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Archive for the ‘Chalk-a-bration’ Category

Two Writing Teachers Slice of Life March Challenge

How can you resist a child who says, “I can perform my poem!”

She stood in the front of the room with no inhibitions.  She read her poem with expression.  She filled my teacher heart.

I’ve played the video over and over.  I smile every time.  This child, so full of joy and love and life, wrote a poem.  All she needed was “so much depends upon” then off she went on a ride of rhymes.

So much depends
upon this little girl.
This little girl is so cute.
She puts the TV on mute.
She plays the flute
all the time.
I am a rhyme mime.

by Kaia, 2nd grade

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Poetry Friday round-up is with Carol at Beyond Literacy Link.

 

I love to celebrate birthdays in my classroom.  Last week I asked Dawson what he wanted for his birthday celebration, expecting an answer like cupcakes, and he said, “Chalkabration!”  Dawson’s only experienced one chalkabration, but he loved it.

In order to have a chalkabration, we have to write small poems.  I put 5 different form choices on the board: haiku, 15 words or less, zeno, cinquain, diamante, and acrostic. The topic, of course, was ice and snow since we returned this week from a week hiatus due to an ice storm. More than ever before, my students had the experience needed to write about this topic.

Sometimes, my kids blow me away with their poetry.  Austin was not willing to share in the classroom, but he did chalk his poem.  Austin’s been reading books by Jason Reynolds.  I feel like he channeled Jason in his poem.

In every person, their wounds may be bad.
Cold and solid, you can
Either sit and freeze or wake up and melt.

Austin, 6th grade

 

 

 

Cold winter nights Old melting ice Long icicles hanging from rooftops Dangling from trees are the frozen leaves. by Faith

 

This is my zeno poem. Zeno is a form invented by J Patrick Lewis with a syllable count of 8,4,2,1,4,2,1,4,2,1. Each one syllable rhymes.

Conditions in the clouds above
temperatures of
cold air
low
condensed to form
flutter
flow
tiny icy
crystals
snow

–Margaret Simon

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Find more celebration posts at Ruth’s blog.

I have to thank NCTE for the National Day on Writing as well as all the many posts on #WhyIWrite and my many teacher-writer friends who inspire me every day to make my class a safe place for writers to bloom.

Michelle Haseltine told me she was writing quotes on pencils to give to her students as inspired by Malala’s Magic Pencil. (Her post is here.)  So early Friday morning, I grabbed some fresh pencils and Googled writing quotes.  Each student received a pencil with a quote.  This was such a simple, yet positive way to garner enthusiasm for a special writing day.

Betsy Hubbard posted last minute ideas on the Two Writing Teachers blog early yesterday.  I grabbed the idea of chalkabration!  Years ago, Betsy led a monthly roundup of Chalkabration posts.  The basic idea is writing poetry with sidewalk chalk.  My students were so excited to be able to go outside and chalk their poems.  I made an Animoto video to share.

Here are some of the wonderful fall themed poems my students and I created.

–Margaret Simon Fall Haiku

Fall The holy winter is waiting. Why keep it away when you could bring it in. Winter comes. –Trace, 5th grade

Fall Mysterious Admiring Happening Turning Winter Every Night Fall –Austin, 6th grade

Autumn Summer breeze turned cold. Bright sun into dim moon. Emerald leaves turn amber. Blue skies now dark. –Madison, 4th grade

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NPM2016

Discover. Play. Build.

Ruth Ayres invites us the celebrate each week. Click over to her site Discover. Play. Build. to read more celebrations.

At the beginning of the week, someone noticed that we had filled the reading rocket chart. I put this on the bulletin board way back in August. The goal seemed so high then, 175 books! Each square on the rocket counted for 5 books. Every time a student had read 5 books, he/she could cut out a square and place it on the chart. And here we are with 20 days left of the school year, and the chart is full! This called for a celebration, so I bought Halos and powdered donuts and we had a feast.

reading rocket

My oldest student, Kielan, decided we should have a poetry slam to end our month of poetry. (Next week is testing week.) We watched two videos with appropriate poetry performances. I told them that usually performance poets tackle a social issue. Then I let them go. They formed groups, collaborated, practiced, and performed their poems on Friday. I even got into the act by collaborating with Emily and performing with her. I videoed their performances and plan to make each a DVD to keep.  The only person invited to watch was the janitor, and she was so honored to be there.

This is Tobie and Kaiden’s poem. Everyone was so impressed with these boys that we are encouraging them to enter the talent show.

Eracism

Get up out your chair
you have the power to
do something in this
society

You have the power to
Eracism
Stop the racism start
Eracism
Lower society’s bar try to
Eracism
Laws are changed just because you’re different, try
Eracism
You have the power to
Eracism

Stop
the
Racism
Just because you’re different
Doesn’t mean you should be treated differently
lets try to
ERACISM

Tobie and Kaiden

Friday was also Earth Day, so we grabbed our journals and chalk and wrote Earth Day poems on the sidewalk.

Today is Shakespeare’s 452nd birthday.  In celebration, Michelle Barnes is hosting 5 for Friday on her blog here. 

Here’s my Little Shakespearean 5 word ditty:

The Course of True Love

begins
when the eyes
see

 

 

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Join the Two Writing Teachers blog for March Slice of Life Challenge.

Join the Two Writing Teachers blog for March Slice of Life Challenge.

Chalkabration is a favorite in my class, but we haven’t done it in a while.  This great way to write and share poetry was created by Betsy Hubbard, one of the Two Writing Teachers’ Team.  It usually falls on the last day of the month.  I like to have something special happen on Fridays as a reward for a week of hard work.  My students have been writing every day.  They are reading and working hard, so yesterday I brought in chalk and art paper.

First we had to write poems.  On Michelle Barnes’ site Today’s Little Ditty, she interviewed one of our favorite poets, Amy Ludwig VanDerwater, about her new book Every Day Birds.  Last year we Skyped with Amy on the day she had received the proofs for this book.  We had an exclusive sneak peek at the book.  Amy’s Ditty of the Month Challenge is to write about something small.  (And I just happen to have a treasure box full.)

After we wrote and shared our poems, my students used Sharpie markers to write out their poems on art paper.  Here comes the fun part.  Into a bucket of water, we scraped chalk, placed the paper in and Viola! marbleized paper!  We used Prang Freart Large Drawing Chalk.  

Here is a collection of chalked poems.

Bell by Emily

Bell by Emily

Pencil by Kaiden

Pencil by Kaiden

I Can't Breathe by Kielan

I Can’t Breathe by Kielan

Seashell by Erin

Seashell by Erin

Discover. Play. Build.

Ruth Ayres invites us the celebrate each week. Click over to her site Discover. Play. Build. to read more celebrations.

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Discover. Play. Build.

Ruth Ayres invites us the celebrate each week. Click over to her site Discover. Play. Build. to read more celebrations.

chalk button 14

Fall is in the air…Whew Hoo! Morning temperatures almost require a jacket. Yesterday morning one of my students exclaimed, “It’s freezing!” I laughed. Because after daily temps in the 90’s, the 60’s feel like freezing.

The sugarcane is at its tallest. I drive to school through walls of tall sugarcane. Soon it will be harvested and the fields burned and the scent of sweet smoke will make fall-scented wind.

sugarcane 1

My students love the end of the month Chalkabration time. We pulled out the colorful fall colors and chalked poems. We had been discussing imagery in writing, so I was pleased to see imagery in their writing.

Kielan fall chalk

Chalkabration group

Emily fall poem

Tobie chalking

My husband and I love to dance. Thursday night we actually skipped our dance lesson to go dancing. One of our favorite bands was playing. The night was perfect. The crowd was amazed by the young rubboard player. She was incredible, dancing and playing along in beat with the band.

Chubby Carrier

Chubby Carrier

A shout out to my blogging friend, Holly Mueller. She wrote about her students responding to Malala Yousafzai’s Nobel Peace Prize speech with a hashtag. We watched the speech this week. My students were enthralled. They created hashtags and wrote passionately about her influence.

My hashtag is #inspirational because Malala gives the best advice in my point of view. Here are some of my tough questions and the answers to them. My first question is ”Why should girls go to school?” This is a question that Malala asked. I would say that the answer to this question is: girls should go to school because they should be and hopefully will be treated like every one else in humanity!!! Why do they even need a reason to go to school???? WE GIRLS MATTER!!! –Lani

#TakeALeap

“We have already taken many steps. Now, it is time to take a leap.” Malala believes that we have a done a lot to fight for children’s right to education. She believes that this should be the last time to fight for education. Every child deserves this because we are the next generation in the world and we can’t make it great if we can’t simply go to school to learn. –Vannisa

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Discover. Play. Build.

Ruth Ayres invites us the celebrate each week. Click over to her site Discover. Play. Build. to read more celebrations.

Reach copy
My one little word for 2015 is Reach. I was determined to reach with my writing. Take it to the next level. Well, this week came rejection. I hear from other authors that this is expected, normal, and we must power through, but it sent me into a slump. Because of Ruth’s invitation to celebrate each Saturday, I am climbing back up the tree and reaching out again.

I celebrate dancing! Friday night I’m tired, but I said yes to his invitation to go Cajun dancing. We only danced three songs, but we left smiling.

I celebrate rainbows. This week I’ve seen rainbows on two consecutive mornings on the way to school. One morning I pulled over and took pictures, the rainbow in the west, the glowing sun in the east.

Morning rainbow

Morning rainbow

Sunrise

Sunrise

I celebrate authors I admire. I received a signed copy of Over in the Wetlands, a beautiful book by Caroline Starr Rose about the place I live. She captured the magic of the wetlands, along with the fearful hurricane and the peace and rebirth that follows. She sent bookmarks and stickers for my students. I celebrate making connections with authors.

Over in the Wetlands by Caroline Starr Rose

Over in the Wetlands by Caroline Starr Rose

In the midst of a rough week of state pretesting, I celebrate Chalkabration. We went outside in the South Louisiana heat and chalked up the sidewalks with poetry inspired by Laura Purdie Salas’s book Catch Your Breath: Writing Poignant Poetry.

Chalking poetry

Chalking poetry

 

This invitation to Celebrate each week helps me to see that there is much to rejoice.  Rejection is small.  Reaching is big.  What are you celebrating today?

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