Posts filed under ‘Social Studies’

My Heart in a Suitcase

Abigail Rosenthal

Today in school, we took a field trip to the Flynn to watch a special show called My Heart In A Suitcase. My heart in a Suitcase is about a girl named Anne who is Jewish and her family’s struggles through the rise of the Nazis coming to power. You see how difficult it is for her to go to school or even to have a Christian best friend. Towards the end of the play,  it is too unsafe for her to stay in Germany,  so she is lucky enough to be on the Kinder Transport. Throughout her amazing story,  you really get a feel for how it was like for a Jew living in Germany.

I thought the show was pretty good. We had just finished a unit on the holocaust, so it was interesting to see the changes in the Jews lives that we hadn’t heard about. We haven’t studied the Kinder Transport,  so it was interesting to briefly hear about that. I personally am very  interested in the holocaust,  so for me, if they talked a little more about the Kinder Transport I think it would add to the play. Overall, the play was informative and some of the little musical cues really added to the play.

I think that to make the play better the sound should be a little louder because at points it was hard to hear.  I liked the story, but at points I got bored. One thing that confused me were some of the scene changes, like you had her friend in the background changing the sign but she wasn’t in the scene. I liked the emotion in  the voices, but sitting in the back I couldn’t see the facial expressions. I did however enjoy the play because I felt that, although it was very respectful to the holocaust, it was still informative to the audience.

Overall I want to thank the Flynn for giving our schools the chance to see the wonderful play. I think that other people who are interested in the play would enjoy it and I think that it is appropriate for all ages.

April 3, 2013 at 12:51 pm 1 comment

Candidate Forum

Ella Workman

“On Oct. 5, a month and a day before voters across the nation will decide the political future of America, a panel of candidates took the stage at Williston Central School for an hour-long Q-and-A session.” Luke Baynes, Williston Observer. I am proud to say that I got to be there for that Q-and-A session.

I have to say, I started off with low expectations for this event. Politics, not just as a class or a subject, but as a whole, is mind-numbingly boring to me. I thought a full hour of it would be even worse, and then, to rub salt in the wounds, I actually had to pay attention;  not end up drawing like I normally do when I need a break. Oh, no. I had to be on the ball, completely paying attention because I was running sound for an important event. Without a tech rehearsal. So not only was I nervous about being bored, I was nervous about messing up. But as they say, those who are not nervous are not careful. But I was completely shocked by the outcome of this event. It was awesome. I was actually interested in what they were saying! And to top it off, THEY were saying it!

Quite frankly, reading a black and white packet from a textbook does nothing for me. It’s not my style. But watching real people debate over their beliefs was just entertaining! It was fun and interesting to watch how the candidates reacted to the other candidate’s opinions, and, it was most fun when they were fuming but had to keep their composure. It was also really interesting to see what topics they were weak on. You could tell that by when they were stalling for less time. You could tell that they were stalling because they would go on for over half their time limit thanking us, than give rudimentary facts because they ‘ran out of time’; but when they knew what they were doing they got into the subject topic really quickly and wasted no time, and really got into depth about what they’re doing and why and how it’ll work, and why the opposite party opposes it. It’s kind of like a debate, and I love debates. The dynamics and the passion as people fight for what they think is right….such a wonderful learning experience.

In conclusion, the candidate forum blew my mind with how deeply engrossing and interesting it was to watch; although the dynamics from the candidates or their representatives was the best. It was full of passion, which is a far cry from some reading, and I wish we could do more things like this.

January 31, 2013 at 6:35 pm Leave a comment

Candidate Profile- Randy Brock

Rebecca Chicoine

Candidate Profile


Randy Brock


Professional Experience:

Randy Brock, the 2012 Republican candidate for Governor of the State of Vermont, served as Vermont’s 28th State Auditor. He currently is in his second term as a member of the Vermont State Senate.  His experience includes domestic and international leadership in a multinational corporation, experience as CEO of a fast-growing entrepreneurial firm that was packaged and sold to a public company, national non-profit board leadership, and service as a statewide elected official, a legislator, and a presidential-appointee.

Personal Background/Family:

He is married to Andrea Forrest Brock, and the couple have one daughter.


Randy Brock is a republican politician.

Campaign Issue Emphasis

Randy Brock thinks that every Vermonter should have  100% access to quality health care at an affordable cost. Randy brock’s main issue is health care because not everybody can afford health care and he wants to help people get the healthcare that they need.

Links to Candidate Website/Information

October 8, 2012 at 3:06 pm 3 comments

Fight Against Internet Censorship!

Phillip Nguyen

Warning! The Internet as you know it may be at risk due to the United States Government’s interference of the Internet! Even if you don’t regularly use the Internet, this change may affect you in ways you couldn’t imagine! US Congress is threatening to pass a bill infamously known as SOPA (Stop Online Piracy Act) and PIPA (Protect IP Act) that could permanently damage the future of our lives. The US government has no right to affect our freedom of speech or take away our free knowledge, creativity, and our entertainment.

Protect IP will not stop illegal downloads. You can enter a blocked site by entering it’s IP address instead of it’s name. Therefore, the bill could just turn everyone into creepy hackers. In China they use Tor (The Onion Router) to bypass “The Great Firewall of China”. It’s actually very simple: in onion routing, data is repeatedly encrypted and sent to other onion routers. Each router removes a layer of encryption to uncover routing directions to be sent to another router for the process to be repeated. These processes make your web activity completely anonymous and impossible to intercept. That shows that censorship in other countries cannot hold a tight grip on the Internet, so why should America? If downloaders cannot be fully stopped by the government, why ruin the Internet?

What if other countries follow in our path and make their own laws? Everyone in the world will have different Internets. Protect IP will probably mess with the inner workings of the Internet, making it less secure and less reliable. Experts believe that if we mess with the registry of domain names, the result would be less security and less stability. “It contains provisions that will chill innovation. It contains provisions that will tinker with the fundamental fabric of the internet. It gives private corporations the power to censor. And best of all, it bypasses due legal process to do much of it,” says James Allworth from Harvard Business School. In short, Protect IP won’t stop piracy but will hinder the Internet and our creative ideas.

Online piracy is bad, but SOPA and PIPA are not needed. The government wants to stop piracy by killing the Internet, but honestly it’s just several steps too far. Online sites such as YouTube already have the power to take down pirated content and gain the same power to users to report illegitimate content. Private corporations already  have the power to sue software companies out of existence. Under current DCMA laws, users that post copyrighted content are responsible, so in this case the user and content are mainly focused on. As opposed to SOPA and PIPA, they focus on links to violating sites. Sites such as YouTube that contain lots of movie clips, copyrighted music, and stolen content also include lots of protests, art, creative content, and free expression are at risk of being shut down. Some may argue current laws aren’t good enough, but what about what’s too much?

SOPA and PIPA also affect the lives of Americans. The Internet is a vibrant medium that many people use to express themselves, post ideas, art, protests, as well as run businesses. According to US Secretary of State, Hillary Clinton: “When ideas are blocked, information deleted, conversations stifled and people constrained in their choices, the Internet is diminished for all of us.. There isn’t an economic Internet and a social Internet and a political Internet. There’s just the Internet.” I believe that this is a violation of freedom of speech. What’s even more is that The Congressional Budget Office has estimated that PIPA alone would cost $47 Million in tax money over five years! I believe that money can go to much better causes. There has been history of corporations stretching and abusing their power. They tried to take a video of a baby off YouTube just for the music playing in the background. This “solution” to commercial piracy will target families and children. Ordinary people can be sued and/or sent to jail for up to five years for posting copyrighted work, even singing to a pop song. So how far could the government really take this?

The government is trying to pass an ineffective bill that would ruin the Internet for US citizens.* Protect IP will not stop illegal downloaders and it would only make it slightly harder for them to access their content. The world may follow our example and we will all have very different Internets. SOPA and PIPA will affect the lives of US citizens. We can stop this, we can fight this! The government will only go as far as we’ll let them.
* Currently, the bill has been withdrawn in response to popular demand.

February 6, 2012 at 8:33 pm Leave a comment

Kaleidoscope’s Immigration Open House

By Jami, Kayleigh, Kimberely, Max, Connor , Amelia and Jackson  

  Max found out that he had an ancestor from Germany! Do you know where your ancestors are from?

 In Kaleidoscope House, third and fourth graders studied immigration. We learned from books, videos, speakers, google earth, grandparents and researching. In Mr. Willis’s class, Kayleigh studied Ireland. She learned that between 1820 and 1860, the Irish were never less than one third of all immigrants to America. Kimberely learned that in 1608, Polish people came to Virginia twelve years before the pilgrims. In Mr. Kellogg’s class we learned about our ancestors and the country they came from. We wrote a story about life before they left, the journey to America, arriving in America and what life was like. We researched to find the information.

In Ms. Marybeth’s class we also learned where our ancestors were from. Everone made flags of the country. Connor’s ancestors were from Germany. He found out by asking his Dad. He learned that it was the second largest group to go through Ellis Island.

In Ms. Haas’s class, Jackson chose to write about an immigrant  from China because his Mom goes there and he knew a little bit about the country. Jami’s story was also about an immigrant from China because it is his favorite country. They learned that Chinese immigrants coming to America on the west coast, went through  Angel Island. The class also learned about the symbols of America including, the Statue of Liberty, the Liberty Bell, the American flag, the bald eagle, the Great Seal and Uncle Sam. They also wrote a family tree with grandparents on both sides of the family, with where they were from. You added your own name and birthplace, too.

     There was an Open House to show the parents all of the work that we did. Many of the students dressed up as the immigrant in their story. They displayed portraits, paintings, stories, flags, spreadsheets, Statue of Liberty pictures, trioramas with a clothespin doll as the ancestor and a few students made food from the country.

     Parents and other relatives came to the Open House. It felt exciting to tell about your journey to America.

January 25, 2012 at 7:40 pm 18 comments

Equinox Studies Peacemakers by Julia and Cameron

 Julia and Cameron pose with material they are reading in class.

    Peacemakers change the world. Equinox House is studying peace makers such as Jane Goodall, Martin Luther King Jr., Rosa Parks and others.
    Our teachers are reading us books and we are reading, too. Our reading groups are reading books about Jane Goodall and Martin Luther King. Jr. In kiva, we are also learning songs about the peace makers. We are writing facts, details and what we think about their activities. We used Google Docs with a partner. Partner 1 named the document and sent it to Partner 2. We had questions we had to answer. We also had to list the five best words to describe our peace- maker. You could show it to your parents by going to your email and clicking on ‘Documents.’ It’s better than Word because you couldn’t get that from home. And, more than one person can work on the Google doc at one time. A piece of paper might get lost.
    Cameron is studying Jane Goodall. Jane Goodall was born in London, England in 1934. Jane’s mom gave her a stuffed chimp and she named it Jubilee. When she was little she wondered where eggs came from so one day she went into a chicken coop and just stared at the chickens until one laid an egg. Her mother and father were so worried because she was gone for four hours. They called the police. Her parents were stunned to see a girl with lots of straw in her hair sprinting to them.
Here is a quote from Jane Goodall. “Teaching children to care for the earth and for each other is our hope for the future.”
    Julia is studying Martin Luther King Jr. He is famous for making peace for black people. The white people wouldn’t allow blacks to use the same water fountain or to go to the same restaurant. He thought the laws were unfair and he wanted to change them without violence.
He had a dream that black people and white people could be friends. He was assassinated in April, 1968. He was standing on a balcony when he was shot.
    All of the Equinox students are having a performance for parents about the peacemakers. They will sing historic songs, carry signs about famous peace makers, and read poems they have written. There will be instruments, signing and rapping.
   The show will be on Wednesday, Dec. 21st at 6:30 PM. They will sing, “Peace is the World Smiling, Turn the World Around and an Irish Blessing and more.

December 19, 2011 at 7:04 pm 4 comments

Mosaic visits the State House

The Mosaic Team on the steps of the State House

Mosaic Visits the State House
Leah Lambrecht, Maggie Gannon, Kelani Rotax, Madison Reagan, and Camille Menard

Did you know that there are fossils on the floor in the State House? This shows that there was once an ancient ocean in Vermont. There are lots of rooms and there were huge paintings of past Governors. One of the best paintings was of a battle. It was ten feet high and twenty feet long. There was a statue of Abraham Lincoln’s head.Outside of the State House there is a real cannon. The state motto is, “Freedom and Unity.”
The first State House was rebuilt because it was too small. The second one was made of wood  and it burned down. The third state house or the one you see now was the first to have a gilded dome. If you  look at the top of the dome you will see a statue of Agriculture.
We also went to the Vermont History Museum and saw really fascinating things like  a long house. A long house is a building that Native Americans lived in which could hold up to 4 families. They  had one storage pit for each family. We also saw animal hides which we could touch. We were allowed to do a scavenger hunt in the museum and write our names in a code. We ate lunch in the cafeteria along with people who worked for the state.
And that was our trip to the State House!


December 14, 2011 at 7:09 pm 6 comments

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