This blog currently serves as a journal of what one particular community member, Uriel Fury, has been doing. The journal is updated infrequently. This journal is for friends, family, community members to know what we've been up to at a glance. It might also help us when it comes time for portfolio evaluations.

Monday, June 3, 2013

Portfolio Summary 2012-2013

Language Arts
Elijah reads on a daily basis for information and pleasure; though he reads both fiction and non-fiction, he prefers non-fiction. He enjoys writing comics, emails, grocery lists, table top game instructions, and notes and plans his for video game designs. Both his handwriting and typing skills have improved vastly this year. His spelling and reading comprehension are both well beyond average for his age group.

This year, Elijah was especially fascinated with linguistics, translations, accents, and foreign languages. We spent a great deal of time focusing on these concepts, as well as literary devises, such as metaphors, alliteration, and idioms. 

Elijah is adept at finding information via online wikis, Internet and Google searches, encyclopedias, and the library catalogue. He knows how to use a dictionary and thesaurus.

Game design notes
Game design notes
Rules to a game made up by E
MAD Libs are fairly popular around here
Scrabble game E beat me in
Basic rules of Carcassonne written out by E
E wanted to know what his name meant

Elijah continued to practice and gain skills in addition, subtraction, multiplication, division, fractions, and measurements by exploring calculator and number tricks, calculating area for building Minecraft creations, assisting with creating grocery lists and budgets, figuring maths problems in his head, and following recipes. 

He has a fond love of geometry and has spent a lot of time exploring tangrams, tessellations, Origami, pattern blocks, fractals, and Sacred Geometry. 

Table top games involving maths and web series videos by Khan Academy and Vi Hart are utilised almost daily. Elijah also frequently uses building toys such as, LEGO, Kapla blocks, and Lincoln Logs to explore elements of construction and physics.
Dominoes is one of many maths-based games played around here
E has a love for maths puzzles & tricks like this one
We had a lot of fun celebrating Hexaflexagon Month
One of E's many Minecraft creations that he must use multiplication to figure area in order to create

Science & Technology
Elijah’s interest in geology was supported this year by studying and classifying geodes, rocks, gems, and fossils. 

We explored the concepts and benefits of organic gardening and farming, as well as buying and eating local goods. Elijah is rather proud of the fact that we are Consumer Supported Agriculture (CSA) members and enjoys sampling new foods from local farms every week during the growing season. 

Elijah is also very interested in chemistry. He especially enjoys keeping up with the chemistry videos presented by the web series Crash Course, as well as other science related web series. He also really enjoys hands on science projects with immediate results such as, Snap Circuits, working with magnets, and bases/acids forming reactions. 

Elijah is quite competent in computer literacy. He is able to navigate the Internet, social media, conduct online research, use a word processor, and navigate Apple iOS, Android OS, Ubuntu Linux, and Mac OS X enough to satisfy his computing needs.
Screenshot from a programming game/app
Made & experimented with an electromagnet
Busting up geodes
Our geodes
One of MANY Snap Circuit projects we've done
Screenshot of a level completed in an iPad programming game/app  
Discovering & classifying rocks, fossils, & gems from a kit
A page from our geology classification kit

Our family's travels this year took Elijah to New Jersey, Massachusetts, Georgia, Michigan, Washington, and Oregon. Elijah helped plot courses using GPS, Google Maps, and paper maps. He spent time learning about time zones, travel distances, and climate zone differences.
Looking out over Seattle and Puget Sound from the top of the Space Needle
Ticket stubs from the Space Needle and Monorail in Seattle
Pictures from our visit to Ground Kontrol Classic Arcade in Portland, OR

Social Studies
As a family we have discussed and learned about current events in politics such as, equal rights for the Queer community, the Occupy Movement, legalisation and decriminalisation of marijuana, feminism, and racial politics concerning racism and having an African-American president. We also discussed democracy, anarchism, and other forms of government, the Civil Rights movements, civil disobedience, and the importance of voting in local and national elections. We always listen to NPR and discuss the current topics in science and politics while commuting. 

During our travels this year we visited various historical sites and talked about the historical significance of the places we visited, as well as the historical significance of places in and around Pittsburgh. Elijah showed a specific interest in learning about places that once existed but have now been built on top of, or replaced, and buildings that have been repurposed, such as a local factory that was turned into loft apartments.
Kinetoscope we made from a kit while studying Edison

Health and Safety
We discussed fire safety for our home, especially when cooking, and fire safety when camping or building bonfires. Elijah can safely use lighters, matches, candles, and our gas range and oven. 

Other areas of safety that were practised and discussed this year: food prep, cooking, cutting, and using knives; gun safety; crossing the street and general pedestrian/traffic safety; airports and plane crashes; swimming; and safely navigating the Internet and social media. 

Elijah took an active role this year in helping to make grocery lists, trying new foods, learning to prepare and cook more of his own food, and helping out in the kitchen. He enjoys reading the ingredient list and nutritional information for packaged foods and making informed choices based on the information those provide. 

We continue to keep an open, healthy, and honest dialogue with Elijah concerning drugs, alcohol, general hygiene, personal care, sexuality, and sex.
Front cover of the gun safety workbook E completed

Physical Education
Elijah walks, dances, engages in unstructured play outdoors, and enjoys swimming whenever he can.
Playing at the park with a new friend
Stopping for a picture on a hike on his 9th birthday

Fine Arts
This year, Elijah explored animation, manga drawing, art history, colour theory, and perspective. He created various works of art utilising an array of both digital/electronic mediums and physical mediums, such as paints, pastels, inks, and coloured pencils. 

Elijah spends a significant amount of time drawing plans and schematics for video game designs, video game level creations, and character creations. He also enjoys making and trading Artist Trading Cards. He has just recently began researching software and equipment needs in order to start making video content for YouTube; he will be focusing mainly on video game reviews, video game walkthroughs and Let's Plays, and screen captures of his own video game designs and creations. 

Elijah enjoys listening to a variety of music, including the music that his father writes and produces. Elijah utilises computer software, iOS applications, and gaming software to create music for his video game designs and for pleasure.
Handmade cards for a game
An Artist Trading Card
A page out of E's binder with all of his notes, plans, & schematics for his game designs
Chainsaw Juggling (from a game design)
Level design for a game
Watercoloured Artist Trading Cards
Screenshot of a level design in Casey's Contraptions
Another level design in Casey's Contraptions
Concepts for game designs
Perler bead Minecraft sword and buttons made by E 
Another Artist Trading Card showing E's love for Chemistry 
Making board games at an unschooling conference
Screenshot of a recreation of Connect Four in Minecraft using sand and gravel for the pieces; gravel won
A video of a little roller coaster that E made in Minecraft