|The Blue Jay Today||
Interview With Mrs. Goes
By: Josi Engle
Josi- Why did you choose to present this challenge to Bondurant Farrar Middle School?
Mrs. Goes- After many years of watching B-F Middle School students read while headlines say teenagers don’t read any more, I wanted to give students here a chance to prove the negative voices wrong.
Josi- Are you proud of the students who have put in, not just minutes, but hours?
Mrs. Goes- I am incredibly proud of all of the students who pick up a book and read. I know some students read all of the time and some students just read to help with the contest, but any reading comes with its own rewards.
Josi- How many total hours were put into this reading goal total?
Mrs. Goes- 48, 209 minutes or about 804 hours
Josi- Is there anything you’d like me to put into the article, and what would you like to share?
Mrs. Goes- A 2014 study by Common Sense Media shows the following: 53% of 9-year-olds are daily readers, but only 17% of 17-year-olds are daily readers. It also shows that the proportion who "never" or "hardly ever" read tripled since 1984. A third of 13-year-olds and 45% of 17-year-olds say they've read for pleasure one to two times a year, if that. Reading scores of 9- and 13-year-olds have improved, but those of 17-year-olds haven't changed in 30 years.
Reading improves vocabulary and comprehension skills which come with lifetime benefits. Check it out yourself at this website:
Josi- How did you come by this challenge?
Mrs. Goes- The National Education Association website had an article on the Read Across America challenge for March 2, 2016. This fit right in with my wanting to challenge students to read more and show adults that B-F Middle School students already read more than the national average.
About NEA’s Read Across America:The National Education Association is building a nation of readers through its signature program, NEA’s Read Across America. Now in its 19th year, this year-round program focuses on motivating children and teens to read through events, partnerships, and reading resources.
"You're never too old, too wacky, too wild, to pick up a book and read with a child."
by: Neal Shusterman and Eric Elfman Review by Cody Hall
When their home burns down, their mother is killed and, fourteen-year-old Nick, his younger brother, and their father move into a old Victorian house they had inherited. When Nick opens the door to his room in the attic,, he's hit in the head by a toaster. That's just the beginning of his weird experiences. After getting rid of the odd antiques in a garage sale, Nick befriends some of the local kids Mitch, whose dad is in the clink, Caitlin, who is, “one of those rare girls who managed to strike a perfect balance between being wildly popular and wildly original,” and Vincent, who likes anything morbid, and together they discover that all of the objects have extraordinary properties. Ultimately Nick learns that the genius Nikola Tesla placed his inventions in the attic, “ Carrying on with some Colorado Springs socialite... My great aunt Greta...So that explains why the stuffy was in the attic,” as part of a larger plan that he mathematically predicted. Nick and his new friends must retrieve everything that was sold at the garage sale and keep it safe. But the task is hardened even more by a secret society, “I don’t suppose you’ve heard of-his voice dropped to a whisper-The Accelerati?” They are determined to stop Nick and it's a lot for a guy to handle, especially when he is the new kid in tow and would much rather fly low under the radar.
I would recommend this book to any age. Neal Shusterman is a master writer and Eric Elfman only adds to the masterpiece. It has everything, humor, sadness, a dab of romance and twists and turns like no other.
10 out of 10 **********
The Way of The Sword
by Chris Bradford
Review by Cody Hall
Jack and his friends are back in the second young samurai book. Jack was shipwrecked in japan from a trading ship coming from England. The ship was attacked by ninja, the leader with one green eye. The ninja were after Jack’s father’s rutter, or navigation log. Jack escapes with the log, but not before he sees the one eyed ninja kill his father. Jack washed up on the Japan shore and is taken in and adopted by a samurai and is sent to a samurai training school. There jack makes enemies and friends, constantly teased for being a gaijin or an outsider. The one eyed ninja who Jack found out was named Dragon Eye, is trying ever the harder to get the rudder and Jack must enter the circle of three. 5 ninja are tested to their maxes three will remain. Jack needs to be in the circle of three to learn the two heavens sword technique to be able to defeat Dragon Eye.
I think this series is a great read for ages 8 through 14 and other ages might like it too. It is a great book about overcoming hardships and struggles and has bits of humor intertwined in it too making a great masterpiece of a book.
9 out of 10 **********
TACTICAL LAZER-TAG by Cody Hall
Your back is against the wall, you've got nothing left, no reinforcements. This is your last stand. You've received word that one of your men has been captured and is being held behind enemy lines. You have a limited amount of time to get them out and back to safety. You must locate control points throughout the arena, they could be anywhere. Once you find them, you must communicate to your teammates, mount a defense, and take control of them. Doesn’t this sounds like fun? If you are bored and tired of the same old activities you normally do, head over to CMP Lazer Tag in Des Moines!
CMP Tactical Lazer Tag is in a 2 story building in Des Moines, IA that is dedicated to laser tag. They have an armory of realistic looking, metal, guns. Although, some are more realistic than others. The guns have a digital screen on top that gives health, ammo left, and name of gun. Also, the guns have sounds that literally screams at you when you are hit or killed. When you are killed, it screams, “Man down! Man down!.” You then go back to your designated base and press the revival button. The wireless signal the revival button gives out resets your gun and you are back in business. There are none of the bulky vests, there are just velcro headbands with three sensors that attach to it. The sensors are attached to the gun which a cord, so that when your are hit or killed the gun knows to scream at you. Each gun is equipped with a sight, and the accuracy of the sight is usually astounding.
The course is two stories, with giant stairs connecting the two floors. The stairs are called climbing cubes, and they have duct taped wooden beams to make sure you don't fall down and get hurt. the upper story doesn't cover the whole floor, it is like a banister around the edges. The middle of the arena is an octagon, conveniently called The Octagon, which is the basis for many of the missions. there are many “houses” with no glass in the “windows” and hallways to hide in. A part of the course that is usually off limits but is part of a few missions is the office. The office contains the armory and many hiding places when it is used, also a storage for items you have that you don't want lost or broken.
There are missions instead of all out laser tag. Don't get me wrong though, some of the missions contain all out lazer tag. There are ten different missions; search and destroy, which is where one of the teams has to transport the “bomb” to the office, arm, and guard it. the other team’s objective is to disarm the bomb once it is set. King of the hill is where you have to get the most points on the counter. To start racking up your points, you need to hold your teams button on the counter until it turns your teams color. Then you guard it so the opposing team can't hold their button and start racking up their points and stopping you from racking up yours. Team deathmatch is where everyone has one life, and the objective is to eliminate the other team.
Generals is where each team picks a General and you can't let your general die. You can respawn as usual, but the General cannot. You need to assassinate the opposing general before yours is Once a general dies, the game is over. Total defense is where one team has two supply crates. The objective is to keep your crates safe while the other team tries to capture the crates. Last stand is where your team has one life and the opposing team has infinite. you have to hold your ground as long as you can without being killed. Hostage rescue is where each team picks one player from your team to act as “hostage” and you need to rescue your hostage while guarding the other teams hostage. Control is the same as king of the hill, but instead of one counter there are two. Siege is where one team has one life and they hide and protects a supply crate. The opposing team has infinite lives to get the crate and kill all enemy players. Heist is where one team reaches the “bank,” puts in the correct codes, and make of with the money. The other team has to stop the “robbers.”
Personally, my favorite mission is either team deathmatch, because you only have one life and you have to have a strategy not to die. Or it is last stand, because attacking you have infinite lives and defending has one. Word to the wise, sniping isn't as effective as you would think especially if you are a first time player.
Do You Know Mr. Carlson?
by Natalie McDaniels
Natalie: What would your typical school-day schedule look like?
Mr Carlson: Every day is a little different, but I always start by sending out some announcements to teachers. I go outside to help with traffic and the buses coming in (I do this at the end of the day too). During the day, I get out in the hallways during passing time to visit with students and staff. I help with lunch duty and I like to get into classrooms to see what our students are learning and what our teachers are teaching. Sometimes I have meetings with the other administrators or even sometimes away from school. I do spend time in my office answering emails, visiting with staff members, talking to students, or whatever may be pressing.
Natalie: On a scale of 1-10 (one is very difficult, ten is a piece o’ cake) how hard is it being principal of a junior high?
Mr. Carlson: Like anything else, the more you do it, the easier it gets. I really enjoy my job so I don’t think of it as hard or easy. Some days create greater challenges than others. I have friends who say, “I could never be a middle school principal.” But I know I couldn’t do their job either.
Natalie: What is the most interesting thing about you?
Mr. Carlson: I don’t know if I’m terribly interesting, but one thing that maybe people don’t know about me is that I’m a pretty decent singer (at least I’ve had people tell me that :-))
Natalie: What annoys you most about junior high students?
Mr Carlson: Well, I’ve worked with or around junior high students for over 21 years. I’m not sure they annoy me, but they have behaviors that are unique to their age group. They have a lot of energy and I like that. I think that is why people choose to work with this age group, because they like the energy. Sometimes it is frustrating how some kids this age treat one another, but learning to do this right is just as important as math, science, or social studies.
Natalie: If you could only eat one food the rest of your life, what would it be?
Mr. Carlson: Without a doubt, pizza.
Natalie: Do you remember your experience with middle school?
Mr. Carlson: I remember a lot of things about being a middle schooler. I loved sports, music, hanging out with friends. I really had a great childhood. Probably the main difference between my experience and the experience of kids today is the amount of technology that kids today have.
Natalie: What was your favorite moment when you were in school?
Mr. Carlson: I got to spend a summer in Mexico with a family as part of a foreign exchange program. I got to experience not only life out of Iowa and the Midwest, but out of our country. I experienced life and culture in a whole new way.
Natalie: (again, if so) What was your most embarrasing?
Mr. Carlson: I’m sure I had a lot of embarrassing moments that I have tried to forget about!
Natalie: What, when you were a child, did you want to be when you grew up?
Mr. Carlson: I thought I wanted to be a TV personality, like a sports anchor on the news.
Natalie: Do you enjoy being a principal? (And why?)
Mr. Carlson: I truly enjoy my job. I do not dread coming to work and I really like the variety of every day. Being able to work with young people, seeing them achieve, and helping them and their families through difficulties has been a calling for me. I also enjoy working with the staff of professionals we have here at Bondurant-Farrar Middle School.
Natalie: Any words to our readers we haven’t covered?
Mr. Carlson: I would just encourage our students to be themselves; seek out the things in life that you enjoy and do well. If you like music or cooking better than playing basketball, that’s o.k….then be the best musician or cook you can be. RESPECT people for their differences and try to learn something about them.
Mrs. Wiley’s New Path; An Interview With Mrs. Wiley
By Grace Johnson |May 5, 2016|
BONDURANT - Mrs. Wiley is moving on next year to a different job. She is taking on new challenges and is no longer working for the Middle School Staff. We will all miss her and never forget her, as a friend and teacher.
Grace- How do you feel about changing your job and taking on new challenges?
Mrs. Wiley- I’m actually really excited about that, but I am also nervous about the new job because I feel like I am going to forget something important. I really love 6th grade, so it will be kind of hard to leave it, but I always love to do something different and challenging.
Grace- How many years have you been teaching 6th grade science?
Mrs. Wiley- About 7 years total.
Grace- Why and how did you effect the students that you taught?
Mrs. Wiley- I affected the students by showing them that science is in our everyday life. I showed them how to embrace our world on how it is and how we're going to affect it.
Grace- How did you effect the school?
Mrs. Wiley- I affected the school by teaching the students. Hopefully, I helped to create a positive school experience, so that each student feels supported and safe at school.
Grace- What was one of your favorite experiences of being a 6th grade science teacher?
Mrs. Wiley- It was probably interacting with the kids and helping them discover science. One of my favorite experiences with the kids is when they get excited and can make connections with the lesson in their own lives.
Grace- How much would you miss the students, school, and staff members?
Mrs. Wiley- I will miss them all so much! They all have been so nice to me and I am thankful that I got to work and teach with them. The kids have been a blast over the years and I feel honored that I got to teach them.
Grace- Why did you choose to be a science teacher in the first place?
Mrs. Wiley- One part of it was that my dad was a science teacher. I was also really into nature and being outdoors. I was one of those kids who loved to play outside and be curious about the way things are. I just knew that this was going to be a job that I enjoyed!
Grace- What and where will you be working next year?
Mrs. Wiley- I will be an At-Risk teacher at Anderson.
Grace- Why did you choose to change your job?
Mrs. Wiley- Let's just say I wanted to take on new challenges, but also help others. This job will help me to use the new skills I’ve learned in getting my masters as a school counselor.
Grace- How do you feel about changing your job?
Mrs. Wiley- I feel really sad about it. I always liked to see my past students in the hallway and talk to them about their day. Next year I won't be able to see my sixth graders in the hallway. I will miss the staff members. But I will also have great experiences at Anderson!
Grace- Is there any advice you would like to share to our new science teacher, and also for any other teachers?
Mrs. Wiley- There is some advice I would like to share. This is for the new science teacher- The kids love being a part of something, especially the experiments. Teachers will remember that all the kids are different. They each have their own gifts. Some might not be good at everything. You will need to be patient with them.
Grace- Is there anything else you will want share with any teachers, staff members, or the students?
Mrs. Wiley- Thank you for letting me a part of the Bondurant Farrar Middle School, the staff and students are fantastic!
Natalie McDaniels’s TOP TEN Reasons to Read the School Newspaper
The Way of the Dragon by Chris Bradford
Book Review by Cody Hall
Jack, “Ever since Jack’s fateful arrival in Japan, when his boat, The Alexandria, had been shipwrecked.” he has been ridiculed, shamed and almost killed, dozens of times. Now a Dynamo is persecuting Christians in his ruling area and getting christians from other ruling areas by paying people to kidnap them and bring them to him. When other dynasties start trying to stop him, he starts gathering masterless samurai, ronin, “The Tokaido Road north to Edo is crowded with samurai...responding to the call to arms.” He is gathering the army to become the Shogun, or the ultimate leader of Japan, but to do this he has to take Osaka Castle, “Whoever controls Osaka Castle, controls... this country.” . Jack and his friends will have to fight against this army and with insiders and jealousy to overcome this wont be an easy feat for Jack.
I think this book is a great read for ages 10 through 14 and older ages might like it too. It is a great book about overcoming hardships and jealousy and bits of humor intertwined in it too making a great book.
9 out of 10 **********
Book Review: Beyonders
Author: Brandon Mull
Book Review by Devin Miller
Beyonders is a fantasy book trilogy by the same author of the well known Fablehaven series, Brandon Mull. The series is about a boy named Jason getting swallowed by a hippopotamus and getting sent into a mysterious magical world called Lryian. He later found out that the magical world is dictated by the evil wizard Maldor. He then finds a girl who also came from Earth to Lryian named Rachel. After they visit with The Blind King they are told they must go on an epic quest to find all of the syllables to the word that could destroy Maldor if spoken near him. The syllables are spread out all across Lryian, but they are guarded by great and powerful monsters.
10 out of 10 stars
I give this ten out of ten because the plot is great and the story has non-stop action. Just a warning, you might get attached to some characters. There is a wide span of vocabulary and in depth detail about the characters and world around them. Did they stop Maldor? At what cost? Read the book to find out.
Don’t Catch The Bug: A Strange New Virus Threatens Kids Across The U.S.
by Natalie McDaniels
With the start of school, there’s always a risk of kids coming down sick, as they are being re- exposed to the germs of their classmates. This season, however, rears a virus far more dire than the average cold or strep throat. What students in ten states, one of which is Iowa, are being faced with now is the Enterovirus D68, a respiratory bug. Patients with this virus at first have symptoms of a common cold, but then begin having trouble breathing, and sometimes even lose consciousness. While back-to-school season is synonymous with the common flu and other viruses, this one poses a particular threat.
Professionals at Time For Kids have a few ways you can protect yourself from D68. Here are a few, taken from TFK, which you can read more from here. First, wash your hands often, with soap. While hand sanitizer is sometimes effective, it’s always best to wash with a strong soap. Avoid touching your mouth, nose, and eyes, as that will spread germs on your hands. Cover your mouth with a tissue, and, of course, stay home from school if you come down sick. Simple stuff, but it can save lives.
Keady, Cameron. "A Sick Start To The School Year." Time For Kids. Time Magazine, 8 Sept. 2014. Web. <http://www.timeforkids.com/news/sick-start-school-year/171791>.
Into The Woods Movie Review by Jessica Duffy
I watched the movie Into The Woods this past winter break and I’m going to tell you a little about the movie and give a recommendation. Hope you enjoy!
Anna Kendrick~ Cinderella
Meryl Streep~ The Witch
James Corden~ The Baker
Emily Blunt~ The Baker’s Wife
Chris Pine~ Cinderella’s Prince
Daniel Huttlestone~ Jack
Johnny Depp~ The Wolf
Mackenzie Mauzy~ Rapunzel
Billy Magnussen~ Rapunzel’s Prince
Lilla Crawford~ Little Red Riding Hood
Christine Baranski~ Stepmother
Tracey Ullman~ Jack’s Mother
Into The Woods is a movie about all these different fairy tales in one movie and how they all have a wish but, in order to get their wishes is to go into the woods. A baker and his wife need to go to the woods because a which has a curse on them, but Cinderella wants to go to a ball to meet the prince and the stepmother and step-sisters don’t want her to. Rapunzel needs to get away from her “mother”, (a.k.a the witch). Jack goes to sell his cow and finds magic beans and grows a beanstalk, while Little Red Riding Hood needs to get to her grandmother’s house when she meets the wolf. Will everyone get a happy ending or not? Watch the movie to find out what happens.
My favorite line is “Nice is different than go,” stated by Meryl Streep in this movie because it means if you're nice all the time to people it doesn’t mean you're always good. For example, you might be very nice to everyone you meet, but that doesn’t mean you follow rules. And vise versa. When you're good at following directions, but you're not always nice to people.
Book Review: Half Upon A Time
Author: James Riley
Book reviewed by Cody Hall.
********* 9 stars
This book is about Jack who lives with his grandpa in a world that brims with fairytale characters and magic. Jack goes to school one day; the lesson is saving a princess. He flunks because he saves himself instead of the princess. He argues with his grandpa that it is pointless training. That’s when the portal opened in the sky, and a girl named May, who is from our non-magical world, falls out. Her grandma was kidnapped and she was taken too, but she escaped in the portal and jumped out the side of it. She got sent to where Jack and his grandpa were. Now, after fighting through a mob of boys wanting her hand in marriage, a giant man in green, a witch, and even a plain, run-of-the-mill giant, they meet Philip. Phillip is a prince from a nearby kingdom who is avenging his father by slaying giants until he slays the giant that killed his father. He puts his quest on hold and joins the adventure too. Now the journey to find May's grandmother and get her back has a party of three, a magical number.
*********** 9 stars out of 10
I would give this book a 9 out of 10 because, this trilogy books doesn’t slow down for long periods. Also this trilogy is one of the few kinds of books you can read over and over again and you will never get tired of this book!
The Bondurant Trailhead
by Kristina Kuhlmann
The Bondurant trail head is a new edition to the Chichaqua Valley Trail. The Chichaqua Valley Trail runs for 20 miles just east of Bondurant to the town of Baxter, passing through the small communities of Ira, Mingo and Valeria along the route. The trail is paved for the entire route and it occupies an abandoned railroad that once was used by the Wisconsin, Iowa & Nebraska Railroad. The railroad was built in 1885. Later other railroads came along including the Chicago, St. Paul, Kansas City Railroad , Chicago Great Western Company and the Chicago & Northwestern Railroad Company. You'll see evidence of the train route in mile markers that show the distance to Kansas City. Stone and wood railroad bridges have also been refurbished for the trail.
On the trail you can ride a bike or take a run.You don’t have to pay anything to go on the trail. When the trail passes through the Chichaqua Bottoms Greenbelt, it opens into an extensive wildlife area with lots of recreational opportunities including camping, bird watching, canoeing and hunting .The park amenities are not located right by the trail. While Bondurant has a trail for recreational purposes, it is also a destination for people who want to see the freedom rock.
Read about that in my next article.
Information provided by: http://www.traillink.com/trail/chichaqua-valley-trail.aspx
Red Ribbon Week
by Kristina Kuhlmann and Mrs. Turner
We are going to kick off our Red Ribbon festivities on October 20th by having the group MWAH perform. MWAH stands for Messages Which Are Hopeful. Part of their presentation will focus on making good choices when it comes to using drugs and/or alcohol. Teens will share personal stories with our students that will make them think twice before using drugs and/or alcohol.
To show our support and have fun with Red Ribbon week, beginning October 27th we will have dress-up days and a door decorating contest centering around our theme which is “Having the Courage to be Drug Free.”
Monday, October 27th-Wear all red to school to show your commitment to staying drug and alcohol free
Tuesday, October 28th-”Be all you can be, be drug free.” Wear camouflage to school.
Wednesday, October 29th-”Use your head, don’t do drugs.” Wear a hat to school.
Thursday, October 30th-”You’re to bright to do drugs.” Wear sunglasses and neon clothing.
Friday, October 31st-”Team up against drugs.” Wear your favorite team shirt.
Want School to Start Later?
by Bailey Ensminger
Doctors do! They now recommend schools starting at 8:30am or later. They feel this would help fix many issues like poor health, bad grades, early morning car crashes, and of course, lack of sleep. The recommended amount of sleep for teens is 8 to 9 hours, while most get less than 7. Over 40% of schools in America start earlier than 8 am. Also, many kids ride the bus to school, which means they have to get up even earlier in order to catch their ride.
Students, you’re now probably asking this question, “Why does school have to start so early, then?” The answer is money, according to Kristen Amundson, executive director of the National Association of State Boards of Education. At some schools, the school buses have to make more than one run each morning in order to pick everyone up. If schools wanted to add more buses and bus drivers, they would have to pay the price. Most of the districts that have changed to a later time are smaller, so they don’t have as large a cost of transportation.
Another downside to this idea; school would have to get out later, and sports would run later into the day as well. This means less time for homework, and for some students, less time for after-school jobs. However, Pediatric studies show that a later start time can improve students’ sleep quality, motivation, and overall mood. They are researching to find out if this act has long-term benefits as well. Parents and students alike are now, “coming armed with this report,” Amundson says.
So, what do you think? Would you rather sleep in and get out of school even later, or keep the times we have now? If you’d rather sleep in, how would you solve the challenges that come along with it?
Information gathered from : http://tweentribune.com/tween78/ever-wonder-why-school-starts-so-early-hint