Instructions to a Kindergarten Writer’s Notebook #PoetryFriday #notebookday #nationalnotebookday

It’s Poetry Friday and my poetry playmate Margaret Simon is our gracious hostess this week for the poetry roundup. Perhaps you’ll join us? Margaret is has some lovely (and fun!) Pi-Ku for us to enjoy. I confess I had never heard of Pi-Ku (syllable count 3.14…….) before. Can’t wait to try!

Two weeks ago, at the end of an interview with Elizabeth Steinglass, Michelle Heidenrich Barnes threw out a challenge to poets one and all — write a poem giving instructions to an inanimate object about how to do its job. Elizabeth has a terrific poem in her new book, Soccerverse, that does just that — Instructions for the Field. You can read the interview here.

Seeing as yesterday was National Notebook Day, I thought I’d dive into my notebook and tackle this month’s challenge with a poem giving instructions to my Kindergarten writers’ notebooks. Here are two sneak peeks inside notebooks in my classroom.

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Here’s what I came up with.

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Have you taken on this month’s challenge? If so, why not add it to the Padlet created to collect these wonderful instruction poems.

And just for fun, here are two other notebook and writing-related poems to share.

Some may wonder why (Golden Shovel)
A Golden Shovel using “Why am I keeping this notebook” as an anchor line.
Brave writer
A wee bit of free verse written with my Kindergarten writers in mind.

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










She’s back! #SOL19

She’s back!

At least I think she is.

Watching and waiting,

Morning, noon, and night.

Three weeks now, and nothing.

Until this morning.

It happened so fast.

Looking at just the right time,

I saw her — or him.

Circling once around the feeder, and then POOF she was gone.

Come back, my hummingbird!


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?


Dear momma bird #PoetryFriday

It’s Poetry Friday and Elizabeth Steinglass is our gracious hostess this week for the poetry roundup. Perhaps you’ll join us? Elizabeth is celebrating her new book, Soccerverse: Poems about Soccer. How fun, and congratulations, Elizabeth!

It’s spring, so bring on the robins!

We have a secret, just we three.png

This week I discovered a robin’s nest in my backyard. On Tuesday there were two eggs and on Wednesday there were three! Robins lay a clutch of 3-4 eggs, just one each day, so yesterday should have been egg number 4 or the start of momma keeping them toasty warm until their debut in about two weeks. I wasn’t able to check yesterday, but this afternoon I found four and no momma. I’m going to keep my distance for a bit and let her get settled to do her important work.

In their honor, and for Mother’s Day, I wrote a poem in letter form to mark the occasions.

Dear momma bird

If you’d like to learn more about writing letter poems, Amy Ludwig VanDerwater has wonderful advice for you and your students at The Poem Farm. And, if you adore robins, there are many delightful poems about them. You may find a list here.

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