Rap as Poetry

While many would disagree, many more would agree that rap, as a form of song lyrics, are analogous to poems as well.  In fact, an article on The Daily Beast was titled saying that “Americans Have Never Loved Poetry More–But They Call It Rap.”  In essence, that was the slant of today’s lesson.  Outlets such as The American Conservative and NPR are writing articles and blog posts asking exactly that.  Then again, educators such as myself and those at UPenn and Harvard have been using rap and song lyrics as evidence of modern pop cultural poetry for years.  I have found that this makes literature more interesting and relevant to students whilst showing examples of how assonance, end rhyme, and imagery are used outside of novels.  In essence, literature (and learning opportunities) are all around us!

After showing the students a brief clip where rapper Jay-Z is discussing how rap lyrics are akin to poetry, the students and I discussed a few examples of rap and analyzed as we had poems.




Pre-CRCT Tutorial

Yesterday’s tutorial was a success, however I would love to see more students this afternoon and Monday afternoon.  I made an announcement in class that I will be staying after school until 5pm.  Parents, if you would like your student to attend, have them speak with me in person today.  Of course, each student will need a solid and punctual ride home.

CRCT Study Guide

Yes, the CRCT is quickly approaching!  In addition to everything being taught within each content class, the CCSD has posted the official CRCT study guide on its Testing and Assessment page.  You can find explanations of how the test is scored, sample questions (with the accompanying answer keys), in addition to other pertinent information regarding the CRCT.  You can find the 8th grade study guide for all core subjects at the link below:

Mark your calendars! The CRCT will begin April 22nd, 2013.

Friday, September 21st, 2012 in Brief

Friday was a mixed bag lesson where each class had a slightly different experience based on their lesson needs:

  • First periodreviewed conclusion techniques discussed in Tuesday’s lesson.  This class also dissected a writing prompt (see below) using TAP (we left the last “P” for later). The students are to complete this for homework.
    • Writing Prompt:
      • Writing Situation: Most families assign chores to their children. Families need to work together, and having the children of the house help out teaches responsibility. However, many children and teens object to having these chores imposed upon them. What is your opinion?
      • Directions for Writing: Do you think that children should have assigned chores to do at home, or do you think you have enough to do already? Write an essay to convince the adults in your family of your point of view regarding the children and teens being required to do chores at home. Be clear in your opinion, and use specific details and examples to support your ideas.
  • Second period took time to revisit the computer lab in order to finish the SRI.  The students who finished then began work dissecting the prompt above using TAP(P).
  • Sixth period had the opportunity to briefly visit the Book Fair which was only in our Media Center for one day.  Upon returning from the Media Center, sixth period completed the notes on conclusion strategies from Tuesday’s lesson.
    • Should there have been more time slots available, the other class periods would have also attended.
  • Seventh period completed notes on conclusion strategies from Tuesday’s lesson.

**QUIZ ALERT: Anticipate a quiz over prepositions and gerunds on Monday!


  • 1st: Complete the in-class essay.  It must be 3 paragraphs in length.
  • 2nd: For those who began the in-class essay, complete it.  Those who did not will work on this assignment starting on Monday the 24th, 2012.
  • 6th: No homework
  • 7th: No homework

PowerPoint: 9-21-12 Conclusions Practice + Starting a Timed Writing

Math & Literacy Night!


All signs point to Math & Literacy Night!

Tonight was the first LMS Math & ELA Literacy Night of the year. From 6:30 to 7, the parents in attendance learned about plotting transformations. For the last half hour, the parents learned about BCRs and then had to write their own!  They then swapped papers and scored each other’s BCRs. 

The Literacy Nights happen once a month, with the one in October focusing on Social Studies and Science. The next Math and ELA Literacy Night should be in November. Stay tuned for updates!