The Westing Game By: Ellie







Photo Screenshot by me

Ellen Raskin writes so perfectly, each word where she wants them to be. How she placed the words in the story so thoughtfully is so hard to believe. For example, two of the themes of the book are patriotism and games. These two themes come up so much in the book in subtle ways. Although there isn’t a variety of games in this book the one big game is chess. For example, there are sixteen heirs and sixteen chess pieces on one side of the board. Also, there is a move that applies to the game that Sam Westing always does in chess called The Queen’s Sacrifice. Patriotism comes up a lot especially about 4th of July like when the tenants to-be recieved their note about Sunset Towers.

The last thing I would say is don’t fall for everything each character says and thinks and how they act, and don’t rule out ANY possibilities.


The Westing Game By Nathan G.

Our latest project in Donnelly Language Arts was a book called “The Westing Game”. I had already read the book and didn’t really enjoy it so I was not excited to read it again. Part of the reason I didn’t like it was that it was so confusing and hard to keep up with all the characters. There are over 25 characters and in order to understand the book you need to know well!
I was very shocked to find that I actually enjoyed the book on the second time around! The book is so complicated that even though you know what happens in the end you never stop finding all these little hints and clues. For instance, there are 16 heirs in the book and that’s how many pieces one side has in chess! This is something that is very neat because the main character who dies loves chess.
Another thing that really helps in understanding the whole book more was using an app called Trading Cards. Using the information given in the book we made drawings of the character and filled out details and facts about each character in the form of a trading card. It was hard work to make 26 of them but it payed off in the end! Also, we went over “mystery” vocabulary words that helped with this cozy mystery. So now I would recommend this book where as before I would not!!


Open Note Wisdom Tales Test by Michiko

Today in class we had an open note test on Wisdom Tales. To prepare for the test I highlighted the important things in our wisdom tales notes and I made my Mindmister map easier to understand. I like taking open note tests because I study and then when it comes time for the test I feel reassured because if I forget something I have my notes to go to. I think you still learn as much because writing or typing things makes them stay in your head more than just hearing it. After taking the test next time I would reread more of the wisdom tales before I took the test.

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Open Note Tests by Davi

I like open note tests because I don’t need to memorize as much. Open note tests in a way take much more responsibility than tests with no notes. Since you make your own notes, if you don’t pay attention in class then you will do badly on the test. Open note tests make me feel more sure that I will do well on the test. To end this blog post I will say that open note tests rock, so don’t worry about them as much as you do other tests.


Wisdom Tales Test by Nathan

I thought using the iPad for this open note test was extremely useful because it was all organized and neat plus I have messy handwriting so it would be a problem if I had to use notes from paper but it was typed! Gosh it took a long time learning the wisdom tales and the types of stories but it was a long test so it evens out.
Open note tests, if you have had one you know they are just as hard as closed note tests because there is so much content and a lot more thinking problems instead of just answers from the book. In all, I think it was still a little too much preparing for little things like “which story has the same moral as…” Oh well, I’m just glad to be done with that unit!

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Open-Note Test by Jenny

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Today everyone in LA BLUE and LA GREEN took an open-note test on the Wisdom Tales and the different type of stories. I found the open note test to be a lot easier to work with because if I were to hesitate on a question I had my notes for back up.

How I studied was I would re-read the wisdom tales about every night and I would think about the morals that were alike. I would also go over my MindMiester app every night and think about what each different type of story meant.

The test was not as hard as I thought it was going to be, but it sure was a little long! I am very happy that we got to use our notes because they really helped me with most questions and they were easy to work with since I had the right notes.

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Wisdom Tale Open Note Test by Noah






Today, me and my L.A. class just had our wisdom tales test. The test was open note and I think I prepared pretty well. To prepare for the test, I read each wisdom tale once, then rewrote morals without looking at the notes I already had. I also used my friend’s Quizlet that he made on the types of stories.

I have mixed feelings about open note tests. Since the test is open note, you will be expected to be detailed and have certain things in your notes and will be tested on them. Then again, if you corrected your notes and made sure they were right, the test will be easier.

The advantage of having an iPad for notes is that you won’t lose the notes and the Mindmeister app was very useful for types of stories. I would not have done anything dramatically different, maybe start a day or two earlier is all.

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Open Note Wisdom Tale Test By Joanna

Today we took a wisdom tale test. The test was open note, but our notes were on our iPads. Having the notes on our iPads was helpful because there wasn’t a bunch of papers covering our desks. Also, it was easy to access our different notes rather than ruffling the papers and searching for the information. However, the iPads can be glitchy and not work, so I am glad that there are lots of ways to back things up. It was much quieter with the iPad because paper makes noise. Also, we didn’t use paper so we were helping the environment’s air quality. Also, homes for animals like squirrels aren’t being cut down as much if there is lass of a demand for paper. For the open note test, iPads are very useful.

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Open Note Test With Our iPads by Batu

My Wisdom Tale Notes (The first four that we did.)

The advantage of using our iPads are that we use less paper and that there is less of a chance of us losing our notes. The disadvantage is that in my Evernote the file size gets really big and takes very long to open. I kind of like taking open note tests because you don’t have to memorize as much stuff as a regular test, yet I think open note tests are harder to study for. If I had to do this again I would go to Mrs Donnelly and ask her what to study for.

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Wisdom Tales Test by Julia K






To prepare for the test, I re-read all of my wisdom tales, highlighted key words, and studied the types of stories. Also, I made a MindMeister map on the moral connection of all the stories for extra credit. To me, open note tests aren’t great but they aren’t horrible. I think this because I don’t like how they are harder but I like how we can use our notes.

For this test I was happy that it was open note because there were so many wisdom tales so it would be really hard to remember everything. Overall, I think it’s better that we used the iPad because without them we would have had to write all the tales, carry more stuff and we wouldn’t be able to use MindMeister right off of our iPads.

The test wasn’t hard, just long and a lot of writing. Something that I think would have helped would be giving more space for writing the essay because some people have big handwriting and it is hard to squeeze it into the small lines.

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