MSRI Trip – November 2015

Back again! I went to MSRI, which means Mathematical (M) Sciences (S) Research (R) Institute (I), for a festival, located in Berkeley, California. We got there a bit early, so my dad and I grabbed a few brochures and wandered about the building. Finally we headed up to the second floor, where we saw games like Halloween Candy Games, and Transformations. When the festival started, we already knew where we were going. Transformations were very hard because you got 5 pieces that were cut randomly, and you had to put them in laminated black lines.  We did the things we wanted to do because we had scoped out what we wanted to do, and skipped others. After an hour, we came home to go to my soccer game, which we happily won.


Frindle: A Very “Pen”-ly Book

Who could have thought a boy could add a word to the dictionary?  Frindle, which is a humorous modern tale, written by Andrew Clements, is about a boy named Nicholas, a kid who adds a word, ‘frindle,’ to the American Dictionary.  This book is very suspenseful which is a reason you should read it.

Nicholas, who is in 5th grade at an urban school in New Hampshire, is very determined to add a new word into the public use. He is very friendly, as well as curious and, restless. Janet, John, Pete, Dave, and Chris are “secret agents because they think it is an exciting idea. Nick and the other kids start a scheme to utilize a new word instead of pen: ‘frindle’.  Mrs. Granger, Nick’s teacher, wants them to use the dictionary’s vocabulary, instead of ones they create. Nick, on the other hand, wants to make new nouns.  She tries to enforce her methods, but later, she joins forces with the kids in order to help them.  She is happy that her students have patience and are very ambitious, and she writes, “A person can watch the sunrise, but he cannot slow it down or stop it or make it go backwards.  And that is what I was trying to do with your word.”  (p. 98) In the end, the kids were successful.

In this book, Nick learns how to organize people to make campaigns.  By the end of the book, Nick masters ambition.  Miss Granger is like an obstacle in an obstacle course producing a struggle for Nick when he tries to make a new word.  When she tries to stop him, he gains courage and learns new strengths.  Nick is a role model for many other kids, like me,  who try to design new products to improve people’s lifestyles.

Frindle Book Cover



A Quiet Place

A Linux,

A Windows,

A Mac,

A very beautiful computer


Like a big notebook,

Holding ideas


With a brain,

A pair of eyes

Hearing Ears,

A speaking mouth


My quiet place

My quiet place


After an hour

Sounds come from the machine’s heart like


Zooming by cars


I love this place!

I enter ideas,

They get interpreted into code:



Like a chrome colored



At top speed


A quiet, quiet

Place today.


California Gold Rush

By The Great Horn Spoom

How did I get interested?:


Read and listened to By the Great Horn Spoon, by Sid Fleishman, read by Kara Shallenberg (the URL for Kara is: Her read-aloud are just great. You should try one!

What happens in By the Great Horn Spoon:

Praiseworthy, the butler, and Jack need to go and find gold before Jack’s Aunt Arabella sells their house back in Boston.

When does this book take place: 1849 thru 1850, 2 years

Main Characters:Praiseworthy and Jack

Why I chose this book: My mom put the readaloud by Kara on (see above)

What I learned: If you run out of money, then go to California and mine some gold!  Haha, actually when you run into a problem, perseverance and patience does the trick.

Cool Facts: How they were able to stake a claim.