In Spanish, we are learning how to use different adverbs to construct an essay. The essay will be written completely in Spanish. We are to use words like, “después” which means “then.” Also, our essay topic is very fun. Because the chapter we are studying in our textbook (chapter 7) is about the daily routine, our essay prompt is to write about our daily routine in a certain place. I am writing about what the daily routine would be like if you lived in the North Pole. My classmate is writing about the daily routine in an underwater village.

Again, our essays will be written in all Spanish. We need to answer questions like, “How do you eat if your house is underwater?” or “How do you cook food in freezing temperatures?”

I am really excited to write my essay. This is our first big writing project for Spanish, and I think it will be a lot of fun to be creative and come up with ways to do every day things in another place, all while using my Spanish vocabulary!

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New York Field Trip

This week, we went on a field trip to New York City. We visited the Museum of the Moving Image.

Our transportation was where it all started. We arrived at the Wilmington Bus Station at 7:30 before boarding a Greyhound bus to NYC. Once we got there, we used the subway to get to the museum. On the subway, we were a little mixed up, but we eventually found our way to the museum.

We made it to the museum in time for our tour. The name of our tour guide was Sara. She told us that we could not use flash photography because if everyone used flash photography, then all the light aimed at the displays would eventually fade the colors and looks of the exhibits

The first exhibit we visited was a spinning cage. It had different items on each level of the cage, and each item progressed slightly as you watched the move. Now here is the catch: there were lights flashing while you were watching this. So what we saw when the lights were flashing was a bunch of different progressions of objects, but when the lights were off we saw this spinning cage. This works because your brain does not process things extremely fast. When you see one image, the lights flash. Your brain is still seeing the first image when you see the next. So, instead of seeing a bunch of images, you saw a moving picture! It was very very cool.

The next exhibit was a flip book display. You could crank a handle, and a bunch of pictures would flash from one to the next. The faster you cranked the handle, the faster the moving pictures were. Each picture was slightly different from the others. So, it looked like King Kong was dodging a plane, but it was only a few photos with him ducking a little bit, then a little bit more, then a little bit more. It was also very interesting to watch pictures become a movie.

My favorite part of our tour was the film we saw at the end. It was a Charlie Chaplin film, with no words and only music. The thing was, the music was what told the story. Without the music, the film would not have been as funny as it was. And boy, was it funny!

Our trip to NYC was very fun. I loved all the exhibits and want to got there again with my family.

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This week, I finished the 777 page textbook we are using for math! I am so excited that I finished. I started last year on page one, and kept on moving through the book. To learn Algebra 1, I was taught using flipped math. Here is how it works:

For homework, I was given a video to watch. It was a video from Khan Academy or another source explaining a new concept, formula, term, or many other things. Then, after I watched the video, I read 2-5 pages in the textbook that also explained the term. These two actions together served as my lesson for the next segment in the book. Over the course of the year I found that it was easier to read the textbook assignment first, then watch the video. This way, I would read the book, if I needed clarification on the concept I could watch the video. If I felt strong about the new section, I could watch a little of the video and continue moving on with the rest of my math homework.

The next step in completing my math homework was to take 3,2,1 notes. In my notebook, I wrote down three things I learned, two questions I have about the new math, and one example problem. This helps my teacher see what I learned and what I am confused about.

The next day for classwork, I would complete example problems using the new math that I learned the night before. If I needed help with the problems, my teacher was more than happy to give me a mini lesson to help me learn the concept better.

This is the way I was taught Algebra I. I really enjoyed flipped math because I was always able to ask for help and learn in a way that I understood. I know that I will miss the learning style next year!

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Harvard Tour

When we went to Boston, we took a tour of Harvard. Our tour guide was a senior and told us about the history of Harvard and how the stereotypes of Harvard are wrong.

First, she explained to us that the stereotype of being a strictly academic school is incorrect. When you apply to Harvard, you have to be a few things. You have to be a leader around your current school. You also have to give back to your community and lead a couple of school clubs. Additionally, you need to be very bright and diverse. Our tour guide told us a story of when she applied to Harvard. She told us that she had applied even though she was 10th in her class. She was not expecting to get in because there were so many people in front of her, and they were all applying too. She received a letter of acceptance, while the 10 students ahead of her did not. This was because the ten students ahead of her were all academic “robots” and were not as well-rounded as she was. She, however, was a leader in her community, led three clubs, including the National Honor Society, at her high school, played a musical instrument and shared her talents with local assisted living homes, and was very friendly.

Another thing from our tour that really sparked my interest was the “Statue of Three Lies,” as it is known on campus. This is because 1) The statue says that it is of John Harvard, but it is actually just a man that was seen on campus by the artist, 2) It states that John Harvard is the founder of Harvard, but he is not 3) The year that the statue states Harvard was founded is incorrect.

Here are a few facts that I learned from our tour guide while at Harvard:

About 21,000 students attend Harvard College. Also, the acceptance rate is 5.2%. Another fact our guide told us is that there are 70 libraries on the Harvard campus. I also learned that the Massachusetts Bay Colony founded Harvard College. Barak Obama attended Harvard, along with Matt Damon, John Adams, Rutherford B. Hayes, Theodore Roosevelt, John F Kennedy, and many more.

There was so much history at Harvard. It was also a beautiful campus. I hope I enter a college as interesting, unique, and beautiful as Harvard!

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Electronegativity Presentation

In Science, because we are a multi aged classroom and learn at different paces, it is sometimes hard for some students to reach their full potential in their learning. This is why we have the option of an “enrichment project.” The purpose of this project is to allow a student to dive deeper into a concept and allow them to explore their interests in the science world more thoroughly. Doing an enrichment project is optional, but if our science teacher senses that we want to learn more than the class time allows, he will make note of it and offer us the option of completing an enrichment project to learn more. I was in this situation once, when we were studying electronegativity. I kept asking questions, and my teacher was having trouble answering them all. After class, my teacher and I met and discussed the idea of learning more about electronegativity and creating a presentation for the class.

I decided this would be a great opportunity to learn more about something I was interested in, so I jumped at the chance. Within a few days, I was researching and learning all about the concept of electronegativity.

I learned many things about electronegativity. Firstly, I learned that it was a concept that was discovered in 1809. However, this concept was not further explored until 1932, when Linus Pauling researched and experimented with electronegativity. Linus Pauling said that electronegativity was, “The power of an atom in a molecule to attract electrons to itself.” Pauling created the Pauling Scale of Electronegativity, which shows the electronegativity of each element.

I also learned that of the many elements, gold and magnesium have special electronegative properties.  These properties led to the discovery of a new, rare earth element named yttrium.

As you can see, I learned a lot from this project. I created a Keynote presentation and presented it to my class.

I really like the idea of enrichment projects, and I hope I complete another one before the end of the year.

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Washington’s Headquarters

On Tuesday, we went on a field trip to Valley Forge. After our tour of the “valley,” we drove to Washington’s Headquarters. We had a guided tour, and our tour guide was very nice. She was also very interested in our questions and loved showing us the Headquarters.

As we walked to the house, the first thing we noticed was the stonework. It was very straight for that time period. The tour guide told us that the people that built the house were very wealthy and wanted the house to be a “statement” and proof that they were rich. She told us that there were “formal” entrances where people would drop off letters and meet with Washington. You could tell if the wall you were standing in front of was a formal entrance because there was perfect alignment of the stones. Also, the tour guide told us that in that time, wealthy families built their houses facing water. Sure enough, as soon as she said that, we all turned to see a brook opposite the main entrance.

As we walked inside the building, we saw a room with tables and chairs. The guide told us that this room was where Washington’s writers wrote. She explained to us that Washington had hired people to write for him, and most of the letters from Washington today are just signed by him. This room also had tablecloths on the tables. You would think that writing on a table cloth was difficult, but this type of tablecloth soaked up any ink you spilled so that there wasn’t a stain on the table. The tablecloths also helped keep their legs warm, as this house was used during the winter.

We walked upstairs and saw the bedrooms. There was one master bedroom and two other smaller ones. The master bedroom was where Mrs. and Mr. Washington slept. The other two beds were for guests and others, depending on who was staying in the house on what night.

Up on the third floor, there was a small attic. This was where the third class people slept such as servants, cooks, and maids. They slept in sleeping bags on the floor so that the room was utilized fully.

As we walked back downstairs, we realized that we hadn’t seen a kitchen. This was when we went back outside and into the kitchen. It was separate form the rest of the house. This was another statement because most people used their kitchen to heat the house. These people said, “We are so rich we can heat our house without using the kitchen” so the kitchen was a few feet away from the house. Our guide explained to us that there were 7-8 people cooking and cleaning in the kitchen at the same time. She also told us that there were free people and enslaved people working together.

After Valley Forge, I know I am ready to continue learning about the Revolution. I had a great time and learned so much!

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For film, we are finishing up a short film. We don’t have a name for it yet, but it is hilarious! We are not using any fancy cameras, just our iPads and phones for filming. We are also using a rolling chair to help us get a nice smooth shot.

Our film is an edited version of Who Stole the Cookie from the Cookie Jar. Instead of cookies in a jar, we are using ice cubes in an ice cube tray. Our film starts with a classmate walking into the kitchen and stealing the last ice cube in the tray. She forgets to put the tray away, so it is left out on the table. Then, three more girls come into the room and sit down at the table. This is when they notice that the ice cube tray is empty. They blame each other for eating it and each have their own flashback as to why it couldn’t have been them. Then, the classmate who ate the ice cube walks back into the room and is caught sucking on the cube. She freezes in her tracks and watches all three of the other girls stare at her. She spits it into a cup, and all three girls chase her out of the room.

I really like the idea for our film. We finished filming, and now we are getting ready to learn how to edit. We will be using iMovie to edit our film. I cannot wait to see the final product! I think we might post it on the website after we finish, so keep checking!

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History 3/10/16

Currently, we have some pretty awesome and fun history projects that we are working on here at PRIED. One project is a historical court project, and one is a hall of fame project. Let me explain one of them…

Our court project is more of a competition for a title. There are three teams: Thomas Jefferson, Thomas Paine, and George Washington. Each team has two people. One person is the lawyer, and the other serves as witnesses and the historical figure them self. Each team has to write an opening statement to read to the rest of the class. They are trying to prove that their historical figure deserves to be titled an Extraordinary American. I am on the Thomas Paine team. I am Thomas Paine’s lawyer and my classmate is Thomas Paine. I read out opening statements before calling our first witness to the stand. Our first witness is Thomas himself. I ask him three questions, and he answers with answers that we hope will prove that he deserves to win the title. Next, there will be one cross-examination question from each of the other teams. The same process repeats with our other witness. Hopefully, we will be able to actually compete on Monday!

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Current Events: Rising Tides

On Friday, I chose an article for current events about rising ocean levels. I found four different cities and how much more water they will have in the years 2020, 2040, 2080, and 2100.

Miami: In 2020, Miami ocean waters will rise 0.2 feet. This may not seem like very much, but in 2040, ocean levels will be 0.7 feet taller. In 2080, the water levels in Miami will have risen 2.3 feet. Finally, by 2100, water levels in Miami will be 3.4 feet higher than they are now.

New Orleans: Everyone is always talking about how Florida will be swallowed up by 2050, but no one thinks about the city that is already below sea level. In 2020, water levels will have risen 0.3 feet. A small number, but in 2040, water levels will be 1.3 feet higher than they are now. In 2080, ocean levels in New Orleans will have risen 4 feet higher. And, in 2100, sea levels will be 5.7 feet higher than they are now. Crazy right?!

The link to the article is below. I think current events is so cool because we get to learn things we would not learn in a math class or history class.

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Jazz Timeline

In Music, we are currently working on a Jazz timeline as a group project. We each chose a different style of Jazz and learned about it so we could fill in a portion of  the timeline with information about that era. My era was Free and Avant-Garde Jazz, which took place between 1960 and 1970.

Some of the main innovators of Free and Avant-Garde Jazz were John Coltrane, Ornette Coleman, and Cecil Taylor. They all played more than one instrument, and whenever they played for an audience, the form of their tunes were always improvised. Can you imagine going out to play for a crowd and not knowing what you are going to play?!

I also made two connections from my Jazz area to history at that point in time. In 1969, Neil Armstrong and Buzz Aldrin landed on the moon. In 1968, MLK was shot on his balcony. These connections help to see what was happening during this point in Jazz.

Our Music timeline will be hanging up at school shortly, and I can’t wait!

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