Saturday, January 31, 2015

Piano Performance

Over the past few months, I have been learning two piano compositions, one by Gustave Lange called Schelmerei and the other one by Haydn called Sonata in F major.  Gustave Lange is a German composer born in 1830 and died in 1889.  He wrote music during the Romantic period.  The piece I played is called Schelmerei which means playfulness.  This piece is the first of six characteristics of music that he wrote. I especially enjoy playing this piece because it makes me feel happy and upbeat.  All of the sharp major notes really bring the piece to life.

The other piece I played is called Sonata in F Major by Haydn. Joseph Haydn is an Austrian composer who composed in the Classical Period in the mid 1700s.  Haydn composed many wonderful Sonatas and Sonatinas. I have played a few pieces by Haydn over the years and you can listen to it on this link. The Sonata in F Major has both peaceful and rowdy parts in the composition which makes it interesting to listen and play.  I hope you enjoy!







Over the last few months, I played a piece called Clowns by Dmitri Kabalevsky.  Dmitri Kabalevsky was born in St. Petersburg, Russia, on December 30, 1904. He is a modern composer but was still able to have successful career.  When he was young, Dmitri's father wanted him to follow in his footsteps and become a math mathematician like him.  But eventually he followed his dreams and became an accomplished pianist.  He is most famous for his piano solo pieces "24 little pieces." This piano piece was easy but it took a while to learn by heart.  It was fun to play and had a lot of staccatos. It is a happy, light, and fast piece. 





Do you play an instrument? 
What is your favorite piece to play?

Friday, January 2, 2015

Guest Post by Michael: Happy New Year

My Grandma and my siblings and I
On New Years I went to my grandparents house for a big party with my whole family. My aunts, uncles, and cousins came. First, we went to eat my grandma's many delicious dishes such as chicken, beef ,potatoes, and many types of salads. It was also my aunt's 29th birthday, and we lit the candles on the cake and sang happy birthday. My aunt and all of the children helped blow out the candles on the cake. Then we quickly ate the cake and went to watch the ball drop on television.

My Aunt and Uncle
After eating the delicious frosted colored cake we poured champagne into plastic cups. When my aunt opened the champagne bottle it popped very loudly. There was a second champagne bottle so my mom wanted to open it. This was my mom's first time opening a champagne bottle and when she opened it she freaked out. Every grown up drank champagne while watching the big ball drop. When it was 11:59 my sisters counted down to the last minute until 2015. Afterwards,  we all said Happy New Year and gave each other hugs. It was all ready 12:00 and was time to go home. That was a really fun New Year party, and I hope we will have another wonderful year.


Blowing the Candles
My New Year's resolution is to listen and be kind to my family.  I will be very nice to my sister's even when they annoy me. I will also play tag, basketball, handball, tennis, and hiding-go-seek with my siblings.




Toasting to the New Year



Grandpa and my sister

The Big Boys



How did you celebrate New Years? 

What is your New Year's resolution?

Wednesday, December 24, 2014

Racing a 5k

The race day finally arrived.  After training for the 5k with a cross country group for 3 months, I was ready for the big day.  Training for the 5k was tough. My group ran Monday, Wednesday, Thursday in our local mountain trails and our neighborhood streets.  

My day started on a chilly morning with the sun just starting to peek its way through the clouds.  I warmed up with my track and field group that were also getting ready to run the race.  There were a couple hundred people watching, walking, or running the race. While I was resting from my warm-up,  I looked around, and tried to  find the start line. Since there were so many people, I couldn't even see it! There was also a DJ warming everyone up before the race.  A giant clock counted down until 8:00 am and the horn blew the start of the race.

Our race course was a large loop around the streets in our neighborhood. The week before the race, I ran a couple times for practice and felt ready for this race.  After the half way point, I got a cup of water and poured it over my head to refresh myself.  It felt so nice that I sprinted the rest of the race.  While I was running the race, my siblings were at work making a me a sign to cheer me on.   As I made my way to the finish line, my mom, sisters, and brother cheered me.

When I had finally finished, I had run the race in 23: 30: 38 and came in 5th place in my age group and 20th overall.  


As a part of the Cross Country Team, we also had competitions on the weekends running 3k on mountain trails.  Below are some photos from my warm ups and races.  








What do you do to push yourself to achieve?

Friday, November 28, 2014

Guest Post By Michael: Thanksgiving Dinner

My sister with my cousin
Last night, we had an amazing Thanksgiving dinner.  We prepared for this party by baking banana bread, pumpkin bread, stuffing, cranberry sauce, and a huge turkey.  The turkey and the rest of the meal smelled phenomenal. It took my sisters and I hours to cook all of the delicious foods.  It was a lot of fun, and I hope to bake more yummy cakes.  My twin sister Hannah did a post on my sisters Sarah's blog about cooking the foods.  

Next, my whole family came over such as aunts, uncles, cousins, and grandparents. When they came they gave us each a hug and a kiss. After we were done eating our meal, I had to read a paragraph I wrote at school to my guests. The paragraph was about what I was thankful for, my family and having fun siblings.

Cutting up the turkey
After, my cousins and I played tag, hiding go seek, basketball, and handball. When it was dark, I played the piece Clowns on the piano to all the guest's. My sisters also played on the piano and the violin.  I love all the people that came, and hope to see them again on different holidays.



My family

Eating the delicious foods at the kids table

Reading my Thanksgiving speech






How did you spend your Thanksgiving?

Monday, November 24, 2014

2014 Edublog Nominations

I am very excited to be part of the Edublog nomination process.  I have been blogging for 4 and a half years, and I have come across many interesting blogs that deserve an award.  

Here is my list of blogs that I nominated:

 Best Student Blog

Come Somersault with Sarah

One of my favorite student bloggers is my sister Sarah.  Sarah has been blogging for 3 years when she earned her own blog in Mrs. Yollis class.  Sarah publishes a new post at least once a month and comments back to everyone.  Sarah even sends me some nice comments once in a while.  I really think Sarah's blog is an excellent example for other bloggers who have just started blogging. 


Best Class Blog

Mrs Yollis’ Classroom Blog

I have seen many class blogs but my favorite is Mrs Yollis.  She has a new interesting post up every week and supports her student bloggers by leaving comments on their blogs.  She also comments back to many of her readers on her blog. 

 

Best Group Blog


Mrs. Yollis 365 Project 

I love the 365 blog because it has really engaged me to take pictures.  It has grown and expanded so much, that people from around the world contribute to it.  I now carry my camera everywhere I go thanks to Mrs. Yollis.



Best Library/Librarian Blog

Bulldog Readers  By: Mrs Hembree

The bull dog readers is an excellent blog because Mrs. Hembree really gets us involved in reading even in the summer.  She also gives great recommendations on books to read.  I really enjoy visiting her blog and so will you.  


Check out these great blogs and let me know what you think.

Sunday, November 16, 2014

Visiting Toyon Bay, Catalina

A couple days ago, I went on a school trip to Toyon Bay, Catalina Island.  I had an amazing time from the minute we arrived. That morning, I had to get up a 5 am and get ready for the bus.  After a couple hours on the bus we arrived in Long Beach and went onto the Catalina Classic.  Our boat ride to Catalina was about 2 hours and on the way, I watched the beautiful view of the island.  It was really special to have our school teachers accompany us as chaperons on this trip. 
Catalina 




In my bunk we had 10 girls, and during our free time, we played a card game called Gumpsh. It is a silly game played with six people. Each team of two must communicate through a secret code in to get four of the same cards in order to win.  We also had fun doing each other's hair and just having girl time.  Its too bad it all became messed up when we woke up the next morning.



Our bunk


Getting ready to snorkel!
Our first activity on the island was a snorkeling trip around the coast.  I had to fight with my wet-suit pants to get them on.  It was particularly interesting to watch the teachers struggle in the same manner as we did to get their suits on. While snorkeling, the first fish that we encountered was the orange Garibaldi, which is the state marine fish.  This was one of my favorite fish as its bright neon orange stood out in the murky water.  This was only one of many fish that we saw off the coast of Toyon Bay.  During our snorkeling adventure, we also saw leopard sharks.  There were 10 -12 sharks swimming by us as we floated above the water peering down upon their world. These sharks were a couple feet long and had distinctive spots on them.  After changing out of our wet-suits, we had our evening activity, a squid dissection. I was kind of grossed by the fact that we had to pull out the guts of our squid but I later warmed up to the idea once I saw the coolest part of the dissection.  Inside a squid their is a feather-like pen and an ink sack.  When you dip the feather in the ink you can write your name and even draw a picture on a piece of paper.



Leopard Shark





The next morning, we went to pet sharks, sting rays, and many other interesting sea creatures.  The tank contained small sharks and stingrays that we were allowed to touch.  In fact, the tank contained the same leopard sharks that we swam with the day before.  This trip was one of the best school trips yet, and I hope one day that I will be able to go back to Catalina.









What did you think of our school trip? 
What is your favorite school trip?

Monday, September 29, 2014

Visiting Jerusalem

Standing at the Mt of Olives Cemetery
Sarah and a tired camel 
Our last destination, Jerusalem, was probably the most exciting, the most diverse, and the most holiest place we visited.  Jersulem is the capital of Israel and the most populous. It also acquires the most diverse people and religions.  Jerusalem has been the holy city for three different religions, Judaism, Christianity, and Muslim.  Jews believe that this holy city was the religious and political center during the biblical times.  Christians believe it to be the holy city because Jesus' crucifixion occurred in Jerusalem. Muslims deem this city as holy because the Prophet Muhammad rose to heaven from there.  All three religions have prospered in this one small but holy city, Jerusulem.  

Jerusalem has so many important sites that we visited the city twice to ensure we had time to see all the famous places. On both of the days that we visited, we had to where knee length dresses or skirts, and shirts that covered our shoulders for modesty.  The first day we visited, we went through an underground tunnel to look at the western wall from below.  During the biblical times, the city was actually much lower than it is today and so to see the actual streets, we had to go undergound. It was frightening walking underground, but then too see how huge each brick of the western wall was, just gave me the chills.  Its hard to believe that a brick the size of my stretched out arms,  could be lifted up and used to build the temple and its surrounding walls. After the underground tour of the western wall, we got to visit the remaining part of the wall today.  In the car on the way to Jerusalem, my mother gave us a small 
piece of paper to write our wishes, 
hopes and prayers for the future. 
We stuck the small papers into an already full wall of notes and observed the people praying to God at the Western Wall.   

Western Wall
The next day, we visited the city of David and walked through Hezekiah's Tunnel, a tunnel filled with fresh chilly spring water.  This hidden spring was a place where kings were coronated and an eerie dark feeling crept up my body as I started the long trek through a pitch black tunnel.  The first step into the spring water sent me shivering, but after a while, my body got used to the cool temperature as we silently, continued walking.  The water has flowed since the time of the Prophets and with our weak lit flashlights we saw the ancient shafts, walls, and fortresses of the city of David.  The city of David was the foundation of the holy city of Jerusalem.





Narrow streets and white stone buildings of Jerusalem 
The opening of the water tunnel

Under the Western Wall. Look at the size of those bricks!