The public education system is broken. I’ve known that for a long time. I tried to fight against all the aspects of it I didn’t like, but it was impossible to enact any sort of change. Instead, I just got more and more discouraged. I am seriously thinking about starting my own school. Hopefully I can make that happen.
Baba Brinkman combines stage theatre, education, and hip-hop into brilliant presentations. I interviewed him on my radio show and also ran one of his TED talks on the program. Be prepared to be educated and entertained at the same time. Science and hip-hop unite!
Learning can be its own reward and sometimes it is impossible to predict what things you might need to know in the future. Don’t you agree? This is a great post to read if your students have ever asked you this question.
Music is truly powerful and I believe everyone should have the chance to play. That is why it is so inspiring to see low cost instruments being made from garbage. I saw the band live last year at this time and was completely blown away. You will be too!
I love this drama unit that brings a very good picture to life in creative ways. Arthur finds a large egg one day and decides to bring it home. He helps raise a nice and friendly dragon, but some people can’t see passed the fact that it is a dragon. Children love this book and all of the activities that you can do with it. This unit is completely free too. Why not use it in your classroom or theatre group?
This was such an amazing movie. It shows the true power of writing and does so with a quirky story and great acting. I implore you to watch it and not fall in love with the title character. It’s just not possible to do so, in my humble opinion!
While this show was only on the air for two seasons, it really captivated my attention with a unique premise that was delivered it beautifully. The final episode tied everything together and gave us a great sense of closure. I love when television shows actually do that.
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.
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!
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!
It’s important to get students creating in the classroom. I really love the idea of playing with poetry to make it visual somehow. Why not try this with your class and see what brilliant things your students can do.
My dad passed away last year. I wanted to share some of my favourite memories with him. The time we went Winter Camping was one of those great stories that I will tell again and again. I’m glad I finally wrote it down.
Know Your History is a monthly documentary radio series I produce about hip-hop music and culture. Last year, I did episodes about the history of radio broadcasting, women in hip-hop, hashtag rap, storytelling rhymes, metaphors, concept songs, and much more. You can download the entire fourth season in one handy zip file.
This gives us the chance to look back at the blog entries I posted the previous year at this time and highlight some of my favourites. So, let’s dig through the old posts and unearth some gems that might otherwise get buried in the archives.
The story is very well done. I didn’t want to put it down. It is inspiring and tells a superhero story that is grounded in the real-life heroes we don’t seem to celebrate as much as the fictional ones in this culture.
I love this book so much. Who cares if it is out of print? It is an amazing book for young musicians and a great part of my music program at school. That is why I have made it available for you to download for free. Enjoy!
My father passed away last year on Halloween, so I spent the next week sharing stories and memories of him on my blog. This is one of my favourites. My dad never had much of a sweet tooth. He didn’t care for birthday cakes, so my brother and I made him a giant birthday cookie.
This was a great trilogy of books. About halfway through Book 3, there was a reveal that was absolutely mind-blowing. I never saw it coming but it made perfect sense. I actually yelled at the book in delight. I love it when a story can do that.
This was crazy! A flash flood made the corn maze a lot more difficult that it probably should have been. It was cold and wet when the water was close to being knee-high. At least I was able to document it.
This is a radio special I did about actors who decided to try their luck in the rap game. These career moves weren’t the best idea, however. Tune in to hear some great stories about how hard it is to make this transition. Other than Drake, not too many people have been able to pull it off. So, don’t quit your day job people!
I love this play that my students and I co-authored. It’s a great spin on the iconic tale of Romeo and Juliet. In our version, Romeo is murdered and Juliet and her friends try to discover who did it and why. It is hilarious and you can download the PDF for free. Enjoy!
Here is a great lesson plan using the song, “Summer’s Gone” by Buffalo Tom. I adopted the Literature Circle approach for the music classroom. These free worksheets can be used in many different ways too. It’s well worth the click-through.
I’ve been doing a lot of reading over the past few weeks about classroom management. I think I am going to keep my rules as they are though. I already made these snazzy posters and I like how the are phrased and pictured.
I had a great skate here last year. I should go back this summer! If you love skateboarding, you should click through so you can see the ramps and explore some of the other great skateparks in Southern Ontario, Canada.
I love this episode of my hip-hop documentary series. It’s all about the power of storytelling and how it is done in rap music. I know I have been slacking with the blog this year in transcribing and posting episodes. I hope you have been following the podcast on The Word is Bond so you’ve heard them all. If not, go now and check out this year’s episodes.
Twitter revolutionized the way we communicate and it even influenced a new poetic style in hip-hop. Or is it that new?
I explore the history of Hash-Tag rap and trace it’s origins back to the very start. You’ll be surprised at where this journey takes us. Read, listen, or download the podcast / radio show. It’s one of my favourite episodes.
Gareth Malone inspires me. I’m not a singer but his ability to bring a group of musicians together in any situation is absolutely incredible. BBC documents his journeys is several different television series. The Choir is one of the best and I have enjoyed every season.
This book is a behind-the-scenes look at the television series and it was a great read too!
Comic creators love to recreate origin stories. We’ve seen the origin of Daredevil retold four times so far, once from the legendary writer Frank Miller. But I much prefer Jeph Loeb and Tim Sale’s take in Daredevil: Yellow.
I know that I am already thinking about the first day of school in September. This is the perfect time to stop and take count of the things that worked well this year and the things that didn’t. As teachers, we should always strive to improve our own practice and student learning.
We live in a society that is becoming more and more visual. It makes sense to combine words and pictures in this day and age. I’m glad to see there are some brilliant writers working with pictures, either in comic book form or in picture books. I love this medium!
It’s time to do away with arbitrary ways of assigning worth to school work. The worth is in the work itself and not a letter grade or percentage. I wish I could throw away marks entirely and provide descriptive feedback to my students instead. That would be so much better.
This movie was beyond horrible. I am often critical of movies. I like things like plot and story when it comes to my films. Call me picky. This was the laziest Star Trek vehicle I have ever seen. There is still life in this property. It just needs someone at the helm that respects the history and vision of Star Trek. I have high hopes that something nice will come together for the 50th Anniversary in two years.
This movie is so good. It manages to capture the old school single-screen video game world to life in a Toy Story kind of way. It is completely original, has a great story, awesome animation, and amazing voice acting. It is quite simply, perfect, and I don’t say that often.
Chasing Content is a monthly feature here on Silent Cacophony.
This is how it works, at the start of each month I look back at the blog entries I posted the previous year in that month and highlight some of my favourites. This gives us a chance to dig through the old posts and unearth some gems that might otherwise get buried in the archives.
Let’s start the excavation.
I’d hate for these great posts to get buried in the archives never to have been seen again.
Making a full-sized TARDIS was a lot of fun. I loved blogged about every step of its creation as well. This summer, I will be working on making a fan film using it. I hope to share that with you here too.
It took me a long time to learn how to put together great radio shows using the free program Audacity. I hope you can use the tips that I’ve picked up over the years. My earlier work isn’t nearly as polished as it should have been. These tips work!
This TED talk is phenomenal! Dr Tae suggests that the educational system can learn a lot from skateboarding. Being an educator and a skateboarder, this video really spoke to me. But we can all learn from his advice and unique take on learning in the classroom.
I transcribed last year’s Women in Hip-Hop special. I used to transcribe all my radio shows but simply don’t have the time to do it any more. This one is a great show. You can download it for free, stream it, or read it. Enjoy!
Last year’s show was phenomenal. I podcasted all of the episodes over at The Word is Bond but forgot to feature them here on Silent Cacophony. I’ll have to get on that. The 4th Annual Spectacular takes place Saturday March 8th. And it’s going to be HUGE!
Shanaya Fastje is a fascinating young woman. I really enjoyed talking to her about her book, Bully in the Mirror. You can read the transcript, stream the audio interview, or download it as a podcast. Enjoy!
I love Star Trek – absolutely love it! Maybe that is why I am so critical of it. I hope we will get a new series soon for television. We’re coming up on the 50th Anniversary of the show. Doctor Who did a great job celebrating their 50th last year. I hope Star Trek will be able to do the same in 2016.
I don’t have to update this list. It is still completely on point. I love seeing music live and hopefully will add to this list soon. But for now, theses are still the best concerts I have ever attended. Maybe I should add Kelly Clarkson to the list though.
This was a bit of a rant of the lack of parental involvement in public education. I need support from home to do my job effectively. Please click through, read my thoughts, and leave a comment letting me know what you think.
I’ve been so swamped lately that it’s been impossible for me to transcribe interviews. I love being able to read them on this site as well as listen to them via podcast. Fortunately, I did get this one typed up. I hope you enjoy it!
This was a really fun run. There were some hills, bridges, and great views as I made my way to the feature attraction – the pretty much non-existent waterfall. It’s a good story too. Click through to read more.
Last year at this time, I hit the 200,000 page view milestone. It felt really great to know that many people have visited my site and read my content. Last week. I hit 300,000. Hopefully things will continue to pick up. Thanks for sharing this ride with me!