Evan B

7th-Grade English Portfolio

My Portfolio Reflection

Q.  How would you describe your writing at the beginning of the year and how would you describe it now?

A. My writing has greatly improved this year. The most important thing that I have been working on this year is sentence structure. At the beginning of the year, my sentences didn't flow well and reading it was a bit boring. Now, my writing has improved - everything a lot more flows nicely. );

Q. What do you consider your writing strengths? Explain

A. Personally, my writing strengths are speeches and online content, not essays and poems. They are my strengths because I enjoy writing and presenting them. Speeches come naturally as I prefer to speak out loud rather than write. I also enjoy to write online content for my website, aquariumkids.com. To sum everything up, speeches and online content are my strengths because I enjoy and am motivated to practice them.

Q. What writing skills do you need and/or want to continue to develop next year? Explain.

A. Next year, I would like to improve my word choice and sentence structure. I already made some major improvements on them this year. However, I could still work on them more. I tend to use sentences that start with a transitional phrase. For example: the first and third sentences of this paragraph.

Q. What piece of writing from this year best captures your growth as a writer and thinker? Explain why.

A. Out of all of my writings this year, Holocaust Letter #5 best captures my growth as a writer and a thinker. For the Holocaust Pen Pal Project, we sent 'letters' to students in Ms. Tucker's High School class. Of course, we all created personas. Every few days, we typed a new letter. We went through different stages of the Holocaust. My best letter was #5 because I had a lot to say and because we learned a lot about this stage in class. You can read it at artifact #1.

Q. What piece of writing from this year are you most proud of? Explain why.

A. My student council speech is the piece of writing that I am most proud of from this year. I worked hard on it and writing it came very naturally to me. Even though I didn't win, I am proud of this piece of writing for two main reasons: it was fun to write and the feeling of satisfaction after correctly saying my speech perfectly in front of the whole school. You can read it at artifact #2.

Artifact #1 (Holocaust letter 5)

Hi! How are you doing? Have the Nazis caught you too? I’ve just arrived at Auschwitz-Birkenau where a man named Josef Mengele was there to meet us. He selected roughly half of us to go to the showers. It was the weakest looking of us. He seems nice enough and probably just wanted to give them a break.

One of the weirdest things that he did was requesting that all twins come with him. I hated to see Batya and Meirav, two kids I met on the train, go, but maybe they got special privileges, in which case I feel happy for them.

They confiscated all of our belongings upon entry. Apparently the penalty for smuggling items in is death. Despite this, I smuggled a pencil and paper in the sole of my shoe, so as to keep writing to you. I hope that I’m not caught.

When we walked in, I noticed that there were some weird looking trucks with misconfigured exhaust pipes all sitting in a row by the fence. I’m not quite sure what they were, but they looked grim.

Right now, I am sitting in the top bunk of a triple-decker bunk in a room stuffed with people. There are us Jews and a few Gypsies. Apparently, they also brought those with mental and physical disabilities in addition to us. They got to go shower off first.

Some people are munching on what looks like moldy bread and potato peels. A noxious smell, somewhat like ammonia, consumes the whole room. I notice that some people have tied old shirts around their faces to filter out the smell. That actually seems like a reasonable idea. I’ll probably try that. The row to my right just left for the showers. I’m not sure why they bother showering us when they don’t even spare money for appropriate amounts of food.

“Alright bunk 117, it’s shower time. Marching formation please”.

Just a second, I’ll continue this letter later. It’s my turn for the showers. It will be great to clean off after they horrible and dirty journey here.

Your friend,


Artifact #2 (Stuco Speech)

Good afternoon, students, staff, and everyone else in our audience today. Hi, I’m Evan Baldonado from Ms. Doran’s 7th Grade Olive team advisory and I’m running for the spot of your 8th grade Spirit Leader.

If I’m elected, I will make sure that brunch and lunch are shorter, you all get extra homework, and that we take the STAR test instead of having fun spirit assemblies. No, I’m just kidding. What I would actually do if I were to be elected is rather simple - I would help organize the spirit days and assemblies. But, remember, what I talk about now is not all that I could do. I am always open to your suggestions.

I know that we already have pretty awesome spirit days and assemblies. So, for that, I would like to thank our current 8th grade Spirit Leader, Avery. Let’s all give her a round of applause. [*****] But, there is always even more that we can do.

For example, have you noticed that the only a certain group of kids tends to participate in the spirit assembly activities each and every time? Many of these students are very talented and enjoy participating, but wouldn’t it be nice for everyone to get turns? Or at least different students? I know that I sound kind of cheesy right now, saying that everyone should be fair and take turns, but this would actually make our assemblies much more exciting. I am proposing a more random way to pick the participants so that everyone can have fun and also having different activities which involve more students at a time.

Another thing that we could improve on is our spirit days. We could use a couple more of those. I know that many of you enjoy going all-out dressing up for them. So, wouldn’t it be cool if we had a few more? What about “movie character day”, “Wild West day”, or even “‘Murica Day”? Students who participate could win awesome prizes including gift certificates and snackbar credit.

So, if you would like better spirit assembly activities and more and better spirit days, vote for me, Evan Baldonado, for your school Spirit Leader. I would be greatly honored to have your vote and represent you. Thank you.

What do you think?

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