Cedar Grove Memorial Middle School Homeworknow

Teachers’ Name Puns
With Max Richman and Justin Strugger
You may need to say this out loud to get these amazing puns about our great staff here at MMS.

Q: Which teacher would make the best judge?
A: Ms. McCourt
Q: Which teacher always slips?
A: Ms. Felder
Q: Which teacher is the best at ducking?
A: Mr. Crouch
Q: Which teacher would be a great manager?
A: Mr. Bas
Q:Which teacher looks good in a hat?
A: Mr. Kaplan
Q: Which teacher likes a good haircut?
A: Mr. Trimbole
Q: Which teacher is the coldest?
A: Mr. Berenzy
Q: Which teacher is obsessed with his hands?
A: Mr. Palmgren
Q: What Staff Member gets stuff done immediately?
A: Ms. Gronau
Q: Which teacher likes flowers the most?
A: Mr. Rosefort
Q: Which teacher likes soup the most?
A: Mr. Stewart
Q: Which teacher always feels cold?
A: Ms. Chilimintris
Q: Which teacher is the most like a writing utensil?
A: Mr. Peña
Q: What teacher loves sandwiches?
A:  Mr. D’elia
Q: Which teacher likes puppets the most?
A: Ms. Sudol
Q: Which teacher is the best with data?
A: Herstat
Q: Which teacher loves advertising?
A: Ms. Bradshaw
Q: What Teacher is always surprised?
A: Ms. O’Sullivan
Q: Which teacher hates Apple?
A: Mr. O’Dell



Trump's State of The Union Address
By Justin Strugger
      Trump delivered an extremely interesting State of the Union address full of extremely detailed information. The State of the Union is the legal requirement for the president to speak in front of Congress annually to catch up on the POTUS’ new ideas, and reviews over the past year. Throughout the speech Trump referenced many things. A lot of Trump’s speech was absorbed by thanking others that he considered deservant of honor. Some of these include Ashlee a helicopter during Harvey, Preston, an 11 Year Old who supported marking Veterans Graves, and Ryan, a Police Officer who saved a pregnant women from injecting heroin into her body.

       Trump also made several claims throughout the speech. Some of these includes his comments on the economy. According to him, the market now offers thousands of more jobs. Along with this he says that unemployment has gone down in several factors. He also declared that under his presidency he made tax cuts, he’s companies are moving to America, he’s using clean-coal, he’s approved critical drugs, and of course destroyed ObamaCare. Trump insisted that all these change under his command. During the speech he called on Congress to support workers’ rights. to Improve Infrastructure, and lastly to break down on Gangs.

      Throughout the speech he also addressed several international affairs. Some of these include situations in North Korea, Afghanistan, Iraq, and Israel. One of the things I noted and found particularly interesting. He quoted “This, in fact, is our new American moment. There has never been a better time to start living the American dream. So, to every citizen watching at home tonight, no matter where you have been or where you have come from, this is your time. If you work hard, if you believe in yourself, if you believe in America, then you can dream anything, you can be anything. And together, we can achieve absolutely anything.” The general interpretation of this quote is that Trump wants to transition this republic to emphasis the application of supporting American institutions over foreign aid.

      I have shook someone's hand who shook someone's hand who shook Trump hand. So it is possible some micro-bacteria that we share on our hand. So maybe I can tell you a little bit of what I assume Trump’s perspective is. He is attempting to stay optimistic after his previous speeches were deemed discouraging. Trump main messages were to eliminate Gangs, and end crime from illegal immigrants. As my friend noted, Trump seemed to conveniently leave out any mention of Homosexuality at any point of his speech. Overall, Donald Trump gave a obscure and highly perplexing speech full of interesting facts about his future intentions in our nation.



12 Fun Facts About Martin Luther King Jr.
By Sophia Franklin

           On January 15, we observe Martin Luther King Day, when we honor the civil rights activist that changed America. But just who was he? Take a look at 12 fun facts about the man who played an important role in the American civil rights movement. 
          King’s name was originally Michael, not Martin. The civil rights leader was known as Michael King Jr. when he was born on January 15, 1929. However, King’s dad, Michael King Sr., a pastor at Ebenezer Baptist Church in Atlanta, went to Germany in 1934 and was inspired by Martin Luther, the Protestant Reformation leader. King Sr. subsequently changed both his name and his son’s name to Martin Luther King. King went to college at only 15 years old. King was such a talented student that he skipped both 9th and 12th grade. He enrolled at Morehouse College in 1944, the alma mater of both his dad and his maternal grandfather. Although his father, grandfather, and great-grandfather were all Baptist ministers, King didn’t become one until Benjamin E. Mays, the president of Morehouse back then convinced him to do so. He was ordained before he graduated college with a degree in sociology.
           King went to jail almost 30 times. Throughout his career, he was incarcerated 29 times. He got arrested for several acts of civil disobedience and with trumped-up (an excuse to arrest him) charges. An example: King went to jail in Montgomery, Alabama for driving 30 miles per hour in a 25-miles-per-hour zone. King barely escaped an assassination attempt about a decade before his death. On September 20, 1958, King was in New York autographing copies of his book, Stride Toward Freedom, in Blumstein’s department store. A woman named Izola Ware Curry asked if he was Dr. King. After he replied with a yes, she stabbed him with a 7-inch steel letter opener. The blade stopped mere inches away from his aorta, and King was rushed to the hospital, where he underwent hours of surgery as the doctors carefully removed the blade from his chest. One doctor told King that if he even sneezed, the blade would’ve punctured his aorta, and he would’ve drowned in his own blood. In a speech, he stated that he “felt no ill will” toward his attacker.
          King is the youngest male to win a Nobel Peace Prize. He is also the youngest male recipient of a Nobel Peace Prize, winning it in 1964 at the age of 35 (back then, he was the youngest person overall to win the award). Today, the youngest person to ever win a Nobel Peace Prize is Malala Yousafzai, who won in 2014 at the age of 17. King’s last public speech predicted his death. On April 3, 1968, King traveled to Memphis, Tennessee, to support the strike of black garbage workers in the city. In his speech, he said: “ Like anybody, I would like to live a long life. Longevity has its place. But I’m not concerned about that now … I’ve seen the Promised Land. I may not get there with you. But I want you to know tonight, that we, as a people, will get to the Promised Land. And I’m happy tonight. I’m not worried about anything. I’m not fearing any man. Mine eyes have seen the glory of the coming of the Lord.” He was shot to death the following evening by James Earl Ray. 
          In his lifetime, King won a Grammy, Congressional Gold Medal, and a Presidential Medal of Freedom. He was also posthumously (after his death) awarded the same exact achievements. The Gold Medal and the Medal of Freedom make sense, but how was he able to win a Grammy? He won it in 1971, 3 years after his death, for Best Spoken Word Album for “Why I Oppose the War in Vietnam”. There’s a message on part of King’s memorial. If you ever get the chance to go to Washington, D.C., take a look at the sides of King’s memorial. The left side of the memorial bears the inscription “out of the mountain of despair, a stone of hope”. The right side used to have the words “I was a drum major for justice, peace, and righteousness”, but the words were removed because the quote was paraphrased incorrectly.
           King donated all the money he won from his Nobel Peace Prize to the Civil Rights movement. King donated the $54,123 (roughly $400,000 today) he received for winning his Nobel Peace Prize to help advance the Civil Rights movement. Why, you may ask? During his acceptance speech, King said: “I believe that unarmed truth and unconditional love will have the final word in reality. This is why right temporarily defeated is stronger than evil triumphant.”
          Despite the fact that King’s birthday was made a holiday in 1983 by President Reagan, the holiday wasn’t observed in all 50 states until 2000. The last states to join were Arizona in 1992, New Hampshire in 1999, and Utah in 2000. Martin Luther King is the only Native-born American to have a holiday dedicated to him. You’re probably thinking that I’m not telling the truth. After all, what about George Washington and President’s Day? While Washington was born in Virginia, he was born in 1732. At the time, the US was a British colony, so, technically, the people born before 1776 were considered British subjects. The only other person to have a US holiday named after them is Christopher Columbus, and he was Italian, lived in Spain, and never reached the modern-day US. There are hundreds of streets and buildings named after him. Today, there are over 700 streets named after King in the US, with at least one in almost every major city. And this doesn’t even count the many, many schools, buildings, parks, and other places named after him.
          Hopefully, after reading this article, you learned something new about Dr. King. I hope you enjoyed the list, and take time to honor King this MLK Day, which is January 15, 2018 (if you didn’t read the first paragraph). I’m going to end with a quote from Dr. King: “If you can’t fly then run, if you can’t run then walk, if you can’t walk then crawl, but whatever you do you have to keep moving forward.” 
Sources: Hiskey, Daven. “20 Interesting Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. Facts.” Today I Found Out, 26 Jan. 2016, www.todayifoundout.com/index.php/2013/01/martin-luther-king-jr-facts/. Klein, Christopher. “10 Things You May Not Know About Martin Luther King Jr.” History.com, A&E Television Networks, 4 Apr. 2013, www.history.com/news/10-things-you-may-not-know-about-martin-luther-king-jr. ​


The Holland Column
By Lael and Clea Licht

We left the United States after eighth grade. Throughout our last year in the US, we became a little nervous about making the transition from MMS to CHS. When we realized we were moving to the Netherlands, we became a whole new kind of nervous. Not only would we be going to high school next year, but we would be going to high school in a new town, in a new country across the Atlantic Ocean, with people we had never met before!
    But, being human, we adapted. we adapted to a new environment, we made new friends, and we got used to the new school. But, of course, schools in Holland are different than in the US. The school we go to is a partially private, partially government funded Dutch school with an international sector.
    In our grade, there are about 40 students, which is nothing compared to the multitudes of students in each grade in CHS. There are two classes in our grade, and each class consists of about 20 students. Each of these students is either Dutch with international parents, or is international themselves. We have students from Chile, Germany, Sweden, China, Japan, India, Romania, the US, and so on. This means that although our classes are conducted in English, not everyone is a native English speaker.
    Additionally, our school is an IB (International Bacaloria) school. Some older students, those in CHS, may remember the implementation of the IB program in MMS. Long story short, things didn’t go as planned with IB in MMS, and the program was abandoned after a year of trying to enforce “learner profiles” and “responsible citizenship.” Our current school, on the other hand, has been an IB school for years. We use a grading system of zero through eight, eight being the highest grade, and below four being failing. However, these numbers do not relate to percentage points in any shape or form. It is not as if an 8 signifies 100 percent, and a 6 is equivalent to 75 percent. The numbers used in IB grading have rather a connotation than a denotation, or a specific value. For example, you literally have to be superhuman to get constant 8s. 4s are average, while 2s, 1s, and 0s mean you need to study really hard for the next test. These are not the definitions given by the IB rubrics we get in school, although they are honestly probably easier to understand. These definitions are what we have gleaned from our classmates, who have been here longer than we have.
    Plus having these unspecific number grades, IB schools also use different criteria, which are divided into categories labeled A, B, C, and D. A relates to knowledge and understanding, B is planning and predicting, C is executing a process, and D is review and reflection.
    As a parent, a student, or a member of the Maplewood community, I’m sure you are used to hearing that the US schools are not all that great. US education ranks low on the list of developed countries, and is slipping even lower. However, we must remember that the US is huge. Schools in Arkansas are completely different from schools in New Jersey. And, having gone through the Maplewood school system as well as the international one, we can tell you a few things that the Maplewood schools are a little bit better at.

  1. Music. We are in a music class in our current school. It is fun and we really like the teacher, and we learn a lot about music history and technicalities, such as rhythm and chord progressions. However, not everyone in our music class plays an instrument, and it is difficult for the teacher to tailor the lessons to the needs of the students if the students are all at different levels in their musical knowledge. This often happens in international schools, because people join at different points and come from different backgrounds. Like in elementary school, the music class is very general. There is no specific band or chorus, although there is an orchestra that meets once a week after school. Other than that, however, there is no marching band, no select chorus, and no symphonic band.
  2. English. Once again, the student body has a wide variety of English levels, ranging from absolute beginners to advanced native speakers. This means that we tend to write a lot of basic essays, with not a lot of room for creativity. It also doesn’t help that we only have English class twice a week.
  3. Math. Eventually, the level of math in the IB schools will catch up with the levels in Maplewood. However, the IB schools ‘math learning curve’ is quite different from Maplewood. In IB, math until 11th grade is relatively simple, and rises exponentially as you enter your last two years. In Maplewood, we noticed a more consistent curve, the math getting gradually harder and harder. Each system works better for different people, but it seems as though the IB one is far more stressful.
  4. Lesson lengths. Our lessons last one hour and fifteen minutes, although the human brain can only focus for about 45 minutes at a time. This means that tests and in class essays are longer as well. However, we do have two lunch breaks, lasting half an hour each, which is rather nice.

    Unfortunately, however, it seems as if the looming predator of high school homework resides all over the world- Although there are arguments online and at school about the amount of homework, most students that I have talked to find it excessive and crushing. Teachers, of course, insist the opposite. Although it varies from week to week, specific ‘test weeks’ that occur four times a year are most stressful. In these weeks, teachers give end of term tests for each subject- this is perhaps the most stressful and time consuming part of the year.
    Moreover, IB is all about long term activities. At the end of the equivalent of 9th grade, each student starts an almost year long project relating to a particular interest. Additionally, IB puts an emphasis on community service and culture. In a program called Service as Action, all students must perform five activities throughout their 9th and 10th grade years that bring them new skills and benefit their community. Although a good idea in principle, the concept seems to get a bit out of hand, and encourage people quantify their ‘good deeds’. For example, an IB student trying ice skating for the first time might say, ‘Does this count as Service as Action,’ or when helping someone who has fallen down, ‘Can I put this in my S/A worksheet?’

    Overall, the IB system has its strengths and weaknesses, just like any other school system. If we have learned anything, however, it is that it’s a lot more similar than you might expect. No, we are not going to school on mars- just in a different country. Annoying teachers, homework, and class clowns still exist. Kids in Holland have two lunch breaks- not two heads. Even so, we can’t wait to come back and visit Maplewood, to see some of our old teachers and friends!



I Bet You Didn’t Know - Hanukkah Edition
By Justin Strugger



“Oy vey! I got some schmutz on my shirt.” In case you didn’t know, I am Jewish. And let me tell you about the very mysterious holiday called Hanukkah. This holiday is often put into such deformed shape by the public and the uninformed. It’s time for a little boy with a big nose to clear some things up for you.

Let's start with a common misbelief, Hanukkah is a very MINOR holiday in Judaism. Most people believe that Hanukkah is this big ginormous celebration that Jews wait for all year because of its proximity in time to Christmas. Although Hanukkah is very fun, it is considered something that is not that significant in comparison to the high holy days (Yom Kippur, Rosh Hashanah, and Simchat Torah), where we start a new year, ask for atonement and forgiveness, and restart the reading of the Torah. Another thing that is very important to understand is that Hanukkah occured after the time of the Torah. It is a fairly recent story in relation to the classic Biblical stories. That means that Hanukkah doesn’t mark a specific time of the year, like a birth of a leader or a time of harvest. It’s just a celebration of an old story, similar to Purim in march. Jews are simply partiers in our blood.

Let me tell you about the story of Hanukkah. Once some Jews were invaded and they needed to Ration Light. That’s it. The story of Hanukkah is just about regulating oil. Not to impressive in comparison to the birth of a man who literally started time.

Next, Hanukkah was not a gift-giving holiday until recently. In the light of Christmas Jews across Christian majority countries decided to enter gift giving into the traditions of Hanukkah to attempt to make the holidays equivalent in rapture. Hanukkah is actually very different from Christmas and is celebrated in a very unique way…

Hanukkah is full of interesting symbolism. Let's start with the Menorah. The eight shorter candles represent the eight nights of the oil burning, along the the Shemash, the helper candle, that guides the light to all the other candles. Then there’s the food that is all based on the oil used during those nights. Jews traditionally eat potato latkes and jelly donuts to remind us of the energy used that night. Lastly, the letters on the dreidel represent the first letters of each word in the sentence “A miracle happened there” when translated into Hebrew. However in Israel, one letter is altered to spell out “A miracle happened here”. Judaism is full of small religious symbols especially on one of my favorite holidays, Passover, where we literally eat through the story of Jews escaping Egypt.

Now is one of the more interesting parts of Hanukkah… the spelling. Technically there is no direct translation into English on how to spell this word but it is often split into several common ways. Many ways may began with “ch”, but please do not pronounce this the way you may traditionally. In order to make this sound you must use the mucus at the back of your throat to make an almost growling sound. After years in Judaism, you end up mastering the sound.

There is a lot you might not know about this odd Holiday, but I bet you know more than you did two minutes ago when you began reading this. And there you go. That is Hanukkah. Until next time, Todah Rabah.



Why Thanksgiving is Easily the Best Holiday
By Justin Strugger
You hear people all the time screaming about how much they love their favorite holidays. Possibly Halloween, Christmas, Passover, Valentine's Day, or maybe the 4th or July. But I think it's time to set something straight. Thanksgiving is definitely the best holiday.
First of all, let's start with the real meaning behind the holiday, to be grateful of the many things around you. People are able to reconnect with what they have that others may not. Next, Thanksgiving means Black Friday and Cyber Monday, which allow people to take advantage of amazing sales preceding the Holiday season. Also, what is that thing that everyone wakes up to on Thanksgiving day to enjoy with large floats, and artists performing, down the streets of New York? It’s the Macy’s day parade! It’s only November, yet people call all ready feel the winter spirit with the parade.  Then comes the most (debatable) American Sport there, football, with many NFL games that millions of Americans watch supporting their favorite teams. What Else? You get to spend time with your whole family! Everyone together, just for the sake of love and gratitude.
The final thing is one of the best things in the entire world... spending a whole day stuffing your stomach with food, food, and more food. And on that note, I hope I’ve changed your mind. Other Holidays may be fun and joy, yet there will always be one that stand out. And that holiday is coming this Thursday, Thanksgiving.




The Maplewood Halloween Parade
By Kate Kampner

On October 31, Maplewood Village was overflowing with characters, people, and objects from all the world! Children, Teenagers, Adults, all came to celebrate Halloween! The streets were crowded with people. The main road blocked off completely. People of the stores such as The Able Baker and Leo's nail salon stood outside with buckets of sweets, passing out candy to everyone. The streets suddenly filling with multiple pieces of candy wrappers and trash.
Many people wore different costumes. Such as super heroes, book characters, real people, and artwork. One person was apparently an alien trying to fit into the human world. Another person was a baseball player from the movie A league of their own which is a very famous movie about women playing baseball, from the early 1990s. You could see multiple costumes though such as Eleven from Stranger Things or Wonder Woman. Both are very iconic characters in television and comic books today. The Halloween parade was very enjoyable for everyone. Many kids walked home with a giant bag filled with candy and a smile on their face.



The Wonder/MyFace Project
Written By Kate Kampner

On Friday October 6th, each grade gathered in the auditorium to listen to a project/organization  that related to our schools week/month of respect. This organization was called The MyFace project. Speakers Savanna and Dina (Last names are unknown) came to tell us about the non profit organization, MyFace which they both work for.  Based in New York City, MyFace provides medical and all psycho-social support to all of the cranio-facial disorder patients at NYU. Cranio-facial disorder refers to an abnormality in the face and head. Yes, on the outside they might look different but on the inside were all the same.  “It has nothing to do with how intelligent a person is, nothing to do with what kind of person they are.” Savanna says. At MyFace they have social workers, speech therapists, nutritionists, and much more to support whatever needs each patient may have.
     During the presentation, they played a video where they recorded interviews with multiple Craniofacial disorder patients. They ranged from young children to teenages to adults. They talked about what it was like with the disorder. They explained the difficulties like how they were treated by everyone else and how their life was different with this disorder. One question was, What trait do you wish everyone in the world had? Most members said Kindness. Patients said that one of the hardest things about having Craniofacial disorder is that people look at you with negative, judging looks.
In the famous world-wide book Wonder, written by R.J. Palacio, Auggie Pullman has Craniofacial disorder just like most patients at MyFace. The book was based off a time when R.J. Palacio was with her daughter at the ice cream shop. She saw a young child with Craniofacial disorder and tried to shield her own daughter so she wouldn't get scared. Eventually, her daughter saw the child and started to cry. R.J. immediately left the store so that her daughter wouldn't make a scene. This book was written because R.J. wished that instead of leaving the scene, she walked over to the mother and child and introduced herself. She wished she made sure that her daughter new that the child with Craniofacial disorder was not any different than her on the inside. Auggie Pullman is based off of a real life person. His name is Nathaniel. He is 14 and looks similar to what Auggie would have looked like. He's had many different surgeries and missed a lot of school. R.J. Palacio interviewed him to what it was like to have Craniofacial disorder. She wanted to know how his life was both different and the same than others who didn't have the disorder. She would stay up hours writing the book, making sure it was perfect. Making sure it corrected her mistake at the ice cream shop. Now years later the book Wonder is a worldwide favorite. Kids all around are reading and learning about Craniofacial disorder. They are aware that we are all the same on the inside.
“WHEN GIVEN THE CHOICE BETWEEN BEING
RIGHT OR BEING KIND, CHOOSE KIND.” -R.J. Palacio



The Spectrum Club
by Holly Stout

The Spectrum Club provides students with a safe space to discuss current LGBTQ+ topics.

The group encourages students to be comfortable with themselves and who they are.  We talk about changes we would like to see in the school such as; more choices for LGBTQ+ books, choice of locker rooms, and gender-desegregation in school activities.
We welcome all new members.  As always, we have snacks.  :)



Middle School: An Incredible Journey
By LL


    In sixth grade, I came into this school like any other new student. I was shivering with excitement, my legs shaking in anticipation. What would my teachers be like? Would my friends be in my class? Was middle school as hard as the elementary school teachers made it seem? I sat in the sweaty auditorium, my hands clasped desperately in my lap, feverishly waiting for a teacher to call out my name and tell me I was in their class.

Fast forward two and a half years, and it feels like middle school has gone by in the blink of an eye. I remember all of the years I spent here in vivid detail. In sixth grade, I had Mr. Odell as a language arts teacher and Mr. Terenzi in science. I learned the basics of how to navigate middle school: Carry around your schedule so you won’t get lost, hand in your homework on time, and be wary of blossoming middle school drama. Five paragraph essay writing, American history, and simplifying equations all played a prominent role in my sixth grade existence. Sixth grade was all about learning how to juggle school, homework, sports, and sleep.

Everyone says seventh grade is the worst school year you will ever have to live through. Surprisingly, seventh grade was my favorite year of all. I had excellent teachers (for the most part). I made some great friends, and I finally began to feel at home in the oversized middle school building. However, staying true to myself was tricky. I had to remind myself of who I wanted to be and I had to choose my friends carefully. In seventh grade I started to play the flute, and oh my, that was frustrating! But I stuck with it, and as an eighth grader, I am part of the Honors Wind Symphony. I sometimes had trouble managing mountains of homework and studying for tests, and I would think of each test day as the end of the world.

By eighth grade, I began to realize that even if I didn’t get an A on my next math quiz, I would live to fight another day. I worked hard, but I also tried to relax and stop being so uptight. I’m still working on that. As an eighth grader, my grade rules the school. We have all grown close to each other over the years, and it will be sad when we depart for different high schools, either private  or public. No matter which schools we go to, it won’t be the same again.

As everyone knows, spring fever often strikes graduating eighth graders. It’s the home stretch, and we can’t wait to cross the finish line. Finals are coming up, and so is the dinner dance, so everyone is nervous and excited, and sad that the year is nearly over. I have learned so much from my middle school journey, and I will never forget it.




  Plagiarism
    By Max Richman and Justin Strugger



What is Plagiarism? What is Copyright? What is acceptable and not acceptable for copying? All these questions require more than just a simple answer. Keep on reading to find the confusing ways of researching and more. And remember, when in doubt just add quotes.

So let's start with the simple facts. What is the definition of plagiarism? Plagiarism is the stealing or copying of someone’s work without direct permission as a violation of the law. People will sometimes copyright their creative works in order to protect others from taking credit from what they have made. You can only copyright something that is physically existent or made, so you can’t just copyright an idea, procedure, or a fact. Plagiarism is using other people's copyrighted work and claiming it as your own, or not citing the source you got your information from. But it’s much more than just this. There are exceptions to this law.

What can be copyrighted? Well, that can be difficult to answer. The instructions of how to copyright something specify it as “Original Creative Material”. This can include anything such as a book, movie, song, poetry, and even things like architecture. You can copyright things like art pieces or software for a computer. If you want to copyright a name, logo, or slogan, unfortunately you can’t do that. Copyright in a very complicated concept, but all in all, make sure to never directly copy work from an author. However this is also trademark. A Trademark is a symbol or slogan registered to refer or be part of a company or a business. The symbol for a trademark is a capital T and M → ™. You will often find this symbol in the corner of logo’s to represent that you cannot steal it, but it’s not under the laws of copyright.

One of the ways to prevent violating the law is to cite a source. There are many different ways to cite a source. One way you can do it is by adding the URL of the site or the title of the book used directly. Another way you can cite a source is in an MLA (Modern Language Citation) format.  For this I suggest this website called Easybib. You can just copy and paste the link and it automatically creates an MLA citation. Another site for this is NoodleTools. Another way to cite is a Chicago Style Citation. At the bottom of some articles there is already a way to copy and paste the citations ready for you. Another way to do it is an APA (American Psychological Association) citation. Each of these ways are used for different industries and topics. MLA citation are most commonly used by Humanitarians (someone who encourages the success and joy of people). Chicago Style Citation is used for Business matters, in Historic related documents and in Fine Arts. Finally APA is used for Education, Psychology (The idea of the Brain of an Human and how it works), and Sciences.  Whichever way you do it, it’s better than not giving credit.
    
Although citing your sources is good, it doesn’t mean you can copy whole articles. For that you use a cool little technique calledparaphrasing. Paraphrasing means you take what you learned from the article and you rephrase it by switching up the words and using different word choice. This doesn’t mean you can just copy and paste and then change a few words. In general try to stay away from paraphrasing and instead use the information from the source  and completely transfer it into your writing and try to change the structure of the sentence. For example, if you wanted to paraphrase the sentence “Learning is very important to the human mind.” don’t say “Education is quite crucial to people’s brains.” Instead say something like “People’s minds need education because of the positive effects it has.”. This is one way you can paraphrase a sentence by changing the words and structure of the sentence.

ThePublic Domain is a place where pieces of work are not protected by any specific laws holding people back from using them. The public can access anything in the Public Domain without permission, but it won’t be their own. It’s much more complicated than that, because copyright rules may still apply to some things in the public domain, but only in certain ways. For example, a collection of things could still hold a copyright status, but the specific works inside it don’t. Creative Work pieces usually get in the Public Domain when an item is unable to be copyrighted or the original copyright expired. It is also possible that a creator puts their work in the Public Domain out of choice and want.

And yet, it gets more complicated. There is also another factor that comes into play during copyright calledFair Use. Fair Use allows people to use copyrighted information for specific reasons such as parodies, or criticism. Fair Use only lets people use copyrighted work for limited amounts of time and under vague but severe laws. Criticism of copyrighted work allows someone to take the actual piece of work in order to use the work and analyze/make commentary about it. This allows us students to take some pieces of work, like an article, to prove a point we want to make. When we use “Textual evidence” for a book report, we are able to do that because of Fair Use. The next section of Fair Use is for a Parody. A Parody makes fun of and mimics a piece of work and allows you to use a large amount of work to tease and change up the Copyrighted piece. There is also a section of Fair Use devoted to Educational reasons and non-profit organizations. Education and Non-Profit organization mostly use Fair Use for noncommercial reasonings.

There is a specific symbol used to signify that a piece has been copyrighted. The symbol is a lowercase “c”  surrounded with a circle →©. When you see this symbol, please take precautions regarding how you are using the work.

We’ve talked a lot about plagiarism, but you may be wondering where the word plagiarism came from. It originally came from the latin word plagiare which meant to kidnap or abduct. It started to be used in english in the 1800’s. It had the same meaning as the latin word when transferred to english, but eventually came to mean what it means now.

Overall, plagiarism and copyrighting is a complicated idea. Trust me, even judges and lawyers struggle with the meaning of copyright and the many laws surrounding it. You should never take risks when dealing with copying or taking a portion of work. If you think that you’ve gone overboard, you probably have. So when you are scared that you may be stealing work, make sure you're doing the copyright thing and check that it’s legal.

MLA Citation ↓
"What Does Copyright Protect?" Copyright. CopyCopyright.gov, n.d. Web. 14 Mar. 2017.

Standard URL ↓
http://fairuse.stanford.edu/overview/public-domain/welcome/

APA Citation ↓
All About Plagiarism - Academic Integrity - UIS. (n.d.). Retrieved March 23, 2017, from https://www.uis.edu/academicintegrity/students/plagiarism/

Chicago Style CItation ↓
Stim, Richard, and ="image" / Rich Stim Attorney at Law, Nolo Legal Editor, Blogger - Dear Rich: Nolo's Patent, Copyright and Trademark Blog, Author, Nolo Press Website Twitter Facebook Google Posts. "Educational Uses of Non-coursepack Materials." Stanford Copyright and Fair Use Center. March 11, 2014. Accessed March 23, 2017. http://fairuse.stanford.edu/overview/academic-and-educational-permissions/non-coursepack/.

Other Sources:
http://pitt.libguides.com/citationhelp
http://grandstreetlibraryela.wikispaces.com/file/view/Plagiarism.gif/298878814/Plagiarism.gif
https://www.theguardian.com/books/2005/nov/23/comment.stephenmoss
http://timesofindia.indiatimes.com/home/sunday-times/Whats-the-origin-of-the-word-plagiarism/articleshow/1519035.cms
https://www.uis.edu/academicintegrity/students/plagiarism/
http://www.plagiarism.org/plagiarism-101/what-is-plagiarism/
https://www.uis.edu/academicintegrity/students/plagiarism/
http://www.plagiarism.org/plagiarism-101/what-is-plagiaris
http://grandstreetlibraryela.wikispaces.com/file/view/Plagiarism.gif/298878814/Plagiarism.gif



A Monster Called Homework
By L.L.

Imagine sitting at your desk until midnight, pulling your hair out over the science project due tomorrow, three math sheets, and a social studies test. Imagine going to bed at two in the morning, eyes red and tired from lack of sleep. This is the majority of  America’s high school and middle school students. In the perspective of too many students,“school” translates to “so much homework I was working from four in the afternoon to twelve last night without even a break for dinner”. But why do teachers give us so much homework if it creates red-eyed sleepy students who can’t even focus in class? Finland, whose students score incredibly well on international tests, rarely gives its high school students more than half an hour of homework per night. This leads to the idea that homework is much more detrimental to student health and overall academic performance than it is helpful.

    The stress caused by homework in many school systems is overwhelming. It is a burden that weighs down on students not just in high school but starting in first grade. “56 percent of the students considered homework a primary source of stress, according to the survey data,” states Stanford News about a study published in the Journal of Experimental Education. The article then mentions that 43 percent of students replied that tests were the main stressor in their lives, and 33 percent of students said that getting good grades was the primary factor of their stress. Less than 1 percent of students said that homework was not a stressor in their lives, only proving that the amount of stress put on students through homework has reached an extreme.
    Besides causing stress and depression, homework also harms the social health of students and can stall social development. Too much homework means less time for family and friends, and this can easily throw a student’s life out of balance. “According to the textbook, ‘Child Psychology,’ regular social interaction plays a critical role in brain development. Children who get plenty of opportunities to interact with friends and family can gain valuable social, conflict management and impulse control skills,” says the article What Negative Effects Does Homework Have on a Student’s Family and Social Life? According to this article, homework takes away chances for social interaction with both friends and family. In order for a student to achieve a happy lifestyle, a balance of free social time, work, and sleep is needed, but homework often destroys that equilibrium.

    It is hard to imagine how an activity involving mental skills, such as homework, can have such a huge negative effect on physical health. But recently, studies have shown that the connection between homework and physical health issues is undeniable. First of all, stress caused by homework can easily lead to headaches, issues sleeping, weight loss, and surprisingly, stomach and digestion issues. In 2013, Stanford University conducted a study on stress levels in high-achieving students in California. The results were greatly disturbing. “More than 80 percent of students reported having at least one stress-related symptom in the past month, and 44 percent said they had experienced three or more symptoms,” states Healthline.com when referring to this study. To imagine that such a high percentage of students have health problems related to homework is alarming, as well as a sure sign that something must be wrong.
    Another disconcerting element of homework is that these days, most of it is online. Yes, this makes it convenient to access, and means that students don’t have to break their backs carrying home tons and tons of books every night. But that also means that our eyesight suffers greatly. “Working adults aren't the only ones affected. Kids who stare at tablets or use computers during the day at school can have issues, too, especially if the lighting and their posture are less than ideal,” states Web MD. This constant screen use causes Computer Vision Syndrome, or CVS. Symptoms of CVS appear in 50 to 90 percent of computer users, and symptoms include blurred vision, dry red eyes, double vision, eye irritation, headaches, back pain, and neck pain. The flicker and glare of the computer screen makes it much more harmful to the human eye than a simple piece of paper. The constant computer use involved in student’s homework can be anything but innocent. As a matter of fact, it is slowly causing children’s vision to deteriorate, giving them defective sight at too young an age.
    In addition, the homework overload experienced by many middle and high school students tragically limits time spent outside, in the sun, exercising. This can lead to vitamin D deficiencies, as well as depression and trouble sleeping. “There are deep concerns that the lack of outside play is impacting negatively on many areas of today’s children’s health and wellbeing,” states the article The Real Truth About Homework. The lack of recess in many middle and high schools combined with excessive homework after school allows for almost no outside time, greatly decreasing the vitamin D that we get from the sun and that we need to function. “Most of the vitamin D -- roughly 80 to 90 percent -- comes from the sunlight,” says Study.com. However, vitamin D is not the only concern related to limited time outside. The lack of exercise is another big problem. More homework and less outside time results in many children in America being overweight, as well as having trouble focusing because of tons of pent-up energy.

    Some may argue that despite all of these negative side effects, homework still serves its purpose, meaning it helps kids retain knowledge on what they learned in school that day. Many people believe that homework, to put it bluntly, “makes kids smarter”, and that is what matters. This, however, is often not the case. “It may surprise you, as it did me, to learn that no study has ever demonstrated any academic benefit to assigning homework before children are in high school. In fact, even in high school, the association between homework and achievement is weak -- and the data don't show that homework is responsible for higher achievement,” writes Alfie Kohn in his book The Homework Myth: Why Our Kids Get Too Much of a Bad Thing. Kohn then continues on to the point that there is no correlation between homework and self discipline, character building, or good work habits. Instead, homework often causes family conflict and frustration. It is simply applied as a way to keep kids busy at home, often activities requiring no critical thinking skills.

    In general, what makes a good school is, surprisingly, less homework rather than more. What makes a good school is creative thinking, time outside, and a positive attitude. Good education is not defined by how much homework children receive or how well they score on standardized tests, but by how much they learn and enjoy learning. Finland harbors an excellent example of the ideal school system. “Children spend far more time playing outside, even in the depths of winter. Homework is minimal. Compulsory schooling does not begin until age 7. ‘We have no hurry,’ said Louhivuori. ‘Children learn better when they are ready. Why stress them out?’” states Smithsonian.com about Finnish schools. Principal Kari Louhivuori, like the rest of the educators in the 3,500 public schools in Finland, is set on creating a fun, creative environment for children, in which homework does not keep students up at night and children have two outside recesses every day. Finnish teachers rarely assign homework and give very few tests, and creativity and enjoyment are at the base of learning. It is true that this means that less time is spent at a desk writing and doing math. However, time outside allows students to focus more, and stress is minimal. Students are encouraged to learn through experience. This approach to learning and teaching is what makes Finland’s school systems superior.

    Overall, it is obvious that the tolls homework takes on America’s students greatly outweigh its benefits. It causes numerous health issues, both mental and physical, as well as having been proven to have very little benefit on academic performance. So why do we refuse to give up assigning homework despite the overwhelming amount of evidence? I ask you, Maplewood Middle School: Why do we continue to assign students such overpowering amounts of homework when it has very little effect on the well being of the students and may actually harm them greatly? My suggestion is to try it out. Don’t assign homework for a month or two, and see if students’ focus attitudes improve. The results are bound to be striking.



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What is the Learner Centered Environment?
By Clea Licht

Learner Centered Environment- this term has been widely discussed and essentially encompasses the idea that the time spent in the classroom is focused on student group activities, where discussion among pupils is promoted. At first, this new design seems like an ideal classroom function, but from a student perspective, this method has some faults.
    Primarily, I would like to address the issue that Learner Centered environment may seem good in concept, but when, in my classrooms, teachers have tried out this system, results have been very mixed. Take, for instance, our social studies class. Our teacher often gives worksheets to do in our table groups without further instruction than ‘do questions a through f’. Oftentimes, I experience students in my class not bothering to do these trivial questions, as it seems to them, as they are under no scrutiny from the teacher. This is one downside to a Learner Centered Environment- students lacking self motivation see no point in participating in class activities if they are not forced to. To quote one of my classmates, Quote “Although it sounds like many points are good ideas, I think that overall it will not benefit all students because the higher achievers are more motivated to do the work no matter what- but the less motivated students will probably ignore the work they have to do, because they don’t understand how it will help them.” End quote. Additionally, even when offered the chance to partake in discussion with fellow classmates, numerous students do not feel compelled to articulate any points they may have to add to the conversation, again due to the fact that they will face no discipline from the teacher as a result of their actions.
    Moreover, an advocate of Learner Centered Environment may bring up the point that teachers are still existent in the classroom, and the importance of the teacher is not diminished at all. However, the role of the teacher still must change to fulfill requirements set by this method of learning. But, what is this role? Are teachers being trained to properly fulfill it? When I asked my one of my teachers about this subject, he had no clear idea of what this whole Learner Centered Idea was, and stated that teachers were not asked if this method would work well in their classrooms.
    Despite this argument, in my experience, the exceptional teachers at Maplewood Middle School already employ different methods of teaching, that include this Learner Centered idea, but also combining it with teacher instruction, and many other important and relevant methods. As one of my fellow classmates said: Quote “Making these two methods opposing sides doesn’t make sense- this issue isn’t based on ‘good and evil’ and it cannot be viewed from a black and white perspective; We need to find a good balance of both methods, and this is already what the good teachers do.” End quote. On the other hand, it appears that the more mediocre teachers only or mostly utilize methods such as Learner Centered Environment, which allows them to lean heavily on the students, turning the classroom into the situation described; when the high achieving students are the only ones compelled be productive. As seen, then, only using the Learner Centered Environment method does not end up being the best way to run a classroom.
    In addition, technology is considered a resource that can be used for a Learner Centered Environment- after all, it is learner centered if the pupils are off doing their own research by themselves. However, as I see in many of my classes, self motivated students will do as they are told, while less motivated students will actually prefer to go shoe-shopping online, while others play computer games on the chromebooks, this being extremely distracting, not to mention outright disrespectful. However, many teachers choose not to notice this- after all, even if kids are shoe shopping or playing video games, the classroom is kept quiet because everyone has their eyes glued to a screen. As well summarized by a fellow student, Quote “Sustaining the stronger direction on part of the teachers is necessary to keep the classroom functioning at a steady pace, to regulate the classroom environment for the benefit of all students, and to encourage progress.” End Quote.
    Furthermore, research has shown that information brought about by instructional learning is better processed in the different kinds of memories located in kid’s brains. Some of my classmates have had experiences backing up this point. Quote: “When the teacher is not teaching the kids or talking students through something, it doesn’t stick in their minds. For me, I forgot half the things I learned last year using this method [Learner Centered Teaching].” End quote.
To conclude, it seems that at the moment, creating a Learner Centered environment raises some concerns: To make sure this is an effective method for us, we need to rely on research that shows us that this kind of instruction is really helpful for all learners- and for this we need to take time to implement it so that both students and teachers become familiar with this method. Bringing a Learner Centered Environment to our school district is something that cannot happen overnight.



Benefits of Watching Sesame Street
By Keira January

    Do you groan every time your little sister or brother insists Sesame Street? It’s perfectly normal for us to hate this show, we are too old for that stuff. But did you know that it actually helps little kids? A big study has been done on this popular show and the results tell us a lot more about a red puppet who has a goldfish and a blue one who likes cookies.
    Researchers Melissa Kearney (University of Maryland) and Phillip Levine (Wellesley College) studied this interesting topic. They found that kids who watched this were more likely to stay at the correct grade level for their age. Children who could watch the show started to do better in school and a less likely chance of being behind. There have also been studies before and the results showed short term benefits in watching the show. Sesame Street was also the first educational program for children, starting way back in the 1960s.
       This actually brings up an interesting topic: do we need preschool if a tv show can do the same things? The show certainly has prepared kids for school. Economists and the Sesame Street educational team says that preschool is needed. They say that besides teaching kids, Lawmakers have also been pushing for more early school funding. The article says it gives, “family support, medical and dentist services, and helps kids to develop emotional skills they need so they can be social”. Remember your best friends? Chances are you met them in preschool. However, this study has got people wondering how they can take what Sesame Street has done and apply it to other online courses.
       This show has been around for a while, and it certainly shows. Kids watch it everywhere, and adults find it humorous too. They have done educational parodies on things like The Hunger Games and Star Wars. Sesame Street has delivered it all. So next time, if your little sibling/family member or the kid you babysit wants to watch this show, sit down and watch it too. You’ll be surprised on what you can learn.

Source: Study finds school benefit sweet for kids who watched "Sesame Street", Newsela.com



School Through the Ages
By Ava Syad
    
​Did you know that your grandparents probably didn’t have a backpack? They may have tied their books together with a leather strap, or even just carried them home in their arms. This is because backpacks weren’t invented until 1967!
School is a part of our everyday lives, we never really think about what it was like for our parents, or grandparents. For instance, have you ever been doing homework, then ask your parents for help, and they do things a completely different way then you do? That's because school is constantly changing, and constantly evolving.

Let’s start with school, one hundred years ago, probably pretty different in 1915 right? Well let’s take a look! In 1915, students typically rode horses to school, because cars didn’t exist, and everything was too spread out to walk. Also, instead of detention, or getting your phone taken away, girls would be smacked as punishment for everything from talking in class to not doing your homework. Now let's take a look at some of the 1915 schoolwork, one test might have included multiple subjects, such as arithmetic (math), grammar, and geography, even physiology(study of the human body) all on one page, imagine studying for that!

Now that we’ve looked at 1915, why don’t we go a bit further and look at 1935, 80 years ago. In 1935 instead of 6 elementary school grades you would have 10! For example there would be high and low third grade, and there was no kindergarten. Also, if you got sick and missed some class time, your teacher may have come to your house to teach you! Imagine, Mr. Cohen, or Mrs. Jackson at your door at 6:00! Also, you only had two schools, grammar school, in place of elementary, and high school. Now lets take a look at discipline. If a child misbehaved, they may get hit with a ruler on their hand, or even their backside. Also you’d better have been good as a boy, because you may even get whipped.

Now that I told you about the wonders of going to school in 1935, lets go a bit further; 1955! In 1995, the teachers were quite strict, however there was rarely any homework! There was lots of reading, and projects like dioramas. My grandmother specifically remembers reading Charlotte’s Web. My grandfather, however, didn’t remember much of school at all, he says that all he learned  in 1st grade was that you are supposed to walk on the right side of the hallway, and he (unlike many MMS students) actually did that! For the most part in 1955 there was lot’s of classwork, but not much homework.
  
 Onto the next decade! 1975. In the school cafeterias of 1975 you would only get to “choose” from chicken, or chicken. Basically there was no choice involved. Onto class time, lots of kids would cut school to smoke, but for those that didn’t, you would be doing pretty much the same stuff we do nowadays, sort of. Here’s something interesting. During the 70’s some schools prohibited jeans! Girls had to wear skirts, or dresses, and boys had to wear trousers. Pretty denim was a risky choice during the week.
    Onto the next decade, dude! 1980’s! I got the info on this decade from our very own Mr. O'Dell! He said that there wasn’t much of a dress code, they could wear headbands! School was just like 1980’s high school movies, the cafeteria was split up by group; jocks, popular girls, punks, surfers. And history was boring!
    Overall school has come a long way since riding on horses to typing on chrome books, and it will continue to get cooler and more fascinating as time goes on!



School Recess, Where Did it Go?
By Clea Licht


As a sixth grade student at Maplewood Middle School, I feel that it is very important for students to get proper exercise to behave and perform well in class, along with much else. I believe Maplewood Middle School does not support student fitness to the best of their ability for two main reasons. These reasons consist of the absence of recess and inadequate gym programs.


Firstly, I would like to address Maplewood Middle School’s lack of student fitness promotion, and discuss why students need to keep fit.


I’ll divide this importance into two categories: Fitness helps both a child’s physical and mental health.


Regular exercise improves a child’s physical health in many ways.

First of all, staying fit helps kids get and keep a healthy body weight. This is important because maintaining a healthy weight enables you to have more physical ability. Also, exercise helps kids develop healthy and strong bones, joints, and muscles, which helps avoid problems later in life. In addition, participating in regular physical activity develops skills such as motor coordination and motor performance skills.

Adding on to that, getting exercise plays a big role in protecting a child from serious illnesses. It prevents or delays diseases such as heart disease, hypertension and diabetes. It also keeps a child’s heart and lungs healthy, which will help their well being later in life. So, if children do not keep fit, they are more prone to these life-threatening illnesses.


Next, getting enough exercise benefits a child’s mental health in multiple ways.

Firstly, getting frequent exercise helps a child develop the important interpersonal skills they need. (These skills are especially developed when participating in team sports.) These skills are needed for children to converse with their peers, make friends, and become good leaders and listeners. Developing these skills will also benefit them later in life.

In addition, research shows that exercise improves a child’s school attendance and academic performance.

Thirdly, kids who participate in regular physical activity actually are more positive, and are in a better mood, overall. You see, getting sufficient amounts of exercise prevents depression and anxiety. Most kids have some type of anxiety, and the cure that many parents are looking for is exercise. Also, kids who exercise more often have better feelings about themselves (self esteem and self images) than kids who don’t.

Lastly, exercise is proven to  improve the quality and quantity of sleep. This is extremely vital for a child to function properly. During sleep, our bodies and brains heal muscles, consolidate our memories, replace chemicals, solve problems, and release hormones regulating our growth and appetite. If kids don’t get enough sleep, all this will be prevented from happening to the full extent. A child’s growth, immune system, and overall health will be affected for the worse, without enough sleep. Furthermore, if a child does not get enough sleep, they will be cranky and grumpy the next day. They can get into arguments over silly things, won’t be able to focus, and do worse in school. Along with affecting the child, a child not getting enough sleep will affect the parents, too. No parent wants a cranky child around the house. Likewise, not many teachers want grumpy and uncooperative kids in their class.

All in all, it is vital for kids to get proper exercise. It is important for their mental and physical health in many ways. Now, we will dive deeper into how Maplewood Middle School does not actively support student fitness.


First off, I would like to address the issue of Maplewood Middle School’s lack of recess.

The first point I would like to discuss about this issue is that recess gives kids a mental pause in the middle of the school day. A multicenter study consisting of greater than 11,000 eight to nine year olds, showed that children who were allowed at least a little recess actually behaved much better in class. According to the conductor of this study, Romina Barros (developmental pediatrician), the childrens’ good behaviour was probably due to the fact that their brains were allowed a short break after a long while of working and concentrating.

Secondly, it seems that recess is a great way to reduce our nation’s child obesity problems. Why? A study conducted by the Robert Wood Johnson Foundation concluded that forty two percent of the schoolchildren in our nation get most of their exercise from recess. Recess being taken away definitely doesn’t help promote student fitness. In addition, recess being snatched away causes major problems for families who can’t afford to send their kids to after school exercise programs. These kids probably don’t get enough exercise. Taking recess away really didn’t and still doesn’t benefit student fitness, as you can see. It’s actually creating major health problems for students. I think recess needs to come back soon, or we’ll be in real trouble.


Hold on. I know you have probably just seen a flaw in my argument. Maplewood Middle School, or hardly any middle school, as a matter of fact, can afford to pay for all the recess costs. There is insurance needed if kids run off the grounds and get hurt, and people needed to be hired and paid to supervise kids while they are outside. Schools simply don’t have the money. But, it is possible that they could get it.

Just think about it. Schools have been buying chromebooks, ipads, smartboards, activity watches, and more technology whose benefits are not nearly as clear as the benefits of recess. What did we do before all this technology was invented? I don’t think we really need all of this for kids to learn properly. Instead of typing on chromebooks, kids could use pencils and paper. Actually, this is better, because it is proven that when your write something rather than type it, you are more likely to remember what you wrote. Also, we don’t need activity watches. Instead, kids could record the number of hours they exercised on a log, and have a parent sign it. Rather than playing games on ipads in school, kids could play games with each other, which is a lot more social. I would argue that there is little need for all this technology, and if we stop buying it, schools will be able to afford to provide kids with proper exercise.

You might also suggest that schools will not be able to complete the curriculum with time being taken away from classes for recess. There are three reasons I do not agree with this idea.

First of all, when the students have recess, they will work faster because they can focus more because they have had time to get their energy out, and because they have had time to give their brains a rest before going back to working. This leads me to conclude that students will actually get more done if they are able to take part in recess, and that they will be able to complete the curriculum with recess in place.

Secondly, I see no reason why children cannot simply take rotation period time (a class at the end of the day which is a repetition of one of the previous classes) to go outside and have recess. Before, the time we use now as rotation time was a free period. The teachers managed to complete the curriculum with only six periods (four core classes), so I do not see why we cannot go back to having this amount of learning time. In addition, for a lot of rotation periods, I have noticed that not much learning goes on, so I see no reason we cannot cut out rotation, and put recess there in place of it. Because not all the students can go out for recess at one time, I would suggest that some classes be switched so we can work around this problem.

Thirdly, I must add that the fitness of students is of utmost importance, and should be nurtured and actively encouraged. I feel that the curriculum should come second to the health of the students.

Likewise, you might also argue that there is no space at Maplewood Middle School for kids to go outdoors. I have observed that there is actually space for recess.

Firstly, I would like to mention that MMS has two courtyard type spaces, which one class can have recess in at a time. Then, there is the huge front area of our school, which can fit at least two classes. (People can watch the kids so they do not run off the grounds.) Assuming that each child would get thirty minutes of recess, I think there is ample opportunity for everyone to go outside in one day.

To sum it up, I think that Maplewood Middle School has the time, money, and space for recess. I see no reason that recess should not be permitted, and see many reasons why it should be promoted.



Now I would like to go into the ineffectual gym programs and what causes them to be so. I feel that some activities we do in gym do not help students exercise.

Taking written tests in gym is an example of one of these activities. After every unit in gym, we use half of a gym period to take a written test on the unit. This might not seem like a lot, but it accumulates over time. Instead of sitting around during this time, we could be exercising and keeping ourselves fit. I think this is very silly and that we don’t need to be taking written tests in gym. I think we should be actually playing the sport, not taking a test about it.

Likewise, I feel that most of the activities we do in gym are not active enough. I feel that we should be pushed to do more physically challenging activities. For example, a student in MMS said that her activity watch showed that she had been more active in science than she had been in gym. Also, instead of running five laps around the gym, I feel that we could be doing more than ten.


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