Thursday, September 29, 2005

Texas Hero

Just for a brief moment let me believe that there is some justice in this country. Ronnie Earle, the Democratic prosecutor in Austin who led the investigation, denied politics was involved. "Our job is to prosecute abuses of power and to bring those abuses to the public," he said. He has noted previously that he has prosecuted many Democrats in the past. DeLay, 58, was indicted on a single felony count of conspiring with two political associates. The two previously had been charged with the same conspiracy count. They are John Colyandro, former executive director of a Texas political action committee formed by DeLay, and Jim Ellis, who heads DeLay's national political committee.

Wednesday, September 28, 2005

The House I Live In: The London of Oliver Twist

This movie looks like a winner. From the film's site it certainly appears there was an attempt at historical accuracy.There's a lot here from the historical setting viewpoint and a lot for a literacy study on character development. The site explains the relationship that the characters have with each other. Too bad the Caulkinites disapprove of using film.
Here's a slide show of the main characters.Here's a slide show with information on the film's production.

Tell That To Lucy Calkins

from NYNewsday:Schools Directed to Expand History Courses By MICHAEL GORMLEY Associated Press WriterSeptember 28, 2005, 4:17 AM EDTALBANY, N.Y. State legislators across the country are increasingly directing their schools to teach students more about the struggles and triumphs of different races and ethnic groups -- a move critics say amounts to politically correct meddling. In the latest such example, a new commission in New York will examine whether the "physical and psychological terrorism" against Africans in the slave trade is being adequately taught in schools. The commission is named for the slave ship Amistad, which was commandeered by slaves who eventually won their freedom in the U.S. Supreme Court. The recommendations could mean rewriting textbooks, which may influence educators in other states, according to the National Council for the Social Studies.

Tuesday, September 27, 2005

Reading Workshop Plotzing

Altagracia drives me nuts with technology requests, but she and her class are worth it. It also gives me a chance to use Al Jarreau. A small clip of a movie she shot for parents' night.

Monday, September 26, 2005

The House I Live In: Wuppertal Part 2

Thanks to Siamak D. Ahi for leading me to some of the fascinating stories of the Schwebebahn "About 100 years ago, Barmen and Elberfeld - two German towns with a combined population of almost 250,000, approximately 10 kilometers apart and both along the Wupper River - began attempts at improving communication and traffic flow. Horse-drawn and (later) vehicle traffic could not be extended, the connecting river valley not able to accommodate additional or extended roadways. Also, the ground was either too wet or rocky for underground trains. The two towns began pondering a rail link as a possible solution. Eugen Lange (1833-1895), a highly creative engineer from Cologne, Germany, was consulted. During the last three years of his life, Lange had developed an interest in the suspended monorail system idea as an offshoot to a suspended two-rope cable car. This idea was termed the "Schwebebahn" and could be easily implemented, since slanted steel supports could be erected on both river banks......However, the Schwebebahn's most peculiar accident occurred when "Tuffi" - a baby elephant from a performing circus - was given a free ride in the Schwebebahn. Instead of enjoying the ride and scenery, Tuffi panicked, broke the glass panes of the moving coach and landed in the Wupper River. Fortunately, Tuffi was only slightly injured. Apparently, no photos exist of the infamous "Tuffi accident," as the accompanying journalists were too stunned to take pictures. Here's the full story.

Sunday, September 25, 2005

The House I Live In: Wuppertal

Maria Mitchell, our renowned and wonderful resident dance teacher, is doing an exciting collaborative project. It includes students from Ms. Bertoni's 3rd grade inclusion class with a 5th grade class in Wuppertal, Germany. At some point there will be videoconferencing. Here's brief description: International Internet Dance/Literacy Project Maria Mitchell In cooperation with " The Global Village" The Peter Kowald-Gesellschaft/ort e.v Foundation September-October 2005 The Peter-Kowald-Gesellschaft/ort e.v. Established in 2002 after the death of Peter Kowald (2002) is a foundation, located in Wuppertal Germany, is continuing the work of Peter Kowald. Peter Kowald was a world -renowned free music improviser. The work of the foundation is to support free improvised music and connect the music with dance, visual arts, poetry, movie etc; bringing artists together in "The Global Village".In the meantime, we are creating digital videos of Maria's in class sessions that she can bring with her when she goes to Germany next week. Here's some info on Wuppertal: "Wuppertal is the largest city in the Bergi country in the Land of the Federal Republic North Rhine-Westphalia . It lies in the geographical center of the compression chamber Rhine Ruhr, near the large cities of Duesseldorf ( 30 km west) an Cologne (40 km southwest). Wuppertal has about 360,000 inhabitants. It has two large urbane centers (Elberfeld and Barmen) and five further quarters (Beyenburg, Cronenberg, Long Field, Ronsdorf and Vohwinkel). From almost any place however within a short time a Erholsame green belt or an expanded forest area on the heights can be reached. Here's a slide show a some scenes from Wuppertal.

Saturday, September 24, 2005

Make Levees Not War

My daughter and I pooped out after an hour and a half. My wife wound up marching near Jesse Jackson and Al Sharpton. No surprise about the the train outage at Amtrak. No way just a 100,000. I did my own estimate. While taking a break from marching, we sat on the side. I took a mental picture of a group of people (it numbered 30). Every time I saw a group of 30 I noted that. In two mintues I saw 30 groups of 30. 900 people in two minutes equals 27,000 people in an hour.
And this was at a point when the parade thinned out (people would sometimes stop in front of White House and yell at an imaginary President). Not everyone marched in the parade-a lot just hung out at the Washington Monument. You do the math. Here is a slide show with images from the Washington Post combined with assorted sounds from my digital recorder.

Thursday, September 22, 2005

The House I Live In: Venezuela

Learning about Venezuela through the book Baseball in El Barrios: Grade 4-6. This photo-essay shows the enthusiasm for baseball in the neighborhoods (barrios) of the cities and towns throughout Venezuela. It focuses on Hubaldo Antonio Romero Paez, a fifth grader from Caracas. The boy talks a little about his school and family, but he mostly explains where and how he plays baseball and the setup of the Venezuelan leagues. He also mentions a few outstanding players from his country, such as Luis Aparicio and Ozzie Guillen, who made it in the North American major leagues. The text is well written and mixes nicely with the bright, full-color photos that are expertly laid out on each page. Baseball terms with pronunciations in Spanish and helpful maps are included. This useful book shows children in the U.S. that baseball is played passionately in other countries. The wonderful pictures perfectly capture Hubaldo and his friends' exuberant love of the game. From Booklist Gr. 2-4. Hubaldo, a fifth-grader who lives in Caracas, the capital of Venezuela, would rather play baseball, beisbol in Spanish, than do anything else. In an engaging essay teamed with crisp, colorful photographs, Hubaldo introduces his family and friends as well as baseball as it is played in the Venezuelan barrios. Baseball, the most popular sport in Venezuela, is truly an "all-American sport" because, as this book shows, the game is played and pursued with passion in both North and South America. This dynamic sports photo-essay will be fun for sports fans and effective for social studies units.Here is a slide show of the book This is a vocabulary word response assignment for the book. The task is to match the Spanish word with the picture and then write an English definition for the Spanish word. Another assignment: a venn diagram on school in Venezuela vs. New York


from the national enquirer: BUSH'S BOOZE CRISIS By JENNIFER LUCE and DON GENTILE Faced with the biggest crisis of his political life, President Bush has hit the bottle again, The National Enquirer can reveal. Bush, who said he quit drinking the morning after his 40th birthday, has started boozing amid the Katrina catastrophe. Family sources have told how the 59-year-old president was caught by First Lady Laura downing a shot of booze at their family ranch in Crawford, Texas, when he learned of the hurricane disaster. His worried wife yelled at him: "Stop, George." Following the shocking incident, disclosed here for the first time, Laura privately warned her husband against "falling off the wagon" and vowed to travel with him more often so that she can keep an eye on Dubya, the sources add "When the levees broke in New Orleans, it apparently made him reach for a shot," said one insider. "He poured himself a Texas-sized shot of straight whiskey and tossed it back. The First Lady was shocked and shouted: "Stop George!" "Laura gave him an ultimatum before, 'It's Jim Beam or me.' She doesn't want to replay that nightmare — especially now when it's such tough going for her husband." Bush is under the worst pressure of his two terms in office and his popularity is near an all-time low. The handling of the Katrina crisis and troop losses in Iraq have fueled public discontent and pushed Bush back to drink. A Washington source said: "The sad fact is that he has been sneaking drinks for weeks now. Laura may have only just caught him — but the word is his drinking has been going on for a while in the capital. He's been in a pressure cooker for months.

Monday, September 19, 2005

The House I LIve In: Neighborhoods

A unitedstreaming movie on neighborhoods provides a nice starting point for lower grade community studies. Here's a 6.3MB clip from it. This slide show highlights the main points from the clip

Sunday, September 18, 2005

Hell No, We Ain't All Right

New Orleans under water, a rapper's anger overflows Chuck D voices his frustrations on 'Hell No.' Fish gotta swim. Birds gotta fly. Musicians gotta write songs. When the first television images made it clear what the wake of Hurricane Katrina was doing to New Orleans, Chuck D, longtime frontman of Public Enemy, couldn't swoop in with a rescue chopper or patch up the levees. He could, however, write a song. "Hell No, We Ain't AllRight," he called it, and he finished it a day before fellow musician Kanye West remarked during a relief fund-raiser on national TV that "President Bush doesn't care about black people." That's no coincidence, since "Hell No" springs from the same frustration. While Chuck D's song is less directly personal about George W. Bush, he's just as angry about the government George W. Bush leads. New world's upside down and out of order/ Shelter? Food? Wassup, where's the water?/ No answers from disaster, them masses hurtin'/ So who the f- we call - HalliburtonNo diplomatic niceties here, not that we'd expect any. Public Enemy has always been a locomotive in whose path one stands at one's own risk. But regardless of how powerfully he writes and raps, Chuck D wouldn't matter if he weren't saying something his audience wanted to hear. In this case, after the country saw fellow American citizens pleading for food and water while their government was apparently taking a nap, Chuck D and Kanye weren't the only viewers who got angry. Chuck D calls rap "the CNN of black America," and while rap hasn't been very topical lately, that doesn't mean its fans didn't care about what was happening in New Orleans. Writing a song like this also ties Chuck D squarely into one of music's oldest traditions. Before radio, television and sound recordings, songs were a mass medium used to spread information and points of view. Slaves spoke among themselves for generations in a whole language based on songs and percussion. Partisans during the Revolutionary War put their arguments to music, and sympathetic minstrels went to taverns and town meetings to sing them. In "Hell No, We Ain't All Right," Chuck D also calls out artists who care more about flashy jewelry for televised awards shows than their brothers and sisters. But he's a media guy himself these days, with a regular show on Air America radio, and like CNN, he returns in the end to his real point: Now what's over here/ Is a noise so loud/ That some can't hear/ But on TV I can see/ Bunches of people/Looking just like me. And they ain't all right. Here's the song with the expletives deleted.

The House I LIve In: The Rainforest

Wouldn't you know it, with all my summer planning on the topic, my first breakthrough of the year is Ms. Matthews' student teacher who wanted help with a unit on the book, "The Great Kapok Tree." Hey, I thought, that's a "house I live in" too. You've got to be pretty sharp to fly in under that TC Literacy "no social studies please" radar. Here's a slide show of the book (a lot of manual labor scanning, but worth it). The book also has a great map of the world's rainforests, which I posterized for a bulletin board. Here's a pdf file with several suggestions on how to follow up. I downloaded a couple of easy unitedstreaming videos on the rainforest as well. To save me the wear and tear of linking files, download the image of the kapok tree info page directly from this posting.

Here Comes The Fudge

Here's Jon Stewart on Bush's bathroom break

Oldest Person In The USA: Leah Lesczynski

From the NYTimes of 1892, courtesy of accomplished geneaologist and physical education instructor, David Priever. The obituary mentions that Leah was interned at Washington Cemetery in Parkville, Long Island. Today we call that Ocean Parkway (Parkville Avenue), Brooklyn. 143 Norfolk Street is on Norfolk (west side) between Stanton and Rivington.

Sutton Impact

Ward Sutton, Mark Fiore and Tom Tomorrow are the 1,2,3 punch of political cartoonists and all regularly appear in the Village Voice.

Liar, Liar

from civillibrertarian.blogspot: If George Bush had encountered the same fate as Jim Carrey’s character in the movie Liar Liar, and had been rendered incapable of lying, America would not have been subjected to thirty minutes of manipulative propaganda on 9/15. Compelled to tell the truth, Bush’s oration would have captured the reality of the situation in New Orleans, and of life for the poor and working class in an America dominated by a wealthy aristocracy: "THE PRESIDENT: Good evening. It is a very good evening for me. I am still an obscenely wealthy and powerful autocratic leader of a nation of sheeple who falsely believe they are free. While I am surrounded by misery and suffering, I make this presentation of shameless propaganda from a comfortable, beautiful stage set while surrounded by an entourage of thugs who assure my safety. I am speaking to you from what is left of the city of New Orleans, a gem of an American city which was gutted by a powerful force of nature, and by the insidious social experiment undertaken by my malevolent administration. Millions of lives were destroyed by a cruel and wasteful storm, and by a cruel and wasteful federal government over which I zealously preside. In the aftermath of Katrina, the haves of this nation have gleefully watched the have-nots dispersed to the four corners of this great nation. As the victims search for loved ones and grieve for the dead, America's attention is diverted from my nomination of a Supreme Court Justice who will strengthen the tyranny I have created, Karl Rove's criminal behavior, and my administration's numerous war crimes related to Iraq. The lies and exaggerations of my media lap-dogs have persuaded many Americans that blacks are undisciplined animals who live off of government hand-outs, feeding my agenda to end social welfare programs and perpetuating the lucrative prison-industrial complex. With their persistent cries for civil rights, blacks have been a thorn in the side of the American aristocracy long enough." The full speech is here.

Number One Or Two?

"The headline at the BBC news site suggested that Bush had been "caught short" at the U.N. summit. From The Sun: "I fear a leak, Condi." The Irish Examiner headline? "To Pee or Not to Pee, That is the Question." Der Spiegel in Germany translated "a bathroom break" as "eine Toiletten-Pause." And, of course, it made The Daily Show back in the U.S. late Thursday night. On Friday morning, Newsday chortled: "Photographer leaks Bush potty idea." The Minneapolis Star-Tribune headlined: "Bush note inspires bathroom humor." Gary Hershorn, news editor-photos for the Americas at Reuters, told E&P today that the photographer, Rick Wilking, informed him yesterday afternoon that he had observed Bush pass the note to Rice, and a little later, rise from his seat, leave the room, and then return. And while some have suggested that Wilking, a well-known photographer just back from taking some of the most gripping images in New Orleans, was out to embarrass the president, Hershorn said that the photojournalist had no idea what Bush was writing on the paper. Wilking assumed the president was taking notes on what some other official was saying."

Monday, September 12, 2005

Roe vs Wade

I rarely, if ever, pass along jokes. This is good, courtesy of Mrs. Ringel:
Q: What is George W. Bush's position on Roe vs. Wade?
A: He really doesn't care how people get out of New Orleans.

The House I Live In: Ghetto Life 101

Ms. Kane is using a terrific book as a read aloud, Scooter by Vera Williams. It's about growing up in a housing project. She's doing realistic fiction, with a further emphasis on character studies (I hope I got that right) Vera Williams is a New Yorker who grow up in the Bronx. A book about housing projects, a nice one in Scooter's case, reminded me of the David Isay radio documentary that was done in 1993 with two remarkable boys (talk about strong character!) in Chicago housing projects: "In March, 1993, LeAlan Jones, thirteen, and Lloyd Newman, fourteen, collaborated with public radio producer David Isay to create the radio documentary Ghetto Life 101, their audio diaries of life on Chicago's South Side. The boys taped for ten days, walking listeners through their daily lives: to school, to an overpass to throw rocks at cars, to a bus ride that takes them out of the ghetto, and to friends and family members in the community. The candor in Jones and Newman's diaries brought listeners face to face with a portrait of poverty and danger and their effects on childhood in one of Chicago's worst housing projects. Like Vietnam War veterans in the bodies of young boys, Jones and Newman described the bitter truth about the sounds of machine guns at night and the effects of a thriving drug world on a community. Ghetto Life 101 became one of the most acclaimed programs in public radio history, winning almost all of the major awards in American broadcasting, including: the Sigma Delta Chi Award, the Ohio State Award, the Livingston Award, the Corporation for Public Broadcasting Awards for Excellence in Documentary Radio and Special Achievement in Radio Programming, and others. Ghetto Life 101 was also awarded the Prix Italia, Europe's oldest and most prestigious broadcasting award. It has been translated into a dozen languages and has been broadcast worldwide." Here's the transcript of the show. Here's the audio of the show

The House I Live In: The Other America

From this week's Newsweek: "How Bush Blew It" Mainstream media strikes back?

Sunday, September 11, 2005

Constitution Day, Sept 17th: DOI Film PT2

In this next segment of the film about the Declaration of Independence the actors read aloud excerpts. I created a word template that has thumbnail images of 4 of the actors and the block of text they read. The students have to cut and paste the appropriate text segments into text boxes that accompany the thumbnail images.

LES Hero: Bella Abzug

Bella was the first member of Congress to call for Richard Nixon's impeachment. We could use her now. Manchester, N.H. The Union Leader: MY CONNECTION with 9/11 is personal. I am a pilot for American Airlines. In September of 2001, I had AA Flight 11 on my flying schedule. As you may recall, AA Flight 11 was the first airplane hijacked. It subsequently impacted the north tower of the World Trade Center. I lost a friend and fellow pilot, Capt. John Ogonowski, that day. I also knew purser Betty Ong and the rest of the cabin crew. I could have been the copilot who perished that day. On the four-year anniversary of 9/11, I would like to give you my summation as to what progress our leaders have made in ridding the world of terrorism, and in "bringing to justice" the perpetrators of that horrendous terrorist attack on our homeland. And that is — no real progress. The world is now a much more dangerous place and Osama bin Laden and al-Qaida are still "alive and well." I remember President George W. Bush standing on the pile of rubble that used to be the WTC, with his bullhorn, his arm over a New York City firefighter, proclaiming to all that the United States will get whoever did this to us and bring them to justice. Instead, it became an opportune moment for him, Dick Cheney, Donald Rumsfeld, and Paul Wolfowitz to pursue their own agenda, which they had when they came into office and were dying to execute. George W. Bush used 9/11 as an excuse for his personal war in Iraq; and, as it turns out, is not serious about the "War on Terror" at all. The reason I say this is because his attempt to capture or kill Osama bin Laden has been lame at best. He delegates the enemy (Pakistan) to hunt for the enemy. Instead, al-Qaida has once again "reared its ugly head," this time with subway bombings in London. Let's face it, our President and all his men have failed the world in bringing these terrorists to justice. As we have subsequently learned, through the 9/11 Commission Report and from sources no longer inside the White House, George W. Bush, upon taking office, simply refused to heed the warnings from the outgoing administration that Osama bin Laden and al-Qaida were the greatest threat America faced. According to Paul O'Neill, at Bush's first National Security Council meeting, the topic of discussion was Saddam Hussein, who had essentially been "contained" ever since the first Gulf War. And, as Richard Clarke said, as summer approached and reports of an imminent attack on the United States became more frequent, no one did anything! Condoleeza Rice later testified that there were no specifics — "when, where, who." This is the same person who had the gall to say "we don't want a smoking gun to become a mushroom cloud" in reference to Saddam Hussein. Not one meeting was held to address the escalation of threats of an attack on our homeland. As we know now, there was no evidence to back up the "mushroom cloud" statement and proceed with starting the war in Iraq. No WMD, no proof of a purchase of uranium from Niger, no aluminum tubes, no mobile weapons labs, no proof of coordination with al-Qaida, no imminent threat to the United States, and no mission accomplished. What we are coming to learn, through numerous sources including the "Downing Street Memos," is that Bush, Cheney, Rumsfeld, Wolfowitz, and Rice knew this before they started their war in Iraq. They deliberately misled us all into believing them. We would have been at war with Iraq even if 9/11 did not occur. What the war has become is a waste of U.S. lives and taxpayer dollars and a breeding ground for more and smarter terrorists. Also, U.S. companies in Iraq, with close ties to the Bush administration, are engaged in blatant profiteering. Is it just a coincidence that Iraq is said to possess the second largest oil reserves? All I can say is that I am tired of being lied to by an administration that has zero credibility. I am hoping that in 2006 Democrats win back control of Congress and open their first session with impeachment proceedings of George W. Bush and Dick Cheney, because the Republicans refuse to do so. Kurt S. Wolz of Bedford is a pilot for American Airlines.

The House I Live In: Dominican Republic (The Yoleros)

from, the same producers of the William Rodriguez film, The Keymaster:
The Passage, an upcoming feature-length documentary, explores the plight of the yoleros— immigrants from the Dominican Republic who travel illegally to Puerto Rico in precarious fishing boats called yolas. These small boats are often no match for the treacherous waters of the Mona Passage, the 80-mile stretch of sea that divides the two Caribbean islands. Although many have succumbed to the dangers of this journey, thousands of Dominicans continue to risk their lives for a better future in the United States. According to the International Organization for Migration (IOM), at least one out of ten yoleros perishes at sea.
The film documents, in cinema vérité style, the lives of Dominican immigrants, both before and after their “passage” to Puerto Rico—like Yanina, who left her four children behind in her town of Rio San Juan to join her unemployed husband in Puerto Rico only to be deported back by the Coast Guard; or the survivors of an ill-fated yola that got lost at sea for 10 days in the summer of 2004 and resulted in the deaths of 65 people due to lack of food; or Peter, who successfully arrived in Puerto Rico by yola seven years ago and has devoted his life to warning others of the dangers inherent in such trips.
Through their first-hand accounts, the film reveals an eye-opening portrait of a community adrift. It also provides unique insight into the socio-political circumstances that led to this immigration crisis, which has largely been ignored by the international press. At present, 5.7 million Dominicans (out of a population of roughly 9 million) live in poverty, subsisting on $1 dollar a day. In recent years, yola trips have increased at an alarming rate. The film asks: How far would you be willing to go for a chance at a better life? Here's a clip from the trailer

Constitution Day: Sept 17th "I'm Just A Bill'

Part of the Schoolhouse Rock collection. The vocal is by the famous drummist Grady Tate. I'm sure Willie Mack knows him. We have two links here: Here is the video. (7.2MB) Next we have the full lyrics as a word document
I'm just a bill. Yes, I'm only a bill. And I'm sitting here on Capitol Hill. Well, it's a long, long journey To the capital city. It's a long, long wait While I'm sitting in committee, But I know I'll be a law someday At least I hope and pray that I will, But today I am still just a bill......"I got your bill right here fella"

9-11 Anniversary: Hispanic Heroes

The remarkable story about William Rodriguez is being made into a movie entitled "Keymaster" by a Brooklyn film company.
Rodriguez insists he saw one of the hijackers at the world Trade Center in June of 2001. He also insists, as to other custodial workers, that there were explosions in the basement of the Twin Towers prior to the airplane impact. Despite his testimony
this is not in the 567 page Congressional 9/11 report. Here's a portion of the trailer to Keymaster.

The House I Live In: Constructing Houses

Franklin Watts Publishing makes a great series of books called Technology Crafts' Projects. The technology is really old style craft construction, but the instructions are very clear. This slide show is from the Houses and Homes title

Saturday, September 10, 2005

The House I Live In: Multiculturalism, Primary Grades

I've seenn this title inmany of the classes. From Amazon: "Kindergarten-Grade 2-- A glimpse at how three families impart a sense of ethnic identity to their children. Five-year-old Sanu's father is from Senegal. Her mother grew up in Baltimore. Sanu and her father buy food for a traditional dish he will prepare and share with other relatives. Eric and his mother were born in New York City, while his father is from Puerto Rico. When relatives gather at their house, they like to dance the merengue. April's parents were born and raised in Taiwan. On Saturdays she and her siblings go to Chinese school to learn calligraphy. All three families live in middle-class urban settings. All three children have sensitive, caring parents; two of them have strong ties with extended families. Religion is not discussed directly, but there are hints of Christian backgrounds in two cases. Each child's first-person narration is simple and uncomplicated, with occasional humorous touches. One can almost hear them speaking. The full-color photographs are well composed and serviceable. As there is a growing demand for books depicting multicultural heritages, this one will be useful." Here's a slide show of the book

Constitution Day: The Preamble

On 9/1/05 I posted the schoolhouse rock mp3 for "we the people" along with the lyrics. Here's the movie (7MB)

Constitution Day: Sept 17th

Here's part of a really good video (3.9MB) done in conjunction two years ago for a Declaration of Independence nationwide tour. It has Morgan Freeman and a whole host of others reading aloud the Declaration including that great patriot, Mel Gibson. (Declaration-Constitution?-close enough). Also available here is a word response sheet. The aim of this one is to finish the sentence and to place the events from the movie in sequence.

9-11 Anniversary

This is a clip about site tours being given by 9/11 survivors and site workers. Also included is a transcript of the video that ny1 provides. Good read along activity.

Katrina: Time For Kids

In my opinion Time For Kids ( easily surpasses Scholastic News and Weekly Reader as a news supplement in schools. (both online and in print form) BTW Weekly Reader is owned by WRC Media which includes Compass Learning. Enuff said, since I don't need a libel suit. Weekly Reader's first issue includes an interview with Education Secretary Spelling! Here's a pdf of part of TFKids first issue. Here's a word response sheet for the article Here is a brainpop movie all about hurricanes. Here is a word response sheet about the movie

Friday, September 09, 2005

9/11 Anniversary: Hispanic Hero For Hispanic Heritage Month

This covers 4 areas: The 9/11 anniversary, the search for truth about 9/11, Hispanic Heritage Month, The Strong Character Strand In Literacy: William Rodriguez, formerly an American Building Maintenance employee for twenty years, was responsible for inspection and maintenance at the World Trade Center and held the master key for the stairs. He was the last person to leave the building on September 11 and has been credited with saving many lives: from, William Rodriguez, a 9-11 survivor by Deanna Spingola August 26, 2005: "This past week I had the great pleasure of meeting William Rodriguez, a humble man from Puerto Rico who worked at the World Trade Center. He looked healthy in spite of suffering from many 9-11 related problems. The occasion was at a special meeting at the Schaumburg, Illinois Township Library in the Chicago suburbs. This informative presentation served as a memorial for the many victims as we approach the fourth year anniversary of 9-11. In addition to William Rodriguez other knowledgeable and well qualified individuals presented their thoughts: Phil Jayhan, Dave VonKleist and Christopher Bollyn, a journalist with the American Free Press. This event, where there should have been standing room only, was sponsored in part by the American Free Press as well as Jimmy Walter and Eric Hufschmid, a physicist and author of the book "Painful Questions." A press release was sent to all of the print media in the Chicago area about a month in advance of this event. There was a very tiny isolated notice about the occasion in one of the Chicago papers. Surely, we could hope that the local newspapers would wish to interview all of the participants about such an important subject as 9-11. But, only one Hispanic television station sent a journalist and a camera. So we must assume that the other Chicago news organizations, affiliates of a much larger cabal, have already determined exactly what their readers are supposed to believe about 9-11. Let's not deviate from the government version and confuse people with the truth!"
Here's a pdf file with more on this story

FEMA Detention Camps

This is truly scary. here's a pdf file from a site called

More Political Cartoons

Sources are:,, and Here's a slide show

Not A LES Hero

Not any kind of hero. People have had enough. Hear an onlooker tell him off BTW the guy who cursed out Dick is a doctor whose house was damaged near the photo-op. He later got roughed up. Read about it here

LES Hero Retires

From The Villager, 9/7/05: "After 28 years of standing beside the brightly painted double doors leading into Public School 20 and greeting students and parents by name each morning, Principal Leonard Golubchick, a beloved figure at the school, retired with little fanfare on Aug. 31. Golubchick, who’s best known by students and staff members as Dr. G, has been lauded nationwide for the work he’s accomplished at the Lower East Side elementary school, where most of the children are from low-income families. Throughout his tenure, he implemented a remarkable number of arts and education programs and dramatically increased the school’s test scores, placing P.S. 20 in the top 15 percent of city schools in reading and math."

Thursday, September 08, 2005

TC Literacy: Character Study #2

My name is Isabel Here's a pdf file from The Teaching Multicultural Literacy site (part of Annenberg's collection)

TC Literacy: Realistic Fiction, Character Study

Here's a bunch of people who had character. These are posters I saw in an anarchist bookstore in Haight Asbury, SF. They are available for sale (cheap, $3!) at the site. Here's a slide show of a sampling

Katrina In The Onion

WASHINGTON, DC—In an emergency White House address Sunday, President Bush urged all people dying from several days without food and water in New Orleans to "tap into the American entrepreneurial spirit" and gnaw on their own bootstraps for sustenance. "Government handouts are not the answer," Bush said. "I believe in smaller government, which is why I have drastically cut welfare and levee upkeep. I encourage you poor folks to fill yourself up on your own bootstraps. Buckle down, and tear at them like a starving animal." Responding to reports that many Katrina survivors have lost everything in the disaster, Bush said, "Only when you work hard and chew desperately on your own footwear can you live the American dream."

Mirror, Mirror On The Wall

If I was the king, I might have (literal)..... Which is the real Landreu? She doesn't have figurative kahones either. Early on she came off as an administration apologist in a CNN interview- now she is in tears and her comment about people floating in attics is tasteless. Senator Mary Landrieu (D-Louisiana) took a reporter on a helicopter ride, showing him where her camp used to be. Landrieu has said that she has expected this to happen for years and had begged and pleaded for help – for years – and people ignored her. She talked about people in the houses who might be floating near their roofs, holding their babies. She said that the prisoners were evacuated from the prison so that they wouldn't go wild in the city. She said that she would assault the President of the United States if he criticized the sheriff. She screamed that the President had gotten a photo op down there, that the President had cut the budget, and she burst into tears.On the ground, through crying, she said that she wants all the assets the President has, all the military, unlimited resource, and she called for a cabinet level person who reports to the President to take charge of the efforts in Louisiana. Here's the video of the event.

City Of New Orleans: Good Night America

City of New Orleans By Arlo Guthrie - originally written by Steve Goodman - Katrina rewrite by Stephen Johnson
Living in the City of New Orleans
I'm gettin' by, but poor as poor can be. I voted for the man who'd keep me safest. By God, I knew he'd do alright by me.
All along the length of Bourbon Street friendly faces smile at me. Strolling down past cafes, pubs and bars.
Passing I remember when, city full of old black men Played saxaphones under the moon and stars.
Good mornin' America, how are you? Don't you know me? I'm your native son!
I'm the place they call the City of New Orleans. I'll be doing fine soon as this storm is gone.
You know some say you lied to take us to war. Betting our lives, hoping no one's keeping score.
Cut our funds and hoping for the best. But I hear the waves lapping at my door
You said no one could ever forsee this disaster. But that lie you tried to spread was soon revealed
Families with no cash or car, prayed to God to please stand guard. But the rising tide just would not recede
Good mornin' America, how are you? . Say don't you know me? I'm your native son!
I'm the jewel called the City of New Orleans. I'll be under 20 feet when the day is done.
Swimming through the City of New Orleans. Wish I was in Memphis, Tennessee
Superdome, yeah we'll be there by morning.' And the federal government sure will rescue me.
But all the men and women seem to drown in this bad dream. And the journalists still ain't told the truth
The president, he lies again. And asks us not to assign blame
This rain's sure made me lose my faith in yo. Good night America, how are you?
Say don't you know me? I'm your native son! I'm the lesson called the City of New Orleans.
I'll lose 50,000 lives before the nightmare's gone.
Listen to the original by Arlo Guthrie and download this word file to read the original lyrics

BBC World News

Some of the news they don't want you to see in the United States media.

Wednesday, September 07, 2005

He Blew His Mind Out In A Car

What happened to the Japanese tradition of "falling on your sword" after am embarassing defeat? If he read the news he should. Here's a slide show of it.

Democracy Now

All the news that's not fit to print in the Times. Here are two portions of the 9/6/05 broadcast from
The first talks of the USS Bataan, a ship ready willing and able to second to Katrina-but never asked. Also a mention of the award (image attached) that the Cubans won from The United Nations. The second clip talks of some of the unsung heroes of this disaster (none from FEMA)

Latin Legends' First Base

It's a tough decision for the best latin first baseman. I doubt anyone would vote for Palmeiro, even though he has had a great career. Here's a slide show for the five nominees. Here also is a word document that I will use for the students to respond to the slide show.

Build Yourself A Levee

Here's one of those karaoke slide shows (these are tough to time just right) with the lyrics and music to Build Yourself a Levee by Natalie Merchant. Great possibility for a literacy lesson focusing on language, symbolism, poetry etc. and the news of the day.

Document Based Question Strategies

Here's an entire slide show devoted to different aspects of dbq's

Political Cartoons

Fifth graders get a document based social studies test in November. Understanding political cartoons is one of the components. Here's a dbq slide show on cartoons. The first four slides give some tips on how to understand them, but I don't think that will work-you just have to be aware of the contexts that cartoons deal with and that involves teaching content. The one above is some semi original work that could have been a New Orleans' Daily News City headline.

Tuesday, September 06, 2005

Let Them Eat Cake

Barbara Bush: "So Many Of The People In The Arena... Were Underprivileged Anyway, So This Is Working Very Well For Them"...Listen to this

New State I Live In: America's Tsunami Part 3

Here's one flash movie I captured from The BBC site that I hadn't seen in the usual mix on how hurricanes form and levee reconstruction, etc. I'm curious as to why some states took in refugees and others didn't.