Are iPads Really Helping Us Learn?

By: Noah Campbell
“I definitely prefer iPads over slates,” says Student Council President, Joshua Wood. Although iPads have continued to be an exceptional tool for learning, and a great alternative for slates, iPads have also been used to play online games during class. Was it a wise decision for the school board to provide us with these expensive tools? All of the benefits we gain from using these iPads outnumber the disadvantages. Such as, being able to type stories or essays on Google Docs. Taking quizzes and surveys without having to get a hand cramp from writing too much. You can even practice for tests and lessons by using educational sites, like, “Khan Academy.” Most importantly, we can search the vast Internet for research.

“I usually like to use Google Docs to type a story,” says Dean Cianciolo. There has been a lot ways that these electronics have been helping us learn. Such as providing, “Google Docs,” a simplified version of, “Microsoft Word,” by Google to help us write essays, and our own stories in our free time. Not only that, but you can use it as a notepad to remember your ideas. You can share your work with your teacher and your classmates, so you can peer edit each other’s work. It’s a very useful tool that ordinary paper doesn’t give you.

There is also a website known as Khan Academy for students in K-12. IT helps you study subjects such as, Math, Science, Reading, Economics, History, Social Studies, Geography, etc. If you want to get a better grade on tests, your iPad can help you.

Not only is there a program to study of tests, but a program to take tests. There is a social media app that we use, called, “Edmodo,” where you take quizzes and do responses to class questions. If you’re in fifth grade, we use an app called, “Google Classroom,” to do quizzes and assignments. That way, we don’t have to cramp our hands writing.

Also, giving us the privilege of the internet has helped us gather information easier for reports rather than consuming our time searching through the reference section of the library. It saves us a lot of time, and we can refer to thousands of billions of sources packed with information.

On the other hand, students have been using the iPad to do things that are not as school appropriate. They are using the internet to play online games during class and look up the latest gifs of widely-known characters. Students also take advantage of having their own school email addresses to just talk to each other about completely non-school related topics. However, these are only applying to the few that completely take advantage of this amazing privilege.

“I prefer using an iPad over a pencil and paper. It’s easier to do writing assignments,” Our president Joshua Wood says. He definitely thinks that the iPads, “Apple,” provides us are a great privilege. Students from our school have different biases of whether these iPads are helping or not. Some people prefer a classic slate, although some people prefer the ability to record a video of a lesson for homework with an iPad. Which would you prefer?

Block the Pig

Almost everybody in the intermediate grades is addicted to the game Block the Pig. “It's a good game,” Jefferson said. The game is addicting and fun, but of course you shouldn’t play it during class!
The game block the pig can be found on,, and even All of these sites offer other free games, and again, DO NOT play them during class.
The object of the game is to place rocks to block the young pig from escaping the field. If you’re new, it starts hard, but once you know what to do, you can get really good!

After you place a block, the pig moves toward the nearest border.

Some strategies to use are:

1.Make the nearest border the pig can move toward farther away, so that you can place more blocks to block the pig.

2.Think big. Usually, the bigger the space you can trap the pig, the easier you can use strategy 1.
Also, if the pig reaches the edge, it immediately goes out the side. So if it is next to 2 or 3 borders after you place a block, you lose.

The game is completely free, so you can play it at home. (Make sure to check with your parent before going on the site.) Here are a few reviews:

“It's really awesome and fun.” -Theo Hartrich “Not just 5 stars… A hundred stars.”

“It is inspiring.” -Drew Lingenfelter “4.99999999999999999999 stars.”

‘’Very fun!” -Joshua Wood “29 stars.”

Too Young to Play Action Video Games? Lego Solves THAT Problem

Have you ever wanted to play a videogame like Star Wars Battlefront? Have you ever wanted to solve the problems of crime in Gotham City with the Dark Knight? Well, adults and ESRB say you’re “too young.” It turns out that they are right. However, there is another option for all those action-craving gamers. “I like them, because they are fun and sometimes educational,” Elora Cianciolo says. These games teach kids how they shouldn’t give up, and they encourage kids to use their minds to solve the problem they are facing in the game. Best of all, they are fun and non-violent!
I know this might sound crazy, but the customers for LEGO just lost interest in its products. If LEGO didn't do something, they were going to run out of money, and all of there workers were going to lose there jobs! Since everybody seemed to love video games, they thought about making some video games based off of their sets. That’s when they started making their bestselling video games based off the popular lego sets. Here are a few of them.

LEGO: Star Wars

You know that LEGO Star Wars has always got some good sets. Imagine all of those sets combined into one big galaxy of LEGO bricks. Here are some titles you can buy:
-LEGO Star Wars: The Video Game (Episodes I-III The Prequel trilogy).

-LEGO Star Wars: The Original Trilogy (Episodes IV-VI The Original Trilogy).

-LEGO Star Wars III: (Clone Wars).


LEGO: Indiana Jones

“If I could be any character in the Lego videogame series, I’d be Indiana Jones,” Ryan Campbell said. If Sci-Fi is not your thing, how about adventure? We’re talking Archaeology, temples, lost cities, boobie traps, and whips. If you like all of these, this game is for you! This game has a lot of good content which you will surely enjoy. I’m telling you, this game is amazing! Just like Indy, you can race the Nazi’s to the Ark, or you can go explore the forbidden Temple of Doom.

LEGO: The Hobbit

Do you like Middle Earth? Do you like elves, goblins, hobbits, dwarves, wizards, orcs, wargs, and wizards? You’ve come to the right place. One of the most famed novels and movies of all time have finally been turned into a not-too-violent game. The object of this game is to gather your dwarves, Thorin, Fili, Kili, Balin, Dwalin, Oin, Gloin, Dori, Ori, Nori, Bifur, Bofur, and Bombur, and your hobbit, Bilbo, plus the wizard, Gandalf, to go on a quest. You, the dwarves, and Gandalf will travel over mountains, forests, and even a dragon to recover what is rightfully theirs, the arkenstone.

LEGO: Marvel Super Heroes

Super heroes assemble! In this amazing game, all of your favorite Marvel Super heroes unite to protect the dangerous and villain-packed New York City. Play as all of your favorite Super Heroes such as, Iron Man, Hulk, Spider-Man, Thor, Wolverine, Black Widow, and many many more characters. If you want to save the day, play this game to become one of the mighty super heroes!
Picture from

LEGO: Batman

Whoa, Whoa, Whoa! Look, I know it says Batman, but honestly, it unites all of your favorite DC Heroes. It’s just like Justice League. You fight a variety of villains, and all of the heroes unite to fight them all. This series has some well made games. Such as, the current hit game, “LEGO Batman 3: Beyond Gotham.”

Well, that’s all the titles I have for you. You should really get them. I’m pretty sure that your parents will say it’s okay since, you know, no harsh violence. Remember kids, adult are usually right about these things, but lego is definitely one of the things that your parents won’t try to protect you from. It’s safe! I mean, geez! It’s lego, right?

If I Were a General By Berend 2P

If I was a general I would let kids have tours. When the base is old it will be a museum. I will let people come to it. I will let them go inside it too! There will be planes and it would be fun.

The Art of Tie-Dye
By Maya Schwartz

If you have ever seen or made Tie-Dye, you will know that it is very unique and a great way to show your favorite colors and designs. Tie-Dye is a style of art in which you splash drops of colorful dye onto fabric to make amazing designs. 5th grader, Morgan F, says, “I like it because you can be creative while doing it.”
Tie-Dye is a very old art that is used all around the world. In India, Tie-Dye is called bandhani. A similar dyeing technique to tie-dye was done by the Shipibo and Yine tribes. Now, the most common way to Tie-Dye, is to drop rainbow colors in a spiral design on a white tee shirt. Most people twist the shirt and use rubber bands to keep some spaces white and separate color blotches.
There are many different styles of Tie-Dye. The most common technique is the spiral. To make the spiral, you first squish the shirt into one long line. Then you swirl it into a circle. Lastly before you dye it, stretch rubber bands across your shirt circle. The rubber bands should form an X, or a crossed star. Another common design is the target. You can make that one by bunching together small parts of the shirt and putting rubber bands on them. Ingrid V says, “I like the swirl design because it is unique and the colors slightly blend together.”
If tie-dyeing is hard for you, which it is for many people, you can buy a kits from michael's craft store, target or many other stores to help you. The kits come with detailed instructions and colorful dyes to help you. Paula E Burch (expert on Tie-Dye) says “In contrast, the dyes in a good tie-dye kit, such as the kits made by Jacquard Products, Tulip, Rainbow Rock, or Dylon, are easy to apply since they work well at room temperature, and the form permanent chemical bonds to the fiber in the fabric. The results will last years longer, and, after the first few washings, are safe to wash at any temperature, even with your white clothing.” Tie-Dye has been found to work the best on white, 100% cotton shirts or fabrics. Just remember, what makes tie-dye so fun and unique is that you never know how it will come out, and no design is perfect.
Before you tie dye any fabric or shirt, you should soak it in water. Then, you will want to make your design using rubber bands. Next, you should dye your fabric or shirt. Wear gloves when using the dyes because they will stain your hands. After you dye, let it air dry for a day or until it is dry. Then your shirt should be washed before you can wear it. First, run it under cold water, then warm. Keep alternating between the temperatures of water until the water is mostly clear. Then let it dry. Next, wash the fabric in a washing machine. Just remember to wash the shirt or fabric inside out. Wash the shirt or fabric with no other pieces of clothing in the washing machine with it. If you put other clothing in the washing machine with it, the other clothes may get permanent dye on them. After you wear your shirt, you can either hand wash it with the water or use a machine. Overall, there are so many styles and combinations to tie-dye.



Mild language, crude humor

Creators: Pixar, Walt Disney
Cast: Ginnifer Goodwin, Jason Bateman, Idris Elba, J.K. Simmons

Creators: Pixar, Walt Disney
Cast: Ginnifer Goodwin, Jason Bateman, Idris Elba, J.K. Simmons

Genre: Action/Adventure

In this particular film, Judy Hopps (Ginnifer Goodwin) a produce farmer, dreamed of being the first Zootopia bunny police officer since she was 9. Along the way, she meets Nick, (Jason Bateman) a misguided fox that seems to be breaking the law. Her boss, Chief Bogo (Idris Elba) gives Judy 48 hours to crack a case of kidnapped animals which Judy and Nick compromise to do together. Can Judy and Nick crack the case?

By Ianimgres.jpg
I like to play roblox. I like roblox because there is a lot of fun games. My favorite game is speed runway four because it’s going fast. Its all servers. If you type in something there are different games you can play. I suggest roblox because there is so many games.
WARNING: Super fun! May be too fun for some kids.

Stranger Danger!
By: Morgan Fox

Are you going to start walking home or to school? And do you feel like you need to be safer? There are lots of things you can do to keep yourself safe and happy. Read these tips to be smart and safe and still have fun! Staying safe may seem lame, but it’s what’s right!If you dont follow this important list you may think some of these are quite clear but some people don’t do some of these and get in trouble or even hurt.

Try walking in a group or at least with one more person
(It’s a way to feel safer and make better choices regarding strangers.)

Never EVER talk to strangers. They could be nice but don’t take a chance.

Make sure to have some way to contact an adult with you at all times even if that means a friends phone.

If you want to walk to and from school because it’s cool but really don’t feel comfortable, tell your parents! They can drive you or even walk with you! They shouldn’t mind. They want what’s best for you.

If someone besides your parents or your friends parents asks if you want a ride say ‘NO’ and run. Chances are they aren’t nice people.

If a stranger demands you for your phone or anything, you give in to them. They could be really bad and try to hurt you.

If you or a friend has a phone to bring try and not keep in out and open. It’s like walking around town and saying,” I have a million dollars and my unlocked home!”

If you have a phone ask your parents to set up the companion app on your phones.It’s free and works on apple and android devices! This app shows your parent where you are with a tracker on the phone. If for example a stranger asks if you want a ride you could press the I feel nervous. Or click to call police, if it’s really bad.The police also know where your phone is. So as long as you have your phone the police can help!

If you follow these tips and use your brain, walking to and from school is a breeze. Note that if you aren’t at least in 3rd grade walking to and from school might not be the best thing for you yet. If you have any more questions ask your parent. Stay safe!

When asked, A 5th grade student Said “ It’s fun, I get to hang out with my friends.”
Another said, “I feel like it’s really fun when you get to walk with friends”
Last, one said ,” It’s so fun but you have to remember to keep your guard up!”

Everyone Should Read!By Delaney C.
Read your books so you can become good readers! I hope you can read books a lot. Recommendations: How the Grinch Stole Christmas and the Cat in the Hat by Dr. Suess

By Caroline T.

Can you please serve Oreos for lunch? And spaghetti with butter on it please? And apple pie, and mash potatoes, and ice cream please? And yogurt, and chocolate donuts, and celery with peanut butter and raisins, and watermelon? Thanks!

Rainforest Cafe Rainforest-Cafe.jpg
By Jasmine K.

Rainforest Cafe is one of my favorite places to be. For my uncle’s birthday, we went there. We got a lava birthday cake. My point here is that Rainforest Cafe isa great place to go for family outings, celebrations, parties, maybe even a wedding! Oh, and there’s lots of interesting merchandise. Cups, toys, clothes, everything! There might be a Rainforest Cafe near you. Rainforest Cafe is popular, so there is a chance. Here are reasons why:
  1. The service is good, and they let kids order off the adult menu.
  2. They give you a FREE cake for your birthday.
  3. They have cool robotic animals that will amaze you.
Visit Rainforest Cafe today!!!

By: Seba

Once upon a time there was a girl named Lily and she loved to play tennis. Even though she was bad at tennis, she still loved to play it. But one day she gave up practicing. She now hated tennis since she wasn’t good enough. Instead, Lily decided to start gymnastics class. Lily was so good at gymnastics that she became a champion at gymnastics!!! Lily then knew how to do everything: cartwheels, bridges, back hand spring. But Lily missed tennis so she started tennis class again. The End

  • FYI note: Seba’s story shows that if you are not good at something, don’t give up. But you might be good at something, too!

iPhone Apps

ByTy S.
16-must-have-iphone-apps-for-broadcasting.jpgWith the recent boosts of technology there comes a bunch of awesome, amazing, kid friendly games and apps. We'll look at some of the best apps and show which apps are right for you. There are different types of apps. Some are educational, some are programs, and others are games.
First there are many fun, cool, educationally based apps that you can play, ones like “Math Ninja” or “Stack the States”. These games can either go one way or another. They are either really cool or really underwhelming. For a bunch of people games like Stack the States or Toontastic are actually really awesome. But games like Literature Bingo or Radical Mathical are just confusing and unamusing. In Stack the States you get questions on states, and then make a tower of states to cross a line on the screen. Fellow student Quinn said “Google Earth is my favorite educational app because I like to go to my house”.
Now we talk about some programs, which are really just apps that are for personal use and talking to your friends. Some examples are Snapchat, Instagram, Vine, and even YouTube, to an extent. These programs are usually the most popular in the app store and for a good reason because they’re just a ton of fun to mess around with. For example, Vine is where you can watch or upload some personal or funny videos. Another 5th grader, Beguine, says her favorite program is Instagram.
Finally, there are game apps, which are a ton of fun, but some get pretty complex. When others are just wastes of time. Most games now are something called time wasters, where you sit around for an hour or two and just play. A final example is FarmVille, where you make a farm and do farm stuff like building a chicken coop, or milking a cow. Personally a favorite iPhone/iPad game is called “Jetpack Joyride”.
Thank you for reading and I hope you can try out some of these apps for yourself!

Are You In Trouble?

By Emily B.
Are you stressed about next year and homework? Well, don’t be. Here are some tips to survive school.

1. If you get a lot of homework, take 5-10 minute break and then continue on your homework.
2. If you don’t understand something, don’t be ashamed. During recess you might be able to get some extra help, or you could ask the teacher.

3. Always listen to directions, otherwise you’ll look like a class clown.
These are some awfully good tips to survive school!


My Favorite Restaurant

By Poppy B.
My favorite restaurant is Katy’s Dumpling house. It is located on lake street near the Five Guys and the Paper Source. Katy’s Dumpling House has has the best chinese food in Oak Park. Some dishes they sell are great and some are not. My favorite dish at Katy’s Dumpling House is there fabulous orange chicken. I also love the fried noodles with vegetables and chicken. I love Katy’s Dumpling House and I hope you go and love it too.

Advice For Students

By Nina I.
I am Nina and I'm in 4th grade. I want to teach second graders, third graders, and fourth graders because I want to help these kids. First, in second grade, you won’t have book reports or big assignments like that, but you will get some grammar packets and some reading homework. So always do your grammar and other homework. It is sometimes really easy, but sometimes it can be hard. If you are working on anew subject it might be a little hard but you can always ask a parent or a guardian to help you with it. Reading is super easy! You can read 30 minutes and you may not even notice it. So just read 30 minutes which is easy. Now third grade you guys will get book reports and more reports.You will probably get essays and stuff like that.There was one that I remember and it was “The Pumpkin Essay”.Also you will want to copy everything,yes everything.And every grade has to read.As I said you might read and you might not notice it .Science is really important as well.I dont think there is that much homework. But it might be just like filling out a book. Fourth grade, I’m in fourth grade and I haven’t gotten that far into the year yet. But I know that there are some projects like the Illinois project. It is so fun and you switch classrooms. Now, you will get projects and reports, Its hard but you can do it!, again everybody has to read. Sometimes you will have to write stories about a book you read.


by Jasmine & Andy

You've been in kindergarten before, right? Were you shy? Did you think you might miss your parents? Well, kindergartners nowadays might be thinking just that! So here’s a shout out to all kindergartners with some advice. Because digging deeper into kindergartners’ thoughts and ideas about their activities, friends, and even siblings. Might just be the key to making a kindergartners first year of elementary school even better.

In Kindergarten, activities are one of the main things you do to learn and it is pretty important that they are fun and capture the student’s attention. Like Jayden in Ms. Rigali’s class points out, “I like that that we do a lot of fun activities and stuff.” Holmes Kindergarten has lots of good activities throughout the school and in the classroom.

Older siblings can help Kindergartners if they have them. Some don’t have siblings, others have a lot. Siblings can help out younger kids and make the whole experience a lot better. They can help out with homework and can just give general advice about the other kids in school.

Friends are a very important aspect of being in kindergarten. Gretta in Mr. Dolan’s class said, “I like that my friends are nice.” Kindergartners often make friends quickly or have friends already from preschool, but for those who don’t make friends fast it can be hard, lonely, or both. So if you haven’t made friends, take that big step and go and talk to someone at recess.

It can help make a kindergartner's year better if you think about activities as fun, to ask your siblings for advice (if you can), and to reach out to make friends .There are somethings that will only help to make your Kindergarten year better. For instance, Kindergarten is an incredibly important step in someone’s life. It can impact how they think of school forever.

Winter Can Be Fun!!

Screen Shot 2013-12-12 at 11.58.56 AM.png

by Malea

Winter is well on its way. You can build snowmen, make snow angels, and go ice skating. And if you don’t like the cold you can drink hot chocolate, snuggle with a blanket and stuffed animal and watch TV, or just take a nap.

I spoke with Jasmine W., and she said that she liked to go skiing and go ice skating. Ty S. said, “ I like to go sledding and play with friends.” I also caught up with Caroline K., and she enjoys drinking hot chocolate to warm up from the coldness of winter. Even teachers get in on the fun! Ms. Circo said that she liked to go geocaching. explains geocaching as, “A treasure hunting game where you use GPS coordinates to hide and seek containers with other participants in the activity.”

There are also some fun winter events coming up in Oak Park, like the Cookie Walk, on Marion Street and Lake Street on Saturday, December 7th, 2013 from 11:00 to 5:00. There will also be Santa, roaming the streets for pictures from 11:00 to 3:00, and the sledding hills will be decorated with real snow!! There will also be horse- drawn sleigh rides, on Saturday, December 21, on 106 North Marion Street!

There are all kinds of winter fun to do in the the times of 2013/2014!!!