September/October 2014

Cold Call

By Helen Coyne and Brooke Banta


          Cold calling is a common fear of among many students at Ensign. Cold calling is a process in which a teacher calls on a student randomly to answer a question. At Ensign Intermediate School teachers believe cold calling is a productive to enforce students paying close attention in class. When teachers use cold calling in class, some students become nervous, frightened, and insecure about their mistake. If the student is called on and answers the question wrong they begin to, doubt themselves, become embarrassed, and feel as though they are not smart. We interviewed teachers to find out if they believe in cold calling and choose to use it in their class.

          We interviewed Dr. Duncan, our principal, to hear if she believed in the cold call method. Dr. Duncan does believe in cold calling and thinks that calling randomly helps to keep students engaged in learning and increases their level of participation. She places confidence in the phrase, “every student, every day, engaged in learning” and enforces this rule in every classroom. She believes this motto will increase overall student performance. Dr. Duncan insists that teachers are respectful with the way that they call on people. If the student is terrified and do not understand the material, the teacher will try to not call on them. She believes cold calling is a great way for students to pay attention and stay engaged in class.

          We interviewed Mrs. Tolles, a seventh grade honors and regular English teacher, to hear what she thinks about cold calling. Mrs. Tolles uses cold call in her class occasionally, but for the majority of the time, she uses sticks to call on kids randomly.  When she uses cold call, she does not try to pick on kids, but uses cold call to make sure students are aware that they will be called on. If she relies on students raising their hands, she thinks she would be getting the same five confident students wanting to answer every time. Mrs. Tolles uses this tool carefully and sometimes makes students talk in small groups before asking them to share their answers with the rest of the class. Mrs. Tolles cold calls kids using popsicle sticks or choosing someone randomly in order to keep everyone engaged and participating in class.

We also interviewed Mrs. Tupa, a seventh grade science teacher, and she believes cold calling is a wonderful strategy for teachers to use in class if they are respectful and use it carefully and fairly.  Students should think about the answer quietly, pair up with someone sitting next to them, and share their answers with the rest of the class.  Although teachers at Ensign encourage cold calling, teachers at other schools do not believe cold calling is a positive tool to use in class.  For instance, if a student answers the question wrong, their self-esteem is lowered and they feel badly about themselves.  Mrs. Tupa uses cold calling to support the student, not to scare them and give them anxiety which would cause embarrassment.

          Cold calling is supposed to be used as a helpful and successful way to help students succeed in class. Although students are very scared of cold calling, this learning tool helps them succeed in learning environments of all kinds. We believe teachers should use cold calling in their class, but should be fair and respectful in doing so.

Club Fair

By Kili Skibby 


The club fair was a complete success! We had many seventh and eighth grade students attend. Clubs like Gardening Club, Fishing Club Robotics, W.E.B., and more were available to join.


Not only clubs were there to sign up for, but the TK Burger and Drive Me Cookie trucks came so students could refresh themselves on burgers and ice cream... D-E-L-I-C-I-O-U-S. 


Thank you to everyone who decided to become a part of one of the fantastic clubs here at Ensign! Whatever club you signed up for, we hope that you enjoy your amazing and new experience. Have fun!

Who We Are...

Writers: Alina Aguirre, Emma Andranian, Mia Bagatourian, Brooke Banta, Helen Coyne, Ayla Evans, Leah Freeman, Mia Matsunami, Amy Sabourin, Oliver Teitscheid

Editors: Hallie Peplow and Sara Robinson

Webmaster: Halyard Freyder

Advisor: Kristine Cross


Current Events for September!

by Mia Matsunami and Sara Robinson

  • The Anaheim Angels and the Los Angeles Dodgers who play in the MLB just qualified for the playoffs, starting on October 2nd!

  • Club Fair is the 24th of September! Right after school in the Gym!

  • Ray Rice, a former Ravens running back is appealing his indefinite suspension.

  • Autumn begins on September 23rd!

  • September 21st is international Peace day!

  • Fiesta Hermosa is going on until the end of September! This is a festival to show fantastic art, culture, music, and new foods! Located in Hermosa Beach, it is only a short hour away from Newport Beach!

  • The US Sumo Open is starting on September 20th! Make sure to watch it on television, but you can also buy tickets online, and it is located in various locations in Los Angeles!

  • The LA County Fair is ending on September 28th! Make sure you go to have fair festives before it ends!

  • Serena Williams and Marin Cilic Win the U.S. Open (Sept. 7-8): Serena Williams beats close friend Caroline Wozniacki, 6–3, 6–3, to win her sixth U.S. Open women's title. The win ties her with tennis legends Chris Evert and Martina Navratilova for 18 Grand Slam titles. The following day, Marin Cilic easily defeats Kei Nishikori in straight sets, 6–3, 6–3, 6–3, to win his first Grand Slam event.

  • Go bananas at the Banana Festival! banana foods, bands, farmers market, arts and crafts marketplace, activities for kids and a recipe contest (you can even win a banana trophy and impress all your friends) at this free event. You'll also learn about the journey our little yellow friend takes to get all the way to the Port of Hueneme.

  • The 26th annual Beach and Surf Festival begins on September 26th through the 28th! All ages are welcome! Come out to join the fun under the sun!

  • On October 5, the 53rd annual sandcastle contest begins in Corona del Mar!

  • This week is kindness week, so make sure to be kind to everyone!

  • The first renaissance Friday is October 3rd, so wear your shirt to school!

  • Picture make-up day is next Monday, September 29th.

  • College and career night at the OC fairgrounds is October 8th.

  • Name Your Car Day--October 2

  • Chocolate Covered Insects Day - October 14


W.E.B., Where Everyone Belongs

Alina Aguirre

          Among the many clubs at Ensign Intermediate School, W.EB. stands out as a promoter of the community of kindness. Headed by science teacher Kari Rush, students work to make Ensign a positive environment so all kids can experience success. Ms. Rush says that students should be a part of W.E.B. “because being kind to others not only makes other people feel better, but it helps builds positive relationships. It also maintains student health and positive attitudes, plus it’s fun!”

W.E.B. strives to make our campus a better, cleaner, and kinder environment to learn and grow. On the first day of school, W.E.B. leaders could be seen in their bright blue shirts, ready and glad to help any seventh grader who was lost or confused. From directing students to giving advice, W.E.B. leaders were doing all they could to make the school as easy as possible.

W.E.B. member, Hannah Hiromoto, says that “we try to make the school a nicer place so everyone feels welcome.” Overall, W.E.B.  is an amazing program that truly makes Ensign a Community of Kindness.

Would you prefer having early out on Wednesday or late start?

By Mia Bagatourian and Leah Freeman




“Early out because you get a longer time after school to hang out with friends.”

 –Olivia Morris and

   Rama Thioub


“Late start because I don’t want to wake up early every day.”

-Serendei Alarcon


“Early out because I can do things with my friends after school.”

-Jackie Minken


“Late start because I love to sleep in.”

-Clay Rollins


“Early out because we can do things afterschool and wake up at our normal time.”

-Natalie Palmer

  Mathew Eimers

  Josh Steele


“Late start because I have a hard time getting up in the morning for school.”

-Daphne Torrey

“Early out because I don’t want to get off my daily routine of when I wake up.”

-Jack Kiesecker

“Late start because I can sleep in and I don’t have to wake up early in the morning.”

-Daphne Chong



“Late start because we get to sleep in and we could go get breakfast before school starts.”

-Alison Corr

  Eden Funk



  Early Out 7    Late Start 6

Best places Chosen by Students to go to for Lunch

Article by Amy Sabourin and Mia Matsunami

Out of several eighth graders, these were the top 10 lunch spots chosen for seventh graders to try out.  All of these places are fairly close to Ensign, and are reasonably priced for students.


Ce’st Si Bon: 149 Riverside Ave, Newport Beach

Ce’st Si Bon is a superior sandwich shop just down the hill from Ensign.  You have the choice to build your own sandwich and pick any toppings you would like.  It is just a short walk of about 10 minutes, and an even shorter bike ride of only 5 minutes.

Chronic Tacos: 1120 Irvine Ave, Newport Beach

Chronic Tacos has the best tacos in Newport Beach.  Chronic also has awesome burritos, and everything is reasonably priced.  Chronic Tacos never has an unreasonably long line and food service is very fast.  Since Chronic is located in Westcliff, it’s only a short walk from Ensign.      

Z pizza: 1124 Irvine Ave, Newport Beach

Zpizza has great pizza that you can order by the slice, which is great for a Wednesday lunch.  Zpizza is also located in Westcliff, so you don’t have to worry about walking to far!  It is most definitely the least crowded lunch spot in Westcliff, but the Pizza is still great!



Pick Up Sticks: 1112 Irvine Ave, Newport Beach

If you’re looking for some quick Chinese takeout, Pick Up Sticks is the spot for you!  Also located in Westcliff, Pick Up Sticks provides quality Chinese food for a reasonable price.  Although service is a little slower than other places located in Westcliff, their food is of great quality.


Banzai Bowls: 488 E 17th St, Costa Mesa

Banzai Bowls is located just on the other side of Westcliff across Irvine.  The food served there is truly great and makes for a great lunch spot.  Even though it is fairly close to Ensign, the service is very slow, unless you call in your order when you get out of school.

Pizza Bakery: 1741 Westcliff Dr. Newport Beach

The Pizza Bakery is a great pizzeria for a quick lunch, and for a great price.  The pizza bakery is close to Ensign and it provides great service.  It is never crowded in this pizza parlor and the  have delicious garlic knots!

Subway: 488 E 17th St Ste. A-105 Costa Mesa

Subway is a franchised sandwich shop that can be found many places, and it is a popular place to go for lunch on Wednesdays.  You can customize your sandwich in any ways you would like.  Subway is a short 10 minute bike ride from Ensign and a 20-30 minute walk.

Bomburger: 488 E 17th St Costa Mesa          

Bomburger is a great spot for you if you need a quick bite to eat after school.  They have affordable menu options and the food comes out very quickly.  Bomburger is a 10 minute bike ride and a 20-30 minute walk.

Ruby’s Diner: 428 E 17th St Costa Mesa

Ruby’s diner is a sit down restaurant that has recently been remodeled.  They serve traditional American food as well as a long list of shakes.  Ruby’s is about a 12 minute bike ride and a 25-35 minute walk from Ensign.

Bruxie: 279 E 17th St Costa Mesa

Bruxie is a waffle house that serves many lunch choices.  It is satisfactory, but it is fairly expensive for a Wednesday lunch.  It is a 15-20 minute bike ride and a 30-45 minute walk, so it is a little farther away.

All of these places were picked out by students, and this coming Wednesday you should give one a try!

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(there are three Zs)

Chewing gum in class

By Halyard Freyder

            Is chewing gum during tests and assignments a good or bad idea?  Many people have different outlooks and opinions on this topic, and it can be viewed to be both good and bad.  Studies show that if you chew one flavor of gum while studying, then the same one during the test, your memory of the assignment or test you studied the night before increases.  This can help on a problem or question you may have trouble with, as the flavor stimulates your memory. Also, a slight release of sugar stimulates the brain.  While taking a test, some teachers give out small candies for students to suck on, so the sugar can help students think.  Gum can act in the same way, as the slight sugar increase helps students.  On the downside however, chewing gum can end up as an issue for some teachers. 

I have interviewed Mrs. Cross, an honors English teacher at Ensign, who says that chewing gum in class is disrupting, and clutters the bottom of desks.  “It’s disgusting to find gum under the desks, and how some people chew with their mouths open” she says.  Some students, in order to conceal, or are too lazy to throw it away, stick it under desks. This gum then clusters, and becomes a major problem.  Also, popping bubbles can disrupt other students, is loud and can interrupt the teacher during a test.  In addition, gum can cause issues with a student’s concentration, and draw not only the focus of the student chewing the gum, but the attention of other students near him or her.  If a student pops a bubble or chews loudly and obnoxiously, it can draw the attention of other students. Also, if some people can’t blow a bubble, they may stare at a person who can.

I believe that with these downsides, however, there are solutions.  If a student designates a pack specifically for school, they can befit better from it.  Also, if the pack is specifically chewing gum, they can’t blow bubbles.  Finally, if chewing gum is allowed, I believe it would drastically lower the amount of gum beneath a desk.  Finally, if a teacher notices that a student is being abusive of the privlage and obnoxious, they can make them spit it out and not be able to use it for the week.

While chewing gum can help a student, some teachers think it is a tool used for disruption.  Gum can help stimulate and improve the memory of a student, and, if properly used, benefit students.

Rumor Has It…

By Hallie Peplow and Sara Robinson

        Making the transition from elementary school to junior high can be stressful…especially when rumors are circulating through the school.  When a sixth grader is becoming a seventh grader at Ensign Intermediate School, they may hear common rumors being spread through the air about the school. 


            Rumor #1: There is not enough time in the passing periods to get to the next class.

            Truth #1: There are five minutes in a passing and although five minutes does not seem like enough time for students to get to class, do not worry! Five minutes is more than enough time. According to, the average person can walk about a quarter of a mile in five minutes. On average, students’ classes are only going to be a few feet apart.  In the rare occasion of students having classes more than a few feet away, they should remember: the students of CDM only get three minutes. So, do not fret; everyone will make it to their classes with time to spare!


           Rumor #2: Because, there are so many students in each classroom the teacher will not learn all of the students’ names.

           Truth #2: The average class size at Ensign Intermediate School is thirty six students.  If a student is concerned that the teacher will not learn their name, it is important to try to participate as much as possible.  A student who stays engaged and actively participates becomes memorable to the teacher, making it hard to forget that student’s name.  Even if there are students who do not get involved with the lessons, the teacher will undoubtedly learn every students name by, at most, the end of the first quarter. 


           Rumor #3: Eighth graders seem intimidating. 

           Truth #3: They may seem scary because they are a whole grade older, or because of their size, but remember, they have all been in seventh grade!  Almost all of the eighth graders will be happy to help the seventh graders with whatever problems they may be facing.  Remember, Ensign is promoting a community of kindness!


          Rumor #4: There is too much homework, and not enough time to complete all given assignments. 

          Truth #4: Although there may be the occasional overload of homework, overall, there is more than enough time at night to complete all assignments.  Getting homework done in time should not be a worry; finishing homework with pride should be.


            Moving on from sixth grade to seventh grade is definitely a difficult transition. Although rumors that are said about Ensign can be intimidating, remember that they are just rumors. More importantly, keep in mind that friends and teachers are always there to help make Ensign feel like a comfortable environment.