A return visit #PoetryFriday

It’s Poetry Friday and Michelle Heidenrich Barnes is our hostess this week for the poetry roundup on her blog, Today’s Little Ditty. Perhaps you’ll join us? Michelle is unveiling the latest edition of her anthology of poetry, The Best of Today’s Little Ditty: 2017-2018. Click here to get your paperback or Kindle version today!

I am beyond thrilled because a tanka I wrote last year was selected for inclusion in this lovely volume. I’m chuffed, as the Brits would say, and proud to have my sweet hummingbird buzzing around so many of my favorite poets and their magical words. It’s the first poem I have ever had published anywhere.  Here is how my poem looked when I first shared it with the Poetry Friday family.  It was written in response to a challenge to look out the window and write about what you see.

waiting patientlyI can’t wait to read the latest edition of the Today’s Little Ditty anthology from cover to cover and share the collection with my Kindergarten poets! Thanks for hosting this week, Michelle, and I look forward to meeting many of you IRL at NCTE next week! I’ll be presenting Friday afternoon about writing poetry from images along with Laura Purdie Salas and a team assembled by Wonderopolis. Come say hello!

*********************************************************************

Screen-Shot-2018-12-27-at-6.19.40-PM

Thanks for Caring #SOL19

“Mrs. Wyman? Are kids allowed to give teachers a Country Cares sticker?” This is the question one of my sweet Kindergarten boys asked me one day last week.

Sticker

For a bit of background, our elementary school’s core values are CARES — compassion, adventure, respect, effort, and safety. To serve as a bit of motivation for students to learn about and live by these values, as well as kindness, our Principal had Country Cares stickers made, and all faculty and staff were given sheets of them to hand out to students (and fellow faculty and staff members! ) when they see fit to do so throughout the year. Now as you can imagine, as with any new initiative, not everyone is on board with this practice. However, last year was a very challenging year in our building with many children struggling for one reason or another. (If you read my Slices last year, you may remember learning about my experiences in particular.) Receiving these stickers has been highly motivating for some of these students. They go home hugely proud at the end of the day, and part of our practice is also for faculty and staff to ask students, when they see them sporting a sticker, to ask how they earned it. Again, recipients beam with pride.

Putting all that aside, back to my student and his question. My answer? “Why yes, you certainly may. Who would you like to give one to? ” I asked. “You!” he replied. “But why?” I asked. “Because you are always kind to all of us.” And with that, tears welled up in my eyes, and I asked if I could give him a hug. Day made.

***********************************************

Many thanks to the crew at Two Writing Teachers, and the extended SOL community, for giving us the time, space, and encouragement to live the writerly life here each Tuesday and every day in March. Won’t you join us?

screen-shot-2017-02-20-at-2-05-35-pm

Connected #PoetryFriday

It’s Poetry Friday and Tabatha Yeatts is our hostess this week for the poetry roundup on her blog, The Opposite of Indifference. Perhaps you’ll join us? Tabatha has a lovely invitation to the annual Winter Poetry Swap, in addition to poetry from Samantha Reynolds. I’m signing up for the swap right now!

I’ve been thinking about trees a lot lately. Their autumnal hues are breathtaking here in New England. I have also been reading lots of tree-related literature including The Overstory by Richard Powers. An amazing novel and a must read! You won’t look at trees the same way ever again. I am also interested in learning more about how trees communicate with each other. Can you imagine the information that flows from one to the next in the woods? A subterranean communication system we can not see, nor tap into. Curious and want to learn more? Check out this animated video from the BBC. It explains the Wood Wide Web.

These woody thoughts prompted the following draft of a poem.

Connected

Thanks for hosting this week, Tabatha. Bring on the poetry and if you take a walk in the woods this weekend, listen carefully.

*********************************************************************

Screen-Shot-2018-12-27-at-6.19.40-PM

Postpone Halloween? #SOL19

My Kindergarteners are devastated! All the buzz at school is about whether Halloween will be postponed until Saturday night. The weather forecast is horrendous and parents are laughingly calling the school to find out more, as if the schools had any say. Our poor school secretary! Unfortunately my students are struggling to understand the difference between postpone and cancel. We can’t cancel Halloween, but we can postpone trick-or-treating. And that just might happen if it rains as hard as it is supposed to on Thursday night.

Interestingly enough, Halloween has been postponed three times in the last nine years in Massachusetts. This could be the 4th! In 2011 we had a snowstorm, in 2012 Hurricane Sandy happened, and in 2017 we had a terrible wind storm knocking out power across the region, and once again postponing trick-or-treating. The question is, will my Kit Kats last until Saturday night. I’ll keep you posted!

***********************************************

Many thanks to the crew at Two Writing Teachers, and the extended SOL community, for giving us the time, space, and encouragement to live the writerly life here each Tuesday and every day in March. Won’t you join us?

screen-shot-2017-02-20-at-2-05-35-pm

What were we thinking? #SOL19 #writeout

Screen Shot 2019-10-22 at 9.05.13 PM.png

My husband and I love to hike. Our vacation time is often spent in locations with access to trails. A few weeks ago he suggested we climb Mt. Monadnock in southern New Hampshire, just over an hour from us. The foliage in our area is pretty spectacular at the moment, so the timing was perfect. How hard could it be? Monadnock is one of the most hiked mountains in the world with over 125,000 people climbing it every year, according to All Trails. The guide states, “The hiking trails are very steep in places and can be rocky.” Please note steep in places and can be rocky. Steep I can handle. I’ve done steep before. And hikes often have rocky scrambles near the summit and even at the bottom to get started.

Screen Shot 2019-10-22 at 9.03.31 PM

Um…HELLO! It was 2 hours of solid rock all the way up one trail and 3 hours of solid rock all the way down. And these weren’t rocks obediently laying down flat to step onto easily with your boots. No, they were upright, jutting out of the mountain’s bedrock, forcing you to use all the brainpower you could muster to make constant decisions. Which rock to land on? Which foot to lead with? Should I use my poles or disassemble them and stow them away in my backpack? Should I put my hand down onto the rocks to climb up? Nose over toes! Exhausting!

Screen Shot 2019-10-22 at 9.03.45 PM.png

But we made it, and we did it together. After we made it back to the bottom and sat down (very difficult to stand up again!) to our picnic lunch, we both burst out laughing. What were we thinking?

***********************************************

Many thanks to the crew at Two Writing Teachers, and the extended SOL community, for giving us the time, space, and encouragement to live the writerly life here each Tuesday and every day in March. Won’t you join us?

screen-shot-2017-02-20-at-2-05-35-pm

If I Hadn’t Gone For My Walk #SOL19 #writeout

Columbus Day is always busy at our house — yard work, changeover of seasonal clothes, a few extra moments to catch up on school work. But yesterday’s stunning weather beckoned to me to come outside and go for a walk. I listened!

foliage.jpgIf I hadn’t gone for my walk, I wouldn’t have see this spectacular foliage, it’s autumnal image echoing across the pond.

turtle.jpg

If I hadn’t gone for my walk, I wouldn’t have spotted this mud-covered snapper as it left the safety of the pond and headed uphill. Why? I’ll never know! I asked, but it didn’t answer!

snake.jpg

If I hadn’t gone for my walk, I wouldn’t have seen this garter snake skitter across my path among the leaf litter. I jumped!

map

And lastly, if I hadn’t gone for my walk, I wouldn’t have been able to tell my husband that I got lost on the same trail we always get lost on together, despite the fact that I had a map with me!

***********************************************

Many thanks to the crew at Two Writing Teachers, and the extended SOL community, for giving us the time, space, and encouragement to live the writerly life here each Tuesday and every day in March. Won’t you join us?

screen-shot-2017-02-20-at-2-05-35-pm

Brand New Readers #PoetryFriday

It’s Poetry Friday and Catherine Flynn is our hostess this week for the poetry roundup on her blog, Reading to the Core. Perhaps you’ll join us? I’m so glad to be back among friends after some time off while I settled in to a new year.

Catherine launched her post with a bit about gratitude. In these hectic first six weeks of school, I’ve been trying to record a bit of daily gratitude as part of my Evening Pages. I am truly grateful for a new crew of Kindergarteners who are kind, curious and love learning. We adopted a new reading curriculum (our first, if you can believe it!) this fall and so far I’m loving how engaged my emergent readers are as they explore favorite storybooks. They inspired my haiku, which I wrote during Writer’s Workshop over the last week or so. I read it to them today, and they helped me edit it a wee bit. It’s always good to have great feedback partners!

brand new readers

Thanks for hosting this week, Catherine. Bring on the poetry!

*********************************************************************

Screen-Shot-2018-12-27-at-6.19.40-PM