Thankful #SOLC20 #SOL20 #PoetryFriday

Happy second Friday of the 2020 Slice of Life Challenge at Two Writing Teachers AND Poetry Friday, all! Today I’m slicing up a bit of poetry. Children’s poet and author Matt Forrest Esenwine is hosting this week’s gathering on his blog, Radio, Rhythm & Rhyme.  Won’t you join us there? Slicing poetry on Fridays during the SOLC is a great way to flex those writing muscles. If you are ever wondering where to find the weekly host of Poetry Friday, you’ll find a list of hosts and their blog links here.

Today was our first of two professional development days dedicated to preparing for online learning which begins in our district next Thursday. We have been closed since dismissal on Wednesday, and we’ve been cashing in our snow days to see us through as we boldly go where few teachers have gone before. Today I find myself thankful.

Thankful

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Thanks for wondering and wandering a bit with me today. 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 during the month of March. And thanks to Matt for hosting this poetic side of this week’s double celebration! Happy Friday, all, and be well.

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Oh the wild life #SOLC20 #SOL20 #PoetryFriday

Happy first Friday of the 2020 Slice of Life Challenge at Two Writing Teachers AND Poetry Friday, all! How exciting that the planets are in alignment for these two fabulous events — a twofer! Today I’m slicing up a bit of poetry. Rebecca Herzog is hosting this week’s gathering on her blog, Sloth Reads.  Won’t you join us there as well? Slicing poetry on Fridays during the SOLC is a great way to flex those writing muscles. If you are ever wondering where to find the weekly host of Poetry Friday, you’ll find a list of hosts and their blog links here.

Earlier this week, one of my Kindergarten boys asked if he could write a poem during Choice Time. Always happy to encourage a bit of extra writing — and poetry writing at that — I invited him to write on our big easel with chart paper and my special scented markers. He was overjoyed! That’s where the teacher writes, afterall, and those are her tools. And then I got out of his way (my favorite thing to do when kids are writing) and let him do his thing.

I got busy with this and that, and admit I completely forgot he was busily working on the opposite side of the classroom, now joined by two co-authors/illustrators. After everyone went home, and the dust of the day settled, I found this waiting for me.

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Be still my heart.

Oh the wild life

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Thanks for wondering and wandering a bit with me today. 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 during the month of March. And thanks to Rebecca Herzog for hosting this poetic side of this week’s double celebration! Happy Friday, all!

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#KindergartenBioBlitz #PoetryFriday

It’s Poetry Friday! Karen Edmisten is our hostess this week. You’ll find our weekly celebration on her blog. Karen has a poetic tribute to Leap Years’ extra day to share with us.

All week long, my Kindergarten students and I have been participating in an international #KindergartenBioBlitz. (If you use the hashtag on Twitter, you’ll find lots of fun posts from teachers across North America.) Each day features a different prompt for processing what we observe in nature during our daily walk. On Monday we made predictions, on Tuesday we shared noticings, on Wednesday we shared wonderings, on Thursday we shared “This reminds me of…,” and today, the final day, we tell the story of our experience. My mentor, Amy Ludwig VanDerwater, saw a list of our predictions and observations and remarked that they looked like the beginnings of poems. With that inspiration, I used a little poetry midwifery magic to create our BioBlitz story. I’m about to share it with my students and I hope they like it!

BioBlitz

Many thanks for hosting this week, Karen. Now let’s bring on the poetry!

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Rainy Day #PoetryFriday

It’s Poetry Friday! Laura Purdie Salas is our hostess this week. You’ll find our poetic celebration on her blog, Small Reads for Brighter Days. (Love the new site name, Laura!) Laura has an update on her #20for20 project, writing in 20 different places. I can’t wait to see where she’s writing next!

This week I want to introduce you to a new poet. His name is Hunter and he is in my Kindergarten class. Hunter has what I believe is an old soul, the soul of a poet. In addition to loving all things nature, he adores writing. (We are soul mates!) As you can imagine, I am nurturing the writer and poet in him. He loves to write stories, including a 30-page version of the Ninjabread Man, and is beginning to get a real feel for poetry.

Today I gave my whole class a writing challenge. We had finished up our current unit of study and weren’t quite ready to launch the next. It’s a dreary rainy day here, so I gave each child a copy of this photo.

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I was curious where each child would go with it. They were told they could either write about the photo, literally, or see where the image or mood took their imagination. Here’s where Hunter’s went.

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To honor his work, I chose an image which I think is the perfect accompaniment to his final words. Here is my take on his poem, Rainy Day.

Rainy day

I can hardly wait to see what he writes next!

Many thanks for hosting this week, Laura. Now let’s bring on the poetry!

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Drowning #PoetryFriday

It’s Poetry Friday! This week our hostess is Jone Rush MacCulloch, who is throwing our little party over on her blog, Deo Writer.  You’ll find her latest poetry swap arrivals and a giveaway for an inspirational journal which looks rather interesting.

I’m halfway through a stretch of two very challenging weeks at school — data cycle #2, report cards, parent conferences, etc… Thank goodness for several writing communities, of which I am a part of. Writing, while not always pretty or cheerful, is keeping me sane. Words tumbled onto the pages of my notebook at bedtime last night. They put themselves in the form of a list, so a list poem of sorts was born.

Drowning In a sea of

I just need to get through next week, and then all will be well.

Many thanks for hosting this week, Jone. Now let’s bring on the poetry!

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Tiny Treasures #PoetryFriday

Happy Poetry Friday, all! We travel down under, once again, this time to visit Kat Apel. Kat has hosting duties on her blog this week. You may journey to it here! Kat, who I was thrilled to chat (all too briefly) with at NCTE this fall, has an update on not only the fire situation in Australia, but the amazing fundraising efforts of the kidlit community there.

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Poetry swap postcards received as of January 22. I know others are on their way!

Tiny treasures, in the form of poetry postcards, have been drifting like twinkly snowflakes into my mailbox over the last few weeks. They are, as others have said, a welcome change from tax-related documents, bills, and junk mail. How little personal mail we receive throughout the year. So grateful for opportunities to communicate on another level with others. Many thanks to folks like Jone, Tabatha, and others, who organize such exchanges. So good for the soul! My offerings are on their way to you as we speak, dear friends.

Many thanks for hosting this week, Kat. Now let’s bring on the poetry!

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Snowflake Crystals #PoetryFriday

Happy Poetry Friday, all! Catherine Flynn is our hostess this week and you can find all the poetry joy on her blog, Reading to the Core. Join us! Catherine wrote lovely haiku during December’s #haikuforhope. I am so glad she is sharing some of them for her post today, as I had missed a few along the way. Hope you are feeling better soon, Catherine!

My offering drifted down from the sky in a brief snow squall earlier this week.

Crystals

We’ve been doing a bit of word collecting in my classroom this week, so I gathered up all the words that came to mind when snowflakes begin to tumble.

Many thanks for hosting this week, Catherine. Now let’s bring on the poetry!

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The Visit #PoetryFriday

It’s Poetry Friday and Sally Murphy is our hostess this week on her blog. I hope to see you there! Sally has exciting news about her new novel in verse — Worse Things — and another project she is working on with fellow Aussie poet, Kat Apel. It sounds like 2020 is off to a great start for you, Sally. Congratulations! On a more serious note, I know the Poetry Friday family has been thinking of Sally and Kat during this terribly difficult and challenging time down under. Here’s hoping the rains come soon before more damage is done and lives of humans and so many critters (estimated at over 1 billion now) lost.

My offering to the roundup this week is an octave for my students inspired by a recent visitor to our school campus. His or her visit was captured on the wildlife camera outside one of my classroom windows. We have it focused on the area that includes our class bird feeder station. My Kindergarten scientists and I have fun watching the birds and squirrels that visit during the day, but we’ve always wondered who might come a calling after dark. Now we know!

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The text (with a dash of rhyme, which I never do!) features just a few of the questions and comments my curious students had about the coyote’s (and deer, fox, opossum, and rabbit!) appearance. Want to see more? Just click here!

Many thanks for hosting this week, Sally. Now let’s bring on the poetry!

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Winter Water Wonder #PoetryFriday #vernalpool

It’s Poetry Friday and Carol at Carol’s Corner is our hostess this week. I hope to see you there! Carol has a gorgeous poem from Maya Angelou — CONTINUE: a poem — which serves as a perfect launch to the new year. It’s a charge, of sorts, to all humankind.

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Today was the first day back to school with my Kindergarteners. The forecast predicted a bright sunny day, no precipitation, and a high temperature of 45. A perfect day to walk to our campus vernal pool! We try to visit once each month to monitor the life cycle of the pool and its inhabitants. The weather in December did not cooperate, so we were excited for a visit under such wonderful conditions.

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Photo: Christie Wyman, 2020

When we approached the vernal pool, we were amazed and yet puzzled by the surface of the water. This is a phenomenon referred to as ice rippling. Wind passes over the water’s surface and the ripples literally freeze. Usually the ripples run through a cycle of collapsing and refreezing, but these are frozen solid. A true winter wonder!

Our walk, and subsequent conversation, inspired this cinquain of the modern variety  — 2-4-6-8-2 syllable count, no rhyme scheme.

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Photo: Christie Wyman, 2020

My one little word (OLW) for 2020 is “create.” One of my goals for this year is to create poetry in new and different forms. I’ll tick the box next to cinquain!

Many thanks for hosting this week, Carol. Now let’s bring on the poetry and a very happy new year to you all!

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Winter Poem Swap Kindness #PoetryFriday

It’s Poetry Friday and Michelle Kogan is our hostess for this final Poetry Friday roundup of 2019. I hope to see you there! Michelle shares a call to action for the sake of our earth’s climate. We’ve got to act and fast!

I do believe (fibonacci)

In keeping with Michelle’s urgent message, here’s a fib I created for my Kindergarten naturalists. They are the next generation of stewards for the earth, after all.

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For this years’ annual Winter Poem Swap, our wonderful organizer, Tabatha, paired me with none other than herself! She is a truly talented, kind, and generous soul.

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Tabatha knows of my love of all-things-nature. I’ve been wanting to read Gooley’s The Lost Art of Reading Nature’s Signs for some time now, and my goal of nurturing my creative side outside of writing poetry is one step closer with the help of Nature Art Workshop. (Would you believe I instantly thought of Michelle’s stunning artwork as I was thumbing through this? If only!) I’m certain you might see my dabblings here soon!

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And Tabatha’s kindness did not stop there. Inside this wintery folio she had tucked a note, lovely handmade necklace (can’t wait to wear that!), and a poem card featuring her poem, When I Grow Up, I Want to Be a Cat.

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Tabatha knows I am a Kindergarten teacher and when her daughter was my students’ age, she responded ” A cat,” when asked what she wanted to be when she grew up. A purrfect (sorry!) response, don’t you think? I can just hear one of my kiddos saying that and explaining why, as Tabatha does in her poem. I think she captured beautifully the playfulness of a kitten, as well as the moodiness and cat-titude (sorry again!) to come.

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Using Canva, one of my favorite creative go-tos, I thought this sweet image of a kitten was an ideal match for her words. Thank you, Tabatha! I hope you enjoy this wee gesture of thanks.

Many thanks for hosting this week, Michelle. Now let’s bring on the poetry as we crawl towards the new year.

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