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Meenoo Rami

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Student Voices at AERA Conference

Yesterday, Marlyn and Edgar had a chance to present their writing at the American Education Research Association conference. After reading The Things They Carried, my students were asked to blend truth and fiction and write a story of their own. Ultimately, students submitted their work blindly (only ID # were used, names were not included in submission) and a judging committee made up of 12th grade students, parents, teachers, researchers, graduate students, and a professor chose the winners. I am so proud of all my students and congratulations to Marlyn and Edgar. 

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Congratulations to Scholastic Art & Writing Award Winners


The Scholastic Art & Writing Awards has an impressive legacy dating back to 1923. Over the years, the Awards have grown to become the longest-running, most prestigious recognition program for creative teens in the U.S., and the nation’s largest source of scholarships for creative young artists and writers. A noteworthy roster of past winners includes Andy Warhol, Sylvia Plath, Truman Capote, Richard Avedon, Robert Redford, Joyce Carol Oates, Stephen King, John Updike, and many more. 

Please help me congratulate the following winners:

Will Amari - Personal Essay/Memoir
Maggie Hohenstein - Personal Essay/Memoir
Eliza Meketon - Poetry
Marlyn Mooney - Poetry
Phoenix Ward - Flash Fiction

Keep writing, keep making good art. Thanks! 
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Multigenre Projects B band

During this quarter, my students have been on a multigenre research journey.  They were asked to to pursue a passion in their intellectual/emotional/spiritual life, to explore a chance  to strive to answer a question involving a topic of consuming interest to them and to communicate their learning through a multigenre project.  This is where they got at the factual, the emotional, and the imaginative. This was a time to be daring, to try the untried. 


Students chose a person, idea, topic, trend, cultural phenomenon, movement, thing, place and were asked to become the quintessential, mad-obsessed researcher who follows this research thread until their insatiable curiosity about the topic was satisfied.   


This work was inspired and guided by the work of Tom Romano.


Students have published their work on a website, please check them out, comment, and share widely:



Kathy Arim




Manage Kathy Arim


Diamond Blenman




Manage Diamond Blenman


Drue Boccuti




Manage Drue Boccuti


Roger Bracy




Manage Roger Bracy


Amanda Cartagena




Manage Amanda Cartagena


Octavius Collins




Manage Octavius Collins


Daniel Varnis




Manage Daniel Varnis


Keyaira Doughty




Manage Keyaira Doughty


Sean Force




Manage Sean Force


Branden Hall




Manage Branden Hall


Margaret Hohenstein




Manage Margaret Hohenstein


Katherine Hunt




Manage Katherine Hunt


Jasmin Hussain




Manage Jasmin Hussain


Kilah Kemp




Manage Kilah Kemp


Vannary Kom




Manage Vannary Kom


Tamatha Lancaster




Manage Tamatha Lancaster


Jermel Langley




Manage Jermel Langley


Kenny Le




Manage Kenny Le


Danielle Little




Manage Danielle Little


Jacob Lotkowski




Manage Jacob Lotkowski


Sean Mcaninch




Manage Sean Mcaninch


Maleena Mel




Manage Maleena Mel


Byshera Moore-Williams




Manage Byshera Moore-Williams


Aazimah Muhammad




Manage Aazimah Muhammad


Nicholas Murray




Manage Nicholas Murray


Shannon Powers




Manage Shannon Powers


Meenoo Rami




Manage Meenoo Rami


Merrik Saunders




Manage Merrik Saunders


Jonathan Spencer




Manage Jonathan Spencer


Taylor Veasley




Manage Taylor Veasley


Willie Willson





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Multigenre Projects - C band

During this quarter, my students have been on a multigenre research journey.  They were asked to to pursue a passion in their intellectual/emotional/spiritual life, to explore a chance  to strive to answer a question involving a topic of consuming interest to them and to communicate their learning through a multigenre project.  This is where they got at the factual, the emotional, and the imaginative. This was a time to be daring, to try the untried. 

Students chose a person, idea, topic, trend, cultural phenomenon, movement, thing, place and were asked to become the quintessential, mad-obsessed researcher who follows this research thread until their insatiable curiosity about the topic was satisfied.   

This work was inspired and guided by the work of Tom Romano.

Students have published their work on a website, please check them out, comment, and share widely:

Isaac AdlowitzIsaac Adlowitz






Tyikenyua AnthonyTyikenyua Anthony


Anthony BestAnthony Best


Karly BornsteinKarly Bornstein


Nuri BraceyNuri Bracey


Anthony BuchanicoAnthony Buchanico







Robert Mc CormacRobert Mc Cormac


Teige DoughertyTeige Dougherty


Khari EvansKhari Evans


Owen GrzywinskiOwen Grzywinski


Tsion HabtamuTsion Habtamu


Abou HinsonAbou Hinson


Kyler JonesKyler Jones


Maria-Carolina Latorre-SocasMaria-Carolina Latorre-Socas


Jovan LewisJovan Lewis


Brandon MangumBrandon Mangum


Sarybel MelendezSarybel Melendez












Ryan ShawRyan Shaw


Jalen SmithJalen Smith


Joseph TartagliaJoseph Tartaglia


Taylor ThomasTaylor Thomas


Daniel TuvesonDaniel Tuveson


Phoenix WardPhoenix Ward


Taylor XiminesTaylor Ximines



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SLA Debate Dominates at Voices of Philadelphia Tournament

For the second year in a row, SLA"s debate team crushed the competition at the annual Voices of Philadelphia tournament!


Nikki Adeli and RubyJane Anderson swept the competition, amazingly going 6-0 straight through the day to win the tournament. In the final round, Nikki and Ruby debated none other than SLA's Mohamed Marzouk and Manna-Symone Middlebrooks, who came in second place in the tournament! Not stopping there, every SLA team advanced to the Quarterfinal rounds, with Jhonas Dunakin and Allison Patterson coming in 5th place and Katherine Hunt and Klarissa Hudson coming in 7th overall. Adding to their incredible achievements, SLA Students Mohammed Marzouk, Jhonas Dunakin, and Allison Patterson tied for the third-highest speaker score! Lastly, but certainly not least, the 2013 Voices of Philadelphia Sweepstakes Champion Award was presented to SLA! Coaches Ms. Rami, Jeff Kessler, and the Penn For Youth Debate volunteers could not be more proud of the team's achievements. Please congratulate these students on their incredible success!


1st Place in the Tournament: RubyJane Anderson and Nikki Adeli

2nd Place in the Tournament: Mohammed Marzouk and Manna-Symone Middlebooks

5th Place in the Tournament: Jhonas Dunakin and Allison Patterson

7th Place in the Tournament: Katherine Hunt and Klarissa Hudson

Tied for Third Highest Speaker Score: Mohammed Marzouk, Jhonas Dunakin, and Allison Patterson


Voices of Philadelphia Sweepstakes Champion Award: Science Leadership Academy

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Post from Aja

Aja Wallace 

Favorite Spot: Franklin Institute

Neighborhood: Center City 
Address: 222 N 20th St  


I am: A Philadelphia high school senior and a volleyball player. 
Years in Philly: 18
Current Home: South PhIladelphia 

*My Love Note* 

Dear Franklin Institute, 

I simply adore you! I enjoy the number of events for people of all ages to come to and engage in new learning. When I was younger I use to visit you with my grandmother all the time, my trips were simply amazing. My favorite thing inside the Institute is the Heart, It amazes me how the human body works. Growing up I always felt as if the Franklin was the coolest place on earth (and my feelings remain the same). Visiting you always makes me feel like I can achieve my goals no matter what they are, I get a sense of hope and inspiration. I enjoy walking up the steps each time I go, imagining what exhibit I will see, and what new knowledge I will walk away with. I guess what I'm trying to say it, I truly do love you and all the excitement you bring me. Thank You for always being there when I needed you.

P.S. Please always stay as cool as you are don't let anyone change you, ever. 

With loads of love,

Aja

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Philly Love Note from Claire

Dear Philly, 

or Philadelphia, 

whichever you prefer,


I am Claire, and I am your daughter, though you may not know me among your hundreds of other children. 

We walk in the Historic Shadows of your Historic Halls. 

We sit on oversized buttons and under LOVE statues that are perhaps too small.

You may not know me, but I know you. 

So much more than melted cheese on meat in buns,

Even more than history and cobble stones.


Philadelphia, My lovely Philadelphia,

You are murals of trash on walls, Glass becoming sunshine- glowing.

You are gratified South St. where people are not afraid to live, where rainbows fly high, and I have danced in the heaviest of rain.

You are streets lit up with yellow lights sending beams reflecting and refracting on snow, or maybe its just powdered glitter. And under white precipitate blankets that morning- Silence. As even the birds sleep in.

You are Odunde with bright colors flashing and deep rumbling drums bringing the core of other lands to my sidewalk. 


Philadelphia, My sweet Philadelphia,

You are quaker peace, but never submissive. 

You are enduring old and sparkling new.

You are bike rides along muddy rivers and the brightest of the reddest leaves

You are winters much too cold and dry, and summers much too hot and humid.

You are red brick and blue skies and howling howling winds


Philadelphia, My darling Philadelphia,

You are SEPTA which I sometimes hate, but freedom which I always love.

You are more than just a grid

You are so much better than the history books say


Dependable and trustworthy, 

You were always the best of mothers.


Philadelphia, My lovely, sweet, darling Philadelphia 

To the city of brotherly love, here is a daughters feelings, overflowing in blue pencil, too much to fit on a page. 

Philly you are my heart, 

my rock,

my home, 

my guardian, 

Existing above and bellow me in peace and tumult. 

But most importantly,

Philly,

    You are mine.

                            And I am yours.

Truly and Forever, 

Claire






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Water Stream Teen Magazine Publication


Water Stream Teen Magazine Publication

please leave comments for us because we look forward to your reactions!

When I started teaching this amazing group of students at SLA, I knew that we'd do some great work together. I wanted to make sure that my students had authentic experiences as readers and writers.  So this quarter, we have worked together to create this teen magazine.  Our hope is that this project will inspire other classes to create similar work.  If you like our work, please share it widely and leave us comments because we are eager to hear from you. Thank you for checking out our work.   

My student, Rose did a great job documenting this process, an portion of which you will find below:

At the beginning of our first quarter Ms. Rami explained to us how she wanted us to do “real” learning instead of “fake” learning. A common theme in high school english is that the teachers will assign their students a book to read and a large portion of the students will only read a little of the book but pretend that they did. If there is no real reading than classroom discussions become fake and mundane. We as a class wanted to be real readers. The kind of readers that challenge ourselves and motivate others to do the same. Another aspect of “real learning” is writing. This quarter we have focussed on making our writing real and relevant which is where this magazine comes into play. At first the magazine was just an idea but then it turned into this amazing project.


During one of our first classes of the 2nd Quarter Ms. Rami introduced the project to us. She had us brainstorm different ideas that we would want to write our articles on. The following week we sat around in a circle and had a class discussion on ideas. Some of the braver more confident people jumped at the chance to share their ideas. Meanwhile the more hesitant listened from the side. When someone shared their idea either Ms. Rami or other students would recomend other things that they could add to their idea making it something more specific or letting it go a little deeper. Eventually the shy bystanders started to share their ideas and there began to be a sense of what this magazine would end up looking like. It was great to see the ideas float around and begin to form into their full glory. Our assignment at the end of the class was to decide the final topic that we wanted to work on and if their were other people we could work with.

Once each of us had come up with our solid ideas and figured out if it was going to be a partner article or not we started to learn how to write articles in an appealing way. We read “Saying No to College” at our tables in class and took out parts that stood out to us. Then as a group we talked about those parts and how we can implicate them in our articles. We also talked about what parts we didn’t like which is an important part of a discussion. A really interesting thing that we did was we got the opportunity to skype in with Kristen Graham, a Pulitzer Prize winner, about her experience as a journalist. We all got the opportunity to ask her questions about how she gets the stories, what it is like to have a career as a journalist. From her we were able to get the advice we needed to really get started.

A big part of any magazine is making it turn into a well written, visually appealing piece of work. In order to make that possible a couple of people needed to volunteer to do some extra work. There were a couple different roles that needed to be filled. We needed someone to make a name for the magazine, copy editors, photo and art editors, visual layout designer, and someone to get the word out to everyone. Lastly we needed a couple people to oversee all of those roles. It was surprisingly easy to get all of those rolls filled. The simplicity of that showed how interested and excited everyone is about this project.

In the last stages we have a deadline for the rough draft to be due. The classes leading up to the deadline have been fully work periods in which the different people can work together to get the article ready for edits.

As a part of the editing process we were given a sheet to fill out.  The sheet needed to be filled out by the lit lab that we have during lunch periods. The Lit Lab is a place where a couple of stellar students can help out other students by proof reading their writing work.
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Earth Stream Teen Magazine




Earth Stream Teen Magazine Publication Link

please leave comments for us because we look forward to your reactions!

When I started teaching this amazing group of students at SLA, I knew that we'd do some great work together. I wanted to make sure that my students had authentic experiences as readers and writers.  So this quarter, we have worked together to create this teen magazine.  Our hope is that this project will inspire other classes to create similar work.  If you like our work, please share it widely and leave us comments because we are eager to hear from you. Thank you for checking out our work.   

My student, Rose did a great job documenting this process, an portion of which you will find below:

At the beginning of our first quarter Ms. Rami explained to us how she wanted us to do “real” learning instead of “fake” learning. A common theme in high school english is that the teachers will assign their students a book to read and a large portion of the students will only read a little of the book but pretend that they did. If there is no real reading than classroom discussions become fake and mundane. We as a class wanted to be real readers. The kind of readers that challenge ourselves and motivate others to do the same. Another aspect of “real learning” is writing. This quarter we have focussed on making our writing real and relevant which is where this magazine comes into play. At first the magazine was just an idea but then it turned into this amazing project.


During one of our first classes of the 2nd Quarter Ms. Rami introduced the project to us. She had us brainstorm different ideas that we would want to write our articles on. The following week we sat around in a circle and had a class discussion on ideas. Some of the braver more confident people jumped at the chance to share their ideas. Meanwhile the more hesitant listened from the side. When someone shared their idea either Ms. Rami or other students would recomend other things that they could add to their idea making it something more specific or letting it go a little deeper. Eventually the shy bystanders started to share their ideas and there began to be a sense of what this magazine would end up looking like. It was great to see the ideas float around and begin to form into their full glory. Our assignment at the end of the class was to decide the final topic that we wanted to work on and if their were other people we could work with.

Once each of us had come up with our solid ideas and figured out if it was going to be a partner article or not we started to learn how to write articles in an appealing way. We read “Saying No to College” at our tables in class and took out parts that stood out to us. Then as a group we talked about those parts and how we can implicate them in our articles. We also talked about what parts we didn’t like which is an important part of a discussion. A really interesting thing that we did was we got the opportunity to skype in with Kristen Graham, a Pulitzer Prize winner, about her experience as a journalist. We all got the opportunity to ask her questions about how she gets the stories, what it is like to have a career as a journalist. From her we were able to get the advice we needed to really get started.

A big part of any magazine is making it turn into a well written, visually appealing piece of work. In order to make that possible a couple of people needed to volunteer to do some extra work. There were a couple different roles that needed to be filled. We needed someone to make a name for the magazine, copy editors, photo and art editors, visual layout designer, and someone to get the word out to everyone. Lastly we needed a couple people to oversee all of those roles. It was surprisingly easy to get all of those rolls filled. The simplicity of that showed how interested and excited everyone is about this project.

In the last stages we have a deadline for the rough draft to be due. The classes leading up to the deadline have been fully work periods in which the different people can work together to get the article ready for edits.

As a part of the editing process we were given a sheet to fill out.  The sheet needed to be filled out by the lit lab that we have during lunch periods. The Lit Lab is a place where a couple of stellar students can help out other students by proof reading their writing work.
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Douglas Wallace - Why I write

I write because I have to

Life issues haunt us all

So instead of picking up a bottle

I pick up a pen and

Let my story begin...

I write to free my brothas and sistas

My story isn't the only important one

So I will tell the story of June

Suffering from post-love depression

She was never taught this lesson

So she slits her wrist to pour out a confession...

Or for my brotha from another momma 

Who never had a poppa to tell him

How a real man is supposed to act.

It's hard for a mother to play father

And keep food on the table..

So little David sold a brick got locked up

And now by the government she is labled

So when I write I tell their true stories

Like they are fables..

I write to tell a story

It's funny how many people could actually relate

Your fate isn't just your alone..

You would be surprised how many lives

Your pen could save.

I write because this is what I love

No matter what I've gone through

My pen has always been here

My poetry book is my soul

I put my right hand on it 

When I tell the truth..

Writing tells the story of the life I live

I am constantly faces with quandaries that stretch

The boundaries on my tight-knit life.

You can validate my soul by reading my poems..

My book pass no judgement

My pen keeps all my secrets

My mind brings these things together in unison.

I create a 3 dimensional world 

On a 2 dimensional surface

This is why I write..

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Micah Getz performs in Philly Fringe Festival

Micah Getz will be performing in the play 'Green People' on Friday at 7 PM. You can buy tickets here

A show about what connects us, what makes community, and how to claim humanity from the rubble of our differences. From Yes! And . . . ’s SHADOW Company, who brought you to the streets last year with the flash mob inspired Flash!, comes another original, cutting-edge production performed by Philadelphia’s best teenage storytellers
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