Friday, December 12, 2014


Right now, a man called Shawn Young invented a game called Classcraft. He is an eleventh grade physics teacher at a school in Quebec. He inientend this game so his students would engage more into his class, and it successfully worked. The students engagement level Sky-rocketed. He published his website about two months ago.

The game does not not interfere with the curriculum. At the start, you pick a role/class. There are three, The Mage, The Healer, and the Warrior. The teacher creates groups of five or six at the start of the year and every class has a specific trait. The Mage is for example, good in academics and the healer is good in socializing. The teacher evens up those groups to make it fair. The group stays together for the rest of the year and they have "powers". If they do good, they are able to get special privileges such as eating in class or being able to bring notes to tests. If they do bad, they face "death"   which is kind of like detentions. For example they have to come in on Saturday morning and things like that. One bad action from a person could end up affecting the whole team. Which is something that I wouldn't like if I were to do this.

To ensure that the students would always be on their toes he made hundreds of random events that he will randomly pull out to make a usually boring class into a fun one. He said that the website has tremendous benefits that help. He said that students are improving quickly because that don't to "die" in the game.

Scientists open mummy coffin and find more than dust

Scientists have recently found a 2,500-year-old mummy of a 14-year-old Egyptian boy. A conservatoire at Chicago's Field museum,and a few other scientists used clamps to raise the fragile lid. The mummy was a son of a priest and his name was Minirdis. The mummy will be in the exhibit called Mummies: Images of the after life. The exhibit will premier next September.The Field museum had the mummy since the 1920s. When the scientists used a CT scan, which is an X-Ray The scientists found out that the mummies' feet were detached.

If you want to find out more about a mummy, go to Tween

By: Ethan K. and Kasama T.

Baby sea otter, Luna, found in California

"Pup 681" during a feeding at the Shedd Aquarium in Chicago.
 An orphaned sea otter pup was rescued from the California coast and ended up at Chicago's Shedd Aquarium. Her name is Luna. 
The people at the aquarium named her Pup 681.  Then they held a contest to find a name for her. 10,000 people entered. They found that Luna was the most voted for name. The name Luna has significance because, she was found in Half Moon Bay.

Luna was more than two pounds when she was found in October on Coastaways Beach between San Mateo and Santa Cruz.

"A team of marine staff at Shedd Aquarium have been determined to provide 24-7 care to Luna since her arrival in October. She was one of the smallest otters ever rescued by the Monterey Bay Aquarium's team and has come incredibly far. Now almost twelve weeks old, the otter is up to 14 pounds. Luna receives eight feeding sessions daily and four types of seafood have been added to her diet. She still is fed from a bottle and is learning behavior for her survival like foraging for food and grooming on her own." This information came from The Chicago Tribune. 

Erik Finman

Erik Finman bought 100 bit coins, which is electronic currency, when they were only worth $12 each, but now there worth $1200 EACH so he got over $100,000. So he started a website called which allows teachers to teach you in any subject. Then he started a company called "intern for a day" we're you can be a intern at a new company and you can actually get a job at the company! He did a Ted talk

His Ted talk
Now he wants everyone to take his challenge: be something for a day, and learn something.  Eric is actually a C student, but this shows that sometimes grades don't matter, look how much he's achived bye creating his own business.

We Are Running out of Helium on Earth?

     On our happy little Earth, we are running out of the element helium.  The element has two protons, and two electrons, and neutrons, is sadly leaving our Earth.  Helium can be made by fusion with two hydrogens with two  neutrons.  I think that we can get our helium back with hydrogen fusion with two neutrons by squishing together two hydrogen atoms and two neutrons. 

     Helium is important so balloons will not go around with pricetags that say: deal of the
century, only $499,999,999.99

West Coast 'Pineapple Express': Floods, Power Outages, and Mudslides

The recent flood has been blamed to have killed two people in Oregon, as it continues to throw wind into the streets. Rain falls along the west coast, all the way from LA to Washington.

The AP notes that residents experienced power outages, floods, and mudslides. They said:

"Avalanches of mud and debris blocked part of the Pacific Coast Highway in Ventura County early Friday, National Weather Service specialist Stuart Seto said.

"He said that heavy rain was falling in Ventura County as well as western Los Angeles County, where possible flash flooding was a concern."

In Los Angeles, trees have been recorded to have fallen onto cars. Fears of mudslides have caused evacuations.

The rain is to continue today, and there has been nearly 3 inches of rain so far. This has been a huge change from this historical drought.

To finally relieve the lack of water, we would have to have at least 7 more storms like this one. It is easy to imagine the type of damage seven storms could do, seven times as much rain.

Mark Kunze of San Bruno pushes his stalled vehicle out of the flooded intersection in South San Francisco, on Thursday.

the last day until winter break

It is finally here.The last day till winter break!Yay!Santa's Deputy (which is claire) will give the students their presents. We call it Secret Santa.For those who don't know what that is , it is when the the students draw a person name from a jar and whomever they got,they have to get that person a gift and you cannot tell who you got.This will be in the morning.In the afternoon,we will be having a talent show.The students will perform whatever they signed up for like singing,dancing,and more. All the students will perform their class song they have been working on.I am scared I will make a mistake when I am performing.I will be doing piano and i am afraid i will mess up on a note.We have a big day ahead of us.                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                         .

These Moms Are Helping Knit The World's Largest Christmas Stocking For The Best Reason

There are two moms who lost their husbands when they were at war. Lori Kleppe has two sons who were going to college, and a toddler who she thought wouldn't understand his dads death. The other mom, Sarah Greene also lost her husband, and she has two kids, a son named Wesley, and a daughter named Jenna.Wesley was eight when his dad died, and Jenna was ten when her dad died. They called each other and they found a foundation called the Children of Fallen Patriots Foundation. When they found it they started to knit the worlds largest Christmas stocking. They will be done by December 2015.

How to Get Ready for the Talent Show

When you are about to play for the talent show, normally, people get really nervous.  At least I knwo I do.  Knowing that this is my last year at Hillwood and I have been playing for the talent shows for a long time, I know a lot about it.  These are just something I do.

The first thing I normally do is telling my oarents how nervous I am.  They always tell me to not think about it too much.  I play the violin and they akways tell me by the time I've started playing I'm just going to keep playing until it's over.  Which always ends up being true.  You always want to talk to your parents or an adut about how you feel.

The next thing I do right before I play for the talent show I always drink some water.  Drinking water helps me relax and I helps my stomach a little bit too.  My stomach always hurts right before I play so I always drink water.

Another way of calming down is going over what you are sing or playing or anything you do.  Since I play violin I always play it really quickly in the classroom.  If I know the song really well and not a specific part I play the part I need to work on te most.  It's good to get a feel for what you need to do.  It's almost like a warm up.

These are the things I do to calm down and get ready toplay for the talent show!

Written By: Claire P.

Friday, November 14, 2014

Long Lost Apartment????

Have you ever wanted to travel back in time? Well, this apartment from the Belle Epoque era is probably as close as you’re going to get for now. A lady named Madame de Florian inherited a very old apartment that hasn't been opened since 1942. The apartment is almost like a time capsule. It is stuffed full of priceless antiques.The owner left to one of her other villas to escape the war.

Here’s the stor

Madame de Floria

Cat Cafe Craze!

Cat lovers in Oakland are jumping on the chance to go to the new cat cafe, sip coffee, eat cat themed cookies, and pet cats. The cafe has been full since opening day because of people living in apartments that want to have cats but can't have them.

The owners took the idea from cat cafes in Japan because they started a craze. All the cats in the cafe are from the local animal shelter. The owners talk to the people working at the shelter and they adopt the cats that people at the animal shelter say are least likely to get adopted. For ten dollars a costumer can play, sleep, and pet a cat for a hour and eat food.

I think that this is really great and I wish that I could go to this cafe and play with the cats.

Greek day is next week ! Yay !

You may have not heard , but we will have greek day on november 21 . All the 5 - 8 graders will dress up as the Greek god or goddess they chose . There is Aphrodite , Apollo , Ares , Artemis , Athena , Demeter , Dionysus , Eros , Haydes , Hephaestus , Hera , Hermes , Hestia , Pan , Poseidon , and Zeus . We are doing this to get a deeper understanding of Greek mythology . Whatever god or goddess we chose , we have to research about him or her

. The goddess I am doing is Hera , the goddess of marriage . Her brothers and sisters were Hestia , demeter , Haydes , Poseidon and Zeus . Almost all of them were eaten by Cronus except Zeus . After Cronus was defeated , Zeus made Hera his wife . Their sons were Hephaestus and Ares . Hephaestus was the god of fire and Ares was the god of war . No one really turned to Ares for battle plans and no one really liked him except aphrodite . Zeus had other marriages , but Hera didn't like his other marriages.

 On Greek day , we will present our god or goddess . We will also have to dress up as our god or goddess . Any food that is associated with our god or goddess can bring it in . We will have a Greek feast . I am really excited for next week . I can't wait .

The 25th Anniversary of the Berlin Wall

On November 9, 1989 The Berlin Wall, East Germany and West Germany were united as one country.After World War 2, the Allies Yalta Conference made up of England, France, United States and The Soviet Union or Russia split Germany into two sides and four parts. There was the democratic West German
 and the communist controlled East Germany. East Germany was controlled by The Soviet Union or Russia and West Germany was split into 3 parts controlled by England, France and The U.S.
The Berlin Wall was built in 1949 and was destroyed in 1989. The Berlin Wall was built out of concrete and had barbed wire on the top of the wall. The wall was 11 to 13 feet tall and had 160 yards of traps called the "death strip".  The traps included 300 watch towers ,250 guard dogs and machine gun wires including 20 bunkers and 65 miles of military road. The Berlin wall was 28 feet long off the border of West Germany and and 96 feet encircling West Germany. 100,000 citizens of East Germany tried to cross over the Wall but only 5,000 made it. Finally 40 years later the Yalta Conference united West and East Germany as one country. Over 2 million people crossed The Berlin Wall from East Germany and both sides agreed to take down the Berlin Wall as soon as possible.
I have been to The Berlin Wall before but there is not much left of The Wall. There is about only a mile left of The Wall. Most of the Wall is marked by tall iron sticks marking where the wall was. On November 9 the celebration took place by the Berlin Wall. There was a 1,000 hot air balloons in the sky and there was a big celebration at the Brandenburg gate.

Emperor Penguins are Being Spied on by Robot Penguins

Most animals get shy and act differently around people, which makes watching them and monitoring them hard. While scientists try to stay far away from the penguins, but they need to get closer to them to check their heart rate.The penguins get so stressed that they cant successfully mate or protect their eggs. No one is more aware of the penguin's suffering than Yvon Le Maho. Maho has been watching these penguins for 40 years. the French scientist has been trying to find out a way to make a robot to monitor the creatures. Finally he made a four-wheeled rover. He sent the rovers out and the penguins pecked at it and didn't like it.

Since Maho's plan didn't work, he decided to partner up with a company that was making a documentary about the penguins.The teams thought and thought until they figured out that the penguins didn't like the rover because it was just four wheels.The teams finally thought that they would disguise the rover in a penguin suit. the top of the rover was a penguin and the bottom, the wheels were showing. The scientist sent out the rovers that were disguised as penguins. The chick penguins loved the rover but the adult emperor penguins were suspicious. the rover came back and the scientists realized that the penguins were showing a lot of stress.

The scientists decided to cover the whole body, and the wheels, of the rover with fuzz. They sent out the rover and the penguins immediately loved the rover. The babies huddles with it and the adults sang to it. But were the adults really fooled by the rover that spied on them?Because while the creatures huddled with the rover, it sent back signals back to the scientists about the animals heart rate, temperature, and movement patterns.

Super Bowl might be held in London

This year's SuperBowl might be held in London. There is one up side and one down side the down side is that the football fans here in San Fransisco will have a hard time going on an airplane and going to London. The up side is that Lodon  will make around 250 millions dollars. If London does host the Super Bowl it would be in Wembley. Another down side about haveing the Super Bowl in London is that the time because the time there is a few hours different from ours. And it will be difficult to know when the kickoff starts. If Lodon does hold the Super Bowl Lodon will get alot of money including food, beverages, and tickets. If you want to find out more on this article go to

How to Prepare For Your SSAT Test

Tomorrow I am going to be taking my SSAT test.  Since I am applying to high school, I have to take this test for a certain school.  Some high schools need it some don't.  When you start applying to schools you will find out which schools need the score from the test.

Some things you should know about the test is that the test does cost some money.  It is $20 and it can cost up to $120.  There are a few few different things that cost different amounts of money.  A way to get your scores costs 20 dollars.  I'm not sure where the test comes from but it does help you get in to certain schools.        

You're probably wondering what you're going to do and for how long.  The first part you are going to write an essay.  I think they are going to give you a few options to choose from and then you have a certain amount of time to write it.  Every section of the test you will be tested on will be timed.  After the essay you will be tested on math, language arts and other lessons will be in there as well.  You'll also be tested on spelling but that is probably going to fall under language arts.  Now you're probably thinking that it's going to be a short test that won't take to long.  Parents, your children are going to sit in a room for three hours and a few extra minutes.  Don't worry about it to much though because they will get a short break.  I'm getting all of my info from a webinar about the test and how to get ready for it.  If you watch one about the SSAT you will learn all of the little details about it as well.

Getting ready for it is probably the most simple part of the whole process.  You can get study books from the library but what about the night before the test?  The night before the test you should get a good nights sleep.  If you don't you won't have the energy to work hard.  The morning of the test you need to eat a good breakfast and make sure your ready to take the test.

This all of the information I can tell you about the test and how to prepare for it but for those who are going to take it good luck and don't worry about it too much.

Written By: Claire P.

Why Penguins at Australia's Nat. Park are Wearing Sweaters

      If you happen to find Phillip Island Nature Park in Australia, you might find a rather unusual sight: Little Blue penguins waddling around wearing brightly colored sweaters.

      Although this is seems to be just for fun, or to make them look cute, but these sweaters are really helpful for the penguins, and their survival. With all of the recent oil spills, many penguins have ingested the poisonous substance. There is also a bigger chance that the penguins will die of starvation or exposure. The oil can mat their feathers and make them heavier, which is inconvenient when chasing prey and being chased.

      In 1996, a volunteer knitted a handmade sweater for the penguins, and it became a huge hit and saved 96% of the 453 penguins. With the 100% wool material, the penguins can move freely in the perfect temperature, and the sweaters are made to keep from getting their flippers and beaks entangled.

      Also, after the penguin sensation started on the internet, zoos asked for sweaters from donators. They received hundreds too many, and are now using them to sell on stuffed penguins. 

Europeans Land First Spacecraft On Comet

Guess What! The ESA (European Space Association) launched the Philae back in 2004 and it took many years to reach the comet.On its way it traveled a amazing 4 billion miles. It succesfuly landed on the comet on wednesday of this week. Members describe that the mood at the headquarters was euphoric. Unfortunately, the mission didn't go exactly as planned but there still is a chance. There are two problems.

The first one is that only 3 out of the four legs succesfuly attached on the comet apparently the harpoon on the 4th one was activated but not fired. The Comet was discovered back in 1969 and its called 67P/Churyumov-Gerasimenko the comet is racing toward the sun at 18 km per second.

The second problem is that the battery life is a bit too low. The spacecraft receives 1.5 hours of sunlight every 12 hours.The team says that this is not enough for a long term period. Team member, Paolo Ferri The head of operation in the headquarters says "We have estimations right now that go between Friday afternoon and Saturday afternoon,". He means that between Friday afternoon and Saturday afternoon the battery will run out.

My opinion is that this is very awesome and it will remain in history forever just like USA was the first country to succesfuly land and walk on the moon.

I will put some pictures

Here is the comet.     

This is a diagram that explain some thing where it landed etc... This is a bigger picture of the lander it is way smaller in real life though

landing location

Ellis Island Immigrants

November 14 2014

Imagine you just arrived in a new country, you do not know the language of the people, but you got all you could carry and moved to this strange new world, hoping that you will have a better life. That was the life of millions of immigrants that passed through Ellis Island, a historic landmark from are great history. If you were migrating to Ellis Island you would pass through a physical test, then you would have your bags taken away (you would get them back later), and finally you would be questioned by a guard. Go here if you want a virtual tour of Ellis Island.

If you were selected for further testing, you would stay in a bunker. Ellis Island is located in the New York area. The Ellis Island building were you would pass through when you migrated was rebuilt twice, because the first building burned down.

12 million people passed through Ellis Island, thats why its so important in are history.