Nature’s Classroom – By Isaac

Over the first week of April, my classmates and I went on an adventure to the far off lands of Becket, Massachusetts. We all had different visions of how everything would play out, and I personally thought that NC (an abbreviation for Nature’s Classroom) would be more outdoorsy than it was. I thought that we would be spending pretty much the whole time outside, but we had ½ hour to 1 hour breaks between our classes, and our classes were mostly inside. The journey there was one of the best, and we got to watch movies on the big coach bus and talk with friends. The 7th graders who had already done it last year told us rumors like ghosts that people believed, and that freaked some people out but excited others, like me.


After the long journey, we had to stand out in the cold for a long time and play a game in the snow (great time to wear my sneakers, eh?) and we were assigned bunk rooms after that in our grand cabin. Shortly after that, we had our first mealtime where a lot of things were introduced to us, including how our classes and field groups would be working out. It didn’t make so much sense to me. We were introduced to waitronning. Then we did a team building activity after dinner, a “quest”. That night, someone was shining their flashlight a lot and kept everybody up until like 11:00. The next morning was my one and only waitron* shift. That day we were supposed to do an Oregon Trail simulation in real life, where we pretended we were a wagon of people and we were going to Oregon, facing obstacles along our way**. I wasn’t really listening, and I regretted that later because I didn’t know what we were doing for a bit. Sadly, that happened the next day. We had 3 classes where we learned about meditating, rockets, and forest fires in hands-on ways. That night we got to sleep well after our quiet sing along session where we sang some of my favorite songs, such as Riptide and Woody.


The morning after that, we woke up and had a field group*** outing, and rehearsed a play for Wednesday Night Live****. Then we had lunch, and right after we started away on the trail to Oregon City. We portrayed the farmers, the poorest of the groups, and we ended up all freezing to death the stop before Oregon City. We were very mad, but we had fun so we got over it. Later, we had one more class. It was how to eat healthy and live forever by not eating preservatives. We made mini treats for that, and they were fun and yummy. Soon after dinner came Wednesday Night Live, a series of mini plays where each field group performs a skit and that’s what we were planning out before. I ended up getting my shoe thrown across the room by a staff member, but that was fine. Our play was about making a commercial and all the attempts. At the very end when we got it perfect, the cameraman said he wasn’t filming. That was the punchline. We went to sleep for our last night before the day we headed home


In the morning, we had a last field group meeting where we recieved beads of kindness (called IALAC beads*****) We then played a game called Predators vs Prey. I started out as a centipede, the lowest in the food chain, but as I was eaten I ended up becoming a snake, or whatever ate me. That game wasn’t super fun, but it was semi-enjoyable. Then we had to pack up and go home.


*Just so you know, a waitron is like a waiter who helps clear the tables and set them and stuff

**More information coming

***Field group is sort of our group for hikes and stuff

****Which will be explained later

*****Stands for: I am loving and caring, Individuals all learning as [a] community, and other things

The Museum of Natural History By Isaac


The Museum of Natural History

By Isaac

Steggy byronv2 via Compfight

“Ughhh, are we there yet?” asked my brother for the billionth time, when he could have looked out the window, but he didn’t for some reason. I couldn’t blame him, he was only about three years old (two years younger than me). Actually, he wasn’t the only unhappy one. Mom just read the museum ticket prices, and they weren’t pretty. She had this look on her face like she had just seen roadkill or something, but the prices may have been more gruesome. Just then we arrived. We all hopped out of the car, and onto a pathway to a majestic old building, which was looking proud of its splendid design. I couldn’t wait for what the museum may contain.


We finally got in, and entered a huge room, with crazy stuff hanging, maybe 5 floors high. There were immense glass-paned windows, stretching to infinity. Where would we start? We decided to go down a flight of stairs to the gift shop, and saw a bunch of loot that me and my brother liked the looks of, and almost got left behind from staring so long. We passed a food court, but we weren’t hungry yet. There wasn’t much I thought I would like, so I started planning on what “culinary delight” I would have for lunch.


We got back to the big room, and saw a cool exhibit about time. It was a spiral pathway winding down from near the ceiling, and I followed it down with my eyes, only to get to the bottom and see, “WRONG ENTRANCE”. The entrance must be all the way at the top! And to there our journey began.


The first room really surprised me. I expected some old dusty museum exhibit of an ancient artifact or something boring like that. Instead, I saw monsters rising up to the ceiling, but they were only bones. These were dinosaur skeletons! Even though they died 65 million years ago (as it said on the signs), these still looked like they wanted to kill the others. But, there were more peaceful looking ones, herbivores. These dinosaurs were big, but wouldn’t hurt the others. Some had bones missing, which wasn’t that great, but I thought it must be really hard to dig up these bones, and hard to find them, and I cut them some slack. I tried to put myself in the shoes of the paleontologists, trying to dig up these behemoths, and I found some huge dinosaurs!


We were moving at a moderate pace, and we were stopping to look at some dinosaurs, but we just walked past some. I didn’t really know how to pronounce the names, but by the time I started to put the prefixes, suffixes, and roots together, we were on the next floor. This one was like an ocean room, and had an enormous whale hanging from the ceiling! I thought it may fall, but I guess that was an irrational fear. It was secured tightly, and from the looks of it, had been that way for a while. I was really scared walking under it, even though I shouldn’t have been. I wondered how it was held up. Glue? No, that couldn’t be it. It had to be stronger. Magnets? No, those could move. I always thought magnets were neat, but couldn’t do everything. What was the substance that could hold such a massive object that wouldn’t take down the entire roof?


While I was thinking about that, we went down to a lowered surface with tanks of real sea life! I saw an exhibit about saltwater making flowing tubes in ice water in Antarctica or something, but I was too focused on that whale. We saw a bunch of tanks and saw a cool map of where modern ohio used to be located, near the south pole! I didn’t really understand how it could move, and mom didn’t really know. I guess that was a question for dad. We went back up, and were happy with all the sea life that we saw, but then we saw lots more living creatures.


Up to the 4th floor we went, and my brother ran ahead of us and into the room. This was a cool room, because there was a ton of wildlife. Apparently, some animals made threatening sounds to my brother, and he backed off from the hissing of snakes. It was almost like a maze in there, with tanks arranged on tables in random patterns, and me and my brother ran around, and almost ran into a tour guide. Of course, my brother blamed it on me, as he does a lot. We were almost lost! Thankfully, we were near a bunch of clear tanks, so seeing through them to our parents was like taking candy from my brother.


Sadly, that was tough, just like taking candy from my brother’s secured candy bag. You see, we weren’t really tall enough to see over the tanks, even though they were clear. All I saw was wobbly wooden tables. Then we followed some other people that started at the other end of the room, and we were out, back to where we started. Then I wondered to myself as my parents took me to the next floor, those people started at the other end of the room. Could they have just been on the fifth floor, and went up the cool spiral thing? I abandoned the thought, because it would make me feel more and more stupid if I kept thinking I missed the entrance. Darn, I thought about it again!


We made it! The fifth floor! Time to check out what this ramp to the ground is! I started to walk down, and kept walking and walking. I noticed on the outside wall it was showing time periods of different lengths with some helpful numbers and pictures. The big bang happened 13.5 billion years ago? I couldn’t fathom that number, or the next one! 5.4 billion years ago was when the earth was made? I thought it was made by god, not masses of rock forming together. We saw a lot of lava and black rocks for a long time, and finally we started to see some variety. There we found the first living creatures that lived in oceans, like trilobites. I couldn’t imagine life had been around that long, and when I thought of life I thought of humans. Boy, how wrong I was.


This walk wasn’t as walk-like as I expected. With all the people going down, you were getting ushered along very quickly, and it was hard to see the signs. Since we were moving down the ramp  and were going up and down to see the signs, it looked like the signs were swimming by like fish. The whole experience was ruined, I thought.


Finally, the traffic settled down and we were able to read the signs again. It looked like we had went down the timeline about 50 million years. The first amphibious creatures were crawling onto land about now, and I thought humans must come soon. My dad had told me 65 million years ago the dinosaurs died, and I watched a cartoon show that said humans rode dinosaurs, so it should happen soon! I kept my eyes on the wall for about 10 feet, or a couple million years, and we got to the first reptiles and insects. We saw the start of the Permian and Triassic periods, where some of the dinosaurs we saw in the big room started to come around! I started to recognize even more through the Jurassic and early cretaceous. We walked down a while and got to the ice age period, and that went on for a very short period of time, relative to the dinosaurs. Apparently there were five major glaciations that happened over the earth, each section about the width of your finger. I finally looked down, and we were almost at the bottom!


I thought they forgot the humans! They must have put them with the apes and other mammals. At the very end of the spiral ramp, there was a hair. I thought someone must have snagged it in the display, but the hair was titled, “Human Period” and I knew what the whole purpose of the ramp was. It was like I just cracked a code. The displays on the ramp were to show us how long the universe, the earth, life, dinosaurs, and all those things have been around for, and how humans have been around for nowhere close to that time. That was crazy, and I didn’t believe it. I asked my mom if it was true, if we had been around for that short of a time. She said the graph was accurate, but we had still been around for nearly 3 million. With my mind blown, we headed off to lunch.


I tried a “calzone” that was just a pile of cheese and sauce, with some sauce-soaked bread under it and some meat in it. It seemed like my family got the same kind of thing, but at least my mom and my brother’s lunches were arranged properly. We walked around a little, but the café was packed tight with kids on field trips from neighboring schools. It was hard to move, but we made it into the gift shop. There were a lot of cool toys there, and boring books and all that junk. there wasn’t much I wanted, but apparently something caught my mom’s eye. It  was a bunch of miniature magnets, all spherical, that you could bend into any shape that came to mind, or at least a lot of shapes. They made a cute little ‘snap’ when you put them together. They were called BuckyBalls. I wondered why they were called that, and thought dad would know. They were amazing, and I knew they were exactly what dad would like. So we bought them, and explored a little longer. We didn’t find anything else in the museum that I was really interested in, and we left.


A while later, we got back home, and dad really loved the BuckyBalls, and he wanted to get at it right away. Me and my brother each had turns playing with them, but them we noticed that we didn’t have all o Continue reading

Cat Passion By Isaac


Passion: Cats

I think cats are really neat because there are so many different types that live in all sorts of environments! I love cats so much that I have four of my own. But this isn’t about me, this is about the cats. There are cats on just about every continent! There are over 50 breeds of cats, too! It sounds like a lot, but there are really two categories of cats: domesticated and undomesticated.

Domesticated (or house) cats:

Domesticated cats are the type of cat that you think of when you hear the word “cat”. If you don’t know a lot about cats, you’ll probably think there’s only one type. If you’re semi-knowledgeable in this subject matter, you’ll categorize cats into domestic short hair and domestic longhair. Those are categories, but if you go by breed, there are over 40 types of cat breeds. These cats were small and were domesticated by humans around the year 7500 BCE, around the Neolithic period. 9500 years later (current day) they are the second most popular pet in the world (first being the freshwater fish).

Undomesticated (or big) cats:

This category of cat has about 10 types of cats in it; the biggest being the tiger. These cats live everywhere, but many are incredibly endangered. Most of these cats live in Asia and Africa, but some live in the Americas, too. This category contains 3 genuses of cats (Panthera, Acinonyx, and Puma), and most of them fall into the Panthera category.

That’s it? (other cats):

Well, there are some other types of cats that are small wildcats that I don’t include, because they don’t really fall into one category or the other. There are probably some cats that haven’t been discovered, I don’t know, and they may not be talked about. But, those two categories basically put cats in a nutshell.

My cats:

I have four cats which I really love and I love to teach them to do tricks. It’s a passion of mine. Here’s a little about my cats-

  • Jasper – The biggest, strongest, most muscular cat. He’s gray and has beautiful patterns on him. Surprisingly, he’s a complete scaredy cat, and hides under couches a lot.
  • Creamsicle – Creamsicle is a tiny orange and white cat that’s really small and likes to hunt really big birds (which a lot of the time she catches). She’s outside almost all the time and we don’t see her often
  • Jimmy – Jimmy’s Sort of blind and a little deaf. He’s all black and he’s the youngest cat. He’s really playful and likes to be snuggled and petted. He’s personally my favorite cat.
  • Dusk – Dusk was a stray cat that kept showing up at my house, and eventually we let him in. He’s a black cat, with a patch of white fur on his chest. He ate a lot of food and couldn’t control himself and he’s really fat now. He’s sort of mean to Jasper


Dusk (before he was rotund):

Photo on 9-15-15 at 7.48 PM #2.jpg


Creepy Crawlies – Week 4 Activity 4 Blogging Challenge – By Isaac

Creepy Crawlies are everywhere,

Don’t worry, it’s fine to be scared,

The creepy crawlies will hunt you down,

They’ll search for you up in the air, but also on the ground!


They define a whole class of things,

Things with legs and also with wings,

The most disgusting creatures out there,

They will surely give you a scare!


Another Cricket Iain Tait via Compfight



Holiday Post – By Isaac

Every year my family celebrates Hanukkah and Christmas. For Christmas, all of my family comes to my house in the morning to exchange gifts, and there’s never been a time where it wasn’t fun! My uncle always makes us amazing pancakes, but that’s kind of annoying because we have to wait for him to get here (he lives a long way away). I make a Christmas list every year, but my brother doesn’t and gets really amazing stuff. I tried that once, and I got nothing I really liked. My family hasn’t gotten their Christmas tree yet, and I’m getting a little worried!

Hanukkah my family just does by ourselves. I love using the dreidel, but my family doesn’t do the thing where you win chocolate coins. We used to do the thing where you gave people gifts on each day of Hanukkah, but now we just light the menorah and eat latkes.

My parents don’t encourage staying up very late, but this year they are letting me stay up until midnight on New Year’s Eve. I have never seen the “ball dropping” in New York City, but I have always wanted to go. Maybe I will someday!



Hanukkah – A Jewish holiday where people celebrate the oil that burned for eight days

Christmas – A Christian holiday where people write lists and “Santa” gives them presents under a tree

Dreidel – A four sided top that you spin and you win something

Menorah – A candle holder with 8 candle spots and a spot for the Shamash, which lights all the other candles

New Year’s Eve – The American new year falls on January first, and the day prior, people have all sorts of parties at midnight.

Ball Dropping – At midnight, a giant ball falls in a building in Times Square, New York City, signifying the switch to the new year.

Still don’t understand what Christmas is about? – Christmas Website

Still don’t understand what Hanukkah is about? – Hanukkah

Last Blogging Challenge – Goodbye! – By Isaac

Emoticons: Hand waving face by nicubunu

Picture by nicubunu

via openclipart

The student blogging challenge is where kids write blog posts on their class blog. I thought the blogging challenge was a great way to connect lots of different classrooms around the world. It was fun to write posts about different things because you got to write about things you would normally never write about. I know I met a lot of new friends in many different places in the world. I never would have thought blogging would be fun, but it’s something fun to do if you don’t know what to do! My favorite posts were my nature post and my food post. Overall, I think that it is a great way to meet people and very fun, and I would do it again.

Week #7 – Constellations: By Isaac


Stars constellationsCreative Commons License Thomas Bresson via Compfight

Ever wonder about the stars? Well, if you look closely you may see certain shapes. These are called “constellations”, and they were invented by ancient people that looked in the sky and saw shapes in the stars.

 It wasn’t just one race that identified these, it was lots of ancient cultures. The first direct evidence of these occurrences was found in Mesopotamia in 3000 BC. Then came astronomers from China, India, the Islamic Empire, Egypt, and Greece (Grecian constellations were mainly based off the ones from Mesopotamia, and we still use those today).

Early Constellations

Timeline Website


Constellations are measured by size in square degrees, and the constellation that takes up the most square degrees is called Hydra. Constellations are categorized by families, and Hydra is a constellation in the Her family, along with Hercules (the main constellation in the family), Centaurus, Ophiuchus, and many others. The sky is divided up into 8 sections, 4 quadrants in the north and 4 quadrants in the south. All constellations fall into 1 of those sections.


Dark cloud constellations are just dark patches in the Great Rift, which consists of a group of those patches in the galaxy. These are better observed in the southern hemisphere. These can be seen better when the Milky Way is darker, because these can cast shadows on the ground. 


The Aboriginal “Emu in the sky”.

In Western astronomy terms, the Southern Cross is on the right, and Scorpius on the left; the head of the emu is the Coalsack.


There are about 88 well-known constellations out there in the sky, maybe you will see some of them!


Another great site for information



Week 5 Student Blogging Challenge – Isaac

Activity #1

A food that the United States is famous for is it’s Buffalo wings. These (surprisingly) un-breaded spicy or mild delights are made from a portion of a chicken’s wing which is deep fried and coated with Cayenne pepper hot sauce and a little butter. These are often served with celery and bleu cheese.

Chicken Wings from Brick House Tavern James via Compfight

Buffalo wings were first invented by Teressa Bellissimo (who owned a bar with her husband Frank). “Upon the unannounced, late-night arrival of their son, Dominic, with several of his friends from college, Teressa needed a fast and easy snack to present to her guests. It was then that she came up with the idea of deep frying chicken wings (normally thrown away or reserved for stock) and tossing them in cayenne hot sauce.”  Lots of stories like those have circulated around the world and it’s hard to know which story is true. But that doesn’t matter. What does matter is that those wings taste good!

Sources: Wikipedia – Buffalo Wings

The Bloody Pie – By Isaac


Cherry Pie!Creative Commons License Pug Girl via Compfight

In the old, haunted town of Springville, Fred turned 10 on Saturday, October 31th, and he had to get a pie from the candy store. He walked into the store, nabbed a pie, and left a little less than what the pie cost. It was an old, empty bakery on Elm street, so normally no one was there. But as he left, a kind old lady said something that caught him off guard.

“Sonny boy, hello there! I’m sad because my old grandson died. He apparently robbed his mother and bought a pie and didn’t even pay enough, and he suffered a horrible fate,” said the old woman. She couldn’t have known. Just a coincidence, Fred kept telling himself.

“I wish I could get the little bugger back…” said the woman, and with that she started wailing. But then the strangest thing happened. Her eyes flashed a vermilion red for just a second. The woman’s sobs looked like cackles, but she turned back to normal a couple seconds after, and Fred went home with the pie.

Once he got home, his mom and dad (and even his little sister) jumped out and said ‘SURPRISE!’ He was very gratified with the surprise. Fred didn’t see the pie cutting when it was time, but he did see his mom tap the pie with some stick and her eyes flashed red. He told himself he was imagining it, and he ate a good dinner. But he heard a laugh from the kitchen, and his mom brought out a pie.

Mom took the platter off, but where the pie should have been, there was a tin full of blood! His mother let out a bloodcurdling scream, apparently unknowledgeable, but for just a moment, her eyes flashed red and her scream was a laugh.

Week 3 Activity 1 Blogging Challenge – By Isaac

One of my favorite times spent with my family was my trip to Arizona when I was about five. We flew into Phoenix and stayed there for a few days. I remember that we went on this cool hike in the desert, and we saw this lizard that I thought was big at the time, but it wasn’t all that big. We then went to Flagstaff and saw all of the red rocks, and we were at this hotel in the middle of nowhere. After that, we went to the Grand Canyon, and I almost dropped my “wallet” (A.K.A a little folded napkin with about two dollars in it) into the canyon! I thought I almost fell in, but remember, I was five. I looked at my family’s pictures later and saw I was not even close. Then we went back to New York after driving through saguaro (a type of cactus) flats and making up a messed up song.


Grand Canyon 26 Ignacio Izquierdo via Compfight