Spotlight on Second Period


Wonderful work this week from our bloggers!  It’s great to see the effort students are putting in to improving their composition skills while at the same time sharing their thinking with their readers.

Enjoy these posts from second period, and we hope you will join in the discussions by leaving your comments!

Jason shares a podcast on the topic of bliss and one man’s search for his own.

Emily and Annakate are looking forward to Halloween.

Jillian and Ananya have recommendations for our reading and movie watching.

Sadie writes about her fun experience at IFly, while Meg writes about a not-so-fun experience at camp.

Ethan expresses gratitude for his piano teacher.

Grace and Veronica write about favorite places.

Caroline teaches us more about the recent solar eclipse, and David informs us about upcoming game releases.

We’ll be back after the 31st with more posts! Happy Halloween!

Celebration West Ridge


 Celebration West Ridge 2014

Celebration West Ridge is our school’s annual festival and fundraiser.   In the collage above, you see just some of what CWR offers.  What you can’t hear is the awesome music, and what you can’t taste is the delicious food!  Pizza, snow cones, candy–and more candy!–are part of the fun, as are photo booths, karaoke, and cake walks.  More adventurous students can enter games and competitions up on the field.  CWR is a day of laughter and prizes, treats and eats, dancing and playing.  An extra bonus?  This year the weather was perfect, with not a rain cloud in sight!

Author! Author!


We’ve been talking about what we like in the books we are reading.  What does the author do to make the book good?  What choices has he or she made that are really effective in making us want to read more?

Here are some of the thoughts shared by students:


Mikaela on Caragh M. O’Brien (The Vault of Dreamers):
“I like how the author makes you ask questions.  It makes you want to finish the book before it eats you alive!  And she makes you review the questions later to see if you were thinking logically.”

Reda on Heather Anastasiu (Glitch):
She knows how to end a chapter with a cliffhanger.  With other authors, they seem to make me angry and aggravate me to the point where I want to stop reading, but this author makes it so that I need to know what’s on the other side of that page.”

Tori on Dawn Metcalfe (Luminous): 
“This author has created a story that is unique to all others.  It doesn’t have a very generic plotline, such as one with an obvious antagonist.  This, I think, is an important part of a good story because it creates that tension.  My book keeps taking sharp turns that make the ending harder and harder to guess.”

Niko on J.K. Rowling (Harry Potter and the Chamber of Secrets):
“Unlike most authors, she expands her universe and keeps a good story at the same time!”



Layna on Kelly Bingham (Shark Girl):
“I like how the author writes the book in letter form.  I feel like books that are made up of letters are unique because it is a whole different style of writing.  Letters are shorter so there are more stopping points, while in other books there are chapters that are 20 pages long and you sometimes have to stop in a middle of a chapter!”

Madeleine J on Agatha Christie (The Hollow):
“I love this author’s work because she knows how people think and you never can guess who the murderer is.  I also love her work because there is so much of it, and she always gives an extensive background on the people involved.”


David S on Eoin Colfer (Artemis Fowl:  The Last Guardian):
“I like Colfer’s work because he always has a riveting and suspenseful plot.  He never fails to merge suspense and humor, so I always find myself smiling or on the edge of my seat.”

Mia on Suzanne Collins (Mockingjay):
“I like that the author elaborates and is very descriptive.  She is very specific about the words she chooses to use in her sentences.  She uses very big words that have even bigger meanings, along with some I have never heard before.”


Book Cover Images: Scholastic Reading Club Online. Scholastic, Inc., n.d. Web. 10 Oct. 2014.

Fiction Becomes Fact?



This invention is like something straight out of Star Trek, isn’t it? I know the article makes mention of Harry Potter’s invisibility cloak, but before there were the deathly hallows, there was first a cloaking device.  I’ve known about the concept since I first watched The Enterprise Incident in the early 1970’s.  Kirk’s ingenious plan to steal the secret cloaking device from the Romulans makes for one of my favorite Star Trek episodes ever.  Just think of the military implications of an invention that could hide the presence of a ship!  The Federation certainly couldn’t leave such technology in the hands of their enemies.

There are other examples of Star Trek technology becoming real-life inventions.  Spock, Dr. McCoy and Mr. Scott would be proud of us 21st century humans.  Gene Roddenberry and his team knew what they were doing!

Interested in more articles like this? Dogo News is all about current events for kids.  Just click the tab that interests you the most:  science, social studies, sports, entertainment, international, green, fun…there’s something there for every reader.

Find an article that interests you, click to get the embed code, and put it in a blog post. Then share your thoughts by adding a paragraph or two of your writing beneath the embedded article.

Notice that in addition to Dogo News, you can also find Dogo Books and Dogo Movies…all reviewed by kids for kids! If you create an account with your school email (ask your parents first), you can post your own book and movie reviews on the Dogo website.


#14stubc: Hello from Austin, Texas!


Or should we say “Howdy, y’all!” instead?

Challenge bloggers from #14stubc (the fourteenth Edublogs student challenge) and other visitors, we are glad you have stopped by for a visit. Most of us are new to blogging, but we are excited to get started on our posts and to reach out to new friends across the world.

Have you ever been to Texas? Our city, Austin, is the capital. It’s located in the beautiful hill country in the center of the state. Check out the video to get a sense of the place we are proud to call home:

That’s the Colorado River flowing through our town. Did you notice the bats that fly out from under the Congress Avenue bridge? We’ve been known to have bats in our school from time to time!

In the comments we’ll share more about why we love our city. You can see our Austin posts from earlier challenges here and here.

Note:  We realize there is a misspelling in the video title.  We wish that it was our mistake to fix, but alas, it isn’t, and we can’t!