Hang in There #SOL

Screen Shot 2017-05-29 at 9.20.19 PM

I need this image right now!

3 1/2 weeks to go

19 report cards to write

Eric Carle celebration play for parents to be rehearsed and performed

Kindergarten team orders to be placed

Preparations for adopting TC Writing Units of Study

Preparations for adopting Wilson Fundations






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 each Tuesday. Won’t you join us?


#DavidMcCord Memories on #PoetryFriday #PoetryLove

Screen Shot 2017-05-24 at 6.01.34 PM

The first poet I was introduced to as a child was David McCord. He lived in Boston and used to visit schools, libraries, and bookstores in the area quite a bit in the 1970s.


I vividly remember attending several of his school assemblies and a book signing or two with my mother. I still have my books from these events and I treasure them in a new way as a teacher of young poets and readers.


My prized possession, which I read again and again, is this signed copy of One at a Time from one of his visits in 1977. I was 12 and in awe. It made me feel special that he not only wrote my name, but spelled it correctly. (Most people didn’t!) And the gulls, well, they were a bonus!

Back in 2013, Renee LaTulippe shined the spotlight on him on her wonderfully poetic site, No Water River. You can read her post here to learn more about Mr. McCord and hear Lee Bennett Hopkins reminiscing about time spent with him.

There are two poems of his that are favorites of mine and I’d like to share them with you, if I may. I adored their rhythm, alliteration, and rhyme as a child and do to this day. His fabulous Boston Brahmin baritone voice still lingers in my memory. It’s a shame there are no recordings of him reciting his work, that I know of.

The Pickety Fence

Created with Canva

Every Time I Climb a Treeby David McCord

Created with Canva


Margaret at Reflections on the Teche is graciously hosting this week’s Poetry Friday. Why not join us there and spread some poetry love!

Screen Shot 2017-05-03 at 6.15.18 PM


Big Girl Camera! #SOL

Sunday was my birthday and I received a special present from my husband — a new camera. He knows I love to take pictures outside and we are going on a fun vacation this summer that will have lots of photo opportunities. It was time for an upgrade from a point-and-shoot to a proper DSLR digital camera. We are jokingly calling it my “big girl” camera. I love the weight of it and how the shutter sounds! CLICK! (The only thing I don’t love is that you have to purchase an additional expensive lens to zoom in on anything. I didn’t know that!)


It was a beautiful day, so we decided to take the camera out for a test run at Great Meadows National Wildlife Refuge in Concord, MA. This is one of our favorite walks and it’s a great place to bird or look for other creatures.


Great Meadows is swarming with red-winged blackbirds. They are everywhere and are not afraid to dive-bomb near you!


One of my favorite birds is the heron. They are so majestic and rather prehistoric looking up close. Here’s one that was posing for me. He knew I was coming!


The Concord River, which abuts Great Meadows, is home to many beavers. Their dens dot the shoreline in this stretch of the river.


After our walk, we took a picnic (cold steak grilled the night before and potato salad) over to Concord’s famous Old North Bridge, site of the Battle of Concord in 1775. During the summer we frequently picnic on the grounds of the Buttrick house, which overlooks the river and bridge. I consider myself truly fortunate to have such a location a mere 15 minutes from my house.


What a view. It was hard to leave, but all good things must come to an end. Sunday evening routines beckoned.


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 each Tuesday. Won’t you join us?

Collaborative Student Haiku #PoetryFriday #PoetryLove

Last week a beautiful thing happened. My Kindergarten poets and their First Grade Buddies wrote haiku together for the first time. To learn more about this experience, you may read my Slice of Life post from this Tuesday here. For Poetry Friday today, I celebrate and amplify their poetic voices and collaboration.

colorful pathway

beautiful shining flowers

beautiful violets

— Belen and Valor

gooey cheese pizza

delicious pizza eaten

the cheese is cheddar

— Belen and Valor

yummy crunchy crust

cheesy saucy and healthy

good toppings and crunch

— Lissette and Ella C.

inchworm crawls on stick

green inchworm crawls fast on stick

is he happy here

— Abbey and Eleanor

powerful tough bird

feathery cool bird flying high

big red-tail hawk cool

— Jackson and Matteo

soaring in the air

it’s a red-tail hawk flying

it is ten years old

— Rayne and Maren

I see a pretty rainbow

purple red green blue

orange yellow, too

— Elisa and Veronica

the very very scary shark

is underwater eating

watch out fish, OK?

— Ben and Zade

the tiny tadpole

is very tiny and small

it likes the water

— Ben and Zade



Kiesha at Whispers From the Ridge is graciously hosting this week’s Poetry Friday. Why not join us there!

Screen Shot 2017-05-03 at 6.15.18 PM

Kindergarten/First Grade Buddy Haiku Collaboration #SOL

During two afternoons last week, my Kindergarten poets met with their First Grade Buddies to learn about haiku. The First Graders have been learning about Japanese culture and were excited to share some of their new knowledge. They also know we are enthusiastic poetry readers and writers in Room 1!

IMG_5996It all began with this lovely invitation that by one of our buddies the week before. She read it to the class and then gave a quick review of what syllables were and why they are important to haiku.


During our first session together, we practiced quietly tapping the syllables in our names with a finger on our palm.

Screen Shot 2017-05-15 at 7.39.59 PM

Next, my First Grade colleague showed us this funny picture of a dog with a ball in his mouth swimming in the water. As you can imagine, there was lots of excitement and chatter when they saw it!


We brainstormed words as a whole group and then wove them together into:

Chasing a red ball

Crazy dog under water

Stop, crazy dog, stop!


Next it was time to pair up with our Buddies. Each Buddy team selected an image to work with — a rainbow after a storm, an inchworm crawling on a leaf, a garden path in full bloom, a delicious looking slice of pizza. Then we got to work.


It was fun to see Kindergarteners and First Graders collaborating, choosing words, checking syllable counts, and having fun together.


What wonderful writing mentors Buddies can be! And it’s fun to have a teaching colleague to share the experience with.


Two proud poets and a sampling of their poetic creations from our two sessions. (Click on the individual images to read their work.)

For fun, I am going to return to visit with the First Graders and teach them how to extend haiku into tanka. Stay tuned!


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 each Tuesday. Won’t you join us?

50 Shades of Green Tanka #PoetryFriday

As I drove home from school the other day, I was struck by the number of shades of green all around me. Ever curious, I began to explore the various names given to this tone and noticed many fell into (perhaps) accidental categories — natural objects (pine, sage, fern, moss, leaf), habitats (tropical forest, grassland), and food-related hues (artichoke olives). The result is this green-tinted tanka.

Green Tanka


Tara over at A Teaching Life is graciously hosting this week’s Poetry Friday. Why not join us!

Screen Shot 2017-05-03 at 6.15.18 PM


They’re Back — Marmota monax! #SOL

They’re back.

There was talk in the neighborhood.

I didn’t want to believe it.

I knew they would be…eventually. It was just a matter of time.

Is it a he? Or is it a she? It really doesn’t matter.


Marmota monax.

The groundhogs have returned. When I was a child we called them woodchucks. Some even refer to them as whistlepigs. It really doesn’t matter.

My husband thinks they are cute. I do not.

For hours I slaved away sowing seeds last year.

English Peas. Gone.

Lettuce. Gone.

Radishes. Gone

Parsnips…well you get it…GONE!

While I understand these creatures need to eat, there are plenty of other options for them. Our neighborhood it a bounteous buffet. Step right up and it’s all yours, rodents!

But alas, all they want are what I have planted with my own two hands.

This means war! Man the battle stations!


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

screen-shot-2017-02-20-at-2-05-35-pmScreen Shot 2017-03-31 at 7.17.13 AM