A Book Recommendation by Anna W.








Photo by Anna W.

I have always been into shark attack stories! I have seen so many movies and television shows about shark attacks but I have never read a book about it. I finally found one! The book is called Shark Girl by Kelly Bingham. The main reason why I liked it is because it wasn’t just like a movie where you could see everything happening. It was so easy to imagine what was going on!

The story is about a teenage girl who was swimming in the ocean and was attacked by a shark. The result was that she had to get her arm amputated. The author describes her long period of time in the hospital very well. There were many ups and downs while she was in the hospital. She had tough and stressful times and on the other end many people came and gave her company. In my opinion, this book was very good. I think this because I’m into shark attacks and I love reading stories that have to do with people around my age going through something I would never expect my self going through.

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One Chance by Anna W.


There was a young man named Jerry. He had a beautiful cat and a not so beautiful dog. Quite often they would get in fights. Most of the time, no one would get hurt but just one time the dog got bit very bad in the ear by the cat. Sooner or later Jerry was very annoyed with the ruckus they would make in the middle of the night so he decided he really needed to get rid of one of his pets. He loved them both very much and he took a long time to decide who would have to leave. He finally decided to get rid of the dog because he was not as cute as the beautiful cat. He didn’t know who to give the dog to. Unfortunately, he ended up kicking him out of the house with no food or water.


It was coming into winter and the dog was starving and cold. He wandered every day until he came upon a padded down area of soft hay. He cuddled up all warm in there and went to bed. He was surprised to find out it was a pack of wolves’ home that he was in. Shockingly, he was warmly welcomed by the big wolves and soon he had a new place to live.


All that time a small rat was watching Jerry and his pets fighting and how the dog was kicked out. He didn’t say anything at first but eventually he could not hold in the secret much longer. He went to Jerry and started a conversation. He finally got the point through to him that even though the cat was so cute he was really starting all the fights and hogging all the food. Before Jerry actually processed all this he thought he made the right decision of getting rid of the dog. He began to feel a great pain of sadness like he had lost something big. He realized that he missed the dog sooooooo much. His life wasn’t the same.


He set out in the forest hoping he could retrieve his beloved dog. He came upon the dog with all the wolves and begged for him to come home.


“Please come home. I made a big mistake by getting rid of you,” said Jerry.


“I feel like I am in a better place here and I am treated better here!” exclaimed the dog.


Jerry was very sad to hear that and wished he could start over. He heard a quiet voice in the distance that was saying that you only get one chance in life.


“Please just let me start over!” he thought to himself. He suddenly fell into a deep sleep and dreamed of the things he could have done differently and better in his life. When he woke up he had not clue where he was. Standing right next to him was his dog and cat together and not fighting for there first time.


“I should never pick things for their looks ever again!” mentioned Jerry.


They both made a deal that they would get together and visit at least once a week. From now on they live their separate lives but meet up each week to bond.


Moral: Don’t judge a book by its cover. Looks don’t matter.


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The Useless Tree Comic By Anna W.

In language arts we made comics on one of the wisdom tales we read. I chose The Useless Tree as my wisdom tale. I really enjoyed making it because I love drawing and it was a chance to be creative. I made my comic in Comic Life 2 and it was my first time using it. It was a great experience and I thought it was really cool that I could design everything on my own. I love drawing so it was fun that we actually got to draw the pictures for the comic.

The moral of my story was to not judge a book by its cover. Also, the other moral was that everything has a use. The Useless Tree is about a tree that is very crooked and ugly. It never gets cut down and is left all alone on the hill. Even though every day kids come and play under the tree, there is one man who thinks the tree had a use one day. I chose this story because I thought it would be fun to draw and because it would be easy to explain. I can wait to make another comic like this!

Open Note Test by Anna W.

For the last couple months in Language arts class we have been reading and taking notes on many wisdom tales. We have learned the different types of wisdom tales and all of the wisdom tales are from different countries.

After taking all those notes we had about a week to prepare our notes and study for a big open note test. To prepare for the test, I underlined important things, inserted my MindMeister map of all the types of wisdom tales, and made an extra credit MindMeister map of all the morals from all the wisdom tales. I spent a lot of time preparing and it really paid off.

On the day of the test I was nervous because I knew it was going to be really long. I came to start the test early during tutorial just so I could have some extra time. It was very long but not that hard. There was a section of writing summaries, fill in the blank, read and take nots on a wisdom tale, matching, etc. I even had to stay after school because it was so long, but I feel really confident that I got a good grade.

I thought the test was a good way to test us on how well of notes we took and if we payed attention in class. Although, I do feel the test was unnecessarily long. I don’t think we really needed to write six essays. Also most of the other tests I have taken only took one period not two plus tutorial plus a little bit of time after school. I do like that it was open notes because if it wasn’t, that would be a lot of stuff to remember. I hope I never have a test that long again!

I’m Thankful For… By Anna W.

I am thankful for many things. I am very thankful for having pets, mainly my dogs. I love them a lot and I really think they cheer people up. I mean I don’t think I would have such a happy life without them. Sometimes I will come home from school sad, and guess what? The first thing I see when I walk into my house is my dogs coming to greet me. This same thing happens when I come home from trips, come out for breakfast in the morning, etc. it seems like they just stick by your side. If you say ” Walky” they jump up and start barking because they love going on walks.

The minute I sit down to eat a meal they sit at my feet waiting for me to drop food. I’m not kidding I’ll see them sound asleep in their bed then seconds later they will be running around and tackling each other. One of my dogs is the runt and well I guess I wouldn’t say she is ugly but you know she is not that attractive. That doesn’t mean anything to me. I love her so much and just seeing her sleep or roll over on her back makes me smile immediately. Most of my friends have big dogs but I am so glad I have a dog that can sit on my lap hide under the chairs, climb over fences, let me carry her like a baby, and most of all make me laugh all the time. I feel like I have company 24/7. I don’t know what I would do if I didn’t have a dog.

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Candy By Anna W.


Candy oh candy,

You taste like sugar melting in my mouth.

I love to hear the sound of your wrapper crinkle and crack while you open.

I feel the tingle of you tickling against my tongue.

Just when I smell you my heart skips a beat.

You bring me such a great sweet treat.

I see you most during Halloween fun.

If you where not there life would be so glum,

And I would be one of the most bummed people of all.

When to Start a New Paragraph by Anna W.

In 6th grade language arts class we each picked a topic to make a presentation for and to teach the class about. My topic was when to start a new paragraph. I chose this topic because whenever I am writing a story I just want to get everything out on the paper and I don’t even think about breaking it up into paragraphs.

The main rule for my topic was: Start a new paragraph; when you start talking about a new topic, when a new person begins to speak, when you skip to a new time, when you skip to a new place, or when you want to make a dramatic effect. Also keep one topic to one paragraph.

A way to remember this rule is when you are trying to break up a story, look for phrases such as later that day, the next morning, four hours passed, they waited and waited, after all that, etc. Those are some examples of phrases in the topic sentence (a topic sentence is the first sentence that tells you what you will be reading about).

I had a lot of fun creating my presentation because there was no right or wrong way to make it; it was your choice and your imagination. At first I was afraid to present but once I got up there I felt comfortable and it went by way faster than I thought. It was pretty fun being like the teacher, teaching what your topic is to the class. I hope we do another project like this where we get to teach the class about our topic or if we do do another one I would do mine on some other app instead of Keynote. Keynote was fun and a good experience. Also, it was cool how we got to pick our transitions and our themes. I can’t wait to do another project like this!

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Helpful Apps On Our iPads By Anna

This year Durham Academy provided iPads for the whole middle school. After having them for a few mounths they have been very helpful. We have some textbooks on the iPad and some books just to read for fun. A lot of times we don’t even have to take as many binders home because the homework is on our iPads. I’m really glad we got iPads because they can be used for many things other schools can’t do.

Evernote is an app on our iPads. It is used daily by most Durham Academy students because it is very helpful. Why is it helpful? This app is very helpful because you can take notes, find handouts that teachers have shared with students, find what your homework is, and mail important things to teachers if they need to read or check them. Some students find all their homework in Evernote, but some use their Reminders app to record homework during the school day. I love Evernote, although sometimes it is stubborn and won’t cooperate. I am glad we have Evernote because it is a good source to easily find work if you are absent or forgot what the homework for certain classes were.

Another helpful app on our iPads is the Outlook Mail app. It is useful because if you need help on homework, don’t understand something, or forgot how to do something, you can easily contact a teacher or friend about it instead of coming to school early to figure it out or calling someone. On this app you can send pictures, messages, and messages to multiple people. It is also very simple to send a new message, reply to a message, save a draft, and read incoming mail. One bad thing about this app is that if you don’t have internet it will not send mail. Other then that the Outlook Mail app is a great way to quickly get in touch with people.

The last helpful app is Mindmeister. You can use it for taking notes and making maps which can be used for studying our vocabulary words. You can also insert photos, document, and PDFs. We use it most in our Language Arts class. Now that we have our iPads we can say bye to paper and pen and do it on Mindmeister much faster!