Finding Great Blogs

Today, I looked at many of my classmates blogs and some of them really stood out to me.  This year,  I really started to become a blogger, but I haven’t had a chance to look at a lot of my fellow classmates blogs.  During class, I got the opportunity to look at many great blogs.

One blog that I thought was fabulous was Katharine’s Blog, all year long I have tried to read some posts by her and each time I have walked away with something.  The way Katharine writes is beautiful.  Her titles are what really draws me in.  I’m pretty positive that if someone else were to read her wonderful posts, her titles would draw them in too.  One title that I thought pulled me in was her post, 2.7 million. It was about adopting pets from the ASPCA and the pictures she chose tied it all together perfectly.

Another blog I thought was extraordinary was Ashley’s Amazing Blog.  Ashley’s blog was a neat blog to check out because her titles, which draws the audience in and the pictures she chose to go along with her posts.  One post of Ashley’s I think everyone should read is, her poem for Week 3, Activity 3 of the blog challenge.  The picture she chose to write about was a pair of old converse sneakers dangling over a phone wire. I thought the way the poem was written was really good and she used repetition for affect  in it.

These two blogs are two of many amazing blogs I have looked at this year and I would definitely recommend everyone to check their blogs out!

The Story of My Speech

A few weeks ago, Ava’s Dad, Mr. Jahnsen came in to talk to us about speech making.  The speeches must be on the topic of  whether, Jabar Smith should be executed with the death penalty or life in prison.  He talked about the three parts that makes a speech powerful, ethos, pathos, and logos.  Learning about these three parts made me a better speech writer because they help you capture the audience instead of it being boring to listen to  From past speeches I’ve had to write, I have noticed I get extremely nervous,   and  Mr. Jahnsen’s advice for speech making helped me learn many ways to get over my fears of speaking, such as memorizing the first few lines, my nerves will calm down and I will be good to go.

Choosing a side was very difficult for me.  I wondered what type of prison he would go to? As I later researched, I found out he would be sent to SuperMax in Colorado.  SuperMax is the the biggest, toughest federal prisons in the United States. Inmates there only get one hour of sunlight each day and then they are locked up for the other 23 hours of the day in a 77-87 square foot cell.  After I chose the side of life in prison for Jabar Smith, I found some key points to back up my opinion.  I thought that the fact that he only killed 3 people but injured 264 others, he should have to feel what he caused for others to feel; pain and suffering.  Another key argument I used was that he committed a federal crime and he should have to join other federal criminals in prison, instead of death.

I think the part in my speech that makes me most proud was my opening and closing.  I wanted to start out with a question to bring the audience in, but also the question I started with, ” Why does the United States of American respond to murder with murdering the criminals themselves?” It helps tell what side I am going to take, but it makes you wonder and think.  Also, in my ending, I ended with a question to that would make my audience think about what the right thing to do with Jabar, to give him what he wants, death, or life in SuperMax.

Overall, I really enjoyed the speech making process because it will help me in the future if I have to write any speeches.  When I deliver my speech to my audience, I am nervous I will stumble upon easy words or not pronounce something right, but when I read my speech I will try to remember the tips of speech making and being enthusiastic while I perform. I learned that speech making can take a really long time to perfect, but the end is worth it with the final copy.

Notorious Criminals are NOT Your Average Neighbors…


Al Capone Does My Shirts by Gennifer Choldenko is an historical fiction book about a boy Moose (his real name is Matthew) Flanagan who moves to Alcatraz for his sister, Natalie.  Natalie has what is now called autism and living and having his dad work on Alcatraz during the 1930’s will help pay for the special school.  The characters and events in this book are all fictional, but life on Alcatraz was true.

“Today I moved to a twelve-acre rock covered with cement, topped with bird turd and surrounded with water.”  Moose doesn’t want to be on the island.  He wanted to stay in his old neighborhood with all his school friends.  “I want to be on Alcatraz like I want poison oak on my private parts.”  Moose never wanted to make his home next to Al Capone and other criminals, but they needed to get Natalie into the special school and Moose has always been good and obedient.

I think everyone should read Al Capone Does My Shirts and the two other books in the trilogy because the author gives so many visual imaginary and sensory details that makes you feel the characters and life on Alcatraz in the 1930s. Being on Alcatraz for Moose and the other kids, means they could not stay away from talking or planning ideas with the criminals.  I could not put this book down, every page led me to find out what would happen to them. I think if anyone would like to read a relatively quicker read, they should definitely try this thriller.


Enormous Elephants

Elephants are the biggest land animals on Earth.  There are two different types of elephants, African and Asian.  African Elephants are the largest land animal in the world, a full grown female weighs around 7,000 to 10,000 pounds with a height of 10 feet from the toe to the shoudler.  The male elephant is even bigger, weighing in at about 9,000 to 14,000 with a height of 14 feet. When a baby elephant, called a calf is born it weighs close to 200 pounds and 3 feet tall!  When we are born, we aren’t even 10 pounds yet._DSC0940 International Fund for Animal Welfare Animal Rescue Blog via Compfight

To support it’s very large body, elephants legs and feet are made for supporting the thousands of pounds not running and jumping.  The way to tell the difference between African and Asian elephants is the ears.  African elephants have very large ears, in my opinion they actually look like Africa!

Unfortunately, the African elephants that is found in 37 countries was found on the threatened species list because of its population getting smaller and more human- elephant problems.  The reason why hunters poach elephants is because of their tusks;  they are made of ivory and ivory sells for a lot of money and elephants are the only ones that have.  In Africa, both the male and female elephants have tusks, which means they both have ivory.  This makes it easier on the poachers because they don’t have to look for one type of elephant, they can just take down them all.  Poaching is one of the reasons that is making the elephant population to decrease because the poaches have to kill the elephants for their tusk because they are too large to make them sleep while they take the tusks off.

Happy Mothers day! :) Sri Dhanush K via Compfight

Fourth of July Poem Week 6



Color flashes the sky over the horizon,

The “boom boom” of each flash drifts away

The crackling waves on the shoreline as the smoke smell lingers

Cool sand digs in to my feet to make a nest of warmth

Clapping hands and shouting after the display lights up the sky

Snuggling warm under a soft, blanket as the sounds are more frequent

All is quiet for a few moments as the last “bang” travels away

Week 5: Go For The Personal Best!

Swimming is probably my favorite sport.  I just love getting in the water, working hard, and being with friends.  The thing about swimming that would make it my favorite is that you aren’t going against another team, you are more going against yourself to get personal best times.   I complain about swimming a lot and always pull out excuses, whether it’s saying I don’t feel well, (which is sometimes true) or procrastinating after a school activity to get there later than normal.

In the article on USA swimming,, it talked about the magic of opportunity and breaking world records.  I know I would never ever break a record, I am not that athlete who is put on Earth to be the next swim star, but the part in this article  by  Mike Gustafson that stood out to me was, “You will never know when the swim of your life will happen.”  I’m not the greatest at swimming, but I try to do my best and I have fun doing it, and that is what matters the most.  The feeling after you finish a race and look up at the timing board and see a best time next to your name is an  awesome feeling of pride, that’s why I love to swim.  Because there is no one to compete against except your own best time.

I love the friend aspect of swimming.  Friendships in swim shows so much.  We all suffer through the harsh sets that our coach puts us through, the sets that lasts 20 minutes in total and we just keep going on with the same thing.  Swimming builds bonds of friendships that last a long time.  Swimming is my favorite sport because I can do what I love, race my hardest on my own, and be with my friends through the worst of the worst.  What is your favorite sport and why do you enjoy it so much?


  Shallowford Lakes via Compfight

Activity 4: Create an international event

If you could create an international event, what would it be called?  What would we be celebrating?  Create some advertising material you might use- eg logo, banner, image, flyer.

If I could create an international event it would be called ” International Respect and Kindness Day Across the Nation”  It would be a day where everyone is treated fairly toward each other no matter if it’s an enemy, best friend, or a person you hardly speak to.  It would also be about respecting your peers instead of arguing and fighting with them.  The point of this event is to just let some kids to know that they should be treated with respect and not have certain people hold something they did or said against them.

I think this is important because mistakes happen and some people are oblivious that people make mistakes and just think of what they did last time before respecting them again and treating them like any other person in the class.  This day may help everyone earn more respect, then just try to hurt people’s feelings on purpose by calling them out on every little thing they do wrong.  I know that when there is a kid in a class who just tries to be mean and disrespectful to a peer,  it might make the person wonder, “Why me? I always try to be nice to them, why can’t they just be nice to me back?”  Sometimes one nice, kind word instead of a hating word can mean a lot to the person.

So,  I think that if I created an international event, it would be, ” Respect and Kindness Day Across the Nation”  to make everyone feel united and not excluded by who they are because one person doesn’t like them.

Joyce Meyer Sometimes a single word can make all the difference BK via Compfight

If I Could Live Anywhere, Where Would I Live?

If I could live anywhere in the world when I’m older,  I would live in London.  Ever since I was young, I have always been interested in England. My future dream occupation is to be an interior designer and London has amazing architecture and character, that I love.  I think one reason that I have always been inspired to visit London is because one of my all time favorite movies that I probably have seen a million times, The Parent Trap has most of the setting take place there and if I haven’t had watched it, I might not have been interested in London.   Another reason I think I would live in London is that it’s a new culture that allows me to have opportunities to experience something different than New Jersey and the United States.

Even though my top choice would be London, I would also think it would be a neat experience to live in New York City by Central Park.  I don’t go into the city often, but I love taking the subway and trains in and out of New York and the hustle and bustle. I can just imagine spending the Christmas holiday’s in a cozy apartment, penthouse, or condo with a crackling fireplace.  Also, New York City is a big place for opportunities in interior design and fashion, so I would be able to work on my dreams.  I hope that in the future I do get to at least get to see the amazing skyline of London with my own bare eyes in my lifetime and be able to hop on a train to NYC more often then I do to just see a new place then where I live.

Should Technology Be Used with Younger Children?

58% of children, ages 2-5 know how to play and operate a video game, while only 52%  of the kids in that age group can ride bikes.  Children should start learning the basic skills and abilities for learning before teachers and parents introduce the uses of technology aids to the kids and classrooms because they will lose the ability to focus and keep their concentration if it’s introduced before then.

Throughout  the years, technology has become more and more common within everyday jobs and schooling because the schools are purchasing better laptops and promethean boards.   By being exposed to these resources,  students have been learning in a new and improved environment.  According to Technology in the Classroom: The Good and Bad,  the department of education said that it gives more than 1.1 million dollar grant for preschool programs.  I think  that when younger students are exposed to technology too early in life, it takes away from skills, such as riding a bike, cutting paper, and understanding numbers and letters.

For example the more  school’s and families take their children on educational trips when they are at a young age, they will  learn more  because it is a first-hand experience and memorable.  I still remember in kindergarten, when we went to Longstreet Farm in Holmdel.  The men and women who worked on that farm taught us  about how children and adults lived in the 1800s and how they made do with what they had without the help of technology.

There are many educational games online that are also are included in the game category.  Children should  learn from real life experiences first because they could be really good at doing addition or subtraction on a website that makes it a game, but not on a paper test.  On the other hand, if a learning game is really well made and memorable and makes addition or subtraction part of a game, children might remember the skills better.

Technology can be a good and useful resource for many schools, homes, or other learning environments, but it can also be a bad resource if it is overused instead of the natural  ways.   One example is,  9 out of 10 parents have said that their child that is under the age of 2 can operate an electronic device.  In my opinion,  I think that children that are not at the  preschool age level should be able to have a little understanding of letters, numbers, and other simple tasks that a regular toddler would be able to do if they were growing up before technology really started to invade our lives.    I do think that some video games give kids certain types of experiences and  different perspectives on the topic, but not in the same way.

Now there are so many different technology inventions for almost any use.  One example is a IPAD holder that holds the IPAD in the bathroom so when the child is potty-training, they can use the device to distract them from what they are supposed to be doing.  This invention is very useful because I think some toddlers have trouble getting started. Even though it helps kids get started with a distracter or ultimatum, I think it just makes them want to use it more.  Also, both Apple and Google Play have created almost 3,000 different homework apps and games all together.   These apps are helping students learn and remember a skill in a fun way, but overall  it could just make them more reliant to reach for a device in the future.

Many schools take their students on educational field trips, show a video, or come up with a creative project.  Technology can come in handy to prevent boredom in classrooms, but   unfortunately not all schools can afford the field trips or technology. If schools cannot afford the field trips, teachers can bring up a video that will teach, but can also liven up the classroom.  For example,  every Friday we watch The Week In Rap by Flocabulary and it tells about the week’s top news headlines.  To be honest, I don’t pay complete attention to news a lot, but when Friday comes, I learn a lot about what is happening with the world.

When Nicholas Carr, author of The Shallows: What the Internet is Doing to Our Brains said, “ The common thread in these disabilities, the richness of our thoughts, our memories and even our personalities, hinges our abilities to focus the mind and sustain concentration.” I think it means that when  children are taught to early using technology, it will take away from being able to really learn the math skills or reading from just a technology device without having the true experience.

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