Thursday, November 14, 2013

Passion Project Reflection

So far Jenna and I have gotten a lot of work done on Forensic Scientists.  I believe that if we continue at this pace that we could get done and maybe even a little early so that we can practice presenting it.  We have done so much research so far, although we still have much more to learn.  So far we have researched mass murderers, serial killers, some mysteries (boy in the box), autopsy, forensic scientists, unknown people, and started a little part of our crime scenes.  We have completed 25 slides so far and are aiming for about 35.  All we have left to do is make two crime scenes, list more sources, and talk about how criminals think.  Jenna and I haven't faced any obstacles yet.  We could run into some still though, for example we could not be able to access the crime scenes, forget to list our sources, and not find information on how criminals think.

Friday, October 25, 2013


Recently in my Rogate class we have been talking about grades.  For me grades try to help me set goals for myself, for example this year I set a goal to maintain an A average in all my classes.  By setting this goal I'm telling myself to "do good" in class and "try my hardest".  These strategies actually do seem to work for me, although they don't for everyone.  For some people a grade is just simply a letter in the alphabet that their parents stress to them about.

I believe the purpose of grades is like a checkpoint to show where you are and what you can understand.  Schools use them so that they can see what teachers need to teach for longer periods of time and more thoroughly.  I personally think that the point of grades is to reflect more on the teacher rather than the student.  I honestly hate the point of grades now in days, and think that they are pointless; all they do is stress kids out and most of the time don't even reflect the child accurately.  If they spread out the different grades into different categories it would help show you.

My opinion of the current grade system, easy, I hate it.  Absolutely hate it.  Instead of showing you which skills you need to study and improve on they just give you a grade out of 100%.  Apparently it makes it easy to understand how you are doing in that class, when really it could mean the exact opposite.  Instead of your teachers giving you a grade out of 100% or an A, B, C, D, or F, they should tell you which skills you have mastered and which you need to improve on.  This way you can study what you really need to learn instead of a whole bunch of information that you already know.  This is basically a shortcut for the teachers.

This current grading system helps us by looking at a simple number and knowing which classes I need to improve on, however isn't always accurate.  One reason I say this is because ONE day in history I forgot to complete the back of homework and my teacher gave me a zero.  But the thing is, I could have easily completed the assignment in 5-10 minutes but because I forgot to do it i was only awarded 1/2 credit, which brought my grade down 1-2 whole points.  Although, I do know teachers who offer extra credit, last year in my chorus class at one point I had a 89 so I brought in a box of paper cups and my teacher bumped my grade up two points just for that.  Taking off or adding points doesn't show you what the student understands or doesn't at all.

You see, some kids actually do care about grades, like me.  Others, not so much.  I put so much effort into all of my work to get what, a 90% because i misspelled a couple words and misused different types of punctuation.  I think that we should transfer to the standards based grading system.  I say this because this way it will show us what we don't quite understand and what skills we have accomplished.  We will be able to finally not have a 92% in Algebra, but a 4 in how you solve linear equations and a 3 on order of operations and parentheses.  Grades are such an important part in many peoples lives, why not make it more fair?

Wednesday, October 16, 2013

First Post

Hi everyone!  My name is Karissa Flynn and I go to Northern Burlington Middle School.  I am in 8th grade and currently in a Rogate class.  There is actually a bunch of stuff that is going good in my life right now, for example, I currently have good grades in all of my classes.  I also have been able to associate with many new people this year because I have a lot of different people in my classes than I had last year.  I have also made some new friends this year.  Well I haven't gotten my phone taken away recently so that's good too.  I also am looking forward to hanging out with a munch of my friends on Saturday and then going to one of my friends birthday party on Sunday.  I am also happy because it is cheer season right now.  Another thing that I am looking forward to is participating in winter cheerleading.  So many things have been going well for me in my life recently and I hope it stays this way.  Thank you for reading, bye!

Wednesday, June 5, 2013

The Giver

Honestly, i hated the ending of The Giver.  I can't stand cliffhangers, for some reason I always have the need that I need to know what happens at the end.  Of course ambiguous endings make it a mystery and exciting, although they also can sometimes make you not stop thinking about the for a period of time.  I want to get an answer from Lois Lowry wether Jonas lives or dies! I mean, what did ever happen to him? To Gabe?  Sadly, Lois wants the readers to think about the ending, to make up their own.  She has been interviewed many times about the ending of the book, though.  Some of her responses appear below.

GR: Who do they usually ask about?
LL: Most readers in the early days would ask about Jonas [the protagonist of The Giver]. By the time I wrote a couple more books [2000's Gathering Blue and 2004's Messenger], it was clear where he was. But I had not dealt with the baby, and I had not realized that kids would be so attached to a toddler. I started [writing Son] with him as an adolescent, but I found my own attention diverted by who had given birth to him. What turns out to be the final third of the book, when he began questioning about his own mother, started out as the beginning of the book.

GR: Do you think that love for the book made you feel a certain sense of responsibility? A need to give readers an ending?
LL: I suppose I did. Not consciously. When you ask the question, I realize I must have. Mostly I felt I wanted to tie things up, to make people feel satisfied with the ending. I know that, nonetheless, there will be some readers who will still ask, "Yes, but what about Gabe?" I think you can assume that he'll be OK.

Student Question: Dear Lois Lowry, My name is Melissa. My class just finished the book The Giver (aka Great Book). But we have to do a project and ask you questions: Did Jonas marry anyone in his later life? Did Jonas go to college? Did Jonas ever return to the community? Did Jonas get a job? Did Jonas buy a house? Please answer these questions as soon as possible. Thanks a lot and good job on both Number the Stars and The Giver. I read both. Melissa
Lois Lowry: You will meet Jonas again very soon in a book called Messenger to be published in April. I don’t want to ruin the book for you by answering your questions too specifically. But it is about 7 years after the end of The Giver. So Jonas is a young man. He has a particular role, or job, in the place where he lives. He lives in his own house. Not married... But... oh, that’s all I’m going to tell you.

I believe that Jonas does live!  I think that he stayed alive through the journey to "elsewhere" and has finally reached it.  Some of my classmates think that Jonas had died and that was just a happy memory going through his head as he passes, but they are wrong.  I can't exactly explain why I think Jonas is still alive, I can just feel it.  Also Lois sort of hinted at the fact that he is still alive by saying he appears again in the book, Messenger.  This takes place about 7 years after The Giver and there is a character named Jonas.  Many of the students in my class also got confused by the ending, "Behind him, across vast distances of space and time, from the place he had left, he thought he heard music too.  But perhaps it was only an echo."  This kind of threw me off while trying to decide if he was alive or dead, but i finally realized that it was real, or literal.  He is not dreaming or dead, he has finally reached this "elsewhere" that he had been searching for.

Wednesday, January 16, 2013

20% Project

I am planning to do my project on Pediatricians. I have always wondered about becoming a Pediatrician and now I am finally going to be able to find more information about it by researching this topic. For my project I will research all about Pediatricians and once I find something I like and want to learn more about I will collect information on that topic and make it into a cool presentation. I chose this topic because when I get older I would like to become a Pediatrician and I believe that this information will help me.

I will not need many materials for my project because I am simply just looking up information on the internet and maybe getting some books from a library, then after I have collected all my information I will just need a website or PowerPoint to make my presentation. Some things that might interfere with my project is if my computer crashes and brakes then I won't be able to get that much material, only the information that is in the books. Another obstacle is that all of my research could get lost and I would have to start all over again.

There are not many people I can consult my project about with, which makes it even harder and a bigger challenge. Although, there is one person I could consult my project about with, my doctor. I say this because he could give me some valuable information on his career and help me see how it all works.

Tuesday, January 8, 2013

Does advertising influence or reflect teen culture?

For my assignment that I was recently given in class we had to answer the question, “does advertising influence or reflect teen culture?”  It took me a while to finally come up with an answer to this question because it could go either way, but I finally decided that I think advertising influences teen culture.  Advertising can influence teens in many ways, for example, how you act, what kind of clothes you wear or you shape, and what kind of music you listen to.

Advertising can affect the way that teens act, which influences teen culture.  Many teenagers will try to be like the people in advertisements, and will change to be like them.  This could be good in a way if they are trying to get you to help out in your community, but usually they are trying to get you to buy their product.  Many companies try to get teens to buy their product because they say its “cool”.

Fashion and your shape also take a very large role in teen culture.  Many teenagers say they need to wear the latest trends, but have you ever wondered wear these trends come from?  They don’t come from the teens themselves, they come from magazines and big corporations that draw you in by using a cool slogan or a hot model, says .  They also use models that are unbelievably skinny, which influences many teen girls to go on unhealthy and risky diets which will not help them, but hurt them.  Another thing is that you probably have never seen an “ugly” model before? You probably haven’t because it will affect the influence that the company has on teens.

Another major thing that influences teen culture is music, specifically MTV.  MTV has a lot of power on teens these days.  They can turn any band or artist into superstars with just a little marketing and some show time.  Teens seem to like whoever is played on MTV, which turns bands and artists into stars!

All of these things add up, giving teens less and less influence on their own culture.  also says that as we see more and more advertisements every day we should stop and think to ourselves, is this reflecting our culture or the big corporations.  We shouldn’t let the media control our whole life, take some control and decide some things on your own.

Thursday, January 3, 2013

Throughout the Year of 2012

I learned many things throughout the year of 2012, for example I learned to be myself, to not stress out over everything, and to try my hardest no matter what comes my way.  I chose to be myself because I would rather have true friends then have a lot of friends that don’t even like me for me.   I also don’t stress out about stuff as much anymore.  I would stress out if I didn’t understand a question on my homework or couldn’t do something correctly in a sport.  Another thing that I learned to do was to always try my hardest, now if I need help with something I try to complete it by myself before asking for help.  Sometimes I would think that I could do something when I actually couldn’t but and I was just too embarrassed to admit it.  I have learned many things about myself, for instance I learned that I really like cheerleading and that if I set my mind to something I can really accomplish it.  I have learned from all of my mistakes throughout the year of 2012, but that doesn’t mean that I won’t make more.  I will keep making mistakes and I will keep learning from them for my whole life.
My New Year’s resolution was to try and not be as much of a procrastinator and to have a more positive attitude.  I seem to procrastinate in some situations if I don’t like the project or that subject, and sometimes I would rather just talk to my friends because I have time to do it the next day or in a couple days but it ends up that I just wait until the last minute.  Also sometimes I feel like I can have a negative attitude, I feel this way because I will be upset about something and it will affect me in my overall attitude.  I want to try and change this because I shouldn’t let something little ruin my day and I don’t want to take something out on other people or things for no reason.