All posts by rbarker

Top 10 Ways Not to get Sick this Winter! By Jenna Brandaleone and Jennie Rosen

 

Sleep

Going to bed works! You may hate going to bed early, but you should know that a good night’s rest is all you need to help your body fight (and win against) germs!
Wash your hands…

We have all heard it. “Remember to always wash your hands!”, but we should really listen to it more often. Washing your hands with warm water and soap for at least 20 seconds can send the germs down the drain.
Stay warm…

Ever thought about going outside in your pajamas when it was below freezing? Maybe you have, but staying warm is a key factor to staying healthy. So just remember that next time you wear your pajamas outside, you are really just waving a sign that says, “GERMS! I AM OVER HERE!”.

Don’t Share drinks or foods…

Other people might have yummy food and awesome drinks, but don’t give into to those temptations! A lot of sicknesses and illnesses are caused by sharing saliva of another person. Even if the person says that they are not sick, they might still have germs! Just because symptoms don’t show up for two days, doesn’t mean they aren’t sick!
Be Clean…

Not only can a clean house or living space make awesome first impressions, but it can also keep you from getting sick! Germs can hide anywhere but more often than not, most of those times start outside of your home and then come into it. Germs can live in the dust under your couch or even just plain and dirty messes. It might be a pain to clean up, but make sure you and your homes are CLEAN!!
Stay away from people who are sick…

Ever have that repulsed feeling from that kid who snots all over your desk in class? I know I have. Besides the natural urge of moving away from them, it is important to know that having any physical touch with a person that is sick is putting you at a very high risk of being the snot-blowing-on-the-desk-kid.
Keep your hands away from your face…

Imagine all the bacteria that is invisible on your hands. This is bacteria that is prepared to fight a war with your body. It wants to win and makes you sick in the process. Well, you are actually helping this bad bacteria take control of your body when you are giving them a tour of all the ways to get inside of your body. Don’t put your hands on your face! These places are the grand doors for the bacteria to get inside your body.
Drink lots of liquids…

From drinking tea, hot chocolate, hot apple cider, or water all of these choices are good ones to keep you germ-free!
Meditate… It might be a little awkward at first, but once you get the hang of meditation it can be relaxing. It can keep you nice and healthy too. It is scientifically proven that meditation can make you happier and a healthier person.
Exercise…


Keep your body strong! If your body is strong, your immune system is too. Your immune system is all the parts of your body that fight back bad germs. REMEMBER: EVERY PUSH-UP MATTERS!

So go ahead! Try anyone of these tricks and tips and see if they work for you! BE happy AND healthy during this winter!

History Bob, Edition 1- by Grisha Barantsev

History Bob: EDITION 1: Mesopotamia and Sumer
History Bob is a person who talks about history, it’s his favorite thing.
Today Bob found something interesting: the first epic or a very long poem, it’s about 1,000 pages long. He knows that the people in Mesopotamia wrote it, or being more specific Sumer. Sumer is an old area of about 8 city states or cities with individual leaders. The people of Sumer invented a lot of things, for example the first form of writing and something we are all thankful for the wheel. The people of Sumer also created an irrigation system which helped them farm when there is a drought. If there was a flood the people build levees which are big earth walls and dams. The Sumerians were cool people. They also came up with the 24 hours in a day and, 360 degrees in a circle. Which reminds Bob he has the Sumerians to blame for his geometry homework. (thanks BrainPOP for the idea :-})

Do Books Lack Diversity? by Julia Callini

What are the most popular books we read? The classics, The Great Gatsby, F. Scott Fitzgerald, Romeo and Juliet, William Shakespeare, Catcher in the Rye, J.D. Salinger, Lord of the Flies, William Golding, The Scarlet Letter, Nathaniel Hawthorne. And we have today’s bestsellers, The Hunger Games, Suzanne Collins, Me Before You, JoJo Moyes, The Girl on the Train, Paula Hawkins, Paper Towns, John Green. What’s up with this? Many people are facing this problem, while few publishers are doing anything to change it.

What are the perks of having books by diverse authors?
For starters, children (or anyone for that matter) is more likely to feel more understood, and when they feel more understood, they become more empathetic. When you have someone you can relate to, you are more likely to turn to them when you are in need of help. Many excellent readers don’t realize this, but when upset, they turn to reading, to someone who understands what they are going through.

In 2014, there were 393 books published about people of color, of which 225 (57%) were by people who were not from the group in which they wrote about. This can be quite problematic, in some cases. Authors can often abuse or carry out stereotypes with the culture. For example, I read a book by a white author about a young latina girl growing up in a small town in southern California. Her parents are poor, illegal immigrants who are illiterate and own a taco restaurant. Oh, and her brother was arrested for dealing marijuana. Every Mexican stereotype right there people. It was a little insulting, honestly. I have a few friends who are latina, and yes, their parents do make delicious tacos, but they are not poor, illegal, illiterate immigrants. They are very nice, kind people who have worked hard and live in a nice neighborhood and are genuinely caring. I do not think for a millisecond that my friends brother would try to sell me pot (he works as a therapist at a rehab center, so the chances are extremely low).

Gender Stereotypes in Children’s Books
I was babysitting my cousins, and they asked me to read them a bedtime story (which I was more than happy to do, of course). They chose the book “I’m Glad I’m a Boy, I’m Glad I’m a Girl”, by Wendy Darrow. It was chock-full of stereotypes like “Boys are doctors, Girls are nurses”, “Girls can cook, Boys can eat”, “Boys invent things, Girls use things that the boys invent”. As a feminist myself, I was extremely insulted. I come from a family of hardworking women and won’t dumb myself down to “just” be a nurse, instead of a doctor. I’m afraid that if little girls read this book, they will only think that they have to be the cook, and the boys will think that a) they don’t have to learn to cook; girls will do it for them, or b) that cooking isn’t “manly” enough.

After all, we are promoting empathy and respect for all people, but why aren’t we putting that into books?

 

Statistics from http://blog.leeandlow.com/2015/03/05/the-diversity-gap-in-childrens-publishing-2015/

History’s Mystery: Ancient Secrets Uncovered By Kevin Zhao

Of the Seven Ancient Wonders of the World, only one structure, the oldest, remains standing. Although it was built long before any modern breakthroughs, it faces right toward the magnetic North Pole, and has many numerical coincidences. This famous architectural achievement, the “Great Pyramid”, holds centuries of information, begging to be learned.

Word To The Wise
Before anyone goes wandering off to their deaths, it should be made clear that the “Great Pyramid” is not a recommended tourist site. Even over 4 millennia ago, primitive traps had already been invented. The devices were simple, but effective. The entryways were sometimes plugged with heavy slabs, blocking everyone out. If burglars did ignore the obvious warning and chipped away at the obstacle, they would be in for a nasty surprise.

Primeval Traps
Ancient Egypt owned the finest alchemists of their time, who discovered fatal powders. These powders were often released when the outer coffin was opened. Occasionally, stones were balanced so that when doors opened, the movement would drive the boulder off, onto the victim’s head, or perhaps backwards to seal off the tunnel, in both directions. There were hidden pits, with strategically placed boards which would collapse at the lightest touch. There were even barbs, placed at neck height, which could impale victims in the darkness. There are even rumors of secret passageways, since many others were found camouflaged behind statues, and Pharaoh Khufu’s sarcophagus was never found.

Did You Know?
Many scientists have been intrigued by all the special numbers and ratios the “Great Pyramid” conceals. As years pass, nature has taken its toll, but it is believed that prior to erosion, the pyramid extended to nearly 150 meters into the sky. Records even confirm that the “Great Pyramid” was the tallest structure for 3800 years, until the Lincoln Cathedral was constructed. Often times, weathering is blamed for slight inaccuracy, but overall, there are many precise proportions and numerals. For example, the width divided by the height is approximately half of π, and and the length of a slope divided by half the width is nearly exactly equal to the Golden Ratio.

The “Great Pyramid” was probably built by Egyptians.
Probably.

Paleo Diet by Devin DiCarlo

Matt Pat is sitting down for dinner and on his plate is roasted yummy chicken and spinach green and long. Why he’s eating this you might ask? Why Does he have more energy? Well it’s all because of paleo.
What good It can do
Paleo is good for you, your health, and your fitness. Paleo is also good for
people around you because you are much more energetic and more fun to be around. Paleo can burn fat so you can lose weight quickly but it’s not only so you can lose weight or burn fat, it’s about a happier lifestyle. Say you’re sick, paleo is a good way to get back on your feet and be well again. Here’s a quote from paleo expert Terri DiCarlo “What I do today I will benefit tomorrow, the food choices I make today will only make me a healthier person.”
The history of paleo
There was a time in the world when cavemen walked the earth It was called the paleolithic era. The paleolithic era was about 2.6 million years ago in the stone age (which the paleolithic time was in) when there were cavemen. As you Know cavemen ate meat, vegetables, fruit, and anything they could get their hands on. Cavemen looked different from us but had some features like us. Cavemen were strong, fast, and lean all because of what they ate.
What you can eat
In paleo you can eat anything that the cavemen could eat or make such as meat, fruit, vegetables, fish, eggs, nuts, seeds, herbs, spices, fats, and some oils (these are everything you can eat in paleo). See, all of these are natural, that proves that paleo is actually good for you. You can’t deep fry anything but you can cook these any other way or in any combination that’s not with added foods that aren’t on the list.
Pros and cons of paleo

Pros
1.You are healthier
2.Reduces the risk of disease
3.You have more energy
4. You are more fit
First of all you are healthier and feel good who doesn’t want that. Secondly paleo can reduce the risk of disease but manly diabetes and obesity. Thirdly you have much more energy and you aren’t depressed or lazy. Fourthly you are fit because you’re have more energy and are healthier.

Cons
1.You are grumpy the first 5 days
2.It’s tempting when other people are eating junk food
3.It is expensive
4.Hard to find quality meat in any grocery store
First of all you are grumpy and hungry the first 5 days and they’re the worst 5 days of the paleo diet. Secondly it’s so tempting when other people are eating junk food because it makes you what to have junk food or food you can’t eat. Thirdly paleo is expensive because of the foods you have to buy.

Conclusion
So if you ever feel bloated or that you need more energy or even if you’re feeling depressed you should start the paleo diet today!😁

Cupcake of the Week by Nora Ward

Hi guys!! It’s the week before February break! These are the cupcakes of the week! So cute right?!?! Here is the recipe:

  1. Bake any type of cupcake of your choice
  2. Next Frost the cupcake with vanilla frosting
  3. sprinkle with some big heart sprinkles
  4. Then make chocolate big lips, very small lips, and an envelope

5. Enjoy! Here is the link: http://cakesandcupcakesmumbai.com/2013/02/10/valentines-day-cakes-cupcakes-mumbai/

It’s That Time, by Andrew Boyer

 

It’s That Time

We need a new leader. Obama’s term is over. So who will it be? Well it’s time we vote on it. It’s time for the Presidential Campaign.                                                   

 It’s that time of year again. The time we vote for a new leader. The time when the current president’s term ends. It’s time for ballots and debates. It’s time for Republicans and Democrats to choose sides. It’s time for the presidential campaign.


Why Vote?

The idea of voting started when America had the first president, George Washington. This is what made the U.S. unique. Most countries just had a monarchy. That is when there is a king or queen that makes all the government’s decisions. After the monarch died, the kingship was passed down to a son or a grandson. The people had no say in what their ruler did and who it was. After George Washington and patriots had defeated The British and won the Revolutionary war, the people offered  Washington to become their King, Washington had a better idea: The people vote on who they think is a good leader. About 10 years later was the idea of the Presidential Campaign.  

What Is It?

The Presidential Campaign just gets bigger each year. It started small. The two main candidates (the people running for president) present their thoughts on what should be done for the greater good of America and say what they will do if they are elected president. Each year, the campaign grows. Candidates attack each other, debates are aired on live TV, and social media is used more and more for the campaign.

 

#Today

This year, social media is being used more than ever. Republican candidate, Donald Trump posts videos on Instagram that attack other candidates. Ben Carson has multiple trending hashtags, and the video of Hillary Clinton  “whipping” on the Ellen Show has had about 100,000 retweets. There are also plenty of commercials that promote candidates and attack others. These commercials come on during regular TV, the news, and even NFL games.  

Republican V.S.Democrat

Each year about 25 or so candidates enter in the campaign. After a series of debates and votes, two candidates are selected. One represents the Republican party and one represents the Democratic party. These are the two main political parties. There is also a third party, the Independent party. Independents really get to choose which candidate they want. Republicans tend to believe that the best government for the people is one that is closest to the people, and therefore the government should not interfere unless it is needed. Republican presidents have a record of spending less. Democrats tend to favor more government and spending on social programs and believe that people are greater together than they are on their own. This year, there are a lot more Republican candidates the Democrats.

Who?

That’s the exact question people all over the country are asking. Who will be the future of America? Some people already know who they want as the next commander-in-chief. Others are still undecided. This is probably one of the most important decisions the people of America have to make. Whoever we choose will be America’s leader for at least the next 4 years. So you decide. Who will it be?

 

Choose wisely.

The Candidates

Let’s see some of this year’s candidates and what they might do as president from content on their campaign websites.

Donald Trump: Republican

Business man, Donald Trump from New York, is a man with a mission. He has a very strong opinion and he is not afraid to show it. If he becomes president, he will build a wall along the border of Mexico to stop illegal immigration. Also after many acts of terrorism, he will stop Muslims from coming into the country.

Hillary Clinton: Democrat

Former U.S. Secretary, Hillary Clinton from New York plans to “Build on the progress President Obama has made.” Though she has been involved in numerous scandals, some think she would make a strong president. She plans to invite all Muslims into the country.

Jeb Bush: Republican

Former Governor, Jeb Bush, from Florida says he will make America great again after what he believes was “7 years of failed leadership from President Obama.” He plans to make the military stronger and to destroy ISIS. He also plan to “build back up the economy that Obama destroyed.”

Bernie Sanders: Democrat

U.S. Senator, Bernie Sanders, from Vermont is focused on spending. On his website, he says that he will make “college tuition free, and debt free.” And he will cut student loans. He is focused on income and wealth inequality not focused on the threat of terrorism.

Dr. Ben Carson: Republican

Dr. Ben Carson from Florida, plans to “get back the respect from our allies that Obama lost.” He plans to rebuild the economy and re-arm the military with advanced weapons to take out ISIS and restore safety. He also has a plan for education that involves spending a lot less.

Author of the Week by Julia Callini: Isabel Bandeira

Isabel Bandeira grew up surrounded by forest in Southern New Jersey, right on the edge of the Pine Barrens. Her summers were always spent in Portugal, where the cathedrals, castles, and ancient tombs only fed her fairy tale obsession. Between all those influences and her serious glitter addiction, it wasn’t a surprise when she started writing stories of her own.
She is an avid traveler and had been to India, Canada, and everywhere in between. Her favorite author is Lucy Maud Montgomery, which brought on her obsession with Canada.

In her free time between writing and her day job as a Mechanical Engineer who designs and develops medical devices, she reads, dances, figure skates, and knits.

Isabel lives in New Jersey with her little black cat, too many books, and a closetful of vintage hats.

Summary of Bookishly Ever After:

In a perfect world, sixteen-year-old Phoebe Martins’ life would be a book. Preferably one filled with magic and a hot paranormal love interest. Unfortunately, her life probably wouldn’t even qualify for a quiet contemporary.

Everything changes when Phoebe learns that Dev, the hottest guy in the clarinet section, might actually have a crush on her. So, Phoebe turns to the heroines in her favorite books for advice on a personality overhaul. Becoming as awesome as her book characters isn’t as easy as it sounds and when another girl gets Dev for herself right from under Phoebe’s nose, she’s crushed.

Then, to up the suckage, she gets assigned as his co-counselor at a sixth grade camp and has to spend an entire week tied to the hip with the one guy on the planet she wanted to avoid. Can she make it through the potential danger of romantic bonfires and nature walks without Dev figuring out she’s still not over him, or will her counseling career end in emotional disaster? Can she ever go back to her happy world of fictional boys after falling for the real thing?

Homework: Good or Bad? by Joshua Brient

This 8th grade year, I am on two soccer teams, the school jazz band and regular band. I have had a lot of trouble juggling all this and all the homework that I get. If this is so hard for me, imagine how hard it is for someone who has even more after school activities and even more homework! Because of my after school activities, I get home at 6:00 pm, a reasonable hour, but then I have homework, which, on some nights, makes me stay up, stressed, doing it until 10:00 or 11:00 pm! This is crazy! Why am I, a middle schooler, getting 4-5 hours of homework a night?! Every night students are losing sleep, being stressed, and using up their free time all because of mostly pointless after-school work. Students should not have to spend hours and hours on homework each night.

Students all around the world are losing sleep due to homework. This causes students to perform worse in class and on tests–the opposite of what homework is supposed to do. I’m not saying students should not get any homework. In moderation, it’s good. But currently some students are getting anywhere from 3 hours to 6 hours of homework. That’s too much! A study from the academic journal Child Development backs this up finding when students lose sleep from excessive studying and/or staying up to finish homework, their understanding of material and ability to excel on tests and/or class work declines. The researchers in this study read the diaries of around 100 students who recorded the duration of time spent on homework and the amount of sleep they got and found out that most of those students missed out on an eight-hour sleep schedule and struggled to understand lessons, instructions and questions the next day. In another study, researchers from Stanford University asked students whether they experienced sleep deprivation as a result of homework, and most of the students surveyed answered that they did. In addition, medical problems can come with losing sleep. According to Camille Peri, author and winner of the American Book Award, losing sleep repeatedly can increase your chance of having heart disease, a heart attack, heart failure, high blood pressure, stroke, cardiovascular disease, or diabetes. I can think of many times when I have had to stay up late, rushing to finish homework. I remember one night I got home with my planner full of homework. I didn’t procrastinate, but I had to stay up until around 12:30 am. I was very tired the next day, and I could barely concentrate. It is clear that homework can affect students very negatively if it takes away from their sleep hours.

In addition to losing sleep, students are being stressed out over homework–even moreso than some adults are over their work. You may think something along the lines of: “Students only get stressed about tests. Homework is easy,” but no. Researchers from Stanford University held a survey which found that 56 percent of the students surveyed thought of homework as their main source of stress. 43 percent viewed tests as their main source of stress, while 33 percent said that the most stress came from the pressure to get good grades. Less than 1 percent of the students said that homework was not a factor in stress. This stress put on kids as a result of homework causes many health problems. In another Stanford University study, researchers found that students who get an average of three hours of homework per night experience more stress, physical health issues and absence of balance in their lives. An article written by Jeanne Segal, Ph.D, states that stress can cause memory problems, inability to concentrate, poor judgment, short temper, inability to relax and depression. This means that homework is directly affecting student’s well being. Why would teachers do this to students?

Students are dropping after-school activities because of homework. This is unacceptable! It’s a fact that colleges all around the world look for students who do interesting things after school. So why do elementary, middle and high schools, which are meant to prepare you for college, take time away from the activities that will help you get into college? According to a survey done in California a sample of 4,317 students, most said that they were likely to drop after-school activities and not pursue their extracurricular activities due to homework. Alfie Kohn, author of The Homework Myth, wrote, in a 2007 article, that “After coming home from a 6-hour school day students are given additional assignments that take more time off their day. This leaves almost no time for kids to participate in other activities.” I hope that schools will realize this mistake and assign less homework. I have neglected some of my after-school activities, such as jazz band, due to homework. Yesterday I had to skip my jazz band practice due to a science paper that I needed to complete. I wish I didn’t have to skip this activity that I enjoy for homework.

Lastly, with all the homework students get, they lose time with family and friends. Think back; has there ever been a time in your life when a family member has come to visit for a couple of days, but you could barely spend any time with them because of homework? I know this has happened to me. Time with family and friends is one of the most important things in life. Spending time with loved ones helps kids later in life because, as they have these social interactions, they learn essential social skills that will help them greatly in job interviews, college interviews and even just in life in general. Without social skills, kids will grow up nervous, hesitant and shy. According to the textbook, Child Psychology, social interaction plays a critical role in brain development. Children who get many opportunities to interact with friends and family gain valuable social, conflict management and impulse control skills. And as homework amount reduces the time for these opportunities, children’s social development suffers. A 2003 “Review of Educational Research” study found that students who have trouble with homework or who get a lot of homework each night can experience negative effects in their family and social relationships. Social skills are necessary in children’s development. I hope that schools will see this and reduce the amount of homework students receive.

Most people think that homework helps kids learn, memorize new information, and perform well in school. In truth some homework does. But, not the hours of busy work students are getting a night. All this does is stress students out, uses up their sleep and free time and dampens their in-school performance.

Imagine a world without homework. Students would get out of school and have no worries. No papers to stress about. No essays to stay up late over. No projects to work on, instead of spending time with friends or family. And no reason to skip fun after-school activities. Students would be able to get out of school and have fun, forget the worries of the day and spend time doing things they enjoy. Doesn’t this sound great? Yes? Then let’s work to get there.