IB Learner Profile

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  1. Knowledgeable: We develop and use conceptual understanding, exploring
    knowledge across a range of disciplines. We engage with issues
    and ideas that have local and global significance.
  2. Thinker: We use critical and creative thinking skills to analyse and take
    responsible action on complex problems. We exercise initiative in
    making reasoned, ethical decisions.
  3. Communicator: We express ourselves confidently and creatively in more than
    one language and in many ways. We collaborate efectively,
    listening carefully to the perspectives of other individuals and
    groups.
  4. Open Minded: We critically appreciate our own cultures and personal histories, as
    well as the values and traditions of others. We seek and evaluate a
    range of points of view, and we are willing to grow from the
    experience.
  5. Reflective: We thoughtfully consider the world and our own ideas and
    experience. We work to understand our strengths and weaknesses
    in order to support our learning and personal development.
  6. Balanced: We understand the importance of balancing dierent aspects of
    our lives—intellectual, physical, and emotional—to achieve
    well-being for ourselves and others. We recognize our interdependence
    with other people and with the world in which we live.
  7. Risk taker: We approach uncertainty with forethought and determination;
    we work independently and cooperatively to explore new ideas
    and innovative strategies. We are resourceful and resilient in the
    face of challenges and change.
  8. Caring: We show empathy, compassion and respect. We have a
    commitment to service, and we act to make a positive diference
    in the lives of others and in the world around us.
  9. Principled: We act with integrity and honesty, with a strong sense of fairness
    and justice, and with respect for the dignity and rights of people
    everywhere. We take responsibility for our actions and their
    consequences.
  10. Inquirer: We nurture our curiosity, developing skills for inquiry and
    research. We know how to learn independently and with others.
    We learn with enthusiasm and sustain our love of learning
    throughout life.

I am knowledgeable when I use my background knowledge to answer different questions and I am open-minded when I accept someone else’s even if it is different from mine. I am a risk taker when I try new things and if I do not like it I do not react in an annoying way where I am principled. I am caring when i try to help other people and I might inquire about their problem without being disrespectful. I am balanced when i do not lie and I reflect on my past experiences so I do not repeat the same situations. I communicate while being aware of the people around me and not being disrespectful when I talk. My time at the Ponce’s IB program has made me a better citizen in many ways one including that I am more open minded to other peoples ideas I also reflect on my past experiences and do not make the same mistakes twice.

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Light of the Fireflies Book Review

Light of The Fireflies

The Light of the Fireflies is a novel by Paul Pen and it was published by Amazon Publishing in 2016. Because this book is not in a series it had a straightforward conclusion with no loose ends. This book tells the tales of a boy who has lived with his family in a basement his whole life.  He has never been outside because of his parents’ wrongdoings. You will gradually learn why his parents stay in the basement and his path to find out the real truth. This hunger for the truth sends him on a quest to escape the basement.

This story starts with the boy as a four year old in the basement. He desperately wants to go outside. His parents tell him he can go if he is willing to leave them and his siblings. He decides that he does not want to leave after all. The book then skips forward seven years. With the help of his blind grandmother, the boy has learned to use his imagination to see things in the real world. She helps him see the world a whole different way. The boy also finds out the dark secret about why his parents have to hide in the basement. But there is a happy ending and the boy starts living in the real world, while giving supplies to his family who still live in the basement.

I liked this book a lot. It gives you a sense of excitement throughout and really gives the characters interesting backstories which grabbed my attention. Even though most of the book takes place in a basement, it still has some exciting moments and adventurous activity. I believe this book has a perfect amount of pages for the story line and keeps the reader interested the whole time. Overall, I would give this book a five star review and I would recommend this to anyone who likes reading thrilling books.

You may have downloaded this book for free from Amazon Prime for World Book day, but you can still purchase at Amazon.com, BarnesandNoble.com, or at a Barnes and Noble Bookstore.

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Malala

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Malala Letter:

Dear Ms. Yousafzai,

I have read your book and have had many good things to say about it. Your book really outlines the power of speech and explains that violence is not the answer. Your book was a real inspiration for me and for many other people. I have learned from your book not only of how to face my fears but to also realize that I have so many things that empower me. I believe your book will have an emotional impact on every reader your certainly keeps the reader entertained.

In your book when you first talk about the struggles you had to endure while the Taliban were in Swat it really gave me a new outlook on certain parts of the world and the violence going on in those places. Not only did you have to live through Taliban bombings and violence, but you campaigned for girls’ rights the whole way through. You received death threats from the Taliban and kept on pushing. You had a reason to stand up for your education and you did not let anyone diminish it. When you kept on giving interviews about your beliefs, even after you got shot, you showed how brave you are by returning to the same hostile environment that harmed you. I believe that you are extremely courageous and have a powerful personality.

When you talk about your road to recovery after being shot, you say that being alive was nothing short of a blessing and that you wanted to take advantage of that opportunity to do even more with your life. Some people would try to hide from their problems after being shot, but you did not give up.   You still fought for change in your valley. This is what separates you from everybody else and shows your strong sense of care for your community.

I want to know what truly encouraged you to fight for what you believe in and how you pursued those dreams. I would like to know this because I want to know if something specific inspired you or if you were doing this mainly for the joy of helping other people. You were really a risk-taker in standing up to a powerful force such as the Taliban and defying their unjust ways with peace not more violence. Your responses to these questions will not only serve as inspiration for myself but for many others who have learned you story and are motivated to make changes in their own communities.

You have been truly an inspiration to me.  I believe you show many traits of a strong leader and could lead many people into a better state of mind. If it is appealing to you, I believe you would be a well-named political figure that many people would like as their ambassador for peace and change. Many people already consider you a source of guidance and would listen to your views and follow you whether you seek political office or continue to fight the Taliban. Your supporters and myself will always remain loyal to you.

 

Sincerely,

Jake Pearcy

Chapter Summary:

Chapter 1 discusses how Malala has no boundaries and is “as free as a bird.”

Chapter 2 is about Malala going to her parents’ childhood village and the bad conditions in which the people are living.

Chapter 3 shows how Malala learns that she can not wait for other people to take action, she needs to make a change.

Chapter 4 explains how the Taliban was saying the earthquake is a warning from God.

Chapter 5 tells how Malala is getting dirty looks from men and how the mufti argues with her dad about his all-girl school.

Chapter 6 talks about how the radio mullah deemed the all-girls school haram.

Chapter 7 is about the Taliban moving into Swat and the radio mullah declaring war against the government.

Chapter 8 tells the story of when Malala’s father stands up against the Taliban.

Chapter 9: About the military coming to fight the Taliban in Swat.

Chapter 10 tells about the Taliban bombing and targeting girl schools

Chapter 11: About how Malala finds her voice.

Chapter 12 discusses Fazullah denying girls an education and Malala writing anonymous diary entries about her right to an education.

Chapter 13 is about Malala savoring her last days of school.

Chapter 14 explains that Malala’s father had to shut down the upper girls schools. Malala learns in the lower grades.

Chapter 15 explains that Malala’s family had to seek shelter in Shangla.

Chapter 16: About Malala’s family becoming IDPs while Swat becomes a war zone.

Chapter 17: About Malala’s return to Swat and seeing her school intact.

Chapter 18 tells about the monsoon and how it damaged the school.

Chapter 19 introduces the story of Malala receiving global recognition.

Chapter 20 discusses the time Malala received a Taliban death threat.

Chapter 21: About Malala’s mother learning how to read.

Chapter 22: About Malala and her father being on the Taliban’s wanted list.

Chapter 23: About Malala being shot by a terrorist.

Chapter 24 discusses Malala’s initial recovery from being shot.

Chapter 25 explains how Malala did not know how to do certain things after she woke up from the coma she was in.

Chapter 26 tells how Malala finally felt after seeing herself after she got shot.

Chapter 27: About Malala being reunited with her parents.

Chapter 28: Malala talking to her family about her near-death experience.

Chapter 29: Malala catching up on things she missed during her coma.

Chapter 30: About Malala receiving get-well cards from people around the world.

Chapter 31: About Malala’s road to recovery.

Chapter 32: About Malala being released from the hospital.

Chapter 33 explains how Malala starting a new life in Birmingham.

Chapter 34 tells about Malala’s memories of the valley and how she yearns to go back to Swat.

Chapter 35 concludes the book by telling the reader about Malala getting interviewed about the shooting and how she is thankful for all the opportunities she has been given.

“The Extraordinary Education of Nicholas Benedict” Review

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“The Extraordinary Education of Nicholas Benedict” is a book by Trenton Lee Stewart, published by Little Brown and Company. This book is the fifth in a series of books by Trenton Lee Stewart regarding the Mysterious Benedict Society. The first three books in the story are about four orphans that Mr. Benedict mentors and go on adventures through a fictional world.  The orphans and Mr. Benedict are the Mysterious Benedict Society. In this book you learn about Mr. Benedict before he created the Mysterious Benedict Society.  This book clearly lays out his life in a way that is not exactly connected to the rest of the books. This book taught me about Nicholas Benedict’s life and his journeys when he was young and the person he came to be.

The book starts out with Nicholas Benedict waiting on a train with one of his past orphanage instructors escorting him to his new orphanage. The book does not provide a strong understanding for why he was sent to the new orphanage, other than the fact that he despised the last one. When Nicholas moves to this new orphanage the director makes him sleep in a cleared out storage closet because of his frequent nightmares. His nightmares made him sometimes wake up screaming. Even though Nicholas did not like what his new director had done for them he forged a skeleton key using his incredible wit so he could unlock everything in the orphanage. Nicholas outsmarts bullies who make it hard for him to find friends. The bullies do not let any of the other kids talk to Nicholas. Nicholas has a hard time dealing with his new situation and starts doing things to get back at the bullies.  He uses his intelligence to make the bullies stop targeting him. He learns to deal with his situation and eventually makes the orphanage a better place for all of the kids there.

I liked this book because I enjoy reading a series and then reading the side books that explain the characters’ backstories. The backstories give the reader a new perspective when reading the other books in the series.  Once again I thought this book was a little longer than necessary.  In conclusion, I would give this book 4.5 stars for a overall interesting book.

You can purchase this book on Amazon.com, BarnesandNoble.com, a Barnes and Noble bookstore, or Books and Books. This book is an adventurous, fun read.

Exotic Pets Debate

Big cats, iguanas – do they belong in a house? Exotic pets like these should be in the wild, free, with the rest of their species.  Instead, exotic pet owners are stealing animals out of their own habitats. Wild animals kept as pets are a danger to the community and often not treated properly.

According to Born Free USA’s article on exotic animals, not only do exotic animals pose a threat to hurt or harm humans, but these animals also contract many diseases. The article states that monkeys and reptiles combined can transmit multiple diseases fatal to humans such as salmonellosis, Ebola, and monkey pox. Many reptiles carry salmonella which gets into their feces which can be transmitted to humans. Only 48 states responded when the Center for Disease Control contacted every state about their salmonella regulations. Not only can infected monkeys transmit fatal diseases, but uninfected monkeys can cause serious damage by scratching or biting. The owners of exotic animals face serious health risks.

Florida has its own set of problems with exotic pets. Iguanas are big and scaly, and they are all over Florida. You might be wondering how they got there in the first place. People in Florida used to keep iguanas as pets. Then people started discarding them and subjecting them to the perfect outdoor conditions in South Florida. Not only have iguanas taken over, but people are now releasing their pet pythons outdoors. These exotic snakes are competing with alligators and other native species for food. The main reason invasive exotic pets are a growing problem is that they have no natural predators. There is no other animal competing with them for food and nesting sites. These exotic creatures make it difficult for native species, like alligators, to find food and survive. These exotic animals are creating an imbalance in the environment.

Overall, the exotic pet problem is a growing concern across the United States. Exotic animals are transmitting fatal diseases, causing serious injury, and taking over the habitat. Exotic pets are dangerous and don’t have spot in the community.

 

 

“The Mysterious Benedict Society and The Perilous Journey” Review

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“The Mysterious Benedict Society and The Perilous Journey” is a book by Trenton Lee Stewart, published by Little Brown and Company. This is the second book in the series and it is even better than the first which is saying a lot. This book is about the same four children, Reynie, Sticky, Kate, and Constance, as they journey across the world to save their mentor and good friend, Mr. Benedict. The kids find out about Mr. Benedict’s abduction when they are supposed to meet up with him for a treasure hunt. This is how they start their latest perilous journey.

The treasure hunt was set up so the children would meet with two chaperones and then they would search for Mr. Benedict based on a series of clues that he left them. When they meet up with the chaperones to start the hunt, the children find out Mr. Benedict is missing. The children had to embark on their own to find Mr. Benedict because the chaperones thought it was too dangerous. In their search, the children encounter more clues and some past enemies. In the end, they overcome these obstacles and save Mr. Benedict from the clutches of the Sender, the villain from book one, who has locked up Mr. Benedict. When he is saved, Mr. Benedict congratulates the children for the obstacles they have overcome and how they saved his life, all on their own.

Part of the reason I liked this book is because I enjoy reading mysteries and adventures. This book combines the suspense and cleverness of a mystery, but still has fun, action-filled adventure. Another plus of reading this series of books is the suspense about what will happen next and what kind of danger these kids will face. The one thing I did not like was that once again the book was too long. In my opinion, it included many small details that did not really contribute to the story. I think the same powerful book could have been written in significantly less pages. This author is meticulous and doesn’t leave a detail out but that can be tiring for the reader. Overall, I give this book five stars. Even though it was a little long, I still highly recommend it to anyone who likes mysteries or adventures.

You can purchase this book on Amazon.com, Barnesandnoble.com, or at a Barnes and Noble bookstore. This book is an adventurous must-read, and deserves a five star review.

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Opposites Attract

Opposites are they so different?

They fit together so well – like the violin and drum

Two opposites make a better whole

They are so different yet still attract.

 

For all the negative there is a positive

with no negative there is no positive

they need each other for a good and bad

or no one would have any emotion at all.

 

A symphony and a rock concert

Symphony smooth and slow, rock is hard and fast

But they need each other for a medium

otherwise people wouldn’t be able to enjoy the smooth or jagged music

 

Opposites the foundations of fun,

they need each other for harmony and happiness

without opposites cooperation and happiness would never answer the call

this makes me wonder,

How different are opposites after all?

 

 

“The Mysterious Benedict Society” Review

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The Mysterious Benedict Society is a book by Trenton Lee Stewart, published by Little, Brown and Company, and is a extraordinary read! It is about a group of kids, led by Mr. Benedict, who come together to stop an evil man called The Sender. To choose the four kids on his team, Mr. Benedict puts them through a series of tests. All of the kids selected by Mr. Benedict have something in common. They are all orphans, are quite bright and resourceful, and share a strong love of the truth.

Mr. Benedict tells the chosen children that someone has been sending messages through television and the radio. The messages are subconsciously conveyed to children who then convey the messages to their parents. The messages are growing stronger and he thinks they will soon be able to travel right into people’s minds without a filter. Mr. Benedict warns the kids that something called the improvement is coming and the Sender will be strengthening his messages. The kids are then sent to work at the Sender’s institute and to spy on his work.  They end up moving up in the ranks and earning the Sender’s trust.  As a result, they are selected to use his seducing machine to send the messages. The day before the scheduled improvement to the machine, the kids thwart the Sender’s plan and discombobulate his machine. The kids get away safely with Mr. Benedict to live another day. The book ends ominously, hinting to multiple books in this series.

I liked this book because it had an interesting plot and each chapter left you wondering. With all the suspense, you want to know what is about to happen making it hard to peel your eyes away from the book. This book is the first in a series, making the reader want to learn about it as much as possible and read every book. One thing I disliked about this book was the fact that it was so long, almost 500 pages. The book would have still contained the same amount of information with fifty less pages. Every detail, even though not necessary, had something to do with the story.

Overall, the book was very compelling and a must read. I would give this book five stars.  I strongly recommend it to anyone who enjoys suspense and mystery. You can purchase this book at: Amazon.com, and Barnes & Noble in stores and online.

Fear

Fear is something that everyone feels,

Whether they like it or not,

Fear is something you can’t escape,

No matter where you go it stalks you.

But not all fear is bad,

Fear can drive people to do good things,

There is no reasoning without fear,

Fear is just as good as bad,

So if you can’t escape it try and embrace it.

 

Refugee Book Review

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Refugee is a book by Alan Gratz, published by Scholastic Inc., and is a great read! Refugee is a book about three different kids traveling to different countries seeking refuge. It is full of adventure and overcoming hardship.

The first story is a about a Jewish boy and his family trying to escape Nazi Germany by boat. This story starts off when Nazis ransack the boy’s house and take his dad to a concentration camp. The boy helps his dad escape the Nazis by fleeing to Cuba with other Jews seeking refuge. During the boat ride the boy’s family realizes the concentration camp had made the dad demented. The story follows the family as they try to find a country that will take them.  They face many challenges as they try to go to different countries.  The boy and his family have to make some difficult choices along the way.

The second story is about a girl trying to escape Cuba with her mother, father, and her friend’s family. People had been rioting in Cuba so Fidel Castro said anybody could leave Cuba by boat and try to head to Florida. That was when these two families tried to make it out of Cuba once and for all. The girl’s friend’s dad had built a boat that they could all travel on to get to America. The girl’s mother was pregnant when they started to leave for Miami and was expecting to have the baby in a week She wanted to have her baby in America. They face many challenges at sea, including trouble with their boat, a near miss with a tanker, and other trouble.  Finding America is more difficult that they thought.

The third story is about a boy from Syria in 2016 trying to escape and find refuge in Germany. The story starts with the boy coming home from school one day and his apartment is hit by a bomb. The boy and the rest of his family barely make it out alive before the building falls. The parents decide to leave that night with the boy and his brother on their long trip to Germany. The family drives to Greece to be taken by boat to Athens, were they find a bandit to help them cross the Mediterranean by dinghy. When they get to the dingy they notice that there are probably thirty refugees on a dingy meant to hold six people. The journey is very dangerous.

My favorite part about this book was how the main characters in each story worked with their families to overcome obstacles.  Another thing I liked was that all of the main characters are linked in some way, such as a refugee from Cuba to America was part of the refugee section from Nazi Germany.  The grandmother from 2016 Syria was in one part of the story about escaping Nazi Germany.  I also liked that there is a lot of adventure  and there are many suspenseful situations.   That helped keep me interested in the book.

The main thing I did not like about the book is that the three different stories alternate every chapter.  While they have a common theme, I found it harder to follow the stories when the book jumped between each story.  I would rather it be three whole separate stories.

Overall, the book was interesting and I learned some things about geography and history. I would give this book four and a half stars.   You can purchase this book at: Scholastic.com, Amazon.com, and Barnes & Noble in stores and online.