Fourth graders are comparing giraffe information sites using a rating scale. Which one is the best for my research?
Fourth graders are comparing giraffe information sites using a rating scale. Which one is the best for my research?
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:
Some Examples of Past Student Maps:
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:
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!
We are looking into a new host site and possibly new site altogether for our blog. Please back up all the posts you want to save on Word! It may be possible to move them over, but I would be so sad if important posts were lost forever. I will post more information as I learn it, so stay tuned!
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!
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!
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.
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.
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
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!
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?
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.
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!
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?
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.
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?
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?
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?
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’.
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!
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.
“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.
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 areallydifferentplace.org. 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!
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!
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!
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.
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
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!
It wasn’t supposed to end this way, I thought as I looked around at the black world. Thunder rumbled and as lightning split the sky I saw the hard truth. I failed. The ground was littered with dead bodies and burning buildings. The Devil won. I shouldn’t have made that deal, I am such an idiot. Nothing can be done to stop this.
My mom always said to never make a deal with the Devil. It will end in tears, she said. So what did I do? I did exactly that. She also said that Hope won every time. I snort. Where was Hope now? It died. All because of me. You are probably wondering what I am rambling about. Well you want to know? Okay then. Just a warning of caution, though, this isn’t particularly happy.
The weirdest day of my life began with a dream.
10, 9, 8- Almost there. I can’t fail this. Faster, faster, FASTER!
7, 6- I can make it. I can do this! Faster!
5, 4- No! Not now! This can’t happen now! SLAM!
3, 2- Stand up. STAND! Can’t run! No!
1-Pain. That is all there is. Pain. Blinding, blood- boiling pain. Slipping away. Can’t hold on. I close my eyes. The blackness takes me.
I open my eyes and sit up gasping for breath. What was that dream about? I flip over and look at my clock. 10: 54 a.m. I look at the calendar. My birthday. Wooo.
Then I remembered it was my birthday, January 7th, the day my dad, Adam, died. Great birthday gift, right? So here I was moping about when my mom orders for me to get out of the house.
“Alexis! You need to stop moping. Go, get out. Do something other than sit around!” my mom told, well more like yelled at me.
So I rode my bike to the lake down the street because no one wants to see my mom mad. I was just going to relax by the lake, but that plan changed as soon as I saw Clara, the school bully who hated me for some unknown reason.
“Hey nerd! Why are you here?” Clara yelled, flipping her blond hair away from her face.
“I’m here to relax, Clara.” I mumbled.
“What did you say? I didn’t hear you.” responded Clara.
“I said, I’m here to relax! Are you deaf?” I yelled at her. Okay, maybe I’m a little high strung today.
“Don’t you yell at me, you lowlife!”
“Clara, seriously, get some better insults here. I’ve heard that one a million times!”
“You want a better insult? What about this, then!” She screamed as she pushed me. I tripped over my own feet and fell into the lake.
Don’t get me wrong here, I am a great swimmer, but something was holding me down. I opened my eyes to get a look around and what I saw surprised me.
There was a man. At the bottom of the lake. In the middle of winter. Was I hallucinating?
“Hello Alexis. What are you doing at the bottom of my lake?” he raised an eyebrow at me.
“Who are you? And how do you know my name?” I asked, forgetting my manners.
“How do I know your name? Well that’s simple. Contacts. As for who I am, wouldn’t you like to know?!” he asked sarcastically. Wow. Rude.
As I moved closer, I got a better look at him. He was tall, about 6 feet, and had wavy black hair down to his shoulders. He had a thin, aristocratic nose and cheek bones. Thin lips, pale (almost white) skin. Nothing too spectacular. Then I saw his eyes. His eyes were dark navy blue with specks of silver and green around the center. A reddish maroon color around his pupil.
“Well, Alexis, are you going to tell me why you are here?” he raised an eyebrow again.
“Ummm…. Clara pushed me in, and I can’t get back to the surface.” I mumbled. Then something dawned on me, I was breathing and speaking underwater. What? How was I doing that?
“Magic” he said randomly.
“Huh? What?” I said, still trying to get my mind around this.
“You asked how you were breathing underwater.”
“You’re a mind reader?! How bloody fantastic!” I said. This day can’t get any weirder. I thought.
“I wouldn’t think that. You don’t want to tempt Fate, do you?” he asked.
“No, not particularly.”
“Good. Fate’s a good girl, but gets into trouble all the time!” he sighed and rubbed his forehead.
Okay then. “So, back to my first question…. Who are you?” I asked.
“You haven’t figured it out yet? The Beast, patron of number 616, Being of Evil, etcetera?”
“You’re…. the Devil?” I asked, a little worried.
“Oh, don’t call me that! My real name is Caos. I have gone by different names as well. Nicholai, Zayden, Nick, Damien, and my favorite, Lucifer, or Lucius. Stupid humans had go and give me a boring name. I mean, Devil, what type of a name is THAT?” he mumbled the last part and pouted.
“What should I call you?” I asked tentatively.
“Hmmm…. How about….. Malafede. It means ‘bad faith’ in Italian.” He said with a smile that showed pointed canines.
“Soooo… back to my second question, why am I here?” I asked again.
“You, my little daemon, you are here because I am bored. Also it IS your birthday. But mostly because I am bored.” He retorted.
“And what does this have to do with me?”
“I am offering you a deal.” He deadpanned.
“What type of deal?” I probed warily.
“When I am bored, things happen. Wars, death, plague, etcetera, etcetera. So, I want to play a…. game of sorts.” The De- no, Caos- said.
“What game? And what’s the setback?” I questioned.
“Ah… you are smart, little daemon. A game of chance.” He answered. “I will leave you a challenge every so often. You have three days to complete the challenge. The longer we play the harder they get. If you fail, you must do something for me. If I fail, and you win, you don’t die. Got it?”
“Yeah, I guess…”
“It will start tomorrow, little daemon. Be ready.” He said, a tremor of warning in his voice, before touching my forehead. As soon as he made contact, everything went black.
When I awoke, I was back in my bed. I looked at my clock. 10: 54 a.m. Date: January 7th.
This year’s mainstage play at Hocker Grove is Dorothy in Wonderland: a fun twist on the Wizard of Oz and Alice in Wonderland. It starts right when Scarecrow has gotten his brains, Tin Man his heart, and Lion his courage. Dorothy is about to leave with the wizard on his voyage to Kansas, but Toto is nowhere to be found! When Dorothy finds Toto, another tornado comes in, and instead of sweeping Dorothy off to an Emerald City, it takes her to Wonderland! Follow Dorothy through her adventures to get home as she meets Alice, the Caterpillar, the AMAZING flowers who steal the show, the Cheshire Cat, and more.
If you haven’t guessed, I am a flower (I am actually a goth flower, thanks to McKinley for that idea because I love it). The show is hilarious and I think you should come see it. Our second show is tonight at 7:00 pm. Admission is $5 (Though you should bring more money and buy Stargrams for me!) The show is at Hocker Grove Middle School, 10400 Johnson Drive.
Most of you probably remember about three years ago when our school district closed a bunch of schools (including Antioch Middle. Grr.) Maybe some of you remember when a couple schools closed about eleven years ago as well. Well brace yourselves: it’s happening again. There are schools in our district that are underpopulated. The district is thinking about closing these schools. Two schools they’re considering closing are East Antioch and Shawanoe (but I will be genuinely saddened if they close East Antioch since they already closed West Antioch Elementary and Antioch Middle, two schools I would have gone to). Other schools, like Nieman and Benninghoven, have become crowded, and students in these schools may be relocated in order to make amends. I find it strange that Nieman has too many students since they just rebuilt it about 6 years ago and they recently added an extra building to use as two classrooms. Anyways, I doubt they are closing any middle or high schools, since there are only five of each and they all have a high amount of students (I go to Hocker Grove and there are about 850, and each high school has about 1,500-2,000). Cross your fingers and hope you’re not relocated!
Sorry this took so long!!!!
Okay, so, this isn’t the best story ever, looking back on it there are some changes I could make (actually, a lot!), but here it is!
please . . .
enjoy . . .
Chapter two: Chlöe
Bonjour, mes amis! That’s French for ‘Hello, my friends!’ I don’t really know if you’re my friends or not, but who cares? If you’re my enemy, oh well! Wonderful! I never knew I had an enemy before, what a surprise! Speaking of enemies, Mr. Weedley (weird name, right?) is so mean! My ear still hurts from this afternoon.
I just moved here from-well, you’ll figure that out soon enough. I had to stay after school for sleeping in class. Hey, I woke up really early this matin! (morning) My mother insists we wake up early to “spend some family quality time together.” Stupid, if you ask me. Only thing is, no one cares enough to ask me. If you’re wondering why she came up with it, it’s something to “help me get over this.” My real parents died a couple months ago. Don’t feel sorry for me, it was probably for the best. They were mean and hit me a lot, and although this couple doesn’t hit me or anything, they’re not much better. I don’t think they are ready to have an enfant (child) around the house yet, but no matter! All is well and good.
Mr. Weedley says he’ll give me one more chance because I’m new and “don’t know how we do it here.” I’ve been watching everyone today and I think I would like to be friends with the girl who got in trouble too, today. I think her name is Jane, but who really cares about names?! There’s nothing to say about my new house other than it’s on the outskirts of town. Some other kids live further on, in the countryside, but we don’t. As I walk home from school I see other kids playing and talking, laughing. I try to avoid them, since I know by now that most of them won’t be very friendly. I’ve been in five schools since mom and dad died, it’s crazy, I know! So just trust me when I tell you this stuff.
I walk inside, throw my stuff on the floor and slip into my room. I change into my nightgown, even though I know I shouldn’t. All these layers, though! It’s so hot! From underneath my straw bed I remove a strip of bark and a charcoal stick. I love to draw, you see. Always have, always will! I begin drawing, my hands working without my brain telling them what to do. Mr. Weedley appears on my bark with red eyes and devil horns. I quickly scratch that out. A forest, beautiful, sunlight dappling through the trees even though I have no color, flowers springing from moss in full bloom. I sigh. I would give anything to be there right now.
Father comes roaring in, and I quickly shove the bark and charcoal sticks under my pillow.
“What are thou wearing?!” he asks in anguish.
“My nightgown,” I say. “It’s so much cooler!” I add quickly, before he can say anything.
Suddenly he doubles over in a fit of coughing, face red. I kneel beside him. “What’s wrong, what’s wrong!” I say, shaking him.
Mother appears at the doorway. She had heard what was happening, I guess. She took one look at him, and her face went white with fear.
“Chlöe, dinner’s ready. Now!”
I skiddoodle down l’escalier. (the stairs) Upstairs it sounds like someone is vomiting. Barfing is gross! And does not feel good at all!
Dinner, I notice as I sit down, is the same affair it has been for the last week. Two clams from the sea on the opposite side of town. The other side has a forest. Three carrots from the store, one small hunk of bread, also from the store. I’m getting tired of this dinner! Mother comes down, looking exhausted, and sighs at my clothes. Geez, big deal I’m wearing my nightgown!
We eat silently. I put my dishes in the bucket to go to the well and creep up the stairs.
“Don’t disturb thy father,” Mother calls to me, halfway up the stairs. I nod.
“Je vous déteste,” I whisper. (I hate you.)
It’s about nighttime now, I stare out my window. Jane darts out of the shadows. Whoah! What’s she doing outside at night? Doesn’t she know it’s ‘dangerous?’
I creep down the stairs and out the door. There she is, heading in the direction of the forest. Wait a minute. She’s barefoot! Well, so am I. She looks up and sees the forest, hesitates, but goes in. I follow her into the dark forest.
Beside me something misty appears. Oh no, not again! The mist takes the shape of my tall, lovely, dead mom. She smiles warmly at me, although I know it’s fake. She’s been haunting me for two months now, and never once has she said a kind word.
“What are thou doing,” she says, kind of snootily.
“What does it look like,” I snap back.
“It looks like my stupid daughter is doing the wrong thing.” I try to tune out, but it’s pretty hard. Mom frowns. “I don’t want thou befriending thy girl, Jane, thou hear?”
The mist that forms her ghost stretches out, like a rope. It encircles my body, cold, coldness seeping into my lungs. I run. Fast. My feet make no noise, no crunches, no nothing. I follow Jane, who’s traveling by tree now. I follow her to an old, really old, tree. Light illuminates the forest, and then fades.
Holy Cow! Even if cows aren’t holy, Holy Cow! What was that? It happens again. I see Jane sneaking closer to l’arbre (tree), a curious look on her face. Suddenly there’s yelling and I realize it’s coming from Jane!
“Jane!” I scream, but she doesn’t hear me.
At least, I don’t think so. Her scream is filled with agony, and I rush forward to help. She’s gone! What? Where did she go?! Then I notice. Silence. I quickly back up into the trees as the glow, like pulsing, starts up again. An unaware squirrel shows me what happened to Jane. Whoah! It just got sucked up by the tree! Wait a minute . . . . Now I notice how there is no grass or plants-almost no soil!-near l’arbre (tree), so they probably got sucked up, too.
Is Jane dead? Creepy. I don’t want her ghost following me like my mom’s. I hesitate for a few minutes. Should I tell someone what happened? Nah. Should I tell someone what someone where I am? No way! A few minutes more of deciding, then I turn to leave.
A gasp sounds behind me, I whirl around and see, to my surprise, Jane! I back up even further into the trees. Jane looks very shaken up. Jeez girl, what happened?! I want to ask, but I restrain myself. Jane is covered in leaves, sticks, mud, and is strangely soaked in-water? This is weird! Jane takes a deep breath.
“Alright Jane, calm down,” she says. Hey, she talks to herself, too! “Just relax.”
She doesn’t look relaxed. Jane peeks into her cupped hands. What’s in there, what is it? I’m absolutely itching to know! She turns to leave. I go home, too.
The rest of the night I can’t sleep. I toss and turn, listen to my dad coughing and coughing and coughing. When I finalement (finally) do get to sleep it’s a restless night. I dream of a still pond ringed with fire. A stream so clear you can see the bottom. A mountain that touches the sky! I wake up with a start. Morning light creates patterns of dark and light on the straw. A wailing sound reaches my ears. I stumble out of bed and follow the sound. It leads me to mother and father’s chamber (room)! The door is open, and I can’t help peeking in. What I see shocks me to no end. Mother sits with Father’s head in her lap, weeping.
“Dead, dead! Why him?” She looks up, spots me, and her face hardens. “This is all thou fault!” she screams at me.
I back up. What?! What did I do??? Mother has a furious look on her face. I’m scared. She looks really mad. I remind myself that I’m not scared of anything! Hopefully!
“Go to thy room this instant!!!” She looks back down at Father. “Why Daniel? Why???” She whispers mournfully, a big change from yelling and scolding me.
I pad softly back to my room. What did I do? Father dead? A million questions run through my mind, but I decide it would be best if I wait to ask them. Mother’s in a bad mood. But I’m in a good one! So why don’t I draw?!
I take out my supplies. I dessiner (draw) a beautiful sunset, or at least, I think it’s beautiful because I have no color. The sea appears, sparkling, reflecting the sunset. Gorgeous. I aimer (love) that word, don’t you?! Gorgeous. Gorgeous, gorgeous, gorgeous. So sweet to say, like honey on your tongue. I’ve only tasted honey once in my life, but it was absolutely delicious! Hey, hold it, there’s another one of those words. Delicious! My charcoal stick adds a few seagulls in the sky. I sign my name at the bottom. I like to write my name with the ö filled in so that it looks like a face with the mouth open wide.
Suddenly my mother barges in. She gapes at what I’m doing. Uh-oh!!! I’m in trouble!
“What is that?!? What are thou doing?!?” She screams at me.
I wince as she wrenches my bark picture away. She rips it up and stomps on the pieces for good measure.
“Daniel’s dead and it’s all thy fault!” She says, pointing a finger at me. “If we hadn’t told them yes after Abigail and Samuel died,” (Abigail and Samuel are my dead mom and dad),“oh, if only . . .”
She rambles on and on. I start to try and sneak out the door but she fixes her eyes on me.
“Oh no you don’t! Thou, young lady, will stay in here until I say so! Go think about what thou have done!” Mother stomps back out.
I sit down, bewildered. Just stay calm, Chlöe!
I stare into space, daydreaming. My hands reach up and start to braid a piece of my hair. The day passes surprisingly quickly. L’ecole (school) is cancelled. It seems like the whole town has gotten the sickness. Five people have died already, Father and a few others. You know how they say spring doesn’t come overnight? Well, this sickness came overnight! Maybe spring will come overnight next year!
The whole town, or at least around my house, stinks horribly. It smells like garbage or rotting flesh-ewww! Mother brings me breakfast and lunch-I have to stay in my room all day long. We only have a few servants, and Mother has ordered them to bury Father’s body. Around afternoon I start to feel woozy. I start to cough, and can’t stop. Oh no! What if I’m getting what Father had?! Calm down Chlöe!! All I need is a little fresh air!!!
I silently slip out of my room, past my parent’s bedroom where Mother is snoring, and out the front door. Why didn’t I do this earlier? Mother’s been sleeping all day and it’s so easy! I meander about, heading in the general direction of the forest. Whoof! All this walking is making me tired! I m’assies (sit) down, my back against a tree, intending to rest for a couple of minutes. Instead, I fall asleep and wake up, totally refreshed, late at night. My stomach growls and I stuff some bread I put in my pocket before I left in my mouth.
I freeze as I hear something. Jane creeps passed me towards the forest. I stare, cheeks bulging with bread, as she enters. I swallow my bread. Why not follow her? So here I go, running without a sound towards where I know she’s going. The tree. The old oak with the pulsing light. We both arriver (arrive) a couple minutes later at the same time. She steps towards the pulsing light and is sucked up. I take a deep breath, gathering my courage. Who knew it would be this hard to step forward?!
I finally take a step and the first thing that hits me is pain. It feels like I’ve rammed into a solid wall! Ouch! Then I’m turning corners super fast and my intestines feel all weird. Now I’m surrounded in water. Oh! So that’s why Jane was soaked. Lucky I know how to swim! I learned how in . . . well . . . where I was born. As I said earlier, you’ll figure out later.
I kick out strongly with my legs and swim to the surface. I plunge back under as soon as my senses register what they’re seeing. I sputter back up. There, I see it again! I’m in the pond ringed with fire from my dream! My legs start to slow. I haven’t swum in such a long time that now, it’s hard. They stop moving altogether as I’m thinking I should probably swim towards shore! But what about the feu? (fire) How would I get ashore?! I make a weak attempt to swim to shore. Just as I’m going under and thinking this is the end, someone pulls me ashore! What, that makes no sense! I should’ve been burned or something by the fire. Hmmm . . . .
I cough up some water.
“Well, you gotta cough up all the pondwater if you wanna live,” someone says in a soft, sweet, voice. She pumps on my chest, and I spit up some more. “Much better! Hey, June! Come look at this’un.” I hear quiet footsteps, someone-probably June!-places her hand on my head.
“She’s tired,” June says in a very quiet voice. “A good sleep would be best. Now, don’t struggle, little one, this might hurt a wee bit.”
Hurt? It won’t hurt as much as feeling like you’ve rammed into a wall-hard! I think!
Strong, steady arms hold me in place as chaud (hot) hot hot hot HOT strips of cloth are tied on my head, arms, and legs. I start to squirm. Seriously! You call this helping me?!
“Shhh, it’s okay,” someone reassures me. I sweat. I pant. I feel like screaming, but I don’t.
Something pricks my arm hard and I fall unconscious.
Comment below if you think I should do more posts like this! Hope you enjoy!
I think that it is amazing how much the environment has changed in the past four-hundred years. It started as a beautiful landscape of animals and life, and the only inhabitants here, would use the land and take good care of it. Here are the top ten reasons our environment is is danger, (According to me)
1. Deforestation- We are demolishing forests faster than we can replant any. We are cutting down square miles of things that are keeping us alive, and in their place, putting massive structures that don’t even need to be there. All in all, deforestation is destroying the atmosphere.
2. Pollution- The amount of pollution in the world can be extremely overwhelming. The gas fumes from our cars are creating so much pollution in the air, that areas like Beijing are completely covered in fog. This not only damages our lungs, but it also damages the ozone layer in the atmosphere. There are also so many landfills that we don’t even need. What is the point in digging a hole in the ground, just so we can throw our trash down it?
3. Global Warming- Global warming has recently become such a big issue, and most people don’t even realize it. The pollution from our cars penetrates the ozone layer in our atmosphere that keeps our planet cool from heat from the sun. Not only are we destroying the ozone layer, but we are blaming it on other things, such as ‘the sun is getting hotter, it’s not our fault!’ Well you know what? You’re wrong!!!
4. Rising Sea Levels- As a cause of global warming, the seas are rising and have the threat of destroying houses that we spent so much money and materials from our Earth to build. If you ask me, the buildings should be destroyed, and we should re-use all of the materials in these buildings to make things that improve the environment.
5. Cell Phones- To me, cell phones are the most pointless inventions in history. They use so many rare materials, like Neodymium and Europium, and we get rid of them after a little while. Not only does it cost a lot of money to make, but in every city, we build cell phone towers that cost a lot of money, and use limited metals. We only have them for about a year, then we throw them out, just to get a better version, even though it is the exact same thing, with one change to it. Yes, I’m talking about you, iphone.
6. Social Networks- Social networks have blown up in the past ten to twenty years. For example, Facebook has about 500 million users who all use a little bit of energy every day, just to check their Facebook. Why is is so hard to meet up in person instead of wasting energy and money just to talk to someone?
7. Money- Money has been one of the worst things that has ever happened to the environment. One, its made from trees, (Which we don’t replant often, might I add), two, it has made us think that we can do anything we want, like construct buildings that we don’t need. Money has also made us believe that all of our problems can be solved with money, and yet, so many people have no money at all. We also build mints, and even though they recycle money, they still use way too much energy.
8. Mining- Mining can be very bad if you really think about it. It doesn’t damage the surface at all, (With the exception of buildings), but is still damages underground. The precious metals underneath the surface are taken for granted, and we use them like we have an infinite supply of them.
9. Poaching- Poaching is one of the worst things ever to happen to the environment. We kill of supplies of animals for no real reason but to get rid of them. I really enjoy the fact of people killing animals, and actually using every part to stay alive, just like the Native Americans, but there are so little people like this.
10. People- We are so ignorant to how much we are damaging the environment, we don’t really care what happens, and we think think that the human race will live on forever, but at the rate it is going at, we will all be gone by 2500. To people who try to get everyone to understand this, good for you, you will be the change in this world. Try to spread this message if you understand what I’m saying.
My parents and I recently decided that I will be attending Shawnee Mission Northwest next year instead of Shawnee Mission North, where I am supposed to go. Because I go to Hocker Grove, I had to submit a transfer request. Even though I’ve already transferred, I’ve decided to make a list of a few of the Pros and Cons of transferring schools. Feel free to leave any more you think of in the comments, along with which school you feel is better and why.
•Both schools have the International Baccelaureate graduate’s program.
•I can see the students from E.L. that I haven’t seen for two years
•I can get away from the people at North that I don’t enjoy being around
•I can walk to school (I actually live a lot closer to Northwest)
•I can meet new people
•I will miss out on Strolling Strings (and the vacation in my senior year)
•I won’t see my best friends as much
•I can’t take the biomedical program
•I can’t participate in the drama program (North has the #1 drama program in the Midwest)
Finish the list if you want! Once again, share your opinions below. I want to hear what you have to say, and if you feel like North and Northwest are not good schools, explain why.