Finding a Rhyme and a Reason

Embark on a journey of teaching and learning with Ms. Hayes' class at J. E. Brown Middle School in Atlanta, Georgia

When someone says that books can change people’s lives, it’s not a cliche.


“Who Am I”? What’s Your Answer


It’s a question you are never too young or old to ask? How do you answer it?

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Moving Beyond Stereotypes to Understanding and Tolerance


Discuss a time someone made an assumption about you. Was it positive? Negative? How did it impact you?

How do stereotypes impact the way we see ourselves and our personal efficacy? How might stereotypes and assumptions influence a person’s attitudes toward others? Look at some of the perpetual stereotypes illustrated in this film. Why might they be harmful?

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Support Google’s Commitment to Girls in Computer Science


Hello Mommie :)

As you know, Google is committed to inspiring more girls to explore computer science. I’m excited to share with you our latest project that reinforces this mission. We’re supporting renowned documentary filmmaker, Lesley Chilcott, on her next film, CODEGIRL, focusing on girls in computer science.

We’d love you all to share the documentary with your organization, teachers, students and/or parents. CODEGIRL follows on the heels of Chilcott’s award winning, high impact documentaries, like An Inconvenient Truth and Waiting for Superman.

From November 1 – 5, on YouTube, Lesley’s film will be available for free, before its big theatrical debut in the weeks that follow. Our goal is to inspire as many students as possible during this special 5 day free viewing period. With your help, we will be able to inspire more high school girls (and boys) to pursue their passions in tech. You can access the film, starting November 1 on The teaser is available here.

Here are a few simple ways to participate:

Pledge that you and your org will watch the film on social media using #rallyforcodegirl or email to let us know that you’re hosting a film viewing party.

OPT1: So excited to #RallyForCODEGIRL! Hosting a @CODEGIRLMOVIE screening party with [fill in blank amount] of girls at [fill in blank location]!

OPT2: [Fill in blank pledge] This is how I #RallyForCODEGIRL.

EXAMPLE: Asking for afterschool #code classes at the PTA meeting. This is how I #RallyForCODEGIRL.

OPT 3: Have you watched @CODEGIRLmovie yet? Tag your friend and host a watching party! #RallyForCODEGIRL

OPT 4: So excited to #RallyforCODEGIRL. I pledge to see @CODEGIRLMOVIE with [number of] people!

Host a documentary viewing party as part of that pledge. The attached PDF has all you need for a successful Film Party Guide.

Help spread the word: Post your favorite lines, moments and ideas about the film on social media and let people know you’ve watched with #RallyforCodeGirl.

Join us November 1-5, and help amplify Google’s commitment to computer science. As always, thank you for the tremendous work you do and for inspiring the next generation.


“Where I’m From” – It’s “wicked good”!


Today in Mr. Naughton’s 3rd period class, we took a moment to allow students to create a little magic with their adaptations of George Ella Lyon’s “Where I’m From” poem. Madison has consented to me posting her poem. I am hoping more students will share theirs as well. Thank, Madison!

Where I’m From

I am from ice cold mornings
to hot, steamy, red lobster dinners,
I am from where the snow piles high and the fire glows at night,
I am from collecting sea shells on the Rocky Coast beaches
to roaming around with the black bears,
I am from the Pinetree state and it is wicked good!
I am from Maine
That’s where I’m from.

“I’ll Marry When I Want” – a poem with a purpose


By Refusing to Be a Child Bride, This Teen Helped Ban Underage Marriage in Her Entire Country

What do you think about the message and its delivery? Is it a hit or a miss?


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Malala Yousafzai and Kailash Satyarthi share Nobel Peace Prize -What Can We Do?


Malala Yousafzai a young Pakistani schoolgirl was shot in the head by the Taliban. Surviving the would be fatal shot was in itself miraculous. However, what has transpired since then is just as spectacular. Malala has helped galvanize the world in support of the rights of girls around the world to live, to learn, and to lead.

Kailash Satyarthi, “The Seeker of Truth “ has fought to end child slavery and labor exploitation for decades. His youngest acts of activism may have been inspired on his first day of school as a mere boy who noticed the stark contrast of his life and that of a cobbler’s son begging outside his school’s gates.

What can we do? What can you do to promote the human rights of girls, of children, in your school and in your community? How might you make a difference?

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“Terrorist attacks can shake the foundations of our biggest buildings, but they cannot touch the foundation of America.” President Bush


While many of our Hilsman students were too young or yet to be born on September 11, 2001, thirteen years ago, many of us know exactly where we were. I presented the follow ideas to the staff: How can we as a community honor this day in a way that incorporates what is already being learned? How can we lead students to embrace the day through our varied content areas and our IB profiles? Could we examine how the different branches of government responded? Could we look at how the literary community and artist expressed our nation’s angst and agony? What role did science and energy play? What story do the numbers tell? How did man’s courage and humanity take action and create heroes when death and destruction were inevitable? What claims might our students make and support about our nation and our world? Why should our students examine these events? How might it complement our mission as well as our goals as an IB school?

Mr. Pavone invited me into his classroom. To begin the dialogue, he encouraged his students to imagine the horror and anguish of this event and how it continues to impact society. When he showed the video below, I found myself emotionally transported back to the moment. I was also captivated by the words that President Bush spoke around segment 1:05 in the video: “Terrorist attacks can shake the foundations of our biggest buildings, but they cannot touch the foundation of America.” Hence, I ask: What is “the foundation of America”? How is our nation able to be resilient? What threatens our national security today?

Brown’s 7th Grade Students Share “Where I’m From” Poems

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