## 20 MayMountains Can Form Other Ways Too!

Many people think that mountains only form at convergent plate boundaries. That isn’t true! Mountains can also form with other processes. Mountains can be formed by tension. When tension pulls crust apart, some of the crust rises up and other parts fall. The crust that rises is mountains, and the lower part is a valley. This creates Fault-block mountains. Another example are volcanos. You may not consider that a volcano is a mountain, but scientists say they are. Volcanos form from molten rock and ash from eruptions hardening onto the surface. These eruptions form some of the biggest mountains on Earth.

## 15 MayGraphing Linear Equations

The first step in graphing linear equations is filling out the graph. All you do is plug the numbers in for the letters to get the points. In the graph below,  2x-3=y. To get find out what y is, put the numbers on the right into the spot for x. After you get your answer, you take both x and y and put them as points. Then, you use a coordinate plane to graph the points. If the points connect into a straight line, then it is a linear equation. If the points aren’t in a straight line, then it isn’t one.

## 08 MayTessellations

In math, we did a project on tessellations. Tessellations are when you use shapes to make a pattern. The shapes have to fit together without overlapping. One tessellation you see everyday is in tiling. You can also see tessellations in nature, like snake skin and honeycombs. During the project, we traced a shape onto paper to make the pattern. Here is a picture of mine, which I made to look like a butterfly.

## 02 MayHidden in Silence

For this week’s mitzvah trip, we watched the movie, Hidden in Silence. It is the story of a Christian teenage girl, Fusia, during the Holocaust. She was sent to live with a family of Jews by her mother. While living there, the family was sent into the ghetto, leaving Fusia alone in the house. She went  home to find that her younger sister, Helena, was the only one still there. Fusia and Helena returned, and secretly brought thirteen Jews into hiding in their attic.

During the Holocaust, the Germans first went after the Jewish doctors. That way, the doctors wouldn’t be able to treat others in the ghetto. At the ghetto wall, Helena swallowed a piece of paper with their address on it. A Nazi soldier saw her try to give the paper to the Jews, and tried to take it from her. I think she did this because if he saw the address, he would know what she was doing, and everyone would be killed. Inside the ghetto, the Nazis were taking young men out of the line of Jews going to the concentration camps. One boy wouldn’t stay out of the line, so they shot and killed him in front of everyone. The parents started pushing their sons away, so that he could survive. Fusia and her boss, Joseph, both shared the secret of hiding Jews.

## 25 AprThe Watsons go to Birmingham-1963

I recently read The Watsons go to Birmingham-1963 in Language Arts class. It was written by Christopher Paul Curtis. I really like this book, and I recommend it to anyone who likes funny characters. After finishing it, I created a book trailer on Frames. You can watch my trailer in the link below, and might want to read the book afterwards. If you have already read it, leave a comment about what you think.

https://vimeo.com/92927836

## 10 AprMultistep Equations

In the fist step of this problem, you subtract x from 5x to the opposite operation.

Next, you use opposite operations again to subtract 6 from 2.

Lastly, you divide 4 with 4 to  solve the equation. You get the answer x = 1.

## 03 AprMultistep Equations

Today, I played the game, Rags to Riches. This game was for practicing multistep equations. Every time you solved a problem, your level went up. Though it couldn’t teach you how to solve the problems, this game would be really good for getting extra help by practicing. I would improve this game by making it have more than one chance, so I could play longer without starting over. I liked this game because it makes me want to continue playing, so I can keep increasing my score. You can play this game yourself with this link:

http://www.quia.com/rr/168572.html

## 28 MarI AM SLAVE

Today, I watched the movie I am Slave. It is the true story of a girl in modern-day slavery. The girl, Malia,  was only thirteen years old when she was taken  from  her village in Sudan. Her parents both  survived and stayed in the village. Malia was then sold into slavery.

The woman who bought her made her clean the house and would beat her. After six years there, she sent Malia to live with her cousin, who was married to a Sudanese diplomat  in London. The cousin was nicer than Malia’s previous owner, but Malia, wanting to go home, kept attempting to escape. Her owner threatened to have her family in Sudan killed if she ran away again. With the help of a man from her village back home, Malia successfully escaped.

This movie was really appropriate to watch right before Passover. Passover is all about the Israelites living as slaves, and how they became free. After watching I am Slave, the prayer of שעשני בן חורין (thanking G-d for making me free) is really important to me. It makes me think about how lucky I am to be free, and not in situations like Malia and the Israelites.

Image Credit: Microsoft ClipArt

## 24 MarLeaving a Legacy

Last week, many of the middle school students attended a funeral for one of the members of our community, Tessie Taxier. She lived until she was 103. As a middle school, we visited her as often as we could on our mitzvah trips, which was almost every week. After studying mitzvot HaMet, the mitzvah of death and dying, we know how important it is to participate in a funeral. Immediately after meeting Tessie Taxier, you realized what a great person she was. She left a legacy on our community. Everyone wants to be remembered, including me. I would like to be remembered for being a generous person and doing great things, which I hope to accomplish in my lifetime.

## 19 MarBirkot Ha-Shahar

My favorite prayer that we, the middle school, do every morning is Birkot Ha-Shahar. I think this tefillah is important to me because it allows me to be grateful to G-d. There is not just one reason to be thankful; I believe there are many.This tefillah is thanking G-d for being able to do little things  like standing up or putting on clothes, which we all do every morning. I get to thank G-d for doing small tasks that I take for granted and don’t think about.

Without being able to do all these things, we couldn’t go through our day. Out of all the verses, there are some that I find the most meaningful. One of them is about giving sight to the blind.  I can see and  use my vision all day. I’m using it now to type this blog post! Another one is about clothing the naked. Putting on clothes is something that’s really important. Without this prayer, I wouldn’t think about all the small, easy tasks I do. It helps me be a little more grateful for everything I do.