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Learning Differences Conference 2013
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Fifth Grade News

Friday
Jun072013

Anna Maria Panuta writes a Fantasy Story

Anna Maria Panuta has chosen language arts for her mentor program. This fantasy story was her first project. We discussed the specific text form, the structure and the language that is used. Furthermore we had a general look at what myths are and what they mean to people. Follow Anna Maria in "her journey" to the world of mermaids.


Friday
Jun072013

Trey Kee Reflects on the Fifth Grade Beach Clean-up

The fifth graders spent a day cleaning Agios Nikolas beach in Anavissos. This is a reflection of what Trey saw, thought and gained from this experience.

Fifth Grade Beach Clean-up
By Trey Kee

When the Fifth Grade of the America Community School of Athens went to clean up a beach in Anavissos near Sounion on May 16, 2013, they were exposed to the filth and trash people leave behind.  From afar, everything looked clean. But when we reached the beach, we were stunned to see exactly how much grime and stench surrounded us. Many of us were disappointed, as we could not believe what can happen when people do not take into consideration the consequences of not throwing away their trash.  People do not realize it, but even one plastic bottle can seriously affect the flora and fauna around you.

Accompanied by our amazing teacher, Ms. Coklas (unfortunately, Ms. Kynigou was absent due to illness, we really missed her!), approximately 50 ACS fifth graders travelled by bus to the quiet town.  As the day continued, we found some "interesting" objects, including shoes, plastic chairs, socks, metal bearings and ropes.  We saw the impact the trash was having on the seaside plants. For example, the class saw a plant that was black as night with trash surrounding it. We realized that if everyone disregarded the environment, all plants could become like the black tree.

According to the United States Environmental Protection Agency (EPA), the average person creates 2 Kg of trash a day, 13 Kg a week, and 726 Kg a year. According to the United States Census Bureau, the world population is about 7,000,000,000.  Every day, the world creates 14 Billion Kg of trash; every week, the world creates 910 Billion Kg of trash, and every year, the world produces 5.82 Trillion Kg of trash.  Although these figures are estimates, if anywhere near that much trash is actually produced; we will be living in one giant landfill in a matter of decades.

Another factor to take in account is that a lot of trash we have thrown away has not yet biodegraded.  In addition to environmental problems, there are health risks.  Between 1347 and 1351, the bubonic plague spread through Europe, Asia, and Africa, killing nearly 75 million people. What the people at that time did not know was that sickness can be caused by too much trash on the streets! Piles of garbage attracted rats, which had various bugs, such as fleas, which transmitted the disease to humans. Seventy five million people died, and the world still does not realize how much trash it really produces.  

As the Fifth Grade day on the beach continued and the trash in our bags got heavier, we started to see how beautiful the beach truly was. We saw some green plants, birds appeared to return, and the beach was transformed, maybe only for a little while, into something once again lovely.  After we cleaned up, we enjoyed a treat of ice cream on the ride home.  And everyone threw their trash away.  As we returned to the city, however, the filth also returned.  Pollution and smoke once again engulfed us.  And we all realized what a huge difference we had made at the beach.

You alone can make a huge difference. So this summer, when you go to the beach, try to pick up what you leave behind. Make a change.

For more information on the impact of trash, please visit the following websites:
http://water.epa.gov/type/oceb/beaches/pollution.cfm
http://www.wisegeek.org/how-much-garbage-does-a-person-create-in-one-year.htm
http://www.exploringnature.org/db/detail.php?dbID=7&detID=2502

Friday
Jun072013

Fifth Graders write Soliloquies

Our fifth graders have gotten so into their characters in the fifth grade play that we asked them to write soliloquies about their characters' secret thoughts about their lives, their wishes, their dreams and their fears and their feelings about the state of the Kingdom of Gulp. Princess Flora and Sir Belch express their thoughts.

Princess Flora
By Sofia Sofokleous

Flora: Elli! I can't believe this! Last night, I went to find a pink, sparkly tiara and a magnificent dazzling gown. But, you know what?  The lady didn't have pink or purple sparkly tiaras. She only had blue, green, yellow and red. Oh, this is a black, non sparkly nightmare! I have an idea! I am going to order a pink, sparkly tiara from Parts, And then, the black, non sparkly nightmare stops and a pink, sparkly dream rises. I am going to be the most beautiful, pretty, dazzling, sparkly princess of all! The prince is going to love me at first sight and I'll become the new Queen of Gulp. I hope Priscilla doesn't ruin my plan. She always talks about herself and worries about every single thing. Oh, I am not going to waste my energy to} a grimy little princess. Anyway, I am going to the spa. I've got jet lag. I'll come back soon. Bye now!

Gosh! I am so furious at the queen. She has just insulted me and my pink, sparkly tiara. She thought that my tiara was small and unstylish. I have to 1get rid of her. But, how?  Hmmm! I've got a fabulous idea! No! Yes! No! Oh! I can't think of something.  Anyway, Hike I say, I am so not wasting my energy on the ugly little queen.  Oh, I wish I had a little Chihuahua. It would be a cute, little dog. I would be able to brush it and get some girly clothes for it. Oh, and II forgot my biggest dreams to become a singer, actress, next top model and, above all, to become the new Queen of Gulp. Well, I must leave now. I have to get some new shoes to match my fuchsia gown. Bye!

Hi, girls! I was shopping and I found a really nice gown and a sapphire necklace. I am so pretty and rich, that I can buy anything in the entire world. My family is smart, pretty and really rich. My mom was a model and my dad at lawyer. The only concern I have about my parents is that they may not have a male heir to rule over the kingdom. And my dad is going no need to change the law and allow princesses to also become queens. Well, bye girls! I have to go for some massage. I have a very busy schedule!! I have to get the decorations for my annual ball and send the invitations. Bye!

Sir Belch
By Harris Salivaras

I’m Sir Belch!!!! Unfortunately God gave me stomach pains and belching. I belch every 5 seconds. Well I am a brave knight and I'm happy about that. I would suggest you not come to the Kingdom of Gulp, right now there's a lot going on. The King is brave and the Queen is such a show off, she always speaks pompously and thinks she knows everything. Worst of all, the prince! He is a coward! He can't even kill a chicken! I live alone for years, I have no wife ... I think you know why! My parents, died when I was small and my uncle kept me. I'm annoyed usually with Sir Lovesalot, he is my classmate and he is a big show off!

I’d rather be a King's servant than a Knight. I know I said that I’m happy about my courage, but originally my dream was to be a King. Since I'm not of royal blood, King's servant would have been nice! My hope for the future is to have less stomach pains. At the moment I wish I had better classmates! I miss my family a lot and I wish they weren't taken from me so soon. My uncle is an acrobat and I spent my childhood on tour 'with him. Thankfully he finds my belching really funny!

Friday
Jun072013

Simos Koveos writes about his grandfather

Μια λυπημένη ημέρα του Σίμου

Μια φορά κι έναν καιρό ένα παιδί που τον έλεγαν Σίμο.   Έπαιζε με τον παππού του που τον λέγανε Κωνσταντίνο.  Μόλις ο Σίμος ήταν τριών, ο μπαμπάς και η μαμά του πήγαν στην κηδεία του παππού, χωρίς ο Σίμος να το ξέρει.  Μετά από λίγα χρόνια, ο Σίμος το έμαθε.  Ήταν πολύ στενοχωρημένος και κοίταζε κάθε στιγμή τη φωτογραφία του.

Όπως καταλαβαίνετε οι πιο χαρούμενες μέρες μου ήταν αυτές που περνάγαμε μαζί, όπου και να ήμαστε.  Ο παππούς  ήταν σαν τον άγγελό μου.  Και ήταν αυτός που μου έλεγε τραγουδάκια και ιστορίες.  Ο παππούς μου ήταν το άλλο μου μισό. 

Τώρα το άλλο μου μισό είναι η οικογένειά μου και η γιαγιά μου.

Friday
Jun072013

Reflections on Oxi Day

In Greek Language Class, Fifth Graders wrote essays reflecting on Oxi Day.  Several excerpts from their essays are listed below.  At the end is a reflection on the Greek Italian war written by Marina Polios grandfather who was a pilot during the war.

Αφιέρωμα
28 Οκτωβρίου 1940

Αποσπάσματα από εκθέσεις μαθητών της 5ης τάξης για τη γιορτή του ΟΧΙ στο σχολείο μας.
Η γιορτή της 28ης Οκτωβρίου

Αυτή η γιορτή μου φέρνει σκέψεις της δύσκολης ζωής των Ελλήνων την εποχή του ’40.  Το συμπέρασμα που βγάζουμε από αυτή την σχολική παράσταση είναι πως χωρίς τους γενναίους μας πολεμιστές, δεν θα υπήρχε η πανέμορφη πατρίδα μας.
Μαρίνα Πολιού

Για άλλη μια φορά γιόρτασα με τους συμμαθητές μου τη γιορτή της 28ης Οκτωβρίου.  Χάρη στους Έλληνες ήρωες σήμερα η Ελλάδα είναι μια ελεύθερη χώρα και τους χρωστάμε πάρα πολλά.
Στέφανος Σπασσόφ

Μέσα από τη γιορτή κατάλαβα πόσο σημαντικό είναι να δίνεις τη ζωή σου για την πατρίδα.  Είμαι περήφανη για τους προγόνους μας και αξίζουν το θαυμασμό μας.
Νεφέλη Ναούμ

Γιορτάζουμε κάθε χρόνο την 28η Οκτωβρίου για να θυμόμαστε τους Έλληνες που πολέμησαν ηρωικά για να ελευθερώσουν την πατρίδα τους.
Σοφία Σοφοκλέους

Εύχομαι να μη γίνει ποτέ πάλι πόλεμος στη Ελλάδα.
Σίμος Κωβαίος

Είμαι πολύ περήφανη για τη χώρα μου.  Ελπίζω πάντα να έχουμε καρδιά και να είμαστε ενωμένοι.
Σοφία Πελεκάση

Ένα επεισόδιο στον πόλεμο του 1940, γραμμένο από τον Μαρίνο Σκλήρη, ταξίαρχο της πολεμικής αεροπορίας, παππού της Μαρίνας Πολιού, 94 ετών σήμερα:

Με την έναρξη του ελληνοϊταλικού πολέμου στην Αλβανία, εγώ ήμουν νεαρός αεροπόρος που είχα τελειώσει την εκπαίδευσή μου στο Τατόι.  Έχω πολλά επεισόδια που μου έτυχαν την περίοδο αυτή του πολέμου αλλά θα σας αναφέρω μόνο ένα που ήτανε πολύ σημαντικό για μένα. 

Είχα πάρει την διαταγή να εκτελέσω επίθεση στο αεροδρόμιο των Χανίων της Κρήτης και μαζί με τους άλλους συναδέλφους από την Αίγυπτο φθάσαμε στον στόχο και αρχίσαμε την επίθεση, όμως σε κάποια στιγμή η πτήση μας ήτανε επικίνδυνη γιατί πετούσαμε πολύ χαμηλά και χτύπησα στα δέντρα.

Αποφάσισα να επιστρέψω με χτυπημένο το αεροπλάνο.  Έκανα το σταυρό μου και απεφάσισα να επιστρέψω περνώντας όλη τη Μεσόγειο θάλασσα μόνος μου.  Τελικά, μετά από δυο ώρες πτήση επέστρεψα στο αεροδρόμιο μας στο Τομπρούν της Αιγύπτου με μερικές ρυτίδες στο πρόσωπο μου και πολλές άσπρες τρίχες στο κεφάλι μου.

Σε όλη τη διάρκεια του πολέμου ήμουν, όχι μόνον εγώ, αισιόδοξος και πίστευα στη Νίκη που τελικά ήρθε και μας βρήκε στην αγαπημένη μας Ελλάδα.

Σας στέλνω πολλές ευχές και σας εύχομαι καλή τύχη και καλή σταδιοδρομία.