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The best way to learn what kids are thinking & feeling is by listening to them, so I am happy to share my students’ voices!

We Shouldn’t Be… by Monika & Jordan, 7th Grade

We shouldn’t be scared, 
scared of the guy with the bullets
who can end our lives with a push
of a trigger. 
Shouldn’t be scared of the people
who have jobs to protect us, yet murder
us without thinking what we’re up to. 

We shouldn’t be scared
scared of the big bad men
who look at us like we’re a meal
and lick their lips hungrily.
Shouldn’t be scared of being beautiful
even though we were all made gorgeously. 

We should be scared
Scared of loving the wrong person, 
scared of THEM who will judge us
because of who and what we love. 

We shouldn’t be scared 
Scared of being judged by what we wear
or how we do our hair instead
of being judged by how we act
and hand situations. 

But guess what? We are. 

We are scared of the bullets that are
out there in the wrong hands. 

We are scared of being beautiful
because those men would kill for us. 

We are scared of loving because 
THEY end up hating us. 

We are scared of wearing the 
wrong thing or saying the wrong thing
because of THEM.

They, them
It’s the world. 
We are scared of the world. But we shouldn’t 
be anymore. Let’s stop being scared. 
We are strong. We can overcome the 
fear, only if we come together. We 
don’t have to constantly be in fear. 

We need to listen.

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The best way to learn what kids are thinking & feeling is by listening to them, so I am happy to share my students’ voices!

Pros and Cons About Digital School by Maelynn, 7th Grade

Schools all over are starting to go digital; however, this leads to a heated debate about whether or not schools should have their students using computers. Some see them as a useful tool to make learning fun and easy and others see them as a big distractor. Here are 10 pros and cons about students using computers. 

PROS-

  • New skills: Because of being at a digital school, students learn how to type. Not only will it help them now, it will help them in the future. Most people nowadays type up their resumes and other reports. Also, tons of jobs now use technology. Learning how to work and run a computer could be proven helpful later on. With technology popping up more and more, digital schools are providing students with a skill early. 
  • Research is easier: Most teachers eventually give out a research project for their students to complete. If those students go to a digital school, research will be easier for them. All they have to do is search something up. If they’re writing an argumentative essay, they can easily find evidence to support different claims because their laptops provide quick, easy access. They’re capable of browsing the internet to help them with school and expand their branch of knowledge. 
  • Establishes responsibility: Like most electronic devices, you have to plug laptops in to charge them. At a digital school, students can establish a new form of responsibility by having to plug in their laptop each day. As a student, I’ve witnessed other students not being able to do certain things because their battery died. Charging one’s laptop is similar to walking one’s dog–you’ve got to do it or there can be consequences. 
  • Typing is faster: Typing is a lot faster than writing. If you’re typing an essay, report, or something else, typing is way faster because you aren’t writing something word for word. Since it’s faster, students will be able to get more time for their own time like hanging out with family and friends. More free time also means less time on your laptop which is good because of the screen time at school already. 
  • Makes learning fun: As a student, I know technology helps make learning more fun. Teachers like using games to test their students’ knowledge (like Kahoot, Quizizz, Gimkit). Certain games also allow teams letting students interact with each other. Students can be very competitive, so this is a good way for them to blow off steam, have fun, and learn all at the same time. 

CONS-

  • Big distractor: Laptops can be super distracting. As a student, I’ve witnessed kids playing games while the teacher is talking. Instead of doing work, students decide to play games first and assignments later. Games such as Minecraft and websites like CoolMathGames.com tend to be what students mainly play. Since students have tons of websites at their fingertips, it can be hard to not get distracted. Also, games can be distracting to surrounding students who have a view of the screen. Now the student playing the game and the other students are focusing on the laptop distracted from learning. All of this can lead to bad habits. 
  • Can be unreliable: Every once in a while, wifi can stop temporarily or certain systems shut down. But what happens if things start shutting down at a digital school? Teachers may not be prepared for an unexpected internet issue and this leads to them spending the period figuring out a plan. Shut downs hurt students, too. With the wifi down, they can’t work on or submit any assignments. This usually means students have to now do it for homework, biting away form their time. Being a student, I’ve witnessed systems not working during end-of-year exams, too. This particular scenario affects much of the school and those unlucky students get their exams rescheduled. 
  • Harmful effects: Students who go to digital schools spend a lot of time on electronics. Too much screen time can make it harder for the body to relax, according to research. Furthermore, most students continue to go on their electronics after school. Too much screen time can potentially be harmful. Students should try to spend less time on electronics and more time doing other activities. 
  • Easier to cheat: With laptops, students have access to lots of websites at their finger tips. With this in mind, what’s to stop a student from cheating? If a teacher assigns an essay, summary, or another type of report, it can be easy for students to search it up and copy and paste. Students can also go on certain apps to get answers for their math homework and other subjects. 
  • Writing benefits more: Research shows that writing benefits students more than typing. When you physically write information down, you get a stronger understanding than you do with typing. Research shows that writing is better than typing because typing is faster. Since writing is slower, you process information better. Also, when you write, you get more creative because you aren’t searching anything up for ideas. 

Thank you Maelynn for your analysis of digital schools!

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The best way to learn what kids are thinking & feeling is by listening to them, so I am happy to share my students’ voices!

How Mrs. Moye’s Class Made My Year Better by Breno, 8th Grade

To start with, we read a lot which is awesome. We did things we like while learning. And every single assignment we did was fun–there were no assignment I was bored while doing. And because of this class, I found some great books I would have never found. Sometimes I didn’t want to go to school or was feeling sick, and this class made my day less stressful. When I thought I wouldn’t be able to do something, Mrs. Moye always helped me. So thank you Mrs. Moye for being an awesome teacher and for making my year better!

Tips for Middle School by Leila, 8th Grade

Middle School is like a journey. There’s going to be some things that are hard. Or it may feel like you can’t push through certain trials. But you can! Starting middle school was a pretty scary experience for me. Maybe it will be for you, too, so here are my tips. 

My first tip to surviving middle school is to get a sense of what the people are like. Try to surround yourself with people you feel safe with and people that would be a good influence on you. If you find the right friends, they will always be there for you. 

Tip two is to join any clubs or groups you are passionate about: music, art, sports, whatever it may be–just do it! Don’t let anyone tell you otherwise. 

Tip three is to NOT PROCRASTINATE! It is the worst thing you can do when you start getting into more advanced classes. Organize your time and study well. 

Tip four is to go to all of those fun field trips and activities your grade level participates in. These events could be one of the best nights of your life. It really gives you a chance to just have fun and be with the ones you care about while you still can. 

My last and final tip is to make the most of your time. It may seem like a big deal at the start, but as it begins to get closer to the end of the year, you realize how important this part of your life is. Get all of your friends’ phone numbers, have them sign your yearbook, hang out with them over the summer. Make every moment count. They might not go to the same high school as you. Take pictures will all your friends, and make it all count while it still lasts!

Favorite 6th Grade Activities by Josh, Nick, Damon, and Nathan, 6th Grade

  • Frog Dissection in Science
  • Teacher vs. Student Volleyball Game
  • Hoops for Hearts
  • Trackfest
  • Valentine’s Day Dance
  • Jazz Field Trip at the Bob Carr
  • End of Year Level Up Party
  • Book Trailer Creation using Animoto in Mrs. Moye’s Claass
  •  PE Units: Track, Basketball, Racketball, Badminton, Capture the Flag, and Friday Freeday
  • Creating a Civilization Activity in World History
  • Finishing the Last Standardized Test of the Year
  • In-Class Book Clubs in Mrs. Moye’s Class
  • Jennifer Nielsen Author Visit
  • Watching a Movie in Language Arts
  • Weird But True Activity in Mrs. Moye’s Class
  • Writing Blog Posts for Unleashing Readers
  • ICT: Coding
  • ICT: Typing and Nitrotype,
  • Online Safety Netiquette Project in ICT
  • Word Webs in World History
  • No Read Ink in Language Arts

 

Thank you everyone for your thoughts on middle school!

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The best way to learn what kids are thinking & feeling is by listening to them, so I am happy to share my students’ voices!

Why Teachers Should Let Students Read Manga by Luis, 8th Grade

Mrs. Moye let me read manga for most of the year. I read a huge variety of awesome mangas, but some teachers don’t like manga for different reasons. But I feel like I have the right to read whatever I want. Manga isn’t just fighting cartoons, some of them have a better plot than books. For example, Jojo’s Bizarre Adventure has a better vampire plot than other vampire books out there. Some have great love stories or more realistic action. Manga is truly something that teachers should let their students read and enjoy. And who knows–they may even learn Japanese!

Why 6th Graders Should Be Allowed to Read More Mature Books If They Want by Star, 6th Grade

I believe 6th graders should be allowed to read more mature books. It allows the kids to venture into a world they still have a while to actually enter. They allow kids to feel more emotions, such as sadness in love. For example, in the book The Fault in our Stars by John Green, Hazel and Augustus express such love for each other despite their differences. And when something sad happens at the end of the book, it causes the reader to be sad. Another reason 6th graders should be allowed to read more mature books is because they get kids into more real world situations before they have to experience it themselves. For example, in the book Orbiting Jupiter the author throws the reader into a real life situation. 

Why We Shouldn’t Ban Books by Paola & Amy, 7th Grade

Book banning: The horrible act of taking a book deemed “inappropriate” for students and then restricting access to that book. This has been done for years and many people actually think that this helps keep children from certain material. While it actually causes problems. 

It Keeps Important Topics Away From Kids

The biggest problem with banning books is that most of the banned books talk about very important social topics. While many people think that exposing kids to these topics will hurt them, the opposite can actually be said. The more kids learn about these topics, the better educated they are. They could then form their own opinions and even come up with ideas to help other people. Additionally, by keeping these materials away from teens and kids, they might make bad decisions because they’ve never thought about it. And by banning the books, people are making the topics more intriguing.

Why I Like Books About Social Justice by Alex, 8th Grade

I think that social justice books are the best to read for multiple reaasons. One big reason is that social justice is a very relevant topic that goes on daily, whether between a cop and an unarmed man or people of different races experiencing racial tension. I think that no matter what the situation is, it’s always interesting to see it unfold. After reading a book that deals with heavy teantion, I like to put myself in that persn’s shoes and think about how I would have handled the situation. Another reason why I believe that social justice books are interesting is because I have never had to deal with much oppression in my life which is why I think it is good to learn about other people that have dealt with oppression beacuse it makes me feel like I am not ignorant about the situations in our society. Just because I don’t deal with  them, doesn’t mean I should know about them. 

My top social justice books:

  • Ghost by Jason Renolds
  • I Am Alfonso Jones
  • Long Way Down by Jason Reynolds
  • Yummy by G. Neri
  • All American Boys by Jason Reynolds and Brendan Kiely
  • Dear Martin by Nic Stone
  • The Hate U Give by Angie Thomas

Why I Like K.A. Holt Books by Maya, 6th Grade

My first ever K.A. Holt book that I read was House Arrest, and ever since then, I have fallen in love with her writing. After I read House Arrest, I read Knockout, Redwood & Ponytail, and Rhyme Schemer. I love how her books are written like a verse of a poem because not many authors write the way she does and it captures emotions. I also love how in House Arrest she wrote the book over weeks to follow along. Also, I love that House Arrest, Knockout, and Redwood & Ponytail are in a series but you don’t have to read them in a certain order. Redwood & Ponytail was an amazing book to me; it has an important message which is never be afraid to show who you are no matter what others think. Thank you, K.A. Holt, for writing amazing books!

Reasons Why I Like Diary of a Wimpy Kid by Axel, 6th Grade

I like the Diary of a Wimpy Kid series because it is fun to know how Greg lives his life and learn about him. It also includes comedy which makes me laugh time to time while reading it. Greg’s family is really funny and weird and sometimes do embarrassing things which is fun to read about. Greg and Rowley do funny things too–usually activities for their own purposes that always end up as a disaster because Greg tries to imagine how to make everything perfect for him and when he tries to make it perfect, something goes wrong. All of these are why I like the Diary of a Wimpy Kid Series. Oh! And every year a new book comes out, and so far each one I’ve read is great!

Book Stereotypes That Are NOT TRUE! by Cooper & Jacob, 6th Grade and Mrs. Moye

  • There are girl and boy books.
    • This stereotype has lasted for many years and is still believed vy people. There is no such thing as a girl or a boy book. 
  • Long books are boring
    • Long books are not boring because a long book just has more action and fun in it. 
  • Graphic novels are for children.
    • Graphic novels are for everyone. They have life lessons and the images bring it all together. 
  • Books are the same as movies. 
    • Movies have to cut things out because of time. To get the full story, you have to read the book. 
  • Cool kids don’t read/Only nerds read.
    • Smart people read.
  • Judge books by their cover. 
    • The cover isn’t even chosen by the author and sometimes covers are so misleading!
  • Non-fiction books are boring.
    • Then you aren’t reading the right nonfiction books for you! Try a different kind. 
  • “I don’t have time to read.”
    • Yes you do. You aren’t making time to read. Just 20 minutes a day can impact your life in such a positive way!
  • Children’s books aren’t good. 
    • Any children’s book will prove this wrong because they have a huge impact on the reader. 
  • Independent reading doesn’t help you learn anything./Books are a waste of money.
    • Books can help the reader learn! Instead of playing and buying video games, buy books!

Thank you everyone for your great essays!

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The best way to learn what kids are thinking & feeling is by listening to them, so I am happy to share my students’ voices!

Strong Women Characters by Vanessa & Angelina, 8th and 7th Grade

  • Sophie Quire (from Sophie Quire) is strong even though her mother passed away. She stands up for what she believes in and adventures off to attempt to ave what she finds important.
  • Grace Blakely (from All Fall Down) is a brave girl who lost her mother at a young age. She stands up for what she believes is right even when nobody trusts her.
  • Maddie Manchester (from Not If I Save You First) is torn from her past, but she follows her beliefs and stands up for herself. She discovers the truth, stands up to assassins, and protect what’s important.
  • Linh Cinder (from Cinder) is living a normal life until she discovers new truths. Finding companions along the way, she attempts to fight evil and bring them to justice.
  • Agatha (from School for Good and Evil) overcomes her doubts and discovers her own dreams and beliefs.
  • Kestra Dallisor (from The Traitor’s Game) is a runaway princess who tries to escape her present and figure out her past. She protects those who are innocent and close to her.
  • Other favorites:
    • Chaya Lindner (from Resistance)
    • Cammie Morgan (from Gallagher Girls)
    • Alex Bailey (from Land of Stories)
    • Katarina Bishop (from Heist Society)

Most Inspirational Women in Books by Georgia & Natalie, 6th Grade

  • Cassie Sullivan (from The 5th Wave) spent the whole span of The Fifth Wave trying to protect her brother. Even in great sorrow and loss, she made the ultimate sacrifice so her brother could grow up in a safe world.
  • Mare (from The Red Queen) was put in a castle of danger where one wrong move could get her killed. She has to act like a princess to save her family while also being an advocate for a “red”volution.
  • Alyssa (from Dry) is the perfect big sister. She went through hell and back to protect her little brother and was prepared to do the unthinkable to keep her brother from suffering.
  • Cleo (from A Death-Struck Year) risked her life to help the sick. In the midst of an epidemic with no parents or family, 17 year old Cleo went houst to house saving people and risking her life.
  • SPOILERS!!!
    Mallory (from Sword of Summer) sacrificed herself. During a war, a bus was dropping off more soldiers when Loki took control of her body and made her set a bomb on the bus. When she took control back of her body, she deactivated the bomb saving 72 people but died in the process.
  • SPOILERS!!!
    Cinderpelt (from Warriors: The Fourth Apprentice) protects those around her. When every other cat is out of camp, a badger attacks the medicine den. Cinderpelt protects the kittens inside with the cost of her life.
  • Gerta (from A Night Divided) is a 12 year old from East Berlin who got caught between a rock and a hard place when in the middle of the night the Berlin wall was built up around her side of town. In order to protect her family, she faces betrayal, spies, and possibly death. All of this just to save her family.
  • Imogen (from The False Prince) seems like just a common servant but risks her life numerous times to protect someone she cares about.
  • Gina (from The Summer I Saved the World in 65 Days) is focused on doing helpful things around her neighborhood at night during the summer. She is spending her time trying to make others’ lives better.
  • Molly (from Castle Hangnail) is the only person that can save Castle Hangnail!

Thank you everyone for your great lists!

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The best way to learn what kids are thinking & feeling is by listening to them, so I am happy to share my students’ voices!

Controversial Characters (Are they villains? Or are they heroes?) by Elsa, Kaley, and Max, 8th Grade

  • Dumbledore from the Harry Potter series: Even though J.K. Rowling makes Dumbledore seem like a wise, old guide helping Harry, Dumbledore is often manipulative, selfish, and cold. While Harry saw Dumbledore as a mentor, Dumbledore only saw Harry as a pawn. Dumbledore used Harry’s feelings toward him to make Harry do what he wants. (Elsa)
  • Severus Snape from the Harry Potter series: At the end of the series, J.K. Rowling attempted redemption with Severus Snape. I feel as though it wasn’t enough and if anything it made me not like him more. While he was a villain for the majority of the series, the fact that he was bullied and then obsessed with Harry’s mom is supposed to make the fact that he is a trash person for 6.5 books okay… (Kaley)
  • Tedros from the School for Good and Evil series: Tedros, the love interest of both Sophie and Agatha in the first book, is so self absorbed and ignorant. In the first book, he seemed very fake and would do whatever he wanted. (Elsa)
  • Sophie from the School for Good and Evil series: I totally get that Sophie was supposed to come across as artificial and stupid. It was one of her character flaws that was supposed to be overruled by her good traits like being a good friend to Agatha. I don’t think it did and think the bad outweighed the good. (Kaley)
  • Naomi’s Dad in Two Naomis: Naomi’s dad is a controversial character in my opinion because the author tried to make the reader feel sorry for him and that he was really trying; however, I do not like him because he should not force things on the children. Some children take longer to deal with changes. (Max)

15 of the Most Evil Characters in Books by Daniela & Mariana, 8th Grade

  • Slade from Blood on my Hands
  • The Governor from Stung
  • The Evil Queen from The Land of Stories series
  • The Masked Man from The Land of Stories series
  • Lady Iris from The Land of Stories series
  • Snow Queen from The Land of Stories series
  • Sea Witch from The Land of Stories series
  • The Queen of Hearts from The Land of Stories series
  • Captain Hook from The Land of Stories series
  • Morina from The Land of Stories series
  • The Police from Ghost Boys
  • Hellhounds from Good Dog
  • Aiden’s Dad from Good Dog
  • Secret Murderer from One of Us is Lying
  • Steven from A Girl Named Digit

10 Comic Villains I Wish I Could Fight by Diego, 8th Grade

  • Thanos: I would like to fight Thanos because he is the strongest supervillain. He beat The Avengers!
  • Reverse Flash: I would fight Reverse Flash because he is the archenemy of the Flash and is very fast and super smart.
  • The Joker: I would fight the Joker because he’s a very smart scientist and a criminal mastermind. I think I would lose.
  • Lex Luthor: I would fight Lex Luther because he’s the archenemy of Superman and is very powerful though I think I could win.
  • Catwoman: I would fight Cat Woman because she’s very agile and would be difficult to fight because of her agility and coordination.
  • Harley Quinn: I would fight Harley because she is very smart and is Joker’s partner and would be hart to defeat.
  • Magneto: I would fight Magneto because he’s very powerful since he can control magnets and magnetic fields.
  • Loki: I would want to fight Loki because he is the god of mischief and would be fun but hart to beat.
  • Venom: I would like to fight Venom because when the symbiote turns into Venom, he turns really lethal and powerful, similar to fighting Spiderman.
  • Doctor Doom: I would like to fight Doctor Doom because he is Spiderman’s archenemy and is very mean and knows how to create armor. He also is an intellect, knows sorcery, and is a telepath.

Top 10 Manga Villains by Luis, 8th Grade

  • Blackbeard from One Piece: Marshall D. Teach, also known as Blackbeard, is the captain of the Blackbeard Pirates and is known as one of the baddest pirates in the manga.
  • Piccolo Daimaku from Dragon Ball Z: He’s the main antagonist of Dragon Ball. He’s one half of the No-Name Namekian alongside Kami-sama. He’s known for assassinating innocents during the Martial Arts Tournament and assassinating Master Roshi.
  • Zamasu from Dragon Ball Z: Zamasu is a god of time. He started hating humans after Trunks started messing with time travel. He wants to kill all humans for Trunks’s actions against time.
  • Majin Buu from Dragon Ball Z: Majin Buu is a monster created by magician Vividi and reused by his son. Buu’s only objective is to destroy all living creatures on the planet, even killing Vividi.
  • Frieza from Dragon Ball Z: Frieza is the emperor of the universe, and his only desire in life is to attain immortality.
  • Kars from Jojo’s Bizarre Adventure: Kars is the one responsible for the Villain vs. Human War and killing all of his species except for 3 men. He is right now floating in space not thinking.
  • Dio Brando from Jojo’s Bizarre Adventure: Dio is a vampire. Dio wants to reset the world to his wishes. He’s able to stop time and kills half of the stardust crusaders.
  • Enrico Pucci from Jojo’s Bizarre Adventure: Pucci is a priest but once he meets Dio his believes change. Dio is his god now and Pucci is helping with resetting the whole universe.
  • The Major from Hellsing: The Major is the master evil human in the world since all he wants is war, destruction, and chaos.
  • Madara Uchiha from Naruto: Shippuden: Madara is th descendant of the 2nd son of the sage of sixpathes, part of the Uchika clan, and the first Uchiha to unlock the eternal Mangekyou Sharingan which gave him great powers.

Thank you everyone for your great lists!

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