Wednesday, February 14, 2018

Do teachers push students too much? By Kaleb Porter

     In schools all across America, students have problems with their teachers. These students think many things about their education. I asked a few students from Westside what their opinion is on this subject.

Anonymous- “I believe that some teachers push students too hard. Like in math-- is a pretty hard subject, and I think that the teachers stress students over it too much.”

Zach Hundley- “Not really. Depends on the teacher and the subject. I say math and English should be pushed harder than science and history.”

Abby Painter- “Some teachers may seem like really good teachers, but when you are in their classrooms, it’s completely different. Most teachers want the best out of you, and they will push you because they know you can do it.”

Anonymous- “No because I think the work at school is pretty easy.”

Kennedy- “I believe that if the student isn't trying that the teachers will push them more.”

Anonymous- “Yes because they give really big work and how hard the assignment is.”

Tyler Ray- “No, I don't. They don't sit there and remind us about (it) and they don't pressure us about it except for Mrs. Hoots.”

Anonymous- “I don't think the teachers try and pressure too much for our work to be done. But at the same time they want you to get the work done. So when the deadline comes around, they bring it up again.”

Reshard- “No because when I am having trouble with my work, they go out of their way to help me with my work.”

Monday, February 12, 2018

Modified block schedule versus true block schedule by Bryanna Slater, Brianna Cox, Alex Gillespie, and Vanessa Cross

Before you know which schedule you prefer, you must know what a “block” schedule is. A block schedule is a system for scheduling the middle or high school day, typically by replacing a more traditional schedule of six or seven 40–50 minute daily periods with longer class periods that meet fewer times each day and week. What we have here at WHS is not a true block schedule. We have a modified “block.” What that means is that we have three classes for each day (which we know as A and B days). Each class is about 90 minutes long. If you add it up, it is not a full school day which is why we still have 4th and 5th which are still 45-50 minute periods that you proceed to go to every day. The reason we have a modified block is so that athletics, choir, band, and extracurricular activities can still meet every day.
      There are also some pros and cons to block scheduling. The pros are teachers see fewer students during the day giving them more time for individualized instruction. With the increased span of teaching time, longer cooperative learning activities can be completed in one class period. Students have more time for reflection and less information to process over the course of a school day. Teachers have extended time for planning. The cons are teachers see students only three to four days a week which fosters a lack of continuity from day to day. If a student misses a day under the block schedule, that student is actually missing two or sometimes even more days. It is difficult to cover the necessary material for Advanced Placement courses in the time allotted. Our opinion on block scheduling is it isn't that bad because you have more time to get homework done. :)

Fantastic books and where to find them by Jacklyn Stringer

     Here are some more fantastic reads and where you can find them. So the first selection I have is actually a series!

Vampire Kisses Series books 1-9 by Ellen Schreiber
These books are about a girl name Raven who falls in love with a vampire. Raven and Alexander have to make time not just for themselves but the missions that come about in their lives. You can find them in the library. (AR points 5-8, and the book level ranges from fourth to fifth grade.)

I’ll Give You the Sun  by Jandy Nelson
This is about the story of first love, family, loss, and betrayal. It is told from different points in time and in separate voices by artists Jude and her twin brother, Noah. This book was recommended by Jordan Long  You find this in the library and in Mrs. Riggs’s room.  (AR points 16, book level is fourth grade.)

Trump's State of the Union by Dawson Johnson

Image: "American Flag and Bald Eagle"

     Howdy, miscreants. I’m here writing this article to tell you just a bit about the State of the Union that Trump did a few days ago. For this I’ve watched a bit of it and read the transcript, for it was faster to read it than to watch it. Anyway a chunk of this speech was Trump going over what has already been done with the government. This is fine with me for when you are having a speech like this, this serves as a checklist, and it’s important to say what's already been done. Trump also had people’s families from tragedies around the country as well as people who had done heroic things. This is pretty common for they add a real life aspect to why some things should be done; people who say that these families and heroes are being used should just think of this. They can make their own choices. If someone decides to show up for the State of the Union under an invite from Trump, they know what they’re getting into; they’re probably doing it to get word out about what has happened to them.
     Then finally, there were the things he said that he was going to do like renegotiating trade deals, rebuilding American industries, and trying to pass more tax cuts to create more jobs. I won’t say everything because the State of the Union is over an hour long speech, so I’m not covering all of that in an article, but what I will say is what Trump says is pretty good. If he keeps to this list he has stated, which most people liked what he said, things should go well . Really, that’s all that can be said. It was a good speech, and if he follows it, I believe it will help America. Anyway, this is me now signing out-- for that’s all I have to say.

Friday, February 2, 2018

Should the cafeteria get debit/credit card swipers? By Garret Brooks and Chandler Diles

Mrs. Passmore: Yes, because my personal benefit would be that I wouldn’t have to use a check or cash to get lunch that day. I could just swipe my card. It would just be a whole lot faster.
Nurse Lori: No, because kids are too immature and most of them don’t have debit or credit cards.
Mrs. Cureton: Yes, that would be great because no one carries cash anymore. It would be a lot easier to put money in the account.
Mrs.Eggers: I think that’s an incredible idea because I don’t usually carry cash on me, and there’s been times that I forget my lunch, and it stinks.
Mrs. Pate: I think it’s a great idea, but we aren’t allowed to do it because the Legislative Audit doesn’t allow us to do that.
Mrs. Black: I think, yes, but only if the funds are available because not all students need it because it is luxury not a necessity.

Wednesday, January 31, 2018

Unused technology by Leticia Mancilla

     Did you know Arkansas high school libraries are required to have 3,000 books or 8 books per student? Westside's library has around 6,000. That may seem way over the limit, but it isn’t as large as last year’s amount. The reason for this change is the new additions and remodel we got to the library. We have 3 brand new display tv’s. They are awesome, and I highly appreciate the school for getting them, but at the same time do we not have enough technology? Lately I have realized technology has consumed our school. Yes, I understand we are growing, and I like it all, but is it really necessary? Let’s be realistic at some of the technology we have in the school. Student, Maddie Davis, feels as if our technology isn’t used to its fullest ability. “I have never seen half of the T.V’s we have used, so why is our money going to them?” We currently have a tv in front of the office, one in the cafeteria, and some of the classrooms are getting some.I understand the abilities some teachers gain from having newer technology in the classroom, but at the same time some teacher’s projectors are broken, they don’t have a decent desk, supplies are low, and etc. Robin Hoots said she’d love to see our funds spent more liberally instead of just spending it on technology or sports. The list could go on and on, but long story short, let’s spend our money on more necessities. We have 4 or 5 iPad carts, one for each department, and they all have an Apple TV hookup. Have you ever used an Apple TV or seen your teacher use it? Most likely no. What about the iPads? When have you actually used one besides grabbing one in a hurry because your chromebook is dead. A lot of our technology has little to no use, unless it’s a specific class. Besides our lovely EAST group or CBA classes, the classroom technology doesn’t get used.
These are just a few minor examples of the problem with extra technology at the school. Instead of only complaining about the technology, here’s an idea to make it better. I feel as if we should sell most of our unused technology and keep a limited number. The money made from selling could go towards either buying better computers, since most of us use our chromebooks daily, or even getting better technology for our teachers. Let’s work towards making what we have the best instead of trying to get it all to be the best. To sum it all up, I love that Westside is trying to give us the best learning tools, but as a whole school let’s not forget to let go of old things and bring in better stuff. I hope you understand where the student body and I are coming from. It’s not that we don’t enjoy technology; we just want to get rid of what isn’t used around the school.

Texting and driving by Vanessa Cross

Texting and driving

Hand holding cell phone and steering wheel - Google images

     Texting and driving has become a big issue, especially with teens. According to the AAA apple, 21% of teen drivers in a fatal car accident were distracted by cell phones, 94% know texting and driving is dangerous, but 35% of them admitted to doing it anyway. In my opinion, your cell phone or a text is not worth risking your life or someone else's. I know that people can talk to you and tell you how bad it is, but that does not mean you will listen. You should think about the consequences before you pick up your phone while driving. How do you think your family and friends would feel if you got in an accident because you were trying to text someone? The things you do affects others around you, so next time you decide to text and drive, ask yourself what's more important - texting or the people that love and care for you.