In Room B-3 we have made thousands charts out of either 20, 25, or 50 cubes. My group chose 20 but other groups chose 50 or 25. We had to cut out cubes in 20, 25 or 50 depending on what number your group chose.
We are also studying about the Ohlone Indians. We had different groups that would study about a certain topic that the Ohlone did. Then that group would act out what the Ohlone would do in their time.
--Alex Stork, Grade 3
Art in B-3
This week and last week our art teacher, Kate, came and taught us about depth and overlapping and three-dimensional buildings in our classroom.
We drew a horizon line first, then we drew triangles, circles and squares. Then we overlapped them. With the building we drew different lines to make it. It was really fun.
--Kathryn Papadopoulos, Grade 3
B-3 thanks PTA
Room B-3 sang "Thanks" to the PTA at Nixon School at 1030 on Thursday, February 20th, at their library in front of parents sitting in chairs.
Alex was a little scared because he did not like to sing in front of a big crowd. Samuel Wood said, "I was not scared because I used to tap dance in front of an audience much bigger than this one."
--Akihiro Sayama, Grade 3
My trip to China
When I was at Hong Kong I had fun because I got to play around the city.
I also got time to do some homework. Sometimes I don't like China because it's dirty. When I was on the airplane, I didn't feel well. When I got home, I felt much better, but it got noisy, because some people were fixing my house.
--Steve Zhou, Grade 3
Famous happenings in B-3
Are you famous? Because if you are, one of the students in Miss Kerrie Swan's class might be pretending to be you.
On January 21, 1997, novice Theodore Roosevelt stepped up in front of the classroom and gave an outstanding speech. After the speech, James felt very happy he had stopped pretending to be Theodore Roosevelt.
Madame Curie was a very good talker for her age and condition. She had the greatest, I think, in the whole world. After the speech, Nasa Shiraishi, a Japanese girl, was very relieved that it was all over.
On January 14, 1997, David Crockett stepped out of the crowd and gave a speech. According to Matthew, he had a funny feeling when he gave his speech.
On January 28, 1997, a very, very scared Ben Franklin stepped up to give another outstanding speech. Afterward, Lyla felt very funny and very proud and she also decided to stop pretending.
Right now you are probably thinking: Why did they choose Theodore Roosevelt or Ben Franklin? Here is why: "We like science," said Ben Franklin and Madame Curie. "He was a interesting person," said Theodore Roosevelt. "He was recommended," said David Crockett.
Well, I hope you are famous because Miss Kerrie Swan's class could have listened to an outstanding speech about you.
--Lyla Fujiwara, Grade 3
We interviewed some teachers at Nixon to find out what they like to do when they aren't teaching.
Most of the teachers like aerobics, reading, dancing and skiing. They like teaching very much, but they also like going on vacations, seeing their families and friends, and playing with their animals. We didn't know that teachers did anything but teach.
--Carli Nelson-Escutia and Natalia Zatarain-Geiseler, Grade 3
Warm fuzzies are something that kids give to each other like, "You are my best friend".
We give them to make each other feel good. The teacher reads them and she does not tell who they are from. We read them in class before we go home!!
--Sasha Pasko, Yuko Waki, and Lucy Lanza, Grade 3
Fifth grade graduation plans
The Lucille M. Nixon Elementary School fifth graders are in for a fun an exciting 1997 with parties, trips, and graduation!
On March 7, the Nixon fifth graders and their parents had a potluck dinner, karaoke singing, games, prizes and much more. It was bunches of fun.
On Thursday May 8, all of the Nixon fifth graders will be visiting JLS Middle School. In the morning, they will be hearing speeches by the JLS principal, students council president, and counselors. The sixth graders will give the fifth graders a tour of the school and will answer any questions they have about the school.
On June 12, graduating fifth graders will all be walking down to the Stanford Community Recreation Association (SCRA) to have a swim party to celebrate the end of the year. There will be swimming, a cookout (yum!), tennis, ping pong and more fun things for the fifth graders.
Earlier in the year, the fifth graders had a contest for a t-shirt design for the Nixon graduation class of 1997. Lots of designs were submitted. The lucky fifth grade winner was Scott Lananna. His design was of a knight with the words, "Nixon rules: The last year of the Nixon Knight." The fifth graders voted to have a black t-shirt with teal writing.
Fifth grade teachers Ms. Green, Ms. Jordan and Mr. Pederson will be handing out diplomas along with Nixon's new principal, Dr. Fullerton, and their former principal, Ms. Malen.
Graduation should be a blast of fun for the 72 fifth graders and their families.
--Anna Bavor and Kellie Carneghi, Grade 5
Mishaps in B-3
Our teacher, Kerrie Swan, does not get along well with the map that you pull down above the chalk board in the classroom. It keeps falling down or getting stuck and sometimes it gets stuck then falls down.
--Matthew Norcia, Grade 3
When it was my birthday, I got an art set.
Inside, it has colored pens, a paint brush, a paint set, colored pencils and a palette for putting paint on. This was my only present. My mom gave me this present. I was excited to get this art set because I could do more art. I will paint a rainbow, flowers and a house. I did lots of drawings with the markers.
--Harriet Wong, Grade 3
I got a new bike at Christmas. My new bike is purple. My new bike has hand brakes. I got it from Santa.
There are six gears on my new bike. I got it because I asked for it. Santa left it right next to my stocking.
-- Christina MacMillan, Grade 3
Ohlone Indians in third grade
Room B-3 is learning about the Ohlone Indians.
The seven groups are: hunting, food, tribal life, shelter, spirit world and clothing. I'm in one of the hunting groups. My name is James, the other kids in my group are named Lisha and Akihiro. We did a presentation of how the Ohlone hunted. We did a skit. We made a spear, a bow and arrow. Lisha and I hunted Akihiro. Akihiro was a deer.
-- James Muscarella, Grade 3
Ohlone Indian presentations
According to Suelyn Yu in B-3, third graders have been performing Ohlone Indian presentation. There are six groups Hunting 1, Hunting 2, food, clothing, shelter, tribal life and spirit world. In Suelyn's group their job was to make at least one project, a report and if they didn't want to do a project, they could do a skit. Suelyn's group got most of the information from a book called Ohlone Indians, by Catherine Dilts. They did a basket and a poster for their project.
I've enjoyed telling you about this, I'm afraid that's all I've learned.
--Suelyn Yu, Grade 3
Room B-3 went to Escondido. We visited our Pen Pals. They showed us the movie Mathilda. Our class liked meeting our Pen Pals.
--Jessica Prudence, Grade 3
Pen pals at Nixon
We have pen pals right here at Nixon. We are really happy with it.
It is so fun, we really enjoy it. My name is Lauren Donohue and my pal is at Escondido as my pen pal. Our class has written two letters to their class. Their class has written one. Do you think it would be fun, if you had a pen pal? I think it would! Our pen pals are third graders just like us.
--Lauren Donohue, Grade 3
New fifth grade teacher
This year, there is a new fifth grade teacher at Nixon school. His name is Mr. Pederson.
Before teaching at Nixon, he was the director of a summer science camp called "Camp Cosmos" in Palo Alto.
Mr. Pederson decided he wanted to teach kids because he enjoyed working with them. He came to Nixon on September 6, 1996. He got a job here by getting an interview.
His favorite part of teaching is all the students and he likes the challenge. The most difficult part of teaching is that this is his first year of teaching. And that is the inside scoop on Mr. Pederson.
--Jamie Gamble and P.J. McGranahan, Grade 5
Ms. Green enjoys teaching
Tanya Green has been a fifth grade teacher at Nixon School for four years.
Since she is my teacher this year, I wanted to find out more about why she became a teacher and what she enjoys about her job.
Ms. Green decided to become a teacher because when she was in college, she worked in a summer program with middle school kids. She found she enjoyed it. After graduating from college, Ms. Green worked at a private school before getting her teaching credential. Then she decided teaching was the right job for her.
The thing Ms. Green likes about teaching is working with the kids, because they're energetic. She likes designing lessons as well. The difficult things about teaching for Ms. Green are that there are lots of papers to check and it takes a whole lot of energy.
Ms. Green's favorite subjects to teach are math and art. She also likes specific projects, like the human biology models we are making.
--Elizabeth Wise, Grade 5
Girl Scouts of Palo Alto
Attention! L.M. Nixon Girl Scouts of Troop 173 are having fun!
We meet from 3 to 5 p.m. Fridays after school and one Thursday a month with parents.
Some girls enjoy the camping and some like earning badges.
Fifth grader Emmy Scandling has been in the Girl Scouts for four years and she's still loving it. Emmy made camping sound like so much fun, it would be hard for anyone to resist.
Beth Ann Brown has been in Girl Scouts since the beginning of Troop 173, five years. Beth Ann wanted to be in Girl Scouts because here mom wanted to be a leader and because it sounded like fun. Beth's favorite thing to do is being with friends. Believe it or not, but no one was in the troop before Beth Ann Brown. She obviously started Girl Scouts at Nixon. Marcy Brown, Beth's mom, started the troop.
Fiona Graham has been in Girl Scouts for five years. She's in the Girl Scouts because her mom wanted to be a co-leader. For Fiona, everything sounded the most fun. Just like Beth Ann Brown, nobody was there before her.
Kathleen Tully has only been in the Girl Scouts for five months but that doesn't bother her. She joined because it sounded so much fun.
--Kelsey Wagner, Grade 5
New principal comes to Nixon
Nixon has a new principal, who has been serving as interim principal since Ruth Malen left to take a position at the Palo Alto District Office.
Her name is Dr. Ginger Fullerton and we asked her these questions to find out more about her. We think she is kind, smart, and most of all a great principal!
Q: Why did you want to be the principal of Nixon?
A: I really enjoy children and helping teachers. Nixon has a fine parent and student population.
Q: Is it easy to be a principal of a school?
A: It's hard work, especially the paper work.
Q: When do you plan to leave?
A: I am principal for six months. Then I can apply for the job.
Q: Where did you work before you came?
A: I've worked in Palo Alto schools for 30 years.
Q: Why did you want to be a principal?
A: Because in my other job, I went to other school all the time, and as principal I get to stay at one school.
Ginger was also a coordinator of special education for 10 years. Ginger's former job was as a high school teacher at Packard Children's Hospital. She went to San Francisco State University and Brigham Young University. In her free time she likes to spend time with her horses.
The Nixon students are sad that Ms. Malen left, but at the same time they are happy because Ginger is our new principal!!!!
--Kathleen Tully, Monika Williams and Jamie Yu, Grade 5
Third grade studies fairy tales
The third graders at Nixon are studying about fairy tales.
We are studying a lot about fairy tales. We had to do Venn diagrams that compared different fairy tales. We also wrote our own fairy tales using the seven fairy tale elements: Once upon a time, royalty, magic and make believe, repeated numbers, good and evil, wishes come true, and happy endings. We like studying fairy tales.
--Giulio Gratta and Vahagn Vartanian, Grade 3
The jobs in our class are bringing books back to the library, cleaning the overhead projector transparencies, being a substitute for the jobs of people who are sick, cleaning the sink area, taking the roll sheet up to the office, changing the date on the calendar, passing out supplies, passing out name tags, cleaning the "s" room, passing out paper, sharpening pencils, and erasing the chalk or white boards.
The most popular job is passing out paper because a lot of people think it's fun. Roll and calendar are the second most popular jobs. The third most popular job is sharpening pencils. And the fourth most popular job is substitute. The fifth most popular jobs are calendar and boards.
-- Tina Armenante, Lindsay Ruggeri and Nicky Hughes, Grade 3
Students' reactions to 'new math' class
We interviewed three fifth graders about what they thought about Dr. Ruth Parker's math class.
Dr. Parker is a leader in new ways of teaching math.
The class took place on February 19, 1997, from 8:30 a.m. to 10 a.m. at Nixon school, in Rachel Jordan's fifth grade class.
All three of the students we interviewed said they liked the class. One proclaimed she LOVED it!! Two of them, Sara Krehbiel and Lisa Boxer, explained that they liked it because they liked meeting someone famous. The third, Andrew Armenante, said that he liked learning some new math.
--Geoffrey Holman and Igor Hiller, Grade 3
What happened to the Nixon Knight?
Today and last week we covered the story of our new logo at Nixon.
There were a lot of people who asked, "What's the new logo?" To answer that, we have to go back a week or so to January 29, 1997 at a logo Committee meeting.
"We want kids voting for the logo. Should we have an assembly? The assembly's goal would be to introduce ideas and heighten enthusiasm," Ruth Malen said (now she has another job, she came back to help).
On January 27, we went to the office and had an interview with Dr. Ginger Fullerton. She told us what would happen.
"We are going to first have an assembly on March 4 to talk about the logo . . ." Then we would have the art teachers go to classes and teach them (the students) how to draw a logo.
After that, the Logo Committee would select some of the logo drawings that were good and then (our favorite part) we will vote for the drawings and the drawing with the most votes will be our new logo.
On February 20, we went and had our last meeting with Lynn. "What we want in a logo is an image which represents the personality and sense of community present at Nixon," said Lynn. A logo indicates words or speech. A logo can be a mascot or a symbol.
--Ross Raffin, John Barley, and Justin Gamble, Grade 3
Pennies can make a difference
At Nixon, students bring pennies from home to school every Monday.
They are participating in a fund-raising project called "Pennies for Technology," sponsored by the Nixon PTA. The goal is to collect one million pennies ($10,000) to buy technology equipment.
The students hand in plastic bottles filled with as many pennies as they could find lying around the house or on the street.
Some fifth graders are assigned to take the pennies from each classroom and dump them in a big water jug. We have been doing this since the beginning of the year and will continue until we reach our goal.
Katie Shoven and Marcie Brown, part of the PTA, coach the kids on this operation. Katie estimated that we have already collected more than $1,500 in pennies.
"It's an easy and great way to collect money for our school's technology," said Katie Shoven. When I asked our new principal, Dr. Ginger Fullerton, what she thought of it, she said, "I love it!"
--Jamie Aczel, Adrienne Levoy and Adrienne Papp, Grade 5
Nixon budget tight
Over the past two years, the Nixon Elementary School budget has been shrinking.
The reason for this is that the school population has been going up, while the district's income (partly from property taxes) has been going down. Palo Alto Unified School District has had to make budget cuts and each school has felt the impact. To find out more about Nixon's budget, we interviewed Principal Ginger Fullerton.
The budget has affected the school in many ways. There is less money now to be spent on school supplies such as pencils and books. There is also less money for teacher salaries. If the school budget continues to drop, we will have to make more cutbacks.
Nixon staff and teachers are writing grants and asking parents and businesses to help pay for supplies. The PTA already provides a generous amount of money to the budget. The principal, the school site council, and the PTA work together to monitor the budget situation and share information with the Nixon community.
--Mishkin Faustini and Scott McGuire
Fifth grades go to Lawrence Hall of Science
On February 10th, the three fifth grade classes at Nixon School went on a fieldtrip to Lawrence Hall of Science in Berkeley to learn about the brain of human beings and animals.
Parent volunteers from each of the classes drove us there. The students had a comfortable ride and a great time.
When we arrived, the classes went to the biology lab to learn about the brain. We learned that the brain has three parts: the cerebrum, cerebellum, and brain stem. The cerebrum is used for higher thinking, the cerebellum is used for balance and coordination, and the brain stem helps with breathing and pumping blood through your heart.
After we had experimented with some animals and touched a preserved human brain, we had permission to walk around the Lawrence Hall of Science Museum and check out the different things there were to see.
After that most people went to the gift shop and bought different souvenirs. At 12 noon, everyone went to eat in the cafeteria.
The fifth graders went to the Lawrence Hall of Science because they are studying about the human body. For one of their projects they are assigned to build a human body out of cardboard and add in some of the most important organs.
So far they have made a paper body cut-out and made a clay model of the digestive system.
The paper body cut-out is a life-size paper model of the human body with its organs. In this project, we learned a lot of things about human biology. For example, we learned the windpipe (trachea) sends air to the lungs, and we learned where all the body parts go like the pancreas, stomach, esophagus, liver, gallbladder and the small and large intestines. This project was fun.
On the field trip, we learned about the brain and the different parts of it. We also studied animals and tested how they react to different stimuli (like food). We wanted to see which of the five senses different animals use the most. We got to see and touch a human brain and learned how breakable the skull is.
When we built the clay model of the digestive system, we learned that the digestive process starts in the mouth (with help from the salivary glands) and from there on continues down a "tube" that starts with the espohagus, then stomach, then small and large intestines, and then comes out of you. Along this process, there are extra organs that help digestion like the liver, pancreas, and gall bladder.
--Sara Krehbiel, Johan Christensen and Harry Kurland, Grade 5
New school aide Katherine Movius
Katherine Movius has been at Nixon since October 1996. She is an aide in Ms. Jordan's fifth grade class.
She loves being a teacher's aide. It is great fun to her. She has taught a class before by herself. She taught first and second grade on her own for five years. The school she taught at was in Cambridge, Mass.
She has never been an aide at another school before.
It has not been her dream her whole life to be a teacher or an aide. The reason why is, when she was a little girl, she wanted to ride horses in the circus.
When she was teaching, her favorite subject to teach was reading. She enjoyed it very much. She would not give up being a teacher's aide if she got offered another job. The reason why is because she loves working with Ben. Her favorite class project this year so far is choice book pyramid. Her favorite colors are purple and turquoise. Last, but not least, her favorite animal is a dog.
Could an asteroid collide with earth?
Scientists are worrying about whether an asteroid could hit earth, like the one that killed the dinosaurs.
There is more chance it could fall into the sea than that it would hit the land. But even if it hit in the sea, it could still be dangerous. A big hit would make lots of dust. I think it was the dust that killed the dinosaurs.
In case this might occur, they are working on a shielding project that would destroy the asteroid or bounce it away from earth.
--Ronan Arthur, Grade 3
How I dropped a brick on my toe
We were making the outline for a brick path. I was carrying the bricks. It was a hot day. I was really tired! There were a lot of bricks to carry.
My mom and dad were in the garage. I let go of a brick! It fell right on my left toe. I called my mom and my dad, but they did not come, so I screamed again. They came! Then they took me and put ice on it. It was black and blue for two weeks! It hurt! You can still feel the dent on my toe.
--Noah W. Kopito, Grade 3
Fire in our neighborhood
One hot day last summer, my friend and I went to lie in my driveway.
Five minutes later I heard a fire engine siren.
By the time I realized what was happening, I saw a group of students from Pinewood High School crowding around my neighbor's front yard.
What really happened was that in the heat the dry grass in my neighbor's yard caught fire. Luckily, three fire engines rushed over about 20 minutes before we would have caught fire.
We were glad when it was over, but after the fire I had to take my friend home.
Twice in a week
Last summer I got sutured up twice in one week.
The first time I ran through a screen door and the end of the door ripped open my left chin. My mom thought she could see the bone.
We were in a small town in Canada on a Sunday night. A very nice doctor met us at her office and sutured me up around midnight.
The next day I returned home. A few days later I was jumping on my bed when I fell off and gashed my head on the edge of my night stand. Off I went again to get sutured up in the night.
After that, I had a big bandage around my head as well as one on my leg. I was a mess. Fortunately I haven't gotten any more stitches since then.
--William Fayer, Grade 3
Sometimes kids break rules
Lucille M. Nixon is a great school, but sometimes kids break some of the rules.
That's where the blue slips come in.
Blue slips are a way to reinforce rules that get broken. Printed on the blue slips are a few things that kids do to violate the rules, such as name-calling.
The yard duty or teacher that's giving out blue slips writes down the student's name, the date, checks the thing the student did, and indicates if it was the a.m. or noon recess. Then the yard duty gives the blue slip to the student's teacher, who delivers the penalty to the student.
The penalty of one blue slip is picking up playground litter. Two blue slips mean picking up playground litter and having the student's teacher contact the student's parent. Three blue slips mean picking up playground litter and having the teacher send the student to the principal, who contacts the parent. Four blue slips mean either the parent comes to stay with the student at school or the student is sent home. Every month the number of blue slips the student gets goes back to zero.
Blue slips are usually helpful toward students. But sometimes the student feels he or she doesn't deserve the blue slip. If the kid either likes or doesn't mind the blue slip, he or she will usually learn from it. But if he or she doesn't like the blue slip, he or she usually won't learn from it.
--Ger-Lih Lin, Grade 5
Nixon playground rules
At Nixon we have fair playground rules according to most kids. The rules are no climbing on the hills, because of erosion, and no name-calling or swearing because it could hurt kids feelings.
The rest of the rules apply to safety, no running in the bar area, no fighting, no going on top of the bars, and no running on the walkway.
At Nixon if you break the rules you get a blue slip.
--Nick Cunliffe, Grade 5
All the grades at Lucille M. Nixon have buddies in a different classes.
You normally see your buddy once a month or once a week. During the holiday season, we made gingerbread houses with our buddies. Around Thanksgiving we made turkeys with Oreos, frosting, a malted milk ball, and four candy corns. Around Halloween we made ghosts and spiders. You can also read your stories to your buddies, and your buddies read their stories to you.
We like having buddies because we get to do a lot of fun things with them. Buddies are fun to have when you get a chance.
--Taline Cox and Allison Hughes, Grade 3
Buddy program brings students together
The buddies program at Nixon involves different classes getting together and the kids going with certain kids.
Usually, the lower grades go with the higher grades. The buddies are in pairs, one older buddy and one younger buddy. The teachers choose which kids go together.
Buddies don't see each other every day or once a week. They see each other when the teachers have something for them to do. When the buddies do see each other, they might show their buddy some of their work, they might read together, play outside, do an art project, or eat something.
The buddy pairs stay together the whole school year. They change when they start a new grade.
If you are the older buddy, you have to take care of your buddy and make sure they are having fun and understanding things. If you are the younger buddy, you have to be nice and be a good friend with your buddy. The purpose of having buddies is to get the kids to communicate with different ages of kids. It is also to give them self confidence.
There are many benefits of this program for both the younger and older kids. They both learn responsibility and respect for each other. The older kids feel like leaders and helpers to their buddies. They need to act older and not be so silly. They learn how to teach and work with children of other ages.
The younger kids get many benefits too. They have a role model to teach them. They also have an older friend at the school, not just friends at their grade.
You might be wondering what the point of having buddies is. The point of having buddies is so younger kids get to know older kids, so they won't be afraid of them. And so older kids won't be mean to younger kids, because it's kind of hard to be mean to someone you know who is younger than you. Buddies is not exactly educational. It's more to get to know other people better.
--Lisa Boxer, Eliana Mendoza and Katie Seifert, Grade 5
Interview with the principal
Nixon school has welcomed a new principal. Her name is Dr. Ginger Fullerton.
Our previous principal, Ms. Malen, changed jobs to become a staff development director.
Ginger taught school for 22 years. She also was a coordinator of special education for ten years. She has never been a principal. Her former job was a high school teacher at Packard Children's Hospital.
Ginger has worked at almost every school in the district, mostly with the teachers and principals.
In her free time, she likes to ride and groom her horses. Ginger went to San Francisco State University and she also went to Brigham Young University. She got her Ph.D. at Brigham University.
Dr. Ginger Fullerton has liked being Nixon's principal so far.
School to pick new logo to replace Knight
Nixon School is about to change their logo from the Nixon Knight to an anonymous hero or thing.
The new logo will be decided by none other than the children and teachers of Nixon! The kids will draw pictures and enter them. Then the kids will decide which is the best logo.
They are changing the logo because the Knight is old, and according to fifth grader Beth Brown, the knight is too violent of a logo. Also, a new age of kids needs a new logo. They will be changing the logo sometime this month.
When asked what she thinks of the Knight and its leaving, Katie Shoven (a member of the PTA Council) answered, "I feel very comfortable with the Knight. It's been the logo since I started working here, but I look forward to a new symbol with new thought."
Fifth grader Yarone Greif said, when asked if he'll miss the Knight, "Yes!"
"I think it's kind of sad the Nixon Knight is leaving, but I'm ready for a change," fifth grader Adrienne Papp stated.
So now you know Nixon will have a new logo, so don't be surprised when the Knight rides off into the horizon.
--Amadea Britton, Grade 5
New P.E. teacher liked by kids
Ms. Baker is a P.E. teacher at Nixon, and everyone thinks she's cool since she came this year.
Amadea, a fifth grade student, said, "She rocks the house!"
Ms. Baker teaches games and gives students exercise. She said, "I teach them the basics and gameplay."
Ms. Baker gets along very well with students because they're fun. "I get along well with the students, but not with the faculty because I only come in the mornings so I can't get acquainted," said Ms. Baker. Yan, a fifth grade student, said, "She makes all the games fun."
Ms. Baker still wants to work at Nixon in the future. She says, "I want to keep working at Nixon because there are really great kids here."
--Sean Berquist, Grade 5
The wrong forecast
About six weeks ago, the middle of January, there was a major storm predicted with torrential rains and and strong winds. It was predicted to be as bad as the Bad Storm of December 1995. During the day everyone who read the paper was probably in anxiety and excitement for the storm to come.
But all there was at about five o'clock was an overcast sky and a light sprinkle.
--Zachary Klapholz-Brown, Grade 4
Nixon gets new principal
Nixon Elementary School got a new principal. Her name is Dr. Ginger Fullerton. She is very nice.
She has long Monday morning speeches. Sometimes we think they're funny. Once she said her birthday was on Ground Hog Day. She talked about Ground Hog Day. She said that the ground hog's name is Jimmy. She also said that if your or your friends are born on Ground Hog Day, you can send a letter with four stamps on it to were the ground hog lives and they will give you a birth certificate that says that you were born on Ground Hog Day.
Our last principal was not as nice as Dr. Fullerton. I hope she stays for a while.
Raffle raises money for schools
Do you want to win a trip to Hawaii for four? Buy a ticket for the benefit drawing for Palo Alto schools.
Tickets are $5. This is a chance to help our schools. If you live in the district, you will receive a letter with eight tickets in the mail the week of March 17. Watch for it!
--Elizabeth Marie Gill
Fourth grade studies missions, animals
Fourth grade is learning about missions, science animals, and instruments.
All fourth graders are doing a report on one of 21 missions in California.
Fourth grade is also studying science animals. We have Dwarf African frogs and Fiddler crabs. The science is to record and date what the animals are doing. We take care of them for six weeks.
We are playing on the recorder in music class. Mr.Rogg is our music teacher. We will be performing in an end-of-the-year celebration.
--Peter Giovannotto, Grade 4
Class gets frogs to study
Our class got frogs for each desk group two weeks ago. We will get frogs this week. We get total responsibility for them. The frogs are native to Africa and the crabs are native to the East coast of the United States.
I hope you get them.
--Bret Yerkovich, Grade 4
Fourth grade does frog research
We are working on frog research in the fourth grade. The active one is Bumper and the lazy one is Thumper. Since Bumper is active he gets his food with his flippers, and Thumper waits for food to get down. They only chew their favorite food the "Dried Bloodworms" and eat it and do not spit it out, but the "Fishflakes" they chew and spit out. They chew it a lot because they have no teeth! When they shed their skin it changes from male to female. The frogs fight a lot.
--Xi-chuan Chen, Grade 4
Science project looks at frogs
Fourth graders in class A-3 in Nixon Elementary School got frogs three weeks ago. The frogs are just part of a science project.
Each desk group got two frogs and one aquarium. We mostly have to change the water and feed them every day. Every school morning we also have to write about their actions and movements.
Once when two kids were studying two frogs they noted that one was dead.
Next for our animal studies we're studying crabs.
--Monica Guzman, Grade 4
Frogs become small friends for class
A-2 and A-3 have dwarf African frogs in our classrooms. Every four students have one tank with two frogs. We also have to feed them every day. We also have to take a cup of water out and put a new one in.
The reason we got the frogs was so we could study them in science. We are watching what they do and recording it in notebooks. I think it's a fun way to study animals. There are lots of responsibilities, but tons of fun.
Nikki thinks that they're fun to watch, but sick to clean out their tanks. Our frogs really are all slimy friends, but Nikki is right that they are disgusting sometimes.
--Chloe McDougal, Grade 4
A-2 studies California missions
Each student learns about one missionSome missions are liked a lot! Some are not cherished as much.
Our class, A-2, has started in the study of California missions. The 21 missions in California were all founded in the 1770s and 1780s and the 1790s. The missions were run by people called padres, priests. The missions were founded to show that the Spanish owned the land there and to convert the native Americans to the Spanish religion. The native Americans were called neophytes when they were new to the mission.
Each student is studying one mission. Many people like the mission that they are studying. For example, here is a quote from Joe Digino, "I like Mission San Diego because they slaughtered many people there." This person loves his mission. Chloe McDougal says, "I really enjoy mission San Luis Obispo." Quotes from people such as Nikki Perlman are very nice. They exclaim that they love their missions. Here is a quote from Isaac Ho, " Of course I like San Gabriel mission." Jason Noghrey confesses, " Yes, I like San Rafael mission because it's easy to draw." Hansen Perkins announces, "Yes, I love Santa Clara mission."
Other people do not enjoy their missions as much. Chris Carlsson grumbles, "No, I don't like Santa Clara mission." Jeff Schneider complains, "I don't really like mission San Juan Bautista." The reason for this is probably because these people did not get their first choice mission.
Some people feel less emotional. The people who say they don't care which mission they have are Allie Holodniy, Jeff Schneider and Derrick Brooks.
Science teacher gives class frogs to study
In early February, our science teacher, Mrs. Bianchini, gave us frogs to study. The frogs came from a laboratory. Both classes, A-2 and A-3 have African Dwarf frogs. Every four kids has a pair of frogs in a small tank with gravel and a plant called Elodea. Taking care of frogs is not an easy job. Every morning we clean out one cup of water and feed the frogs a meal of fish flakes and dried bloodworms. If the tank is really dirty, we clean out two cups of water.
Every Monday, we go to Mrs. Bianchini's for science. We observe the frogs' behavior and write down what we see in our notebook. I like having frogs, but they take a lot of responsibilities.
--Jonathan Amores, Grade 4
Check it out
Nixon Web site is up and runningYou may want to check out the Nixon Web site. It has things that tell you about our school and what is happening around our school. The new Nixon Web site address at http//www.city.palo-alto.ca.us/palo/city/education/PAUSD/welcome.html.cgi (there are no spaces.)
You can find out about things you can't hear anywhere else! It was last updated by Nancy Palmer on Nov. 4, 1996.
--Chris Carlsson and Colin Lam, Grade 4
Two classes study frogs
Mrs. Rumwell's and Mrs. Bianchini's classes are studying frogs. Each group of four children has two frogs.
My group named our frogs Daisy and Einstein. Einstein does this float that we call the "Einstein Float" and we thought he was dead. They're really cool! You should come to Nixon class A-2 and see them. You can see them in A-3 also.
--Chris Carlsson, Grade 4
There are good and bad things about frogs in class
In early February my class, A-2, got small African dwarf frogs. The frogs are living in small aquariums throughout the classrooms. They are in fresh, conditioned water. The frogs eat fish flakes and dried bloodworms.
The good things about having frogs in the classroom are to watch them swim, to watch them bubble (which is when the frogs let a bubble of air out of their mouth), and to feed them. We are not keeping them very much as pets. We are keeping the frogs for a science project we are doing.
One child in the class exclaimed, "They can be pretty messy!" Another proclaims, "It teaches us responsibilities."
There are a few bad things about the frogs. One of them is that they hop very high. On the morning of February 19, a group of people were cleaning their tank. They needed to take a frog out with a net, and suddenly it jumped out. Lauren Blanche thinks, "It was totally awesome." Kate Kosco annouced, "It was scary. It could've gotten squashed."
In the class, frogs do die. Only one in the class has died, but it is not to be cried about. These frogs were named and cared for, but nobody got attached to them because they were a science project and we were not supposed to be in love with them. They were not pets. When the frog died in my group, we had to clean the tank out completely. The frogs are fun, but I am looking forward to getting crabs!
--Jason Smoller, Grade 4
S-Room monitors have important jobs
In our class we have S-room monitors who watch students who go into the S-room to get their backpacks, lunches, etc.
We have three S-room monitors: Sharon, Jason and Becky. The monitor program started when somebody's backpack was found at the back of the room, opened, and with things missing.
I asked Jason, an S-room monitor, some questions about being a monitor. He says,"I work at recess, lunch, and after school. Sometimes people play around or pretend they're stealing. I don't like that."
I asked Ariel what she thinks of the S-room monitors. "I think it's unfair that we lose privileges to the S-room because somebody is stealing." n
--Jonathan Amores, Grade 4
Check out the frogs
In our classrooms, A-2 and A-3, we have aquatic frogs. They live in small tanks. Each group has two frogs. Some groups have only one. Every day we have to change the water and feed them. In every group there are four people. In A-2, everybody has named their frogs. n
--Colin Lam, Grade 4
My fellow student
We have a student in our class. His name is Einstein. All he does is sit there and pay no attention. Sometimes he eats in class. Einstein has a friend named Daisy. She is exactly like him. She does absolutely nothing. They usually try to escape, but they do not succeed.
They are my friends, but I have only known them for a little while. Oh, by the way, Einstein and Daisy are frogs.
--Kate Kosco, Grade 4
While the "Stars and Stripes" fly high
Four lucky kids each morning and at the end of school raise the flag and lower it. About 80 percent of the fourth graders in Nixon Elementary School want this important job. Only four of the tallest kids get to do it. The fourth grade class who does this job is the classroom A-2.
Out of the other class, A-3, about 60 percent of the students want to raise the flag. The four students, Jason Noghrey, Nikki Perlman, Ryan Dorrian, and Kate Kosco, love the job as flag people. Even the substitute, Colin Lam, enjoys having the job. Each day when they come to school, they check to see if it's raining, because the flag can't be in the rain. If it's not raining they take it out of the school office and raise it. When they raise and lower the flag it can't touch the ground.
Ten percent of the time it touches the ground by accident, and five percent of the time the flag people raise the flag and in the middle of the day it starts raining and the flag people don't notice it. Flag is a great job.
--Nikki Perlman, Grade 4
A student who swims named Michael Jordan
There is this guy in this class whose name is Michael Jordan. He is named after the basketball player.
He is really neat. He loves to swim. It's his favorite sport. He is always quiet. Sometimes he does really weird things. Sometimes, in the water, he does headstands. He can stay still in the water for a long time being as still as a stick.
Sometimes he goes up and down in the water. He jumps up, and as soon as he gets to the top, he turns around and does a nose dive down. I bet you can tell already that I watch him swim a lot, right? I bet you think this is pretty weird, but Michael Jordan is . . .
--Sarah Howell, Grade 4
Many Nixon students sick this year
This year a lot of people have been sick for a long time. There was flu, colds, coughing, and sinus infections. Many people got chicken pox in grades K-4, and so in my classroom a lot of people were ill and one of them was me!
First I had the flu for one week, and then when I came back to school I got the sinus infection for another week. One girl in our class was absent for more than 3 weeks.
What can you do not to get sick? You can wear lots of layers,if it is windy out, do not go out, try not to be around sick people, and do not go skiing. So be careful and try to stay healthy!
--Sharon Morad, Grade 4
Classrooms are crowded
My class is very crowded. There are 28 kids in it. We have one teacher who has a part-time helper.
The average number of kids per class in the U.S. is 17 and the average number of kids per class in California is 24.
The smallest classes in the U.S. are in Washington D.C. and Vermont. They average 13.6 kids per class.
What is the best number of kids in a class? It's hard to say.
Some researchers say there has to be less than 16 kids in a class and some researchers say it should be 23 or less.
I asked my teacher what she thought about it, and Mrs. Rumwell said, "Students stand a much better chance of getting individual help in smaller classes. Instruction can be geared more toward the needs of the students when classes are smaller. Teachers have more of an opportunity to meet the needs of each student when classes are smaller. I would feel much more effective if we could reduce student numbers from 28 down to 20."
Then I did a survey in my class and most of the kids thought the classroom was too crowded. Some of them thought there wasn't enough space and some of them thought it was too noisy. One kid thought everything was fine the way it is.
California has had large classes for a long time but they also have had low test scores. Lowering the number of students per teacher won't solve everything, but in a Mercury News article, Principal Herb Paker of Laurelwood School in Santa Clara says, "It gives us the best shot we've ever had."
--Jeffrey Schneider, Grade 4
What do people like about Nixon School?
What's fun at Nixon Elementary school? This question was easy for most kids in the 5th grade to answer. The reason it was easy is because Nixon is a fantastic school with lots of interesting things about it.
The most popular thing about Nixon is the teachers. I think that people feel that the teachers teach well and make learning fun! Another popular response is the people. I think the kids chose this response because everyone at Nixon Elementary School is nice and helpful. This includes the support staff and the students that go to Nixon.
Another common response is recess. I think that people chose this response because Nixon Elementary School has a lot of fun things to do at recess, such as handball and basketball. Below are some of the fifth graders favorite experiences at Nixon Elementary School. Scott McGuire commented, "I liked the field trip to San Juan Bautista in fourth grade because we rode a luxury bus and watched movies."
Harry Kurland said, "I enjoyed visiting a mission in fourth grade and learning a lot about the missions."
Michael Papadopoulos said, "I like math because it's fun and helps you understand numbers when you grow up and it can help you with your job." n
--Michael Belkin, Grade 5
Do you pretend you are sick?
I interviewed 20 kids in Ms. Jordan's 5th grade class at Nixon.
Out of 20 kids at Nixon in Ms. Jordan's class, 6 pretend they are sick to miss school. Three of the people pretend they are sick to miss all of school. The other 3 pretend they are sick to miss certain subjects. Two people in A-5 pretend their stomach hurts to get out of going to school.
One person puts the thermometer in hot chocolate. I think this wouldn't work if I tried it because my mom would get mad if the temperature was too hot. One person moans and acts like he is sick. One person says his ear hurts until his mom believes him. One person acts like he is sick until his mom thinks he is telling the truth. Wow!!!! my mom would never believe me if I pretended I was sick!
--Robbie Cole, Grade 5
The banning of Magic cards
At Nixon Elementary, Magic and Star Wars cards are banned. They were first banned at the end of the school year 1994-95.
After fifth-grader Brent Hughes polled other fifth-grade boys and girls, the majority said that they shouldn't be banned. There were also kids who said the subject didn't affect them, and kids who said they should be banned.
Even though the kids felt so strongly about magic cards, it is the principal's decision that really counts.
Principal Ginger Fullerton's opinion is surprisingly both pro and con! She says some advantages of them are that kids will be playing with each other in a game they like and have and option to play. She also mentioned some disadvantages, such as the kids losing some of the cards or them getting into disputes about the trading of the cards.
Fifth-grader Elliot Askarinam feels that CCG's (collectible card games) should only be allowed so long as the cards are not played during class and trading does not either.
Right now you are probably wondering, what in god's name are Magic and Star Wars cards!!!!! To find out about these cards I asked fifth-grader Matthew Drasner. He said Magic is where you gain land by drawing special cards and then you use the land to play creatures. He also said that Star Wars is where you draw cards and draw destiny to battle your opponent. In Star Wars you must keep on battling for destiny until one person loses all their destiny.
After asking Ginger Fullerton some reasons they should or shouldn't be banned, she said that they should be banned so that the school can eliminate any unnecessary disputes. She also said that they shouldn't be banned because the kids will play together in a game they play only if they like it.
Most people don't notice this, but if you play these card games during recess you reduce the amount of physical activity you would normally have by playing handball, football, etc. This probably means that we won't be allowed to play the games.
--Aadith Srinivasan, Grade 5
Desks are generally messy, survey says
"You should definitely clean your desk," said Yarone Greif, a fifth grade student at L.M. Nixon. Yarone has a desk that could keep people entertained for hours on end. Papers and textbooks are commonly seen in strange locations inside his desk. There are also some candies from last Valentine's Day.
Katie Brewer, another student, has a desk with the same problem. "I might clean it (the desk) in a few years," Katie remarked sarcastically. She added, "I can't find my papers anywhere." Katie might keep her desk "clean for a day, but then it gets all messy again." Whereas Katie constantly encounters problems, Yarone said that his desk rarely causes him trouble, because the important items are usually at the top of the pile.
The majority of desks are "messy", according to a student survey conducted by myself. Survey results: 10 (41 2/3 percent) of the students have a "messy" desk. Eight (33 1/3 percent) of the students have neat desks, and six (25 percent) of the students have desks that are in between. n
--Kevin Lin, Grade 5
When you were a young student, was there hot lunch at your school? Was it hot, or not? Well, the fourth-grade students at Nixon Elementary School get hot lunch, but it's not so hot. Here are some comments:
Kate said, "Hot lunch is disgusting because the food tastes like nothing." I'm not sure what "nothing" tastes like, but Kate knows.
"The pizza tastes like cardboard, the chicken nuggets taste like rubber, and the ribs taste like plastic," stated Jeffrey.
Hansen said, "It's bad and should be hot, not cold." I agree.
Jane said, "It should be hot, not cold and slimy."
Nick feels it costs too much. "It's a dollar eighty-five."
I think he's right. Even my younger brother, Rory, complains that there's often not much choice left by the time he gets to the lunch line.
These students represent people who buy lunch once in a while and every day.
One way to solve this problem is to serve truly HOT hamburgers, hot dogs, pizza and ribs. If they were hot, the students wouldn't say they taste so bad. I believe the students would enjoy the lunches more if there were more choices of fruit, vegetables, salads, cheeses, yogurts and baked potatoes.
Most students I talked to felt the price of hot lunch was too high for the lunches they buy. They feel the quality and amount of food should be better for the price they pay.
If the food was better, hotter and there was more selection, the Nixon Fourth Grade students would like hot lunch better.
--Lauren Blanche, Grade 4
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