If you want to teach me to write, first you have to love me. ~AVI

Wednesday, September 22, 2010

A Slice of Ideas!

Idea Walk
Today was a gem, an ending to a fabulous summer that felt more like the departing season than the one we will greet tomorrow. In the spirit of the sunshine, my new writers and I sans notebooks, pencils, and for many, magnifying glasses, just in case. My charges were raring to go after a brief discussion about today’s idea gathering mission. Our first stop was a brief pause to soak in the sights and sounds of children enjoying a break from the classroom -our first pinch of seeds. For the next twenty minutes we strolled around the perimeter of the playground peeking into the patch of trees that borders the fields. Much to my delight most of the students were “into” it. We looked like we were part of task force gathering important evidence. “I see berries!” “Look at this bug with my magnifying glass!” “Oh no, someone left litter behind!” “I caught a butterfly!” “Listen to the crickets!” “Hmm, I think I saw a rabbit hop away.” This seemed to be working. I think they were getting it. When we returned to the classroom, we topped off our lists with final thoughts, starred the ones that we thought we could write about, and talked about the specific snapshots that might lend themselves to poems. Haikus and acrostics were recommended by two students. Heads were nodding at these suggestions. Too bad we had to get ready for dismissal. I can’t wait to read their notebooks tomorrow!

Friday, September 17, 2010

Poetry Friday

“Things to Do If You are a Frog”
Set up housekeeping in our pond
Sun yourself on rock mountains
Resembling a rock yourself
Peruse the pachysandra
Or nestle down for a nap instead.
Leap into the pond when someone startles you
Or lurk in the rustling reeds
Ready to pounce like a wild cat in the jungle
Cast out your sticky tongue for tasty treats.
The master mosquito muncher.
Sing your song of summer
Serenade us with your quirky croaks
Until fall sneaks in and off you hop
Hibernating in deeper waters far beneath the ice.

I have had so much fun this summer watching and photographing the frogs that made our little backyard pond their home. It seemed fitting to try another Things to do poem modeled after the many mentor texts written by the talented Elaine at Wild Rose Reader. Head over to Wild Rose Reader where Elaine is hosting this week's Friday Poetry celebration. Thanks Elaine!

Tuesday, September 14, 2010

Books are Singing to Me ~ Tuesday Slice

Overtaken by the piles around the house, most of which belong to me (okay they all belong to me), I got the urge to tidy up a bit. Sometimes I am so like the moose with the muffin. Easily distracted while in the midst of one task, I veer off track to something else that needs attention. Anyone who knows me will not be surprised that the piles and distractions involve books. Throughout the summer, I dove deep into a pool of books. Actually three piles of books: children’s books, teacher books, and novels just for fun. I love books from all three of these categories. I really can’t get enough and just when I think enough is enough, no more, along comes a new release that I can’t wait to get my hands on. Like many other bloggers have done recently, I decided to compile some lists. So far I have one list to share. I know I have more to add to this list and they are certainly not rank ordered. I don't know that I could do that as I love them all. The authors of these books are my rock stars. I turn to them when I need a boost, a reminder of why I am a teacher, or a fresh idea to start a new day. I would be remiss if I neglected to send out a shout of thanks to Ruth and Stacey here at Two Writing Teachers and all of my other blogging mentors. MANY THANKS!!
“Ten Books That Speak to My Teacher Heart”
1. Lasting Impressions by Shelley Harwayne
2. More Than Meets the Eye by Donna Skolnick
3. In the Company of Children by Joanne Hindley
4. For the Good of the Earth and Sun by Georgia Heard
5. Awakening the Heart by Georgia Heard
6. Reading with Meaning by Debbie Miller
7. Reading Essentials by Regie Routman
8. Pass the Poetry, Please! by Lee Bennett Hopkins
9. Poetry Matters by Ralph Fletcher (and many other titles)
As I was finishing this post, not really paying attention to the TV, a song caught my ear. “Somewhere over the rainbow, skies are blue and the dreams that you dare to dream really do come true…someday I’ll wish upon a star…where troubles melt like lemon drops…somewhere over the rainbow blue birds fly, birds fly over the rainbow…”
Don’t you just love recent remakes of this song? I may not have the lyrics exactly right, but they seemed to fit the spirit of my thoughts tonight. They also bring back fond memories of a lullaby tape that I used to play for our children at bedtime. It may have even been an album. Oh heavens, I’m old! Good night, sweet dreams.

Wednesday, September 8, 2010

Night Before School Slice

I have a terrible habit of staying up way too late especially on school nights! Here is a silly little poem I just wrote - clearly a first draft, but a pretty good synopsis of my night. Quoting our school board president, "Happy New Year!" Teachers get to celebrate twice.

On the night before school…
Not a creature was stirring
Except for teachers scurrying
Unable to rest
With details to make it the best.
A first day poem,
Just the right books
For baskets and nooks,
Sharing with students
Guiding readers and writers
Our co-teachers for sure!
Flowers are cut.
The coffee is set-up.
Lunch is packed.
Outfit selected and pressed.
Dog out one last time.
Teeth brushed.
Pillows fluffed.
Why am I still wide awake?
Oh no, I hope I don’t oversleep!!