Life in Durango Colorado

Hey all!

I know I haven’t written on my blog in a long time, so today I decided I would get writing! This year of 2016 I have been going to an amazing school called Mountain Middle. This school is a project based school, which means that you use your hands in different learning techniques. So far this year we have had four exhibitions (which are kinda of like tests, but you are performing or showing your understanding of the concept in front of a audience).

The first exhibition I had was a resilience cafe. The resilience cafe was a time where we wrote and shared poems about resilience. We had to interview a community member, and then study a historian who we thought both resembled resilience. Then we wrote a poem about them both in the form of a Sestina, Villanelle, or free verse. Then I got to draw the eyes of my historical figure on a block of wood! It was so cool! Once every thing was done at the exhibition we each took our turn in front of 200 people reading our poem aloud. (If you would like me to place my poem up on the website, please comment below and let me know).

The next exhibition was a science exhibition where we were learning about the Animas river, and about the spill that happened over the summer. After we got all the knowledge we were put into groups. We had to put a presentation together with 5 different infographics representing different elements in the river. Once we had everything ready to go, we were assigned a certain room where we presented our presentation. We presented in front of highly trained students that were studding just this, but where in college or where geologists.

Our third exhibition was a movie that all the 8th graders put together. We were studding the revolutionary war and the different parts in the revolutionary war. Once we learned all of the elements in the war, we were assigned a certain group and category in the war to act out. Then we were set free to be creative with how it will turn out in the end. For the exhibition it was in the middle of a Thursday and we went to one of the small theaters and it show cased there. Student groups and parents came to watch the two movies, and that what that exhibition.

You can see these movies at:  http://www.useducationtv.com/main.aspx?sid=64932&pid=74518  (My video is “The Rev. War 8B” and I am the “Stamp Act”)

 

Here we are at the exhibition explaining our exhibit to those that came to us.

Here we are at the exhibition explaining our exhibit to those that came to us.

Our fourth exhibition was on sound and light waves. We first learned all about the differences and the similarities between sound waves and light waves. We then went around the room and wrote notes about our observations on what we saw or heard from the different objects that represent sound and light waves. Once we were fully packed with knowledge, we were able to be in a group, or by our selves to work on this project. I decided that I would work with Cat a very close friend of mine. She makes every project fun and enjoyable! 🙂 Then we were suppose to come up with a exhibit that we could display in our local science center which is called, “The Power House”. Cat and I decided that we would do an exhibit on sound waves and help the kids that would go to the science center better understand the sounds that they hear in their homes. This was very fun working with a good friend and being able to create something that little ones can enjoy and learn from. For the exhibition we went to the Power House and people from the board came around seeing all of our idea’s to choose the ones that they wanted to invest in. Sadly we were not chosen. Though I am very happy for those that got the opportunity to do so.

Now in Humanities we are working on the westward expansion. We are not so sure what we will be doing for our exhibition, but I will let you know when we are informed. In Science we are learning about the weather. Our exhibition will not be anything special, but we are working on a weather website so people can look up the weather. I am so excited about this because it has been a fun way of learning for me! On the home page you will see the current, and the next few days of the weather in Durango Colorado. If you click on the weather forecast button, on the main menu, there will be another forecast. Up at the top is a search bar where you can search your city. Here is my website:

www.mackenziesweatherreport.weebly.com

If you want you can go check it out!

Well that is all for today’s post, hope you all are doing well and I will do my best to blog more!

What is it like to see the Declaration of Independence?

We have almost seen all the places they have filmed in National Treasure 1 and 2.  For those who have not seen these movies, they are amazing. The first movie is about Nicolas Cage, whose name in the movie is Ben Gates, who ends up steeling the Declaration of Independence.  In the second movie, he ends up kidnapping the President.  On our trip we got to go and see the Declaration of Independence AND see Mount Vernon, which is the name for George Washington’s Home, and where part of the second movie took place.

Today, I am here to tell you about how powerful it is when you step into the room where The Declaration of Independence is kept.  You step into to a dim, round room.  There are security guards everywhere.  Once I stepped into that room I felt like something powerful was inside.  I had to just stop and view the room as a whole first.  It was amazing.  But, to remind you, I still haven’t seen the Declaration of Independence yet!  I looked around and then all of a sudden I am standing in front of the most important document in the world…………………….The Declaration of Independence………………. Wow! It is amazing how powerful it is!!!!!!!  To see this document in its original state…. the writing is so old you could barely read it!

Seeing the Declaration of Independence was my favorite thing that I saw in Washington DC!!  I totally recommend it to you guys.  If you do see it, beware, because when you visit the Declaration, it is very crowded, but it’s worth it.

The Insect World

You probably heard that I wasn’t so keen on going to the insectarium; well I lived. I am here today to tell you a little of what I learned, so let’s get started!

In Madagascar there is a yellow moth named ‘Moon Moth.’ You are probably thinking why it is named this? Well it is named this because on its tails there are huge spots. The spots are almost always red.  Now let’s talk about its wings. The moon moth’s wing span is 9 inches wide. Its tail wings are 8 inches long. When the moth makes its cocoon it is a color of silvery mesh. Here is an interesting fact; when the female moon moth emerges out of its cocoon, she waits until the male has emerged and their wings are dried. Then they mate. Moon Moths are actually helpful to the environment, they pollinate flowers and vegetables. And then of course they are nice treats. We may think its gross, (like me) but to animals they are like Cheetos, goldfish, and chips.

Now we are onto beetles…

Beetles are very helpful to the environment and to animals. They are treats for under water animals and land animals. They also help get rid of things (for example, dead animals, manure, other insects, and plants.)

One of my favorite beetles is the Sunburst Diving Beetle. They are called that because, they are very colorful and they swim. Their swimming skill comes from their long hairs on its back legs. The hairs act as oars in the water.

One other beetle that I thought was interesting was the Dung Beetle. The reason they are called that is because they eat dung such as cow manure

When you think of ants you probably think of them steeling your food at a picnic. Well they do more than just that, these insects are small but strong! They can carry more than 50 times their weight! Ants have 2 stomachs. One of the stomachs is meant for the ant itself and the other is for other ants. Fun Fact: Ant’s greatest enemy is not us but other ants! We should be very grateful for ants because they get rid of things we don’t want (for example, dead leaves, dead flowers, and dead animals) and help add air to our soil.

It’s hard even for scientists to grasp the incredible variety of insects, which vary in shape, size, color, and behavior. Scientist sort insects into groups called orders.  Ants for instance are in the order called Hymenoptera.

One of the signs said that, scientists estimate that there are 20 million species of insect that are undiscovered. I hope you learned a little something by reading this.

Plimoth Plantation/Mayflower

This morning I woke up to the sound of Natalie crying. She…… well, Fuzzy Muzzy fell off the bed and  had crushed one of her inventions; which was a frame for a picture of the Thorndike’s at “Frozen Custard.”  So, I fixed it. Gratefully,  it ended happily ever after; but, no end; cause I just started the day!!!!!!!!!! 🙂 Then we left home. But, on my way to the car A HUGE……..BIG……WET……..DOG…… came running up to mom and I said “AAAAAAHHHHHHHH(screaming at the top of my lungs) DOG!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!” Right as mom turns around, she screams too; while the dog kisses a couple of things and gets things wet.

One hour later we are at the Plimoth Plantation. (Which is where the Mayflower came over and they started living here; in the “New World.”) We first watched a quick film.(15 min.) Then we went out side to the Indians (or better said, “Wampanoag People.”) I also learned that the Wampanoag have names for different tribes; and it changes every day. Like the people who see the sun 1st are called  Wampanoag. I also enjoyed learning that the Indians have a handful of food 6 times a day instead of having 3 meals a day!!!!

Then we moved to the Pilgrims who came over on the Mayflower and other ships. We went into a lot of homes! Mostly women were there. I asked if they came over on the Mayflower and most of them said, “No I didn’t, but my husband did.” They also said, “I would’ve but, the ship was too full so I had to come over on the Ann.” (Which is another boat that came over a little after the Mayflower.) We talked to Mistress Wilcox.  She was the only woman that we had talked to that came over on the Mayflower. Her and Her best friend Mistress Hopkins had 2 babies on there way to the “New World.” (And a couple others had some to0.)

Later that day we went to the Mayflower; it was super cool! Just looking at the boat they had to be in for 66 days; all cramped and squished is……………….well,…………yikes! At the beginning (if you go see it) you may look at it and say what’s the big idea? Well the top deck is where they couldn’t go. And the bottom of the bout is were they could go.

Well, there was my day-wait I almost forgot!!!!!!!!!!We  went to a grist mill that grinds corn. And actually, the mill is were the actual pilgrims were! So, I thought that was cool! Now we are at the end of my day; what an exciting one too!!!!!!!!!

BYE                  CHOW               ADIOS              AUFWIEDERSCHEN                BYE

Acadia National Park

I woke up this morning at 5:00 am! Wow, thats early! Dad, Natalie, and I got on layers upon layers of clothes and left for the car. We had a 20-30 min. drive up to the top of Cadalack Mountain. On our way up, I looked at the sky and it was turning colors; red, to orange, to yellow, to green, to light blue to dark. It was pretty! We got to the top of the hill and there were more people then you would think on a cold morning like this! We got to our places and sat in front of rocks so that the cold howling breeze didn’t interfere with the beautiful view. Then a sliver of the sun came out; what a site!!! Then more… then more… then more… it was amazing!!!!!!! I learned that when the sun first comes out, down at the bottom of the mountain,  it’s still dark!

Later in the day, we went to tide pools. I noticed a crab; we were trying to keep it up right, but he kept on flipping his self over! And then it started taking off his shell, which looked like his behind, and started sticking his legs in it. It was weird!!!!!!!!!

I found out that at tide pools, when you flip over rocks, star fish will be under neath them. There were thousands of them!!!!!!!!! And, did you know that star fish don’t just have 5 legs; it actually can have 1,2,3,4 and that’s what we noticed.

We also saw barnicals. Did you know that they can grow on anything wet? So, boaters use a special kind of paint so that they won’t grow on the bottom of boats? And, did you know the reason the whales come up and make a big splash? Well, they do that to breathe, but they also have barnicals growing on there back and they are trying to get them off!

We also saw sea lettuce and sea grass. I like sea lettuce and sea grass because the ocean has something in common with us!!!!!!!! The sea grows lettuce and grass like we do on land.

I also learned that when the tide goes out. That is because of the moon!

Later that night we went to  a ranger program. And I learned that the closest star is 90,000,000 miles away!!!!!!!!wow!!!!!!!!!The ranger told us about other stars, but the moon was so over powering we couldn’t see much!! It sure was a beautiful night for our last day at Acadia National Park!!!!!!

 

I have been thinking of you class!!!!!!!!!!!

I have been thinking of you sssssoooooo much class!!!!!!!!!! I can’t wait to see you all!!!!!!! When school starts for you guys I am hoping that I can face time  you guys!!!!!!!!!!! For those who are reading this other than the people in my class I would like you to know I have been with these kids for as long as I can remember! And right now I am missing them ssssoooo much because I have been with them for a while and I have  to go and leave them behind!:( But I am grateful that we are able to give cards and receive cards better than when you had to walk to the person you wanted to give that letter to. Again I miss you so much and can’t wait to face-time you or skype you soon!

What I think of my family

Mom aka Kim: She is like my older sister who is always looking out for me and everyone else.  She also does so much.  I’m just very VERY VERY grateful for that!

Dad aka Scott: He is like an older brother who is also looking out for me and everyone else.  And, he is an amazing helper with all of our needs!

Nat aka Natalie: She, as you know is my sister and she acts like one, but she looks out for me and the rest of the family so much.  And, she is always there to protect me.  Like one time we were in a lake in Vallecito and we had rented a boat.  I had jumped in the water to swim.  Mom pointed at the water to look out for an orange scary looking thing and told me to look out.  I FREAKED and couldn’t catch up so Nat jumped off and we swam  together to the boat holding each other up!

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my family

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

My dad was taking the picture so he is not in it and instead my Grandpa is taking his place!

The piggy bank to the rescue!

If you have been yelling and or getting yelled at, and you want to fix it, well… we came up with a solution!! Before I tell you though, I am sorry to those kids and maybe older kids who don’t want their money to disappear, if your parents end up using this idea, but it is such a good idea! And, you know, your money won’t disappear if you are good! You can also use this for adults!……………….. Here I go…… take a piggy bank and every time someone raises their voice, or you don’t like their tone of voice, one quarter goes into the piggy bank. It doesn’t have to be a quarter, but that is what we came up with. And when it gets too heavy to pick up (which you hope that will never happen) we have decided  to give it to charity.  So I hope you end up choosing this way!!!!

Books That You Should Read!

Yesterday, I went to the book store and I couldn’t find a book, and then, I found “The Goose Girl.” It’s about a princess who ends up having to marry a prince, and her maid thinks that she should be the one to marry the prince instead.  So, she ties up the princess and puts on the princess’ clothes   and goes to marry the prince. By the time the princess goes to the palace, she is so poor she has to work to take care of geese……..(I’m reading the book now so I’m not positive that is what happened, but that is what the lady at the book store said.) It is super good so far!!!!!!!!!!!

The Goose Girl

The Goose Girl

P.S.: This is a series!

If you haven’t read the “Percy Jackson and the Olympians” series, those are fantastic books! It’s about a kid who’s named Percy and he finds out he is a half blood (which you have to find out what a half blood is). Anywho… and he goes on different missions.

“OMG” is about a girl who finds out she has a fairy God mother, and gets help from her fairy God mother ( it is not Cinderella at all!)

“Where the mountain meets the moon” is about  a girl who try’s to save her family from a curse. (It is based on a moral.)

“Hugo Cabret” is about a boy whose father passes away. He lives in a train station and he figures out how to live, and meets people along the way. But he and his father tried to make a machine ( you will find out what it is) but then his father died so he has to make it on his own.    There is one other book to this and it’s called “Wonder Struck” It’s about a deaf people. The illustrations tell one story and the words tell another and they meet up at the end. (Just so you know these books have mostly pictures, but it is not a picture book.)

“Emily Windsnap” is about a girl who has never touched water because her mom is scared of water for some reason, but yet they live on a boat. Then one day in school, she has swimming class in PE, and for the first time ever, she touches water (other than the  shower water) and something weird happens. PS: This is a series.

These are some books that I really enjoy and if you end up reading them I hope you enjoy them too!!!!!!!!!!