make legal moves. Using legal moves helps you isolate the variable to help you find the solution. A legal move is doing the same move on both sides of the equation. A move you can do is adding tiles or taking away tiles. With legal moves, you need to create zero pairs. A zero pair is when you make a legal move to make one term to cancel itself out. But, if one term cancels itself out, its like term will get the same move that its like term got. Eventually, you will get to the point where you cannot do anymore moves because you have the smallest possible set of x’s on one side and the “ones” on the other. The final step is to divide. You have to divide the amount of x’s by the amount of ones.


An easy way to solve an algebraic equation on paper is to visualize the equation in your mind with algebra tiles. Creating zero pairs with legal moves is your next step. A good way to keep track and to show your work with zero pairs is to cross out the zero pair with a large letter “z”. Keep making legal moves until you get to your final divide step.

BFSD (brackets, fractions, sort, divide)

This acronym is pretty self explanatory. It is a lot like BEDMAS or PEMDAS. In an equation, you might counter brackets or fractions. The first thing to do is distribute. This is the exact same distributing as any other equation. With the fractions, you need to find the lowest common denominator and multiply everything in the equation by the LCD. With the fractions being multiplied, you need to simplify by changing the fraction to a whole number. The next two steps are easy and self explanatory.

How to verify (Check) a solution (answer) is correct

After you have came to a conclusion on your answer, with every x in the equation, you replace it with your answer.


Vocabulary (Definitions):

Equation: a statement that the values of two mathematical expressions are equal (indicated by the sign =).

Equivalent: equal in value, amount, function, meaning, etc.

Solution: a means of solving a problem or dealing with a difficult situation.

Coefficient: a numerical or constant quantity placed before and multiplying the variable in an algebraic expression (e.g. 4 in 4x y).

Zero pairs: a pair of numbers whose sum is zero, e.g. +1, -1. • used to illustrate addition and subtraction problems. with positive and negative integers.

Variable: A variable is a quantity that may change within the context of a mathematical problem or experiment. Typically, we use a single letter to represent a variable

Constant: A fixed value. In Algebra, a constant is a number on its own, or sometimes a letter such as a, b or c to stand for a fixed number.

Common denominator: a shared multiple of the denominators of several fractions.

Distribute: Distributing items is an act of spreading them out equally. Algebraic distribution means to multiply each of the terms within the parentheses by another term that is outside the parentheses.

What I learned about grade 9 polynomials


Degree: The largest exponent attached to a variable in an expression.

Constant: A term without a variable.

Coefficient: The whole or large number in a term.

Leading coefficient: The coefficient at the start of the expression (most left).

Binomial: When the number of terms in an expression is 3.

Trinomial: When the number of terms in an expression is 2.

Monomial: Is equivalent to one term.


How to use algebra tiles:

You will have 3 types of algebra tiles. 1, x and x². Expressions will usually have the largest amount to least amount. So the order will be in x², x then 1/whole numbers. With x² tiles, since they are the largest, they will also be physically the largest pieces. You will follow the expressions instructions. If it tells you to place 4 x’s, then place 4 x’s. But when an negative number is involved, all you need to do is flip the tiles backwards.

Add polynomials:

When starting out learning polynomials, it is good to sort the alike terms with each other. Example: 2x² + 3x + 3x². The first thing you should do is sorting the terms with the other ones that are alike. This step is not mandatory, but will help you when starting out learning to simplify polynomials. After sorted by amount, the expression should turn into 2x² + 3x² + 3x. After sorted, add the coefficients that have the same variable and exponent to each other. It should look like 5x² + 3x. Starting with small expressions is easier to learn than trying to simplify larger ones.

Subtracting polynomials:

Just like simplifying every other polynomial expression, it’s good to sort the terms. Example: 7x + 5 + 4x² – (2x² – 2 + 3x). In subtracting, all of the terms inside the bracket that is after the subtracting symbol gets flipped to its opposite number. 7x + 5 + 4x² + (-2x² + 2 – 3x). After doing this, just add and follow what the expression is. 4x² + (-2x²). 7x + (-3x). 5 – 2. The simplified version of the expression should be 2x² + 4x + 3.

Multiplying polynomials:

2(4x + 2). Multiplying polynomial expressions is almost like multiplying normally. The only difference is the variable.

Using algebra tiles for learning large multiplying expressions is very helpful. When you use algebra tiles, model the expression in a shape in a rectangle. In the example, you would take 2 small tiles and place them on the left side. On the other side, you would take 2 long tiles and 2 smaller ones and make a line with them. To simplify the expression, you must fill the space with more tiles. But, using algebra tiles and multiplying polynomials is mainly used for large expressions.

Without algebra tiles, you need to multiply normally. When there are variables, it is different. When the number that is multiplying has no variable attached, you follow whatever the variable is. In the example above, the simplified version is 8x + 4.

Some expressions might have you multiply by 2 numbers. Example: 3x + 2(4x + 2)

First, you multiply the number on the far left of the expression by the numbers inside the brackets. After that, you do the same the the number on the right; multiply them by the numbers inside the brackets. Once you have both of these numbers, you add them. The simplified version would be 12x² + 14x + 4.


Dividing polynomials:

4x + 2



Using algebra tiles for dividing is almost pointless. Dividing polynomials is very simple if you can divide whole numbers. You would divide these numbers normally except for the variables. Just like multiplying, the same rules apply except of adding the variables, you subtract. So in the expression above, the simplified version is 2x + 1.

What I have learned about grade 9 exponents

What is an exponent?

Official definition: A quantity representing the power to which a given number or expression is to be raised, usually expressed as a raised symbol beside the number or expression.

An exponent has 2 parts to it; the base and copies. The base is a large number and the copy is a smaller number raised right beside the right of the number. The copies shows how many times the base is multiplies itself by. Mathematicians made the exponent to keep multiplication expressions shorter, I think. Instead of saying 4x4x4x4, you say 4 to the power of 4. When a negative sign is introduced in the question, depending if it has brackets or not, the answers can be different. I if negative symbol is outside with no brackets, the answer will always be negative. I there are brackets in the question, it depends the amount of copies there are. If the copies are an even number, the answer will be positive, if the copies is an odd number, the answer is negative.


What is the difference between evaluating and simplifying?

Evaluating an exponent means for you to find the answer to the exponent. When a question asks you to simplify, it means to write the question in more simple terms. Usually when a question asks you to simplify a exponent, there will probably be two exponents. Sometimes you might need to use the multiplication law or division law if the exponents are doing that to each other. Example: Evaluate 5 to the power of 3. To solve the question, you need to understand and break down how to solve this. The expanded from is 5x5x5 because the base is 5 and has 3 copies of itself. 5×5 is 25, 25×5 is 125. So 125 is 5 to the power of 3 evaluated. Example: If a question says to simplify 3⁴x3², the simplified version 3⁶.


Multiplication law and why it works.

The multiplication law is when two exponents are being multiplied to each other and the bases are the same and the copies are added to each other. This law is not for solving the problem, it is just for simplifying and so are the other laws. Example: 5³x5⁴= 5⁷. 3 and 4 were the copies and added together is 7 making that the new number of copies.


Division law and why it works

The division law is the opposite of the multiplication law; instead of adding the copies, you subtract them. But, only when the question asks you to divide the exponents provided. Example: 5 to the power of 5 divided by 5⁵÷5³=5². By taking the two copies (5-3) and subtracting them equals 2.


Power of a power law and why it works

The power of a power law is when there are two copies copying the same base. To simplify, you need to multiply the two copies to each other. Example: (5⁸)⁷ turns into 5⁵⁶. 8×7=56.


One more thing you learned about exponents

Before this unit, I didn’t know how to solve a fraction with an exponent, but now I know how to solve these problems. Example: 1/3² becomes 1/9. Because 1×1=1 and 3×3=9 so the solution is 1/9


Fossil Fuels (Solution Fluency)

Why are Fossil Fuels Bad? Can Solar Panels Replace Them? 

Define: Fossil Fuels are a large problem today for humans and our environment. We want to know if it can be stopped or slowed down to prevent it from taking over. Burning fossil fuels releases a large amount of air pollutants which hurt the environment.  


Some questions can be:  

  • How are fossil fuels made? 
  • Can it be replaced?  
  • Are solar panels a good alternative?  
  • Why are solar panels good?  
  • Why are solar panels bad?

Deliver: There are 4 types of fossil fuels: petroleum, coal, natural gas and Orimulsion. When fossil fuels are exposed to heat, a chain made from hydrocarbon atoms converts the energy made from heat into energy made from electricity or mechanical energy. Inhaling can have negative health effects on humans and animals. These health effects include premature death, acute respiratory illness, aggravated asthma, chronic bronchitis and decreased lung function. Fossil fuels are made for driving engines and giving them power. Some examples of engines that use fossil fuels are cars and jet fuels. But, despite everything I said so far, there are some advantages to fossil fuels. They are very accessible to the public and are sold at a low price. It is also easy to transport.  

Solar Panels are a very good alternative to replace fossil fuels. It is renewable at no cost to supply energy infinity. Solar panels absorb the heat energy from the sun and converts it into electricity instead of having to burn fuels and it having to affect the atmosphere. This makes solar panels environment friendly.  

Advantages of solar panels: 

  • Renewable Energy Source. (The most important) 
  • Reduces electricity bills 
  • Multiple applications 
  • Low maintenance costs 
  • Technology development 
  • Cost 
  • Weather dependent 
  • Solar energy storage is expensive

There are also some disadvantages to solar panels. Land use and habitat loss is the largest problem. Some people have solar panels on the top of their house which takes up not too much space. But, in some areas, there are square kilometers of solar panels which takes up a lot of land and could be possible habitat loss for some animals. In the making of solar panels, hazardous materials are being used while being manufactured. 

 Debrief: We first had to think of an idea to talk about so we both researched about different things. Then we thought of the idea to talk about solar panels so now we had to think about a question revolving around it. Fossil fuels are taking over and is unhealthy for the environment, so we wanted to compare the two. First, we had to understand what fossil fuels are and what they do, same with solar panels. Then we compared the two; with their disadvantages and advantages. After that, we thought of solutions to solve this problem. 

Solution: to help this problem we could try walk also you could ask a friend to carpool or take public transit to get to work, school or anywhere you need to go. Most of the worlds power is generated by coal and natural gas so you could get solar panels installed on your roof. Eletric cars are becoming a lot more popular with how far battery technology hagotten and are becoming more affordable which can prevent fossil fuels.  

What I leaned about grade 9 fractions

Fractions and Number Lines: I already had lots of previous knowledge with number lines, but I learned more and improved on this especially when using not only fractions but also decimals on number lines. Learning negative numbers was not a problem for me. To prove this, the negative fractions stay on the left side of the zero and the positives are on the right side. If a fraction is proper and positive, it is less than one. Meaning that the numerator is smaller than the denominator.

Comparing Fractions: Most of the time I can just eye ball a fraction to know if it is larger than the other, but in this class, I need to show all off my work which has helped me complete this further. A good way is to make the denominators the same and then multiply the same number to the numerator.

Adding/Subtracting Fractions: I also had a lot of previous knowledge on this, but the trick of making the denominator the same number was stuck in my head making me understand this more. Including the negative sign caused me a little bit of trouble, but I kept practicing and later became a skill of mine. Making the denominator the same is the main and most efficient way and then doing the same to the numerator.

Multiplying/Dividing Fractions: I am very experienced in multiplying numbers in general, so multiplying fractions was very easy for me to learn and understand. Before we started dividing fractions, I forgot how to answer these types of questions, but after learning about it and how multiplying is the main tool and solution to solving the problem, I understood this rule and now I feel very confident solving this types of problems. By adding the negative sign next to a number, did not cause me any confusion on how to solve the problem. When multiplying the fractions, you multiply both of the numerators to each other and the same for the denominator. When dividing, if the denominators are not the same, then you need to reciprocate. This means that on the fraction on the right, you flip the numerator and the denominator. After this step, you just multiply the new numerators and the new denominators. Example: 3/4 ÷ 5/16 turns into 3/4 ÷ 16/5.

Square roots: I was taught how to find the square root last year, but we never elaborated on this. So practicing this made me have a better understanding on how square roots work. But one thing I still have a little of trouble with is finding the square root to a decimal, but I am still practicing this skill. To find the square root of a number, you find a number and multiply it by itself to become the square root. Example: You want to find the square root of 36. Now you need to identify what number times itself will get 36. The solution is 6*6=36. So 6 is the square root. Square root means that the root of the number is a multiple of the number you want to find the square root of. Once found the root, you need to square it.


  1. What? Dubnium is a highly radioactive and synthetic chemical element with the symbol of “Db” and the atomic 105. It is the most stable isotope, dubnium-268, has a half-life about of 28 hours. Theoretical research establishes dubnium as a member of group 5 in the 6d series of transition metals.
  2. Who? Albert Ghiroso and the Joint Institute for Nuclear Research in Dubna who was led by Georgy Flerov.
  3. Where? The Joint Institute for Nuclear Research in Dubna made the discovery in their lab in a city near Moscow. Albert Ghiroso made his discovery in a lab in California with his team
  4.  When? The Joint Institute for Nuclear Research made their discovery in 1968, but in 1970 Albert Ghiroso and his team redid the experiment.
  5. How? Georgy Flerov and his team bombarded americium with neon and created an isotope of an element 105. Albert Ghiroso and his team bombarded californium with neon and created isotope 261
  6. Why? Georgy Flerov and his team were experimenting in their laboratory in Dubra, Russia and eventually mixed americium with neon and created the isotope.

What questions did you need to research in order to research your topic?

I answered all of the who, what, why, where, when, how questions to research on my element.

What new or familiar digital tools did you try to use as you worked on this project?

I only used reliable websites I could find while researching my element.

What was the process you used to investigate the topic?

I wrote all of the questions down and worked on each question one at a time. If I found the answer to another question, I would pause what I was doing and work on the other question.

How did you verify and cite the information you found?

I looked at many reliable websites and sources and they all said the same things or something very similar to one another. If the website was from an educational source and got their information from some other site who was reliable, then I would use it.

How did the process of completing this challenge go? What could you have done better?

The process was a bit hard because some questions I really had to dig deep and find, but I eventually found the correct answer and strived for success. There were a few times where I was distracted by something but I eventually got back on track and researched my element.