Tuesday, March 17, 2020

"The Door in the Wall"

     Elizabeth opened her eyes and lay in the darkness and immediately knew that something was wrong.  After a few moments, she could make out the familiar shapes of her room -- scattered toys, puzzle boxes, and odd pieces of old furniture.  Outside, the trees, naked of leaves, stood guard by her window.  For a few moments she held onto the hope that she would fall back asleep.  Then, she sighed, pulled aside her blankets, and stepped onto the cold wooden floor.  Silently, she padded across her room and walked out into the dimly lit hallway.  At the top of the stairs she saw a pale light cast upon the carpet just outside of her mother's open bedroom door.
     She stepped into the light and looked in.  There, dressed in a nightgown and sitting on the corner of the bed, was her mother.  She was leaning toward the window, gazing intently at something outside.  Elizabeth spoke softly.  "Mom?"  She stepped into the room and approached the bed.  "Mom?" 
     It was as if her mother hadn't heard her.  Elizabeth crept up beside her and the breath caught in her throat.  Her mother's eyes were wide open, searching but focused on nothing.  Her body was rigid and still.  Elizabeth held her hand in front of her mother's face and waved it back and forth.  No response.
     Walking slowly backward away from the bed, as if fearful that her mom would rise and grab her, Elizabeth exited the room.  She ran to the other end of the hall and pushed open the door to her brother's room.  "Timothy!  Timothy!  Wake up!  Something's wrong with Mom!"  She rushed to the bed and shook her brother, a lump growing in her throat.  But Timothy didn't move.  "Timothy?  What's wrong?  Wake up!"  She shook him again.  "Hey!  Wake up!"  But he did not wake up.  Elizabeth's arms dropped to her sides, and she stood there,  helpless, eyes glazed with tears.  She turned and ran.
     She ran down the stairs to the large living room below. Elizabeth stopped in the middle of the room, cold moonlight spilling through the tall, narrow windows. Uncertain of what to do, she stood, fixed to the floor.  Upstairs her brother and mother were unresponsive, in some kind of trance.  She needed help.  Her heart raced as she thought frantically about what she could do.  Then, she froze, and her eyes opened wide with shock.
     The room was silent and still as it usually was in this old, nearly empty house.  But tonight, there was one thing different.  The blank wall across from her mother's piano was not blank anymore.  Next to the old armchair that her grandmother used to sit in was a wide, black door made of wood.           Elizabeth remained still, filled with horror.  For, as she watched, the door shook and then began to swing open.

Monday, July 22, 2019

Summer Post Number 4

This video is amazing.  It tells the story of a man who undergoes a very risky kind of surgery in order to save his life.  After you watch it, try to answer the following questions:

1. What allowed the woman who had a skiing accident to stay alive?
2. How did this accident help doctors to figure out a way to help the man who needed brain surgery?
3. Think of these surgeries as trials of an experiment.  Can you identify the following?

  • the science/inquiry question
  • the independent variable
  • the dependent variable
  • three constants
Link to Video: YouTube Link

Sunday, June 30, 2019

Summer Post Number 3
A History of the World in Two Hours

Summer Post Number 2

Pascal's Triangle Link: Pascal's Triangle

Hello!  This number pattern starts simple but can become very complicated.  Watch the short video and then see if you can recreate the pattern on paper.  How many levels can you complete?  (I have seen students create over 20 layers.)

Plato's Allegory of the Cave: Link

The Allegory of the Cave is an ancient Greek tale that Socrates shared with his students.  (Do you remember Socrates?  Do you remember what happened to him?)  Plato, his student, wrote this story down in a chapter of his book, The Republic.  After you watch this (strange!) video try to answer some or all of these questions.  Email me your answers!  I would love to read your responses.

1. Who are the people chained in the cave?
2. Why is it painful for the man to leave the cave and see the world above?
3. What trouble does he have when he returns to the cave?
4. Why are the other prisoners angry with him?
5. Does this story teach you anything?  What was Socrates trying to say?

Friday, June 28, 2019

Summer Post Number 1

Hello!  If you are looking for something to think about, take a look at the following material.

1. The Democratic Party candidates had a primary debate over two nights.  These men and women are all competing to run against Donal Trump in the November 2020 Presidential Election.  (The Republican Party is not having primary debates because Donald Trump already represents the Republican Party.)

This link will bring you to the YouTube video for the second night of the debates.  You might find it interesting to hear the candidates' claims about why they would do the best job as President of the United States.  Look for C-E-Rs.  (Are the claims clear?  Is there strong evidence?  Is there a convincing rationale?)

I personally think it is important for Democrats and Republicans to be familiar with all of the candidates and their major arguments.  (Remember, I am not giving you my opinion!)  If possible, discuss the debate with your friends and family.  Feel free to email me, too.

The actual debate starts at 1:04:00 (one hour and four minutes).

(Link to the Second Night of the Democratic Debates)

2. Talking Trees! (Link)

Tuesday, April 9, 2019

Click on the link below to get to the DKfindout! website.  You will find the same material that is available in the book we use in school.

Friday, October 19, 2018

Here is a link to help you practice making origami cranes.  Go slow!  Stop the video  whenever you need more time.


origami crane instructions

"The Door in the Wall"      Elizabeth opened her eyes and lay in the darkness and immediately knew that something was wrong. ...