Posts Tagged ‘DigiLit Sunday’

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

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

In Louisiana, the term Lagniappe (pronounced lahn-yahp) means a little something extra. Imagine my surprise when my colleague told me that we start school on Wednesday, not Tuesday. I have a whole extra day of summer! Lagniappe!



Lagniappe is taking a break in the shade when the temperatures rise.

roadside spoonbill

Lagniappe is a roseate spoonbill fishing by the roadside.



Lagniappe is goldfish glittering on top.

name plate

Lagniappe is finding old treasures.

This name plate was a gift from my supervising teacher when I was student teaching. I wasn’t Mrs. Simon yet, but I would be by the time I had my own classroom. This gift meant so much to me. I’d forgotten how much until I found it. I’ve always preferred to be called Mrs. Simon rather than Miss Margaret, as some teachers in the south do. I think this preference stems from my pride in being Mr. Simon’s wife. Our 34th anniversary is this weekend, and we will be dancing the night away.

Lagniappe is the Wonder quote app which speaks to me today.

Lagniappe is the Wonder quote app which speaks to me today.


Read Full Post »

Please use this button on your site for DigiLit Sunday posts

Please use this button on your site for DigiLit Sunday posts

Sky sunburst by Margaret Gibson Simon

Sky sunburst by Margaret Gibson Simon

Happy 2016! I haven’t been diligent about DigiLit Sunday during the holiday, but Tara Smith has set a new resolution and this posting is a part of it. Thanks, Tara, for waking me up with your “Emazing” post about Ralph Fletcher’s book, Making Nonfiction from Scratch.

Many are thinking about resolutions and hopes and dreams for 2016. I am working on my One Little Word. I plan to reveal it commit to it on Tuesday’s Slice of Life post. Last year I introduced the concept of One Little Word to my students. I plan to do this again when we return to school tomorrow. I created an Emaze presentation using Tara’s chart and poetry from Mary Lee Hahn and Ramona Behnke. The lesson worked well. You may use this with your own classes to get them thinking about their OLWs.

Last year we used thesaurus.com to find a word cloud of related words. This was fun for the kids. The Tagxedo app, however, did not work well on our old PCs, so I will likely not try that again. I think I’ll give that task over to the kids and let them choose their own way of illustrating. When I don’t know what to do, I give it back to them. They usually figure it out better than I could have done alone.

Here’s the link to the Emaze: https://www.emaze.com/@AOFLCWZL/one-little-word

Here’s the link up if you are setting a new resolution to participate in this round up. Go for it!

Read Full Post »

Please use this button on your site for DigiLit Sunday posts

Please use this button on your site for DigiLit Sunday posts

At NCTE 2015 a few weeks ago, I attended a session titled “The Power of Passion-Driven Research” including Laurel Snyder, Deb Perryman, Jen Vincent, Kate Messner, LeUyen Pham, and Laura Purdie Salas. Before the conference, I told my students which authors I would likely see, so they could write a letter to their favorite author. My new first grader, Lynzee, wrote to Kate Messner because she had read both Ranger in Time books, Oregon Trail and Rome.

During her response, Kate mentioned Lynzee’s letter. Lynzee wrote, “Your books changed my life. Before I read them, I didn’t know anything about the Oregon trail or Rome!”

Kate’s enthusiasm for Lynzee’s letter touched me. All I had done was put the books into Lynzee’s hands. What power lies in that!

I came back to my students with a renewed enthusiasm for research. One thing I know about gifted kids is they can become hyper-focused on one topic of interest. For Erin, it’s narwhals. She loves fantasy and unicorns, so of course, narwhals, too. She wants to raise money to send to the World Wildlife Fund to get an “Adopt a Narwhal” kit.

For Lani, she can’t get enough of Anne Frank and the Holocaust. And the range of interests are wide. Vannisa is fascinated by sleep. Emily wants to know everything about Pompeii.

This week I talked to my students about writing their own nonfiction book about their passions. We are calling them “Passion Projects.” Using Nancy Bo Flood’s book Water Runs through this Book as a model, we discussed text features. We created a rubric. And now they are on their way to making books of their own.


Some of my students are adding the element of poetry to their projects as Nancy did in her book. Here is Kaiden’s sad poem about elephants.

Shiny Ivory
made into piano keys
Some are lucky and get recovery.
Others get the key to death just lying there
flies swarming around them as they drift away.


I don’t know if this project will change my students’ lives, but I do know that when you go deep into a subject, you remember. I have loved Maine (never been there) all my life because of a project I did in fourth grade. Passions matter. And when we allow our students to follow their passions, great things can happen. Or great books can be written. We’ll see.

If you are writing today about digital literacy, please link up.

Read Full Post »

Use this button created by Leigh Anne Eck to post your Digital Poetry this month.

Use this button created by Leigh Anne Eck to post your Digital Poetry this month.

Please use this button on your site for DigiLit Sunday posts

Please use this button on your site for DigiLit Sunday posts

Lake Martin sunset

Lake Martin sunset

2015ProgressivePoem (1) copy

Today is my turn to add a line to the Kidlit 2015 Progressive Poem. When I volunteered to do this, I chose day 12 knowing that the poem would already have an established meter and theme, and I’d just have to keep it rocking along. This year the poem is free verse which is comfortable to me. It also ended up in the cypress swamp right down the street from me here in South Louisiana. I am posting a few pictures from a fall canoe trip to Lake Martin, St. Martinville, LA, which is a natural bird conservatory and cypress swamp. We can imagine our mermaid here.

Yesterday, Kim gave some grandmotherly advice to our maiden as she glides through the water. I added in my One Little Word and my blog title to complete the metaphorical advice. I was thinking of this photograph by my friend, Marjorie Pierson (cousin to my husband), who is using her fine art photography to promote saving the wetlands. Her image makes dewdrops look like jewels. If you need images to help you when adding your own line, I suggest flipping through the slides on her site.

As I pass this on to Doraine at Dori Reads, I wonder if we will stay in the swamp. Does she have a friend in the trees? Perhaps an egret or a roseate spoonbill? Does she have a friend in an alligator or nutria? I wonder where this poem is going. That is the joy of a progressive poem. You must send her out in the wild like this mermaid.

She lives without a net, walking along the alluvium of the delta.
Shoes swing over her shoulder, on her bare feet stick jeweled flecks of dark mica.

Hands faster than fish swing at the ends of bare brown arms. Her hair flows,
snows in wild wind as she digs in the indigo varnished handbag,

pulls out her grandmother’s oval cuffed bracelet,
strokes the turquoise stones, and steps through the curved doorway.

Tripping on her tail she slips hair first down the slide… splash!
She glides past glossy water hyacinth to shimmer with a school of shad,

listens to the ibises roosting in the trees of the cypress swamp–
an echo of Grandmother’s words, still fresh in her windswept memory.

Born from the oyster, expect the pearl.
Reach for the rainbow reflection on the smallest dewdrop.

Follow the progress below:

1 Jone at Check it Out

2 Joy at Poetry for Kids Joy

3 Heidi at My Juicy Little Universe

4 Laura at Writing the World for Kids

5 Charles at Poetry Time Blog

6 Ramona at Pleasures from the Page

7 Catherine at Catherine Johnson

8 Irene at Live Your Poem

9 Mary Lee at Poetrepository

10 Michelle at Today’s Little Ditty

11 Kim at Flukeprints

12 Margaret at Reflections on the Teche

13 Doraine at DoriReads

14 Renee at No Water River

15 Robyn at Life on the Deckle Edge

16 Ruth at There is No Such Thing as a Godforsaken Town

17 Buffy at Buffy’s Blog

18 Sheila at Sheila Renfro

19 Linda at Teacher Dance

20 Penny at A Penny and her Jots

21 Tara at A Teaching Life

22 Pat at Writer on a Horse

23 Tamera at The Writer’s Whimsy

24 Tricia at The Miss Rumphius Effect

25 Tabatha at The Opposite of indifference

26 Brian at Walk the Walk

27 Jan at Bookseedstudio

28 Amy at The Poem Farm

29 Donna at Mainely Write

30 Matt at Radio, Rhythm & Rhyme

Canoeing through the trees in Lake Martin.

Canoeing through the trees in Lake Martin.

Today is DigiLit Sunday, a link up of blogs using digital literacies in the classroom. If you are joining in for DigiLit Sunday or Digital Poetry, please link up your post below.

Read Full Post »

Please use this button on your site for DigiLit Sunday posts

Please use this button on your site for DigiLit Sunday posts

Join the Chalk-a-bration at Betsy Hubbard's site Teaching Young Writers.

Join the Chalk-a-bration at Betsy Hubbard’s site Teaching Young Writers.

birthday cinquain

My students love Chalkabration Day. (Thanks to Betsy Hubbard for inventing this special way to spread poetry love.) My students chalked the sidewalks on Friday despite the threat of rain. Excited about a long weekend, many of the poems have TGIF as a theme. Kielan wrote a cinquain for her birthday weekend.

summer is here

I loaded the pictures onto Haiku Deck. I am disappointed that some of the pictures were cut off. I also wish that WordPress would support the embedded deck, but you’ll have to follow the link. https://www.haikudeck.com/p/OsZPY37VPe I welcome any other digital ideas for publishing our Chalkabration.

Link up your Digital Literacy post here:

Read Full Post »

Please use this button on your site for DigiLit Sunday posts

Please use this button on your site for DigiLit Sunday posts

I am always on the look out for digital literacy ideas. This week was no exception. Being on spring break allowed me more time to peruse the Internet for ideas to make the end of the school year great. Cathy Mere posted in Choice Literacy about ways to keep students connected over the summer.

  Join the Two Writing Teachers Slice of Life Challenge.

Join the Two Writing Teachers Slice of Life Challenge.

My students post on a kidblog site. They had a good daily writing habit during the Slice of Life Challenge in March. This month we are writing poems. I’ve even had a former student join in. We are working on a collaborative poem in the comments section of her poem, “Ode to a Cat.”


My thinking is I will ask students to post twice a week, once on Mondays about their summer reading. There is a meme at Jen Vincent’s site called “It’s Monday: What are you Reading?” My goal is to participate in that round-up myself and to encourage my students to write a blog post on Mondays about their reading.

Tuesdays will be Slice of Life days as they are at the Two Writing Teachers site. My students know how to write a slice of life. This will keep us up to date in the summer.

I teach the same students year to year, with the exception of students moving and 6th graders moving on to middle school. I want to use this to my advantage. How special for me and my students that we can keep in touch over the summer. They don’t have to know that it’s academically good for them. I plan to build it up as an opportunity. Any ideas on getting the parents on board? They will be the ones who will need to provide the computer time and do the reminding.

Join the Chalk-a-bration over at Teaching Young Writers.

Join the Chalk-a-bration over at Teaching Young Writers.

On the last day of each month, we join in Betsy Hubbard’s Chalk-a-bration. My students love this day. They’ve come to remind me of it each month. What fun for them to take Chalkabration on Vacation! I’ll encourage them to write poems in chalk, take pictures, and text them to me. I can keep up my blog post with their snapshots. The more I think about our summer literacy, the more excited I get.

Cathy Mere also keeps up a Pinterest board for her parents. I am not very active on Pinterest, but maybe this would be a resource I should try. I think I’ll poll the parents to see how many of them use Pinterest.

What are your thoughts about summer digital literacy?

Add your DigiLit Sunday post in Mr. Linky:

Read Full Post »

Please use this button on your site for DigiLit Sunday posts

Please use this button on your site for DigiLit Sunday posts

Church of the Epiphany is surrounded by waving palms.

Church of the Epiphany is surrounded by waving palms.

There is a long history at my church, the Episcopal Church of the Epiphany, of palm cross making. Probably for close to 100 years, we have used palms from nearby Avery Island, home of Tabasco sauce. From the new fronds, we create strips and fold them into crosses. Everyone pins a cross on at the Palm Sunday service. When Katie was four years old, I taught her how to make the crosses. She is now 13. Yesterday, we made a YouTube video of the process. This was testing week, so I did not see my students. For DigiLit Sunday, Katie will be my stand-in.

The day school for Epiphany had a beautiful gala event last night at Avery Island. I took some pictures on the way of the palms growing there.

Palms growing on Avery Island.

Palms growing on Avery Island.

oak and palms

Place your DigiLit Sunday post in Mr. Linky. Thanks to everyone for participating. I will take off next week for Easter Sunday. Check back on Sunday, May 4th.

Read Full Post »