Finding a Rhyme and a Reason

Embark on a journey of teaching and learning with Ms. Hayes' class at Georgetown K-8, Savannah, Georgia

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

May24

“Who Am I”? What’s Your Answer

March1

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

http://ed.ted.com/lessons/who-am-i-a-philosophical-inquiry-amy-adkins

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

August21

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

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

August26

Science Fiction or Fantasy: Did the Jetsons and Hanna-Barbera Get It Right?

August25

As a child, I grew up watching “The Jetsons” every Saturday morning. For me, it was an entertaining show about a futuristic world where people’s lives appeared to be simpler and more exciting because of all of the gadgets at their command.

Science fiction is characterized as having events that could one day become reality if mankind develops the technology to make it happen. So, did this family, the Jetsons, and their creators get it right? How much of what they envisioned has become our reality? How much of it is and will remain fantasy? Examine the video and use examples to construct your argument.

For another perspective on where technology is leading us, also consider this: DRONES IN THE U.S.: A SPECIAL STUDENT REPORT

First Public Read of Declaration of Independence 238 Years Ago Today

July8

I enjoyed sharing this bit of history with my Odyssey students after hearing a segment on NPR this morning. It gave me a purposeful reason to share a musical rendition of the historical document that helped me learn the words as a child. However, reading (or singing) the words is an invitation to a close read and more. This complex text was crafted to be a document that would stand the test of time, with the caveat that it would be “the right of the people to alter and abolish it” if it did not whole true.

In spite of the historical context in which it was written, we can still ponder whether or not it was held as a truth from its inception or if it was, at least in part, a lie before the ink dried on the paper. What was its intent and reality for the indigenous and the indentured, the male and female, the black and the white? How is it living up to its creed today for Americans and would-be Americans?

Explore the resources below to examine each word and principal of this founding document of our country?

Declaration of Independence

This Day in History

At Independence Hall, Echoes of a Public Proclamation 238 Years Ago

Making the Declaration of Independence Come Alive

If Only Thomas Jefferson Could Settle the Issue: A Period Is Questioned in the Declaration of Independence

King’s “I Have a Dream” – The Declaration of Independence as a “Promissory Note”

The Declaration of Independence Annotated

Fascinating Facts about the Declaration of Independence

The Declaration of Independence – Heritage Foundation

The Declaration of Independence: A Revolutionary Document

iSummit 2014 Conference Attendees Embrace Literacy and Technology Integration

June12

Susan McMillian and I were tempted to act as barkers for our iSummit 2014 session. Two vivacious animated personalities such as ours, we were committed to having fun even if we only had one particpant. As it turned out, we had about seven participants who ventured into the unknown for an hour of “Odyssey City Comes Alive with Technology”. While the title gives a nod to Odyssey Atlanta, the non-profit organization for whom Susan and I have worked the last eight or nine years, it probably didn’t convey what was in store for all of us – presenters and particpants. Using George Ella Lyons’ poem “Where I’m From” and student-writings as models, our participants performed a close read of the text and fully engaged in the process of writing their own poems, emulating Lyons’ style. Hopefully, in addition to leaving with the wonderful poems they created, they also left with some constructive and concrete ideas on how to use technology (in this case Keynote and Garage Band for iPad) to support literacy across the curriculum and community-building in the classroom.

Susan and I invited our participants to post their poems here, and I have also included the link for the conference evaluation form below. Let’s hope they post them here, and that you enjoy sharing them as much as we did.

https://docs.google.com/forms/d/1LRbwsF598i8iTiNa7ZtGHf-UnZ_Lcmy4B19fD1IWEdI/viewform

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Photo from our iSummit 2014 session.

Odyssey’s 2014 Sixth Grade Students “Where I’m From” Poems

June11

Reflections on “Dark Girls”- A Look at Colorism and Internalized Racism in the Black Community

May2

D.+Girls from mad news on Vimeo.

Related article: “Lupita Nyong’o Delivers Moving ‘Black Women in Hollywood’ Acceptance Speech”

Of the People “Exchange for a Day” with First Lady Michelle Obama

March25

My Core 4 language arts class viewed a livestream webcast hosted by Discovery Education featuring First Lady Michelle Obama and Jeffrey Woods, and American student from Washington, DC who is currently studying abroad in China. Mrs. Obama and Woods field questions submitted by students around the world who were curious about how the First Lady prepared for the trip, what she found similar about American and Chinese cultures, and the challenges of acquiring a foreign language. Woods answered questions about his own experience as a foreign student.

After the webcast ended, students participated in a Google Hangout with Ashley Hayes, a Grady High School (Atlanta, Georgia) and Columbia University graduate who has visited China and studies Mandarin Chinese.

Zena Brown, an APS instructional technologist, faciliated the events and shared it on Twitter.

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