Category Archives: Features

Q&A with Ms. Emann

By Giovanna C.

Question: What made you want to start teaching?
Answer: I wanted to start teaching because I loved school, especially the fourth grade.

Question: What brought you to Brookside?
Answer: I came to Brookside because I heard that they had a great school community and great students.

Question: How do you like Brookside so far?
Answer: I absolutely love it, I love my class, and working with all of the teachers.

Question: What college did you attend?
Answer: Penn State

Question: How many years have you been teaching?
Answer: This is my sixth year teaching.

Question: Have you taught any other grades?
Answer: I taught second grade for 5 years.

Question: Why did you decide to teach fourth grade?
Answer: I wanted 4th grade because I loved my 4th grade teacher.

Question: Have you always wanted to be a teacher? If not what did you want to be?
Answer: Yes, I’ve always wanted to be a teacher.

Guy’s Grocery Games

By Kristina N.

There are many shows on the Food Network. Many of them are cooking competition shows. One of those shows is Guy’s Grocery Games. Guy’s Grocery Games is in its 11th  season. The show is hosted by Guy Fieri. Guy’s Grocery Games is a reality show, a cooking show,  and a game show. The way that the show works is, first, four chefs compete in the first round. Contestants must shop for the ingredients to cook a dish. They are given 30 minutes to make their dish. After the first round, the judges taste and critique the chefs’ dishes and eliminate one chef. Then, the remaining three chefs compete in the second round. They shop for their ingredients to make their dish. They have 30 minutes to make their dish. After the second round, the judges taste and critique the chef’s dishes and  eliminate one chef. Then, the remaining two chefs compete in the final round. They must shop for their ingredients to cook their dish. They are given 30 minutes to make their dish. After the final round, the judges taste and critique the chef’s dishes. Then, the winner of Guy’s Grocery Games is announced. To win $20,000, the winner is given a list of 10 items, worth $2,000 each to find in one minute around the store.

Shopping for the ingredients to make their dish can be a challenge because, the host of the show, Guy Fieri will sometimes throw an obstacle in their way.  He may limit how many items they can use, makes them use a certain item or does not let them use a section of the store such as the produce section, the meat department or dairy section. In addition, sometimes the chefs are given fake money and have to “check-out” before going to their stations to start cooking. When they have to “check-out” they usually are limited to how many items they can have or how much money the groceries are worth, for example, sometimes the groceries can only be worth $10 or less.

If the chefs were able to choose exactly what they wanted to cook for each round, it would be too easy. Therefore, they sometimes have to cook something using ingredients from another dish or their grandchild’s favorite food.

Guy’s Grocery Games is a challenge but everyone enjoys it and especially when they win!

Spectacles: The Glasses of Our Generation

By Joey M.

This September, an accessory was announced for the widely popular social media app, Snapchat, which has over 100 million users. This accessory is called Spectacles, which lets the user get a first person look without using their phone.

To use Spectacles, you need to install the app called Snapchat. Then, create an account on your phone to record and upload videos and photos to friends. With Spectacles, users can take videos in first person without the hesitation of dropping, breaking, or cracking your phone. Instead, users can use augmented reality glasses (aka smart glasses) to upload and record videos and take photos to share with friends.

It started to be talked about and spread in late 2014, when the 18 billion dollar company was on its feet again with a new idea, after renaming their company Snap. Inc from Snapchat. Inc. With this, they have already released a video on YouTube, as the link will be put down in the description. This video has been viewed over 1.7 million times, as the item is becoming wildly popular. This item is anticipated to be released in 2016, primarily this November, but the day is not released yet. This item will cost $130, as it will only be this price because of the limited time it will be released, which Snap. Inc announced, but it isn’t known if their will be a jacked price is they offer special style glasses.

Spectacles will work as if a Speaker works, without the cords. This means it will be a wireless item, and it is worked by bluetooth, so it’s a bluetooth wireless item. And Snap. Inc has already announced how it will work for the users of these advanced glasses. Firstly, there will be a button on those glasses, which the user will press for a ten-second snap, as a snap is like a post on a social media snap. Instead, on the app the user has to hold the button indicated to take a video, as it goes to a ten second limit. And when you are recording, there in the corners of each glass will light up, indicating that you are recording a snap. Then after the Snap is fully complete, you can upload them to your memories and share the snap to your friends. A memory in Snapchat is a saved snap that is loved or a story, and a story is a bundle of snaps from one day. And like all other devices, they have to be charged. But instead of a standard input of electricity, or in other words a cable like a phone or a computer, spectacles use a case to charge the glasses.

They have also said instead of the standard square snap to do, the Snapchat instead will be circled. Now, with all of this, there are many unanswered questions. Some questions are like will there be a cable in the case, or that will you select the lens you want to download or will it will have two lenses that you can share. Tons of questions are bundling up, as it becomes obvious Snap Inc. will not be answering that much questions. And the lenses, on hand will provide a 115 degree angle to capture every moment to the user when it comes out.

This idea was thought up by Evan Spiegel, the CEO of Snap Inc., when one particular day he brought his prototype into a meeting, and which is where the Spectacles innovation started. With this, some people maybe or maybe not wanted to buy this. Out of the interviews, we found that out of 19 people, 26.31% said they did want this innovative product, as 73.69% they did not want this product, only because they didn’t want the app or they had insufficient funds. This has made it so that many people don’t want to have this product, but this doesn’t mean it won’t be a very big hit for Snapchatters.

iPhone 7 Brings Exciting New Changes

By Michael Braun

image via

So you thought that your iPhone 6s was cool? Well the two new iPhones, the 7 and 7 plus, blow the competition away. First off, the iPhone 7 comes in five amazing colors. The classic gold, rose gold, and silver and the new black and jet black. The iPhone 6s only came in 3 colors, silver, gold, and rose gold.

A big difference about the iPhone 7 from the 6 is no more headphone jack. This means that your old headphones won’t work for this. But don’t fear, because apple has you covered. Coming in the box with the iPhone 7 will be new headphones that instead of connecting to a headphone jack, will connect to a lightning port, where you charge your phone. Or, if you want to keep your headphones, the iPhone 7 comes with a syncing dongle that will allow old headphones to connect to the lightning port. Or, if that doesn’t satisfy you, you can get the new air pods. As you may have guessed from the name, these are earbuds connected by bluetooth, and that means no more getting wires all tangled up. They have 5 hours battery life and come with a charging case with an extra 24 hours of battery life. These air pods cost $159.

Have you ever said goodbye to your phone next to a toilet or a pool? Well do not fear, the new waterproof iPhone 7 is here! Yes, that’s right, I did say waterproof. It can go up to thirty minutes submerged and one meter down. As well as being protected from water, the iPhone 7 is sealed and will repel dust.

This next update is probably the biggest part about the new phone. However, this update is only for the iPhone 7 plus. Along with the original 12MP lens, the 7 plus comes with an additional lens which helps to make your pictures all the better. When taking a picture, you can zoom up to 2x in hardware and 10x in software. It also has a more advanced LED flash for better coloring.

What makes a phone the best it can be? The little things. Yes, they are little differences, but they add up. First off, the brightness is much better. This might not seem to amazing, but its max brightness is much brighter, making it much easier to read, see, or watch. Another difference about the 7 is it has much better battery life. Apple claims that it has 2 hours longer battery life. Ways to save battery life can include lowering volume, lowering brightness, and turning on airplane mode. If you put your brightness to a quarter way, it should save you about 15%.

You can buy the iPhone 7 for 32, 128, or 256 GB for $649, $749, or $849. Or if you want to go big and get the 7   plus, you can get 32, 128, or 256 GB for $769, $869, or $969. Not bad. But just wait till the next iPhone! The iPhone 8…

Girl Scouts Take Action

The following article is a special contribution by a 7th Grade Girl Scout troop at Brookside. 

We, Girl Scout Troop  1166, have just completed our media journey. We have learned about the benefits and drawbacks of all types of media and how sometimes it can be misleading. For our take-action project, we decided to review different products comparing what they say they will do and what they really do, and we put them together to share with you.

Keratin ShampooTRESemmé Keratin Smooth Shampoo and Conditioner (by Meghan C.)

This product is supposed to make your hair smoother and reduce frizz. When used in combination, they work very well. Hair becomes smoother, less curly, and easier to style. Many other products claim to do the same, but often they don’t change anything. In contrast, these products do what they are meant to do. I would recommend this product to anyone with curly or frizzy hair, as it also makes hair feel more nourished and healthy.

FRE Lifeproof iPhone case (by Genevieve)Life Proof Case

I tested the Lifeproof case for iPhone 5C by Fre. The case is advertised on the box that it is waterproof, dirt proof, snow proof and shockproof. The box claims that the phone is fully submersible to 6.6 feet, and totally sealed from “dirt + dust”, completely closed to snow and ice, and finally survives drops up to  6.6 feet.  I got the case from Best Buy last June for about $40.

I thought it worked very well, but I decided to test its waterproof ability. So I took my phone out of the case and filled a pot with cold water. I put dried beans as a weight in the case. We weighed the case with the beans to make that the bean-filled case was the same weight as with the iPhone. Then I sealed the case and put it in the water, and let it sit under water for five minutes. After five minutes, I took the case out of the water and dried it off very well. Then I opened the case and let the beans fall out on some paper towels.  I moved the beans to see if the paper towel was wet, and it was not. Then I put some paper towel inside the two case halves to see if they were wet where the beans had been. The front half was tiny bit damp by the ports and the screen, but the back half was completely dry.

The case is pretty easy to put on and take off your phone, but you need a penny at all times to remove the case. I noticed that after a few weeks of my phone wearing it, I could remove the case with just my hands.

The Lifeproof case works but you shouldn’t just put it in your pool for fun. It protects your phone from different accidents, but not to swim around with. Overall, the case is durable and lives up to the claims on the box, and I recommend this product.

Fin Fun Mermaid Tails (by Maggie M. & Bella S.) Tail

The brightly colored, fun mermaid tails are sold online only and appear realistic and fun to use in the water.  They come in two parts and are sold separately with a choice of tail pattern and optional monofin.  They can be used in pools or lakes and actually work like fins in the water. In order to make it work you need to buy the monofin.  The cost of the two items are $114.85.  The very first time I used it, I had a lot fun in the water, however, when I stood in the pool and jumped around like shown in the video online the monofin broke and then did not work when you swam.  The company had a 30 day return policy, but they refused to refund or replace the monofin because they said that you could not jump in the water with it.  I would recommend the product only if you use it for one time limited use, but not regular use because it will break.  This product is too expensive for the amount of time you actually can use it.

Garnier Color Styler – Intense Wash-out Color (By Danielle C. & Hair Color 3Sarah R.)

This product promises “intense Color” that lasts 2-3 shampoos. The picture shows very bright colored highlights in dark brown hair.  The application of the product is very easy and not too messy. While we liked this product, the color was not even close to being as intense as promised, and it washes out in a day or two. It cost $6 and we think it is worth it for the money. You can use it more than once, and there is a lot of product in the bottle. Overall, we recommend Garnier Color Styler and think it is a good purchase.

Hamilton: Making History

By Abby H.


image by Abby H.


image by Abby H.

The last beat of the last song rang out across the theater, and the lights went down. Before the lights came on again, the entire audience was on its feet, clapping so loud I could hardly hear the band. We all clapped until our hands were numb, and then some more, because this show deserved it. As I swam through the sea of people and out of the theatre, all I heard around me was various exclamations recapping the performance. The lights, the choreography, and the energy of the actors on stage was incredible. The show had created such a positive and exciting vibe, and everyone could feel it. And that show was Hamilton, written and starred in by Lin-Manuel Miranda.

Hamilton is a rap musical depicting the life of Alexander Hamilton. Doesn’t sound too exciting? Well, how much do you really know about this founding father? As said in the musical, “Every other founding father story gets told. Every other founding father gets to grow old” (Who Lives, Who Dies, Who Tells Your Story). There is more to Alexander Hamilton and his life than being killed by Aaron Burr, who he actually had quite an interesting relationship with. He had a family, friends, and a strong personality. He was partly responsible for America’s independence, he was George Washington’s right-hand man, and he was the reason that Thomas Jefferson became president. And this musical is the first ever rap musical to hit a Broadway stage. Yes, rap. Hamilton is the first of it’s kind. There is no other time when rap would ever be associated with a founding father, or Broadway for that matter. Hamilton brings a new style of music to Broadway, while also transporting the audience back in time to the 1800s. It is a moving story, which caused many to laugh, cry, and gasp. It is an emotional rollercoaster that combines all of the elements of a great show with the genius words of Lin-Manuel Miranda. This was one of the greatest shows that I have ever seen on Broadway, and although the tickets may be very hard to purchase, I strongly suggest finding a way to see this masterpiece.

Review: Start Wars Original Trilogy

By Julia G.

image via

image via

A long time ago in a galaxy far far away…

A story of a princess, a farm boy, and a scoundrel catches the attention of audiences of all ages in it’s 9 episode series. It may sound like your normal fairytale, but Star Wars takes place in a galaxy far far away from ours and a long time ago. Spaceships and hover cars are the only source of transportation. Aliens and humans travel from planet to planet in a matter of minutes using hyperspace. All is peaceful until the mysterious Jedi, protectors of the galaxy are wiped out with only a handful left.

The first third of the series is about the young Anakin Skywalker who grows up a slave. The boy gets a chance of freedom, but he has to make the decision of leaving his mother behind. As the trilogy progresses, Anakin is faced with many emotions as he makes his way to become a Jedi. Hate and despise fills him up and he turns to the dark side of the Force. The Force is an all powerful thing that flows through a Jedi and gives him/her his/her power. The Jedi also get the powerful weapon called a lightsaber which is a laser sword that can slice through anything. Anakin is the supposed “Chosen One” and is supposed to bring balance and peace to the Force, but instead he joins the Dark Side that believes in revenge, hate and all things negative. Anakin makes a surprising transformation which is revealed in the later episodes.

Episodes 4,5, and 6 are about a young farm boy Luke Skywalker. He is also given the chance to become a Jedi from one of the only Jedi left. This is also the same Jedi that taught Anakin. Luke is faced with saving the galaxy from the evil Empire. Darth Vader and Darth Sidious are the head of the Empire with their troops Stormtroopers. Luke has to stop the Empire and its ultimate weapon the Death Star. Twice this moon-like battle station is blown up by Luke and rebuilt. In the end Luke defeats the Empire and Darth Vader and Sidious and brings peace to the galaxy. As the trilogy progresses there are many twists that keep you on the edge of your seat. On Luke’s journey he befriends the most unlikely of friends and encounters places beyond his moisture farm on the desert planet Tatooine.

JJ Abrams has now taken over the making of the last trilogy from the original maker George Lucas. He has produced the seventh movie The Force Awakens where the original characters come back to finish off the beloved adventures of Star Wars. More movies are coming out in the years to come including the adventures that happen between episodes 3 and 4. Also make sure to watch the movies in the following order: 4,5,6,1,2,3,7,8,9 so that it will make the most sense. This was the order of the release of these movies and doing so was the smartest thing because it made everything much more surprising in the series. When I first saw the movies I fell in love instantly and ever since I have been a huge Star Wars fan. I hope the series can capture your imagination like it did for me.

Trep$ Marketplace a Success

By Julia B.

Writer Julia G. features her Trep$ purchases.

Writer Julia G. features her Trep$ purchases.

On March 1, sixth through eighth graders who participated in an afterschool entrepreneur club showcased their products to the school community. With the help of Mrs. Imhoff, the eighth grade math teacher who runs the club, these students have learned how to create and market the products they made. Products included bathbombs, bracelets, Chromebook cases, and headbands.

Sixth grader Brendan Stock made complex “survival bracelets,” which sold for $7 for adult bracelets, $6 for kids, and $5 and under for keychains and charms, which came in many different colors. Survival bracelets appear to be your typical stylish bracelet until you are in an emergency situation. If necessary, you would then cut the end of your bracelet and unravel it and it becomes a long piece of string with many helpful uses to aid you in survival.

Sixth grader Michaela Powell created homemade headbands that don’t slide off your head. She used a material in the interior of the headband that reduces sliding and on the exterior she sewed on a fun colorful pattern for style. Some patterns included soccer balls, tie dye, pawprints, M&M’s, and softballs/baseballs. These clever, fun headbands sold at $4 dollars a unit.

These examples were just two of the many options available for sale. Students seemed to have a blast with the process of coming up with a product a selling it, with the added bonus of keeping the profit! Overall it is a great learning experience for young entrepreneurs who now understand the basics of how to run your own business.

Google Classroom a Tremendous Help for Students and Teachers

By Julia B.

image via Google

image via Google

Google Classroom, an application that all 6th, 7th, and 8th graders use on their Chromebooks this year, has given the middle schoolers a tremendous advantage. The students each received an access code from their teachers that allowed them to join their online class at the beginnings of the year. This enables teachers to assign work to their students.  Also, teachers and students can now communicate within Google Classroom. If a student has a question about any of their work, they may ask a classmate or what for their teacher to respond. Students may also contact their teacher privately if it is a personal question.

Many students in the 6th grade, when asked, have said how much they love google classroom and how much it has made their school work easier. Homework is now posted on a Chromebook, and students no longer need to keep track of multiple pieces of paper spread out on a tiny desk. Also, if someone is a student who often forgets to do part of the homework, he or she may turn on email notifications. By turning on this feature within Google Classroom, the app will send an email reminding the student that there is an assignment due. Google Classroom plays an important role in a Brookside student’s education, and it has been working well so far.

For teachers, Google Classroom is an amazing help during the school day. They can assign their students a project with a click of a button. The teachers also have the option to create  either an announcement or a task. This app also enables teachers to post reminders about tests or work due soon. Students simply hit the “Done” button when they are finished with an assignment and the teacher has an up-to-date list of who has completed the assignment and who has not. When applicable, students may additionally attach work to the assignment when it is submitted so the teacher gets the project.

Google Classroom is a helpful tool that 6th, 7th, and 8th grade students have on their Chromebooks, and it provides many perks for both students and teachers.

All About AFEE

By Kasey P.

Brookside has many wonderful activities, technology, and experiences that make being a Brookside student a fun and educational experience. For example, the fitness room provides spin bikes and yoga mats for students to be active in new and exciting ways. Students in band use MusicFirst, an online music assessment program. Foreign Language classrooms have ipads to use learning tools such as Quizlet and Duolingo. Some the new after school activities that students can join are the Lego Robotics Club, Trep$, and Bulldog Bytes. Students get the chance to see fun assemblies such as Science Circus, Flight, Space Dud, and The Morris Museum Loan Program. All of these wonderful things are the work of AFEE, the Allendale Foundation for Educational Excellence, Inc., a non-profit organization that funds grants that make education for grades Pre-K through eight an exciting and fun experience. AFEE does so many amazing things for Brookside and Hillside to enrich students’ educational experience.

AFEE is run by Board of Trustees is made up of volunteer parents, teachers, and District administrators. This year’s AFEE president is Ms. Anne Kay, and in her words, “I’m truly honored to be leading AFEE this year.  It’s such a wonderful organization that is able to give back to the schools in so many meaningful ways.  I’m really enjoying the opportunity to work with the wonderful Board of Trustees.”

AFEE has funded amazing things, like BTV, smartboards, and the Hillside Ecology center, that enrich students’ educational experience. AFEE gives out grants for these things in a grant approval process that occurs in the spring.

AFEE is able to raise money for grants through the generosity of the Allendale community. Local families and businesses can sponsor AFEE. Fundraisers are also held to raise money for AFEE. The biggest fundraiser, the AFEE Annual Dinner and Auction, will be held on March 11, 2016. This event includes a 50/50 raffle, silent and live auctions, and raffle baskets. In addition, the Harlem Wizards Family Fun Night is also a fun AFEE fundraiser. This fundraiser will be held on June 3, 2016, this year.

AFEE does so many incredible things for Brookside and Hillside schools. AFEE’s members work hard to make education in Allendale an amazing experience. AFEE is an organization that does so much for the Allendale Community.