All posts by Chase March

About Chase March

Chase March is an elementary school music teacher, a hip-hop historian, radio host, blogger, and writer.

Teaching Tip Tuesday Archive

Welcome to Teaching Tip Tuesdays – The Table of Contents

Please visit this page often as I will continue to update it every week with my latest teaching tip.

Below you find the tips in the order they have appeared on my blog.

The tips are also grouped by theme a little further down. I hope that you will find this series of posts useful in your classroom.

If you have any questions, comments, or concerns, or would like to write a guest post for Teaching Tip Tuesdays, please leave me a comment below, send me an email, or get at me on Twitter

Teachers helping teachers is what it is all about.

1. Teaching Tip Tuesdays begins
2. Student Numbers
3. Day Plans
4. Keep it at School
5. Supply Plans
6. Long Range Plans
7. Character Education
8. Tribes
9. Squads
10. Seating Plans
11. Dollar Stores
12. Be Flexible
13. Classroom Scrabble
14. Rules to Live By
15. Procedures
16. A Day in the Life of a Supply Teacher (guest post)
17. What Teachers expect from a Supply (guest post)
18. Packing Up for the Year
19. Summer Homework
20. Learning Doesn’t Stop in the Summer
21. New Teacher Guide
22. First Day of School (script / lesson plan)
23. Fairy Tales
24. Homework Program
25. Map Adventures
26. Math Drills
27. Where are the Desks?
28. Musical Corners
29. Classroom Deal or No Deal 
30. My Mission Statement
31. A New Cereal on the Bookshelf
32. April Fools Day
33. Using Play Money to teach Responsibility
34. Classroom Economy 
35. Three Choices You Always Have
36. Classroom Blog
37. How to Listen 
38. Level Everything
39. EQAO – prepare for the test
40. Mark Book
41. Monthly Homework
42. Song Maps
43. Teaching Music
44. Don’t Pass on the Fear
45. USB Drives
46. Sometimes You Just Need a Break
47. Visual Schedules
48. Bitesize Science
49. Eliminate the Negative
50. Key Elements Great Teachers Possess
51. Get Parents on Side
52. Teaching Gym and Health
53. Letter Writing
54. Black History Month
55. Classroom Rules (Expectations)
56. Literacy Strategy A.P.E. (guest post) 
57. Twitter in the Classroom
58. Improvisational Stories
59. A Great Drama Rubric 
60. Comic Strip Drama
61. Radio Theatre
62. Jigsaw Listening
63. Three Choices
64. Using Pop Music
65. 5 Shading Techniques
66. Super Buck (Art Project)
67. Colour Wheel
68. World Cup
69. Leadership Activity
70. First Day Craft
71. Read Everything 
72. Be Enthusiastic!
73. Using Video in the Classroom
74. Don’t Throw That Out
75. Transformational Geometry
76. Colour Families
77. Teachable Moments
78. Smarties Math
79. Elementary Oragami (guest post)
80. Super Doors
81. Using Math Resources
82. Great Websites
83. 5 Tips To Motivate Reluctant Students (guest post)
84. Art Attack
85. Take a Break
86. 4 Ways to Sustain Your Enthusiasm (guest post)
87. The What-If Activity
88. Get Them Writing
89. Picture Prompts
90. Guided Reading
91. Mutli-Syllabic Rhymes (Poetry)
92. Quieting Down a Rowdy Class (guest post)
93. Get Organized
94. Share a Story
95. Take Some Time (Enjoy Your March Break)
96. It Takes 5 Years
97. Word Study Games
98. First Time Teacher Tips (guest post)
99. 9 Tips for an Eco-Friendly Classroom (guest post)
100. 5 Reasons Not to Print That
101. Throw Out Your Rigid Classroom Schedule and Your Students Will Work Harder
102. Small Group Instruction
103. How To Fit In Small Group Instruction
104. How a Glue Stick Works
105. Unscramble, Write, and Draw
106. Teaching Vocal Music
107. Work To Learn
108. Two Month Goal: Know Your Students
109. Define Yourself: Word Collage
110. Free Teaching Resources (Part 1)
111. Use Lego to Teach Science
112. Visual (Drawing) Telephone
113. 5 Ways To Get Supply Teaching Jobs
114. Halloween Vowel Sounds
115. Why Are You Learning (Guest Post)
116. Free Teaching Resources (Part 2)
117. File Folder Seating Plans
118. Healthy Lunches Kids Will Love (guest post)
119. The Benefits of Extra-Curricular Activities (guest post)
120. 5 Minute Daily Language Activities
121. Scaredy Squirrel Drama Lesson
122. Making Comics Online
123. Visual History of Christmas Trees
124. Online Jukebox for Your Classroom
125. Music and Movement
126. Lighter or Darker Words
127. The Way You Speak Depends on the Situation
128. Using Cards in Math Class
129. We Love Books Day
130. 5 Brain Foods For Learning
131. Play and Learn with Lego
132. OK Go (and) Show This Video To Your Class
133. The Book Whisperer – Get Your Students Reading
134. Clothespins and Binder Rings
135. Inspiring Classroom Story – A Student’s Resiliency
136. How to Convert Printing to Text (Smartboard Tip)
137. Let the Smartboard be Your Artist
138. Smartboard Game – A to Z
139. The Only Audio / Video Response Worksheet You’ll Ever Need
140. What Teachers Actually Do
141. How to Care for Students
142. A Treasure Trove of Ideas
143. Shinball – An Alternative to Dodgeball
144. Word Hammers – Great Teaching Strategy and Game 
145. First Day Grids
146. Residential Schools – Novels, Memoirs, and Picture Books
147. The Write Start: Nurturing Writers at Every Stage
148. How to Use Blogging in Your Teaching (guest post)
149. How to Use a Paper Towel
150. There are No Grades in First Grade (guest post)
151. Solve the Messy Desk Problem
152. Why Teachers Should Use Facebook
153. How I’ve Been Using Facebook in My Teaching
154. The Power of Education (And a Great Film)
155. Comic Strip Newsletters
156. Last Minute Christmas Art Ideas
157. Point Out The Positive
158. Report Card Comments
159. The Pitfalls of Social Media
160. School Struggles: An Interview with Dr. Selznick
161. To Flip or Not to Flip (Is a Flipped Classroom the Way to Go?)
162. Ice T’s Rap School
163. Rap Song Structure
164. Making Rap Beats
165. Writing Rap Songs With Students
166. How Music Can Inspire and Increase Ambition in the Classroom
167. We Need to Teach Internet Safety and Etiquette
168. Lessons We Can Learn From Skateboarding (and how to apply it to education)
169. Middle Schools Should . . . 
170. My Classroom is a Laser Field
171. Musical Futures
172. Exams, Grades, and Marks Miss The Point
173. Reflect at the End of the School Year
174. Using Classroom Rules to Correct Misbehaviour
175. Our Classroom Rules Apply to the Teacher as well
176. Summer’s Gone (Musical Circles)
177. Juliet Lives (A Play Written by my Students)
178. Classroom Management Books Worth Reading
179. Developing Integrity in Our Students
180. Long Range Plan Template
181. Create Radio Plays in Your Classroom
182. How to Set Up Your Music Class
183. Music Room Storage Solutions
184. Effective Questioning Techniques
185. Please, No More Indoor Recess
186. A Band Warm-Up (Tricking them to Play Jingle Bells)
187. Best Word to Use in Your Teaching Practice
188. Teachers are Magic
189. 8 Tips for Young Musicians
190. Create Visual Poems with Your Students
191. A Great School Doesn’t Need a Building 
192. The Last Ten Minutes of a Lesson are Very Important
193. Day Plan Template
194. Novel in an Hour
195. How to Engage Reluctant Learners
196. GPS – The Road to Musical Success
197. Lip Sync Battle
198. 3 Reasons Teachers Should Call Home
199. Short Term Self vs Long Term Self
200. Great Drama and Dance Strategies
201. Arthur and the Dragon” Integrated Drama Unit
202. 3 Tips for Using the Computer Lab Effectively
203. 5 Ways to Set Long Term Goals to Achieve Success
204. Free Random Name Generator for Smartboard
205. When Will I Ever Use This Stuff?
206. Students Often Say, “What’s The Point of All This?”
207. Music and Movement Props
208. 4 Apps for Creative Writers
209. Classrooms are Irrelevant (But Schools Aren’t)
210. 5 Words
211. Classroom Management for Dummies
212. My Grade 2/3 Long Range Plan
213. List and Interpret a Moment
214. There’s Logic Behind How Our Numbers Look
214. Hula Hoops on the First Day of School
215. Reading Salad: A Hands-On Lesson
216. Save Fred – Team Building Activity
217. Comic Newsletters
218. Weekly Newsletter
219. Northern Lights Art
220. Learning Skills Report Card Comments
221. How to Use a Reward System in the Classroom
222. Free Christmas Sheet Music for Beginning Bands
223. Teach Like a Pirate on the First Day of School
224. First Nations Info for Kids
225. Build an Independent Reading Culture in the Classroom
226. The Second Day of School – TLAP Style
227. GPS – Free Recorder Method Books
228. Let’s Influence and Empower Our Students
229. Great Teaching Blog You Should Be Reading
230. Teach Like a Pirate Day 3
231. Why Teachers Should Share Resources and Plans
232. It’s March Break – Take Some Time to Enjoy It!
233. Increase the Fun Factor at School
234. Occasional Teacher Interviews – Getting the Job You Want
235. Popcorn Math
236. Let Kids Make the Cheap Mistakes
237. Alternatives to YouTube
238. Seamless Transitions
239. You Need a Good Plan, Not a Good Excuse
240. The Best Place to Teach (Might Not Be Your Classroom)
241. Teachers and Students Need Creativity
242. Rita – My New Favourite TV Show
243. Education Outside the Curriculum
244. Teachers are Such Failures
245. Shake it Up in the Classroom
246. Harriet’s Big Adventure (Picture Book Review)
247. Schools Can Be So Much Greener
248. Why You Should Always Ask for Advice
249. Look, It’s Me – Making Sure Our Students are Reflected in Text
250. Long Range Plans – Instrumental Music
251. First Week of Instrumental Music (Part 1)
252. First Week of Instrumental Music (Part 2)
253. Student Choice in Instrumental Music Class
254. Teaching is Very Rewarding

Posts by Theme no longer updated

April Fools Day

April Fools Day

Art

5 Shading Techniques , Super Buck , Colour Wheel , First Day Craft , Don’t Throw That Out , Colour Families , Elementary Oragami (guest post) , Super Doors , Art Attack , Unscramble, Write, and Draw , Define Yourself: Word Collage , Visual (Drawing) Telephone , OK Go Primary Colours

Assessment and Marking

Level Everything , Mark Book

Balancing Work, Career, and Family

Keep it at School , Sometimes You Just Need a Break , Take a Break , Take Some Time (Enjoy Your March Break)

Character Education

Character Education , How to Listen , Rules to Live By , Squads , Three Choices You Always HaveThree Choices (reworked)Tribes, Classroom Rules (Expectations) , Leadership Activity , Teachable Moments , 5 Tips To Motivate Reluctant Students (guest post) , The What-If Activity , Work To Learn , The Way You Speak Depends on the Situation

Computers

Classroom Blog , USB Drives, Bitesize ScienceTwitter in the Classroom , Great Websites , Free Teaching Resources (Part 1)

Drama

Improvisational Stories , A Great Drama Rubric  , Comic Strip Drama , Radio Theatre , Scaredy Squirrel Drama Lesson

English – see “Language Arts (English)”

EQAO

Games
Geography
Language Arts (English)

Math

Money
Music


Newsletters


Parents


Planning

Poetry

Mutli-Syllabic Rhymes 

Professional Development


Science


Schedules / Time Tables

Standardized Testing









Supply Teaching


Photographic Tours

I love finding new places to run. I often take my camera along with me and stop every few minutes to snap a picture. This way I can present you with a photographic story that captures the scenery of my run.

This page is a table of contents for these Photographic Tours. I will continue to update this list every time I post a new visual tour.

I hope you enjoy these Photographic Tours. I certainly enjoy bringing them to you and look forward to sharing new ones with you soon.

Angus McKenzie Trail – St. Thomas, Ontario

Archie Coulter Conservation Area – St. Thomas, Ontario

Ausable River Cut Conservation Area – Thedford, Ontario (Grand Bend)

Avon Trail – Stratford, Ontario

Beamer Memorial Conservation Area – Grimsby, Ontario

Bechtel Park – Waterloo, Ontario

Beverly Swamp – Flamborough, Ontario

Bob McMullen Linear Trail – Cambridge, Ontario (Exercise Trail)

Brock’s Route Rail Trail – Copetown, Ontario

Carolinian Trail – Pinery Provincial Park, Ontario

Chesney Wilderness Area Trail – Woodstock, Ontario

Clark Wright Conservation Area – Middlesex County

Coldstream Conservation Area – Ilderton, Ontario

Coves Trail – London, Ontario

Devil’s Creek – Cambridge, Ontario

Dirt Runway – Northern Ontario

Dorchester Mill Pond – Dorchester, Ontario

Dumfries Conservation Area – Cambridge, Ontario

Dundas Valley – Hamilton, Ontario

Embro Conservation Area – Embro, Ontario

Fanshawe Park  Lake Trail – London, Ontario

Farm Trail – Binbrook, Ontario

George Nicholson Trail – St. Catherines, Ontario (Port Weller)

Gibbons Park – London, Ontario

Grand Trunk Trail – St. Marys, Ontario

John Lawson Trail – Ingersoll, Ontario

Historic St. Marys – St. Marys, Ontario

Hyde Park Rotary Trail – London, Ontario

Kain’s Woods – London, Ontario (Shore Road) and (Main Entrance) and (Kains to Warbler Woods)

Komoka Conservation Area – Komoka, Ontario – (Main Trail) and (Side Trail)

LaFarge 2000 Trail – Flamborough, Ontario

Laurier Woods – North Bay, Ontario

Lambeth Centennial Park – Lambeth, Ontario

Lions Lake Trail – Floradale, Ontario

Lorne C. Henderson – Petrolia, Ontario

Marguerite Omston Trailway: Walter Bean Grand River Trail – Kitchener, Ontario

Marsh Trail at Rondeau Provincial Park – Chatham-Kent, Ontario

Meadowlilly Woods – London, Ontario

Medway Valley  – London, Ontario

Merrit Trail (Mountain Locks Park) – St. Catherines, Ontario

Mill Pond Trail – Cambridge, Ontario

Moffat Creek – Cambridge, Ontario

Niagara Escarpment – Grimbsy, Ontario

Perch Creek – Sarnia, Ontario

Pinafore Park – St. Thomas, Ontario

Princess Point – Hamilton, Ontario

Red Hill Valley – Hamilton, Ontario – Albion Falls, King’s Forest

Riverside Park – Cambridge, Ontario

Roth Park – Woodstock, Ontario

Scenic Trails – Ingersoll, Ontario

Short Hills Provincial  Park – Pelham, Ontario – Black Walnut Trail , Swayze Falls Trail

Shriner’s Woodlot – Niagara Falls, Ontario

Sifton Bog – London, Ontario – Boardwalk trail and Nature Trail

Southcrest Ravine – London, Ontario

Southpoint Trail at Rondeau Provincial Park – Chatham-Kent, Ontario

Spicebush Trail at Rondeau Provincial Park – Chatham-Kent, Ontario

Springbank Park: Terry Fox Parkway – London, Ontario

Springwater Forest – St. Thomas, Ontario

St. Marys Loop Trail – St. Marys, Ontario

Stoney Creek of The Thames – London, Ontario

Thames Park – London, Ontario

Thames River Trail – St. Marys, Ontario

Thames Valley Parkway – London, Ontario

The Pines (Mountain Bike Trail) – Woodstock, Ontario

Tulip Tree Tail at Rondeau Provincial Park – Chatham-Kent, Ontario

Vansittart Woods – Blanford, Ontario

Warbler Woods – London, Ontario

Warwick Conservation Area – Warwick, Ontario

Waterfront Trail  – Grimbsy, Ontario

Wawanosh Wetlands – Sarnia, Ontario

Westminster Ponds – London, Ontario

Windsor Waterfront Trail – Windsor, Ontario

Youth Start Trail – Woodstock, Ontario

Tim Hortons Museum – Store 1 (Hamilton)

Tim Hortons is one of the most beloved businesses in Canada.

Memory Lane

It got its start with a small coffee shop in my hometown of Hamilton, Ontario, Canada.

Memories from the 70s and on

In order to commemorate its history, the very first store has been renovated to include a small museum.

Memory Lane Aisle

There are items to show how the franchise has grown and developed over the past 50 years.

Timbit Cutter

Here is the Timbit cutter tool that was used to create the miniature donuts we all love.

Walnut Crunch

Walnut Crunch used to be my favourite full-sized donut.  I liked that it was rectangular in shape. It seemed bigger than the regular circular donuts. And it was chocolate with nuts. Unfortunately, they no longer make these donuts.

Sink and Dryer

This location even has hi-tech bathrooms. The sink faucet has air dryers built right into it. The bars that angle out to each side, blow warm air to dry your hands. I haven’t seen anything like this anywhere else. It’s a great design.

Store 1

Store #1 opened on this day, May 17th, back in 1964.

Tim Horton Statue

Tim Horton was a hockey player and is immortalized with this statue. This plaque gives a little bit of information about the installation.

Tim Horton Plaque

Tim Hortons is a cultural phenomenon and a beloved Canadian institution. And it all got its start a few blocks from where I used to live in Hamilton, Ontario, Canada.

Binbrook Skatepark

binbrook-water-tower

How cool is it to have a skatepark under a water tower?

binbrook-mini-ramp

With a mini ramp that is the perfect size for my abilities?

grind-blocks

With some cool grind ledges,

launch-ramp

launch ramps,

quarter-pipe

quarter-pipe transfers,

rail

multi-leveled rails,

spine-transfer

and a spine?

This is definitely one of my favourite skateparks. It’s mostly because of the near perfect half-pipe. We need more of those at skateparks. It’s rare for me to find one that is so well suited to my limited abilities too.

It’s well worth the drive to Binbrook!

Want to see more?

Skatepark Visual Tours – over two dozen great skate spots

Fresh Kils and Emotionz Tour (London, ON)

Fresh Kils and Emotionz

I am proud to be part of this bill. I will be holding it down on the 1s and 2s all night long.

Fresh Kils is a seasoned performer and someone you need to see live. He is absolutely incredible.

Emotionz hails from Vancouver and has been making moves as a rapper, DJ, and beatboxer for years now.

Presented to you by Apex Live and Soundstream Multimedia, Vancouver based rapper/beat boxer Emotionz is coming to The Grinning Gator in London, Ontario for a night you don’t wanna miss!

With special guest Fresh Kils banging out beats on the mpc. Other artists on the bill will be Zick, TempoMental, Del Reze, Sunshyne and much more! Hosted by Jym Fur-aira. DJ for the night, Chase March. 

Tickets are $10 in advance and $15 @ the door. THIS IS A 19 + event ID REQUIRED Tickets also available online at Universe.com

Check the Facebook Event Page for more information.

WHAT: Fresh Kils and Emotionz Tour
WHEN: May 13, 2017
WHERE: Grinning Gator – 391 Richmond St. London, ON.
DOORS: Open at 9:00
TICKETS: $10 in advance, $15 at the door

Educators Wear Many Hats

Educators Need To See Themselves As

Here are some of the many hats that teachers wear.

Researchers

I read articles on education nearly every day. I seek out books from the library to help me in my teaching practice, and I continually look for ways to improve in the classroom.

I found this graphic from one of the dozen educational blogs I follow. You can read the original post by Silvia Rosenthal Tolisano here. 

I want to look briefly at the other seven areas she highlights.

Adventurers

I try new things in the classroom all the time. I don’t stick to the tried-and-true methods because they’re really is no such thing. Every class has a different dynamic and things that work one year might not work the next. I constantly redesign my instruction and am not afraid to try new things. This also serves as a model for the students. We can all step outside of our comfort zones, experience new things, and grow.

Scientists

Science is my least favourite subject but I appreciate the metaphor here. We can test out new things and see what works. We can move beyond our limited senses and not just take things for what they are.

Storytellers

Nothing connects with people more than a well-told story. If we can figure out ways to bring storytelling into our lessons, our students will be more engaged. Story might even be the nature of reality (Yes, I am still working on this theory and hope to flesh it out for you all soon)

Teachers

We must have a passion for teaching and demonstrate a dedication to life-long learning. And we can have our students teach each other and even us.

Parents

Those of us who are parents understand this one. We have a duty of care, but it goes far beyond that. We can be a positive role model for our students. Some of the kids in our class might not have a father-figure at home. I understand that and try my best to connect with these kids and show them that I care about them.

Pioneers 

Have the spirit to explore uncharted territory. Try something that has never been done. Know your students, find ways to connect, and get creative.

Innovators 

I’m not afraid to fail in the classroom. There is a mantra in teaching, “If something doesn’t work, commit to trying it three more times.” I have lived by this mantra and have figured out how to be successful with new approaches. Sometimes I need to tweak the original idea or execution, but I am committed to innovate.

Let’s Create the Best Classrooms Possible

Teaching can’t stay in the past. We need to move on from old and outdated methods. We need to be pioneers, to innovate, and to continue to further our own learning, We need to incorporate new research into our teaching practice. And we can never lose out sense of adventure.

Teaching Tip Tuesday – inspiration from my classroom to yours.

Stay Driven (Motivation and Inspiration from a Rapper)

Stay Driven by D-O

Stay Driven by Duane D.O. Gibson

D.O. aka Defy the Odds is a rap artist who set a Guinness World Record for the longest freestyle ever, 8 hours and 45 seconds. He has released countless albums and dropped several music videos.

When I saw this book at the library, I thought it was worth the read. As I worked my way through it, it was obvious that it was written for teenagers who are looking for some motivation and inspiration. That makes sense since I found it in the teen section.

Here are a few of the takeaways I took from reading it.

Visualize 

D.O. tells the story of Biggie’s first album for Bad Boy. Apparently, Puff Daddy thought the album needed something else before he released it. It needed a single. So, he masterminded the idea of “Juicy” and asked Biggie to talk about making it big in rap. At the time. Biggie didn’t have all the riches he mentioned in this song. “It was all a dream” as he says in the lyrics. But it was a dream that came true. Puffy knew they needed a single. Biggie went along with it. And it was almost as if they visualized it into existence.

Play with Words

“Over the year I’ve created a rhyming database in my mind. It started when I created my own rhyming dictionary – this was before I found out there were actual rhyming dictionaries. The process of writing my own dictionary helped build my rhyming database.”

What a cool idea! D.O. also talks about how he would read the dictionary to help improve his vocabulary.

Don’t Coast

“I’ve learned that it’s not the talented people who success. Ironically, a lot of talented people don’t success. I’ve seen it time and time again.

These people think they can coast on their talent and not try as hard as everyone else. The problem is, hard workers pass them by.”

D.O. admits that when he started rapping, he wasn’t very good. But he worked at it. There were rappers out at the time that were better than him, but very few of them achieved the success he did. It all came down to work ethic. And D.O. had that in droves.

Be Respectful of Women

D.O. tells a story in the book about losing a rap battle to a female MC. The match was very close and the judges wanted to hear two extra rounds to determine the winner. He could have torn her apart by saying some sexual rhymes, making fun of her weight, or he clothes. These are all fair when it comes to rap battles. However, he said, “It just didn’t feel right to insult her. It just wasn’t my style. I decided that when I wrote songs about women, I’d tell stories from my perspective.”

D.O. lost that battle, but he got invited to an after-party where he made a very important business contact. When he looked around the party, he noticed that the person who did go on to beat that female rapper, wasn’t in attendance. It turns out that he wasn’t invited, because the female host didn’t like this style. She liked D.O.’s though.

Stay Positive

D.O. stayed positive and it opened all sorts of doors for him. He worked hard and achieved his dreams. That is something we can all learn from.

My List of 2017 Reads – a detailed reading log (continually updated all year)

I’m in a Music Video (Y’allready Know)

Traffimatics featuring Mad Hattr with DJ Chase March, “Y’allready Know”

I’m very proud to be part of this track. Mad Hattr is one of the best producers in the underground hip-hop scene and has been grinding for years. He is nice on the mic and brought the fire with this production.

Traffimatics is an up-and-coming emcee and I have had the pleasure of rocking with him at several live performances and shows. It was nice to be able to work on this track with him.

I am available to scratch hooks on your songs, guest host your mixtape, or craft custom mixes of your songs. Having a deejay on your track is a good look for hip-hop. If you’d like to work, please contact me.

I hope you enjoy the track.

Please share it, give it a like, and support underground, independent hip-hop.

May the Posts be With You

Chasing Content (1)It’s time to go exploring!

Let’s dig through the archives and blow the dust off some posts you might have missed.

Let’s get ready for some annual events that happen each May.

Let’s Chase some Content!

You can read all of the posts from last May,

or just these favs . . .

Trilliums on the Trail Side

I love the short period of time when the trillium flower is in bloom. It is absolutely beautiful to go on a trail run and see these flowers alongside the trail. Keep an eye out for them this month. They aren’t in bloom for long and you won’t want to miss our provincial flower in all of its glory.

The Inner Game of Work

A great book that has a lot to say about education if you read it with your teacher hat on. It wasn’t written for teachers at all, however. Some of the best books about education aren’t. This book can help you manage employees, work with your team, or help you in your coaching. Highly recommended.

Hip-Hop Anonymous

This show was a lot of fun. I love the poster too and seeing my name as the DJ for the night.

Free Comic Book Day

Keep an eye out for this event which is always the first Saturday of May. Your local comic book shop will have special events, activities, and free books and giveaways. I’ll see you at the shops on May 6th!

Happy Star Wars Day

May the 4th. May the force by with you. Such a great pun! Here are all of the posts I have done on Star Wars too!

Thanks for Chasing Content with me!

Please click on the above links to read some of the best of Silent Cacophony from last year at this time. Don’t let great content get buried in the archive. Thanks!

My Everything Birthday

Everything Birthday

42 is the ultimate answer to life, the universe, and everything. That is why I am dubbing today as my “Everything Birthday.”

There is surprisingly little about everything birthdays on the world wide web. I was certain that fellow Hitchhiker’s Guide to the Galaxy fans would have made everything birthdays commonplace. I guess it is up to me.

I want to have an everything bagel for lunch today and celebrate all of the great things that have been happening in my life.

Coincidentally, this month we celebrated the 70th anniversary of Jackie Robinson breaking the colour-barrier in baseball. He changed the face of baseball and popular sport, and he did it while wearing the Number 42.

This year, I got married, celebrated the fifth anniversary of my radio show, excelled in my studies at university, rekindled my love of teaching, taught high school for the first time, and have continued to skateboard and trail run.

I have a lot to be thankful for and will be celebrating all of this, today, on my everything birthday.

School Life (Talking with the Filmmakers)

I had the chance to interview Neasa Ni Chianain about her documentary film School Life. We talked about how schools are different in Ireland, the concept of boarding schools, passionate teachers, arts programs, and much more.

The film focuses on John and Amanda, a married couple who have been teaching for over forty years. They work at Headfort School, the only primary age boarding school in Ireland.  As they approach retirement, they can’t imagine a time where they wouldn’t or couldn’t teach. They are passionate and dedicated teachers. They also have no idea what they would do next or where they would go. After all, they live on the school grounds, a cottage that will be demolished when they finally leave the school.

School Life is being screened at Hot Docs running from today until March 7th in Toronto, Ontario, Canada. If you are a film lover, this is an event you will want to check out. And if you get the chance to see this film, please leave a comment with your thoughts on it.

If you are an educator, look for my series, Teaching Tips. There are over 200 posts offering inspiration, ideas, and resources for you to use in your classroom.

You can also download this podcast here. 

Thanks for listening!

Corunna Skatepark (ON, Canada)

Last week I discovered an amazing skatepark close to Sarnia, Ontario. As I drove home from it, I saw this park off in the distance. I immediately took a detour to see what it had to offer.

Corunna Skatepark

This park is located in the Corunna Athletic Park at 420 Colborne Street. Corunna, ON.

Graduated Rail

This graduated rail is nice for beginners. The pavement doesn’t offer a smooth ride though.

Plastcic Quarter Pipe

These ramps are made out of plastic. They feel a little strange to ride on.

Plastic Skatepark

If you look at the first image in this post, you can see the underside of this ramp and how it looks like a slide from a playground. It’s the first ramp of its type that I have ever seen. I didn’t even know they made plastic quarter-pipes like this.

Pyarmid

Overall, this park isn’t terrible. It’s nice for the kids in the small town to have a place to skate. But it’s definitely not worth your time to travel to.

Virtual Skatepark Tours – over two dozen great spots to skate

The Come Up Show – Record Store Day Edition (with DJ Chase March)

Record Store Day was this past Saturday and it celebrated its tenth year, encouraging consumers to visit their local record shops for all sorts of exclusive releases and material.

Cheeky Monkey (Sarnia)

I stood in line before the store opened to make sure I could get a few items that I had my eye on,

Brother Ali RSD

including this triple LP re-issue from Brother Ali on clear vinyl.

Soul Assasins - Picture Disc

I also picked up a double LP compilation from Profile Records and a cool picture disc  from the Soul Assassins.

Vinyl DJ mix

I was fortunate enough to be asked to guest-host The Come Up Show that day as well, and I got to spin these records for the very first time on the air. The red one is from the Profile Records release and the black one is one of my older records.

Mission 5 on vinyl

Since I was celebrating record store day and spinning vinyl on the radio, I had to take out the record I made back in 2000. I am very proud to have released my own music on vinyl. This one is a triple single with three songs on Side A and their accompanying instrumentals on Side B. My group was called Mission 5 and the song I played was “Close the Curtain.”

Here are the other songs that I played on the show.

O.C. – Ma Dukes
Ruff Ryders – Ride or Die
3 Fresh MCs – Fresh
Beatnuts – No Escapin’ This
Nine – Whutcha Want
Run-DMC – Ooh What’cha Gonna Do
Kool Moe Dee – Knowledge is King
Peanuts and Corn – Savings Account
Sir Menelik ft Grand Puba and Sadat X – 7XL
Brother Ali – What’cha Got
Young MC – Got More Rhymes
Mission 5 – Close the Curtain
Grand Analog – Play My Kazoo
Cquel – Memory Lane
Tempomental ft Exit Only – Stability
Mad Hattr ft Whatshisface – It Gets Cold
KIV – Show Me the Money
Fantom of the Beat – First Time Ever
Apathy and Celph-Titled – Prince of Vengeance
Es ft Mathematik – We Are Only Getting Older
Public Enemy – Can’t Truss It
Labeled Minority – That’s When Ya Lost

Press play and enjoy this special edition of The Come Up Show, which you can hear Saturdays from 6:00 to 8:00 p.m. on CHRW.

And remember that you can catch me every week on Word is Bond Rap Radio Monday nights at midnight and anytime on the podcast.

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If you liked this show make sure to check our previous episode of real hip-hop music and talk

We Celebrated Live-N-Direct 20 with Style

I had a lot of fun supplying the music for the 20th Anniversary of Live-N-Direct.

dj-chase-march-of-word-is-bond

I have fond memories of listening to this radio show on 93.3 CFMU every week. DJ Realistic and host, Eklipz, always put on a great program that highlighted the best in underground hip-hop. The mantle has been passed a few times over the past twenty years, but the time-slot and show have continued to rock the air waves every single week.

dj-chase-march-and-rap-group-1424

Hip-hop group 1424 was one of the acts to hit the stage to help celebrate this milestone anniversary.

dj-chase-march-set-up

The crowd was enthusiastic and I was very excited to be part of this seminal event.

ldn20

I love live hip-hop shows whether they are in a venue with rappers and deejays, or they are on the campus radio airwaves.

dr-disc

I don’t get to Hamilton much anymore these days, but it is my hometown and I will always rep for it. Of course, whenever I am back in town, it’s a must that I visit Dr. Disc.

the-mixedtape-at-dr-disc

It’s nice to have my music in the store now too. If you’d like to pick up a CD copy of The MIX(ed)TAPE, please go find it at Dr. Disc Hamilton on 20 Wilson Street.

LND20

LND20 was a huge success.

Here’s to the next twenty years, Live-N-Direct.

Moo, a Flute, and a Moo-ve to Maine

Sharon Creech - Moo

Moo by Sharon Creech

I absolutely love the way Sharon Creech writes verse novels. The sound and rhythm of her words, jumps right off the page. This particular novel is filled with all sorts of sounds such as a flute melody travelling through the air from an upstairs window, to the sounds of rain and water dripping, to a grizzly, misunderstood neighbour, and of course, to a stuborn cow named Zora.

The story revolves around a family who uproot for no other reason than to find what’s next. The idea comes out of the blue one day as they are all in the car. The twelve year-old daughter of the family suggests that they go to Maine when the topic comes up. She’s not even sure why she suggests it. It just popped into her head at that moment. Of course, she starts to regret it almost immediately when she finds Maine isn’t exactly how she had pictured it to be.

Both her and her brother are a little scared of their neighbour. But they end up working at her farm and taking care of a stubborn cow. That cow ends up changing everything. Just like their move did.

This is a fun read and it was nice to see at the library last week. I have read close to half of her books now. And my all-time favourite book is Heartbeat by her as well.

My List of 2017 Reads – with links to each title I read over the course of the year

Aamjiwnaang Skatepark (Sarnia, ON)

This is my new favourite skateboard park. It is located on the Aamjiwnaang First Nation at 1972 Virgil Avenue in Sarnia, Ontario, Canada.

Aamjiwnaang Skatepark

The ramps are metal and offer a smooth ride. There are plenty of obstacles, some great ramps, and even a dual leveled half-pipe.

Mini-ramp Half-pipe

I wish every skatepark had one of these ramps. I love a small mini-ramp that lets me do some of my old school and vert tricks.

Great flow skatepark

The angle and size of this ramp is perfect too!

Launch Ramp with Mini-quarter pipe

This obstacle is a lot of fun. It has a short quarter-pipe at the end that lets me practice my stalls and grinds.

Pyramid

This is the typical ramp you find at most skateparks, but it has a gap to jump as well.

Skatepark Ramps

I like this pyramid-styles ramp. I was able to get a little bit of air on it too. I just need to work on my landings.

Tall Quarter Pipe

This is a tall quarter-pipe launch ramp.

Roll-in ramp

Here is a roll-in ramp, along with a steep quarter-pipe launch.

This is a gorgeous park. I am glad I found it. I will be going back here often this summer. You can count on that!

When you visit skateparks, remember to take good care of them. These are meant for everybody (just not bikes or scooters) I love that too!

Want to see more skateparks?

Virtual Skatepark Tour – dozens and dozens of great spots to skate

Moving Beyond Traditional Relationship Roles

Beyond Mars and Venus by John Gray

Beyond Mars and Venus by John Gray

John Gray has written some amazing books to help people understand and navigate their relationships better. Many of these books are based around the concept of differences. His brilliant metaphor, Men are from Mars, Women are from Venus, was meant to show that we have much to learn about the other gender.

I enjoyed his last book, Conscious Men. He, along with Arjuna Ardagh, gave us some words to live by. I think it is important to be conscious of our gender identity and how it does not have to be a static thing. We can grow and develop. We can be in touch with our feminine side, and we can strive to understand our partners better.

In this book, Gray talks about how the traditional roles have changed and how we need to be able to adapt to this change to have healthy and happy relationships. He talks of how marriage used to have us fulfilling roles. The men were traditionally the providers and the women the nurturers. This division hasn’t been as black and white for years, however.

Gray argues that we have moved away from Role Mates to Soul Mates. He writes about how women can support men, how men can support women, how we often have different approaches to situations, and how we can work together to build a great marriage.

His thoughts are as relevant as ever and provide us with the wisdom we need to carry on productive relationships. However, this book seemed to be a little repetitive for me. Maybe, it is because he is preaching to the choir. I have been aware of my gender identity for some time now and am working to combat some of the misogyny I see in everyday life.

I also did not like the way this book is formatted. It is off-putting to see the text broken up with large quotations in the middle of the pages. If you flip through the book, you can quickly pick up some tidbits of wisdom, but it is ultimately distracting when reading it. I did not like seeing the sentence I just read in larger type on the same page. It threw off the flow of the text and made it hard for me to continue reading.

I don’t often abandon a book, but I stopped reading this one. I might get back to it in the future. Gray still has good things to say and his message is important. I’m just not impressed with how it is presented or written this time around.

My List of 2017 Reads – an organic reading log (continually updated)

Bif Naked Bears All

Bif Naked - I Bificus

I, Bificus – A Memoir by Bif Naked

I am a huge Bif Naked fan. I have been for a while. She is an amazing performer and a great songwriter, so when I heard she had written a memoir, I knew that I had to read it.

I was hoping I could find out how she got her name. A few chapters in, I thought it had it figured out.

I felt it was my duty to torture Kenny, and it was never long before I took all my clothes off and ran naked, yelling “Chase me!” and waving my arms madly.

She was a young child at the time of that incident and apparently, it wasn’t the impetus for the name. She earned that because of a flyer promotion. At the time, she had already had the nickname of “Bif.”

Few punk bands had female vocalists then. The concern was that switching to a female vocalist would be looked down upon by the male punk rockers, especially in Winnipeg. The guys in Gorilla Gorilla decided to go out large, making gig posters to advertise the upcoming show that read”Come see Bif Naked.” It was a double entendre that basically  baited the naysayers-peers, friends, and fans still disappointed about the previous singer’s departure – to come to the show, even if only out of curiosity to see if I really would be naked. The band plastered the posters all over the city, putting them on practically every street lamp post and mailbox, even gluing them on store windows. It was a massive street-level postering campaign, and it worked. 

I mentioned Bif Naked in my Grade 3 classroom a few years back and my students laughed. I told Bif about this via Twitter.

Bif Naked tweet

I saved that tweet notice in my email for the past four years because it was a memorable exchange from one of my favourite musicians. We tweeted a few more times since then too. (I just wish the logos still loaded properly in my email for this first message)

Part of me didn’t want to know all of the things I learned about Bif Naked in this book. I had to cringe a few times. I didn’t want to see her go through some of what she had to do. I didn’t like to see that she made some stupid choices when she was young. I wanted her to just be a sweet girl who grew into a great poet, musician, and songwriter. I guess she had to go through all of that stuff to become who she was.

I maintain that everything happens for a reason. This theory drove my dad crazy-he believed it was just a way to frame stuff and justify it. He said I am a “great justifier” and a “shamelss predestinist,” and that holding this theory enable me to find a reason for anything.

Maybe it’s best not to meet your heroes. Maybe just listening to the music and tweeting is enough.

If you are a super-fan, and want to learn more, check it out. Or buy a copy to support her if you have never seen her live or own all her albums. And then keep it on the shelf. Either way, let’s celebrate Bif Naked.

My List of 2017 Reads – continually updated all year long

With Confidence Steal the Show

St. Andrews Hall in Detroit was certainly rocking last night with the diverse styles of four power-punk-pop bands. It was the second stop of the Around the World and Back Tour for State Champs.

Don Broco

Don Broco set off the night with an energetic live show. At one point, they asked us to take a knee and get as low to the floor as we could. They then counted us in, and the entire club was jumping up and down.  It was intense. The floor had a bit of a give to it. It was literally bowing and bending beneath our feet.  The club must have invested money in this floor. I wasn’t worried for a moment that we would fall through it.

With Confidence

Next up was, With Confidence. They absolutely stole the show. As soon as they got on stage, the entire crowd pushed up about ten feet. And we were already jammed packed in the club. Now, with barely any personal space to move or breathe, we collectively responded to the energy the band put out. It was an amazing set and by far, the hypest one of the night.

Against the Current

Against the Current took the stage next with an amazing light show and powerful vocals. Even the bass drum was even illuminated and changing colours throughout the set. The lead singer brought some much-welcomed feminine energy to the night.

Headlining Act

The headling act, State Champs had the crowd singing along to every single song.

State Champs

One of the members is even from Detroit and was able to celebrate with the capacity crowd.

With Confidence (Detroit show)

This fabulous shot of the audience was taken by Brandon Lung. If you look closely, you can see in the middle wearing a fitted baseball cap.

I had a blast at this show. If you were there, please add a comment with any memories you have of the night too.

My Radio Show is 5 Now!

My radio show, Word is Bond celebrated its 5th Anniversary with special in-studio guests, live performances, a freestyle cypher, hip-hop trivia, and prizes last week.

I had a lot of fun spinning songs that featured 5 emcees on the tracks. I tested my listener’s knowledge of hip-hop by asking trivia questions about the fifth album releases from artists. And I gave away packs of 5 gum as prizes.

Labeled Minority, Tempomental, Sankdafied, The Mighty Speak EZ, and DJ Hullewud were all in the house to celebrate live on the radio. If you missed it live, you can celebrate with us now through the magic of podcasts.

Thank you for five years! It’s been a blast!

Here’s to the next 5!

Jurassic 5 – Golden
Rascalz ft Checkmate, Kardinal Offishall, Thrust, and Choclair – Northern Touch
LL Cool J ft Method Man, Redman, Canibus, and DMX – 4, 3, 2, 1
Run-DMC ft Pete Rock and CL Smooth – Down with the King
Labeled Minority – Freestyle
Labeled Minority – Pigment
Kayne West ft Jay-Z, Rick Ross, Nicki Minaj, and Bon Iver– Monster
Tempomental – Another One
Heltah Skeltah ft OGC – Leflaur Leflah Eshkoshka
A Tribe Called Quest ft Leaders of the New School – Scenario
Bone Thugs and Harmony – Crossroads
Sankdafied – On My Own
Craig Mack ft Notorious B.I.G., L.L. Cool J, Busta Rhymes, and Rampage – Flavor in Ya Ear (Remix)
Swamp Thing ft Wordburglar, Def3, Birdapres, Relic, Ambition – Meat Lump
Funky 4 + 1 – The Joint
Speak EZ – Just Another Night
Word is Bond – 5th Anniversary Cypher
Mission 5 – Nameless
LL Cool J ft Prodigy, Keith Murray, Foxy Brown, and Fat Joe – I Shot Ya
Mad Hattr ft Cee, Notion, and Exit Only – Eya

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If you liked this show make sure to check our previous Anniversary Specials