6th grader Lucy submitted this informative and interesting piece about an equally interesting animal. Post your questions in the comments below and maybe she can answer them!
What places would you like to travel to? Annie has been thinking about this a lot and wrote the following essay. Some of these ideas are turning into story ideas. Let her know what you think of her piece in the comments!
Kwame Alexander wrote an amazing book called The Crossover. It’s about these two boys named Josh and JB. They love playing basketball and are having a great time, but in the middle of the book there’s a twist and their family deals with hard loses and issues which really sets the boys back. This is a amazing basketball book but also tells a heartbreaking story. The author wrote this book in verse (poetry) which makes it very detailed and fun to read.
This book is really easy to get hooked into because of the way it was written like poetry. I recommend this book for its amazing story and I believe all people would love this book no matter who you are. I also recommend his other book that just came out called Booked about soccer if you think you think you would like that more. I hope you will go read these amazing books and if you have already read it recommend it to someone you think would like it.
May 8th, 2018
Standardized Testing Is Standardized Stupid
Imagine an 8 year old boy sitting in his classroom taking the state-mandated standardized test. His palms begin to sweat as he looks at the next problem. His head begins to hurt, and he starts to feel dizzy. This little boy just wants to go home. He’s tired after spending three weeks in class preparing for this test. He begins to feel nauseous. There is no way he can finish this test. This is a problem across the country that has gone too far. Standardized tests have created a roadblock by stressing students out and intruding on class time. States should limit the number of standardized tests and use other methods for determining the intelligence of their youth.
One reason that standardized tests should not be used in schools is that they stress out students to the point of being sick, fatigued, and depressed. The Alliance for Childhood, a nonprofit, nonpartisan organization that advises on early education, stated that, “standardized tests literally make kids sick.” Many students reported feeling nauseous, having headaches, and feeling light headed. Parents of students reported that their children were having trouble falling asleep and being in tears over the test the next day. Does it seem necessary to make kids sick in March, April, and May, just to see which students have to go to summer school and to satisfy a government bureaucracy?
Another reason that standardized tests are not suitable for our schools is because a large chunk of class time is spent on preparing for the tests. Pre-AP classes that move ahead of the normal standards of the typical standardized test have to put the brakes on their higher level classwork to prepare for the test that the students, by being in the Pre-AP class, have proven that they can master anyway. According to a survey conducted by George Washington University, 81% of teachers believe that they spend too much class time preparing for standardized testing. Is it fair to students, who are falling behind the rest of the world, to waste their time on more standardized tests? Is it fair to teachers, whose salaries are already in the toilet, to cut short their lesson plans for the satisfaction of their respective state governments?
People who support standardized testing will say that these tests will evaluate a student’s strengths and weaknesses when it comes to a certain subject, and that it helps a teacher roll over certain subjects that students have already mastered and spend more time on other areas that students had more trouble with on the tests. However, a student’s grades from that school year from different units should be adequate for helping a teacher in the next grade level cater to the class. For example, if a student in math made an A on almost every assignment relating to linear functions, but failed some assignments relating to quadratic functions, then a teacher in the next grade level should already have enough information to use to help the student review and succeed in quadratic functions.
In conclusion, states should stop using standardized tests in schools because of the intrusion on students and teachers. If we, the people of the United States, are trying to help our students catch up with the rest of the world, we can’t waste money and class time on expensive tests. We must also think of that 8 year old boy taking the standardized test mandated by his state. Free him from his chains, and free all the children across America like him.
ELA Per 2 Orchard
Not All Heroes Carry Guns
Police officers are heroes and much like, “Not all heroes wear capes,” not all heroes carry a gun. Teachers are heroes to a lot of people and that’s because they teach, and they love and care about their students. Sometimes someone doesn’t love their teacher or someone at school; and sadly bad people will take a lethal weapon designed only to end someone’s life and end students’ lives. How did they get this weapon, you might ask? Well, because guns are too easy for someone to get even if they’re crazy. That is exactly what happened in Parkland, Florida; a young man took an AR-15 and he killed 17 people. So, students went into action, because they didn’t want their school to be shot up. President Donald Trump says we should give teachers guns so that they can shoot the school shooter, along with a small bonus, but that’s a TERRIBLE idea; violence isn’t the answer. I believe we shouldn’t give teachers guns.
Just a few days ago, I went to a “March For Our Lives” march. My mom was protesting with me because she believes that we should not go to school in fear of getting shot while we are trying to learn. Gun control has gotten a lot of press lately, but there have always been people protesting against the terrible gun laws and demanding gun control; I was in that group of people. I was protesting for gun control after the Sandy Hook Elementary School shooting, where 27 people were killed, at city hall. Six years later, we’re still dealing with the same problem. We are still fighting for gun control and schools are still being shot up; we need to prevent the sale of more assault weapons. We need to make it a lot harder and rarer for schools to be shot up. If we give teachers guns then someone could steal it or a teacher could accidentally or even purposely shoot someone.
I believe that if everyone one realized that we shouldn’t give teachers guns and we should have gun control, people would feel safer and be safer. There would be less crime because there would be gun control. There would be fewer school shootings because people with mental illnesses wouldn’t be able to get a weapon that easily. Students would be safer because teachers wouldn’t have a gun around them. That’s the reason I believe that teachers shouldn’t get guns and we need reasonable gun control.
The Truth About American Football
Have you ever wondered how it feels like to play American Football? To get tackled, to get pushed around, to possibly get injured? How about let your own little child play Football? There has been many injuries in football that involve young teens. More than ever nowadays. These injuries can have have a negative impact on their lives.Teens under the age of twelve should not play American tackle Football because the sport isn’t safe enough.
One reason is a research conducted by Boston University showed that teens who start playing football at a young age are more likely develop CTE, Chronic Traumatic Encephalopathy. CTE is a brain disease that you get when you sustain too many blows to the head and damage your brain. CTE is basically brain trauma and it can be very severe at times. Tau, a protein, forms clumps on your brain that eat away at brain cells. The loss of many brain cells can cause memory loss, confusion, impulse control problems, aggression, depression, anxiety, and suicidal thoughts. Do you really want your child to suffer in the future? Do you want to lose a loved one sooner than you expected? Then avoid all this trouble and do not let your child play American Football.
Another reason is if your child plays American Football, it can effect their education. Teen brains are still developing and getting your head getting bashed in multiple times may delay that progress. According to Neurology Journals, teens under the age of twelve are more likely to develop attention problems and it can have a negative impact on your chilld in the classroom. Would you really like to have you child study their butts off for the major History test that is a major part of their grade and then the next day, they forget all of it? Would you really like to have your child to play football rather than focus on their education? Do you really want to roll the dice and hope your child becomes a pro? Less than two percent of football players goes on to become a professional athlete?
I can see what you may be thinking, “Playing football can teach kids the fundamentals of teamwork and leadership! How can that possibly be bad?” Well yes, they can but those fundamentals that they learn wouldn’t mean anything when they die of a brain disease? Now would that? The helmet bashing, the constant scratches and bruises, the possible breaking of your bones. You can’t let this pass by every time this happens! Someone must take action about this!
In conclusion, teens shouldn’t play American tackle football because it can cause a life time of pain and suffering. All the injuiries sustained by your child, your baby, your world, your everything should be avoided at all costs. Don’t let your child play football.
Why The Arts Matter
The effect of teaching the arts in schools is severely underestimated. Each year, we see fewer arts programs in schools being funded. What most people don’t realize is that the arts can actually benefit you in many ways, like how they help with the development of necessary fundamental skills.
For one, schools that teach the arts are proven to have better overall test scores. Take the West Michigan Academy of Arts & Academics, or the WMAAA. This Michigan school is known for taking typically uninteresting topics and teaching them through the arts. For example, they might take math and try teaching it to their students through something like dance. The WMAAA test scores rival some of the highest-rated schools in their district, and those of neighboring districts, too.
The arts are also proven to make you happier. Researchers at the Brooklyn College and the Boston College conducted an experiment where they took about 80 kids aged 6-12 and had them rate their mood after prompting a bad mood in them by having them recall a bad memory. They then had them draw out the incident and rate their moods. It was found that their negative moods had improved.
Now, some might argue that while the arts are important, they shouldn’t be taught in schools because schools are for preparing for careers and teaching students about them, and that it’s really hard to find a good, supportive career in the arts. They might also think that funding is better spent on topics like sports or STEM. Well, the arts can actually help people think about things in a different way. If taught at an early age, the arts can even help with necessary fundamental skills, like motor and decision-making skills.
All in all, while it’s thought by some that the arts being taught in school is a luxury, they’re actually on the verge of being necessary. They aid in fundamental skills in children, higher grades and test scores throughout schools, and they just make you happy. So why wouldn’t you want the arts to be taught at your school?
Standing For the Pledge
Ever since kindergarten, students have been taught to stand and recite the American Pledge of Allegiance. But what if that’s not fair? Schools never told kids they had a choice to stand or sit. They never said anything about freedom of speech, or expressing your thoughts and exercising your rights.
In some school districts, a parent’s signature is required to be able to sit for the pledge. I find that ridiculous. Each person has their own rights, no matter their age. A student doesn't need a parent to speak for them, they have a voice too, and it can be very powerful if they use it correctly. When students are in their classrooms, the teachers will often ask everybody to stand when the pledge is being recited. If someone chooses to sit, they will most likely be refused this privilege. The teacher would ask them again to stand up, and make sure they stay that way. In some cases, if you want to sit you have to bring a signed note from your parents that gives you permission. A parent isn't you, and they can’t speak for you.
In 1892, the American Pledge of Allegiance was created to celebrate the 400th year anniversary of Columbus discovering America. In 1942, the pledge was recognized by the American government, and became official. The words "I pledge allegiance to the Flag of the United States of America and to the Republic for which it stands, one nation, indivisible, with liberty and justice for all." were the original pledge. After that, “under God” was added, and lots of negative feedback was received from angry Americans. Because not all Americans believe in God, it was considered unfair to have this as a part of the pledge. Even now, I don’t think this part of the pledge should even be included. I know that someone could choose to not recite this part of the pledge, but it is not needed. About 89% of Americans believe in God. Even though that is the majority, what about the other eleven percent? They want to express themselves too, so let them.
Personally, there are some things I don't want to support, like rape, racism, sexism, and people being kicked out of their home. I don't want to pledge to people who don’t support DACA. or people who are racist and sexist. I basically don’t want to pledge to Trump. And I really don’t want to be forced to.
Overall, freedom of speech is still a big issue, and need to be solved as soon as possible. Each person in every population is an individual, and has their own rights. They have their own thoughts, and their own ways of expressing them. Each student in every school has their own opinion, and even though standing or sitting seems like a simple thing, it can show a lot about them, and if they don't want to support certain things, they don't have to.
Scho - 4
Tackling Your Health
It’s fourth and goal. The tension is high with three seconds left on the clock. It’s now or never. The quarterback gets the snap, throws a 5-yard pass. It’s good! The Mustangs won in a miraculous way! Football is such a beautiful sport with beautiful moments. Yet some doctors and parents want this sport banned from schools. I think that students should be allowed to participate in football. It keeps you healthy both physically and mentally, and you develop great bonds with your teammates.
Playing football requires physical training. It keeps you in shape and feeling good. During the football season at my school, we did workouts. This consisted of sandbells, lifting weights, running around the campus, hill exercises, and sprints. Doing this training improves your muscle strength, boosts your endurance, and helps deliver oxygen and nutrients to your tissues.
On top of that, you gain a remarkable bond with your teammates. It helps you learn how to be outgoing. It teaches you to be sociable. During this season I met a few people that I thought I’d never be friends with. But since football is a team sport, it made us closer together. Along with that, football challenges you mentally. Such as overcoming the adversity of a turnover or a loss. This helps your academic life by helping you deal with getting a low grade on a test. It makes you determined to do better.
However, football does have its risks. The injuries you can get due to football can be very minor, or fatal. For example, spraining your ankle is pretty minor compared to other injuries. But you can also suffer from a concussion. Risking the possibility of getting these injuries is very dangerous. This sport is risking the lives of kids. Although this may be true, other sports suffer from injuries just as great as football’s. According to an article by John Hopkins Medicine, about 200,000 children from the ages 5 to 14 are sent to emergency rooms due to bicycling. Comparing that to football’s 215,000 children from the ages 5 to 14 sent to an emergency room, the range isn’t as wide as you’d think. This clearly proves that football is not the only sport that suffers from serious injuries.
In conclusion, I think students should be allowed to play football. It keeps you physically and mentally healthy. To add onto that, you develop a great bond with your teammates. Overall, football is a great sport with valuable things that are helpful.