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2008-2009

All the students in room 15 teach and learn from each other. The challenges that are achieved are limited only by the restrictions of their own minds!

by Fiver

teacher: Michael La Marr

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Article posted June 1, 2009 at 06:40 PM GMT0 • comment • Reads 114

I think that Norton Juster, the author of The Phantom Tollbooth, tries to convey the message, “It’s all in how you look at things.” This is the main lesson that Milo, the main character in this book, needs to learn the most so that he can change his negative view about life. Norton Juster puts a lot of word- play in the story which further conveys the message. Wordplay conveys this message because it is, “making fun” of the English language by giving a word a double meaning, giving the message that there is more than one way to look at the meaning of the word. Tock the Watchdog, who’s body is a huge clock, the Humbug, a giant bug, the Spelling Bee, a bee who spells everything, and the Dodecahedron, who has many faces, are all examples of this word play. The characters themselves also teach the theme of The Phantom Tollbooth. Alec Bings comes directly out and teaches Milo “It’s all in how you look at things,” while the rest of the characters teach it indirectly. Dr. Dischord and the awful DYNNE love loud and horrible noises and therefore teach Milo that sometimes bad things are necessary, and if you look at things correctly, they aren’t all that bad. Milo definitely needed to learn, “It’s all in how you look at things,”and so does everyone in the world. Without this lesson all knowledge and maybe even life itself will fade away. It is the nonphysical form of the Quadratic Equation.

Article posted June 1, 2009 at 06:40 PM GMT0 • comment • Reads 114



Article posted March 30, 2009 at 07:23 PM GMT0 • comment • Reads 75

The field trip to Westminster Woods was one the best field trips in my entire life! I had been waiting for this trip ever since second grade, and I was filled with dread that for some reason, I wouldn’t be able to go. Luckily, my parents let me go, and I had the time of my life. I had many favorite parts.

My favorite part of Westminster Woods was by far the tide pools. I loved seeing all of the amazing animals! The gumboot chiton was extremely interesting. I loved seeing all of its body parts! I also liked the sea anemones and found that it was interesting that their tentacles were so sticky. I also liked the gigantic kelp crab that Lupine found. It is amazing how these animals have adapted to all live in such a small space.

The recreation time at Westminster Woods was awesome. You wouldn’t believe what we got to do! We got to wrestle Mr.LaMarr on the cargo net! It was awesome! It was complete chaos! Since boys are so pugnacious, we had the best time! We just went flying into and onto other people! It was one of the most fun times I have had in my entire life! When I am old and I am retelling Westminster Woods to my grandchildren, I will tell them about the cargo net the most.

What I liked about Armstrong Redwoods was not the animal life, although we did see a pretty cool raven, but the plant life. It was amazing that a living redwood could be so huge! My instructional group saw a tree that just boggled me. It was over 300 feet tall! It was amazing to think about how many historical events that tree had lived through and how incredibly old it was.

I was very impressed that the food was so good in Westminster Woods. It was almost as good as my mom’s cooking, and the desserts where even better! I also liked the Garbology program. It taught me a lot about not wasting food. It was fun to try to conquer our previous record and see how little the class could waste.

I really had the time of my life in Westminster Woods and I hope that someday I could come back to the camp among the redwoods.









Article posted March 30, 2009 at 07:23 PM GMT0 • comment • Reads 75



Article posted December 16, 2008 at 07:12 PM GMT0 • comment • Reads 69

Fifteen-year old Megan Maxwell is tossed out of her house by the huge wave that struck Johnstown at 4:07 p.m. on Friday, May 31, 1889 because the dam broke in the book The Terrible Wave. Marden Dahlstedt, the author, writes about Megan as being in a “nightmare world” after being flung onto a mattress in the horrible flood that was occurring at the time. Dahlstedt gives some great descriptive quotes about Megan’s “nightmare world”.





Dahlstedt describes the breaking house and the beginning of the nightmare world in this sentence.



“Trunks whirled by, wicked looking boards splintered with nails, showers of broken glass winged a thousand tiny arrows, linens flapped like eerie white birds, chairs with their legs torn off went whistling by.”



I think this sentence is good. Dahlstedt used pretty frightening words such as “torn” or “eerie”. It creates the image of a “nightmare world”. These words make the passage frightening and similar to a nightmare.



Another quote that I thought gave a good description of Megan’s “nightmare world” was this:



“Painfully, [Megan] began to crawl toward the light, with a kind of blind animal instinct.”



I think this is a good quote. It makes you think that Megan has died and is going to crawl through the hole to heaven, although it is actually a hole in the roof.



I think Marden Dahlstedt is a great writer and writes very descriptive passages and is good at describing Megan’s “nightmare world”. She has written a great book that everyone should enjoy. I’ve enjoyed writing this blog.

Article posted December 16, 2008 at 07:12 PM GMT0 • comment • Reads 69



Article posted November 7, 2008 at 07:29 PM GMT0 • comment • Reads 55

I loved the field trip to Coloma. My favorite parts were standing where James Marshall stood, going through the cemetery, and panning for gold. I learned that Marshall and Sutter didn't get rich from the gold rush, although they did become famous because of it. I never thought the gold rush was such a big event before, but I do now!

Article posted November 7, 2008 at 07:29 PM GMT0 • comment • Reads 55



Article posted November 6, 2008 at 05:31 PM GMT0 • comment • Reads 50





Getting to Golden Gulch was extremely difficult and had its consequences. On our first attempt, we took the land route. We had to turn around because our oxen had little grass and starved to death. This was because we had left in early March. On our second attempt we sailed aboard the Golden Princess around Cape Horn. It took us so long that we didn’t get a bonus for getting there early. It cost us 84 gold nuggets just to get to California. I thought this price was outrageous! Despite all the consequences, such as being thrashed around wildly while going around Cape Horn, or walking many miles to get back home, we got a good claim in Golden Gulch. Getting to Golden Gulch was difficult, but i think my team will eventually strike it rich!

Article posted November 6, 2008 at 05:31 PM GMT0 • comment • Reads 50



Article posted October 10, 2008 at 09:24 PM GMT0 • comment (5) • Reads 78

In chapter 15 of the book The Cay, the author,Theodore Taylor,”killed” one of the two main characters named Timothy, leaving 11 year-old Phillip blind and alone on the small, forgotten cay that they were stranded on together. I think Taylor did this because he wanted to make the story dramatic. I just finished a book in which the author kills 3 of the 5 main characters. It made the story very dramatic. Killing a main character makes the story dramatic because it makes you think,”How can this character have died? He was so important to the story!”

I think it was a good choice for Taylor to “kill” Timothy. It made me think “How can this little, blind boy survive on a small cay without an adult and almost no chance of rescue?” I actually think it was good that Timothy died. The story wouldn’t be as good if it didn’t happen. Every good book has a bit of shock,and I think Taylor definitely gave shock to The Cay.



Article posted October 10, 2008 at 09:24 PM GMT0 • comment (5) • Reads 78



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