The National Constitution Center

The National Constitution Center

Philadelphia, PA, November 9th, 2018. It started out as a rainy morning for the Heathcote Elementary 5th graders. When they arrived they went to the National Constitution Center. There, the 5th graders saw four main exhibits. The main exhibit, the shows “Living News”, “Freedom Rising” and a special Alexander Hamilton exhibit.

At the Alexander Hamilton exhibit 5th graders saw incredibly well preserved artifacts, such as Alexander Hamilton’s papers, his duel gun and even a lock of his hair! At the main exhibit the 5th graders got a chance to interact in activities such as discovering the qualities people needed to be able to vote in the 1800’s. The two shows were a great learning experience. “Living News” was interactive. The students got to put in their own opinions. The second show “Freedom Rising” wasn’t interactive, but 5th grader Julia says, “I thought that it was really cool. I learned a lot from it and I liked the pictures on the screen.”

5th grader Alba says, “I thought that the National Constitution Center was very enjoyable. I had a great experience.” In the reporter’s opinion the 5th graders had a very fun, enjoyable experience. In conclusion, 5th grader Kate says, I had so much fun going to Philly! It was a great learning experience.”



On November 9th, 2018 we will be going to Philadelphia. Our day starts early in the morning. We are required to get to school at 5:50 am. The bus ride takes about 2 hours. Our first stop is the National Constitution Center. We will be watching two theatrical performances and touring the building. In the afternoon we will take a tour of Independence Hall and the historical district of Philadelphia. Finally at 3:00 pm we will start heading back to school.

I am sure that we will have the best time and that no one will ever forget this memorable trip to Philadelphia!

Two Long Months

2 long months

The construction started on September, 4, 2018. We have now endured 2 long years of construction. Now we are taking on the construction of the kitchen. We are living without a kitchen for a while because of the construction. We set up a makeshift kitchen in the hall. We move our microwave, toaster, steamer and table to our new “kitchen”. So far, it has been ok, but  the food isn’t as good as homemade food. On the weekdays we warm up chicken or meat in the microwave and steam vegetables, pasta, rice and couscous. On the weekends we get takeout or go out. “It is not as good as home cooked food,” I say, “But it’s still good.”

The house is really noisy with the bangs of nailing a cabinet or something into the wall, the sounds of ripping the whole room apart and the sounds of workmen talking. The first couple of times I heard the different sounds I practically jumped out of my skin. The whole downstairs except for the guest room smells faintly musty. Sometimes it smells a bit like muffins. There is also the smell of fresh paint. I always make sure before I touch something I ask myself “Is this wet?” It sounds strange, but after awhile you get used to the smells and noises.

There are drop cloths all over the house and the dining room and living room are bare and empty. Upstairs we have to be really careful that we don’t touch wet paint. Downstairs we have to be careful with the floors, making sure we don’t step on them with shoes. We have to be careful walking through the kitchen, because of the appliances. We have to be really careful in general.

We check on the kitchen multiple times. My mom doesn’t let me in the construction zone because there are things you could trip on, dangerous machines and dust. Then, a few weeks  later she started to let me go into the kitchen.

“Wow!” I exclaim, “It looks so good!”. Everything is ripped out. My mom tells me the plan for the kitchen. A few weeks after, we put in the hardwood floor, but had to move to my aunt’s house for a few days, because they had to stain the floors.The stain is toxic. We moved all our furniture upstairs because we couldn’t have it downstairs with the staining happening.

Now we are back in our house, but still cannot put any furniture downstairs. Our guestroom is our kitchen now and my sister is sleeping with me because my room doesn’t have extra furniture and her room is being used to store furniture. My mom and dad sleep in their their room with a sea of furniture around them. It’s not that bad. It is just a bit strange to have no furniture downstairs and a ton of it upstairs. It is also weird to have the guest room as our kitchen, but it is ok. Now it is just waiting, waiting and waiting. The stone is coming today. The construction is almost done and we will soon have a kitchen again.

I can only imagine what it will look like when it is finished. From what my mom told me it sounds really nice. It’s hard to imagine what it will look like, although I can kind of get the picture I know what it looks like so far, but it is still hard to imagine. I think my mom did a really good job designing it. She spent a lot of time and effort on it and should be very proud of it. Even though I can’t exactly envision yet, I am sure that it will be really, really nice.

Isaac Newton

Isaac Newton was a brilliant scientist. Newton was born in England in 1643 in a town called Woolsthorpe-by-Colsterworth. He would do some of his most famous work there. When he was 3 his mother remarried, but her new husband did not want a son, so Newton lived by himself. Luckily, his mother returned home soon after. Newton loved school. When he was in high school his mother pulled him out of school to work as a farmer. Luckily the school’s headmaster convinced his mother to send him back. After graduating, Newton went to college for 4 years.

After his college closed down, Newton had the theory about gravity. In 1687 Newton published Philosophiae Naturalis Principia Mathematica. In 1703 Newton was named president of the Royal Society. Newton was knighted by Queen Anne in 1705 because of his work in the Royal Mint. When Newton died in 1727 he became the first scientist to be buried in Westminster Abbey, the famous church where English monarchs are buried.

Isaac Newton was a very successful scientist. He discovered so many things, gravity, the method of fluxion, the modern telescope, the 3 laws of motion, calculus and physics. He had many great ideas and discoveries in his life and was overall a very successful, brilliant scientist.


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4th Grade Reflection

In 4th grade we did a lot of things. We did projects, read alouds and more. In 4th grade we did lots of projects. Here are some of the projects we did:  a wetland wevideo project, toy theater, colonial america project, biography project and the curiosity project. We also did a lot of read alouds. Some of them were Blood On the River, Book Scavenger and Tiger Rising.

We also covered a lot of subjects. My favorite subject is Social Studies. I like Social Studies because I like learning about things that that went on way before I was born. I also like it because it is fun to learn things that you can’t experience because the event happened before I was born.

My favorite read aloud this year was Book Scavenger. I like Book Scavenger because I think the blend of suspense, mystery and excitement make Book Scavenger a really good thrilling read aloud.

My favorite project was Toy Theater because it is Social Studies and I like learning about history.

Overall,  I thought that that 4th grade was a very fun year for me!

PSA Reflection

In 4th grade, we had to make a video on an ecosystem. First we had to pick our topic. I picked wetlands because I thought they looked interesting. Then we had to do research. The video had to be about Human Impact on our ecosystem. I researched the way humans changed wetland, whether it was good or bad. I had to have enough information to fill the video. We needed to have a 60 second video. After doing all the research we needed to write a script. We had to write a draft of what we would write/say in the video. Next, we had to make a storyboard. A storyboard is a place where you draw what you want your video to look like so you can picture what your video will look like. We had to draw pictures of what we wanted our images in our video to be and add the words from our script. Then, we started the actual video. We had to put in pictures and words. Then, we had to edit. We had to do a lot of editing. When we were done editing, we got to add music. Then we added voice recordings. After that, once we had an adult watch it we finished it!

Overall, I really liked this project. It was fun to create a video on an ecosystem and know that a lot of people may watch it! Even though it was hard work, I thought this project was fun and liked it a lot.

Here is my final piece:


Biography Project – Anne Frank


Anne Frank was a Jewish child growing up in Holland during World War 2. When the Nazis invaded Holland on May 10, 1940 it was impossible to leave Holland so Anne and her family had no choice but to go into hiding.


Childhood/Early Life

Anne Frank was born on June 12, 1929. She was born in Germany and lived there from when she was born to the age of 4. At the time Anne Frank was born, Germany was having economic problems (the result of World War 1). In 1933 when Anne was 4, Adolf Hitler rose to power and started to discriminate Jews, soon Anne’s father realized that Germany was no longer a safe place to raise his family. So, he decided to move his family to Holland. Anne and her sister Margot were enrolled at Montessori School. But then, the Germans invaded Holland. Anne and her family were no longer safe.

During the time of German occupation Anne had to wear a yellow star to show she was Jewish. Anne was also forced to leave her beloved Montessori School and go to one just for Jews. Anne’s 13th birthday was coming up. This would be the last birthday she would ever celebrate. For her birthday she got her diary, the one that has become so famous over the past 50-60 years. The happy times didn’t last. Less than a month after Anne’s birthday There was a letter from the Germans saying that Margot had to work in a German factory. Now the family had only 1 choice; they had to go into hiding.

Early in the morning of June 6, 1942  Anne’s mother woke her up and told her to dress in 2 undershirts, 3 pairs of pants, a dress, a skirt, a jacket, a summer coat, 2 pairs of stockings, sturdy shoes, a woolen cap and a scarf. Anne did what she was told. She had no idea where she was going. The hiders were joined by 4 other people, Peter Van Daan, Mrs. Van Daan, Mr. Van Daan and Dr. Albert Dussel. They also had helpers. They were Miep Van Santen, Elli Vossen, Mr. Kraler and Mr. Koophuis. In the hiding place (known now as the Secret Annex) Anne had to whisper and tiptoe in the Secret Annex. For such a lively young girl it was terrible. Everyone in the Secret Annex was getting on everyone’s nerves. In the evening everyone gathered around the radio to hear news about the war. Miep and Elli did their best to make life better for the people in the Secret Annex. The hiders all wished for something. Anne wished to go back to school. The 8 hiders had many close calls. Once in April, 1944 a burglary really frightened everyone. The police had come to investigate the burglary and they rattled the secret door. The 8 hiders sat in the pitch dark and waited. Someone even suggested they get rid of the forbidden radio and burn Anne’s diary. Luckily the hiders didn’t get caught. In 1944, Anne and Peter Van Daan started to hang out together to relieve the bordism. Soon they developed strong crushes on each other. Everyday the hiders went around their daily business wondering if/when they would be discovered. The about the news about the war was getting better and Anne started to fantasize that maybe she would be able to go back to school soon. But then, on the morning of Friday, August 4, 1944, Anne and the others were discovered. People think that someone guessed Jews were hiding on the premises and betrayed them to the Nazis. They gathered their belongings and went first to the Gestapo headquarters, then to the Westerbork prison camp, and the to the Auschwitz prison camp. Later, Anne and Margot were moved to the Bergen-Belsen prison camp. There, Anne became very sick with typhus. Luckily her friend Lies Goosen was also at that prison camp and actually had medicine and food because she got a passport to South America before she was arrested so, she sent 2 packages to Anne. Anne only caught 1. Soon after Margot died, after that Anne also became very ill and died shortly after. Anne died 2 months before the war ended and 3 months before her 16th birthday.



Anne faced many challenges in her life. Her biggest one was hiding from the Nazis. Anne was very lively so the Secret Annex felt like prison for her. One of her other challenges was that she could not go to places like the public pool, movie theaters, certain shops and was even forced to leave her beloved Montessori School and go to a school just for Jews. Overall Anne’s challenge was being a Jewish girl growing up in Holland during World War 2.


Impact on the World

Although Anne died a long time ago, her diary lives on. Millions of people read Anne’s diary. It was printed in around 60 languages. Her diary explains the true horrors of World War 2 through the eyes a young, Jewish girl in hiding.


St. Paul’s Trip

St. Paul’s Church was built in 1765. The church was built the way it was because it needed to be able to fit a lot of people and it needed to be strong. The church was used as a hospital in the American Revolution. A battle, called the Battle of Pell’s Point happened near it. The Battle of Pell’s Point was a battle so the British could not get to Manhattan and so the British could not trap Washington’s men and to delay the British. In the Battle of Pell’s Point, The American Army hid behind stone walls and when the British came they fired. Overall, I really enjoyed going there.

Ecosystem – Wetland

Have you ever wondered what wetlands are? Wetlands are areas of land that is completely soaked in water and have water rising up above the land making a big pool of water. Wetlands are on every continent except Antarctica. They are usually found along the coast or near rivers. Wetland consumers consist of panthers, crocodiles, alligators, bears, snakes, hippos, rhinos, rabbits and deer. Even though these are some of the wetland consumers there are many, many more. Wetland producers also consist of many producers such as mangrove trees, cattails, reeds, dogwood, waterlilies, moss, fern, hibiscus and hyacinths. These are only a few of the many wetland producers. Aside from just general wetlands there are some more well known wetlands such as the Everglades in southern Florida and the Pantanal in southern Brazil. Wetlands help us in many different ways. For instance wetlands clean and enrich our oceans and lakes and they contribute to the fertility of surrounding soil by adding minerals to it. People get thing from wetlands too. We get fish, blueberries, timber, wild rice and cranberries from wetlands. There are different types of wetlands. The main types of wetland are bogs, marshes, swamps and fens. Sadly, wetlands only cover 6% of the earth. That’s because humans are draining wetlands for more farmland. Wetlands do so much for us, so I think that we should do more for them.