Book Commercial Reflection

In Language Arts, throughout the whole year we made book commercials. A book commercial is a review of a book. We make a short, intriguing summary of the book and make a small poster to go along with it. Then, we present them to our class on Fridays. We rotated so everybody did one a week.

In the beginning of the year, my book commercials were not very good. My posters were messy, and I was making up a summary as a went. I was not a clear speaker. I shifted while I spoke and never made eye contact.

By today, my last book commercial, I have greatly improved. My posters are complete, and I have written out summaries to use. Although my speech is still occasionally jumbled, you can hear me much better. I can make clear eye contact and stay in one spot.

Although I have improved, I am still not the best public speaker. I can improve on three ideas. Firstly, I need to be louder and clearer. Secondly, I need to talk slower. And thirdly, I  need to have a relaxed position while speaking.

To see my last book commercial for the year go to :

Math Blog Post- Tessellations

Today, I learned about tessellations in math class. Our school’s art teacher came in and showed us some examples of tessellations in art, and then we made some. We first took a piece of paper and cut it in half, in any line we wanted. Then, we taped the two flat edges together and cut it again in a quirky way, and we taped it again. Then, we took a small poster and traced our shape numerous times until the whole poster was full of shapes. Then, we looked and saw a figure in our shape, and colored it in as we deemed appropriate.

Here’s me cutting and taping the shape:


And here’s me drawing the shapes:


And here’s the completed project, my horses:


Journal 23- You Shall be Holy, For I Am Holy

This week’s Torah portion is called Kedoshim, which in Hebrew means, “You shall be holy”. The full sentence reads, “You shall be holy because I, your G-d, am holy.” Everyday, I live up to this statement. I am holy from the moment I wake up and I say Modeh Ani, a short prayer thanking G-d for allowing me to live. I am also holy by cleaning my body physically and spiritually. Engaging in spiritual acts, such as praying or studying Torah also makes me holier.

Journal 22- In Memory of Scott

Scott Zimmerman, of blessed memory, was a bar/bas mitzvah teacher for many of my friends, and a mentor to all. He always offered a kind word and a smiling face. This Shavous, we honor him for all he did for the Jacksonville Jewish Center. When we remember the Giving of the Torah on Mount Sinai, we will also remember Scott, who “gave” the Torah to hundreds of children through his teachings.


Scott may have only lived to be sixty, but he fulfilled more than just one favor. He often served as a substitute teacher for me, and every year, with the eighth graders, made an object to put in the middle school’s bees tefillah. Some years it was paintings; others it was an Aron. My class will be first in many years to note do a project with Scott.

This Shavous, Scott’s Shavous, let us remember this great man for all he has taught us.

Image Credit:

The City That Never Sleeps: My Trip to the Big Apple

New York City, with a population of 20 million people, is a great city with lots of activities and events going on. I recently went to New York City with my class, and I will explain what there is to do in the Big Apple.

One of the main things New York City is known for is its entertainment. I experienced this when I went to see Wicked, a hit Broadway play. I saw it at the Gershwin Theater and I throughly enjoyed it. I also saw the Blue Man Group, which was another unique experience  that I will never forget. New York City is home to the world’s greatest plays and theaters, and I am privileged to be able to have experienced it.

Another entertaining event I participated in was Escape the Room. In this activity, you are locked in a room and have an hour to escape. I did the setting in the theater. Although we did not escape in time, we still had an enjoyable experience. This is another fun activity that shows the wonders of New York City.

Another side of New York is the educational side. I saw this when I went to the 9/11 memorial. We took a guided tour, and saw the pools where the Twin Towers one stood. I heard the stories of survivors and witnesses. I was also able to pay my respects to my murdered uncle, which was a touching experience.

While in New York, I took a tour of the Lower East Side. I saw the oldest Jewish cemetery in North America. It is also the second oldest cemetery in North America overall. I also saw the Eldridge Street Synagogue. This is the first and one of the largest synagogues in New York City. This taught me some of the history of New York.

I experienced lots of Judaism while in New York. One such example was when I visited Brooklyn. We first did a mitzvah project at a gemach called Bobbi’s Place. We then took the way to Borough Park, a very religious area; 90% of the people there were Chasidic Jews. There, we went to Judaica shops and got kosher ice cream.

The most important Jewish influence I experienced was just being in the city. While there, we only ate at kosher restaurants. This led us to meet many different Jews. We went to two Conservative synagogues. We talked with Orthodox Jews. I saw every type of Jew in New York.

In conclusion, I had a truly eventful and exciting experience. New York City is a place where there is something to do for everybody. You can never get bored there. New York is the city that never sleeps.

How Middle School Changed Me

The three years of middle school have greatly changed my life. Sixth, Seventh, and Eighth Grade have educated me in many ways. It prepared me for the challenges I shall soon face in high school and beyond.

Middle school changed me first by having more than two teachers. In all of elementary school, I only had one Judaic Studies teachers and one General Studies teacher. However, once I entered Sixth Grade, I started to walk around the building to get ot my next class. I had eight different teachers, eight different teaching methods and personalities. This change made me familiar with the course that I will take next year in high school.

Middle school has also evolved me by teaching me much more advanced studies than in elementary school. It has greatly increased my view of the world through Current Events in Social Studies. I have learned the basics of Biology, Earth Science, Chemistry, and Physics through Science class and my two Science Fairs. I have learned the vocabulary and grammar of both English and Hebrew through those classes. My Algebra I and Geometry classes will give me a step ahead of everybody else. I even have a strong foothold in my religion through Judaic classes. I am very priviledged to be able to go to a dual-curriculum school.

However, I did not only learn the required curriculum in these classes. I also learned how to behave and act respectfully. Through the consequences I was given, I learned what was right and what was wrong. I finally learned self-control and figured out when it was right to be quiet. Even if I’m not always quiet today, I still have learned these essential life skills that I will use forever.

In conclusion, middle school has changed me in every way possible. It gave me the tools and education that will lead me to suceed in high school. These three years have taught me everything from how to use a locker to the Pythagorean Theorem.

Math Blog Post- Parts of a Circle

We just started a chapter devoted to circles in Geometry, and I decided to show you what I’m learning.

A Chord’s endpoints lie in the circle.

A Secant goes straight through the circle.

A Tangent only touches the circle at one point.

The Point of the Tangent is where the tangent touches the circle.

Now, try to classify all of the lines in this problem:



Chords- AB, AC, AD

Secant- BC

Tangent- E

Point of the Tangent- E

Radii (plural of Radius)- AB, AC, AD

Diameter- BC


Journal 21- A Model Seder

Last Friday, we conducted a model seder for the residents of Mt. Carmel. Mount Carmel is a mainly non-Jewish elderly home, but we still had about 30 people attend. We sang Pesach songs and had a generally fun time. The mitzvah that we performed is called in Hebrew Bikur Cholim. It is usually translated as visiting the sick, but can also be known as visiting the elderly, which we did at our model seder.

Math Blog Post

In Geometry, we finished  chapter about Spatial Reasoning. Spatial Reasoning is all about using formulas to find the lateral area, surface area, and volume of 3-D figures. First, we had to determine what figure could be made from a net, so I made a few of those problems for you to solve:

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For the top one, the answer is a cylinder, because the two circles go on top of the rectangle to make a cylinder.

For to bottom one, the answer is a pentagonal pyramid, because the triangles go up to make a pyramid over the pentagon, which is the base.

Reflections on To Kill a Mockingbird

We recently finished reading the classic “To Kill a Mockingbird”, and were asked to share the two reflections we made on it.

1. Atticus tells Scout that you “never really understand a person until you consider things from his point of view-until you climb into his skin and walk around in it.” Becomeone of the following characters and narrate a specific event from the novel in his/her voice and point of view:

Boo Radley        Tom Robinson            Atticus

Mrs. Dubose             Mayella Ewell           Scout

 Boo Radley, When he kills Mr. Ewell.

I don’t listen to much in my house. I don’t do much. I mostly read and talk with my brother. So, when I heard screams and sounds of a fight, I got up and looked through the blinds. I saw Bob Ewell, the filth of Maycomb, running after Jeremy and Jean Louise Finch. I saw the hatred, the evil fire in his eyes, and I knew I had to do something. I grabbed a knife and ran out of the door. My brother saw me, but he didn’t do anything; he was petrified in his seat.

When I got out, I saw Bob Ewell beating up Jean Louise. She was trying to fight back, but Bob threw her against a tree, and he couldn’t get up. I heard the clink of his knife against her costume. Then, Jeremy jumped onto his back and started to punch him, but Bob easily overpowered him. I knew that he would kill her soon. It was then I decided to act.

Without the slightest sound, I moved up to Bob Ewell. He was so involved in beating up Mr. Finch that he didn’t even hear me. I stabbed him in his large potbelly and he stumbled back, not sure of what happened. As he fell back, he saw me with his blood on my hands. He started, “You son of a…”, but could not finish his sentence. He fell down under the tree, and I started coughing hysterically, hyperventilating, not believing what I did.

Jeremy and Jean Louise got up, and I carried Jeremy and Jean Louise home. Atticus Finch came to the door and when he saw me, he said, “Thank you,” in a very quiet, reserved tone. I waited in the living room for the rest to unfold.


4. Write one long poem, in the form of your choosing, about the novel or one of the main characters. The poem can be told by a narrator of your creation or from the perspective of one of the characters. On a separate paper, explain how your poem is connected to the novel.

Atticus Finch: A Poem, By Jake

I’ve been thinking about the past few days

They all have been such a craze

First the trial, my dignity was razed

Then Tom went off in a rage

I didn’t know what to do

I thought to go to Timbuktu

But I had to stay strong

For Jem and Scout and the right and the wrong

I have to work for the greater good

Whether or not I’m in a good mood

But then, Halloween came

My daughter as a ham was near insane

But I can’t think, must work for Maycomb

While being on the State Legislature

Can’t go to the pageant

What’s the point, it’s all madness

But then I hear a knock at the door

It’s Boo Radley answering from a war

He doesn’t say much; just gives me my boy

I take one look and say: “Oy!”

He says it was Bob Ewell, the despicable example of a man

I call Hector Tate, the sheriff, and he says: “Damn!”

I see him in the door with a look of despair

He said, “Atticus, the evil man’s dead”.

I call Doc Reynolds, our family’s doctor

The Doctor says, “Oh dear, where was the proctor?”

“Your son,” he says, “Has no more than a bump on the head.”

“His arm, however, is broken too.”

I have come to realise about these events

That they were meant to show that our city has taken a dent

Our infrastructure is in disarray

Who, they say, will help us?

You, Atticus, maybe?