Earth Hour

Today in english class we watched a video on earth hour!! Earth Hour is one hour every year when everybody around the world turns off all of there lights. This saturday from 8:30 pm to 9:30pm is the hour to turn off your lights!! This is one thing that everybody around the world can be apart of, and it helps people be connected with one another from different countries!!! Remember anybody has the power to stop the climate change.

Are the Sinclair’s really perfect, or is it all an act??


Today in Bella and I’s book club discussion we talked about the contrasts between the Sinclairs and Gat. The author describes Gat with dark skin with dark hair and dark clothing. This is a contrast to how the author describes the Sinclairs, white skin with blond hair and they were described as american girls. This topic helped our discussion be long and well discussed. Overall I think that our discussion was very good but one thing that we didn’t really do was use page numbers and excerpts to explain our thinking.

This past week we tried a new technique to make our lit circle better. We video taped our discussion and edited it. This helped us because we can see if we used page numbers and if we really explained our ideas. The video also helped me notice how much participation each one of us got. Since my group has only 2 members we get most equal participation.

Activity 2||Cupcake Queen

Baking is like a scientific experiment. Either you get it right or you get it wrong. I love to bake, first of all if I could I would eat all the sugary things in the world, also I like to decorate the cupcakes and cakes, even though they always end up looking awful it is still fun! Every chance I get, I bake. My favorite things to bake are red velvet cupcakes, with cream cheese frosting. The first time I baked a red velvet cupcake was in fifth grade. Everybody in our class was assigned a secret santa. At first,  had no idea what to give to mine, and then I came up with the idea of baking! At the time I had no idea how to bake so I had to have help from my mom. Ever since that year, I have baked that kind of cupcakes many times! When I bake follow a recipe Have you ever tried a red velvet cupcake that melts in your mouth?

Blog Post #3|| Ungifted

Today in Madeline and I’s lit circle we talked about contrasts between different characters. We both notice while reading that each character thinks differently. For example after the dance, chloe says “this was the greatest night of my life!” this was the complete opposite of what Donovan says, “This was the worst night of my life.” Chloe is always so excited about social things when Donovan never wants to be involved in them.

Three big questions that I had when reading this book were:

When are the teachers going to find out that Donovan is not suppose to be there?

Why does Chloe care so much about being normal?

When is Dr. Shultz going to find Donavan?

I believe that the first question I brought up is the most important. While reading this book I kept thinking how donavan was going through with this. It is very obvious that he is not qualified to be part of the gifted program, so why don’t the teachers realize this?

Blog Post #2|| Ungifted

The first four chapters of the book Ungifted by Gordon Korman was very surprising. Donovan, the main character of this book is a typical middle school troublemaker. It starts out with him making a huge mistake, that leads to him going to the superintendent’s office. While that is going on at school, at home Donovan is worried about his parents finding out and his sister is worried about her husband, in Afghanistan, and the dying dog. One day waiting at home, Donovan received a letter from his school. His parents open the letter, but it is not what you think it is. Korman uses many clever metaphors and complex words that make the story very interesting. He also changes perspectives in every chapter.

In our lit circle today me and my partner talked about all of the humorous metaphors. One excerpt that I liked was:

“ Mom was shocked at the sight of of me over the break fast table. “I was studying,” I told her with a yawn wide enough to drive a truck through.

“You look like Wile E. Coyote after the Roadrunner dropped him off a cliff,” my sister said, Katie. She was twenty six, and had moved back with us while her husband was deployed to Afghanistan with the Marines.  “Thanks, Miss Goodyear,” I retorted absently. Katie was seven months pregnant, possibly with a baby hippo.”


I think that this quote is important because it shows how the author really goes in depth with explaining the characters physical characteristics but also her emotional characteristics.


Final Blog Post ||Ungifted

While looking back at my notes, I noticed that I annotate in many different ways. In the margin of the book, I write down the patterns I notice and how the characters are introduced. I think of how the characters are tied into the story how they support the theme and plot. When I notice something new about the character I write it down in the margin. I also write down ideas or big questions that I have about the book or what might happen next! When I notice a sentence or a phrase that I like or think is funny I highlight it and sometimes write comments about it. I usually write right in the book, but sometimes used my RRJ to elaborate on my thinking.



When reading Ungifted, I had a theory that the author, Gordon Korman, was using hints in the book to try and show that Donovan went to the Academy for a reason. I think that reason is to help the kids at the academy get out of their socially awkward state and have them have fun and not always thinking about school or homework. The only one at the Academy who wants to be “normal” is Chloe. Also, I believe that while Donovan is helping the kids at the Academy be more normal, the kids at the academy are helping Donovan be better in his school studies.



All thanks to Donovan Curtis.


Obviously, I understood Donovan hadn’t made any of this happen directly. He couldn’t possibly have destroyed the Hard Castle gym, forcing them to move the dance to ours. Nobody was capable of shaping human events like that.  (122)



Even though nobody at the Academy knows about what Donovan did, they are always talking about it in a good or sometimes in a bad way. This quote reflects a good thing. Even though Donovan destroyed Hardcastle and made the kids at Hardcastle maybe mad, he is starting to make the kids at the Academy happy and more enthusiastic about outside of school activities.



“I thought they were my friends when I showed them the robot, “ I replied. “But then they went behind my back and wheeled it into the gym, so thousands of idiots could use it as a punching clown!!”


“What do you care about their robot?” Katie challenged.

“I’m the driver,” I argued.” We’re like the Lone Ranger and his horse.”


This quote shows the other side of my theory, that Donovan is being changed by the students at the Academy. Before Donovan gets in trouble and was accidentally sent to the gifted school, he would have helped the Daniels with this prank instead of being mad at them.


Korman shows that people can change in a big way. Reading this book helped me notice that people can change very dramatically just by the setting they are in and who they are with. Korman uses the big contrast between the two schools, trouble making school and then a school where the kids follow the directions and are very focused on school work. Sometimes it is good for people to change the scenery and not be with the same people all of the time.


If I were to rate this book out of 10, I would rate it as a 8. I think that this plot is good but I thought it was a little bit boring. What I did really like about the book was how the author put funny metaphors!!






Literature Circles: Of Mice And Men

Literature circles are kind of like book clubs. In a lit circle you talk about books, or other things you have read. When you talk about a book you talk about what you liked,  what themes you noticed, what kind of personalities the characters have, what you think will happen next or even what you think the book title means and how it relates to the book. I would say that the hardest thing is having a leader, getting the conversation started, staying on topic and knowing who should be talking. Sometimes it is a little bit awkward when you don’t know what to talk about. It really helps to have someone step in and be a leader. One thing that I like about lit circles is that it helps you understand the book more and it gives you the opportunity to hear other peoples views on the book. When you hear other peoples views it might make you think of the book in a different way or it might help you come up new questions. Today in our lit circle we will be talking about the first chapter of “Of Mice And Men.” I am going to bring a couple of questions and comments that we can talk about. In this book there is a lot to notice, a couple things that I noticed was, Lennie, one of the main characters, is compared to animal a lot. Another thing that I noticed was that George, another main character, covers up how much he loves and cares about Lennie by being mean to him. Our lit circle went well today, everybody contributed their ideas and there wasn’t much confusion about who’s turn it was. There were just a couple things that were a little bit difficult. For example, it was hard for my group to stay on topic, one thing in the book lead to something in our day to day life and that lead to something else. Eventually one of us would get us back on task but it would take a while. Lit circles really help people understand what they are reading and they are a fun way to learn about new things!!!!

By: Harper


American Teenager Project


                                                              By: Miriam

Harper, age 13, California


I have a mother and father, and they get along well. I have a sister

and a brother, and we fight sometimes, but we still love each-other. My sister is sixteen years old, and my brother is nineteen years old.

I think family is important, because it means that there is always somebody to stick up for you and love you. When I am older I do want a family of my own. I do not think there is such thing as a perfect family, because a perfect family is a family that always gets along and a family that never fights.

I’m in 8th grade, and my favorite part of my school is the community, how everybody is supportive and loving. My favorite subjects are science and math, because in science you learn how everything works. I like math, because it’s easy, and there is always an answer. I think school is important, because it sets you up for a future, and helps you get a job

My first job was when twelve, and I make $12 an hour for teaching kids how to play volleyball. I use the money I make for buying clothes and candy. If I am not making enough money for everything I need, I use my parents money.

What bothers me most about myself, is when I know I am making a mistake and I can’t fix it, and I know I am a huge procrastinator. I am happiest when I am with my friends and family, and when I am cuddling with my pets.

My earliest memory as a child is when I was in preschool and we would make paper airplanes and play pin the donkey.