Archive for the ‘school’ Category

About a month ago my dad bought me Microsoft Student with Encarta Premium which is a package for students containing study tools, dictionary tools, an encyclopedia and more. I’ve been using it ever since, so I’m going to post my thoughts on it.

First of all, its articles are pretty good and solid. The encyclopedia is an excellent tool for reading about the US Industrial Revolution or about what causes the seasons.The encyclopedia gives you a basic overview about any topic; and if you want to learn more you could follow the online links available, often of documents available online and simulations. However, I think there should be more links provided, and I’m not sure whether they are updated or not. The ‘visual browser’ is a very cool tool to navigate through topics and material. A note I’d like to add is that if you’re researching on a small specific topic, the encyclopedia would not provide you with enough material and information. You could read one of the articles available to know the overview, but you’ll have to go online if you want to dig deeper into the topic. Encarta provides very informative literary articles and book summaries of many books taught in schools. They’re not just book summaries; you could read characters analyses, theme analyses, symbols, historical contexts, etc.

Science media is particularly good; graphic simulations are available to help you understand the moon phases of the seasons better; they’re very helpful. Those may not be so easy to find online.

Student 2009 offers a lot of templates and tutorials for literary writing and scientific writing. There are a lot of writing and graphic resources at the ‘papers and reports’ section. These are very helpful aids. So are the foreign language tools, which provide a few links, verb conjugation and translation tools for Spanish, French, Italian and German.

The things in Encarta may seem simple, but if you dig deeper into them you’ll discover that they have some really good stuff.  The ‘games and fun stuff’ section provides animations, visual tours, games and videos covering all subjects. I expected the games to be more advanced and not so simple as they are. The animations and videos are very good, but I wish they covered more topics. The visual tools are not very good. They’re not made of the newest 3D technology, and I remember using the exact same Abu Simbel tour in Encarta 2003 when I was 6 or 7. It’s very difficult to navigate in their tours.

The Math tools are not bad. I find the ‘equation solver’ the most helpful tool because it shows you how to actually solve any equation you type in. The ‘math concepts’ explains a wide range of math lessons. There are a couple of other math tools available such as the ‘unit conversion tool’ and the ‘triangle solver’. However, I could use more tools, such as one which could show me how to create symmetrical snowflakes.

Among the numerous things Microsoft Student with Encarta Premium includes are geography tools and graphic learning essentials. Overall, it is certainly an essential software for students, but it doesn’t contain everything, and it’s not perfect.

note: the package costs about $50, to learn more click this link:


image: http://www.jamdeal.com/uplimg/img_172381_e9cc7fbc62989ffc9962b83a50b5b642.jpg


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I’m back from my new middle school! I went there with my dad this morning to take an English test (all foreigners have to take it).

I scored excellent on the English test and the math test.

I’m very enthusiastic to start school next week.

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Quizlet – great for studying


Today, I’ve discovered a highly efficient website, Quizlet, which allows you to create your own flashcards and study them or play other flashcards created by users in order to prepare for tests or quizzes.

I’m giving this site 5 stars and it deserves to be linked at my sidebar. It’s also very easy to use.

There are lots of ways to study and help you to memorize things at Quizlet.

I think that teachers and students will really benefit from this site. The good thing is that you could join a group (such as your classmates) and study or edit your flashcards.

Did you know that Quizlet was created by a high-school student? read the Quizlet story

Andrew Sutherland, creator of Quizlet

I’d say that Quizlet is superb for studying vocabulary, definitions for any subject and facts of points. I’ve already created an account and made flashcards for the new words I’ve discovered and for my Geography test.

Please share Quizlet with your friends.


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I’ve started a new blog yesterday called The School Episode which will be about my experiences and opinions in grade nine. I’ll be covering topics like bullying, friends and cliques.

visit The School Episode

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I have recently read a kids’health.org article about how cliques make kids feel left out. It comes to the conclusion that not all groups are friends. A clique is a restricted group where there is always a leader and you can’t be accepted into it unless you follow certain rules and share the opinions of the clique members (especially the leader). People join cliques in order to feel secure. If they’re left out and get into the clique, they will do whatever they can to stay there, even if it includes leaving their best friends and not sharing their real opinions.

In my class, girls seldom hang out in pairs. They always hang about in groups which I never fit in. First of all, all they talk about is the new fad, Noor, a Turkish television drama show and what is forbidden in Islam (like drinking Pepsi?).

I usually read books during breaks, but one time I decided to join one of the chat groups. They were talking about Ramadan, which was coming very soon. I decided to share my opinion and told them that what I liked in Ramadan was the dried Apricot sheets which are only available in that month. They completely turned my off by immediately sticking the tongues out of their mouths in disgust and bragging about what they hated in it and showed that it was disgusting (bad body language for making friends huh?).

I’ve tried all the other groups but what they talk about is completely boring. They don’t read books, are not interested in computers, and don’t seem to engage in any activities or sports to discuss. All they do is watch TV and talk about the celebrities of Noor.

All the girls interrupt each other. There are also the group members who try to ignore you and make you feel different and give you the impression that you’re boring.

During my first 2 days in my school, I tried to hang out with a clique but the problem was that when we used to walk together I was always left behind and they didn’t even seem to notice me when I got fed up and slipped out. There’s the queen of the group who’s always in front and the wannabes race each other to be next to her.

One day you think you’re part of a group and the next day you seem invisible.

My advice to you is to not to hang out in groups where there are leaders, which are cliques, and to sometimes float between chat groups. But nothing beats a best friend.

Articles you should read:
how cliques make kids feel left out
coping with cliques

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