Page 1

Ditmas IS 62

Classes 850, 808 Barry Kevorkian, Principal Mr. Michael Downes, Social Studies & Digital Media Educator Mr. Nolan Adams, Social Studies Teacher 808 Writing Institute Press Dr. Rose Cherie Reissman, Founder


42 and Massacres, too CCSS American History Study Using Digital and Print Resources Ditmas IS 62 Classes 850, 808 Barry Kevorkian Principal Mr. Michael Downes Social Studies and Digital Media Educator Mr. Nolan Adams Social Studies Teacher 808 Writing Institute Press Dr. Rose Cherie Reissman Founder


Production/Press Preparation Team Production/Press Preparation Team Mymuna Begum, Editor in Chief Literacy Editors: Margaret Chowdry Stephanie Chowdry Iraiz Hernandez Isabel Perez Poetry Features Editor Kristin Blake Art Editors: Carla Cervantes Gustavo Moreno Morales Jessica Velez Collage: Jessica Velez Cover Designs: Mymuna Begum Cover Design Artist Statement: Book Designer: Joe Cullaro Preparation of the Manuscript for Printing: Kip Ellis Archival Image Research: Kip Ellis Photographers: Mr. Carideo Mary Piccolino, Literacy Coordinator Amanda Xavier - ELA Master Teacher/Proofreader Scanning of Images for Books: Rosalie Pinto Supportive Ditmas Office Team: Kathie Carroll Mary Errico Joey Leone


REAL WORLD COMMUNITY CONTRIBUTORS/ COLLABORATORS for COMPREHENSION (CCSS SPEAKING AND LISTENING) Vlad Davidov Chanelle Bermudez Barbara Ellis Kip Ellis Dr. Steve Zeitlin Dr. LynNell Hancock Dr. Lindamichelle Baron Mark Gura Andrea Pinkney York EDU333 Students David Trevaskis, Esquire Ivdu Students Chavie Kahn, Principal IVDU


Student Contributors Student Contributors Skhokhrukh Abdulloev Yoseph Ahmed Jaida Alonso Mymuna Begum Kristin Blake David Chen Margaret Chowdry Stephanie Chowdry Cesar Fierros Salsie Ganu Ray Gonzalez Daisy Hernandez Iraiz Hernandez Ahlam Hussein Christopher Lemus Yasin Mahdi Gustavo Moran Ross Navarro Cassandra Thoby Fnu Tserling Humberto Wallace


Table of Contents 1. First  Reader and Partner Comments: Dr. Lynnell Hancock, Columbia School of Journalism Mark Gura, President of ISTE Literacy Special Interest Group and Former Head of the Office of Instructional Technology- New York City Department of Education 2. Pennsylvania Social Studies Association Recognizes The CCSS Digital Literacy American History Innovation of Michael DownesDavid Keller Trevaskis, President of the Pennsylvania Social Studies Association and Pennsylvania Bar Pro Bono Coordinator 3. Chair of York College-Department of Teacher EducationDr. Lindamichelle Baron 4. CCSS COLLABORATION AND COMPREHENSIONREAL COVERSATIONS AND RESPONSES FROM ADULT EDUCATORS and OLDER PEERSFormat Introduction- Dr. Rose Cherie Reissman Publication Associate: Kip Ellis Student Foreword: Stephanie Chowdry Chapter 1 Argument for 21st Century- Vocational Education for Economic Security versus Academic College Study and Political ActionBooker T. Washington versus W.E. B. Dubois Chapter 2 Boston, Be Strong21st Century Violence- America’s Past and Present Reaction, ResilienceCCSS Print, Digital, Graphic Text Complexity- Range of Reading and Writing Chapter 3 Hand in Hand Andrea Pinkney, Coretta Scott King Award Winning Poetry Inspires our own Kristin Blake Chapter 4 42 and Cinderella Man- CINEMA TEXT COMPLEXITYChapter 5 Range of Texts- SS/History Literacy- Song Lyric Text Scale Chapter 6 Citizenship –Classroom and School ReadyDownes Mentored Student Government Of, for, by and run by 8th grade President and Vice President Sean Tyganovsky and Ross Navarro American History Dictionary- Special Domain Words-Academic Vocabulary Range of Reading, Writing, Speaking and Listening Experiences


A Note From One of Our Partners I had the opportunity to visit I.S. 62 in Ditmas Park this winter, and to meet some of the engaging student leaders and their resourceful educators. I was there to explore the possibility of having one or two of my journalism graduate students spend time in the middle school learning, gathering sources and ideas, and giving back to the students in some capacity. It turned out to be a perfect match, given the lively technology and media concentration in the school, and the unusual opportunities the middle school children have to publish and broadcast to the Ditmas Network News. The history documentaries, the upcoming collaborative books, are all testament to the thoughtful blend of literacy and media at Ditmas. Two of my students in my Covering Education seminar, Neil Gluckman and Aisha Asif, learned a tremendous amount from the principal, the teachers and the students about both the challenges and the basic common sense of combining media studies with learning English, politics, history, culture and arts, to name a few. It is exciting for all of us to have the chance to encourage future journalists. Journalism is a useful discipline to help train the brain at any age to think and write with clarity, to marshal evidence toward that elusive truth. I believe my Columbia students were able to share those skills and that outlook with some of the burgeoning young minds at Ditmas, at least by modeling the craft. Who knows? Maybe one day we’ll all be working for a Ditmas grad at the New York Times. LynNell Hancock H. Gordon Garbedian Professor of Journalism Director, Spencer Education Journalism Fellowship


First Reader Response: It is truly heartening to see this type of program alive and well and benefiting students in the heart of New York. This is the sort of thing that far too often is made available to kids in well-off suburbs, kids already on the fast track to assured success. A very cursory examination of a program like this might lead one to believe that it primarily involves kids in learning some digital media and technology skills. Nothing could be further from the truth! Programs like this teach Literacy; Literacy in the crucial context of how important communications are done currently. Yes, reading, writing, speaking, and listening are present throughout, as is Social Studies in abundance, but using them in this context assures that they will be learned, insightfully applied, and that a deep love of the skillful use of language will emerge. We need much more of this in our schools, much more! Mark Gura Former Director of Instructional Technology President, Literacy Special Interest Group of ISTE (International Society for Technology in Education) Professor – Touro College


Ditmas 2012 Salutatorian My name is Vladislav Davidov, Ditmas IS 62 alumni, class of 2012, and Ditmas has made me a better student. In the field of Social Studies, with the leadership of professional educators, I have developed critical thinking skills, cartography skills, analytic skills and a view on various global perspectives, through an extensive multi-media learning platform. Powerpoint presentations, drawing detailed maps, educational field trips all contributed to my and others perspectives of the society around us, making for easy work in High School. As I am in the AP World History, I truly treasure the lessons learned at my beloved Ditmas.


Student Foreword We sing songs after tragedies to only help those in needto help them feel something other than loss. We cry while singing these songs, because we feel proud. We need to feel proud We need to bring that momentum after tragedy After blood, after tears. Stephanie Chowdry


Chapter 1

Booker T. Washington/W.E.B. DuBois Great Debates of the 20th Century Vocational Version Academic/Activism-Still Going On

Choosing Sides in The 21st Century (CCSS College and Career Readiness Anchor Standards for Writing- Text Types and Purposes-Write arguments to support claims of substantive topics) Booker T. Washington and WEB Dubois had different childhoods and had different ideas on how to rise to the top with success. However, they both have one thing in common: they are both African American. There are still arguments on whether or not Washington and DuBois held time period and 21st century contemporary perspectives on the pathways for success. Washington was born into slavery. Washington worked in different manual labor jobs successfully. He then sought formal education. Washington gained popularity after his Atlanta Address of 1895. He played a critical part in the black community. Washington believed that in order for blacks to be accepted in society, you must display skill in industry. Vocational education was key to him. Training in his time period meant training for a specific vocation in industry, agriculture, or trade. DuBois was born to free parents. DuBois graduated Harvard with a doctorate. He became a professor of history, sociology, and economics at Atlanta University. DuBois has one of the co-founders of the National Association for the Advancement of Colored People (NAACP) in 1909. DuBois would not accept “separate but equal.” DuBois insisted on full civil rights and increased political representation, which he believed would be brought about by the African American intellectual elite. DuBois’s credo/belief system differed from Washington’s. DuBois believed that African American need advanced education to build leadership and have success. DuBois believed in education and political advocacy. Washington literally grasped his hands on vocational education (training in industry, agriculture, or trade) as a pathway for separate black economic achievement. I believe DuBois had a better perspective on how to achieve success in society. Education is key, there is no need to focus on vocation. Stephanie Chowdry


CCSS History Literacy

Collaboration (Real Adult Voices and Comprehension) Dear Stephanie, As an argument given your readings from the works of Booker T. Washington and W.E.B. DuBois, your writing is exceedingly well done. Yet given my study as a student of black history, developer of resources teaching black history and as someone who grew up in a climate steeped in both DuBois and Washington’s principles, I have to offer my insights on these two thinkers. I believe each one’s principles, would contribute to our national dialogue on vocational education and college/activism for equal rights today. Yet, Stephanie, I caution you that Washington’s vision of hard vocational disciplined work without parallel Black equity would be vastly different from vocational education today. Similarly, W.E.B. DuBois had a very elitist and deep vision of a highly learned, well read in the classic sense individual who strongly advocated using those timely honed skills for equal justice. Your argument was striking to me and I am confident you and other students so well taught by Mr. Downes will delve more deeply in the 21st Century appropriate if divergent principles of Washington and DuBois. Barbara Ellis NYSUT/Adjunct Empire State College


W.E.B. Dubois was an academic. Booker T. Washington was a former slave. They held two different points of views on the position of the black in white society. Booker focused on the economic status and ability to work at a trade options of blacks. W.E.B. focused on how blacks were regarded in white society. W.E.B. DuBois would not accept the right of “separate but equal” DuBois believed that education was very important. Now on the other hand, Booker T. Washington did accept “separate but equal” status for blacks. He strongly advocated for vocational education. Both thinkers had reasonable views based on their different perspectives, but only one could have been noticed and utilized in their respective time periods. Ray Gonzalez

I believe that Booker T. Washington had a better understanding because he focused on having education for real life jobs and I consider him better than W.E.B. He accepted the place of black and whites on earth. DuBois focused on something else, which wasn’t good for education. W.E.B. DuBois only wanted to gain equality along with education and jobs. Booker T. Washington focused on the economic /income rights of black people, such as, economy, jobs, and education. He wanted them to learn how to work so they would have what the white have such as economy. This is the reason why I believe Booker T. Washington had a better focus on education and economic futures. Cesar Fierros


Personal 21st Century Perspectives Booker T. and W.E.B. DuBois can best be described as inspiring, motivational African Americans that wanted African Americans to thrive. Even though they shared somewhat similar convictions they are both very different. Booker T. believed in vocational education, schools like Aviation High School and Queen’s Vocational High School are both prime examples. Booker T. was born a slave. He eventually wrote a biography called Up From Slavery. Common Labor was one of Booker T.’s biggest piece of advice for other African Americans, as well as industrial education. W.E.B. DuBois was born in to a wealthy family, so he never experienced slavery first-hand. He was also a scholar, historian, and did not agree to the quote, “separate but equal”. DuBois believed that academic colleges were the best choices I accept in DuBois convictions due to my opinion that a strong education is one of the best things an individual can attain. This economy is dropping since there are more people dropping out of school and that just leaves them in a lower economic and class position. The more educated people we have, the more the economy will stabilize. This is how W.E.B. DuBois and Booker T. differ. Dubois was right about the 21st century. Yoseph Ahmed


Booker T. Washington and W.E.B. DuBois were amazing men. Both thought of different ways to help the colored people. W.E.B. DuBois wanted blacks educated and nurtured to become leaders, not solely vocational training. He wanted to fight segregation through political action. Here is a famous quote from DuBois. By voting where we may vote, by persistent, unceasing agitation, by hammering as the truth, by sacrifice and work.” On the other hand Booker T. Washington mainly focused education for real life jobs and not asking for equality from the whites. He accepted his place. In conclusion, W.E.B. DuBois focused on gaining equality along side with education. Booker T. Washington focused on for real life jobs and not asking for equality from whites. He accepted his place as black on earth as separate in society from whites. Ahlam Hussein

I think Booker T. Washington is better than W.E.B. DuBois because Booker T. Washington thought that education (vocational) and saving money were important. W.E.B. DuBois thought that fighting and opposing discrimination were important. Booker T. Washington self-taught himself to read, which is very impressive and W.E.B. DuBois went to Harvard University. Booker T. Washington’s advice to blacks was to accept inferior positions. W.E.B. DuBois’s advice to blacks was to gain political equality. Tsering


Not just a 19th century discussion alone Booker T. Washington and W.E.B. DuBois were not only talking about the 19th century. Both agreed to two different things. Some of the issues they talked about still exist. These issues are still very much up for debate. This is the 21st century. Many people don’t talk college education. They think school is a waste of time and money. But for me, that’s not valid. I agree with W.E.B. DuBois. I think going to college is important. If both of these famous men were alive today, many people would find their debate relevant. People believe in Booker T.’s vocational school concept more than W.E.B.’s vision of a college education as is shown by the number who drop out of school. Bill Gates he didn’t finish college, but he is wealthy and famous. However, many other college drop outs and those without education have no job skills. So in conclusion I disagree with Booker T. but agree with W.E.B. Were W.E.B. around today, he could count on me for a college degree. Mohammed Altohami


Booker T. Washington believed Blacks should concentrate on education and job training to improve their economic status. He believed that economic success would earn the respect of whites and equality for blacks as they worked within the “white” community. Like Washington, W.E.B. DuBois felt that Black advancement was dependent on Blacks fighting for social and political equality. He feared that Blacks would be second class forever, if they only attend trade schools; Therefore, he said education should not merely be vocational, but should nurture leaders willing to challenge segregation and discrimination through social protest and political action. Booker T. Washington founded the Tuskegee Institute in Alabama – a vocational school that trained Black students in trades such as carpentry, sewing, or bricklaying. W.E.B. DuBois was well educated at a Southern University called Fisk and went to Harvard. He was a writer and activist for African American Political rights. Many Blacks did become economically successful by following Washington’s advice. However, this economic success failed to earn the respect of white southern society. During racial rioting in 1906 in Atlanta, most of the violence was directed on the middle-class Blacks. In 1909, The NAACP (National Association for the Advancement of colored people) was founded. W.E.B. DuBois became the editor of its newspaper – The Crisis. He also became a powerful spokesperson for the organization, championing the cause of Black civil rights, such as equal rights in voting. I think that W.E.B. DuBois made more of an impact because he became the editor of its newspaper – The Crisis. He became a powerful spokesperson for NAACP championing the cause of Black civil rights. Today because of him in part, blacks have the right to vote. Jaida Alonso


Booker T. Washington, he believed that black people should have an education and also work on their job training to improve their economic status. W.E.B. DuBois felt that black advancement was dependent on blacks fighting for social and political equality. He feared that some blacks wouldn’t be as high as whites, he would not accept black second class citizenship at the price of economic success at vocational work. Booker T. Washington founded the Tuskegee Institute in Alabama – a vocational school that would train black students in trades such as carpentry, sewing, or brick laying. W.E.B. DuBois was well educated at a Southern university called “Fisk” and also went to Harvard. He was a writer and activist for African American political rights. Many Blacks did become economically successful by following Washington’s advice. But since they were still black, this failed to earn the respect of white people. W.E.B. DuBois became the editor of its newspaper – The Crisis. He also became a powerful spokesperson for many organizations, championing the cause of Black civil rights such as equal rights in voting. I believe that W.E.B. DuBois was a better impact in our society now because of him black people could vote. He was an amazing, powerful spokesperson for the NAACP. To this day black people have their right to vote. Yasin Mahdi


Two great leaders of the black community in the late 19th and 20th century were W.E.B. DuBois and Booker T. Washington. However, they sharply disagreed on strategies for black social and economic progress. Their opposing philosophies can be found in much of today’s discussions over how to end class and racial injustice, what is the role of black leadership, and what do the ‘haves’ owe the ‘have-nots’ in the black community. Booker T. Washington, educator, reformer and the most inflectional black leader of his time (1856-1915) preached a philosophy of self-help, racial solidarity and accommodation. He urged blacks to accept discrimination for the time being and concentrate on elevating themselves through hard work and material prosperity. He believed in education in the crafts, industrial and farming skills and the cultivation of the virtues of patience, enterprise and thrift. This, he said, would win the respect of whites and lead to African Americans being fully accepted as citizens and integrated into all strata of society. W.E.B. DuBois a towering black intellectual, scholar and political thinker (18681963) said no-- Washington’s strategy would serve only to perpetuate white oppression. DuBois advocated political action and a civil rights agenda (he helped found the NAACP). In addition, he argued that social change could be accomplished by developing the small group of college-educated blacks he called “the Talented Tenth.” At the time, the Washington/DuBois dispute polarized African American leaders into two wings—the ‘conservative’ supporters of Washington and his ‘radical’ critics. The DuBois philosophy of agitation and protest for civil rights flowed directly into the Civil Rights movement which began to develop in the 1950’s and exploded in the 1960’s. Booker T. today is associated, perhaps unfairly, with the self-help/colorblind/Republican/Clarence Thomas/Thomas Sowell wing of the black community and its leaders. The Nation of Islam and Maulana Karenga’s Afrocentrism derive too from this strand out of Booker T.’s philosophy. However, the latter advocated withdrawal from the mainstream in the name of economic advancement. Iraiz Hernandez


I believe W.E.B. DuBois was right about getting a college education and fighting against racial discrimination. Booker T Washington advocated for getting a vocational education (teach certain things) and black acceptance of lower political/social status. W.E.B. DuBois had Jane Adams, NAACP, blacks and whites support of who was against discrimination. I believe people should go to college and at least get and degree in something academic subject (PhD). That why I think W.E.B. DuBois was a genuine African American Leader because he wants everyone to be treated equitably as a citizen. Humberto Wallace

Washington and DuBois had different perspectives on how to act and take action against racial discrimination. Washington had been through slavery and he knew how it felt to be a slave. DuBois had also gone to Harvard and knew how to be a political activist. Washington wanted separate but equal to exist. The whites take the education and political places, while the blacks occupied the lower jobs like the plantation and vocational work fields open to them. DuBois had another idea he wanted to get rid of segregation and separation, he wanted equality for all. I believed DuBois was right because within the context of segregation, blacks didn’t have the right political weapons to fight back. DuBois to me is right on this matter. You need education to be someone great in life. Washington didn’t have that perspective of the world. Gustavo Moran

The side that I choose is that of Booker T. Washington. He set up job training schools. Dihzel


My Reflection on meeting the Ivdu Students

I have met many Ivdu students over the three years working with Dr. Rose, but this time when I met them they were extraordinary students who were outgoing, enthusiastic, and passionate. I was chosen to greet and meet the Ivdu students and talk to them about many different topics that we discuss today in class such as Booker T. Washington’s and W.E.B. DuBois’ different views on education for an African-American. Each Ivdu student voiced his opinion about the two beliefs of education, and it was truly interesting to hear their input on this matter. In the end, I enjoyed meeting every single one of the students. I loved their confidence, their active participation, and their eagerness to learn new things I thank Dr. Rose for this wonderful experience she has given me and many students of Ditmas I.S.62. Ross Navarro

COLLABORATION AND COMPREHENSION

We actually met on May 6th with our real world audienceOur Ivdu young adult (ages 17-21) peers Vocational Education vs. General College Akiva – I think General Education is better.

Simcha- I think general education is better because it is better to be educated in many areas so you can communicate with people and be smart in many areas. Eli- It’s better to get a general education because it makes you a smarter person. Moshe- Vocational education is better, general college is just wasting your time. Laiby- Vocational education helps you better understand how to work and do your job. General College helps you understand life. In my own opinion, I think you need both. Shlomi- General college is better so you don’t get stuck doing the same job your whole life. It gives you the option to change.


CHAPTER 2

Boston Marathon- Be Strong- Current EventsConnecting to American History Writing Institute program developed by Dr. Rose Reissman and the Ditmas News Network developed by Mr. Carideo, Mr. Downes and Mr. Liotta. As part of the Common Core College and Career Readiness component of Mr. Downes’s 8th grade curriculum and in order to engage the students in authentic collaboration and comprehension with adult peers, the teacher candidates in Mr. Downes’s graduate York College Social Studies through Media Arts EDU 333 course have elected to comment on line to the poetry and the commentary of the Ditmas 8th graders. Of course in doing so, these York teacher candidates and Ditmas 62 students are concretely working with text complexity. They are also citing evidence in the texts of the poems in a way that motivates students to focus on specific words and text lines.


I Am Muslim We learn about the past, Experience it all, but in fear and anxiety, it all begins to fall. A terrorist then, A man that hurst and scares, Now it could be Anyone Muslim young or fair. So why is it that when they all look at me, they all assume, they never seeThat I am Muslim. I am strong I’m not a terrorist. I know what’s wrong. Mymuna Begun


Collaboration and Conversation- REAL WORLD CONTRIBUTORS REACT: Dear Mymuna, This poem is beautiful because of its simplicity. It is raw and to the point. I can empathize with you as a writer. I also note and agree that you are bold to include the sad truth about how as a Muslim, you are “looked at” in a negative way. I applaud your use of the last stanza with a strong finish. Hina Muktar Edu 333 York College Teacher Education Candidate Dear Mymuna, This is a very touching and deep poem. I believe it carries a lot of weight and truth. Stereotyping is a huge issue and I love how you approached the issue of the Muslims as terrorists. Good poem! Hanna Joseph Edu 333 York College teacher candidate Dear Mymuna. I like what you said, you know what’s wrong and expressed stereotypes with the line “so why is it that they all look at me, they all assume.” Hina Shaikh


“Happy” Event Pace yourself Finish line is Almost there. You made it. Boom-Boom Screams of the crowd. Not confetti, cannons, or scream of joy. Booms of BombsScreams of remorse. Loved onesLost at A “happy” Event. Who is to blame? No one knows. Can’t blame nowToo many tears. A son waiting For his hero To cross the Finish line. But before His spirits can be lifted for the hero, His own spirit is lifted To heaven. Families cry As loved ones die. All At this “happy” event. Kristin Blake


York College Teacher Educator Commentaries: Dear Kristen, Your stanza with the spirit being “lifted to heaven” evokes very powerful image. You captured the emotion associated with the tragedy. Camilla Vlades

Dear Kristen, Your use of the “happy “ event, allows your readers to relate to this. I like that your second stanza has a powerful visual. Terry Bedesi

Dear Kristen, Great poem! I love your use of sarcasm in the poem. You created the perfect mood in your poem. You summed up in this verse the period after WW1 when the soldiers returned. Hanna Joseph

Dear Kristen, I really enjoyed reading this poem because of its title. This title focuses on how an event that was supposed to be happy turned into a sad tragic event. Great poem! Stephanie Azcona


Boston Dr. Reissman was moved by the B Strong logo of Boston and its unity and community spirit. She shared a B Strong poem inspired by her textual complex analysis of the headlines and events. The students had an opportunity to write their own poetry commentaries using news headline, visual photos, and online B strong textual citations.

B Strong Be American Bold and proud Build Constitutional Courage and Freedom Force. Bypass rivalry, baseball team fights, big city competition All together stronger by city strength combined addition Push up from agony, patriotism power project Rise from Pearl Habor, rebound from Kent State. From the ashes of the World Trade Towers, rebuild something great. Resilience America rocks Think out of panic’s, pain’s box. Martyrs John, Martin, and Bobby are gone, Their example pushes us to move on. Show those who would stop us, that we can outpace and outlast Hold fast to our values and strengths of America’s fighting freedom and liberties past. We take tragedy and react to recastTogether as a nation we unite- put our feet to the ground and forward fast Ours to finish the freedom’s race they started Americans strong, whole hearted. No cries, no whimpers- hear us sing and shoutAmericas united – America Strong- Boston with you we belong!! The above is an original poem written by Dr. Rose Reissman as an anchor model to inspire students


Boom, Boom There it goes. As it blows, They run But not to know To catch their breath. From the ashes To the clouds Bostonians Remember Be proud. Margaret Chowdry


The Sanctuary within Us There is a place I know,

Red, white and blue.

Home is where to go.

Red runs in our veins.

Land of the free, home of peace.

White symbolizes matrimony.

Fire flickers up, anger and pride and hate.

Blue flies above in sky

Ashes remain. America seems to fall apart. Then. . . A new beginning, A fresh start. . . Something to be remembered for One Two Three We’ve risen again. Can’t you see beyond your glass eye, The sanctuary within us?

Or does it? Red once filled streets, White of sorrow, empty souls. Lost hope. Blue, the bodies that remain unknown. Red, white and blue, Our flag so proud and mightyThrough good and bad= We remain Red, white and blue. Iraiz Hernandez


After Blood We sing songs after tragedies To help those in need To help them feel solace In the midst of loss. We cry while singing These songs because we Feel proud. We need to feel proud. We need to bring Back to life Joyous song filled momentum After tragedy. After blood, after tears. Stephanie Chowdry


But this poet begs to argue differently:

Life Scares Me

Don’t fall for nice things

Life scares me.

That happen to you

Knives scare me.

In this world terrain, There is pain, This is a game, You can not tame.

Blood scares me. Anger scares me. Darkness scares me. Endings scare me.

Your role to play.

You have to be scared . . .

This role will not go away.

Otherwise you aren’t living.

No one can leave Only the best as dead to rest. Niko Koloseus.

Stephanie Chowdry


Dear Stephanie. I too feel the fear you conveyed in this poem. Your references are brief, but loaded with sentiment. Camilla Valdes York College Teacher Candidate

Dear Stephanie. This is true that life scares and yet I agree with you, that if you are not frightened, you are not living. Hina Shaikh York College Teacher Candidate

Dear Stephanie, Your poem is short, yet deep. I think you have a powerful ending. Hanna Joseph


Life Doesn’t Frighten Me!! Life doesn’t frighten me, I am the second Bruce Lee. Fight until I die. Ain’t nothing scaring me!!! All the challenges ahead of me I’m ready for anything!! Bring on GrendelI will kill it !! Beowulf intensified. Skhokrukh Abdulloev


Dear Shoruah, I love your enthusiasm and brave attitude. I like that you are ready to face any challenge. Hina Shaikh York College Teacher Education Candidate

Dear Shohruah, I love how you used metaphor in your poem. Great attitude and energy, you write with rigor. Comparing yourself to Legends such as Bruce Lee and Beowulf highlights your level of bravery. This comparison makes your poem come alive!! Hanna Joseph York College Teacher Candidate.


Marathon Tragedy Why must the world be so cruel? Why must fears grip us as a rule? Why does a man take another’s life? Why does a man cause such strife? Now we pray for those who are dead. May they find rest in their final bed. Philip Ho Sang


The Clock Close your eyes, Dream back in time. Those who die— See them before as they Dine. Dine As a family, united as one. The clock ticks faster. . . Your head starts to spin. . . Nothing to be seen. . . Not even a ray Of light. A pin with a star, six sharp points I see. Broken and shattered, What horror I see.

The clock in reverse To the time Black once, Now strokes of red. When a train filled with orphans or runners in a race Suddenly stopped and dead. The fear in the dark clock. . Goes back from April 15 Boston Through history. . . In reverse, worse. Do you fear what I fear? Reverse time blood draws near? Iraiz Hernandez In the 1780’s


Dear Mymuna, This poem shows a deep understanding of how stereotyping can impact a sincere, well meaning person who fully understands the difference between right and wrong. Steve Zeitlin Director, City Love

Dear Iraiz, I like the way you play with the imagery of the flag and draw on all the connotations of the colors, red, white and blue. Steve Zeitlin, Director, City Love

Dear Shohruah, I love the early rhymes and rhythm in the poem – life doesn’t frighten me/I am the second Bruce Lee – and the heroic comparison to Beowulf. “Beowulf intensified” – that’s intense. Steve Zeitlin Director, City Love


AN ALUMNA OF DITMAS WRITING INSTITUTE CONTRIBUTES This poem was inspired by both tragedy of flight 9/11 and Boston Marathon Bomb Tragedy. Maya Angelo’s poem Life Doesn’t Frighten Me also inspires me. This poem is to give hope and courage to everyone who lost someone in the bombing and my respects are paid to all the families and friends that were hurt. Hearing about Boston Is like hearing about September 11th, 2001. Pain, suffering Tears. Lost loved ones Those that died dreamed of their future. But their result was a tragedy. A tragedy that wasn’t supposed to happen. A tragedy that hurt many others than the ones who suffered that day. The people that didn’t also got hurt The hurt was the fact that we just lost the feeling of security. The comfort we once had taken away Once again with the painful memories of September 11th, 2001 The day The Twin Towers went down But we’ll once again regain our strength We’ll get stronger and stronger. As Maya says‘Life doesn’t frighten me,’ nor should it you I remember such lines ‘Dragons breathing flames On my counter pane That doesn’t frighten me at all I go boo Make them shoo I make fun Way they run I won’t cry So the fly I just smile They go wild Life doesn’t frighten me at all’ Life goes on and we can survive Chennelle Bermudez


Ms. Anna’s Law Class 650 commented as well through poetry and art Pow Pow Pow The nation is in shock Pow Pow Pow Screams are in stock Pow Pow Pow There’s no other way it’s the way of a fine constitution Is it really the way of the constitution or is it the way of violence Pow Pow Pow Can we go on, with all the sorrow of lives lost on and on Helena Sagaille


We are one no matter what the color of our skin the religion in our hearts we are the same not by the clothes we wear but by the morals we withhold and the truth within. We come in different colors sizes, clothes, hair but inside we’re all fair black or white Muslim or Christian blue eyes Jewish or brunette we are equal, unity for all disregard racism push it aside join hands in freedom and together we stride. Or Mymuna


From Our Ivdu Collaborator Have you ever been a victim of racist comments or attitudes of others? If yes, how did you react? What do you think is the best way to react? Akiva-Yes, I just looked straight in to their eyes for a few seconds and said yes and just keep going on my merry way. Simcha-No, but if I did I would just walk a way. I think the best way is to walk away. Why because if I answered, it would start a fight. I could get hurt. Eli-No, but if they did I would ignore them and put my headphones on. It could get worse and you’ll get into an argument or fight and get in trouble. Moshe-No, but if It did I would walk away because there’s no point to respond . It’s just a waste of time. Laiby-Yes some girl called me a “stinking Jew.” I didn’t respond. Shlomi- Nothing like that ever happened to me. If it did I would try to hold myself back from fighting back. I would try talking to a family member or teacher about what happened.


Chapter 3 Inspired by Andrea Pinkney’s Hand in Hand Poet Kristin Blake who goes under the pen name “K. Elizabeth” Jackie Bases loaded no need for Jackie Dodge the violent pitches. Dodge the violent words. No problem for Jackie. Wearing that jacket proud with big blue 42 Specially made for Jackie. Hit the homerun People stand up and They all cheer for Jackie.


Martin’s Dream Obama’s achievement. He will save this country People say: “No, he can’t” he says “Yes, we can.” Labeled by color of skin. Not by his soul, mind, and heart. He is Martin’s dream. His hands seized what some believed to be the impossible American Dream A black boy in the White House? What are the chances? Dare we hope? Will our vote Elect this impossibility? Biracial child of two worlds, both strong One of Kenyans from the African Continent. The other, Kansas folk. Long gone daddy. Strong mama. An inner constitution that lifted him above the odds. Let him dream of becoming Commander-in-Chief Refused to give way to “No, we won’t” Held tight to The Audacity of Hope. Pumped-up America with “Yes, we can!” Andrea Pinkney


Dear Ms. Andrea Pinkney I’m not usually us books as my inspiration for poetry but your book has helped me create many poems and I would just like to thank you for your great inspiration. Love, Krisitin Blake A.K.A. K. Elizabeth P.S. Your poem “Hand in Hand” is first thing on our poster board. Kristin Blake His hands crossed the color line When he heard the call, “Play ball!” he reached to the other side ‘round the Dodgers’ all-white diamond. Stirred up second base. Sent dirt’s dust rising while he slid to the plate. Brought baseball’s new inning. But held high. Turning the other cheek. Swinging righty. Black-pride slugger Number 42 Stealing home. Make no mistakeSafe!


Cinematic Staircase of Text Complexity ”42” Trailer Messages CCSS SS/History Digital Argument/Informative Writing/Opinion I haven’t seen the movie 42, but I’ve seen the trailer. Although, I’m not a baseball fan, I found it very interesting. I think that the movie will be inspiring and motivate you in life. The trailer shows Jackie hitting a home run, but it also shows him being hit on the head with a baseball. My opinion is that someone threw the ball and aimed for his head on purpose. Specifically this was the director’s purpose to get the audience to go to the movie empathizing with the pain Jackie has been through. The trailer also shows a caucasian man telling Jackie “I need a man strong enough to NOT fight back.” When the other team mates of Jackie’s team are beating him up, the coach steps in and says, “If this man means we can win, then he’s on the team weather you like it or not.” That part touched me. Iraiz Hernandez Jackie Robinson was the new hope for baseball at that time. He bore up against insult but did not back down. He kept fighting and playing baseball. As everyone watched, he reached the sky of baseball success. Everyone is inspired because whenever he is insulted, he lets the anger go. Baseball was a passion of his. He dedicated his life to baseball. Fatima Kateria A FILM THAT TOUCHES THE HEART


“42” is a recent film based on the life of Jackie Robinson and the hardship he endured upon his joining the Brooklyn Dodgers in 1945. The reception was generally good. The film touches the heart because of the man’s refusal to fight with fists despite the pure hatred that is forced upon him because of the color of his skin. The film also explores racism in the 1940’s. Segregation was still alive. The term ‘nigga’ caused controversial stories against the movie. However, the director allowed the use of the term because he understood the importance of letting people see the amount of hate and verbal abuse Jackie Robinson had to endure. Though historically inaccurate, the moment in the movie when Jackie Robinson smashes his bat upon the wall allows the audience to feel angry on his behalf. Immediate empathy that is registered. The director of the film understood this. The moment of total breakdown is the true value of the moment. Without Branch Rickey, Jackie would not have the courage to head out there and steal home. Branch Rickey is the true character hero in this film. This director did not just intend this movie to “teach” people about Jackie Robinson. His quote wraps it all up in a simple moral that changed our outlook on life. “In a game divided by color, he made us see the greatness.” Stephanie Chowdhry


Chapter 4 “Cinderella Man” starring Russell Crowe is about a man at his highest point in his boxing career and his struggles in the Great Depression. Russell Crowe plays Jimmy Broddock. Jimmy plays a few games of boxing and is not that good. His manager Max gives him one more match . During this final match, he breaks his hand. Therefore he loses the match and his contract gets terminated because he’s not that good of a player. He goes home with no money. This happens in the late 1930’s during the great Depression. The Braddocks have to move into a small apartment and don’t use that much electricity. Braddock can barely pay the electric bill so he gets government assistance. He starts working at the docs loading things. He slowly strengthens his left hand. Jimmy and his family go to a birthday party and one of the men were going to “smack” his wife . This results in Braddack’s manager hearing about his powerful punch. Jimmy was given another shot. Jimmy’s opponent was very strong. Indeed he sometimes was so strong, he killed his opponents with a punch. Jimmy’s wife Mae was scared so she went to church to pray for him, Mae goes to see Jimmy and wishes him good luck. Jimmy won the match. Jimmy paid back all the money he got from the government. He represents strength and resilience in the light of financial hardship. Margaret Chowdhry Cinderella Man- Entertains and Persuades


I’m really excited about watching this movie. I loved the movie “Cinderella Man”, which told the story of Jimmy’s rise from the depression. Not only was “Cinderella Man” entertaining, but also persuasive. It persuaded me that when at the bottom, we can always come back to the top. I believe that the movie “42” will persuade me as well. I do believe, however, that the director will put things to the extreme and/or add things into the movie to deliver his directorial message with a wallop. Mymuna Begum Cinderella Man- Cinematic View of Depression Times

Cinderella Man was more of a personal perspective on life during the depression. James (the main character) experiences a moment from riches to rags and back to riches. He, a movie character struggled to feed his family and place a roof over their head. He had a damaged hand which prevented him from doing certain things and he placed his hope on his left hand. The Great Depression Documentary was basically telling us from THEIR point of view of the Great Depression. People talked about the people’s lives and living conditions and jobless young people. They showed up pictures and short films of authentic depression time scenes. I honestly preferred Cinderella Man because it is based on a true story and personally gives me a view of the Great Depression. It includes real touching moments and details how hard one struggled to survive in that miserable moment. Iraiz Hernandez


Chapter 5 Brother, Can You Spare a Dime Lyrics by Yip Harburg, music by Jay Gorney (1931) They used to tell me I was building a dream, and so I followed the mob, When there was earth to plow, or guns to bear, I was always there right on the job. They used to tell me I was building a dream, with peace and glory ahead, Why should I be standing in line, just waiting for bread? Once I built a railroad, I made it run, made it race against time. Once I built a railroad; now it’s done. Brother, can you spare a dime? Once I built a tower, up to the sun, brick, and rivet, and lime; Once I built a tower, now it’s done. Brother, can you spare a dime? Once in khaki suits, gee we looked swell, Full of that Yankee Doodly Dum, Half a million boots went slogging through Hell, And I was the kid with the drum! Say, don’t you remember, they called me Al; it was Al all the time. Why don’t you remember, I’m your pal? Buddy, can you spare a dime? Once in khaki suits, gee we looked swell, Full of that Yankee Doodly Dum, Half a million boots went slogging through Hell, And I was the kid with the drum! Say, don’t you remember, they called me Al; it was Al all the time. Say, don’t you remember, I’m your pal? Buddy, can you spare a dime? Students were challenged to offer opinions and to argue whether this song was relevant for this time period as well as the Depression of the 1930’s. They were asked to decide whether they would have tried to help the speaker or feel that today the government should help the speaker.


This song is both applicable for this time and for the depression era. In those times, people were looking for work. They were traveling to find work. I would have helped the speaker in that song, until he or she was able to live independently. Helping others is the same as helping one’s self. Should government help individuals? Yes. If the government does not help people, businesses will fail. Individuals will become depressed and suicidal. Siumayah Alzouqari

Collaboration and Comprehension- REAL WORLD ADULT RESPONSE I agree with your comment that the song “Brother, can you spare a Dime.” is about the Great Depression. I think it is a very nice thing that you would help the speaker in the song until he or she can live independently. It is a nice thing that you are willing to help others in need. You have a big heart! Sabrina Ramsingh EDU 333 Teacher Candidate

What are your views on these issues and this song?

I agree that if the government does not help, then businesses will go down. Also you should always help people, I agree with your statement that helping others is the same as helping others is the same as helping one self. Shows how kind your soul is. Hina Sheikh Teacher Educator Candidate EDU33


Chapter 6 From History to Collaboration, Comprehension and Citizenship The door to campaigning and to governing is located at 700 Cortelyou Road Mr. Downes spearheads 2012 – Ditmas Student Elections Questions posed by panel at our on site Presidential Debates. Candidates 850 Ross Navarro versus Sean Tyganovsky

1) What improvements do you feel need to be made in Ditmas? 2) What is one positive trait that you notice in your opponent? 3) What is it about your character, that makes you a good candidate for Student Council President? 4) What structural improvements would you try to make to the school? 5) If you were given a budget of $1,000 what would you do with the money? 6)  How would you go about obtaining consensus before implementing any changes to the school? 7) In what ways will each of you make certain you represent student constituent needs, issues and concerns? How will students “get” to communicate with you? 8) Once student issue is shared with you, how will you address it and work with faculty and administration to help the students? Student Government The Great Debate Nov. 2012


Student reflections on the Downes’ and Dr. Rose’s literacy leadership experiences: Dr. Rose, Mr. Downes, and Mr. Joseph are great teachers and better yet, fun teachers! Their personalities are awesome and energetic. I love Mr. Joseph’s magic tricks and teaching methods. Dr. Rose helped me a lot to become a better writer, artist and reader. Her exciting teaching formula makes me learn better and more efficiently. Mr. Downes on the other hand, is just an all around fun teacher. He is big and grumpy but really fun and energetic. I love how all of these teachers taught. I love how fun they were! Thank you Mr. Joseph, Mr. Downes, and Dr. Rose for your help. Christopher Lemus My time with the Ivdu kids was wonderful. The kids and adults were really touched by the 8 yr-old kid that died and the others that suffered from the Boston bombing. I am so privileged to talked with them about a mature topic. Margaret Chowdhry

Student Council In sixth grade, I had a dream to create a student government at Ditmas J.H.S that would give a voice to the students. I approached my principal, Mr. Kevorkian with my ideas. He promised me that it would happen while I was still a student at Ditmas. In November of 2012, I had my first and only presidential debate against my arch rival. The debate coincided with President Barack Obama’s debate with republican hopeful, Mitt Romney. After the debate, a mass computer vote was held. It was a tight race, but in the end, I lost. I later became vice president of the council. I was very excited to see my vision come to fruition and to leave a legacy behind for future Ditmas students. I have enjoyed being vice president. I hope that future student councils will create a safe and positive environment for growth and change. Ross Novarro


When I first signed up to interview the students from the Ivdu School I wasn’t sure if I was going to have a meaningful and deep conversation. I was really surprised to see that these young adults had the ability to think critically. They told me things that really opened me up to them as an individual. It was a really nice experience and I hope to see them again. Selasie Ganu

Over the few years, I have grown both physically and mentally. Dr. Rose and Mr. Downes had a great impact on my educational career. So did Mr. Joseph, one of the best science teachers I ever had. During this period of time I have spent in Ditmas I.S. 62, these teachers helped me grow quickly. Throughout my course in Mr. Downes curriculum, I have been taught a lot of useful things for my future reference. Dr. Rose has been helpful as well, teaching me even more. Encouraging me to learn, these teachers were very helpful to me. During my career in Ditmas, I have grown to be a better writer, artist, citizen, history student and thinker. Before I had met any of these great educators, I had never been good at any of these things, but afterwards I had learned and helped myself improve my own knowledge. I’ve worke with Mr. Joseph, Mr. Downes and Dr. Rose over the 3 year span and they’ve shaped me to become better. I’ve learnt a lot. David Chen


Over the last three years, my character has changed because of Dr. Rose. I had first met her in 6th grade, when she teamed up with my science teacher, Mr. Joseph. Back then, I was a really quiet girl, and only spoke when answering a question. I was really shy and hated getting attention. Dr. Rose used to compliment my poetry and art. She encouraged me to speak, but I turned down all her offers to be a speaker, due to my bad case of stage fright. Then, as seventh grade came along, I started to speak a little more. I expanded my social group, and began to talk a little more. I became a lead producer in the process of creating D.N.N. [our school news program]. However it wasn’t until the eighth grade when I finally went in front of the camera. I had become the weather girl. Everybody kept on telling me that I was funny and the “best part of D.N.N.” I instantly grew accustomed to being humorous and speaking out in front of crowds. I gained many new friends and acquaintances. Dr. Rose came to write a book with my social studies teacher, and my class that year. We began to create the book, and I began exploring new techniques to art. I produced works of art and poetry for the book. I also practiced my speaking abilities by accompanying her to many different places. All in all, my new found love of talking, debating, and of writing were all caused by the one…the only…Dr. Rose! Mymuna Begum


Life scares me

Afterword

Knives scare me Blood scares me Anger scares me Darkness scares me Endings scare me You have to be scared… Otherwise you aren’t living Stephanie Chowdry

Life Doesn’t Frighten Me (my Maya interpretation) Shooting down the blockCan’t find the owner of the glockLife doesn’t frighten me. From running a marathon To crying over my suddenly legless son. Life doesn’t frighten me. Being called a loser. Not having enough sway. Life doesn’t frighten I can get out of bed, Live my life. Al because Life doesn’t frighten me. Kristen Blake


Inner Achdut = Strength Strength isn’t only physical, It has a mental aspect too. Strength is the will to go on, The boost of determination you get When you want something accomplished. Strength is the ability to recover From a tragedy. Strength, an inner achdut (unity) is the Ability to look back at your past And Laugh. Strength is a trait Not everyone can see. Strength is an imaginary beauty That can only be seen from One’s actions. Strength comes from the heart, Not from muscles. Strength is mental spiritual achdut (unity).


Middle School Students Teach College Education Candidates How to Do Literacy Projects—Converging for the Common Good of the Common Core of Teaching Rose Cherie Reissman Ditmas IS 62, Brooklyn, NY Lindamichelle Baron York College A Backwards Capture of a Converging College-Public Middle School Partnership York College--Jamaica Queens A Saturday Morning in May

A

of the projects in development and the signage/ explication of the projects and illustrations (hand drawn by the students of the projects). Through a Smart Board set up, the teacher education candidates can visit the website www.ditmas.com to experience IS 62 newscasts, documentaries and e-book versions of the publications created by the Ditmas IS 62 middle school neighborhood Title 1 students (including ESL learners, special needs students, collaborative teaching class [CTT] members from classes which have one-half special needs students), regular on-grade-level students and enrichment class students. The two converging college adult and middle school student communities are coming together as a real world to exchange experiences and responses using these literacy project products as a starting point. What differentiates it up to this point is the fact that the work is concretely executed and more compelling than the suggested curricula topics covered in the mandated Literacy across Content courses.

group of twenty adult teacher education candidates, representing a variety of cultural backgrounds including native New Yorker, Indian, Pakistani, Dominican, African, and Uzbek, are seated listening to a team of persons from Ditmas IS 62 share multicontent literacy projects. The teacher candidates who are training to become educators in the middle schools, hear about how they can work collaboratively with other colleagues and students to produce subject curricula literacy projects for an audience. This audience goes beyond the standards subject content (SS, ELA, foreign language, science, special education) teachers and the school community to include local/national government elected officials, cultural groups, and representatives of other public schools, parochial schools and not -for-profits. The teacher education candidates Program Presented by Middle School Stuget to see the following literacy projects as vis- dents to Train York College Students ual artifacts of exhibits of large poster boards rendered/created by the students with pictures Literacy Program--Writing Institute 8th Grade

Kentucky English Bulletin 13


Student Leader Emcees--delivering summaries of the program Although the presenters are introduced by an adult literacy support person, the rest of the program is presented by a mix of 6th through 8th graders. Two eighth graders with titles of “student directors” share the emcee responsibilities, summing up the purposes of the literacy projects. The emcees offer their unique perspectives on how the projects evolved as procedural steps over time with the mentorship of the teachers and the literacy support coordinator. They detail how the projects-particularly the e and print publications-needed extra time beyond the scheduled confines of the middle school subject classes. In addition, to sharing how proud they personally were of their projects, the students talk about their experiences presenting these projects. They demonstrate the learning and inquiry strategies they used with peers (older and younger) in schools. They share how they felt excited to lead other peers in exploring the activities of these projects. The two 8th grade emcees detail working on these middle school ELA, Spanish foreign language, ESL ELA, science and social studies projects, “involved” them in these required middle school subjects in a far deeper way than just mastering the textbook. They willingly (although rewarded with pizza and other necessary life sustaining foods/snacks) stayed after school, skipped lunch, and even came into school during vacation days, so the projects would be done to meet publication and presentation deadlines. The student emcees also include how doing these “fun” projects ironically kept them on task to “accomplish” (in their own words) the required Common Core learning goals. They finish by appealing to the teacher candidates not to be afraid of trying literacy projects in future classes. They know that in doing them they also prepared for the standardized exams. 14 Kentucky English Bulletin

After their opening dialogue, the student emcees introduce individual student literacy project team leaders representing the 15 classes /almost 500 middle school students from Ditmas IS 62 who participate in their literacy projects. Some of these individual student presenters are from special needs classes and three are from Newcomer classes. Comprehension and Collaboration Literacy Project student leaders work as a team. Each team member is introduced by the student emcees, who stand to the side with the microphone- used as a professional speaking prop--ready to come in and smooth over issues that may arise or help out by “interviewing” the peer student leader. Everyone, without exception, steps to the mike. Each student proudly sums up the literacy project. Each thanks the subject teacher. Then each shares in unscripted words the experience of working on the project or product. Some of the presenters engage the audience in an actual “taste” of the project experience by having the audience members do one of the activities or steps that led to the project. PRESENTATION, PORTFOLIO, PUBLICITY Literacy Project--Science Fact Poetry--6th Grade Newcomers One of the Newcomer students who has been in the United States for only seven months proudly recites Douglas Florien’s “Bumblebees” poem, which the Emcee helped her explain in English had been used as an anchor science poem to inspire her class to write poems rich in onomatopoeia incorporating the “bee” science facts they studied in 6th grade science. The young lady proudly displays the print version of her “Wonders of Science” poetry collection with her own Florian-inspired science fact poem in English and in Uzbek. The adult teacher candidates pass around her book among their college peers.


Reading and Writing Grounded in Author Site Evidence

sites, a Corwin book for teachers.

Literacy Project--Author Fan Sites-Technology plus ELA--Fiction and Informational Research--6th graders

Literacy Project--Cultural Conversations and Celebrations--Spanish Foreign Language American-born and ESL students including Newcomers--Grade 7

While the 6th graders who developed author fan sites are native English speakers, they are not as self confident as the emcees and the 8th graders due to less experiences before outside audiences. It is obvious, as they present their literacy project on the Smart Board by offering a cyber tour, that they have rehearsed and prepared their remarks. They are complimented by the host 8th grade writing institute student leaders who are also doing what adult teachers would do in running a school event. The applause of the adult York College audience visibly excites these students. They respond to the adult teacher audience’s questions by explaining why they chose Lemony Sickett and other authors for sites plus the challenges they faced in terms of coding to create the sites using free Weebly software. The peer IS 62 presenters for other literacy projects also are captivated by this project and ask their own questions. Perhaps because the connection between the author fan sites and their author studies, which include reading a range of texts plus doing short research papers on topics (all key elements of the Common Core Shifts) have been so stressed by the ELA teacher and the technology teacher, these 6th graders readily explain how collaborating and creating their fan sites as a team realizes the Common Core balance of fiction and nonfiction text range, doing nonfiction research into the author’s life and discussing the author using a blog or guestbook commentary. When asked if they enjoyed doing this, they say they are already working on other websites--even though not assigned to do so. One of them mentions having already shared this project as a podcast for a distant group of teachers doing a book study of Teaching with Author Web-

The mike is passed on to the physically taller, confident 7th grade literacy project student leaders. These leaders have already had a year of presentation and literacy project work. A few of them have already presented. These speakers all project loudly enough to be heard by the audience. The 7th graders represent the Spanish foreign language classes, which includes students from Latino backgrounds and homes where Spanish is the primary language, a minority of ESL learners from other language /cultural backgrounds and students from American English homes who are taking Spanish as their required foreign language in preparation for the Regents. To engage this very diverse group of students in an ELA project, the students and the Spanish teacher plus the literacy specialist have focused on memoir writing and oral history. Using the literature of Nikki Grimes, Esmeralda Santiago, Sherman Alexie, R. J. Palacio, Kathy Erskine, and Nicholasa Mohr, the students focused using both English and Spanish languages on aspects of their own lives’ memoirs and oral histories collected from their families. The two team leaders read from their own memoirs, proudly holding up their vibrant books--one detailing her mother’s death when she was ten and the death of the infant her mother had been carrying a few days later in an ambulance en route to her home. Another shares a joyous family car trip. They then display their My Name Is boxes (modeled after Joseph Cornell boxes) with pictures of themselves and drawings or memorabilia. These include passports, baby pictures, stamps, books in native languages, school report cards, photos of family, and former homes in native countries. A table is pointed out at the other end of the York ColKentucky English Bulletin 15


lege room, where the two student leaders invite the teacher candidates to join them to create boxes focusing on their identities. Finally, they also point out a display board where they posted their own short memoirs--memoirs in six words. This is based on a bestselling specialty book their teacher spotted in the library. They explain the technique to the teacher candidates so the candidates can create, on site, six-word memoirs. Several of middle school project leaders ask if they can do the six-word memoirs as well. Literacy Project--Museum in School--Native American Iroquois Indian Crafts--7th grade special education students The presentation focus shifts to museum displays and tables in the back of the room. These are focused on the Iroquois. In addition to teepee design and handicraft, the displays are full of research on the Native American Indians’ language, including samples of writing. Their student presenters, who are wearing tee shirts emblazoned with their own logos, tell about how they named their museum, did the research behind it and built their exhibits. It is the teacher who later tells the audience that their class is a special needs one. They invite the teacher candidates to create their own teepee designs, write messages in Native American Indian language and do loom crafts. These 12- and 13-year-olds placed in special education middle school classes are presenting and demonstrating their museum exhibit to adult teacher education candidates at York College. The York College adults write glowing positive comments for the students in their museum guest book. Literacy Project--Ditmas Network News The 8th grade emcees share the fact that they are reporters on an in-school student local news broadcast about events in Brooklyn, Kensington and IS 62. They tell how they and 6-8 16 Kentucky English Bulletin

other news team members report the stories and develop new scripts that connect reporters with special guests, such as Denis Hamil, Filip Bondy, Rebecca Stead, Douglas Florian, Andrea Pinkney, and Councilperson Brad Lander. They invite the teacher candidates to be guests on their show. They ask for their views on the upcoming November 2012 election and the pervasive power of standardized testing in determining teacher effectiveness. The communities of students and adult educators converge into one connected through this broadcast news exchange. TEACHER LITERACY PROJECT RESPONSE In a reversal of what usually would be the order, it is the adult Ditmas educators who go AFTER the student presenters to link the literacy projects explicitly to mandated curricula and standards. The Writing Institute literacy specialist details how that writing project focuses on tapping the students’ talents as writers through literature, sharing with adult audiences, peer students, authors, artists, and museum leaders. The Writing Institute focuses on how paralleling the real world publishing and workplace style with book deadlines and scheduled audiences can make writing real and exciting. The project offers collaborating teachers a model template for each publication with a theme or topic that dovetails with the required English language arts, social studies , mathematics, or science curricula/key skills but allows the students to title, compile, model, create, deviate, draw, design, photo or research within that template. As for the peer teaching, the students deliver the same strategies used in class-but in their own style. The science teacher, a first-year teacher, talks about how as a new teacher she tries to address all the required topics in her content curricula but also has to infuse literacy CCSS. She shares how the academic science


vocabulary about mandated 6th grade bee study was highlighted perfectly by the Douglas Florian UnBEElievable bees poems. She realized that using these onomatopoeia-driven poems helped with second language acquisition as well as balancing nonfiction science content into the poetry genre. The technology teacher talks about how his mission is to use technology as a tool for literacy-driven reading, writing, speaking, language conventions and academic vocabulary. He and the literacy specialist worked together to engage the students in reading through the non-fiction publishers’ sites and author sites of student selected favorite or class studied authors. Based on their readings of these electronic informational texts, the students used the format of author site genres--homepage, bio, book summaries, FAQ, and interactive commentaries--to develop fan sites. The technology teacher shares how enthused these students became about their sites. They were to be included as part of a Teaching with Author Site Professional Book Study blog and podcast for ISTE. This podcast demonstrated to them that their literacy fan site project was important to a distanced audience of ELA teachers. Outside world online audiences and the actual York College gave this project authentic import. The Spanish foreign language teacher shares how using the English language craft and genre study of poetry and nonfictional memoirs has enhanced teaching of Spanish as a foreign language. She tells the teacher candidates how the George Ella Lyons poem “I am from” parallels the conjugation of il soy--“I am”--to make its conjugation in Spanish personal through English language conventions and in terms of second language acquisition. As a foreign language teacher, she has always advocated using the literature and informational texts of Spanish--newsprint, web resources, product labels, and Spanish songs--as part of language teaching. She knows from the ELA teachers she shares her classes with, that

this emphasis on literacy in Spanish enhances literacy in English for native speakers. The special education social studies teacher who developed the Museum with her special needs students feels that presenting to an adult audience and distanced student audiences in traveling museum exhibit format allows focus on IEP goals including Speaking, Listening, Comprehension and Collaboration, Presentation of Knowledge and Research, and Knowledge of Language through brochures, exhibits, and demonstrations. These concrete products and experiences, made possible through the Museum Project, facilitate the special needs students’ capacity to present independently without the background support of the teacher. This is what they will need to do in the real world. The museum experience brings real world opportunities to them right now. She notes how they basked in the positive immediate feedback they got from the adult educators and their peers at Ditmas who usually do not socialize with them. She emphasizes the ways in which teachers’ personal literacy passions and expertise capacities should be tapped in service of literacy projects that can make mandated content come alive. The three social studies licensed teacher educators, who also are videographers and performers , emphasize how this news network local broadcast--delivered to, with, and by middle school students--has taken on a life beyond its original literacy project purpose to focus on local news and civic values intent. They discuss how they have engaged their student reporters in covering: the local libraries, pizza shop shutdowns, city council budget meetings, Andrea Pinkney at Scholastic, and visits to parochial schools. These real world interactions as equals with adults and older peers have inculcated students in ongoing citizenship and community life. The Chair of the York College Teacher Education Department, Dr. Lindamichelle Baron, who is also a poet, contexKentucky English Bulletin 17


tualizes this classroom college convergence of literacy projects in terms of its values as a Common Core Standards “come alive� experience for showcasing best multi-content literacy practices. As a former licensed teacher educator and a current adult teacher educator, Dr. Baron is sensitive to the passion that drives the students detailing who they are and where they are from. For her, the literacy project model of bringing the students to the college and the college students to meet middle school students as equals is a defining dimension. She also notes that these middle school students are actually teaching college students. The teacher education candidates say that this is a highlight of their semester, as they learn from middle school students how to implement literacy projects. For Dr. Baron as teacher education chair, having the adult teacher educators witness how the working middle school educators can get Title 1 diverse students to yield multi-content literacy projects is a key teacher candidate exemplar. Dr. Baron is impressed by how the special education students demonstrated literacy project leadership on par with regular education students’ talents. Dr. Baron also emphasizes how these literacy projects help provide individual student talent, citizenship, character building, and socializing opportunities that used to be available for students in terms of after-school programming, church and community enrichment. These options have been stripped from many schools because of local, state and federal funding cuts. However, including literacy project learning in the regular school day curriculum assures that students have access to these beyond CCSS and content mastery experiences that educate them for college, life and real success. HOW TO GET THERE FROM HERE Literacy Project Procedures: 1. At the beginning of the year, look over the curriculum map and your planned literacy project list. Consider those 18 Kentucky English Bulletin

2.

3. 4.

5.

projects which would offer students opportunities to present to other audiences beyond the school and family community. Use the Common Core Standards to focus on aspects of topic and theme, multi-content projects that can be presented as visual display (including multimedia, formatting [posters, publishing], and illustration to share content knowledge. Think about potential school educators (technology, art, talent teachers) who can assist in a web, stage, performance, publishing, or media end product. Recruit them as collaborators and advisors. Develop a timetable to complete a project for presentation that aligns with your curriculum goals and student capacity to own the project. Decide on a target audience that you can definitely access for this project presentation. This is KEY since the students will be designing the literacy projects with that target audience in mind. To mirror workplace and real deadlines, that project must be experienced and provide the student creators with actual feedback from its target audience. With that target audience locked in, set a date for the project launch. To keep all students focused on the targeted ELA or other multi-content goals plus the subject content topic themes, create a preliminary rubric to walk the students through as they design the literacy project. In this way, they know from the start how well they are addressing rigorous content as they work. Midway through the project, have the students use the rubric as a jumping off point for creating an assessment survey, audience feedback form or audience content rubric. In doing so, the student assessment designers will be honing their own CCSS writing text types and


purposes skills. They will learn realworld lessons of writing for a specific task, purpose and audience. 6. Rehearse the students as a class team once the project is at least halfway done. Have the students who have worked in small groups identify at least one student who can effectively communicate aloud or in recording--as is needed for the project presentation deadline the work of the group. Have the students practice as a whole class team listening to presenters. (Think of most office teams--where one person serves as the presenter for the team.) 7. Continue ongoing short rehearsals. Bring in preview peer audiences/adult audiences if possible. Have the students elicit response to these rehearsals from the preview audiences. Let them talk about their spoken presentation success. If the audience presentation is to be at a site that is unfamiliar to students, try to take them to the site prior to the presentation. 8. Teach them how to stand, how to move, and if appropriate, how to pass the mike. Identify or allow those students who “take to this naturally” to be the student “hosts” of the actual presentation. 9. Just prior to the presentation, if there will be questions from the guests, model that process for the student team. 10. Make certain that as many students as possible are actively engaged in preparing, running, performing, ushering, gathering feedback, promoting, publicizing, exhibiting, and stage managing the project. This means that some students who do not speak aloud may function capably and as is needed in the real world by designing posters, taking digital photos, documenting, collecting survey forms, passing around the guestbook, promoting the program with ad-

vertisements/flyers, greeting the audience as ushers, and stage managing or helping with set-up and packing the materials for the project. All of these roles mirror the real world. All of them involve aspects of the broad spectrum of CCSS Reading, Writing, Speaking and Listening and Language Skills. 11. Hold a debriefing session, a day or two after the presentation, for the students to read the audience (think REAL WORLD client) responses /reactions to literacy projects. Encourage them to discuss how well they feel they did in achieving their CCSS, content and project audience goals. This type of debriefing is done routinely in many workplaces. 12. End by having the students share what they learned, as persons with a real world audience, about presenting and how they will work these insights about presenting into their next literacy or life audience project. The time for bringing the real world and real work for real student, teacher, and community audiences is not a few years in the future but rather today--this school year. That is the common good that will realize the Common Core and beyond: real-world, lifelong learning and the interacting “heart” of teaching and learning. Literacy projects of, for, and by students delivered to, for, and with adults serve as the common denominators for real world engagement. Reference/Resources Alberti, S. (2012). Making the Shifts. Education Leadership 70 (4), 24-27. D’Acquisto, L. (2006). Learning on display: Student created museums that build understanding. Alexandria, VA: ASCD. Common Core State Standards Initiative. (2010). Common core state standards Kentucky English Bulletin 19


for English language arts and literacy in history/social studies, science and technical subjects. Washington, DC: National Governors Association Center for Best practices and the Council of Chief State School Officers. Duke, N. (2004). The case for informational text. Education Leadership 61 (6), 4044. Florian, D. (2012). UnBEElievables: Honeybee poems and paintings. New York: Harper and Collins. Gruwell, E. (Ed.). (1999). The freedom writers diary. New York: Broadway Books. Piercy, T., & Piercy, W. (2011). Disciplinary Literacy: Redefining Deep Under-

standing and Leadership for 21st Century Demands. Englewood, CO: Lead and Learn Press. Reissman, R., & Gura, M. (2010). Teaching with author websites. Thousand Oaks, CA: Corwin Press. Rosenblatt, L. M. (1995). Literature as exploration (5th edition). New York: Modern Language Association. Wilhelm, J. D., & Nowak, B. (2011). Teaching literacy for love and wisdom. New York: Teachers College Press. Wilhelm, J. D. (2008). You gotta BE the book: Teaching engaged and reflective reading with adolescents (2nd ed.) New York: Teachers College Press.

Ditmas Writing Institute Team of Master Educators Michael Downes, Social Studies David Liotta, Social Studies Angelo Carideo, Social Studies, Technology Rosinda Rodriguez, Spanish Luisa Cavagna, Science Barry Kevorkian, Principal

20 Kentucky English Bulletin


This article details how a working partnership between an IHE teacher education department and a middle school literacy initiative “counts� to validate authentic teacher preparation of viable teacher educators ready to teach in current Common Core Classrooms and ELA literacy projects with real world reception for middle school students. Authentic conversations, syllabus revisiting to reflect school practices and Common Core ELA literacy are involved.

Literacy Project 8. Teach Procedures: 1. Look over curriculum map. Consider those projects which would offer students opportunities to present to other audiences beyond the school and family community. Use the Common Core Standards to focus on aspects topic and theme multi-content projects that can be presented as visual display (including multimedia, formatting [posters, publishing], and illustration to share content knowledge. Think about potential school educators (technology, art, talent teachers) who can assist in a web, stage, performance, publishing, or media end product. Recruit them as collaborators and advisors. Develop a time table to complete a project for presentation that aligns with your curriculum goals and student capacity to own project. 2. Decide on a target audience that can be accessed for this project presentation. To mirror workplace and real deadlines, that project must be experienced and provide the student creators with actual audience feedback. 3. W  ith that target audience locked in, set a date for the project launch. 4. To keep all students focused on the targeted ELA or other multi-content goals plus the subject content topic themes, create a preliminary rubric to walk the students through as they design the literacy project. From the start they will know what is expected. 5. Midway through the project, have the students use the rubric as a jumping off point for creating an assessment survey, audience feedback form or audience content rubric. In doing so, the student assessment designers will be honing CCSS Writing text types and purposes skills. They will learn real world lessons of writing for a specific task, purpose and audience. 6. Rehearse the students as a class team once the project is at least halfway done. Have the students who have worked in small groups, identify at least one student who can effectively communicate aloud or in recording- as is needed for the project presentation deadline the work of the group. Have the students practice as a whole class team listening to the presenters. 7. Continue ongoing short rehearsals . Bring in preview peer audiences/adult audiences if possible. Have the students elicit response to these rehearsals from the preview audiences. Let them talk about their spoken presentation success. If the audience presentation is to be at site that is unfamiliar to students try to take them to the site prior.


8. Teach them how to stand and how to move and if appropriate how to pass the mike. Identify or allow those students who “take to this naturally” to be the student “hosts” of the actual presentation. 9. Just prior to the presentation, if there are questions from the guests, model that process for the student team. 10. Make certain that as many students are actively engaged in preparing, running, performing, ushering, gathering feedback, promoting, publicizing, exhibiting, and stage managing the project as possible. This means that some students who do not speak aloud, may function capably and as is needed in the real world by: designing posters, taking digital photos, documenting, collecting survey forms, passing around the guestbook, promoting the program with advertisements/flyers, greeting the audience as ushers, and stage managing or helping with set up and packing the materials for the project. All of these roles mirror the real world. All of them involve aspects of CCSS Reading, Writing, Speaking and Listening and Language Skills. 11. Hold a debriefing session, a day or two after the presentation for the students to read the audience (think REAL WORLD client) responses /reactions to literacy projects. Encourage them discuss how they feel they did in achieving their CCSS, content and project audience goals. This type of debriefing is done routinely in many workplaces. 12. End by having the students share what they learned with real world audience about presenting and how they will work these insights into their next literacy or life audience project. The time for bringing the real world and real work for real student, teacher, and community audiences is not a few years in the future but rather today-this school year. That is the common good that will realize the Common Core and beyond real world lifelong learning and interacting “heart” of teaching and learning. Literacy projects of, for, and by students delivered to, for and with adults are serve as the common denominators for real world engagement. Alberti, S. (2012). Making the Shifts. Education Leadership,70 (4), 24-27. D’Acquisto, L. (2006). Learning on display: student created museums that build understanding. Alexandria, VA: ASCD. Common Core State Standards Initiative. (2010). Common core state standards for english language arts and literacy in history/social studies, science and technical subjects. Washington, DC: National Governors Association Center for Best practices and the Council of Chief State School Officers.


MAKING COMMON CORE ELA AND SS/HISTORY LITERACY CONNECTIONS

The writing, illustration, digital, print, conversations, collaboration and commentary in this book all align as follows to CCSS:

Common Core Cornerstone Principles 1. ELA cross and multi-discipline- Pinkney and Angelou poetry plus American History documents plus pop culture songs 2. Infuse these and graphically “sign in” to these principles- poster boards, collages, illustrations 3. C  raft and structure- style, viewpoint, first person narrative, sequential, linear, non-linear,chapter book, novel in verse, afterword, foreword- book components ELA/real world literacy 4. Engage students, student centered reading, writing, speaking and listening, language conventions, nuances of language use, academic domain- American History Dictionary 5. Explain reasons for arguments – See Booker T. Washington /W.E.B. Dubois debate-plus student government debate 6. Provide supporting deals for spoken and written arguments 7. Interpret texts- songs, poems, documents 8. Audience focus- writes and speak differently for different audiences-Ivdu Adults, 333 teacher adults, Andrea Pinkney. 9. Author’s purpose/theme/ argument 10. Level of text- multi-level YA, newspaper, poetry, documents 11. Text complexity- films, songs, poems, archival footage 12. Link ideas using logic and arguments plus details from text 13.  Informational text focus- Pinkney’s Coretta Scott King Hand in Hand, Washington documents, newspapers 14. B  alance of literary and information texts-Angelou, pop songs, Pinkney, films, and documentaries 15. Literacy across the disciplines- ELA for every SS/History 16.  Integration of knowledge and research- short research papers using multimedia or graphic or Internet/Power Point, slide shows to represent and share knowledge-American History Dictionary


17. Scaffold questioning and differentiate teaching to broaden staircase of complexity discussions 18. Rigorous student discussions with interactive peer centered comments – Collaboration with real audiences 19. Students engaged in text based tasks and provide responses in that address with direct citations from informational and literacy texts these tasks 20. Students can articulate in speech and writing text summaries-Presentations at Expo and to small groups 21. Students read, write and develop products over time- with reflection, revision and adult support small group presentations 22.Use of several texts- Emphasis on ideas and integrative themes using mix of graphics/visuals/texts and presenting this specifically formatted for various audiences 23. Emphasis on words, word analysis, transitional words, argument writing, dictionary compilation 25. Staircase of text complexity from simple and succinct to sublime- the teacher broad spectrum climb (this is a great graphic to depict in classroom) 26. Accent on aspects of academic language study- affixes, analytic, semantic, morphology, derivation, connotative, denotative, and pejorative 27. College preparation even in elementary school- book publishing team, posterboard team, 28. Career readiness/ appropriateness- see above 29. Connecting classroom skills explicitly to the real world-Education 333 students, Expo, Ivdu students, e books 30. Accent on precise language, logic, details and comparisons/responses to 2 or more texts


Common Core words and terms to use as educators and infuse into student diction Academic vocabulary

Literary texts

Adages

Logical

Arguments

Multi-media

Assigned discussion roles

Multiple Sources

Audiences

Nuances

Career preparation

Precise

Citations and quotes

Primary /secondary sources

Collaboration and comprehension

Reading foundational skills

College readiness

Reasons

Craft and structure

Reflection and Revision

Details

Rigorous

Differentiated and individuated instruction

Scaffold questioning

Discussion

Self correct

Domain specific

Staircase of text complexity

Facts

Similes and metaphors

Figurative language

Student centered discussion

Informational texts

Technology integrative

Inquiry based Learning

Texts

Integration of knowledge and research

Text

Level and range of text complexity


In 2014-2015 Tests aligned to the Common Core will measure Norman Webb’s four Depth of Knowledge (DOK) level 3 and 4 skills. The work of students in Mr. Downes’s digital literacy American History program aligned with Dr. Reissman’s Writing Institute addresses Level Three –Strategic Thinking-by: revising work, developing logical arguments about historical figure perspectives, assessing films and songs, drawing conclusions from various texts, critiquing films, poetry and documents, investigating time periods. Level 4 –Extended thinkingDesigning this book Connecting America’s past to news present Synthesizing historical ideas, movements, positions Applying poetic life viewpoints to history and to personal life Critiquing positions and media Creating playlists Constructing visual media and Power Points to express perspectives Writing Standards for Literacy in History/Social Studies, Science and Technical Subjects (WHST)

Text Types and Purposes • Standard (WHST.6-8.1) - Write arguments focused on discipline-specific content. • Booker T. Washington/DuBois. • Standard (WHST.6-8.1a) – Introduce claim(s) about a topic or issue, acknowledge and distinguish the claim(s) from alternate or opposing claims, and organize the reasons and evidence logically. • Standard (WHST.6-8.1b) – Support claim(s) with logical reasoning and relevant, accurate data and evidence that demonstrate an understanding of the topic or text, using credible sources. • Standard (WHST.6-8.1c) – Use words, phrases, and clauses to create cohesion and clarify the relationships among claim(s), counterclaims, reasons, and evidence. • Standard (WHST.6-8.1d) – Establish and maintain a formal style. • Standard (WHST.6-8.2e) – Provide a concluding statement or section that follows from and supports the argument presented. Parts of this book component.


• Standard (WHST.6-8.2) – Write informative/explanatory texts, including the narration of historical events, scientific procedures/experiments, or technical processes. American History Dictionary, Playlist, poetry. • Standard (WHST.6-8.2a) – Introduce a topic clearly, previewing what is to follow, organize ideas, concepts, an information into broader categories as appropriate to achieving purpose; including formatting (e.g., headings), graphics (e.g., charts, tables), and multimedia when useful to aiding comprehension. • Posterboards, collages, design of book • Standard (WHST.6-8.2b) – Develop the topic with relevant, well-chosen facts, definitions, concrete details, quotations, or other information and examples. • Standard (WHST.6-8.2c) – Use appropriate and varied transitions to create cohesion and clarify the relationships among ideas and concepts. • Standard (WHST.6-8.2d) – Use precise language and domain-specific vocabulary to inform about or explain the topic. American History Dictionary • Standard (WHST.6-8.2e) – Establish and maintain a formal style and objective tone. • Standard (WHST.6-8.2f) – provide a concluding statement or section that follows from and supports the information or explanation presented.afterword • Standard (WHST.6-8.3) – (See note; not applicable as a separate requirement)

Integration of Knowledge and Ideas • Standard (WHST.6-8.4) – Produce clear and coherent writing in which the development, organization, and style are appropriate to task, purpose, and audience. • Standard (WHST.6-8.5) – With some guidance and support from peers and adults, develop and strengthen writing as needed by planning, revising, editing, rewriting, or trying a new approach, focusing on how well purpose and audience have been addressed. • Collaboration with peers and Edu 333 adults • Standard (WHST.6-8.6) – Use technology, including the Internet, to produce and publish writing and present the relationships between information and ideas clearly and efficiently.


• Standard (WHST.6-8.7) – Conduct short research projects to answer a question (including a self generated question), drawing on several sources and generating additional related, focused questions that allow for multiple avenues of exploration. • Standard (WHST.6-8.8) – Gather relevant information from multiple print and digital sources, using search terms effectively; assess the credibility and accuracy of each source; and quote or paraphrase the data and conclusions of others while avoiding plagiarism and following a standard format for citation. Cinderella Man, 42, songs, poetry, research for Playlist • Standard (WHST.6-8.9) – Draw evidence from informational texts to support analysis, reflection, and research.

Range of Reading and Level of Text Complexity • Standard (WHST.6-8.10) - Write routinely over extended time frames (time for reflection and revision) and shorter time frames (a single sitting or a day or two) for a range of discipline-specific tasks, purposes, and audiences.


Writing Standards for Literacy in History/Social Studies, Science and Technical Subjects (WHST)

Text Types and Purposes • Standard (WHST.6-8.1) – Write arguments focused on discipline-specific content. • Standard (WHST.6-8.1a) – Introduce claim(s) about a topic or issue, acknowledge and distinguish the claim(s) from alternate or opposing claims, and organize the reasons and evidence logically. • Standard (WHST.6-8.1b) – Support claim(s) with logical reasoning and relevant, accurate data and evidence that demonstrate an understanding of the topic or text, using credible sources. • Standard (WHST.6-8.1c) – Use words, phrases, and clauses to create cohesion and clarify the relationships among claim(s), counterclaims, reasons, and evidence. • Standard (WHST.6-8.1d) – Establish and maintain a formal style. • Standard (WHST.6-8.2e) – Provide a concluding statement or section that follows from and supports the argument presented. • Standard (WHST.6-8.2) – Write informative/explanatory texts, including the narration of historical events, scientific procedures/experiments, or technical processes. • Standard (WHST.6-8.2a) – Introduce a topic clearly, previewing what is to follow, organize ideas, concepts, an information into broader categories as appropriate to achieving purpose; including formatting (e.g., headings), graphics (e.g., charts, tables), and multimedia when useful to aiding comprehension. • Standard (WHST.6-8.2b) – Develop the topic with relevant, well-chosen facts, definitions, concrete details, quotations, or other information and examples. • Standard (WHST.6-8.2c) – Use appropriate and varied transitions to create cohesion and clarify the relationships among ideas and concepts. • Standard (WHST.6-8.2d) – Use precise language and domain-specific vocabulary to inform about or explain the topic. • Standard (WHST.6-8.2e) – Establish and maintain a formal style and objective tone. • Standard (WHST.6-8.2f) – provide a concluding statement or section that follows from and supports the information or explanation presented. • Standard (WHST.6-8.3) – (See note; not applicable as a separate requirement)


Integration of Knowledge and Ideas • Standard (WHST.6-8.4) – Produce clear and coherent writing in which the development, organization, and style are appropriate to task, purpose, and audience. • Standard (WHST.6-8.5) – With some guidance and support from peers and adults, develop and strengthen writing as needed by planning, revising, editing, rewriting, or trying a new approach, focusing on how well purpose and audience have been addressed. • Standard (WHST.6-8.6) – Use technology, including the Internet, to produce and publish writing and present the relationships between information and ideas clearly and efficiently. • Standard (WHST.6-8.7) – Conduct short research projects to answer a question (including a self generated question), drawing on several sources and generating additional related, focused questions that allow for multiple avenues of exploration. • Standard (WHST.6-8.8) – Gather relevant information from multiple print and digital sources, using search terms effectively; assess the credibility and accuracy of each source; and quote or paraphrase the data and conclusions of others while avoiding plagiarism and following a standard format for citation. • Standard (WHST.6-8.9) – Draw evidence from informational texts to support analysis, reflection, and research.

Range of Reading and Level of Text Complexity • Standard (WHST.6-8.10) - Write routinely over extended time frames (time for reflection and revision) and shorter time frames (a single sitting or a day or two) for a range of discipline-specific tasks, purposes, and audiences.


Common Core Grade 8 ELA Standards

Reading Standards for Literature Standard (RL) – Cite several pieces of textual evidence to support analysis of what the text says explicitly as well as inferences drawn from text. Standard (RL) – Determine a theme or central idea of a text and analyze its development over the course of the text; provide an objective summary of the text. Standard (RL) – Analyze how particular elements of a story interact (e.g., how setting shapes the characters or plot). Craft and Structure Standard (RL) – Determine the meaning of words and phrases as they are used in a text, including figurative and connotative meanings; analyze the impact of rhymes and other repetitions of sounds (e.g., alliteration) on a specific verse or stanza of a poem or section of a story or drama. Standard (RL) – Analyze how a drama’s or poem’s form or structure (e.g., soliloquy, sonnet) contributes to its meaning. Standard (RL) – Analyze how an author develops and contrasts the points of view of different characters or narrators in a text. Integration of Knowledge and Ideas Standard (RL) – Compare and contrast a written story, drama, or poem to its audio, filmed, staged, or multimedia version, analyzing the effects of techniques unique to each medium (e.g., lighting, sound, color, or camera focus and angles in a film). Standard (RL) – (Not applicable to literature) Standard (RL) – Compare and contrast a fictional portrayal of a time, place, or character and a historical account of the same period as a means of understanding how authors use or alter history. Range of Reading and Level of Text Complexity Standard (RL) – By the end of the year, read and comprehend literature, including stories, dramas, and poems, in the grades 6-8 text complexity ban proficiently, with scaffolding as needed at the high end of the range.


Reading Standards for Informational Text (RI) Key Ideas and Details Standard (RI) – Cite several pieces of textual evidence to support analysis of what the text says explicitly as well as inferences drawn from the text. Standard (RI) – Determine two or more central ideas in a text and analyze their development over the course of the text; provide an objective summary of the text. Standard (RI) – Analyze the interactions between individuals, events, and ideas in a text (e.g., how ideas influence individuals or events, or how individuals influence ideas or events). Craft and Structure Standard (RI) – Determine the meaning of words and phrases as they are used in a text, including figurative, connotative, and technical meanings; analyze the impact of a specific word choice on meaning and tone. Standard (RI) – Analyze the structure an author uses to organize text, including how the major sections contributed to the whole and to the development of the ideas. Standard (RI) – Determine an author’s point of view or purpose in a text and analyze how the author distinguishes his or her position from that of others. Standard (RI) – Compare and contrast text to an audio, video or multimedia version of the text, analyzing each medium’s portrayal of the subject (e.g., how the delivery of a speech affects the impact of the words). Standard (RI) – Trace and evaluate the argument and specific claims in a text, assessing whether the reasoning is sound and the evidence is relevant and sufficient to support the claims. Standard (RI) – Analyze how two or more authors writing about the same topic shape their presentations of key information by emphasizing different evidence or advancing different interpretations of facts. Range of Reading and Level of Text Complexity Standard (RI) – By the end of the year, read and comprehend literary nonfiction in the grades 6-8 text complexity band proficiently, with scaffolding as needed at the high end of the range. Writing Standards (W) Text Types and Purposes


Standard (W) – Write arguments to support claims with clear reasons and relevant evidence. Standard (W) – Introduce claim(s), acknowledge alternate or opposing claims, and organize the reasons and evidence logically. Standard (W) – Support claim(s) with logical reasoning and relevant evidence, using accurate, credible sources demonstrating an understanding of the topic. Standard (W) – Use words, phrases, and clauses to create cohesion and clarify the relationships among claim(s), reasons, and evidence. Standard (W) – Establish and maintain a formal style. Standard (W) – Provide a concluding statement or section that follows from and supports the argument presented. Standard (W) – Write informative/explanatory texts to examine a topic and convey ideas, concepts, and information through a selection, organization and analysis of relevant content. Standard (W) – Introduce a topic clearly, previewing what is to follow; organize ideas, concepts, and information, using strategies such as definition, classification, comparison/contrast, and cause/effect; include formatting (e.g., headings), graphics (e.g., charts, tables), and multimedia when useful to aiding comprehension. Standard (W) – Use appropriate transitions to create cohesion an clarify the relationships among ideas and concepts. Standard (W) – Use precise language and domain-specific vocabulary to inform about or explain the topic. Standard (W) – Establish and maintain a formal style. Standard (W) – Provide a concluding statement or section that follows from and supports the information or explanation presented. Standard (W) – Write narratives to develop real or imagined experiences or events using effective technique, relevant descriptive details, and well-structured event sequences. Standard (W) – Engage and orient the reader by establishing a context and point of view and introducing a narrator and/or characters; organize and event sequence that unfolds naturally and logically. Standard (W) – Use narrative techniques, such as dialogue, pacing, and description, to develop experiences, events and/or characters.


Standard (W) – Use a variety of transition words, phrases, and clauses to convey sequence and signal shifts from one time frame or setting to another. Standard (W) – Use precise words and phrases, relevant descriptive details, and sensory language to capture the action and convey experiences and events. Standard (W) – Provide a conclusion that follows from and reflects on the narrated experiences or events.

Production and Distribution of Writing Standard (W) – Produce clear and coherent writing in which the development, organization, and style are appropriate to task, purpose, and audience. Standard (W) – With some guidance and support from peers and adults, develop and strengthen writing as needed by planning, revising, editing, rewriting or trying a new approach, focusing on how well purpose and audience have been addressed. Standard (W) – Use technology, including the Internet, to produce and publish writing and link to and cite sources as well as to interact and collaborate with others, including linking to and citing sources. Research to Build and Present Knowledge Standard (W) – Conduct short research projects to answer a question, drawing on several sources and generating additional related, focused questions for further research and investigation. Standard (W) – Gather relevant information from multiple print and digital sources, using search terms effectively; assesses the credibility and accuracy of each source; and quote or paraphrase the data and conclusions of others while avoiding plagiarism an following a standard format for citation. Standard (W) – Draw evidence from literary or informational texts to support analysis, reflection, and research. Standard (W) – Apply grade 7 Reading standards to literature (e.g., “Compare and contrast a fictional portrayal of a time, place, or character and a historical account of the same period as a means of understanding how authors use fiction use or alter history”). Standard (W) – Apply grade 7 Reading standards to literacy nonfiction (e.g. “Trace and evaluate the argument and specific claims in a text, assessing whether the reasoning is sound and the evidence is relevant and sufficient to support the claims”).


Range of Writing Standard (W) – Write routinely over extended time frames (time for research, time for reflection, and revision) and shorter time frames (a single sitting or a day or two) for a range of discipline-specific tasks, purposes, and audiences. Speaking and Listening Standards (SL) Standard (SL) – Engage effectively in a range of collaborative discussions (oneon-one, in groups, and teacher-led) with diverse partners on grade 7 topics, texts, and issues, building on others’ ideas and expressing their own clearly. Standard (SL) – Come to discussions prepared, having read or researched material under study; explicitly draw on that preparation by referring to evidence on the topic, text, or issue to probe and reflect on ideas under discussion. Standard (SL) – Follow rules for collegial discussions, track progress toward specific goals and deadlines, and define individual roles as needed. Standard (SL) – Pose questions that elicit elaboration and respond to others’ questions and comments with relevant observations and ideas that bring the discussion back on topic as needed. Standard (SL) – Acknowledge new information expressed by others and, when warranted, modify their own views. Standard (SL) – Analyze the main ideas and supporting details presented in diverse media and formats (e.g., visually, quantitatively, orally) and explain how the ideas clarify a topic, text, or issue under study. Standard (SL) – Delineate a speaker’s argument and specific claims, evaluating the soundness of the reasoning and the relevance and sufficiency of the evidence. Standard (SL) – Present claims and findings, emphasizing salient points in a focused, coherent manner with pertinent descriptions, facts, details and examples, use appropriate eye contact, adequate volume, and clear pronunciation. Standard (SL) – Include multimedia components and visual displays in presentations to clarify claims and findings and emphasize salient points. Standard (SL) – Adapt speech to a variety of contexts and tasks, demonstrating command of formal English when indicated or appropriate. (See grade 7 Language standards 1 and 3 for specific expectations.)


Language Standards (L) Conventions of Standard English Standard (L) – Demonstrate command of the conventions of standard English grammar and usage when writing or speaking. Standard (L) – Explain the function of phrases and clauses in general and their function in specific sentences. Standard (L) – Choose among simple, compound, complex, and compoundcomplex sentences to signal differing relationships among ideas. Standard (L) – Place phrases and clauses within a sentence, recognizing and correcting misplaces and dangling modifier. Standard (L) – Demonstrate command of the conventions of standard English capitalization, punctuation, and spelling when writing. Standard (L) – Use a comma to separate coordinate adjectives (e.g., It was a fascinating, enjoyable movie but not He wore an old[,] green shirt) Standard (L) – Spell correctly.

Knowledge of Language Standard (L) – Use knowledge of language and its conventions when writing, speaking, reading or listening. Standard (L) – Choose language that expresses ideas precisely and concisely, recognizing and eliminating wordiness and redundancy. Vocabulary Acquisition and Use Standard (L) – Determine or clarify the meaning of unknown and multiple-meaning words and phrases based on grade 7 reading


THE STORY BEHIND THE YORK COLLEGE/DITMAS IS 62 COLLABORATION Mr. Michael Downes serves as Professor for EDU 333- History Through The Expressive Arts training York College Teacher Candidates through their exploring his lessons taught at Ditmas IS 62 to 850 and 808, among other classes. This book authentically linked Mr. Downes’s 850 and 808 students at 700 Cortelyou Road, Brooklyn with Mr. Downes’s adult teacher candidates at York College in Jamaica, Queens. Death Losing Loved ones Moving on Graduating Leaving Ditmas Is what frightens me. Now I’ve grown stronger And life is not what Frightens me. Isabel Perez


42 and Massacres Too  

Ditmas IS 62 Classes 850, 808 Barry Kevorkian, Principal Mr. Michael Downes, Social Studies & Digital Media Educator Mr. Nolan Adams, Social...