## Tesellations

May 22nd, 2015 by lilyh

This week, one of the lessons we learned in math was about tessellations.  A  tessellation is a group of similar shapes in repeated patterns that fit together. Instead of learning this lesson by reading from the textbook, w te made tessellations. We cut paper squares so they would fit together and we decided what the shape looked like. Mine kind of looked like a cat so I made a cat tessellation.

## Rotations, Reflections, and Translations

May 15th, 2015 by lilyh

I found two math games relating to translations, rotations, and reflections across graphs. I reviewed the games below.

http://www.sheppardsoftware.com/mathgames/geometry/shapeshoot/TranslateShapesShoot.htm This is a cute game where multiple shapes are displayed next to similar shapes. You are supposed to select which are reflections, translations, or rotations. Some of the ones that were reflections were a little bit confusing, but other than that I thought the game was pretty good for learning about the different adjustments between shapes.

https://www.mangahigh.com/en-us/games/transtar This is another game presented in the setting of outer space. You are supposed to use lines to reflect shapes across the graph. It is hard to explain, which might be why the tutorial is a bit too long, but the game is fun and challenging.

Picture Credit

“A kitten next to a mirror facing the camera, her face partially reflected in it.” Taken by Paul Reynolds on May 13, 2006. Found on Wikimedia Commons.

## How We Are Holy

May 12th, 2015 by lilyh

This week’s parshah is Kedoshim. In the beginning of the parshah, God said to Moses, “You shall be holy, for I, the L‑rd your G‑d, am holy.” I think what this means is that we should be holy by walking in the ways of God. We should try to do good things and good deeds for others, like what God did for us. We should also try to stay close to God. For example, when I do do something good or pray at services, I feel like I am doing something that is holy. This is because I feel connected to God, and in some ways holy.

## Jeff’s Geometry Story

May 8th, 2015 by lilyh

## Book Commercial Reflection

May 5th, 2015 by lilyh

We also had “Book Ads” that went along with our book commercials.

This year, in language arts, we were each assigned to do multiple “book commercials.” Each week on Friday, someone in our class gave an oral report about a book they had read recently. The object of the report was to persuade the audience to read the book. This past week, I gave a book commercial for the book, The Young World by Chris Weitz.

I think I have made a great improvement from the beginning of the year to now in the ways of public speaking. I have gained confidence, although I am still shy. At the beginning of the year, I did not make eye contact, and I always sounded unsure of myself. I still do this a little, but not nearly as much.

Though I definitely did improve since the beginning of the year, there are still things I know I need to fix. I still stutter a little out of nervousness, and I still make unnecessary pauses while I talk. I am a generally shy person, so I am very uncomfortable with public speaking. I think I can improve in these areas, and I strive to do so.

## Class Trip to New York

May 5th, 2015 by lilyh

This year our eighth grade class went on a trip to New York. Though school related, the trip was enjoyable. We shared experiences that were entertaining, educational, and relative to our Jewish learning. New York is a great place to go on a school trip for these reasons. We enjoyed it and I believed that other classes would also find it entertaining.

There is so much to do in New York; therefore, students stay entertained. For example, we saw Wicked on Broadway and the Blue Man Group. There are so many amazing Broadway plays, and we were so fortunate that we got to see one. Blue Man Group was also very entertaining and very funny. When they were exploring different apps on the life-sized smart-phones, I couldn’t stop laughing.

We also participated in an activity that is part of a new phenomenon called Escape the Room. It felt as if we were in a mystery, and we had to solve clues to unlock the door. I had so much fun, even though we did not solve it in the end. Our New York Trip was not just entertaining, it was also educational.

We learned a lot in New York. For example, we visited Ellis Island, and we learned a lot while we were there. We saw the Great Hall and the Separation Stairs, which I had read about online. We also saw a dormitory where immigrants slept, and we saw rows of names of some of the immigrants.

We also visited the 9/11 Memorial, and we participated in a guided tour. The tour was led by a victim of the terrorist attacks. We saw both the South Pool and the North Pool, and we learned a lot about the World Trade Center. I also learned a lot about the 9/11 attacks that I hadn’t known before. Since we are part of a Jewish school, we not only visited these sites for education, but we also visited Jewish sites and explored our Jewish influence.

Being part of a Jewish school definitely had a big impact on our trip. We visited an old Jewish cemetery, a synagogue that had been turned into a museum, and Borough Park, a Jewish part of town. There are a lot of Jews in New York City and a lot of Jewish sites. There are also a lot of kosher restaurants and multiple sections of town dominated by Jews.

In one of these sections of town there was a gemach to help kids in need receive clothing.We volunteered at this gemach which is called Bobbie’s Place. We put color-coded tags on shirts. Even though we did not directly give people the clothes, we still participated in the mitzvah of “clothing the naked”.

New York is a great place to visit on a school trip, especially if you are part of a Jewish school. There is so much to do, so much to learn, and so much to experience. Going to New York with my class was super fun. We got to bond and learn from each other, and I would recommend that people consider visiting New York City if they are planning a trip.

## God Gave Us Torah, Scott Taught Us Torah

May 5th, 2015 by lilyh

“The world stands on three things: Torah, service, and acts of loving kindness (1:2)”

Shavuot is coming up! During Shavuot we celebrate that we received the Torah at Mount Sinai. There is a service on Shavuot at our synagogue every year. Recently, a member of our congregation passed away. His name was Scott Zimmerman, and he was the ritual director at our synagogue.

Scott was kind and encouraging. He taught me and so many of my friends. When we went to Shabbat services he would often greet us and ask me if I wanted to lead Ashrei or another prayer. He prepared me for my bat mitzvah. Without his help I wouldn’t have had my bat-mitzvah and I wouldn’t be able to read Torah.

We will be honoring him during Shavuot services. I think it is fitting that we remember and honor him on this holiday on which we celebrate receiving the Torah. God gave us the Torah at Mount Sinai on this day, and Scott prepared many of us for our bnei-mitzvot. This, in a way, was like giving us the Torah.

## Segments of Chords and Tangents

April 30th, 2015 by lilyh

## How Middle School Has Changed Me

April 17th, 2015 by lilyh

The transition from elementary to middle school is like a spider hanging over your head. You know it is there, but it’s making you apprehensive. You hope that if you approach it with caution it won’t leap it won’t leap out and bite you. Now that I am in eighth grade, approaching a similar transition from middle to high school, I realize that I have changed a lot since fifth grade. One thing that changed for me as I experienced middle school was the effort I put forth during school.

In elementary school everything we did was effortless. The work was easy and the teachers were lenient. The teachers assigned loads of “busy work” that we did not have to put much thought into. I have worked really hard to maintain good grades throughout middle school. I got better grades in seventh and eighth grade than in sixth because at first I expected everything to be accessible, but then I realized that I would have to work harder if I wanted to accomplish anything. I also worked harder to communicate with my teachers and classmates.

I have been shy since I was young. I wasn’t always shy; my mom tells me stories of silly things I said and how I would boss around the boys in my first preschool class where I was the only girl.I have been shy for as long as I can remember, but I am trying to speak up more. I try not to be embarrassed of who I am or what I do.

I am still learning hoe to not be so easily embarrassed. It used to feel like everyone was watching me and judging me, but in reality, everyone is dealing with their own problems. In the process of applying to high schools, I have been interviewed, and I sent work in to strangers. I can’t help but be insecure, but I realized that my work was good and I had nothing to be embarrassed about.

Middle school is not just a time to physically grow, but it is also a chance to mature. I believe that I have matured a lot in the past three years. Before middle school I was lazier, really shy, and very easily embarrassed. I am still trying to improve in these areas, but I will never be perfect. Through high school and the rest of my life I will continue to mature and grow.

## Chords, Sea Chants, Radii, and Tangents

April 16th, 2015 by lilyh

In math this week one of the things we learned was classifying chords, sea chants, radii, and tangents. A chord is a ray with endpoints on the circle, and a sea chant is a line that passes through a circle at two points. A tangent is a line that meets the circle at a single point. A radius is a ray with a point in the center of the circle and an endpoint on the circle.