Passport to …

Here is a screen shot of a page from the NYCDOE Passport to Social Studies for Digital Learning social studies curriculum, for 1st grade.

I hadn’t realized that the NYCDOE unilaterally promoted the Palestinian Territories to a country called Palestine. Or perhaps anytime that Israel is mentioned by the DOE, equal time must be given to the Palestine?

Why do this? Why not write about bartering in literally any other part of the world?

Do not duplicate

I was looking through some curriculum materials in a classroom, and had to share my findings. If you look at the bottom right corner of the page, there is a “Reproduction Prohibited” notice. However, the pages I was viewing were photocopies! Someone had purposely disregarded the “do not copy” prohibition. Guilty guilty guilty!

Meta, this blog post duplicates the photocopy, which duplicated the original. So am I guilty as well?

Here is the close-up

Baby vs Bath water

I recently brought up a box from the storage room and found old curriculum books, including a number of “Teacher-Created Materials, Inc” technology books. This one is entitled “Writing and Desktop Publishing on the Computer” (TCM#924). It was written by Terry Rosengart (who I actually knew from the DOE).


I think that every computer lab teacher had dozens of different titles, all of which tended to be quite wordy. Inside

I probably never even used mine in a classroom.

Video Game Mashup

Another mashup idea: harvest video from video games to use in an original iMovie. Grabbing video, music soundtrack, anything, and making a movie. It does not need a plot necessarily, although a cherent theme probably makes a better narrative. A non-narrative movie a la Bruce Weber (?) could also work.  The Machinima movie genre is like this.

Musical Mashups

I developed this idea from I watching so many students spending their computer lab time accessing music sites. I have seen kids listening to rap songs from,,, and so on. There is probably a new one a week. Anyway, the idea is to have students take samples of songs and import them into Garageband to make a Musical Mashup. The result needed be a great sounding song or even make sense. (I am thinking of beatnick poetry -type mashups along the lines of of the cut-up poetry of William Burroughs.) It would demonstrate the ability of students to harvest content (not always an easy task), to evaluate lyrics and song melodies and choose, and to recombine all the elements into a New Thing.

June 2023