Monthly Archives: February 2015

Word is Bond Rap Radio – 3rd Anniversary Party

WIB 3rd Banner

My radio show celebrates its 3rd Anniversary on Monday and I am planning a huge party for the broadcast.

I am going to have some very special guests in the studio. And you are invited.

Please check the Facebook Event to RSVP and find out more.

If you are an artist, you can jump in on a cypher, perform a song live, or just hang out and enjoy the live radio show at the station. All are welcome!

We broadcast out of UCC (Student Centre) at Western University in London, Ontario, Canada.

We kick off the broadcast at 12:00 midnight on Monday and will party for a few hours at the station. We may stay on air for an extended period of time and not sign off at 2:00 a.m. like usual. So come party with us till early Tuesday morning.

It’s going to be a lot of fun and completely live, so anything could happen. We have a lot of rappers coming through the station, a few guest DJs, and even a very special hip-hop legend who will be joining us via the phone lines.

WIB Rap Radio 3rd Anniverary Party (1)

 

We will even have a few giveaways. Please call in 519-661-3600 when we are on the air!

You can also send us good vibes on Facebook, Instagram. Twitter, or Tumblr.

Thanks for listening all these years!

Let’s Go Back to February 2008

Chasing ContentAt the start of every month, I take a moment to look back at what I wrote last year at this time. This serves as a “Best-of” list and helps highlight great pieces from the archive.

I’ve missed a few months of doing this, case in point is February 2008.

Let’s fix that omission right now!

You can read all of the posts I wrote seven years ago this month . . .

or just these highlights!

Need Something to Blame, Why Not Hip-Hop?

I went to a conference where one of the speakers blamed the erosion of values on “Chuck E. Cheese” and “hip-hop culture.” Those were his exact words. I’m glad we finally pinned down this problem. Now we can do something about it. Did you get the sarcasm there?

This kind of ignorant thinking really infuriates me. Both Chuck E. Cheese and hip-hop music have great things to offer. I hate my culture being used as a scapegoat all the time. It needs to stop.

The Third World is Right Here

This is not a metaphor either. We have people living in this very province who live in Third World conditions. It’s hard to believe that this could happen in the rich and abundant country we live in. This is something we should be rallying behind. Let’s do something!

Be Happy With the Little Things

It’s a hard thing to do when we see everyone around us having things we don’t have. It’s the human condition to want more. But perhaps, we should be content with what we have and appreciate all of the little things more. Rest in Peace, Lucas Tait!

A Brief History of Hip-Hop

I did this series before I started working in radio. It’s a nice little series. You should check it out!

Thanks for Chasing Content with me!

Great Teaching Blogs You Should Be Reading

I have an online breakfast every morning, meaning that I read all sorts of blogs while I munch away on some cereal. Here are some teaching-related blogs that I check for on a daily basis. You should too!

dangerously irrelevant

Dangerously Irrelevant – Scott McLeod’s blog is full of food for thought for teachers.

FreeTechForTeachers

Free Technology for Teachers – Richard Byrne always shares the best of the web when it comes to websites, apps, and technology that you can use in your classroom for FREE!

iLearn Technology

iLearn Technology – Kelly Tenkely shares some of the great practices and resources that she uses in the school she started up.

Langwitches

Langwitches – Silvia Rosenthal Tolisano’s blog is always a great read about teaching-related issues and resources.

Larry Ferlazzo

Larry Ferlazzo’s Websites of the Day – I don’t know how Larry keeps on top of all this stuff. He shares dozens of resources every single week and everyone is something useful and free. It’s a must-visit for any teacher in any grade!

Speed of Creativity

Moving at the Speed of Creativity – Wesley Fryer is a STEM teacher and always shares great information about teaching science, technology, engineering, and math.

Feedly

Feedly – a great place to organize and subscribe to all of these blogs so the content will come to you. This is my one-stop everyone morning for great reads!

Please Share Any of the Great Teacher Blogs You Visit on a Regular Basis below. 

Teaching Tip Tuesday – Teachers helping Teachers is what it is all about.

Rap Radio Shines Worldwide!

I love listening to hip-hop radio. Here is a quick guide to the show I listen to on a regular basis.

They are in alphabetical order by title. And I guarantee that each one delivers quality music by dedicated DJs who respect independent and underground artists. This is where real hip-hop lives. Tune in and enjoy the tunes on a weekly basis

TheBadI

The Baddest Incredible

HOST – Gamma Krush

WHEN – Fridays 6:00 -7:00 p.m. EST and repeated Mondays 11 p.m. to 12:00 midnight on 93.3 CFRU

WHERE – Guelph, Ontario. Canada

PODCASThttp://gammakrush.ca

consignment show

The Consignment Show

HOST – Tyler Hetherington

WHEN – Tuesdays 12:00 midnight to 2:00 a.m. Wednesday morning on 94.9 CHRW

WHERE – London, Ontario. Canada

PODCAST – http://chrwradio.ca/programs/consignment-show#prev-shows

DOPEfm

DOPEfm

HOSTS – Daddy J and Chase March

WHEN – Saturdays 12:00 midnight – 7:00 a.m. EST Sunday morning  on 93.3 CFMU

WHERE – Hamilton, Ontario. Canada

PODCAST – http://cfmu.msumcmaster.ca/app/programming/ (select DOPEfm from the guide)

In Tha Kut

In Tha Kut

HOSTS – Mookie The Greek and John P

WHEN – Thursdays 9:00 – 10:30 p.m. EST on 93.3 CFMU

WHERE – Hamilton, Ontario. Canada

PODCAST – http://cfmu.msumcmaster.ca/app/programming/ (select DOPEfm from the guide)

LC Show

LC Show

HOSTS – Shay D and DJ Shorty

WHEN – Sundays 6:00 – 8:00 p.m. GMT on Itch FM

WHERE – London, England

PODCAST – https://www.mixcloud.com/ItchFM/

masterplan

The Masterplan Show

HOSTS – DTS and DJ Romeo

WHEN – Saturdays 8:00 – 10:00 p.m. EST on 89.5 CIUT

WHERE – Toronto, Ontario. Canada

PODCAST – http://www.ciut.fm/shows-2/music-shows/masterplan/

OUR show

Our Show

HOST – Conshus

WHEN – Saturdays 5:00 – 7:00 p.m. EST on 91.5 WPRK

WHERE – Winterpark, Florida

PODCAST – http://www.stitcher.com/podcast/its-our-show-hiphop-for-people-that-know-better/

SausageGutRadio

Sausage Gut Radio 

HOSTS – DJ Hullewud and Mat Labatt

WHEN – Saturdays 10:00 p.m. – 12:00 midnight  on 94.9 CHRW

WHERE – London, Ontario. Canada

PODCAST – http://chrwradio.ca/programs/sausage-gut-radio#prev-shows

WIB_RRH_Chase_Logo

Word is Bond

HOST – Chase March

WHEN – Mondays 12:00 midnight to 2:00 a.m. EST Tuesday morning on 94.9 CHRW

WHERE – London, Ontario. Canada

PODCAST – http://www.thewordisbond.com/audio/wib-podcast/

tune in

WHEN – whenever these shows are on – live on your computers, phones, or tablets

WHERE – http://tunein.com/get-tunein/

Enjoy the hip-hop tunes on your radio dial wherever you are using the Tune In App on your phone.

Any great shows to add to this list?

Please leave a comment below!

My List of 2015 Reads

2015 ReadsI keep a detailed reading log of every single title I read over the course of a year. This is where I do it.

After I read a book, I blog about it and then add a link to that post here. As such, this page becomes a table of contents for all of the books I will read this year.

When I started this tradition in 2012, I read 65 books. The next year was pretty close to that number as well. In 2013, I read 61 books. Last year, I totally smashed my record. In 2014, I read 78 books.

This year, I am also trying a 50 Book Reading Challenge. I won’t let it restrict me from what I want to read. but I’ll will be checking off items from this list as I go along as well.

Let’s so how well I do this year on both challenges.

NOVELS

Empty
The Graveyard Book
Juliet Naked
Little Brother
The Lucky One
Santa:
Wake
Watch
We Are Called to Rise
Why We Broke Up
Wit’s End
Wonder

GRAPHIC NOVELS

All New Captain America – 1 title (Hydra Ascendant)
Animal Man – 3 titles (Rotworld: The Red Kingdom, Splinter Species, Evolve or Die!)
Avengers – 1 title (Mythos)
Batman / Superman – 1 title (Cross World)
Ender’s Game – 1 title (War of Gifts)
Ex Machina – 5 titles (Power Down, Ex Cathedra, Dirty Tricks, Ring Out the Old, Term Limits)
Federal Bureau of Physics – 1 title (Volume 1)
Kill Shakespeare – 1 title (Vol. 3)
Ocean / Orbiter – 1 title (The Deluxe Edition)
Peaceful Warrior – 1 title (Peaceful Warrior)
Secret Origins – 1 title (The New 52: Volume 1)
Smallville – 1 title (Season 11: Chaos)
Spider-Man – 1 title (Matters of Life and Death)
Star Trek – 1 title (The New Adventures: Vol 1)
Star Wars – 1 title (In The Shadow of Yavin)
The Flash – 3 titles (Flashpoint, Flaspoint: Superman, Flashpoint: The World of Flash)
The Walking Dead – 2 titles (A New Beginning, Whispers into Screams)
Transformers – 5 titles (Robots in Disguise Vol 1-5)

TEACHING RELATED BOOKS

Kids are Worth It
Teach Like a Pirate

WRITING BOOKS

The Fiction Writer’s Guide to Dialogue
Jeff Herman’s Guide to Book Publishers, Editors, & Literary Agents
Wild Women, Wild Voices

HIP-HOP BOOKS

In Search Of . . . Divine Styler
On the Record: The Scratch DJ Academy Guide
Rap Music and Street Consciousness

NON-FICTION

A Million Miles in a Thousand Years: What I Learned While Editing My Life
Got Social Mediology
Life is Great . . . Even When it Sucks
Psycho-Cybernetics
Record Collecting for Girls
Rich Dad, Poor Dad
The More You Do, The Better You Feel
Steal Like an Artist
Zapped

Total Books Read in 2015: 60

Let’s Influence and Empower Our Students Every Day!

Kids are Worth It

Kids Are Worth It : Giving Your Child the Gift of Inner Discipline by Barbara Coloroso

Barbara Coloroso is a renowned author of books on parenting and teaching. She offers great advice that we can all use in our daily lives. I can’t believe I hadn’t read any of her work till just now.

One of her cores beliefs is that we can . . .

Influence and Empower Children

“If we accept that we can influence and empower our children, we will no longer feel that we must control them and make them mind. We can then begin to look at empowerment tools that are alternatives to the manipulative  tools of behavior management. They are encouragement and discipline.”

Here is a great model that we can use when we need to discipline our students.

Four Steps of Discipline

  1. Show kids what they have done wrong
  2. Gives them ownership of the problem
  3. Gives them options for solving the problem
  4. Leaves their dignity in tact

We can let them experience consequences that are directly related to their actions.

Real World Consequences

“Real-world consequences either happen naturally or are reasonable consequences that are intrinsically related to the child’s actions.”

It is perfectly acceptable to let our students and children experience real-world consequences. These events can be powerful learning experiences.

While this book is aimed primarily at parents, I believe that the advice she gives is equally applicable to teachers.

Morally Threatening Consequences

I like the idea of getting our students to think before they act with this simple question, “Why Can’t I?” and then looking closely at the answer to see if this applies . . .

  1. Because it is unkind
  2. Because it is hurtful
  3. Because it is unfair
  4. Because it is dishonest

In each of these situations a parent can take the opportunity to teach the child about the virtues of kindness. Compassion, fairness, and honesty and can provide guidance and options for behaving in a virtuous way.”

Character education is a big buzz word in school these days. We can teach virtues in our daily lives by the way we act and how we treat each other. It doesn’t need to be complex and super-involved. In fact, it all boils down to this . . .

Walk Your Talk

“If you are a courageous and giving [teacher] with principles and values that you are willing to stand up for, if you ‘walk your talk,’ your [students] will have a wonderful model to learn from and emulate.

Children need [teachers] who model self-discipline rather than preach it. They learn from what parents actually do; not from what they say they do.”

This is the first in a series of monthly posts!  Stay tuned to Teaching Tip Tuesday for more!

Teaching Tip Tuesday – great tips, tricks, lessons and inspiration for classroom teachers, every week!

Happy Valentine’s Day – A Mixtape for My Love

Valentine's Day Mix for My Love

As I write this post, I am reminded of how I have declared my love on this blog three times. I was in love that many times. It’s true! And I thought each of those relationships would blossom into a death-till-you-part marriage. That is something I have wanted my whole life.

Today, I am thankful that none of those relationships worked out the way I had intended them to. If they had, I would have missed on out on finding someone absolutely incredible.

Her name is Diana and I am completely in love with her.

My grandma used to say when you meet “the one,” you will just know.

Well, I know that I have finally met her.

We connect on so many levels. I have never had someone whose soul aligns with mine as perfectly. We just fit. And it is an incredible feeling.

This is our first Valentine’s Day together and in honour of the occasion, I have made her a mixtape.

You can download the album version for free (with skippable tracks)

or stream it with the player below.

 

Happy Valentine’s Day Everyone! 

Shaping Our Story to Live a Better Life

What I Learned While Editing My Life

A Million Miles in a Thousand Years: What I Learned While Editing My Life by Donald Miller

Donald Miller believes that we can use what we know about storytelling to live better lives.

He writes, “If Steve was right about a good story being a condensed version of life – that is, if story is just like life without the meaningless scenes – I wondered if life could be lived more like  a good story in the first place. I wondered whether a person could plan a story for his life and live it intentionally.” 

We are all Characters in a Story

I think this goes beyond metaphor. We tell stories all the time, stories of our day, stories of how we got into our professions, and stories about our families. It makes sense that we are all characters and that someone wrote us into existence.

“If I have a hope, it’s that God sat over the dark nothing and wrote you and me, specifically into the story, and put us in with the sunset and the rainstorm as though to say, Enjoy your place in my story. The beauty of it means you matter, and you can create within it even as I have created you.”

I am not a religious man. However, I have always felt that there is a lot of truth in fiction. And while I disagree with a lot of spiritual texts, I agree with what Millers writes here . . .

“I like the part of the Bible that talks about God speaking the world into existence, as thought everything we see and feel were sentences from his mouth . . .

I feel written, My skin feels written, and my desires feel written . . .”

The Ultimate Writer 

I am a writer and I have created characters who have moved my stories in ways that I have never imagined the story going. They make choices, they say things, and they direct the story. And these are fiction characters that I should have complete control over. And yet, somehow I don’t.

That is why I don’t believe that anything is written in stone. We can all shape our personal story. The ultimate writer, as I call him, doesn’t have complete power over us.

“You can call it God or a conscience, or you can dismiss it as that intuitive knowing we all have a human beings, as living storytellers; but there is a knowing I feel that guides me toward better stories, toward being a better character.

I believe there is a writer outside ourselves, plotting a better story for us, interacting with us, even, and whispering a better story into our consciousness.”

I agree!

We Can Control Our Own Story

Donald Millers admits that we don’t have a lot of control in our lives. He writes . . .

“I don’t know if anybody actually writes his or her own story in real life. It’s an odd thing to talk about, because while we control our destiny, it’s a limited control in so many ways. . .

as real life protagonists we can control only control what we do and say, what choices we make, what words we say. The rest is up to fate. And so life has positive and negative turns.”

So, even with limited control, we can affect change in some big ways. We can lead a live with purpose.

Life Has Purpose

“We live in a world where bad stories are told, stories that teach us life doesn’t matter and that humanity has no great purpose. It’s a calling, then, to speak a better story.”

I am determined to live a better story, How about you?

My List of 2015 Reads – my reading log for the year with links to every title

GPS – Free Music Method Books for Recorder

I have posted about the GPS – Grade Performance Steps for beginning band before. It is an incredible resource that students really respond well to. It gives them specific tasks, is easily trackable, and makes assessment a snap.

A colleague of mine formatted the books into individual instrument sections and you can find all of those books here. 

He just recently added Year One Recorder Books to this list. These include method books and tracking forms for both Alto and Soprano Recorders.

GPS Recorder

GPS Year One: Alto Recorder Method Book
GPS Alto Recorder Task Tracker Form

GPS Year One: Soprano Recorder Method Book
GPS Soprano Recorder Task Tracker Form

You can find the original GPS books and many other great resources at the OMEA site.

Enjoy and happy playing!

Teaching Tip Tuesday Archive – over 200 great resources for teachers

The Music Industry – What’s New in 2015?

Music Industry 2015Music has three personas – the artistic side, the legal side, and the business side. And every year, consumers are in for some surprises, and 2015 will probably be no different. Here are some phenomena and issues that we are likely to see over the next 12 months.

Legal Issues

Probably the biggest issue during 2015 will be the current battle between Pandora and The Turtles about royalties on music created prior to 1972. For those of you who are unfamiliar with the issue, current law does not allow copyright law to apply to any music recorded before 1972. No, in Congress, sits the Respect Act – a law that would expand copyright law, so that these artists would be covered and would indeed receive royalties when their music is played.

Additional legal issues will continue to revolve around streaming, and how artists should or should not be compensated by sites such as Spotify and Pandora. The issue is one of fairness. A music streaming site can allow users to listen free amid all sorts of advertising which gives huge profits to the site owners and to the advertisers but not to the artists. For this reason Taylor Swift and several other artists have pulled their music from such sites as Spotify, and it is anticipated that more will do so as this year progresses. Streaming sites may in fact lose significant revenue and ultimately fold. Apple will certainly be the first of such sites to “fold,” because it really got into this niche late and it is definitely not going to be profitable!

Artists

Predictions for 2015 in this realm are a little more difficult, but the experts seem to agree on the following:

  1. Billy Idol will probably hit the rock scene hard, bringing “punk” back to the forefront.
  2. Taylor Swift will need to come up with something new to “freshen” her appeal – this may be in teaming up with male vocalists.
  3. Justin Bieber will still have plenty of money but his popularity continues to wane and, in fact, he has not tours or concerts yet scheduled for 2015 – his bad behavior may be catching up with him!
  4. Adele has been off the radar since her huge year in 2012. But, she had throat surgery and a baby in the past few years. Look for her to make a huge comeback now that her life is more “even.”
  5. Major cities will begin to spend money featuring and promoting their “hometown” groups – Chicago Birds is a prime example of this growing phenomenon.
  6. Country music will continue its move into “mainstream” with many artists crossing over between different music niches – a nice thing to see!

The Business

  1. The RIAA will probably change its Platinum Album formula, because the current one is so not realistic. Changing forms of consumerism (purchasing hard copies vs. downloading) will force the Association to factor in online download sales to a much greater degree.
  2. Touring will continue to be the most profitable venue, and we may see more multi-group festivals, more reminiscent of the 60’s and 70’s – I think this is a real plus!
  3. FLAC files may become the most popular online format for streaming, although there remain quite a few technical issues to be worked out!

Certainly, there are a number of surprises in store for us this year that can not be foreseen, just like last year. All in all, however, it will be an exciting and new!

BIO: Armed with a Master’s in Journalism and strong wanderlust, Kateline Jefferson set out to explore exotic places, financed by her freelance writing. She is now a regular blogger for Premier Essay and sells feature articles to English-speaking publications around the world.

Chasing Content – February 2014

Chasing ContentFebruary is the month of love.

And don’t you just love digging through the archives and reading the best of what Silent Cacophony had to offer last year at this time?

Of course, you answered, “Yes”

and will click on all of the links below to explore these great articles.

You can read all of the posts from last February

or just these favs . . .

A Recipe for Great Teaching

I love metaphors and this is a good one. Teaching requires a unique blend of ingredients perfectly combined and presented in a mouth-watering way. Check the recipe!

Fast Fiction – A Guide to Novel Writing

I enjoyed this book and need to work on applying some of its teachings this year. There’s tons of great advice in here that any writer of fiction can benefit from.

Valentine’s Day Hip-Hop Style

It’s time to celebrate Valentine’s Day hip-hop style. You can download or stream the last two years of our special programming to enjoy with your loved one!

Jalal of the Last Poets

I got to interview a legendary artist who helped inspire the culture of hip-hop we all know and love. He is a veteran of the game and a great poet / musician. Press play to be educated and entertained by one of our elders. Let’s celebrate music history!

A Great School Doesn’t Need a Building

This school takes place under a bridge and has very few resources. It has everything a school needs though; dedicated teachers and willing, eager students. It is truly an inspiring story.

Thanks!

You can visit this page often to read these “Best of” posts for every month of Silent Cacophony.

 

 

The Second Day of School – TLAP Style

TLAP Day 2This is the second in a series of posts on how to Teach Like a Pirate, a really cool and engaging methodology by Dave Burgess from a book of the same name.

Day two of the school year starts with my opening ritual that was a part of their “Good Morning Training” from the first day. 

I then turn off the lights, return to the front of the room , and transform myself into a airplane. 

Burgess describes in detail how he does this, how he crashes into a body of fictional water, saves fellow passengers from the plane, how they float away on a raft, and finally find safety on an island. It’s an impressive piece of pantomime that will more than likely throw students off. It’s not a typical way to start a lesson, but it is very engaging and has a purpose.

Survivor Game

A helicopter comes to rescue the survivors but there is a problem. The pilot admits that he is lost and more than likely won’t be able to find this island again.  He also only has room for 5 of the 10 survivors.

It is now up to the class to decide who will be saved and who will have to fend for themselves on the island. The students work in groups of four students to come to a consensus.

The teacher has to provide them with a list of ten characters who survived the plan crash. Each of whom have been specifically designed to spark debate and discussion.

The Goals of This Lesson

This exercise accomplishes two main goals. First, they are once again socked in the stomach with an outrageous and outside-the-box intro to the period that is not only bizarre, but highly entertaining. 

Secondly, I get the chance to discuss group dynamics, the collaborative process, and the procedures we use to get into groups, all in the context of a fun, engaging activity that does now have any particular right or wrong answers.

The answer to who is rescued and who stays on the island doesn’t matter; it is the process that is important. I emphasize that they must bot only come to a consensus, but they must be able to justify their answers. 

This is No Ordinary Class

After two days, every student has introduced themselves to the whole class and has participated in a collaborative group. In addition, they have yet to see anything resembling an ordinary class experience.

And Coming Next . . .

Dave Burgess sets up his class like a television series. He hooks students with a teaser, gets them engaged in the process, and then leaves them wanting more with a brief glimpse of what is to come.

He closes my saying that Day 3 is “the single most important day of the school year”

Teach Like a Pirate Series – Part 3 coming next month!

Teaching Tip Tuesday – archive of great tips. tricks, and lessons