Spring is Here! #PoetryFriday

Happy Poetry Friday, everyone! Buffy Silverman at Buffy’s Blog is our hostess this week serving up some springtime poetry goodness.

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My Kindergarten poets are back to share this Poetry Friday post with me. They’ve been busily writing spring poetry and it’s amazing for me to see how independent they’ve become as writers this year. It just goes to show if you give them time, space, and inspiration, anything is possible! Our officially adopted writing curriculum doesn’t include poetry, but that doesn’t stop us from writing outside the boundaries of Writer’s Workshop. We write whenever we can — Literacy Workshop, Science Workshop, Genius Hour, you name it!

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My writers are so independent at this point that I was able to sit down for a few minutes and scribble a bit myself. They love watching me and the other adults who might happen to be in the classroom at the time sitting and putting pen to paper. They watch for a while, smile, and then return to their work.

Today I am sharing just a few samples of what we will be submitting to Carol Varsalona for her Sense-sational Spring Gallery. Here’s the invitation she shared with all of us. Won’t you join in with us?

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I hope you’ll join Buffy and the rest of us for some Poetry Friday fun!

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Photo and Poetry Exchange #PoetryFriday

Happy Poetry Friday, everyone! Margaret at Reflections on the Teche is our hostess this week. Last month she invited us to participate in her “More than Meets the Eye” photo exchange. Participants were asked to send a photograph from their own geographic area to their exchange partner and in return their partner would write a poem about it.  Today’s the day! (Click here to read her call for participants.)

Glacier

I was partnered up with my Kindergarten soul mate, Dani Burtsfield. She sent me a stunning photo taken in Glacier National Park. Here’s the message that accompanied it. “After perusing many of my photos, I have found one I think will be fun for you. It was taken in Glacier National Park in the heart of a very cold winter. What looks like a pile of dirt there alongside the riverbank is a beaver lodge. I have been going to Glacier Park for many years, and often took students there in the winter for a day of snowshoeing. Ever since 2006 when I started, the beaver lodge has remained there. We have yet to witness the busy beavers coming in and out of their lodge, but the rangers assure us it is a busy home to many!”

So much catches my eye in this photo. Those majestic mountain peaks! The striking colors. The contrast of the brown of the deciduous trees against the evergreens’ steady green hue. I feel a chill from the snow and icy-cold water, yet the bright blue sky warms my heart. And I can only imagine the activity in the beaver lodge nestled under its blanket of snow. I have never been to Glacier, but it is on my Bucket List, along with many of our glorious national parks. It was fun researching online a bit to learn which flora and fauna make their home in the park, and I wondered if any Native American tribes still had a presence in the area, or if they had all been relocated to reservations nearby.

There is a place

I love the suggested symmetry of the reflection in the water below of what rises above. That was the inspiration for my shape poem. In addition, I wanted to include a cautionary closing. In the mid-19th century, 150 glaciers existed in the park. By 2010, only 25 active glaciers remained. Sadly, climate scientists have estimated that all the active glaciers may disappear by 2030 if current climate patterns persist. There’s a message there for all of us.

WaldenPond

In return, I sent Dani a photo I took at nearby Walden Pond last summer. I love walking in Thoreau’s footsteps and am always inspired to scribble in my writer’s notebook while I am there. I can not wait to see her poem! I hope you’ll visit her at Doing the Work That Matters.

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I hope you’ll join Margaret and the rest of us for some Poetry Friday fun!

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Gifts in the Mail #PoetryFriday

Happy Poetry Friday, all! Rebecca at Sloth Reads is our hostess this week. She’s got a super review of I’m Just No Good at Rhyming: and Other Nonsense For mischievous Kids and Immature Grown-Ups written by Chris Harris and illustrated by Lane Smith. I’ve been meaning to get a look at this book, and I’m grateful to Rebecca for lighting a fire under me. It looks terrific!

I’m sure you’ve seen lovely poetry postcards here and there from Jone MacCulloch’s students at Silver Star School in Washington state over the last month or so.  Each year her students lovingly create and send out these works of art during National Poetry Month. April was such a crazy month that I completely forget about signing up. And then these lovely gifts arrived in the mail.

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Having just participated in Amy Ludwig VanDerwater’s National Poetry Month informal study of her wonderful Poems Are Teachers (Heinemann, 2017), it was only fitting that I receive a poem that does just that — teach! Alexis does a lovely job here of teaching me about the importance of the Mandan people’s permanent villages made from individual earthen homes. Alexis whet my appetite for learning more about the Mandan people!

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And Sarah D’s fun, amphibious poem was particularly appropriate for me as my focus for Amy’s challenge was vernal pools, which found me writing a poem every day for 30 days about vernal pools and their inhabitants. How fun that this particular poem hopped into my mailbox! Well done, Sarah!

I Love Frogs! (1)

Frogs are fun to write about, aren’t they, Sarah D? This is one of my 30 poems that my Kindergarten scientists have been enjoying. Ribbit!

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I hope you’ll join Rebecca and the rest of us for some Poetry Friday fun!

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Patiently Waiting #PoetryFriday

Happy Poetry Friday, everyone! This week’s celebration of all things poetic is over at Jama Rattigan’s always delectable Jama’s Alphabet Soup. She just took a batch of steaming hot blueberry muffins out of the oven. Help yourself!

Ode to Blueberry Muffin

And now for something completely different…

Jama is pining away for her first bluebird sighting. But I, on the other hand, am waiting for my first hummingbird of the season. Have you seen one yet? I captured this particular cutie in the act last July 4th. I’ve heard they have been spotted in the area, so I know they are on the way to my feeder. It’s just a matter of time. And so my tanka.

waiting patiently
waiting patiently
for your first springtime visit
you move swiftly and
silently undiscovered
perhaps you have come and gone

My feeder has been out for one week now, filled with homemade nectar lovingly concocted in my kitchen. Every time I walk past a window or door that affords a view of the front garden where the feeder resides, I sneak a peek hoping, praying to see my darting diminutive friend once again. I know we’ll see one another soon, but the waiting is hard.

UPDATE AS OF SATURDAY 5/12 at 12:27PM — HE CAME!!!

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I hope you’ll join Jama and the rest of us for some Poetry Friday fun!

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Startled by Nature #NationalPoetryMonth #NaPoWriMo #PoetryFriday

Greetings from NY’s Hudson Valley, where I’m on a mini road trip. It’s a drippy, dreary day, but I’m wishing you a happy Poetry Friday and tail end of National Poetry Month! Many thanks to Irene Latham for hosting our weekly get together today over at Live Your Poem. If you haven’t seen the amazing poems she’s been crafting daily this month (yes, daily!), related to Harlem Renaissance artists, you’ve been missing out on a treat! 

This month I am tagging along with poet/author Amy Ludwig VanDerwater during what has become her annual NPM Project. You can click here to learn more about this straight from Amy! This year she is writing and sharing a new poem every day, each highlighting a different poetic technique, but keeping the same subject. Her challenge, 1 Subject 30 Ways, is also a bit of an informal book study and master class, as she’s using her fall 2017 release Poems Are Teachers (Heinemann) as her guide. Join us!

Today’s poetic technique chosen by Amy is to start with a startle. My subject is, and will be all month-long, vernal pools. The most startling fact about wood frogs, and indeed many frogs, is that they go into a state of torpor — a subdued metabolic rate — in the winter. Yes, they appear dead, but when the warm rains of spring arrive, they begin to thaw and come back to life. Is it magic? No. Their body generates an anti-freeze-like substance that keeps them alive in most, but not all, frigid temperatures. Once I established my startle, I knew it had to be a shape poem, too! Can you see the frog?

FrogcicleEctothermic treatNot on any seaside menu Your frozen state fools many Mother Nature's anti-freeze keeps you safefrom Old Man Winter's frigid grasp Buried safe On Forest's floor
Frogsicle
Ectothermic treat
Not on any seaside menu
Your frozen state fools many
Mother Nature’s anti-freeze keeps you safe
From Old Man Winter’s frigid grasp
Buried safe
On Forest’s floor
Snug beneath your leaf litter comforter
You wait
Patiently
Knowing
Spring’s warming rains
Breathe new life into your lungs

I hope you’ve been following along the journey of the 2018 KidLitosphere Progressive Poem, a fun annual collaborative project lovingly begun in 2012 by poet/author Irene Latham. This poem has magically, and quite literally this year, been growing right before our eyes daily during the month of April. This year we are following along the journey of Jasmine, a seed, and her companions Moon and Owl. Jasmine, from a long line of poet’s jasmine, began is beginning to make her way in the world and find her poetic voice. The process has been fascinating to follow and I was excited to dive in for the first time with line eighteen. I hope you will follow Jasmine’s journey for the remainder of our Progressive Poem month by clicking on the blogs in the list below.  I can’t wait to hear what she says!

April

2 Jane at Raincity Librarian
4 Michelle at Today’s Little Ditty
Jan at bookseedstudio
6 Irene at Live Your Poem
7 Linda at TeacherDance
Janet F. at Live Your Poem
11 Brenda at Friendly Fairy Tales
12 Carol at Beyond LiteracyLink
13 Linda at A Word Edgewise
15 Donna at Mainely Write
16 Sarah at Sarah Grace Tuttle
18 Christie at Wondering and Wandering
19 Michelle at Michelle Kogan
20 Linda at Write Time
23 Amy at The Poem Farm
24 Mary Lee at A Year of Reading
26 Renee at No Water River
27 Buffy at Buffy’s Blog
28 Kat at Kat’s Whiskers
29 April at Teaching Authors
30 Doraine at Dori Reads

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This post is part of my personal National Poetry Month celebration. I hope you’ll join me in sharing your favorite poetic gems throughout the month of April whether they are written by you, your students, or another poet.

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Happy Birthday Tribute! #PoetryFriday #NPM #NaPoWriMo

Happy National Poetry Month and Poetry Friday! Haiku high priestess, Robyn Hood Black, is kindly hosting us today over at Life on the Deckle Edge. But wait! There’s more!

This month I am tagging along with poet/author Amy Ludwig VanDerwater during what has become her annual NPM Project. You can click here to learn more about this straight from Amy! This year she is writing and sharing a new poem every day, each highlighting a different poetic technique, but keeping the same subject. Her challenge, 1 Subject 30 Ways, is also a bit of an informal book study, as she’s using her fall 2017 release Poems Are Teachers (Heinemann) as her guide. Join us!

Today’s poetic technique chosen by Amy is simile. My subject is, and will be all month long, vernal pools. The image that came to me was of an elementary school emptying out in the summer, only to fill up again with friends old and new in the fall — like a vernal pool. Here’s a poem nugget, or tadpole. Not fully metamorphosized just yet.

Like a school...

And still more! Today I’m sticking with my vernal pool theme from Amy’s challenge, but also joining my fellow poetry lovers in wishing a Very Happy Birthday to Mr. Lee Bennett Hopkins, poet extraordinaire! In honor of his birthday today, I’m celebrating with a wonderful poem of his, Under the Microscope, from his anthology, Spectacular Science: A Book of Poems (illustrated by Virginia Halstead, Simon & Schuster Books for Young Readers, 1999) and introducing my tribute poem, Under our Stereoscope. Here’s Lee’s original poem.

Under the Microscope

My vernal pool-loving Kindergarten scientists have been having a blast looking at the microscopic creatures who make their home in our campus vernal pool — while it lasts — under our classroom stereoscope.

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And now presenting…Under our Stereoscope!

Under our Stereoscope (3)

Happy Birthday, Lee, for all the poetry love you have shared with the world over the years! And many thanks to Brenda Davis Harsham at Friendly Fairy Tales, who has been following along my vernal pool journey this month, for nudging me in the direction of this all-things-science anthology!

I also hope you will stop by Live Your Poem daily to follow along the journey of the 2018 KidLit Progressive Poem, a fun annual collaborative project lovingly begun in 2012 by poet/author Irene Latham. The poem will magically, and quite literally this year, be growing right before our eyes daily during the month of April. This year we are following along the journey of Jasmine and her companions Moon and Owl. Jasmine has taken off on a journey with Owl by the light of the moon. The process is fascinating and this year I am diving in for the first time with a line right in the middle of the month — April 18th.

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This post is part of my personal National Poetry Month celebration. I hope you’ll join me in sharing your favorite poetic gems throughout the month of April whether they are written by you, your students, or another poet.

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Cedar Waxwing Sit-In #SOLC18 #PoetryFriday

A little ornithological snow day alliterative humor for this SOLC and Poetry Friday mashup.

Cedar Waxwing Sit-In

I really did have a whole lot of fun watching these masked bandits of the bird world hanging out during the waning hours of our latest nor’easter.

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This post is part of the annual month-long Slice of Life writing challenge organized by Two Writing Teachers. Join us! It’s my second year of Slicing in the challenge. And it’s Poetry Friday, too. Michelle Barnes is hosting over at Today’s Little Ditty. I hope you’ll stop by there as well. If you want to take a peek at the Padlet of writing ideas I’ve created, I’m happy to share. Click here! It grows every day.

 

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