Sunday, April 26, 2009


Class 823,

Get excited for out trip to Vermont!! We're almost there. Before that, you all need to ACE your science test first--which you will.

There is school on Monday. We will discuss what happened on Friday.

There is a show on Wednesday, April 29, during 4th and 5th periods. We will have the in-class SLAM on Wednesday also. Everyone will participate for a grade whether or not you are competing for a position on the team.

Thursday: Science Test.

Friday: 5AM--we leave to VT.

Ms. Simmons

Thursday, April 23, 2009

Student Poems

I wanna see change for the better
Vickeuris Garcia

I wanna see change in the world.
I wanna see Bush stop lying about the economy.
I wanna see love overcome hate.
I wanna see people not abuse their power, on Sean Bell's case he was murdered on his wedding day.
Why are we destroying ourselves?
I don't care what i see I just wanna see change ..........for the better.
I wanna see people from the bronx succed.
I wanna see people not only think that we spit seeds ├žause let me tell ya they don't taste bad.
I wanna see a new board in my classroom ├žause the one we have is falling.
I wanna see the sun stay in the sky as a sign of hope since our world is falling apart............little by little.
I wanna see people speak not be afraid to show who theyreally are.
I don't care what I see I just wanna see change ................ for the better.
I wanna know why Mandela during aparthaid couldn't be free.
All he was doing was helping his peeps.
I wanna see the tallest tree give hope to the world.
I wanna see the birds fly deep and not fall to the ground with a bullet in his wings.
I don't care what I see i just wanna see the world change ........... for the better.

A tear in us
Julian Cotto

What happens when you have a tear in the perfect relationship you have.
And the love isn’t fading away but there’s a twist in the fantasy
Of love you’ve written down.
And now you look at the story one more time and it makes you frown.
But it isn’t the end of the story it’s the start of a new idea.

I Wanna Change the World
Shantel Maldonado

Yo quiero cambiar el mundo
I wanna change the world
Where Dominicans and blacks
could be united.
Cause even Dominicans don’t know
that there’s a little black in all of us.

I wanna change the world
where people aren’t hated on because of
their color
I wanna change lives out there for single mothers
so they don’t worry that their kids are
out too late.
And they don’t worry that the police might
have to take them.

I also wanna change lives for all girls out
Who have to sell their bodies for money,
for their family,
and for the better.
And for guys who are school dropouts
Who be at the corner
Something their not supposed to do.
Because my anger burns…
it burns like the flames that went
through the bodies of the Jews
when Hitler demanded for them to be

And I know one day my voice will be
Because I’m gonna change the world.

Y porque en este mundo
No hay iqualidad.
I want equal rights for everyone.
Where the world is healed,
and people have hearts.
They don’t hurt feelings,
and families aren’t broken apart.

Adonde cuando yo salga pa’ la calie,
no tengo miedo.
Where everything is fair.
And I stay with my family forever.

Where in Africa, kids don’t suffer.
Cry for their mothers,
and die in their sleep.
Because they didn’t have enough to eat.
And are too weak to walk miles to find

I wanna be known as the girl who
stopped global warming,
saved animals,
and saved families
from the bad.

Gave them what they needed,
while changing the world.
Porque yo quiero cambiar el mundo!

A Freedom Poem

I wanna write a poem for
all of the Mexicanos, Guatemaltecos
Haitianos, Hondurenos, and the
voiceless people of the world.
A poem that soothes their
hot faces from their burning
tears after being beaten by
someone who exploits them,
dehumanizes them.
A poem that demands their
human rights.
A poem that washes their
hands and heals those bruises.
Oh those bruises!
Getting worse and worse
by the minute. All the black and
red like blood-shot eyes ready
to burst.
A poem that erases those
holes in their souls in their hearts,
and in their hands.
Oh I wanna write that
magic poem so badly but
society won’t let me.
Society believes in all of
those calamities:
- children without mothers
- workers without pay
- racism re-surfacing again
- girls getting raped by theirs supposed “boyfriend”
- druggies getting high in the corners
- drunkies breaking bottles and slices their wife’s faces
Isn’t it funny how all of
this happens all up in their faces
and society doesn’t do nothing?
“Oh, we will fix it in the soon
time coming,” they say.
When in that time?
Where is that time?
I sure don’t see it.
Do you?
I don’t think so.
I’ve tried to write that
poem that would change the
To make it a better place.
That stops the cry of mothers
waiting for their babies to
come back from war.
That freezes the water back
again and global warming isn’t a problem anymore
But I’m only one person.
I can’t do it alone?
Is it that I only care?
No… it can’t be!
There’s got to be someone
out there that cares more
that wants to change more
Society has to care!
It has to care!
Or am I dreaming?
This is an endless, painfilled
I have to open my eyes but
this force keeps them shut.
When would I, better yet
we, wake up from this fake
reality and enter the real
I guess that day’s to

These Hands
Shuba Maniram

These hands have done
a lot over the years.
But they are soft
Because they were treated with care.
Have they ever been rough?
Why, no.
These hands can hold yours.
Would you let go?
I know many who wouldn’t;
Couldn’t let go
But they had to
Some day we all have to.
Would you?
Should you?
Could you?
Can you?
These hands can
Hurt you in the worst way possible
Comfort you, making you forget
your problems.
Help you get through tough times
Control you like a mind controller
Tell you what you didn’t know
And bring you over to the dark side
for a while.
Holding these hands feels so right
You just have to squeeze them
So tightly
Day and night
You can’t get them out of your sight.
There is something about these hands
That stand out;
You can hold them,
But they’ll not ever try to let go
Nor let go at all
Until it’s time.
It’ll follow through ‘til the end.

Jennisa Lopez

She’s living in
the projects
because her parents
don’t know best
Where there should
be gross
It full of trash
Garbage everywhere
People don’t even care
She’s smart
That why she’s
got a big heart
Big for the thing
she loves
Big for the people
she hugs
Stay at home and
Instead of going
out and party
Still with her
She’ll always know
her foundation
from school straight
She even goes
Just so the street won’t
get in her life
She will strive
IN school
People say she thinks
she’s to cool
because she goes to
her beat
Instead of following
but she doesn’t think
like that
because she know her
She’s doing it all
even if she knows
what’s best
Just to get out
of this mess
That what makes
her a believer
Because she is a

The Skin I’m In
Keetha Johnson

I’ve seen the way you treat people like me,
Telling us we can’t get a job
Or vote because of the color of our skin
I want you to look at me like I’m
A person, not a thing, not a commodity.
My people stood on brown stones
With silver metal around their necks,
And ankles, yearning to break free.
Please don’t tell me we’re repeating
History. I’m tired of feeling trapped
Like a penny in a piggy bank. I don’t want
To be seen as just a simple young
Black girl. I want to be seen as who I am.
Intelligent, beautiful, talented, hard-working,
Free, human. I have feelings and so does every
Other black person in the world.
The unfair treatment of my people, the
Discrimination, the daily injustices make my
Blood stream through my body like gasoline
Going through a car to make it move.
Makes my heart beat faster than a person
Zooming on a motorcycle. You can see the rage in
My eyes. I want to punch somebody, maybe
Even kill somebody but no I’m smarted than
That. You see black people as good for nothing
Ghetto people who just like to shake the
Junk in their trunks. But that’s not who
We are. We are beautiful, honest, and dedicated.
I don’t know what you think you know, but
I know that these black people, the ones whose
Ancestors you used to beat and sell, carry the
Hurt and pain in their bodies. The open wounds
And blood oozes through their skin like puss
From a stale burn. Yeah I know I wasn’t
Around then but the history I learn in my
Class tells me what I should know
About people like you. Sometimes looking at you
Makes me feel nauseous, sick to my stomach, makes
Me feel like I have diarrhea, I thank God
That the slavery of my people doesn’t happen
Anymore, cuz I can’t bear or hear a
Black women, man, or child screaming because they are
Being separated to serve families, not their own, or
Because their “owner” beats them, mistreats them,
Dehumanizes them. I put my head up
High and walk way cuz those black
People that you used to beat are the
Very same people who are your lawyers fighting
For you justice, the teachers who teach
your children what they need to know
to go out in the world. Why did you lock
my people in a boat, starve them, and leave
them naked? My people’s hands were
swollen because they picked that cotton for you,
cooked for your families, and did what you told
them to do. You sold my people like they were property,
animals, anything but human. I’m tired of the daily
abuse that I suffer just because I’m black
making me feel as though my people are still enslaved.
This can’t be anymore. I pray to God every night that
This injustice will stop, that the enslavement of
My people will never happen again. Tears of blood
Streaming down my peoples faces. Instead of tears
of happiness we cry tears of fear. We are
scared. We are scared because people judge
us unfairly. We can’t walk the street
without people staring at us and assuming
the worst.
Please tell me we’re not repeating history
Please tell me the world is changing.
Please tell me there’s no more slavery.
Please tell me when you look at me,
You see what I see – a young
Black girl trying to break free.

How would you feel?
Jasmin Chabla

How would you feel
If you were a farm worker
Where making one cent more
On each pound of tomatoes
Makes a huge difference?
You thought you came to the US
To find success
But instead you found hardships.
You see the days pass
With no such luck.
How would you feel
If you don’t feel safe
Where you live?
Go around some streets
to get to where you need to be?
How would you feel?
If you had a chance
At greatest
But let it pass
You just never had a break
How would you feel?
If you don’t have enough money
Not even for a bag of chips
How would you feel?
If you got up one morning
And not even know where you’d be
the next day or the next hour
How would you feel?
If you were treated like
Malcolm X or Assata Shakur
With blatant disrespect,
Hated by the color of your skin,
You probably never
Been through racism,
But many had and it hurts.
How would you feel?
If you had no power over problems
That enrage you,
Problems like violence, wars
And low wages
How would you feel?
If you lost your loved ones
In a terrible, tragic event
One unexpected night,
How would you feel?
Well - I’ll tell you how I’ll feel
I would feel
AND of course

Karamo Camara

Why is the world so unfair?
Why can’t the rich sit and glare
And figure out that not everyone
grew up on their silver plated stairs?
Why is it that people are HATED
And why are people forced to be
Out of every 5 people.
why must only one care?
Why is it so hard for people
To trust and share?
Why are we in a war and killing?
Why can’t this life be more fulfilling?
Why are people discriminated against
And either brutalized or locked away
when they take defense?
Why is life this way?
Why don’t we have any say?
Oh why can’t we have a better day?

Educated Brotha
Stella Oduro

His mother sent him to school
To learn something new
But he wanted money, fame, and the ladies' attention
But for him to get the money necessary for fame and the ladies
He had to work hard
Hard work needs patience
But he didn't want to wait
He hated waiting and everything about it
So to make easy money
He started to work on the streets
Selling vials of crack for a living instead of going to school
He told his mother he had read 200 books
Yet didn't know his a b c's
His family called him the "educated brotha"
cause he claimed that he could read yet when he taught his nephews, they couldn't comprehend what he said
The crack he was selling was worth millions yet he couldn't calculate the amount he made in a week
Overpowered by the rage of not making enough dough throughout the week, he began to use the crack himself
He would sit on the brownstone staircase and hold the white powder in his hand
He used his long brown index finger and bent his head and sniffed the white powder
His head began to droop and his eyelids became as heavy as an eagle with bandages tied around its wings
With his mind on one thing—money--he ran to his room and took the gun he purchased to protect the drugs
And ran out to the street
The storeowner at the bodega would be his victim
So he entered the first store he saw and pushed the door
The door slammed against the walls making the "BOOM PUUUSSSHH" sound
He held the dark gun in his jittery hands and he shuddered as though he was fighting off an arctic storm
While he was standing there his childhood memories flashed through his mind. He remembered wanting to hold a gun like Malcolm X fighting for black people's freedom
Freedom from standing in line for about two hours for the government just for them to say "here is your cheese"
Freedom from the man in the navy blue uniform giving me black and blue eye for crime I haven't committed
Freedom from people looking at their color to determine their place in this world
He shook the memories away
He didn't mean to clench the gun so tightly and he pulled the trigger by accident and "BOOM" the store owner was shot and gone
The wrinkled old man lay in his own blood
The blood was thick, red, syrupy and all over the place
The "educated brotha" didn't know what to do
He could have run yet he decided to stay
He picked up the head of the bald, old man
The thick, red, syrupy blood ran down on his brown hand as he slapped himself across the face
The man who never cried now was crying on the floor near the dead man
He used his empty hand and picked up the gun and threw it against the glass door at the entrance
The alarm shouted and out of nowhere the police arrived
"Educated Brotha's" brown hands were cuffed behind his back
In jail for a week "educated brotha" felt as though he had been there for life
Yet he didn't have any regret about being there cause he knew what he had done
He never received any visits from anybody he knew excerpt his mama
He thought his homies were friends, but they were not.
He had nothing.
Her words turned him upside down yet he still called himself "educated brotha"
The truth is he wanted to be educated
But he was weak to temptation
He was too weak to take a chance and to dream about the true life of an educated brother
Instead, he was lured by money, fame, and the ladies and
By what it meant to be a real man in the ghetto
His mama said education is the key to success and required hard work
But he did not want to do the work.
He had wanted the easy way out
He had wanted quick money
He had wanted many ladies
He had wanted his homeboy's respect
He had wanted illusions
And now, he had nothing,
No friends,
No ladies
No money,
And no education.
All he has are unrealized dreams of being an educated brother

When I Wake Up
Shakira Hernandez

When I wake up I just
Wanna feel that burn so
that I can observe
All the things around me.
And when I put my feet
on the ground
I wanna feel that vibration
going down
Through the neighbor’s speaker
making him wanna seek
And when I am about to choose
what clothes I wanna wear
I want them to fly up in the air
So that I won’t have to just
grab them and stare,
Cuz if I wanna stare then I
will look and see
the flow right in front of me
So that Ima have to wear,
just don’t have to stop and stare.
And when I am on my way
to the shower
I wanna see that water
ready to rain on me,
See, cuz the rain is my addiction
While I’m in an imaginary vision
And am tryna get clean while
I’m in an awake dream,
So please don’t bother me
And when I finally get out I
wanna feel without a doubt
that adventure that I found,
O.k. so I’m done
huh! not really,
See cus when I put my clothes
On my way to get that toasta
I wanna feel the taste going through me.
When I’m finally done
and ready to move on
And look back at my fiction
I wanna imagine myself in
a book
In which I am seeking for something new.

Sunday, January 4, 2009

Word Wall Words

Impermanent (adj.)
Sternly (adv.)
Captivate (verb)
Abrupt (adjective)
Acquit (verb)

Happy New Year!

I hope this year will bring you all much love, happiness, joy, and justice.

Ms. Simmons

Thank A Teacher Campaign

Thank Your Teacher!
The Department of Education is asking students, families, and graduates of New York City public schools to tell us about a teacher who made a difference in their lives.

If you want to thank a teacher, click here to do it.

Monday, December 15, 2008

Homework Due December 16, 2008

-Read for 4 steps.
-Write WWWs 10x.
-Finish slam poem and write it on loose-leaf so that it can be collected and checked.


-Practice reading your poem and performing it.
-Ms.Beyer would be coming to class on Friday.

Tuesday, December 2, 2008

HW due on Wednesday, 11/3

Read for 4 steps
Write sentences using WWWs
Injustice: unfair act
Ambiguous: unclear
Mischievous: trouble-making, malicious
Articulate: well-spoken
Sully: to taint, to spoil


Finish the two worksheets on percent change from class today

Write your two poems
One is on point of view; the other was the finish your in-class assignment.