Willow Lane News Update

11th Edition: January 2016

Did You Get What You Wanted for Christmas?

By Damar Gilzeane

Did you get what you wanted for Christmas? Guess what,90 percent of the Newspaper club did. The top three are Shopkins, Ugliest Pet Shoppe, and Legos. I surveyed twenty four kids,and 7 kids received Shopkins, and 7 more got Lego sets. Three people got Ugliest Pet Shoppe. The other gifts mentioned were Wii U, I-Pad Mini, and various video games. Sounds like the students from Willow were lucky, do you think so?
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Too Cold For Recess
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Recess at 20 Below

By Samay Suratwala

Did you know that kids in Alaska have recess at 20 degrees below zero? It is very cold outside, so when they have recess they have to wear many layers of clothes, a big thick coat, gloves, and a hat. It takes forever when they are putting on and taking off their winter gear. When they are out at recess the kids play football and soccer. They also make forts and dig snow tunnels. They stay inside when it is below 20 degrees. Outdoor recess is important for kids social, physical, cognitive,, and academic development. When kids are in nature they learn to explore the natural elements such as seasons, wind, dirt, water, plants. This is an important part of growing up.

In Alaska the daylight time is very short in the days of winter. They are more worried about darkness than the cold weather. The Winter in Alaska is very beautiful with snow crystals glowing in the sunlight like diamonds. Everyone there enjoys the winter and are used to putting on heavy duty wintery gear to enjoy outdoor activities. After learning about Alaska, I now wonder how kids get to school during winter months. During the snow season here in Lehigh Valley, PA schools will stay closed when it snows and will remain closed until all the roads are safe for driving. I remember last year kids enjoyed a day off from school because the temperature dropped to 2 degrees Fahrenheit. If we lived in Alaska, we would be going to school a lot, and we would be going to recess even though there is snow. But, here in the Lehigh Valley, PA if temperatures were that of Alaska, we wouldn’t get much of school or recess!

The Movies

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Alvin and The Chipmunks

By: Lency Tankwa

Do you watch the Alvin and the Chipmunks shows or the movies? Or, did you even hear of the history? Alvin and the Chipmunks was originated in 1958 with a novelty record by Ross Bagdasarian. They are a group of singing Chipmunks , They’ve been around for many years. They also have friends, “The Chipettes," By Janice Karman.


The Chipettes have 3 Chipmunks: Brittany, Jeanette, and Eleanor. Then the group known as The Chipmunks have 3 characters: Alvin, Simon, and Theodore. They all have something they are known best for: Alvin and Brittany are known for troublemaking and hating each other, Simon and Jeanette are known for being smart, and then there is Theodore and Eleanor; they are known for being chubby, fat, and nice.


Alvin and The Chipmunks wasn't at first called Alvin and The Chipmunks. Once it was called, Dave Seville and The Chipmunks, and then The Chipmunks. When they started to make animated movies of Alvin and the Chipmunks, it was officially named "Alvin and the Chipmunks."


Alvin and The Chipmunks has won a lot of awards, and they even won the Grammy’s! When Alvin and The Chipmunks made their first single in 1956 it went off the roofs, so when it was time for the Grammy's in 1957 it won a grammy. The song was called "Christmas Don't Be Late." But, the year after that it was still popular; it won a second Grammy. When Alvin and the Chipmunks had their third animated movie, "Alvin and The Chipmunks Chipwrecked," which came out in 2011, it won Best Animated Movie in the Kids Choice Awards 2012.

"Alvin and the Chipmunks" 2007

This was the first Alvin and The Chipmunks movie that had the non-animated people. This is when David Seville discovers the Chipmunks. At first he thinks they're just ordinary chipmunks, but when he finds out they sing, he is very shocked, and he shows them to his boss Ian Hawke. Songs included: "Christmas Don't Be Late," "Witch Doctor," "Funkytown." 13% of people in The Willow Lane Newspaper Club watched this movie.

"Alvin and The Chipmunks: The Squeakquel" 2009

In this movie Alvin and The Chipmunks they severely injure Dave, and Dave’s mom comes to take care of them. But, then she gets injured. After that Dave’s mom's grandson takes care of them, and they have to go to school. They meet the Chipettes; the next big thing. Songs included "Shake Your Groove Thing," "We Are Famliy." 12% of people in The Willow Lane Newspaper Club watched this movie.

"Alvin and The Chipmunks: Chipwrecked" 2011

This is the 3rd Alvin and the Chipmunks movie. Dave goes on a cruise with the Chipmunks and the Chipettes, but the Chipmunks and Chipettes trade a kite for donuts. Then they use the kite to fly Alvin, but they all attach themselves to the kite and go flying to an island. Songs include "Survivor," "Born This Way," "Firework." It won The Nickelodeon Kids Choice Awards 2012 for Best Animated Movie and Best Movie. 13% of people in The Willow Lane Newspaper Club watched this movie.

"Alvin and the Chipmunks: The Road Chip" 2015

Through a series of misunderstandings the Chipmunks think Dave is going to propose to his new girlfriend, Samantha in Miami, and they only have 3 days to fix it. If they get married, the Chipmunks will gain a terrible stepbrother, Miles. Songs included, "Uptown Funk," which they sang [Uptown Munk], "Juicy Wiggle," "You are My home," "Squeaky Wiggle," "Turn Down For What?" "Germino," "Iko Iko." 4% of people in The Willow Lane Newspaper Club watched this movie.

Alvin and The Chipmunks Shows

The Alvin and The Chipmunks Shows started in 1972. They had 5 series. Most of them were called "Dave Seville and The Chipmunks." They have a series that just came on Nick this August. Look out for that one, because it is the only one that still works on Live TV. 11% of people in The Willow Lane Newspaper Club watched this movie.


Why Florida Actually Has Snow

By Scott Gatter and Carina McCallum

What is winter without snow? Did you ever think that it was too hot for snow in Florida? Have you ever seen this image ?
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If you thought that the car you just saw in that image was buried in snow, you were wrong. The car you saw in that image was buried in sand. It may look a lot like snow but it’s not. It’s sand. We thought it was snow too, but did you notice that there’s no snow on top of the car. I hope that you are awwing in amazement like we were when realizing that it is buried in sand, not snow. I must admit it does look a lot like snow.

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But, it has actually snowed in Florida! There was a famous Florida snow storm in 1977. The middle picture above is from 2014. It was taken in Pensacola which is in the northern panhandle of the state. And the picture below is a famous image of a snowball fight on the steps of the State Capital. Look at the date in the caption below the picture!

The fact that it has snowed in Florida is amazing, and the fact that that image wasn’t of a car in the snow, and was a car in the sand is also amazing. What amazing snow experiences have you had ?

Snow in Florida

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Willow Lane 2016 Readathon

Willow Lane 2016 Readathon

The Read-A-Thon

By Lency Tankwa

The Read-A-Thon is a fundraiser we do at Willow Lane. It’s really exciting. It is our school's biggest fundraiser. Our goal is to read 330,000 minutes this year. Room 212 and Room 209 A.K.A Mr.Weimann and Mrs.Merrill‘s students (also, Mrs. Vernon and Mrs. Van Ormer) are doing something related, The Reading Superbowl.

The whole school is going to be competitive. A lot of people are interested. Last year Mrs. Durigan’s class won over the whole school. Not everybody in the school is doing the Read a Thon.

2016 Reading Super Bowl

The Super Bowl

by Colin Holden

The Super Bowl for the NFL football championship is coming soon!

Surprisingly, the Packers won the first two Super Bowls. The Super Bowl was created as a result of the merge between the AFL and the NFL. Each year famous musicians and singers perform at half-time during the Super Bowl! The name Super Bowl comes from a popular toy called a super ball that kids play with. There are very expensive new commercials that are featured on commercial breaks. Some people enjoy the commercials as much as the Super Bowl; especially if his/her favorite team isn’t playing! Is nothing more important than Super Bowl 50?


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Here are a few Bowl Game Fun Facts…

  • The National College Football Championship started in 2014.

  • Prior to the National Championship Series was the Bowl Championship Series. The BCS took the top 2 ranked teams and had them face off in a bowl. This would determine the national college football champion for that year.

  • Florida State played in the Inagural BCS Championship game in 1998 and also in the last BCS game in 2013.

  • If a college team played in a bowl game in 1954, they were banned from any bowl games in 1955. This was designed to give every team a chance to play.

  • During a period in the 1950s, the national champion was selected prior to the bowl games being played.

  • In 1950, Oklahoma was named the national champion, despite the fact that they would later lose their bowl game.

  • The first Orange Bowl was played in 1935 between the University of Miami and Manhattan College. To save money, the Manhattan College team took a three-day boat ride to Miami.

  • In the 1940s, college bowl games included the Raisin Bowl, Salad Bowl and Oil Bowl.

  • Michigan holds the record for the most bowl appearances (43).

  • During a 1979 Cotton Bowl game, Notre Dame Quarterback Joe Montana began suffering from hypothermia. As a remedy, he was fed chicken soup. The soup bowl and spoon are now in the College Football Hall of Fame.

  • The first American college team to play on foreign soil were the LSU Tigers. In 1907, they took on Havana University in Cuba, in the inaugural Bacardi Bowl and defeated them 56-0.

  • West Virginia broke an NCAA record for most points in a bowl game when they thrashed Clemson 70-33 in the 2012 Orange Bowl Game.

  • The Rose Bowl is the oldest college bowl game, having first been played in 1902.

  • ESPN obtained the rights for the new college football playoffs from 2014 through the 2025 regular season (2026 bowl games).

I love watching football games with my family. Football season is one of our most favorite times of the year. Which team is your favorite? Can you guess mine from this picture…

What Is That Picture?

Kya Vandersluis was at it again. Here is another installment of guess what the zoomed in image would be if you could see the whole picture. See if you can figure it out. The answers are at the bottom of the paper.
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Leadership Advice from the Willow Lane News Advice Squad

by Garrett Longbons and Alexis Schoenmaker

The character trait for the month of January is Leadership. A leader is someone who guides or directs a group. Some famous leaders include President Obama, George Washington, Abraham Lincoln, Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr., and our own Dr. Moyer. Being a leader can be good, and can help make changes happen. Here are some ideas so you can become a good leader.

To be a good leader, you should listen to other people’s ideas, suggestions, and objections. When you are working in a group, you should try to keep everyone on task, and make sure everyone participates and gets to share their ideas. It is important to be kind to everyone. Always try to be a good role model for others, that includes following directions, staying on task, and not excluding anyone.

If you follow this advice, people will trust you to be a leader!

Dear Advice Squad,

Whenever we have a snow day I never know what lunch is the next day. I am sure I am not the only one. Can you please clarify?


Sammie Gimbel

Dear Snow Confused,

That is a really good question. We didn’t know the answer either, so we interviewed Mrs. Chobot in the office to find out more information about how the lunch schedule works when snow days occur.

According to Mrs. Chobot, the lunch that is scheduled for the first day after a snow day would be the lunch we were supposed to have on the first snow day that just occurred. So, if the schedule for the week was:

Monday: Chicken Strips

Tuesday: Corn Dogs

Wednesday: Nachos

and there were snow days on Monday and Tuesday, the lunch for Wednesday would be Monday’s lunch - Chicken Strips. Any other changes to the lunch schedule for the rest of the week would be shared with us on the morning announcements.

We hope this helps you to figure out the lunch schedule in the future!

Yours Truly,

Willow Lane Advice Squad

Snow Making Machines

By Everly S.




Do you know how snowmaking machines work? Well some snow machines mix compressed air with the water before spraying out the mist. The compressed air expands and cools off rapidly, cooling down the water.

Snow machines work better when it's colder outside. so it will mostly work better at night. Because it's cold at night, and not really during the day.

In our area, Bear Creek and Blue Mountain use snow making machines. Both places use snow making machines to make snow when real snow doesn’t fall on time. So then they have snow for people to go snow tubing, skiing and other snow events.

I like snow machines and I hope you do too. I hope you learned some information from this story . If you want more information you can go on the links above. Enjoy the snow!
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The 2nd Annual Willow Lane Spelling Bee

by Samay Suratwala

All the 4th and 5th grade Spelling Bee finalists from their classrooms competed in a Spelling Bee with all the other finalists from their grade. Mrs. Durigan said, “Usually the first person to get out sometimes means they are nervous, so we are going to do a practice round, so that they get used to it.” Mrs. Durigan explained all the rules for the practice round and the actual Spelling Bee. Everyone applauded for the kids who are in the Spelling Bee before anything started. They did a practice round where if they spell the word incorrectly they still stay in the competition.

4th Grade

Everyone did a great job, but every round the words got harder and harder. Kids started to spell words incorrectly each round. Before spelling it, they were allowed to ask for the word in a sentence or repeat the word. The words got more and more difficult with each round, and there weren’t many kids left towards the end. A kid named Raffael would dance each time he got his word right, and it made everyone laugh. Some members of the audience even found themselves rooting for him. Raffael from Mrs.Housten’s 4th grade class WON! He earned a big trophy, and he was very happy and did his happy dance.

5th Grade Spelling Bee

Same as 4th grade's Spelling Bee, 5th grade also did their practice round. Fourth grade's Raffael was always dancing when he got the word correct, but the 5th graders looked more serious. In the first round nobody spelled the word incorrectly, so everyone stayed in the round. But, just like 4th grade’s Spelling Bee, every word got harder and harder each round. Starting from the 2nd round kids started to spell the words incorrectly. At the end 2 kids were facing against each other, and if one person gets the word wrong it goes to the next person. This happened over and over. The words were so hard that the audience began to moan when it heard them. Teachers reported they didn't even know how to spell some of them. Michael from Mrs. Durigan’s 5th grade class WON! He earned a big trophy too, and he was also very happy. The key event of the whole Spelling Bee was the two kids going against each other back and forth.
The 2nd Annual Willow Lane Spelling Bee
New Years Resolutions

New Years' Traditions

by Matt Grossi

You might think that only North America celebrates the New Year and has traditions, but no, almost everyone has traditions. In the Netherlands they eat donuts. “Yum!” In Columbia they burn a big puppet called Mr. Old Year. In Japan they ring bells 100 times to ward off evil spirits. In Romania farmers try to talk to cows. If they can do it, that means bad luck. In Chile they sleep at a cemetery to remember loved ones who have died. And last but not least, at my house we eat pork and sauerkraut for good luck.

New Year’s Traditions from Around the World

by:Jonathan Nelson

Did you know that almost every country has a different tradition? In Columbia, people burn Mr.Old Year; inside they may stuff old items from the past year. In Venezuela, they walk around carrying a suitcase while wearing yellow underwear for good luck. I think that is funny. In Mexico, they eat Mexican Beans. Some traditions seem dangerous to me; in India, they throw ceramic dishes out the window! At my house, after dinner, we all make New Year’s Resolutions. Mine for this year was to become a famous basketball player. It’s already starting to come true, because I’m the MVP on my team! Also, we drink bubbly champaign and watch the ball drop. Millions of people tune in and watch it live from New York City. I managed to stay awake, and I liked it a lot. If you would like to learn about other customs, click the link below.

New Year’s Customs Around the World

Editor's Note

The following video (borrowed from Youtube) presents the story that inspired the writing that follows it. Juliana DeDona, a Willow Lane Newspaper Club member shared that her teacher, Mrs. Housten, had told her class about the story. She found it fascinating.
Twin babies born in 2 different years
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How to build a Snowman

By Jackson Holden

Snowmen are very fun to build! A snowman is a big snow sculpture. Children usually build snowmen. Materials used are snow, obviously, and twigs for arms and coal or something black for eyes and then a carrot for the nose and then you can get creative for the mouth and other parts.

Did you know the earliest photograph found of a snowman was in 1853? One of the biggest snowmen was made in 2015 by a man from the U.S.A. from the state of Wisconsin. He built a snowman 22 feet high with a base of 12 feet wide although the biggest record by Bethel, Maine was 122 feet high. Building a snowman is tricky and fun!!!

To learn more go to Snowman - Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia, Snowman | Hallmark

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January Incredible Assembly, featuring 2nd Grade

By Aleena Khokhar

Did you know that the second grade concert was awesome! All of the second graders did great. I loved all of the songs that they sang. Before the singing, Dr.Moyer talked about Ms Bee’s Sumdog Math Contest. I cannot believe that Ms Bee’s 2nd grade class won the Sumdog competition! That is so cool! Also, Ms Pilsits talked about integrity. She had two 5th grade boys come up on stage to help her. Every month Ms Pilsits chooses a character trait to teach. Finally, what everyone was there to see: The Penguin Polka. The Penguin Polka was very cute. That was my article about the second grade concert.
Mrs Springer and Sam Visit Willow Lane

Alburtis 4th Grader Speaks Out Against Cell Phone Tower

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"My Experience" by Gabriela

It was the day that people from the newspaper club went to the room

of 212 to report about Alani; how she didn’t want a cellphone tower

near the baseball field, because it could cause cancer. When she finally got up to the computer, she said she was influenced by her father. She persuaded the mayor with all kinds of information, telling we shouldn’t have a cellphone tower. This was exciting even for a fourth grader to stand up on stage and help others to not get hurt, but to be safe.

"Alani, The Citizen" by Matt

A good citizen is one who properly fulfills his or her role as a member of a society or group of people. A citizen is someone who was born in that country, but if you were born in India but you moved to Texas you would be a citizen in India but not in Texas. Alani is a good citizen because she stood in front of a whole group of people, including the mayor, and said why she didn’t want the cell phone tower built in the baseball field at her school.

Town Board Meetings


Alani is an extraordinary fourth grade student. Infact, she even went to a town board meeting. At the meeting she talked about how having a cellphone tower could affect the kids health. The cell phone tower would be built by a baseball field, which could affect kid’s health.


Town board meetings are where the whole town comes together and talk about how things can change in the community. Alani talked about putting a cellphone tower in the baseball field. She didn't want to put one in there because it can affect a kids health.

Township of Alburtis: http://www.alburtis.org/

Cell Phone Towers

"Cell Phone Towers" by Samay


According to Mobile World Capital, cellphone towers are located high above the ground in order to ensure aerial coverage. A base transceiver station [BTS] consists of a tower or mast. The cellphone towers transmit signals that help us use mobile devices. Having enough cellphone towers in the area helps to maintain strong signal. That is how we have fast internet.

"Cancer from Cell Towers" by Cassie

Do you think cell phone towers can cause cancer? Some people think that living, working, or going to school close to a cellphone tower could maybe increase the risk of cancer or other health problems, but at this time there is very little evidence to support this idea. Still some people may think it gives you cancer. Other people think the opposite. Some scientists did tests and they say it might help increase tumors and can cause DNA damage. Also three expert agencies said cell phone towers do not cause cancer.


Editor's Note

What an incredible story: An Alburtis Elementary School 4th grader learns there are plans to potentially build a cell phone tower very close to her school. She has the idea to do something about it. All by herself, she writes a speech that she delivers to a room full of adults; the adults who run her town.

In an email response, the mayor of Alburtis, Kathy Palmer, stated, " I was present at the meeting on that evening and was very proud of Alani for her speech and wishing to be heard by the council. It is very important to me that we take into consideration the thoughts and concerns of our residents. After all, we are there for the best interest of the residents and Borough."

Alani is a hero and inspiration. Thank you for modeling what it is to be a responsible, active, and caring citizen. You did what every teacher wishes for his/her students: You applied what you have learned to a real world problem, and you were successful. Congratulations.

Willow Lane Newspaper Club Interviews Alburtis 4th Grader