Blog Accounts



If you are in 6th grade, and you would like to keep your blog account, please let me know by your last EL day (May 14).  Otherwise, I will plan to delete your account over the summer.  This will go for middle school and high school students, as well.  You may reply to this post to let me know, email me, or tell me in person.

Thanks for your help!

March Madness


Now that March Madness is nearing the end, things are getting crazy!

The under dog from the Mid-West, Julius Randle and the number eight seeded 28-10 Kentucky Wildcats finally decided to start playing now that the big dance has started. They have knocked off the Kansas State Wildcats(9), the Wichita State Shockers(1), the Louisville Cardinals(4), and the Michigan Wolverines(2). But will they be ready for the competition coming up – the best in the West, Frank Kaminsky and the 30-7 Wisconsin Badgers? Like the Wildcats, the two seeded Badgers haven’t had an easy trip to make it to the Final Four. They have had to defeat American University(15) in which they did by 40, the Oregon Ducks(7), the Baylor Bears(6), and a thrilling overtime win against the Arizona Wildcats(1).

The favored team to beat since the first round from the South is the 36-2 Florida Gators. They are led by the SEC player of the year, Scottie Wilbekin, and come into the Final Four with the only number 1 seed remaining. Here’s the path the Gators took to get to the Final Four. They have beaten the  Albany Great Danes(16), the Pittsburgh Panthers(9), the UCLA Bruins(4), and the Dayton Flyers(11). Even though the Gators have had an easy journey so far, only facing one team under a 9 seed, don’t underestimate them. They have beat really good teams before. The Gators will have a mighty challenge on Saturday, facing Shabazz Napier and the surging number seven seeded 30-8 UConn Huskies. The Huskies might have had the hardest time to get to the Final Four. They have had to beat the Saint Joseph’s Hawks(10), the Villanova Wildcats(2), the Iowa State Cyclones(3), and the Michigan State Spartans(4). That is some serious competition.

In my opinion you will see the Florida Gators beat the UConn Huskies and the Kentucky Wildcats will barely escape the Wisconsin Badgers and advance to the Finals.

The reason I believe the Gators will win is because Florida has so much size and talent it will be too overwhelming to beat if you’re UConn. I think that UConn’s defense will put up a fight but in the end Florida’s offense and rebounding will win it for the Gators.

There is also a reason I believe Kentucky will outdo the Badgers of Wisconsin. The Wildcats are so huge! Their outstanding defense and rebounding will win it for them. Wisconsin isn’t as big or athletic but has a powerful offense. I predict that the massive(7 foot) forward for the Wildcats, Willie Cauley-Stein, from Olathe, Kansas will have a breakout game on defense primarily. He is a block machine. Keep this in mind, the shortest player in Kentucky’s starting lineup is 6 foot 6 inches.

So therefore according to my predictions you will see Florida face-off against the Wildcats of Kentucky in the finals. In my opinion Kentucky’s cinderella run will end against Florida. The Gators are just too powerful for Kentucky. Scottie Wilbekin and the Gators will be cutting down the nets!

The final four games will start with UConn vs. Florida on April 5, tip-off at 5:09 pm ct. Kentucky vs. Wisconsin on April 5, tip-off at 7:49 pm ct. In AT&T Stadium in Arlington, Texas. The championship game is April 7 on CBS. It is also in AT&T Stadium in Arlington, Texas.

Now you know my opinion, what’s yours?

Doodle for Google 2014!


“If I could Invent One Thing to Make the World a Better Place…”

All El students were introduced to the Doodle for Google contest this quarter.  We looked at some past winners, and discussed attributes of each.  We took a virtual tour of the Googleplex in California, and decided we would all like to work there!  Some students were able to view a live question and answer session with a real Google Doodler, and had a brainstorming session along with other students in the country.

Once we brainstormed, students were given time to draft their doodles, but had to complete a bulk of their final copy outside of class.  Students returned their entries to us to submit, and we have placed these below.  On April 29th, 50 state winners will be announced and public voting will open up.  We will let you know if any of our doodlers get chosen.  We think we have  really good chance, good luck, everyone!

Click on an image to see it in its entirety.


Mapping the World by Heart


Some sixth grade students are learning about world geography in order to eventually draw their own map of the World by hand.  Below are some websites we are using for lessons that might be helpful moving forward:

Map Projections

Latitude and Longitude Review

Historical Thematic Maps

Current Thematic Maps

Mapping the World by Heart Site

Some Examples of Past Student Maps:

ahadou map brandan map gina map mark map zoey map



Doodle for Google 2014!


This has been an exciting week as the folks at Google just announced this year’s Doodle for Google theme!

If I were to invent one thing to make the world a better place…

 We have been spending some time this week brainstorming.  We decided that this year’s theme really boils down to three things:

  1. What are my interests?
  2. What problems does the world have? (We decided global rather than local/regional issues are best)
  3. What ONE invention can I come up with that would both be in my interest area and address one of the problems?

Next week we will start drafting our ideas on the Google provided paper, or on blank paper if preferred.  Some of you took paper home, or indicated that you would be working on ideas over the week.

We have decided to have everyone try this, though it will be your option as to whether or not they choose to submit their idea.  Next week, and the Monday after will be the only time we give to work on it in class, so you will be responsible for turning it in to me on your EL class right before spring break.  You may choose to submit it online if you would prefer.

Below are the links kids asked me to post.  Let me know if you have questions, and good luck!

Virtual field trip of Googleplex

Doodle for Google information, forms, and submission link





The 5th and 6th graders are learning about a method of communication called ASSERT.  This is a way to talk constructively with a person about something that is bothering you without putting the other person on the defensive.  The letters stand for:

A – Get the person’s attention

S – Make it soon, simple, and short

S – Describe the specific behavior

E – Tell its effect on you

R – Suggest a desired response

T – Try to get/make terms for the future

We asked the kids to post examples of when they used the method with someone, when they might use it in the future, when they wish they would have used it (in the past), or when they might counsel a friend to use it.  We had some great responses!  I have posted a few to the front page.  We feel confident that learning the ASSERT method will help you when working with teachers, friends, neighbors, parents….anybody!

My experience with using ASSERT


I am so glad that I learned ASSERT, it has helped me alot lately. One example is when someone took all of my pencils without asking. I was very upset when this happened, but I handled it calmly and used ASSERT. This is what I did:

A: I started by approaching them regularly and got their attention calmly and with no hurry or raising of my voice.

S: I approached them only an hour or so after I found out and someone told me who it was.

S: I then told him that I did not appreciate the he took all of my pencils without asking and told him that I would have gladly let him borrow a pencil or two if he had asked.

E: I then told him that it’s effect on me was that I did not have any pencils to work with during class and had to borrow some from my friends and I also could not focus very well in class knowing that I was missing all of my pencils.

R: I told him that I would have preferred that he asked me for a pencil to borrow and I would have given him one.

T: I ended the conversation by telling him that if he ever needed a pencil that he could ask me for one instead of taking anyone else’s or mine.

That was my experience with ASSERT. At the end, I got my pencils back and let him keep a few to make sure he didn’t do it again. I am so glad that I learned how to use ASSERT!




Being Assertive


At my school, there is a boy who seems to brag about almost everything all of the time.  To try and get him to stop annoying me and other people with his bragging comments, I can use the assertive steps:

A – Get the person’s attention

S – Make it soon, simple, and short

S – Describe the specific behavior

E – Tell its effect on you

R – Suggest a desired response

T – Try to get/make terms for the future

Let’s say that this boy started bragging about how good he is at basketball.  I could get his attention and say to him: “Excuse me, can I tell you something?”

If he replies yes, I could tell him about what he is doing to annoy me, and make it soon, simple, and short: “You keep bragging about how good you do things, and it is annoying me.”

Then I could tell him the specific behavior: “You are not thinking about how others may feel about themselves, and seem to be bringing yourself up to the top.  It is making other people, including me, to feel bad about themselves.”

Then the effect on me: “I don’t like the way you brag about yourself.  It makes me feel like I am a whole lot worse than you, and I believe other people feel this way, too.”

Next, I state the desired response: “I would like it if you would stop bragging, and make others feel bad about themselves.”

Finally, make terms for the future: “Next time would you please tell yourself how good you are, instead of out loud to other people in class?”

If I do these steps to be assertive, I could solve my problem of him bragging and making others feel bad.

Our Year in Pictures


Well, another school year has come and gone.  I simply cannot believe that some of the pig-tailed, wide-eyed little 1st and 2nd graders that I met just a few years ago are moving on to middle school!  I wish you all the very best of luck, and hope you will stay on the blog and keep me updated.

Below is a link to the PowerPoint presentation Mrs. Marchin and I made to show most of the projects and units we completed this year.  Make sure you show your parents if they have not already seen it!  I also posted a link to the 6th grade video that McKenna and Ellyzabeth made.

back to school 13-14

6th Grade Video

Finally, I will leave you with a poem that was a favorite of Mrs. Bosch.  I think it is a good reminder to us all!

To laugh often and much; to win respect of intelligent persons and the affection of children; to earn the appreciation of honest critics and endure the betrayal of false friends; to appreciate beauty; to find the best in others; to leave the world a bit better, whether by a healthy child, a garden patch or a redeemed social condition; to know even one life has breathed easier because you lived.  This is to have succeeded. 

Ralph Waldo Emerson


Chemistry Sites of Interest


5th and 6th graders-

This post will be where I place websites of interest as they are introduced to you in our chemistry study as well as helpful chemistry sites to aid in your element research eventually. 

The Atoms Family- where I found our paper atom experiment

Build-a-Bohr- the site (made using Scratch) that we used to build several Bohr models of atoms

BBC- Awesome information on atoms and elements from the BBC

Study Jams- This is where all the fun, short videos we have been watching are found.  There are lots of videos on all subject areas here that might help you.  The science videos on matter will help you the most for this class.

Chemical or Physical Change quiz- we will use this in class to test our knowledge of chemical versus physical changes.

Periodic Table- Interactive- good info on the elements

Chemistry Simulations- build an atom, molecule, or test out acids and bases (plus much, much more!)

Chemistry for Kids- videos, lessons, and experiments with chemistry

How To Make a Bohr Diagram- this will be helpful when diagramming your element

Alien Juice Bar- acids and bases practice

BBC Bitesize on Acids and Bases – great practice video and test

The 5th State of Matter, the BOE! - info on the Bose-Einstein Condensate- the 5th state of matter confirmed in 1995

Chem4Kids – lots of great UNDERSTANDABLE info

The Elements Song - Check out one of the 6th graders who learned the Elements Song!

Citation Machine - choose MLA style

Chemicool – good for your research

Jefferson Labs - good for your research

If you find any helpful chemistry sites, please type them into the comments below!

Twister Part 4


I definitely had a good idea. Not just an average okay idea. But a mind blowing, show stopping, heart racing, AWESOME idea. Not even the word AWESOME can equal to the amount the idea was worth. The idea wasn’t just AWESOME, it was EPICALLY BOSS!

“May, earth to May? Come in May, can you hear me?” Emma said.

“Uh, oh yeah, sorry about that.”, I said waking up from my trance.


“Um, May, no offense or anything. But, Ashley just murdered your picture, and treated it like trash, and you’re, um, smiling.”


“Yeah, want to know why Emma?” I asked. “Why?”, Emma asked.


“I got a plan. A plan that will be payback for all the times Ashley has put us down. Tripped us, spit at us, and kicked us, payback for all of that.” “Oooh! I’m getting goose bumps! What’s the plan?” Emma said, suspense killing her.”Well, you know how Miss. Perfect called my picture a rat? Well, if she wants a rat, we’ll give her a rat”, I said as a devious smile spread across my face.


“I like that look! That’s your happy smile, and I like it!” Emma said.


Our teacher blew the whistle, signaling that recess was over. I stood up brushing the old leaves, and dirt from my jeans.  As Emma and I were walking over to the door, Ashley came up from behind me and pushed me into a mud puddle.

“Soon”, I thought, “Soon”


After recess we packed up our stuff to go home. “So”, I asked Emma. “Were you serious about the horse racing?”


“Tomorrow I promise. Today my dad and I have to pick up Misty from the ranch”


“Oh, okay, tomorrow, well, thank goodness it’s a Thursday”


“Yeah, well, I’ll see you tomorrow!” Emma shouted as she entered her mom’s white car.


Emma would usually ride the bus to school and have her mom pick her up after. I did the same thing, but, instead, I walked home.


As I walked down the dirt path to my house, I swear the sky looked darker than average. I just thought it might rain. Well guess what?

It did.


The walk home was miserable, mud covered me all over, and my backpack weighed a ton. But, the only thing that gave me pleasure was the idea of a rat climbing all over Ashley’s new haircut, and biting her manicured nails.


I know it sound pretty harsh, but, I was having a bad day! It was pretty hard to think about lollipops and gumdrops. Well, there was one other thing I could think about. Jordan!


I don’t think I’ve mentioned Jordon, but I have a major crush on him! You know how at recess earlier I kind of blanked out a little bit, well I was starring at him. I didn’t even want to tell you this but, after Ashley tore up my picture. I didn’t get it, Jordan did. He grabbed the picture, smoothed it out on his arm, tried to piece it back together, then he gave it to me, and walked off.


“Jordon”, I thought. Then, Bang! I hit a light pole. The pain reminded me of Ashley, and how I was going to put a rat in her pretty little lunch box.


“Soon”, I thought.






In case you haven’t read Twister Part 1 yet, here is the link.

Twister Part 1

Twister Part 5



Explanation: My Phobias- Do I Have Them, Or Not?


Okay. I mainly made this post for Kaitlin, who commented on my other post on phobias, and you can visit that post here.

Kaitlin told me she had the spider phobia(arachnophobia). I would love to talk to you, Kaitlin, to see if you could get rid of this phobia(I’ll already tell you that I don’t have this). Is the legs the only part of spiders that you dislike? If there are other parts of a spider you dislike, please comment on what other parts. If not, you can just talk to me in E.L. By the way, Kaitlin, I love how you weren’t afraid to speak up and tell me that you have this phobia. I take a lot of respect in you for that!

Here are the phobias that I either answered yes, maybe, or no to. I will also explain why I either have the phobia, don’t have the phobia, or may have the phobia. In the notebook that I wrote all of this down in, I wrote all the phobias out again in my notebook and placed a box right after the name, and I either checked it, left if blank, or x-ed it out. If I checked it, it meant I had the phobia. If I left it blank, it meant I might have the phobia, and if I x-ed it, I knew that I(for sure) didn’t have the phobia.


Automysophobia- no. Why would I be scared of getting dirty? I garden sometimes and I love the moist dirt on my hands. I don’t like to get dirty, but I’m certainly not scared of it.

Ailurophobia and Cynophobia- no. I have a cat(ailurophobia) and a dog. That’s all I have to say to explain. :)

Alektorophobia- no! I love chicken(and I know you do to, Ellen)! Chickens are hysterical- and yummy! Especially my mom’s chicken! She cooks them, and I eat ‘em up!

Nephophobia- no. Clouds are peaceful. Clouds are absolutely harmless. They’re just magically going to swoop down and take you away in a cloud capsule and rain on you until your skin transforms into water! But, I could also see why you could be scared of clouds(tornadoes, thunderstorms, lightning), but… why?

Oneirophobia- NO! I love, love, LOVE to have dreams! I could see why you would have this fear,(bad dreams; nightmares, basically) but… why? I love dreams because when I dream, they carry me to places that I can’t go to when I’m awake. Sometimes, when I’m dreaming, my imagination is so vivid, it feels like I’m really in that world of mine.

Sitphobia- NO! Why? Why would I be scared of something as harmless as food? I mean, why would you be frightened of food…? I can see why- food poisoning and raw meat is all I can think of why someone would be scared of food.

Parthenophobia- no. I am a girl. I’m a girl. I hangout with girls at E.L. recess(Delphia, Izze… a whole bunch of other people that I love as a friend so much I can’t remember their names right now… ha ha ha)!

Thermophobia- no. I am not a phobe to heat. One of the reasons is because I do NOT want to be sitting in my house in the winter so scared of heat that I don’t even have a blanket over my body, so I’m shivering cold!

Trypanophobia- no. I would be more than happy to get a shot from the doctor. I would rather have it done and over with A.S.A.P., rather than putting up a fight like a five year old in the doctor’s office.

Genuphobia- no. I am not scared of a knee. It is part of our body.

Photophobia and Astraphobia- no. If I’m not scared of light,(photophobia) then I’m certainly not frightened of lighting. Why? I’m not scared of it because I love the sudden flash of light from the sky that I always seem to barely miss when it strikes out from the sky.

Carnophobia and Musophobia- I certainly don’t have an extreme(or irrational) fear of meat, first of all because I love steak… and chicken! I’m nice myself (I hope… ha ha ha), so I have no reason at all to be scared of something that I am myself.

I’m sorry. I’ll make a part two to this. I’ll title it -Explanation: My Phobias- Do I Have Them, Or Not? 2. I’m halting it here because I’m very scared that you’ll get bored and look for something different to read. I hope you stay tuned!


Impossible Task


This is a poem I plan to submit to the Lawrence paper in honor of my mom for Mother’s Day.  Let me know what you think.  I’d love for you to post stories about your own mom in the comments.




How can you describe a mother whose career was her children,

Who tended scraped knees and listened to dreams with utter absorption? 

How can you put into words how she battled nightmares and bullies,

And teenage phases with unflappable wisdom and grace? 

What can be said about the family glue that bonded three children,

With vastly different personalities, interests, ages together?

That even as adults, love and respect each other,

 Though they don’t always agree. 

Is it even possible to thank a mother,

Who has given of herself so completely that plans are forgotten,

Personal interests put on hold, everything is dropped,

 In order to provide help to her grown child 2000 miles away? 

Who cares for a new grandchild- leaving home for days at a time-

So the baby does not have to be in the care of a stranger. 

How can you explain a mother who listens without judgment,

Offers advice without condescension,

Nods and smiles even when she must be dying inside? 

When circumstances turn out the way she feared,

Never says I told you so,

Even though she would probably like to! 

A woman who gives so entirely of herself,

 That her children’s friends often remind them of how fortunate they are. 

Not because she is a ‘cool’ mom, or a snappy dresser,

Or gives them everything they want. 

But because she is what a mother is supposed to be….

Forever and ever….



How can you portray a mother like mine in 250 words?

Video Games- An Exploration


Video games have come a long way since a computerized tic-tac-toe game was invented in 1952. Even video games of the 1970s were based on the simplest of games and graphics.

Today, video gamers can be hooked up through broadband connections to play one game as a team. Some gaming systems even offer headsets so teammates can talk to one another during play, even if they live thousands of miles away from each another.

The debate over the merits of video gaming—especially those based on violent scenarios—is complex. But the fact is that video games are here to stay, in one form or another, and they will continue to influence our culture on many levels.

So for this week’s lesson, you’ll get inside the box and take a tour behind the scenes to see what makes these games—and gamers—tick.

The Revolution

Let’s start with a trip to PBS to uncover The Video Game Revolution, beginning in the History of Gaming section.

To get a grip on the evolution of the industry, browse the Interactive Timeline.

What role did Ralph Baer play in this revolution? Why were video games first introduced in arcades rather than for home use? What was the significance of the Atari 2600 system? What are some of the factors that made a game or game system a hit or a flop? In what ways did the content of games evolve over time?

Now, let’s go Inside the Games to see How a Game Is Made. Make sure to watch the videos, if you have RealPlayer installed.

How exactly do the developers go about Creating the Characters and Putting It All in Motion? Why are details about the characters’ environment important in The Game World?

What roles do the Code and Postproduction efforts play in a game’s popularity? Why does a company spend so much money and effort in Marketing a game?

Read some of the Personal Gaming Stories and check out the Classic Game Cheats, if you have time. Why do you think programmers would allow cheats?

Next, explore some of The Impacts of Gaming, by browsing the Essays and the Guide to Game Ratings.

Why do many parents and institutions, including schools and government agencies, choose to restrict the availability of violent video games to young people? Do you agree or disagree with the reasons they cite for doing so?

How do you think video gaming will evolve in your lifetime? What factors will drive this development and why?

Before leaving the revolution, visit the Arcade to take the Ultimate Classic Game Quiz, Name That Game, and Play a Retro Game. In what ways are the classic games similar to and different from today’s video games?

The Box

You’ve looked at how art and coding have played their roles in video game development, but without technology to get it to our televisions and computer monitors those great ideas would have gone nowhere.

So let’s look next at How Video Game Systems Work at the HowStuffWorks site.

Don’t click any of the brand names on the introduction page, but do click to the next page to explore the Essence of video games. Then explore Game System Basics by clicking on that page’s interactive graphic. What exactly does the software kernel do?

Browse briefly through some of the The Games available on the different systems. What would be the attraction of each game’s premise?

Next, move on to Comparing Consoles and Cool Facts. What is the importance of a system’s processor speed for gaming? What advanced feature did Atari Football use? Which game system is based entirely on CD technology? How is that different from the others?

Amazon Kindle


These are two regular Amazon Kindles

Hello! I thought I might like to write about my Kindle and it’s awesome features, along with why you should buy a Kindle instead of a Nook.

I (already mentioned, but just hear me out) have a black colored Amazon Kindle, and I LOVE IT! I have two games, Word Soup and Dots and Boxes. I really want a game called Slingo, which is a mix between ‘slots’ and bingo. If you would like, you can go to the Amazon website here. I have a black one, as I mentioned earlier, but my grandparents, Grandma Nita and Paw-Paw, purchased my Amazon Kindle for Christmas about two years ago(I can’t remember because I love my Kindle so much). Now, I will show you the comparisons of a Nook and a Kindle.

A Nook has a ‘glossy’ screen, and it would be hard to read in sunlight. As for an Amazon Kindle, you don’t have one of those annoying screens where you have to squint your eyes to read the words. Even though a Kindle doesn’t have a colored screen, like the Nook, you can get a Kindle Fire, or if you don’t want a Kindle Fire, you could get a Kindle Touch. One of my friends in my 5th grade class has a Kindle Touch, and it’s a touch screen Kindle, of course, but it isn’t a ‘colored screen’. Personally, I think a colored screen (possibly) is more expensive than a black-and-white screen. That could also start a debate, and if anyone who wants to start that debate, I suggest you call it the ‘Kindle Versus Nook’.

This is a Nook (which I very much DISLIKE)

The second reason is I know the Nook has fewer battery space, if you know what I mean, but I’ll explain anyway. If you charge the Kindle, it’ll last for about a half of a week(from my ‘experience’) and I’ve read another post about the differences between the Nook and Kindle(please read my comment). I’m pretty sure (from what I’ve read) that the Nook lasts even fewer than that! How ‘weird’ is that? They’re both e-readers, but I suggest that you GET A KINDLE INSTEAD OF A NOOK!!! Thanks!



Twister Part 1


I was in my room on a sunny day. The sunlight shone through my curtains and on to my face. I grabbed my book and started reading.  I was right in the middle of a library book that my friend said I just had to read. I use had in her sense, stuffing the book in my face and running away. Of course I started reading it. I really wasn’t that bad, but for me, there was way too much romance in it for me. It was 5:00 am, the rooster would be crowing any minute now.

In case you didn’t know, I live on a farm, but before you jump to conclusion that I live in the middle of nowhere, with a poor family. I don’t! I live in the suburbs. But, I have twenty seven cows, eleven horses, eight pigs, fourteen goats, thirty four chickens, and three dogs, so, a big family for the suburbs.

I sat in my bed, waiting for the crow. Ten, nine, eight, sev… Cock A Doodle Doo!

You know how in stories, the rooster always goes, Cock a Doodle Doo? Well, they don’t it goes more like… Err err err err eroooooo!

Well anyway, it was kind of early for the rooster to be crowing, “Oh well”, I thought.

I ran to my closet and picked up my backpack. It was more like a satchel though. My dad just called it a purse.

I ran down the stairs and into the kitchen. “Morning May”, my momma said. “Morning” I said.  “What do you want for breakfast, bacon or eggs?” considering the possibility that my favorite pig Lulu ‘disappeared’ yesterday, “Eggs!” I quickly said.

“So, you finish your homework?” my momma asked me. “Yes momma” I replied blandly.

I practically drooled over the eggs as my momma set them on the table “Fresh from this morning”, my momma said.

“I know, I saw you, and I saw Miss. Lilly attack your hand.” I said. My momma blushed.

I gobbled up my eggs, pretty much shoveling them into my mouth.


Beep Beep!

“Momma the bus is here!” I yelled.

“Okay honey, have a good day!”


I grabbed my backpack and ran out the door and I jumped up right into the bus.”Hey May”, called my best friend Emma.”Hey Emma!”, I called back. As I walked over to Emma’s seat.


I fell, face first on the walk-way! “Oops, sorry pig face!” said Ashley carelessly. Everyone laughed.


As for me, my face hurt something awful. It was my nose that hurt the worst. I reached up to pain central when I felt a drop of blood fall on my fingertips. I ran over next to Emma, and almost threw up.


If you haven’t read Twister Part 2 yet, here is the link.

Twister Part 2


6th Graders, Be Warned!


Younger EL students are learning about how to blog on our site.  We have been looking at the Blog Journaling Rubric (remember that?), and using it to assess posts on  Some of your posts are getting a level 1!  You might want to go back to the rubric and review expectations, and then make changes to or delete the posts that just do not measure up!  Mrs. Marchin and I have discussed kicking you off the blog if you have too many level 1 posts.  Please remember that this is a place to post ‘internet-worthy’ formal writing.  It is not a place to be silly or post items that belong in a text or Facebook.  Most of all- USE THE SPELLCHECK TOOL!

The Floaters


This is just an idea I had… if you people comment,I will continue.


We call ourselves the Floaters. I know, not the most cool, tough name.But it fits us perfectly. You see, three years ago, gravity just… turned off.Most of the human race just floated out in to space.But those of us smart enough to survive joined together, and we formed the Floaters.Over time, gravity improved, but we Floaters still get around using grappling hooks and zip lines.The ground has been taken over by animals, animals that have adapted to barely any gravity.Even the most innocent rabbit has developed long, vicious claws to dig in to tree trunks.

I was thinking the main characters name would either be Gwen or Eryn.

Tell me what you think!


Brian Selznick is Coming!


If you loved The Invention of Hugo Cabret, by Brian Selznick, chances are you will love his latest book, Wonderstruck.  This is a graphic-novel style book about two deaf students from different generations who must go to a school for the deaf in New York.  The pictures show the story of the girl beginning in 1927, and the text describes the boy’s experiences starting in 1977.  It sounds facinating.  I am going to get to meet Brian Selznick tomorrow at the Plaza Library when he presents on his new book, and I plan to get a copy for the center.  I e-mailed your parents about it, so hopefully I will see some of you there!

Cadenism Update


This goes out to the fifth graders (especially Jacey) who have patiently waited for a good Cadenism story.  I finally came up with a couple of new ones:

1.  He was telling me about his school day, and mentioned ‘workshop.’  He said, “I’ll tell you what workshop means.  Well…you do work, but don’t exactly shop.  That’s workshop.”

2.  He calls his student teacher Ms. Seal, Ms. Sea Lion.  Always…he consistently refers to her as Ms. Sea Lion.  I asked him tonight if she liked that, and he said “Well….probably not so much.”

3.  He discovered his first loose tooth today, and said he wanted it to come out ‘automatically’ when his dad offered to take it out with pliers.

4.  He went up to the snack bar at the Great Wolf Lodge and said “I’ll have a draft beer, please!”  I think he thought it was some kind of rootbeer.

5.  “Mom, how many days is coming soon?” 

“What?” I asked, What is coming?”

“No, how many days is coming soon?” 

“I don’t know what you are talking about if you don’t tell me what is coming.”

“No!  Angry Birds Space is ‘coming soon.’ How many days is that?”

If you enjoyed these, there are older stories posted on my blog.

Harris Burdick Mysteries- Finished!


The fourth graders helped to solve the mystery of several unfinished stories.  The Harris Burdick Mysteries is a book with several beautiful pictures and captions.  The story goes that Harris Burdick created these pictures with captions to show a publisher, but never returned to the publisher’s office.  Each of our fourth graders took one of the pictures and finished the story on behalf of Mr. Burdick.  Check out thier stories below, they did a great job:

The Seven Chairs by Chloe

Another Place, Another Time By Mellenie

Captain Tory By Delphia

A Strange Day in July By Izze

Uninvited Guest By JJ

Under the Rug By Ian

Mr. Lenden’s Library By Davis

The Harp By Ellyzabeth

Just Desert By Ellen

The House on Maple Street By McKenna

Archie Smith, Boy Wonder By Nick

The Third Floor Bedroom Window By Amelia

Oscar and Alphonse By Phoebe

Missing in Venice By Tamara

The Sun and the Moon


A friend sent me these pictures in an e-mail.  I really admire photographers who are this creative!  I have tried to do things like this (making it look like my husband had the Disney castle in his hands, etc) and it never quite works out.  Have any of you taken a really amazing picture?  If so, please post it here!

JULIA: The Story of Pompeii – Pictures & More…

These are real pictures taken in Pompeii, Naples, Italy.



Behind the Mosaic

This mosaic was found in front of one of the homes in Pompeii.  The words on the bottom of the mosaic translate to mean: BEWARE OF DOG.  This was for visitors to read before entering the home, so they are aware of what animals the house may contain, in this case, a dog.  From the looks of this mosaic, it took a long time and lots of work.


  1. A&E Television Networks. Pompeii Videos. (Online) Available, December 4th, 2013.

  2. A&E Television Networks. Pompeii. (Online) Available, December 4th, 2013.

  3. Behind the Name. Ancient Roman Names. (Online) Available, December 4th, 2013.

  4. Carnine, Douglas. World History: Ancient Civilizations. Evanston, IL: McDougal Littell, 2006.

  5. Malam, John.  You Wouldn’t Want to Live in Pompeii! A Volcanic Eruption You’d Rather Avoid.  Great Britain: Franklin Watts, 2008.

  6. National Geographic Society. Ancient Roman Life Preserved at Pompeii. (Online) Available, December 11th, 2013.

  7. Sands, Stella. Kids Discover Pompeii.  New York, NY, 2006.

  8. UNRV. Index to Roman Surnames. (Online) Available, January 29th, 2014.

JULIA: The Story of Pompeii – PART THREE

JULIA: The Story of Pompeii – PART ONE:

JULIA: The Story of Pompeii – PART TWO:

Part Three – Julia of 1982

This journal belongs to Julia Gardener, 1982

First Entry – Digging in Herculaneum – August 24th, 1982

I am digging in Herculaneum; a city “across the mountain” from Pompeii.  I dig on the shore, and have found many skulls.  I also had the honor of finding a forty-five-year-old woman’s skeleton yesterday.  She wore expensive rings and jewelry.

I got a call this morning telling me that I am being moved, to start digging in Pompeii with my brother, Jack.  That will be exciting!


I set my journal back in the glove-box of my truck.  The next day is a big one for me.  Starting a new job in a new city… although the city was right next to the one I used to work in.

Julia Gardener is my name.  I am twenty-nine years old, and I am not married.  I have worked as an excavator ever since leaving college.  Same with my brother, Jack.

I gathered my tools, and hopped out of my truck.  “Good morning, Eugene,” I called to my boss.  “Same spot?”


I walked back to the beach to start digging again.  Many others had been digging with me in the same spot.  Lots of skulls and skeletons had been found on the beach.  My guess was that all of the citizens had tried to flee to the Tyrrhenian Sea, but the ash had reached them before they could save themselves.

I kept digging excitedly.  I was very happy with the news of working with my brother in Pompeii.

“How are you doing, Julia?” one of my partners asked me.

“Fine.  You?”

“Umm . . . I think I need some help.  This skull is lodged in the sand.  I need your pick.  Mine broke yesterday.”

“No problem.  Here’s the pick-axe.”

I handed her the pick-axe and got back to work.  Soon enough, the bell for lunch-break rang.  I trudged back up to the makeshift parking lot, as did everyone else.  I had packed some extra sandwiches in my lunch today, to eat with Jack.  I drove around the currently-silent Mount Vesuvius to Pompeii.  My brother and I had the same break time.

He was also trudging up the mountain as I drove down.  I stopped and rolled the window down.

“Hey.  What are you doing, walking up the hill?”

“I was going to get my lunch.”

“I packed some extra in my own.  Don’t waste your time walking up and down.  Hop in.”

I was excited to tell him the good news.  It was still hard for me to believe I was going to be working in Pompeii, and with my brother at that!  I drove back to the parking lot, where we had a great view of both cities being dissected like a frog.  I handed Jack two peanut butter and jelly sandwiches and some hand sanitizer.

“Guess what, Jack?”

“What, Julia?”

“I’m starting a new job tomorrow,” I said, grinning sheepishly.


“In Pompeii!  I’m going to have a new partner, too.  Guess who it is.”

“In Pompeii?”

“Guess my partner, Jack.”



“Jenny?  Edward?  Isaac?”

“No, no, no.”

“Who?  Just tell me.”  By this time, he had set his sandwich down.

“It’s you.”

I could tell he was surprised, and didn’t know what to say.  “Wow.”

“Ha!  I got you there, didn’t I?”

“Yeah, you did.”

The bell for end-of-break sounded.

“Got to go,” he said, opening the passenger door.  “See you tomorrow. Partner.”


That night, in my apartment, I slept wonderfully.  I had dreams of finding even greater things than a skeleton of a lady with jewelry.  Much better things.

My alarm clock woke me up at 5:00 A.M.  I quickly got dressed, and made my way to the small kitchenette.  I packed my lunch, and grabbed an apple for breakfast.  I was too excited to eat very much.

Hopping in the car, turning on the radio, and taking a big bite of my apple, I pulled out my journal from the glove-box.  And then I started to write:

Second Entry – Digging in Pompeii (Pompeii!) – August 25th, 1982


I am too excited to deeply explain my dream last night.  As you already know, (if you read Entry One) I am going to work with my brother in Pompeii!  It is very exciting to know Jack will be working right by my side.


Thoughts of Pompeii drifted through my head as I drove to work.  The drive was not too long, but long enough to let me rethink my dream.  It would be wonderful to find something in Pompeii that connected to my own life.  A forty-five-year-old lady didn’t connect with my life at all.  I parked, walked down the hill, and found my boss’s mobile trailer.  Inside I found his secretary sitting at a desk.

“Hello.  I presume you are Julia Gardener?” The secretary asked me.

“Yes.  Today is my first day at the job.”

“Hmm . . . Do you have your card?”

“I have my old one from digging in Herculaneum,” I said as I pulled it out from my pocket.  We always had to have a card for identification.

“Yes, that will do.  We’ll have to get you a new one soon.  Come back here at break, please.”

“Do you know where I can find my boss?”

“Ah, yes.  The boss,” she said as she winked at me.  “Here is a map of Pompeii, divided into sections.  Your section for digging is circled.  Your boss can be found in that sector.”

I looked down at the map, and found my sector.  Sector 4.  “Thank you.”

“I’ll see you at break then.”


I walked on the footpath towards Sector 4.  I found my new boss, although he wasn’t that new.  He was my father.  “Hi, Dad!”

“Julia,” he called.  “Nice to see you.”

“You too, Dad.”

“Jack is over there, by that big house.”

“Ok.  I’ll be going then.”

The house was one of the largest in Pompeii.  A rich family with many servants must have lived there.  In Pompeii, many people, rich and poor, lived right next door to each other.

“Get the chisel, Julia,” Jack said.  “I can’t get this door open.”

“Here,” I replied, handing him the pointy tool.

Jack worked on the door for a while before it opened.  The first sight was a dog, frozen in mid-jump.


“You said it,” Jack replied to my outburst.

“We should dig deeper,” I said.  “I feel like there may be more.”

Sure enough, there was more.  A younger boy and an older man were found on the other side of the door of the frozen dog.  They too were frozen.

“This must have been the father,” Jack said, gesturing to the older man.  Then he pointed to the boy.  “And this, his son.”

“You must be correct.  The formation of the heads look alike.” I tried to sound professional.

Jack soon turned and climbed out of the small hole we had dug.  “I’m going to tell Dad.”

“See you, then.”

I, too, climbed out of the hole, and walked down the street toward the shore.  I stopped randomly in the middle of the street, and started to dig.


A few hours passed by before I actually found something.  I knew it would take longer to dig than usual, because I was in the middle of the road; digging even deeper than on top of a building.

My many tools for digging, that hung around my waist, clanked as the wind blew by.  It was nicer in Pompeii than in Herculaneum.  It was so much more calm.  Plus, I was with my father and brother.
I hit something hard.  I started to dig around the shape of a human; crouched down on the ground, head in hands.  In a while, I had dug enough space for me to stand around the young girl, on all sides.  I got out a tool from my belt, and began the painstaking work of scraping off the top layer of hardened ash and pumice.


I had to stop my work on the girl for the day.  I had put a blue tarp over the hole, in case a storm came across, and secured it.  My first successful day at work was done.


I went back to work the next day.  I hadn’t written in my journal that morning, for excitement had gotten the best of me.  Maybe this was the connection I was looking for.

“Hey, Jack.  Hi, Dad,” I called to them as I half-walked, half-jogged back to the tarp.

“Hi, Jewel,” Dad replied.  That was what he called me when I was little.

I went back to work.  I took the tarp off the hole, and set my tool box on top of it to weigh it down.  I started whistling my favorite song from Disney’s Snow White and the Seven Dwarfs; Whistle While You Work.  It always seemed to make me work harder.

The day before I had finished scraping the young girl’s skull.  I now started on the neck.  The neck never took as long as the skull, but it was much more delicate, being very skinny and supporting the weight of the head.

I finished the neck, only to find a silver chain around her neck.  The chain led down farther to the girl’s chest, so I started scraping down below the neck.  It didn’t take too long, but I managed it in time for break.

The girl’s neck supported a locket emblazoned with two letters on it:


My mind raced.  This was it!  The special “connection” I had been thinking about.  These were my initials, too!  My name was Julia Gardener.  Her name was something that started with a J, and something that started with a G.  It was all too miraculous.

I had randomly chosen this area in the street.  I had randomly started scraping at the top of the girl’s body.  It was so . . . random.

I realized I had left the step-ladder up above in my tool-kit.  “Jack,” I called.

He came over to the hole.  “What’s wrong?”

“Nothing.  Just the fact that I’m stuck in this hole with no ladder.”

“Oh.  Need some help?”

I glared at him playfully.  “Do you really need to ask?”

“Just messing with you,” he said, as he reached down to grab my arms.

“Wait.  Let me put this on.”  I took the locket off of the girl, and latched it around my own neck.  It felt good to wear.

“Put what on?”

“Something I found on the girl’s neck.”

“What girl?”

“You didn’t notice her?”

By this time, he had already lifted me out of the hole.  We both stared down at the one-third-scraped girl.

“Can I see it?” he asked.

“Here.” I pulled it out from under my zipped-up jacket.

“Those are your initials.”

“I know that.”

“Well, that’s a coincidence.”

“I don’t believe in coincidences.”

“You should show Dad.”

“That’s where I’m going now,” I replied.


I went back to the apartment that I called home.  Setting down the beautiful and elaborate locket I had found earlier in the day on the nightstand next to my bed, I showered and pulled on some pajamas.  I reached down for the bed covers, and pulled them all the way up to my chin.  I was cold, but warm at the same time.  This happy feeling of warmth is caused by the locket, I told myself.

Before I drifted off into a deep slumber, dreaming of my findings in Pompeii, I took one last look at the locket, glimmering with the letters of my very own initials.


JULIA: The Story of Pompeii – PART TWO

JULIA: The Story of Pompeii – PART ONE:

JULIA: The Story of Pompeii – PART THREE:

Part Two: The Peasant of 1709 A.D.

There once was a buried town.  Ash and pumice fell from the sky, and later hardened.  Over time, the hardened ash turned to good soil, and grass grew.  Settlers came to live atop a buried city, but not knowing it.

One day, one family of settlers decided they needed a well,  so one of the peasants built one.  As this peasant dug deeper into the ground, the settler struck something hard.  Huge, marble slabs from a city deep below.

This settler notified others nearby, and soon some came to investigate.  They built tunnels, excavated within, and found surprising results.  This was no city of Pompeii.  This was on the other side of Mount Vesuvius:  the city of Herculaneum.

This was soon to be one of the greatest treasure hunts of all time.  For around forty years, all of the wealthy nobles received the treasures found in Herculaneum.  These nobles used these items to adorn their homes, and make them even more wealthy.

Digging in Herculaneum became too difficult over time, so the focus on excavating shifted to the other side of the mountain.  Pompeii was discovered again, nearly 1,700 years later, in 1748.

The first 100 years of digging were dangerous and haphazard, but as time wore on, digging techniques developed, and improved.  The excavation of Pompeii still goes on today, but some areas are now open to tourists.

JULIA: The Story of Pompeii – PART ONE

NOTE: Most words in italics are in the Latin language.  Translations can be found in the Glossary of the Latin Language.


JULIA: The Story of Pompeii – PART TWO:

JULIA: The Story of Pompeii – PART THREE:

Pompeii, Naples, Italy

Part One – Julia of 79 A.D.

As I was preparing in my room to go help our main servant, Iliona, I looked out the window to see the boys walking down the street towards school.  The slaves walked behind them, making sure they didn’t run away.  I knew the drill.  Titus II, my ten year old brother, went to school.

Every morning, one of our servants would wake him up, bring him a bowl of water to wash his face and hands in, help him dress and comb his hair, pack his inkstand, pens, books, and writing tablets in a scrinium, and make sure he hurried off to his day’s work.  I didn’t go to school (unlucky me), and instead wasted away most of my days learning about boring housekeeping things.  

Breakfast consisted of bread, eggs, and sometimes, maybe even an apple or pear.  Our other meals usually were made up of bread, cheese, wine (although I didn’t drink that), and fish.

After breakfast, I walked out to the garden to see Iliona, the head slave, and some others, keeping the garden in pristine condition.  The fountains flowed, and the statues stood.  I walked over to my favorite statue of a girl around my age.  She was much more beautiful than me, of course.  Her hair, if not for her being made of stone, would have been black, and she would have had a pretty little face.  Blue eyes, and red lips.  Just like other ordinary Roman girls.  She was shaded by the tree nearby.

I climbed up on to her stand, and leaned back against her . . . .

I am lying on my bed.  Our servant doctor, Albus, stands peering over me.

“She is awake,” he says to my mama.

“What’s wrong with me?”

Mama replies, “You fell off of the statue girl’s stand.”

“Well, what is wrong?”

“You hit your head.  Your head is bandaged now,” Doctor Albus says.

“Can I get up?”

“No, Julia.  Si necesse est,” Mama says.

“Yes, Mama.”

I fall asleep, dreaming of the stone girl laughing at me; pointing her cold stone finger at my swollen head.


“Julia, wake up!”

Titus II, my pestering brother, and his dog, burst through the door.  The dog jumps on me and starts to lick my face.  I push him to the floor.

Quae petitio tua?” I say groggily, wiping slobber off my face.  “I just fell asleep.”

“No, you didn’t.  It’s tomorrow.  Not today, or yesterday.”

“I have no idea what you are talking about.”

“The.  Date,” he says slowly, “Is.  August.  Twenty-third.  Seventy-nine.  A.D.”

I suddenly remember.  The party that my family is hosting is today.  August 23rd, 79 A.D.

“Get, up!  Get up,” he yells, running down the hall, the dog trailing behind him.

I sit up, cautiously, for the sake of my head.  It didn’t seem to hurt anymore.  I unwrapped the thick bandage.  I felt the large lump, slightly above my forehead.  I am exhausted. I might as well sleep through the whole party.

Iliona walks into my room.  “How are you feeling, my dear?”

“Tired.  I took the bandage off.” The bandage lay on the end of my bed.

“That is what Albus told me to do.  I see you have already accomplished that,” she says, looking at the swollen part.

“Am . . . am I allowed to go to the party today?” I hesitantly ask her.

“You need to talk to your mama about that.  The doctor says you will be able, if your mama allows.” She emphasized allows.

“Was Titus, allowed, to run into my room with his dog?”

But by this time, she was gone.  Into my closet, I suspect.  I was correct, for not a moment later, she comes out with a fresh, clean dress.

Pone hoc in,” she says.  “It is the new dress your father bought for you.  Your mama asks you not to ruin it.” Iliona gives me a sharp look.

“Yes, Iliona.”


The party was just like any other.  The grounds were crawling with people.  Clusters of boys and girls, men and women, hung around here and there.  I was not part of any of those groups.  My head throbbed.  I was tired.  About the only good thing that happened, was Livia, my good friend, came.

“Hello, Julia.”

“Hello,” I reply.

“This party is nice.  I’ve been anticipating it forever, it seems.  What happened to your head?” She eyed the red spot.

I explained to her how I fell off of stone girl’s stand.

“But we’ve sat up there hundreds of times before,” Livia insisted.

“I know, but this time I fell asleep.”

“Are you allowed to go up there ever again?  I always thought it was a good place to get away from your brother.” She was right.  It was too tall for Titus to reach.

“Probably not.  I’ll sure miss her cool stone,” I say, in a sort of faraway voice.

“Yes, it was a great place.  And a pretty statue.”

“It would be really nice to get back up there again someday.” I snap out of my trance.  “I’m hungry.  Ut eamus manducare.”


I fall asleep easily.  In the middle of the night, I suddenly wake up.  I was very tired, but I feel as if something is wrong.  I creep out of my bedroom, and down to the main hall.  A servant sweeping the floor nods to me.  The date is August 24th, 79 A.D.  In Herculaneum, the festival honoring Emperor Augustus would be starting soon.  I learned that from my brother.

Thinking of Titus, I walk upstairs, and decide to write a letter on a small scraggly piece of paper to him in Latin, to practice.  It went like this:

Carus, Titus in secundum,

Canis amat ut me nescio. Si bonus frater esset forte de thalamo feceris. Et sputo adspersit ubique. Delet vestimenta et lectus. Quod molestie turbare, et rudes. Hoc si tibi nota esse vellem beatus.

Lorem ipsum,

Soror tua Julia

Of course, Titus would never really consider the note at all.  He only cared about running around and destroying the house like a volcano.

Soon enough I hear his voice yell out.  “Age, Iulia!  Tempus est ire ad forum!”

“I’m coming,” I reply.  It’s morning now.

The market.  In Pompeii, the market was a large building next to the shops and Forum.  The Forum contained the remains of the Temple of Jupiter at one end, and the Building of Commerce on the other.  (Afterward, the Temple of Jupiter was rebuilt across the road.)  I heard the Temple was destroyed from an earthquake in 62 A.D.  The Forum was also the center for economic, political, and religious purposes.  It was larger than the market; at least 480 feet long, and 108 feet wide.  In front of the Forum building, was the outdoor Forum.  It was near the government buildings as well.

Vendors sold their products in front of the market.  They stood near the Arch of Tiberius.  Shops stood to the other side of the market.  Behind the new Temple of Jupiter stood the Forum baths.  Our family went there daily to clean ourselves, and to socialize with others.  It was one of the best places to be.

Some of the roads in Pompeii had large stepping-stones, stopping the citizens from getting wet feet from the sewer drainage that trailed down the road.  Pompeii also had warehouses, that I had never seen, and the Temple of Apollo.

My family walked down the road, on the stepping-stones, and soon neared the market.  It was busy for such a morning.  We stepped inside, and found a stand that sold fruit.  We bought a few pears and apples for an outdoor lunch.  At another stand, we bought some cheese and bread.  We then went across the road to the Forum baths.  We put our clothes into shelves, and went our separate ways.

I liked to go to the Tepidarium first.  This was the warm room.  After getting used to the water in there, I went to the Calidarium, or the hot room.  I washed up, and then went to the Frigidarium.  That was the frigid room.  Thus the name, Frigidarium.  

My family met back up by the shelves.  We then strolled along the road to the outdoor Forum.  Titus and I stopped along the way for a drink at a water fountain.  A few dogs licked out of the fountain as well.

We stayed at the outdoor Forum for the rest of the early afternoon.  We talked to a few neighbors, and I soon found Livia.

“Livia,” I called.  She didn’t see me.


“Yes, it’s me.  Over here, behind you.”

“Oh, there you are, Julia.  I didn’t see you.”

I talked to her as the afternoon wore on.  By now, it was probably twelve-o’-clock.

“Have you eaten yet?” Livia asks me.

“Yes.  We stopped by the market earlier and bought some goods.  We ate them already.”

“Oh, us too.”

“Where is your family?”

She pointed over to her parents.  Livia had no siblings.  “Over there.”

Livia’s mother waved her over.

“Bye, Julia.”

“Bye, Livia.”


We walked home.  It was now one o’clock.  We walked by the vendors and shops.  Suddenly, Mount Vesuvius, behind us, shot out a cloud of ash and pumice.  The wind blew the dark cloud over us.  Soon enough, it started to rain the ash and pumice.  Carts stopped in the road as the ash-and-pumice fallout hardened.  We grabbed pillows from a vendor and held them over our heads for protection.  We ran to the shelter of a nearby shop, as did many others.  Before we did so, I touched a small piece that was falling to the ground.  The fallout, surprisingly, was not hot.

It neared midnight.  The ash had hardened completely, and now the ground seemed much higher.  It had rained around six inches of ash and pumice per hour.  It seemed calm for now, but as the very early morning of August 25th, wore on, it just worsened.

The tower of debris shooting out of the deadly volcano reached as high as twelve miles!  The column of ash and pumice collapsed, and a hot surge of it rumbled down the vast hill.


I heard many people yell out at that time.  People grabbed their little ones, and Mama grabbed me.  I still stood gaping at the deadly-hot-surge as it flowed down Mount Vesuvius.  I grabbed Titus, who then grabbed Father.  We ran among the rest of the people.

“My dog!  My dog,” Titus yelled.

“No!  We must save ourselves,” I screamed in reply.

I didn’t care about anything but our lives anymore.  This was the worst day ever.  And to make it worse, none of us had expected it.  The cloud grew and grew.  Also, the amount of pumice and ash had increased.  I‘m overwhelmed.

Titus rips out of my grasp as we pass our house.  He runs to the door, but can’t open it.  “My dog!  He can’t get out!  He’ll die in there!”

My father grabs him and pulls him away.  “Get away from there, Titus.  That dog doesn’t matter anymore.  We matter.”

Mama and I kept running past them, not caring anymore.  Mama let go of my hand.  “Run as fast as you can, Julia.  Save yourself.”

“What about y-” my voice is cut short.  It is too hard to breathe now that toxic gases are pouring out of the cloud.  As I turn, Mama stands still.

“It’s no use for me to run.  I am too slow anyway.”

“But, Mama!”

“I told you to run, Julia!”

Before I do run among the throng of people, I turn to her for the last time.  “Te amo, Mater!”

She doesn’t reply.  She probably can’t hear me anyway; the roar of the volcano is so loud. I start to run atop the hardened ash.  I look over my shoulder again:  ash and pumice running up to 180 miles per hour down the street.  My mother, father, and brother are now encased in the hardened ash.

I crouch down, put my face in my hands, and start to cry.  I grabbed  the locket my parents had given me, with my initials engraved on it.  Thoughts stream through my head.  I loved them.  It’s no use.  Everyone will die.  I will die.  No one is fast enough.  Not now.

A moment later, I feel the hot surge reach me.

It’s most definitely too late.


Glossary of the Latin Language

Si necesse est. (You must rest.)

Quae petitio tua? (What do you want?)

Pone hoc in. (Put this on.)

Ut eamus manducare. (Let’s go get something to eat.)

Age, Iulia!  Tempus est ire ad forum! (Come on, Julia!  It is time to go to the market!)

Te amo, Mater! (I love you, Mother!)


Julia’s Letter to Titus

Dear Titus the Second,

I am not sure that your dog likes me.  If you would be a nice brother, maybe you would keep him out of my room.  He slobbers everywhere.  It ruins my clothes and bed.  And it is very annoying, disturbing, and rude.  If you would consider this note, I would be very happy.


Your Sister Julia


Funny Quotes By Famous People 2

Anyone who says he can see through women is missing a lot.

Groucho Marx


Before I refuse to take your questions, I have an opening statement.


Ronald Reagan

A waffle is like a pancake with a syrup trap.

Mitch Hedberg

Life is hard. After all, it kills you.

Katharine Hepburn


A stockbroker urged me to buy a stock that would triple its value every year. I told him, ‘At my age, I don’t even buy green bananas.’


Claude Pepper

An Adventure

By Avi Berry


    There was a problem; and Pinkie was the first to smell it.  It was a bright , warm fall day, and there was no possible problems

none at all.

    Pinkie was bouncing along in the flowers as happy as could be; until she felt it.  It was a strange sense, like no other.  It started with a nose twitch, then a foot spasm, and last but not least, an eyeroll. And that certain feeling was a feeling that meant trouble, big trouble.  That was how it all started; all with a sense; a sense from the strangest person in VilleVille; Pinkie.

Chapter 1


The Beginning

    “TWILIGHT!” I turned my head and saw Pinkie sprinting down the path way, shouting my name.  Her face was urgent looking, a sign of trouble, which was strange, since it came out of Pinkie.  Pinkie wasn’t usually a troubled person.

    “Twilight” Pinkie gasped, out of breath.  Then she collapsed.


She woke up around noon and instantly jumped panting vigorously.  Next she jumped around the room like a mad woman.  “There…is…trouble!   Help.  Must.  Go.  To.  Dark.  Forest!  NOW!”

“Why?” I say, surprised by her sudden change.  “Okay, calm down Pinkie; and tell me what is going on.”

“Well…, the Dark Forest is rising, and we’re the only ones who can stop the evil thing who is causing this crisis, and then the world will be saved; but if not then, than the world will end! So help!”  Pinkie said in a fast but legible tone.

“Um, are you sure about this?” I ask.

“Yup!”…… and then she faints again.  I ran outside, looking for help, when I saw a mountain over in the direction of the Dark Forest.

Chapter 2


A Problem

    I think to myself, “What is this lady thinking?  Of course the world is not going to end; this person is crazy!!!  Then I sarcastically say out loud, “Of course the world will end Pinkie; I’ve been hiding this for so long, I thought it would end by now!”

    “Really, Rarity! Oh my gosh, I didn’t know that.  How do you know!?”  Pinkie blurts out, suddenly awake, and out of bed again.

“You know I am starting to think this is a bunch of gibberish comin’ out of your mouth.” says AJ.

    “Oh.” I say, ignoring AJ, “I have my ways.”

    “Okay……?” Twilight says uncertainly.  “Anyway, tell us more Pinkie.”

    “Okay, so, I was walking around, out in the field by AJ’s house, when I had this strange sense, that I never had before.  First it was a nose twitch, then a foot spasm, which made me trip, and then an eyeroll, in which I fainted when happened.  When I woke, I had this feeling of trouble in my chest, so then I ran.  And that is when I ran down the hill, screaming your name.”

“Ahh, I see.  muttered Twilight, thinking hard.  “Well maybe we should listen to Pinkie.”   she says, “Maybe she is telling the truth about this, um, crisis.  Lets go find out what it is, then maybe we could defeat it, just maybe….”

“Well,” I say, “I think this a bunch of baloney, this Dark Forest, and this rising!  I  think you should just drop the subject completely.”  I stick my nose up in the air and make a hmph noise, as I think to myself, “Well done Rarity, good for you!”  feeling proud of what I had said.

“B..bu…but I thought you knew about it Rarity!  What?!” Pinkie stuttered, surprised by my act of disgracefulness.

“Hey guys.” Twilight says.  “I saw a mountain in the Dark Forest.”  I think she was trying to break up our fight.

“Ooo, good eye Twilight!”

“Well you thought wrong, missy!” getting back to Pinkie and my conversation, or argument.  “You were WRONG.” I dragged, giving her a guilt trip about her stupidity.

“Well fine!  I don’t need you anyway!” She jumped out of the room with Twilight, Flutter Shy, Dash, and AJ behind her.  I just stood there with a smirk on my face, but when they slammed the door behind me, I started to feel sad and guilty about what I’d said to her.

In the book in chapter 2 it has a name wrong.  Ignore please.

Could We Survive The Sun’s Death by ASAP Science

I found this really cool video on how we could survive the sun’s death. It shows how we do it and the consequences that would come with doing this. ASAP Science! I thought this was a very interesting topic mostly because with today’s technology we could do this. I also love how they added the consequences too. All in all, this was really interesting and you should definitely watch it. Click the link! You should also see their other videos to like the one on water intoxication (ask in the comments if you want a blog post on that too).

Funny Quotes By Famous People

These are just funny Quotes that I found at Brainy Quotes.

Behind every great man is a woman rolling her eyes.

Jim Carrey

A day without sunshine is like, you know, night.

Steve Martin

My fake plants died because I did not pretend to water them.

Mitch Hedberg

If the facts don’t fit the theory, change the facts.

Albert Einstein

I have six locks on my door all in a row. When I go out, I lock every other one. I figure no matter how long somebody stands there picking the locks, they are always locking three.

Elayne Boosler

All right everyone, line up alphabetically according to your height.

Casey Stengel

My Weird, Extended Family

I only have one blood-sibling, blood-sibling is someone who has the same “blood” as you, so they have the same mother and father, and she is my sister. She is 17 months younger than me. When I was about four, my parents took us to a restaurant and told us something I will never forget. They were getting divorced. We couldn’t see our dad for 40 days because that is what the judge said. Our mom moved to Prairie Village, Kansas, and our dad moved to Overland Park, Kansas. We had previously lived in Lenexa. Our dad had a pool and a hot tub, so that was pretty cool. We had to meet every night to switch parents.It was very sad to only see one parent at a time. A few years later, my mom got married to a man named Dave. He had three kids in their teenage years. So, we had two step-sisters and one step-brother. Dave also had eight siblings and most of them had kids so we had step-aunts, uncles, and cousins everywhere. I now have a six-month old step-niece named Charlotte. My dad then moved to Oklahoma where he married Penny. She also had two girls and one boy and Penny has two sisters.I also have 84 animals. Some include, 39 goats, a llama, a new horse, 5 mini donkeys, 9 dogs, and a miniature pony. How my family got to be this big, it’s hard to think about.