Recent Blog Postings

Recent Blog Postings

Posted on Thursday, November 7, 2019
Last year, seventh grader Aryel Sealey read a whopping 48 books during the school year – more than any other student and surpassing the goal of Harlem Academy’s first 40 Book Challenge. “The challenge was a great motivator, and winning gave me a strong sense of accomplishment,” she says. Will Aryel keep her title this year?   Our second annual challenge is well under way, encouraging middle schoolers to read 40 books independently by the end of the school year. “At first, students think there...
Tags: middle school, English, reading
Posted on Thursday, June 13, 2019
Producing a magazine takes a lot of work, and Harlem Academy students are up to the task – especially when that magazine acknowledges a major milestone in their lives. Moving Up! is a celebration of our fourth-graders’ transition to fifth grade. It marks their accomplishment while honing critical planning, collaboration, and writing skills that will serve them well in fifth grade and beyond.  Every year, the fourth-grade class spends six weeks creating the magazine from cover to cover, with...
Tags: lower school, English, writing
Posted on Wednesday, April 10, 2019
Heart, Soul, charged with emotion. It cannot be seen, only heard. Always inside you. Immense, deafening tidal waves explode all around me into existence. Spreading along the scene filled with action around me.  When you open your mouth and let your inner you speak out into the deaf world around you, when you crunch down on a kernel of cereal, they are always there. Sometimes they become even more than waves. They become memories, like a huge impact accompanied with screeching metal, and the...
Tags: poetry, middle school, English
Posted on Wednesday, April 10, 2019
I’m from the dark Bronx, illicit and glowing. Where all I eat is simmering ketchup, salty, bacon, egg, and cheese, teeth muscles chomping, mouth watering. I’m from Mayaguez, Puerto Rico where the crystal clear water is perfect, but also my purple pulpo, salty white carrucho, and cheesy yellow sorullos take me back. I’m from set tables of rice and beans every night and divine ice cream from Rex Cream, just a hint of spice to the mix.  Don't forget about mom's chicken and pig feet, slimy and...
Tags: poetry, middle school, English
Posted on Tuesday, September 25, 2018
Kia Turner with student
For Kia Turner, who teaches middle school English, teaching is about more than educating the mind. It’s also about nurturing the soul.     Why is Harlem Academy the right place for you? What I love most about Harlem Academy are the kids. My students push me to be a better teacher and person every day that I step into our classroom.  Small class sizes – which are hard to find in today’s education landscape – mean my students and I can grow deep relationships. It also allows them to...
Tags: English, middle school, staff, writing
Posted on Tuesday, June 12, 2018
At Harlem Academy, being smart is cool. Our students don’t shy away from challenging academics; they opt for more. Take Shakespeare, one of the most difficult texts students will face at any grade level, let alone in sixth grade. Harlem Academy middle schoolers develop such love and appreciation for the Bard that studying his plays in class isn’t enough for many of them. One quarter of them choose Shakespeare as an elective, too. “The students are drawn to the challenge the language presents...
Tags: Shakespeare, electives, English, middle school
Posted on Saturday, May 21, 2016
Taneyah and Misa perform in the 2016 ShakeSmack
Taneyah and Misa perform at the 2016 ShakeSmack. For the fourth year in a row, Harlem Academy’s Shakespeare troupe was recognized for their outstanding work, this year earning both first and second place honors at the Classic Stage Company’s annual Shakespeare competition. Dubbed the “Shakespeare Smackdown,” the competition featured twenty-five middle and high school teams from across New York City, each performing short scenes from Othello. Their success is no accident – Harlem Academy...
Tags: Shakespeare, English, electives, middle school
Posted on Monday, March 7, 2016
lower school student reading
Leveraging curiosity to build nonfiction reading skills and set a foundation for critical thinking Each day, lower school teachers and students spend an hour focused on locating information, summarizing important facts, isolating the main idea, and using text-based evidence to support a conclusion.  Harlem Academy fourth-grader Benjamin loves science fiction. When he discovered in his nonfiction unit that his favorite books are based on real science, he started reading more science books.  “...
Tags: lower school, English
Posted on Monday, May 11, 2015
Harlem Academy students at the Shake Smack
Last week, three groups from Harlem Academy performed of scenes from Shakespeare’s “A Midsummer Night’s Dream” at the 2015 Shakespeare Smackdown (ShakeSmack) hosted by the Classic Stage Company out of Greenwich Village. Most of the teams were from high schools, but Harlem Academy teams of sixth through eighth grade students took both first and second place. In preparation for ShakeSmack and as part of our electives offerings, our 12 students worked hard over the past 4 weeks rehearsing their...
Tags: middle school, Shakespeare, English
Posted on Monday, May 4, 2015
Tags: middle school, video, poetry, English
Posted on Thursday, April 2, 2015
poetry class
Teacher Whitney Wood developed the poetry program in partnershipwith the Poetry Society. Above, Ms. Wood (r) and Charif Shanahan (c) of PSA observe as poet Ama Codjoe (l) works with grade-eight students. This special evening is the culmination of a trimester-long collaboration between Harlem Academy and the Poetry Society of America. The innovative workshop model brings professional poets to Harlem Academy’s middle school classrooms to lead college-style seminars. Over the course of six weeks...
Tags: poetry, English
Posted on Tuesday, September 3, 2013
Middle school students display both creepiness and joy as the Three Witches in “Macbeth.” Photo courtesy of the Classic Stage Company.
A performance-based unit draws middle school students into the works of William Shakespeare. Middle school students display both creepiness and joy as the Three Witches in “Macbeth.” Photo courtesy of the Classic Stage Company. “What’s Hermia thinking here?” Whitney Wood, middle school English teacher, asks the the sixth graders seated around her. They pause their line-reading of Shakespeare’s "A Midsummer Night’s Dream." “Hermia doesn’t want to marry Demetrius,” says one. Another adds, “...
Tags: Shakespeare, English