How to survive 8th grade- James

June 9th, 2014
Hello 7th grader,

8th grade can be a very good year for some people, you’re older than everyone else in the middle school, and some kids are scared of you. I’m going to give you some tips to survive 8th grade and to make it the best year.

First tip, find some time to do your homework. I know you want to go out and hang out with your friends but you can do that in summer. Last year, I didn’t try to do my homework, which gave me bad grades. Take your time and try your best to do your work, even if it’s just homework.

Second tip, try to make new friends. Since summer just ended, people change and some of the new kids can be very interesting people. It’s always good to make new friends, and that’s why you should also sign up for sports. As an 8th grader, you tend to make it on the A team on all the sports teams, so don’t be scared of joining.

Lastly, try your best to have fun. It’s 8th grade, you will be going to high school soon so try your best to have fun. You’re older than everyone and you start to be friends with the teachers and you understand what you have to do to pass a grade so try to have fun.


Collaborative Narrative- James

I woke up in a dumpster wondering what happened last night, I remembered that there was a huge party, about a few hundred people showed up. The person’s house was really really big with about one hundred rooms in it. Then I remembered finding a secret tunnel that lead to something. I didn’t know why I thought it was a good idea to explore it. I got a few of my friends and we decided to explore it, we put the slowest and fattest guy in the front for some reason, don’t really know why. It started to get darker and darker, and we saw a door at the end of the tunnel. “Dude, let’s go to that door! there’s gotta be something behind it.” I still don’t know why we listened to my friend David who comes up with the worst ideas but we listened to him and kept walking. David just kept talking about how awesome this whole party is and how popular we would be when people find out that we did this. We could hear something move behind us, I looked back and looked to the front again. “Don’t worry it’s just a goat.” We moved on. The guy in the front opened the door and we followed him inside. The interior was gorgeous. It had a chandelier, Couch, Table and all those fancy things. However there was something odd about this place. The fact it didn’t seem like anybody was in here for a while. Maybe a few years. We went in we looked around, but there was literally nothing suspicious about these things. This place wasn’t that big. It had about 3 rooms. It was the same size as normal family’s house, except that all the furnitures were made out of expensive jewelries. Soon, one person in our group, Fred tried touching one of the furnitures. Finally we knew what was wrong about this place. Fred, after touching it got scared for some reason. He shouted out that they were covered with weird insects and soon he couldn’t even recognize his friends either. He just ran out and we never saw him again. “Hallucination.” Mike said. “When a person touches something, hallucinating powder comes out and confuses the person.”
We all were ready to run out of this tunnel but David forced us to look explore more. I don’t know why but we all listened to him. As we walked in this abandoned dark tunnel, I noticed paintings. All the paintings that we passed starting moving. We were scared but we kept on walking. While walking, aimlessly through the tunnels, we came across a coffin. David wanted to open to see what was inside the coffin, but the rest of us didn’t want to know what was inside. “If something bad happens, it’s all going to be on your head.” Mike says. David replied, “Who cares man, it’s just an old cof-”. With that, David disappeared in an instant. We were all shocked at that moment that we didn’t realise that the top of the coffin was starting to move. With a loud crash, the top of the coffin fell of, and then something began to move inside. Then, the “thing” inside the coffin jumped at us. All of us ran for our lives through the tunnel, but the “thing” was too quick and got to us. When it touched me, I blacked out.

Chemical Reactions- James

This unit was about chemical reactions, this was one of my favorite units that we have done this year. I like it because we got to do different experiments and we got to learn about things like single displacement, double displacement, and synthesis reactions. I also liked the video we got to watch and I liked the science experiments that we did not do in other units in science this year. It was challenging at first but now I like chemical reactions.


Chemical Reactions Presentation-James

Grades are not necessary- James

April 18th, 2014
Students these days have a lot of stress, most of it is because of grades. Grades are often meaningless and unrealistic. People sometimes can get judged because of what grade they have in a certain class, which adds more stress for the student. There are better ways for a teacher to grade a student, maybe the teacher can make the student grade themselves. Grades are not necessary because it causes more stress for the student.

According to thinkonline., grades are often “subjective, meaningless, and restrictive.” Grades only give students more stress. Parents want their children to have good grades so they can say that their son or daughter is smart. What if we are failing a class because we are not interested in it? Most parents only care about the letter grade, if we stop using letter grades and give students grades like “Exceeding” or “Meeting” then there will be less stress for the student and the parents would not care about the letter grade anymore.

According to, there are different ways to grade a student’s work, we can have self assessed learning goals for the student. Setting goals can help the student a lot when he grows up so teachers should start making the student set goals for themselves to achieve. Another alternative way of grading is portfolios, it’s a great way to document the student’s growth throughout the year. If we use portfolios, then the parents of the students will not care about the grade their student is getting, but how much he or she grew throughout the year.

Another reason that grades are not necessary is that it doesn’t help the student. If the student just sees his or hers grade and nothing that could help the student next project or next test, then the student did not learn anything from getting that bad grade. If a school does not want to stop letter grades, then the teachers should atleast give them a grade and tell them why they got the grade so the student can learn from their mistakes. Some people might say that giving a letter grade is the fastest way, and that might be true, but letter grades will not help the student in his future. Portfolios and self goals will help the student become a more successful person in the future because he or she knows how to make self goals and portfolios.

Letter grades will only give the student more stress, from their parents, their friends, and their school. If we stop giving letter grades, then the student would not have a lot of stress and the work will be better. Portfolios are a great way to grade because it doesn’t give the student stress and you can use that to see the students growth throughout the year. I know that using portfolios might take more work than the usual letter grade, I know that it might be more work but would a teacher want a student to be stressed about his grade because of a letter grade or learn some useful things for the future because of using portfolios?

“5 Alternatives to Traditional Grading Methods | Edchat Recap.” Educational Technology Blog. Web. 24 Apr. 2014. .

“Alternatives to Traditional Grading Methods.” LSSES ::. Web. 24 Apr. 2014. .