Thursday, March 30, 2017


Have you seen any of these movies? They are all "Teen Movies" adapted from the works of William Shakespeare. 

He was a playwright, a poet, a shrewd businessman, and a wordsmith over 400 years ago.

His words are used all the time, and we don't even know they are attributed to him. Here are some examples from Mental_Floss: 


“Nay, if our wits run the wild-goose chase, I am done, for thou hast more of the wild-goose in one of thy wits than, I am sure, I have in my whole five. Was I with you there for the goose?” — Mercutio


O, beware, my lord, of jealousy! It is the green-eyed monster, which doth mock the meat it feeds on." - Iago


“Be thou as chaste as ice, as pure as snow, thou shalt not escape calumny. Get thee to a nunnery, go.” — Hamlet, “Lawn as white as driven snow.” — Autolycus


“True is it that we have seen better days and have with holy bell been knolled to church, and sat at good men’s feasts and wiped our eyes of drops that sacred pity hath engendered.” –Duke Senior


“If? Thou protector of this damn├Ęd strumpet, talk’st thou to me of “ifs”? Thou art a traitor—Off with his head.” – Richard III


"Now tell me how long you would have her after you have possessed her.” — Rosalind, “Forever and a day” — Orlando


[Thersites exits], “A good riddance.” — Patroclus


“Yes, for a score of kingdoms you should wrangle, and I would call it fair play.” — Miranda


“If he could right himself with quarreling, some of us would lie low.” — Antonio


“Nay, an I tell you that, Ill ne'er look you i' the face again: but those that understood him smiled at one another and shook their heads; but, for mine own part, it was Greek to me. — Casca
See the above and read some more 
common Shakespeare quotes here.

For the next three weeks in class, we are going to learn a little more about Shakespeare. We will find out about his life and his works. We will read his comedy, "The Tempest."

Are you ready? Let's do it!

Movie Review

I have recently watched the movie Middle School: The Worst Years Of My Life. I really liked this movie because I am still in middle school and at this age nobody likes rules. I first wanted to watch this movie because an actress I knew played a role in this movie. I really liked the role Jeanne played by Isabela Moner. Jeanne was a good girl in the movie; the one who followed the rules and volunteered for anything. She was your typical good girl, straight A’s student but was she a good girl at heart? The main role Rafe, Griffin Gluck, had recently got his drawing notebook thrown in a tub of acid by the principle, the antagonist. Seeing all of his drawings that took hard work and time in his life go down the drain, he wanted revenge. He planned to break every rule the school had. While breaking these rules he had to have a partner in crime, his best friend Leo. Aside from trying to break all the rules he had family problems, girl problems and his own personal problems. This movie contains comedy, emotion and a little romance. I recommend this movie because not only is it funny but age appropriate and has a very good soundtrack.

-Ariel L

Two Truths and A Lie

1. When I was in the seventh grade I had all b’s except for one class. Other people have told me that teacher doesn't like seventh graders, and I think it was true because every day of his class he would send me to the office. In total I got kicked out twenty times and not one got me in trouble.

2. Last summer I had a dog named Spot. He was the cutest little puppy. He was all white and had black spots all over its body. One morning I was taking out the trash and I saw this white thing in the road. I thought it was a funny looking squirrel. I went to look at it and it was my puppy Spot! he just got hit with a truck. IT WAS A HIT AND RUN!!!!!!!

3. I like to play soccer I am pretty good at it. When I was a little kid around 5 years old, I was scared to play because I got hurt and I was embarrassed. When I got older, I was a lot stronger and bigger, so I was not scared at all. Every time I step on the field, I choose one guy and he will be the person who lands on their butt at least once. Ever since then I love playing soccer.

-Marcos B

Two Truths and a Lie
  1. I love the band Neck Deep. It is my favorite band and my favorite songs is December. My favorite album by Neck Deep is “life's not out to get you”. I like this band because they are all adorable and have some great music. I adore Neck Deep.
  2. I love gardening. Gardening is a really fun sport and makes a lot of hard times easier. It also relaxes me. I started gardening when in 6th grade I met a mom at an Arbonne party and she brought me coffee and we started to garden. IT WAS ABSOLUTELY AMAZING! Her name was Debra.
  3. I can play the drums, ukulele, the flute, piano, and the guitar. I love music and it has always been a close part of my life. Ever since I was little I was singing and dancing and playing whatever I could find. So music was and is a good escape for me.

-Lucie D

Favorite Food

My favorite types of foods are quesadillas, hamburgers and pancakes. The reason why I like quesadillas is because I like cheese and tortillas very much.  A quesadilla has both of those items put together. I like the melting hot cheese inside of the tortilla which gets folded in half to make the best type of food, the quesadilla. The other reason why I like quesadillas a lot is because they go with almost everything. They go with soup, eggs, beans, and rice, pretty much every type of mexican food.
The second type of food that I like is a Hamburger. I like hamburgers because I like the taste of them. I like to eat hamburgers with everything on it such as, buns, cheese, tomatoes, lettuce, onions, pickles, and mayonnaise. The only thing I don’t like on my hamburgers is mustard. I never really liked the taste of mustard.
My last favorite type of food are pancakes. I like pancakes because they have a good taste to them, especially in the morning. When I wake up in the morning and I go to eat my breakfast, I always get pancakes. I like to eat my pancakes with lots of syrup.  The weird thing is I like to eat pancakes with an egg right on top. These are all of my favorite types of foods and why I like them.


Sunday, March 26, 2017

So Many Firsts and Thank You

I'm sitting at Starbucks right now, grading some papers. Reflecting on this school year that is winding down. This has been a year of firsts for me.

I left my job of ten years to come work at Chico Junior. It is my first year teaching at Chico Unified School District, first year teaching 8th grade, first year as the yearbook adviser. (Additionally, I got married for the first time, followed shortly with selling and buying a house!)

I have learned so much. 

8th graders behave differently than do 6th graders. In some ways they are more advanced. They are more proficient readers and writers. They can participate in more abstract thought and conversations. They are older and often more mature. 

Some of them are more defiant and harder to redirect. If they are not at grade level, the gap requires even more dedication to bridge.

The standards I have to teach are different; the curriculum was new to me; I am learning new routines and procedures in a new district.

Fortunately, many resources are available to me, and I use them. A few educators have been my rocks this year, and I want to mention them here.

Andee Farrar- You continue to be my friend and confidant. I share with you; you share with me. Thank you for being my sounding board and enduring supporter. 

Tony Chinchay- When I was feeling most overwhelmed, you welcomed me and made me feel at home. You are warm and friendly, wise and experienced. Your honesty and direct advice got me through the toughest time. I owe much of my success to you!

April Hislop- You are my classroom neighbor and resident expert with 8th-grade English. You have observed my teaching formally and informally and offered suggestions that help me improve my craft. I trust you to keep me on the right track.

Pedro Caldera and Jessica Kamph- My new administrators, I feel lucky to have joined your team. You two are leaders and role models. Progressive, inclusive, caring-- You set the standard for how to support students and staff. I feel safe and included here. It can only get better!

Mary Anne Pella-Donnelly- Your knowledge and experience have been indispensable. Because of you, I have been able to take some of my students off campus to enjoy field trips that may keep them engaged in their educations for the years to come. You have selflessly given your time and shared your connections to make these excursions come to life. I could not have done it without you.

Denise Hughes- You are the sun, the center of the Chico Junior universe. You patiently answer all of my questions, of which I have an endless supply. You help me find things and do things and understand things. THANK YOU. 

Finally, I must thank all of my students. Every one of you has helped me become a better teacher this year. You help me practice growth mindset by showing me that I can work hard and endure even when things are difficult. You show up every day with eager minds and inspiring ideas. We learn together. I have had the pleasure of getting to know all of you and you've improved me as a person.

Let's finish this year strong!!! Ready? Go!


Two Truths and a Lie

1. When I was a little kid I used to always go to my grandma’s house. Every time me my dad and my sister went to my grandma’s house, we would stop at the gas station and we would always get my grandmother a Butterfingers. We would get a Payday for my grandfather because that was his favorite type of candy. One day something happened to my grandmother and she could no longer have candy. She had a heart attack. It was a really scary day when we found out.
2. One time my cousin was at my grandma’s house and she was texting her friend. My cousin somehow got her friends to go from Chico to Corning because that is where my grandma lives. She got caught sneaking out of the house with her friends. Her friends ditched her and ran off to the car, but my uncle and his friend chased them and caught them. Now my cousin doesn't have her phone and she practically lives in her room because she can no longer go anywhere.
3. When I was in 5th grade, I played soccer and I was good at it, but there was this one kid who was the best soccer player ever. He was a good close friend and I called him JR. He was one year older than me, so he had a one year head start. He would always show me new tricks. One day I was playing soccer doing tricks, I got hit and fell on the ground. I fell on my arm and I broke it. After that I could not play soccer until I started jr high two years later.

-Marcos B.

“Beastly” movie, based on the novel

Beastly, written and  wonderfully directed by Daniel Barnz is a modern day teen Beauty And The Beast. Seventeen year old Kyle (Alex Pettyfer) while very attractive being a shallow, ruler of his highschool kingdom in New York City. He foolishly chooses Kendra (Mary Kate Olsen) as his next target for humiliation among many innocent “uglys”. Kyle learns soon enough that the rumors about Kendra are as true as they seem and the Witch disguising as a highschool student uses her magic to plot and complete the perfect revenge, turning Kyle as aggressively unattractive as he is within. Kyle then has a year to find someone to love him or he will remain beastly forever. I found that this movie is a thrilling love story with a message that love is never ugly. I recommend this movie for all ages over 13 years old. My reasoning for the age recommendations is because there are some adult themes and mildly crude language.

-Lucie D.

Marcos’ Vacation

For my vacation I want to go to the Bahamas. Out of all the places I had in mind, I chose the Bahamas.  My options were the Bahamas, Hawaii, Florida, Disneyland, or a Disney Cruise. The reason I would like to go to the Bahamas is because they have nice beaches and it would be nice to swim in the water. If I ever went to the Bahamas, I would want to stay at one of the nice, big hotels. Big hotels have a lot of things like swimming pools, game rooms, exercise rooms, and they also have a big breakfast buffet. I love to eat.

I love going on vacations during summer and especially to the beach. The beach is my favorite place to go because I can chill out on a towel, play with the sand, play volleyball, and swim in the ocean. I love going to places I have never been before. The Bahamas is one place that I have not visited yet.    

Sunday, March 5, 2017

Smartphones: Helpful or Hurtful?

This week in class we are reading articles about smartphone use. Helpful or Harmful? We are thinking critically about the information in the articles and determining our own positions on the subject. 

Here are some photos of students' annotated articles:

Next week students will make claims and defend them in argumentative essays. This assignment will prepare them for the district assessment coming up in a few weeks.


Sister Soccer Opinion

I asked my sister what was her opinion of her playing soccer, and she said her opinion was that she is the best player on her soccer team. She likes it also because it is fun to play and she is good at kicking the ball. All of her friends play soccer also.
My sister is a pretty good soccer player. She usually scores one goal every other game, but she never goes outside to practice. My whole family is trying to get her to practice, but she thinks she is too good for that. Maybe one day she will understand that she is not the best player on her soccer team and she will have to practice a lot to get better. I know that all of the times that she was sitting on the couch, she should of been outside practicing. I am sure one day she will wake up and understand she needs it.

-Marcos B

Two Truths and a Lie

  1. I had an agent at age 9-10. I was also in a program for young actresses and models. In order to get her, I had to drive down to Los Angeles to audition for an agent...I got all six call-backs. It was an amazing experience for a young girl.

  1. I did ballet for seven years. I had pointe. And was invited to Santa Anna’s Dance Academy for youth. I told my Mom and we fundraised as much as we could but we ended up not being able to afford to send me. I was devastated and quit ballet. I can still stand on pointe though!

  1. My mom’s best friend got invited onto Pharrell Williams tour bus. Then she left. Why? She went overboard...literally. She was dancing in the front of the bus and somehow the doors opened and she fell out! They got her back in but she hurt her ankle and went home. Then she said after seeing the pictures from the previous few weeks, she got serious anxiety.

Two Truths And a Lie

  1. I was riding my bike and I fell trying to turn.  I couldn’t get up because I had tiny pebbles stuck in my knee.  There was a kid who came outside to see what happened and his mother ran to get him and she said thank you to me.  I then just walked to my house, which wasn’t very far.  My mom disinfected the wound and told me to put a bandaid on it.  After a couple of days the wound healed.  Now I have a faint scar on my knee.
  2. I traveled to Houston, Texas and went on a boat ride.  My mom didn’t want to get wet so she went to the back.  She didn’t go to the very back so she got completely wet.  She got off and she blamed the whole thing on me for not telling her.
  3. I went to monkey face and took a hike.  I had slipped on some of the rocks there and fell.  I nearly fell off the edge but my cousin was there to hold on to me he helped me up.  I decided to keep hiking.

Which is the lie?
-Emily A.