The Lateral and Surface Area of Prisms

This week in Math, we are learning how to find the lateral and surface area of many different shapes; including cylinders, prisms, and pyramids. I enjoyed finding the lateral and surface area of prisms the most, so I created an example which is shown below:


My “Perfect” Trip to Asia

In Language Arts, we are working on writing different types of essays. We recently finished learning about personal narratives. I decided to write mine on my memorable flight to Asia.

After the hustle and bustle of the John F. Kennedy International Airport, I was looking forward to a nice, peaceful plane ride to Asia. Sadly, the fates were against me. It all started when my family and I entered the huge plane, with endless rows of seats and huge crowds of people; the majority of them were Asian. I immediately felt like a minority. After waiting in line while everyone else got comfortable, it was finally our turn to reach our seats. I sat with my two sisters; my parents sat in the row in front of us. After placing our hand luggage in the overhead compartment, we sat down and turned our attention to the tv; or rather, the lack of a tv.


Expecting a tv for a sixteen-hour plane ride, my dad had gone out and bought the three of us expensive, soundproofed headphones. Shocked was one word to describe how I was feeling when I realized that we would have to brave a sixteen-hour plane ride without the luxury of a tv. “What kind of plane doesn’t have a tv?” I thought to myself.  “I’ve been on four-hour plane rides with a tv; why in the world would this plane be any different?” Presuming there would be a tv, I was not prepared whatsoever for the absence of one. I had not brought many books along, just my Kindle; which I came to appreciate greatly.


Then my dad looked to his left and saw an Asian baby and her mother. If you have never been on a plane, you should know that a baby is possibly the worst possible thing to deal with. S/he will cry the entire flight without pause, granting you and all the other passengers on the plane no rest. Now you see why my dad was not very pleased to realize that not only was there a baby on this flight, she would be sitting next to him. My dad’s face, when he realized that no, this was not a joke, he was actually going to have to sit next to a screaming baby, was priceless. He finally talked to my mom and convinced her to swap seats with him, because he knew that she would be much more easygoing than he would be. We had hoped that this baby would be well-behaved and quiet, but we were obviously not very good at predicting the future. Five minutes into the flight, the baby started wailing and didn’t stop the entire flight. The mother, trying to calm her daughter down, started playing some bizarre Asian music that sounded extremely foreign and was nothing like I had ever heard before. It definitely made my first flight to Asia very memorable.


On long, overnight flights, they have three meals – breakfast, lunch and dinner. Because we keep kosher, we always choose the vegetarian dinner option; usually consisting of fish or pasta. For this once-in-a-lifetime trip, my dad had decided to order kosher food as a treat. My sisters and I were eagerly anticipating the taste of our pre ordered meat in our mouths. When it was time for dinner, the flight attendant came around with the cart holding the food. He asked us if we wanted a vegetarian or regular meal. My dad said, “We pre ordered a kosher meal online.” The flight attendant replied, sounding confused, “What’s that? We didn’t receive any orders for a special meal.” We were devastated; we could feel our hearts breaking inside our chest. We were so looking forward to the amazing taste of kosher meat, and we were heartbroken that our meal was not ordered.

Our flight from New York to Shanghai was definitely a flight I will never forget. At the time, I was ready to scream in frustration, but looking back, I can definitely laugh about it. It seemed that everything that could possibly go wrong, did. We had no televisions, a baby sitting next to us and screaming, Asian music playing the entire flight and our pre ordered meals were apparently not pre ordered. When we arrived in Shanghai, the only thing we were looking forward to was showering. We had just been traveling for thirty hours straight and we were exhausted. We had barely eaten or slept and our clothes were dirty and wrinkled. We were just happy to have finally arrived in Asia without losing anyone. But then, to make our trip even more memorable, we lost all of our luggage.

Finding the Vertices, Edges, and Bases

This week in Math, we learned about the basic geometric shapes. We learned how to classify them, and how to find the vertices, edges, and bases of the shape. I enjoyed the lesson because it was mainly review and I enjoy learning about shapes.



This week in Math we are learning about probability. I created the example below to explain it:


To Kill a Mockingbird Essay

For the past two months, we have been reading To Kill a MockingbirdTo Kill a Mockingbird is a fascinating novel based on the themes of racism and courage. I, personally, loved reading the book and would recommend this book to both girls and boys from age 13 and up. When we completed the book, we watched the movie, which came out in 1962. When we finished the movie, we were assigned an essay comparing and contrasting the book to the movie. My essay is featured below. 

“You never really understand a person until you consider things from his point of view…until you climb inside of his skin and walk around in it.” This quote was said by Atticus Finch in the book To Kill a Mockingbird, in regard to understanding people. To Kill a Mockingbird was first published in 1960, but the movie version was not filmed until two years later. Both the movie and book tell the story of Jean Louise “Scout” Finch, a young girl living at the height of racism and prejudice. Her father, Atticus, defends a black man being falsely accused of raping a white woman, which goes against their town’s ideals. Both the movie and the book had the same main idea; however, I found that the movie did not include several events that helped build up the suspense of the book. Those events helped add color to the characters’ lives; without them, the movie did not have as much background. I liked the book better than the movie because it had much more detail, themes, and it gave more background information.

While it is impossible to fit an entire book into a 130 minute movie, I thought the movie left out several crucial details from the book that should have been included. The movie left out the whole side-story about an old, cranky woman named Mrs. Dubose. When Mrs. Dubose insulted Atticus in front of Jem and Scout, Jem dug up all of her precious camellias. Atticus found out, and he made the two children read to Mrs. Dubose daily for a month. They would read to Mrs. Dubose until a timer went off, which occurred later and later each day. One day, Mrs. Dubose died. Jem and Scout then found out that she had had a morphine addiction and had been going through withdrawal. The timer signalled when she would take morphine, and eventually stopped going off; which was when she had weaned herself off of the morphine. Atticus explained to the children that Mrs. Dubose did not want to die beholden to anything, and that Jem and Scout’s reading had provided her with a distraction from the pain. He told them that Mrs. Dubose was the bravest person she knew; and he was trying to teach Jem and Scout that it takes true courage to endure something, even when the situation is hopeless. That lesson was a major theme in the book, and it was disappointing to see that it was not included in the movie.

The problem with movies is that certain events are taken out and others are added in, to provide more excitement and suspense. Some of the events that were added in had to do with Bob Ewell – To Kill a Mockingbird’s main antagonist. In the book, there are two main scenes with Bob Ewell in which he threatens and even causes bodily harm to the Finches. The movie director most likely wanted more excitement in the movie, so they added several more scenes showing Bob Ewell being intimidating. This made the movie more of an action movie than a fiction movie. The director also changed many details about Tom Robinson’s death. In the movie, Tom was shot once while on the way to the jail in which he would be held. However, in the book, Tom was shot seventeen times as he was attempting to escape from the jail in which he was being held. Furthermore, a major theme in the book was when Jem and Scout matured and grew up. However, in the movie, that whole part was taken out; eliminating the whole lesson learned by the trial and Jem’s new kindness to living creatures. These differences, although minor, changed the whole nuance of the story.

Other scenes the director took out had to do with Boo Radley – the Finch children’s mysterious neighbor. Boo Radley was a major character in the book, but only a minor character in the movie. Most of his side-stories were taken out of the movie, and we never learned why everyone was so afraid of him. One major scene in the book was the fire at Miss Maudie’s house; during which we learned about Boo Radley’s kindness to the children and Miss Maudie’s selflessness. Boo Radley kindly lent Scout a blanket without her knowing, because he heard her complaining that she was cold. When Miss Maudie’s house burned down, she remained optimistic and was more worried about everyone helping her than about herself. There were many other scenes with Boo Radley, including when Jem and Scout tried to peek in his house, when they wrote him a note, and when the children created and acted out a play about Boo Radley. When he finally appeared in the movie, it was not as big of a climax as it was in the book. The fact that all of those stories were taken out altered the whole plot of the movie.

Most people prefer the book to the movie because there is added background information on the setting, characters, and you can read characters’ thoughts. However, there are some movies that are almost as good as the book; sadly, To Kill a Mockingbird was not one of them. There were too many major scenes changed, taken out, and added to the movie; such as Boo Radley scenes, Bob Ewell scenes, the fire at Miss Maudie’s house, and Tom Robinson’s death. These alterations changed the plot of the movie and made the movie less enjoyable to watch after reading the book. If the director had made the movie longer, it would have been easier to add more details. In conclusion, I liked the book better than the movie because it had much more detail, themes, and it gave more background information.


Finding the Total Area of a Shape


My class recently finished our novel study on To Kill a Mockingbird. For homework, we had to do a project on the book. There were five options: an obituary, a book trailer, a play, a list of three people who represented mockingbirds in the book, and a timeline. I chose to do a book trailer, which is below. I hope you enjoy!

I Am Slave

We recently watched a movie called I Am SlaveI Am Slave is based off of Search_results_for_slave_-_Images_and_More_-_Office_comthe story of Mende Nazar, who was a slave in Sudan and London for eight years. In the movie, Malia is a young, Sundanese girl who is taken from her village when raiders come. The raiders killed almost all of the villagers and set the village on fire. Malia and her parents were some of the lucky survivors, but then the raiders took Malia and some other young children to be slaves. At first, Malia lives with a woman in Khartoum, Sudan, but she is then sent to live with the woman’s cousin in London. Both women are extremely cruel and punish Malia by whipping  and verbally abusing her. At the end of the movie, Malia finally gets the guts to plan and conduct an escape. The last, tearful scene of the movie shows Malia talking to her parents on the phone and crying.

Search_results_for_passover_-_Images_and_More_-_Office_comThe Jewish holiday, Passover, is coming up. Passover tells the story of when the Jews were slaves in Egypt, but escaped. This is similar to the story in I Am Slave because both Malia and the Jews were slaves, but continued to fight for their freedom until their perseverance paid off. After we finished watching the movie, we said the blessing, “Blessed are You, Lord our God, Sovereign of the Universe, who releases the bound.” In that prayer, we are thanking God for our freedom and asking him to free all slaves.

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Rights for Tomato Pickers

Screenshot_3_17_14_6_29_PMLast Friday, we prepared breakfast for immigrant tomato pickers. The tomato pickers were at the end of a ten day tour across Florida to gain support for the Fair Food Program. The Fair Food Program is trying to improve the human rights of tomato pickers. So far, the Fair Food Program has allowed the workers to have breaks and go in the shade. By paying a penny more per pound, businesses selling tomatoes can ensure that the tomato pickers’ wages are increasing.

Friday also happened to be Purim, so we made sure to include different parts Screenshot_3_17_14_6_30_PMof the holiday. For example, through a translator, our Rabbi told the workers the Purim story and compared it to the workers’ own stories. He said that Esther stood up for the Jews and the migrant workers are standing up for themselves. Then he explained why everyone was wearing a costume. This was a Purim feast because there were many people eating a meal together. As the workers were leaving, we handed them a small bag of hamentaschen, a Purim treat. We showed the mitzvah of matanot l’evyonim, gifts to the poor, because every day is a struggle for them and we let them eat without needing to be worried if they would have enough food for the rest of the week.

Screenshot_3_17_14_6_32_PMAfter hearing the migrant workers speak, I learned that they need every bit of help they can get. Tomato pickers in Florida earn around $10,000 to $13,000 a year. This is almost one-fourth of the average salary in the United States, which is $40,000. Meeting the migrant workers made the situation seem more real. There was one little boy who was a child of the tomato pickers, and it made me sad to think that he doesn’t always have enough food. Helping these workers is not expensive, nor does it take a lot of time and effort. The tomato pickers were very grateful for the meal we prepared for them, but I wish I could’ve done more.


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Angles of Elevation and Depression

This week in Math, we learned about angles of elevation and angles of Applications_of_Right_Triangle_Trigonometry_Figure_1_svgdepression. Angles of elevation are angles above eye-level, and angles of depression are angles below eye-level. I decided to watch a video online on how to determine which angle is which. I found the video to be very helpful and it explained a lot. It was also really easy to understand and the graphics were good. The only bad thing about the video was that there was no audio. If it had audio, I would have found it to be more entertaining and enjoyable. I would recommend this video for people who are looking for a helpful video on angles or depression and elevation.