Thursday, December 15, 2016

Chico Junior's Got Talent

I am so impressed with the projects that my students completed after reading The Tell-Tale Heart. They were allowed to choose from a menu of options. Included here are some drawings, a song, a Lego sculpture, a couple slideshows, creative writing, and a rap!

Check out this slideshow.

And this one.
Here is a creative writing project.

Here's a rap written by Rocco:

Here comes a rap, about the Tell Tale Heart,

Straight from Poe, lets go lets start.

We start out, narrator says he isn’t mad,

But if you listen to this guy, he talks pretty bad.

He gets creeped out by the old man’s weird eye,

Gets so bad, he wants the man to die.

Things get pretty weird when every night,

the Narrator looks at the old man with a small light.

Old Man is sleeping, Narrator is awake,

Spying on the man, for 7 nights he waits.

Here comes the eighth night, Old Man hears a noise,

Awake in bed, knows it’s not one of his toys.

Narrator sees the eye, open all the way,

Hears the man’s heartbeat, loud as waves.

Narrator yells and runs at the old man,

Old Man shrieks and doesn't have a plan.

Narrator is mad, throws Old Man on the ground,

Suffocates him with a bed, making a small mound.

Heartbeat stops, dismemberment begins,

Hidden under the floorboards, in some small basins.

Cops are here, because they heard the yells,

They go to Old Man’s room, with no bad smells.

Heartbeat comes back, getting pretty loud,

Cops don't even, hear a sound.

Narrator freaks out, talks with speed,

“I did it!” He says, “I admit the deed!”

Below is a video clip of students playing an online quiz game called Kahoot! I love to make learning fun.



Two Truths and One Lie

  1. When I was 10 I went to Six Flags with my friend. When we showed up, we were in the front of our first ride, and the park closed due to a lighting strike. We had to leave early and we never got our money back. We called them but they refused to give our money back because of their terms of service.

  1. When I was 4-5 years old I went trick or treating with my mom, dad, and my sister. That halloween my costume was a christmas tree. And the next year for halloween, my costume was Santa. I won a costume contest that year in my class at school.

  1. When my dad was driving our family to Yreka for a family event, we got driven off the road on the highway by a semi-truck. The guy cut off us, and other people on the highway as well. As we were driving on the road we saw a policeman pull the man over, but the guy in the semi-truck refused to pull over and the police chase began.


My Grandma

My grandma is one of the best grandmas ever. She can only speak Spanish but she still can make my dad laugh, even though he does not  understand a lot of Spanish. She has been in a lot of different situations and she knows a lot more that I do, so most of the time, I just listen to her. She was born in Mexico, and she was not one of the lucky kids that could finish school. She only went to the 3rd grade, and her dad pulled her out of school to go worked in the field with him. Most of the kids that worked in the fields were usually around 6 to 7 years old.

My grandma had 15 kids and they are all only a couple of years apart. When my grandpa found out that my grandma could not have any more kids, he divorced her. I don’t really talk to him because he lives in Mexico. She lived with 15 kids all by herself and she was always running around all over the place so that she could to make all of her kids happy. Now at the age of 84 years old, she is one of the most hard-working people I have ever met!

Marcos B.

Two Truths and Lie

1. One thing that I'm doing for Christmas break is going to Medieval times. Medieval times is a place where they do acts of something that happened in the medieval times. Mostly they do jousting with 4 different color team knights. On my first time going I was in the green team and my knight had won. Also in Medieval Times they included giving you food while you watch the show.

2. I like the San Francisco Giants a lot. I strongly believe they are the best in team in baseball history. I saw their baseball stadium and watch them play 2 times. My favorite player on the San Francisco Giants is Madison Bumgarner. One day I hope the San Francisco Giants win again the world series.

3. I love to play video games with my family, friends and with myself. My favorite video game is Minecraft. I play Minecraft on my console, computer, and on my mobile devices. Most of the time I play Minecraft on my computer with my little brother and cousin. In Minecraft, I like to build structures and decorate houses.

-Evan A.

Thursday, December 8, 2016

Poop Shake

I was thinking about relationships today. Friends, family members, peers, colleagues... I was thinking about how wonderful it is for me to be surrounded by people in my life who are kind and thoughtful, people who treat me with respect. This hasn't always been so.

When I was younger, I had some experiences that were scary and unsafe. Some people close to me were violent and mean sometimes. I was young; I didn't have much say about the grown-ups around me.

As I got a little older, sometimes I didn't have very strong self-esteem and I didn't respect myself. Sometimes I made choices to allow people to treat me poorly or disrespectfully.

In my adult life, I have learned more about loving myself and having high expectations of how the people that I allow in my life treat me. I recently came across the post below in a parenting blog. I don't remember which one. I wish I could cite the source. I would like to offer this advice to all of my students: Don't drink the poop shake.

Why You Gotta Be So Rude?

I have an eight year old daughter. She has had a persistent problem with a schoolmate who plays rougher than she wants to play -- hitting, pushing, etc. She says "But when he's nice, he's so nice!"

I told her "If I put the most delicious looking milkshake in the world in front of you, and told you 'Drink up! By the way, this milkshake? It has a little bit of poop in it. Just a little! Like. . . one spoonful!' would you drink it?"

"Ew, no!" she said. "Poop is disgusting!"

"What if it was made of really, really good ice cream? Like, the best ice cream you can imagine?"

"No! Blech!"

"What if it had even LESS than a spoonful of poop? What if it had only one SPECK of poop?"

"No, mom, gross. Even one speck of poop is too much."

"Okay," I said. "Hitting in a friendship is like poop in a milkshake. Even a little bit is too much; there is no amount of it that is OK, and no amount of greatness in the rest of the friendship can make even a tiny bit of hitting OK. I know you have fun sometimes and you want everything to always be great, but this kid's friendship is a poopshake. Don't drink it."

Furthermore, t's not just hitting that is poop in a relationship milkshake. This kind of awful, abusive, gaslighting behavior is also poopy. Your relationship with this guy is a poopshake, no matter how great some parts of it are. Dump it out.

Guest Bloggers

 Two Truths and a Lie
  1. I went to Disneyland when I was younger with my family and we stayed for a week. There were tons of cool rides and it was so expensive. I thought it was like being rich. My mom spent over $1200 for me to have fun and ride the rides. I enjoyed it but it was sooooooo expensive! I mean, you could’ve bought a car for that much.
  2. My mom and I went on a plane to Ireland and stayed for awhile. We packed our bags a little early so we didn’t have to rush and then we left. We saw so many cool items and buildings. My mom enjoyed it more than I did. I would have rather gone to Italy .
  3. I went camping with my mom’s cousins. We had a lot of tents to build. After we built all the tents and ate, we went on a little walk. Then I got to go swimming in this gross water, and I got to see how to do a lantern. We went back to our campsite and got comfy. I got scared because I heard a noise. I thought it was a bear. When I woke up the sun was very bright and everyone was eating breakfast while talking with each other.
Rainhan B.

Question of the week: When you did the Camino de Santiago what were some of your difficulties ?
I asked my aunt Judy this question “When you did the Camino de santiago what were some of your difficulties ?” Judy first wanted me to know more about the Camino so she told me some of the background. I found out that the Camino is a 500 mile walk up spain. Another thing that Judy told me was that you would walk about 18 miles a day to stay at a hostel in the next town. After Judy told me about the some of the background she started to tell me that during the 500 mile walk she had some pain in her left knee and hip. Soon after she started to walk she figured out a technique where she would have her right leg on the higher ground level and she would just drag her left leg behind her. A lot of the time Judy would have to imagine that she wasn’t hurting so she could keep up with her friend. Since Judy was a slower walker than her friend, Pam, Pam would say I’ll meet you in the next town. So Judy would have to walk by herself for about 5 miles. When Judy would get to the next town she would see her friend Pam waiting at a table for her.  Sometimes it was hard for Judy to walk the downhill parts because of the pain in her left side. Judy said that even though she had lots of pain on her left side that she would definitely do it again.

Emma R.

Two Truths and a Lie

  1. I used to want to go outside to play catch with my mom and dad. I was pretty good at catching the ball my dad told me I could play professional baseball if I kept trying my hardest. My mom had something different to say. She said that I could play professional right now if I wanted to, but I was only 6 years old.
  2. I used to play soccer when I was about 7 years old. I was pretty good at kicking the ball, but I was even better at blocking the ball. So instead of putting me in forward, they put me on defense. The first game I played I loved the game. Ever since then I have never stopped playing the game!
  3. I play basketball for my school, and I love it so much. I had never played basketball till my first year of jr high. At first I was a little scared to play. When I heard that they needed more people on the basketball team, I thought it would be good for me to try something new. I went up to the coach and told him that I would like to play basketball if they needed more people. He said, “Yes, and thank you for helping us out.”
Marcos B.

Thursday, December 1, 2016

Tell-Tale Heart

In class, we are analyzing and imitating the styles of Edgar Allan Poe and Roald Dahl. Students are reading stories, watching videos, and writing their own scenes from a different point of view. Here are three versions of Poe's short story "The Tell-Tale Heart." Next week, students will practice their own fluent oral reading of the story. 

Practice at home. Have others listen to you. 
Get the tone down so you can 
demonstrate your understanding through oration.  

Imagine that you are the old man or the neighbor or a police officer. How would the story be told differently?

Below is the Poe-style writing assignment: 

Next week you will type a minimum one-page story, retelling the incidents of The Tell-Tale Heart from someone else’s perspective (point of view). Imitate the Gothic style of Edgar Allan Poe.

Gothic literary devices:

  • Antiquated language/diction
  • Gloomy setting
  • Intense emotions
  • Madness
  • Supernatural events

Pick a character from the list below, and brainstorm some notes to get started. Focus on what your character may have seen or heard.

  • Old Man
  • Neighbor
  • Police Officer


My sister, Angelina Barnes, loves tamales. She likes them because they have a good  taste. My sister likes the taste of the meat, dough and black olives that are in a tamales. My sister likes them so much that she likes to make her own with my mom, grandmother, and me sometimes. The first time that she had a tamal her eyes got so big when she took her first bite. After that, we would have to make a couple dozens tamales so that we could have a good amount for each of the people in my house.

Angelina always asks my mom, can we make some tamales?  Although she knows that we only make them during the holidays. My sister is a very picky eater, but when it comes to tamales she doesn't care. The food in her plate is always arranged in separate spaces, never to touch one food from the other. My sister can care less when she eats the tamales that she loves so much. I love my sister a lot and tamales are her favorite type of food.

Marcos B.

Two Truths and One Lie

  1. Last summer I went to the mountain because we all wanted to spend time with our family. When we got there, it was dark and we could not see anything so we just went inside. When we woke up the next morning, we went exploring. I went with my brothers and my dad. We saw a couple of things we never see before. It was a lot of fun.

  1. A couple months ago, we went to Fort Bragg. The bad thing about going to Fort Bragg was the ride there. Oh did I hate that! It felt like it was taking forever to get there but we got there. When we got there, we had nowhere to sleep, so we had to sleep at a hotel. Boy did I hate sleeping in that hotel. It smelled really bad and for some reason I could not sleep. I went to bed at like 4:00 in the morning.

  1. Once I went to Hawaii but when I got there there was this weird sign that said, “You are not allowed to take anything from the island home.” Of course if you buy it from the store then you can take it home. When I got to the hotel, I told my mom that I was going to go check the place out. She said, “That is fine; just be back before it is dark.” I said “ok.” We went swimming and surfing. Of course I do not know how to surf, so it was a lot of practicing. Even my friends got it before I did. But at the end, I got to hand out with my family and my friends. It was a good trip.  

By Erica. R

Harry Potter and the Sorcerer's Stone book review

I’ve recently read the first book of JK Rowling's best selling series, Harry Potter and the Sorcerer’s Stone. The novel is based around Harry Potter and his first year at Hogwarts. Harry, along with the two friends he made on the way there, are 1st years at the school. Harry learns that the school he and his friends are at holds more secrets than they thought. Harry and his friends go through their first year trying to find what is hidden and pass their classes. With Harry’s new sport Quidditch, a teacher who loathes him, mysterious gifts and items, and the pressure of classes, Harry and his friends are painted with responsibilities. Harry and his friends go through the twists and turns of everyday school problems and intense games. Harry and his friends are left with quite a magical experience. It leaves you wondering what’s next for the golden trio. I would recommend this book if you enjoy coming of age stories with an enchanting twist. This series is for all ages and will leave you spellbound to the story of the boy who lived.

~Lena S.

Two Truths And One Lie

  1. My favorite sports is Volleyball and my team was called Spike. We always had a game on every Friday and practice on Thursdays. On the last two weeks, we went and played a tournament versus other people. We were in third place the whole time when playing volleyball until our coach told us to focus and train hard. We play and play to win every single game to show people that we are the best players for the 8th graders.
  2. Everytime when I go to my uncle’s house, I always play video games. I get in trouble for no reason. I wanted to go there because they had a little baby and sometimes I want to go there to play with him. I was forced to do chores over at his house and didn’t do anything for an hour.
  3. When I was 11 years old, it was Christmas. It was time to open the presents. I shook my present to guess what I got, and when I opened it, guess what? I got an Ipod 5! It was one of my best presents ever because I always wanted one.
Leo L