Monday, November 24, 2014

2014 Edublog Nominations

I am very excited to be part of the Edublog nomination process.  I have been blogging for 3 years and have made many friends from all around the world.

Here is my list of blogs that I nominated:

Best Student Blog

Miriam's Magical Moments

One of my favorite student bloggers is my older sister, Miriam. She was the event finalist one year for the best student blog. She has been blogging for four and a half years and has taught me many things about blogging. She has a new and interesting post up at least once a month and always responds to all her comments.


Best Class Blog

Mrs Yollis’ Classroom Blog

Mrs. Yollis helps make her classroom interesting through blogging. She has a new interesting post up almost 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 encouraged 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.


Library/Librarian Blog

The Bulldog Readers By: Mrs Hembree

Mrs. Hembree is a great librarian who inspires children everywhere to read. She has interesting posts about  books I can read. I also really like her Summer reading contest, where she asks us to submit photos of us reading in  interesting places and ways. 

Check out these great blogs!

Sunday, November 16, 2014

Piano Performances

Over the weekend, Hannah, Michael and I recorded our recently learned piano pieces. 

I played Sonata no 6 by Mozart and Album Leaf by Grieg. Mozart was an Austrian composer, and is considered to be the most creative composers of all times. Together with Haydn, he was the leading composer of the classical style of the late 1700's. Mozart started playing at age 4, composing at age 5, and at age 6 he played for the Austrian empress at her court in Vienna! Leopold, Wolfgang's father, took Wolfgang on concert tours through much of Europe, and Wolfgang gave many public performances in front of a large crowd. He also met many famous musicians, and played the organ in many churches. The piece I played was a fast, rowdy piece with numerous sudden changes in dynamics (e.g. louds and quiets). I had to play with strong fingers throughout the piece, as it had many fast notes. I worked very hard to learn the piece by memory, and to play the rhythm evenly. 

The second piece I played was Album Leaf by Grieg. Grieg was a very famous Norwegian composer that composed music for the piano, chorus and orchestra, and numbers for small instrumental groups during the Romantic period. Most of his music was written in the style of Norwegian folk songs and folk dances. Griegs most famous music includes Album Leaf, the song that I recorded, and Wedding Day at Troldhaugen, a song that I am learning to play now. Album Leaf is a very repetitive song, and at the beginning, it has a steady beat in the left hand, and a melody in the right hand. In the middle, however, it changes up, as the right hand has a steady beat, while the left hand has the melody. The hand with the melody needs to play louder than the hand with the rhythm. which was a bit challenging at first. I hope you enjoy listening to these pieces. 


This week my mom recorded me playing two pieces, Sonatina 3 by Clementi and Sweet Dreams by Tchaikovsky.  Clementi started playing in a church at the age of 9 and when he was 14 he was invited to England to study music. Clementi composed during the classical period and was considered the best pianist of his time. He composed over 100 Sonatas! He died at age 80 in the English countryside. The sonata is very fast, and I had to have strong fingers to play this piece. It also had many dynamics, such as louds and quiets. The second piece I learned was Sweet Dreams by Tchaikovsky. Tchaikovsky was a Russian composer in the Romantic period, and his pieces had a lot of melody and emotion. He was known for composing many symphonies, operas, and concertos. Sweet Dreams is part of his Children Album, and it is dedicated to his favorite nephew, Vladimir Davydov. This piece was very slow, and is played with the pedal. I hope you enjoy listening to me play!     


I recently recorded a piece called Clowns by Kabalevsky. Kabalevsky was a Russian composer that created music for young people, like me.  He wrote pieces for the orchestra, operas, and many instruments. He also composed pieces for children’s choruses. Dmitry Kabalevsky was born in St. Petersberg on December 30th 1904 and died on February 10th, 1987. One of the most important things that he did was try to teach children to like music. He wrote pieces that children would like and set up music programs in schools. The song I played is a fast piece that  has many staccatos. It took a lot of time and practice to learn it because  it was very fast.

Saturday, September 27, 2014

A day at the Dead Sea

Our former neighbors and best friends.
 During our trip to Israel, we visited numerous friends and family members. One of the days, we went to visit family that live in Beer Sheva.This city is considered the capital of the Negev, which is the desert in southern Israel. The family gave us a warm welcome with a large lunch and dinner. We also visited friends that live near Tel-Aviv, which is the second most populous city in Israel. They had two girls close to our age, and we taught them a few popular American games such as Uno. We also painted, and played other entertaining card games. Finally, most of the time we spent, was with our former neighbors who moved to Israel five years ago. Together we spent time at the beach, played tag, and just reunited together. They taught us many Israeli games and Hebrew words and phrases. We were really happy to see them again, and hope that we will see them again soon.

Spending time with friends in Beer Sheva

Playing Uno

My dad, sister, and I floating in the Dead Sea
Another place we went to in Israel was the Dead Sea.  It was a 3 hour drive from where we were staying in Netanya. While driving we saw numerous wild camels roaming the Negev desert. When we finally arrived at the Dead Sea, it was over a hundred degrees! Since it was so hot, we decided to get a day pass at a hotel to hide from the heat.  The hotel had a swimming pool, spa's, and the Dead Sea was just across the street. The swimming pool was very refreshing, as it was blazing hot outside. We would go to the Dead Sea, and float for a while, and then once our body was overheated, we would run back to the pool, shower off the salt, and then jump in the pool. The Dead Sea is 9.6 times as salty as the ocean! Not only is it salty, but it is also very oily, and before we were allowed to go into the pool, we had to shower. The Dead Sea is the saltiest body of water, and since it contains so much salt, it makes you float. Since there is so much salt, no animals can live there, which is why it is called the Dead Sea. What was really amazing was that there was so much salt, that salt crystals developed on the sand.  The downside, is that the salt also stings all of our cuts and bruises. However, after a while, the body gets used to it, and it no longer stings. We had to wear shoes when we went in because the sea floor bed was rocky and hurt our feet. If one of our shoes floated off, that was not a problem, because it would just float up, and we would find it right away.

Taken from the car as we where driving to the Dead Sea
At about 6 o'clock, we started our drive back to Netanya. About one hour into our drive, our front left tire popped, and completely disintegrated. We quickly pulled over to the side of the road to examine the damage. We could feel the hot air on our faces as the cars and trucks zoomed by. We were in the middle of the desert, with no gas station or people in sight. We were very lucky that we had a spare tire, and a very handy dad that new how to change a tire. While my dad was putting in a new tire, we took out a blanket, and waited away from the freeway near a field. Soon we were on our way, and glad to have arrived home safely.

Refreshing Pool

Wednesday, August 13, 2014

Spending time in Haifa

Baha'i Garden

After spending 3 adventurous days in Rome, we flew to Israel. Israel was founded in 1948 as a homeland for the Jews. The capital is Jerusalem, however most people live in or around Tel Aviv.  We stayed about 1 hour north of Tel Aviv in the city of Netanya.  We lived in a big condo with 3 bedrooms, a kitchen, a living room, and it even had a piano. One of the bedrooms was specially designed as a a safe room that can be used in case of rocket attacks. During our trip everything was calm and peaceful.   Miriam, Hannah, and I all shared a room, and we had dance parties every night. Our flight to Israel got delayed, and by the time we arrived at our condo,  we were so tired that we just fell asleep. The next day, we had a lot planned, as we were going to drive to Haifa, a city in northern Israel.  We went with a private tour guide, who told us about the the history and showed us beautiful sights.

View from above the Bahá’í Gardens

Beautiful Golden Dome
Haifa is a major port city that lies on and around Mount Carmel in northern Israel. It borders the Bay of Haifa at the eastern end of the Mediterranean Sea. Many religious landmarks are in the Haifa area, including the Baha'i Garden, Elijah's cave, The Stella Maris Church on Mount Carmel, the ruins of Caeseria, and Rothschild burial site.  After driving for an 1 hour, we arrived in Haifa, at the top of the Baha'i Garden, overlooking beautiful buildings, a large sea, and a gold dome that stood out to us the most. Bahai is monotheistic religion founded in 1860 in Persia. Today there are about 5 million Bahai's, and most dream about coming to visit the temple. The Bahá’í Gardens in Haifa extend all the way up the northern slope of Mount Carmel. The garden starts very high up, and we had to walk down 700 steps to the bottom. At each level, there were a variety of things such as flower beds, hedges, sculptures, and views of the city and the Mediterranean Sea. After walking down all those steps we were exhausted, however we continued on. Our tour guide led us into a beautiful golden dome.  Before we went inside, we had to take our shoes off and we weren't allowed to talk while inside. Inside this dome, there were numerous lit candles.  

At the bottom 

Elijah's cave
Our next stop was Elijah's cave. Elijah hid in this cave at Mt. Carmel  in the 9th century BCE while hiding from King Ahad and his Persian wife Jezebel.  In this cave it was pitch black, and there wasn't much inside. Eliah lived, hid and studied in this cave, and he was never found by the king, who was going to kill him. After exploring the cave we moved on. We drove to the Stella Maris Church, where we hiked down to the sea. There were beautiful views of the sea along the way. When we reached the bottom, we got to take cable cars back up. A cable car is a vehicle that hangs in the air from a cable, and it pulls it up and down mountains. It was a really fun ride, and it saved us from having to walk all the way back up! 

Honorary chair to Elijah

Cable car

After the ride, we stopped by for a quick lunch break before we moved on to our next destination, the ruins of Caeseria. Caeseria was built by Herod the great at around the time of  25-13 BCE. Caeseria was built right on the beach, and there were numerous mammoth-sized rocks that we climbed. In a big sandy area, thousands of slaves and animals fought for their lives, to entertain an audience of people.  They also had chariot races, and many other races as well.

Ruins of Caeseria

Our last stop that day was Rothschild's burial site. Rothchild specifically said in his will that he wished to be buried in Israel. He was a very rich man, and he donated a lot of money to help build Israel when it was first founded. Now they have a park with gardens dedicated to him. The gardens had all types of beautiful flowers, and many interesting trees. While spending time in the park, we saw a few couples taking their wedding photos. A walk in the garden is definitely a great way to end a long and exhausting day.