The Music in You
Prospect Sierra 

A thin, handsome, friendly face with deep brown eyes waits as I walk to the table in the local neighborhood restaurant. I recognize Jonah Levine from the blog videos I’ve screened the night before, a video journal of his jazz band’s adventures in Paris. He’s very much as I imagined him; cool, calm, eyes that easily smile, a gentle presence. Who would know that underneath that chamomile demeanor is a forceful, original , outrageous improviser on - of all instruments - the trombone. Read whole essay....

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Let the Data Tell You

Fifth Graders Become Scientists

 

In the very first 5th grade science class of the year, Aaron Moorhead gives each student a fresh, beautiful, deep green lime. He asks them to hold it, study it, and tell him as much as they can about it. He gives students digital scales, asking them to measure the mass, the length, and to make four drawings of their lime from different angles.

 

Once these tasks are completed, he walks around the room with a large bag and asks that students put their limes in the bag, explaining they will be getting the very same lime back tomorrow. Curious and worried, inevitably someone pipes up, “But how are we going to know which one is ours?” Aaron waits until someone has the “ah ha!” moment – only by using their measurements will they find the right lime. These students have just discovered the first rule of science: let the data tell you.  Read whole essay....

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“I am SO not performing,” said one fearful student last fall, upon hearing Amy Sass’s plans for every 8th grader to perform a monologue as a villain in front of their classmates. But Amy knew, as all theatrical professionals do, that playing a villain is often much more fun than playing the hero. Despite any kvetching on the part of an insecure teen, she knew she had time on her side, and that it wouldn’t be long before they would find a way into these “bad” characters, creating empathy with them and expressing themselves wonderfully through them.  Read whole essay....

The Play's The Thing
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© 2020 Alison Brantley

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