Posts Tagged ‘Kevin Hodgson’

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Personally I have become very suspicious of news lately.  The skeptic in me is showing.  On social media, I hesitate to click through to a website for fear of ad invasion or some pop-up wanting me to sign up, and then there’s the creepy fact that everything you search becomes part of your history and everyone knows.  I placed an order on Jet.com and for a week, every website I went to popped up a Jet.com ad.  Really? Modern day commercials geared to who some cyberspace robot thinks I am.

How do we protect our children in these times of everything is news, real or fake?  When the topic came up, I originally thought I didn’t need to worry about it.  Our school district has safety blocks in place; however, lots of fake news sites have ways of circumventing these blocks.  And in the name of good research, my students were finding them.  Time for a talk.

Armed with chart paper, I wanted to find out what my students already knew about the difference between fake and real news stories.  Here’s what we came up with.


Then I asked my students to pick a story on the internet that they are interested in investigating and write about their findings.  One student made an interesting discovery when she wanted to find out if Donald Trump supports LGBT rights.  She was confused by the reports and the images of Trump holding an LGBT flag.  Which is true?  In this case, both.  So now we are on to another issue, what do we believe by the actions and the words of a person in politics?  My response was yes, it’s confusing, so write about that!

Kevin Hodgson tweeted a Google slide show that he created for his students.  I plan to show this next week to keep the conversation open.

I don’t have all the answers.   This world of news at our fingertips, real or fake or just plain confusing, can be daunting.  I want my students to be discerning citizens.  So I keep the doors open.  We wonder.  We question.  We look for answers.

Please add your link to the conversation below.

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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.

It's my turn!

It’s my turn!

Today is Saturday, time to celebrate with Ruth Ayres and my fellow bloggers, but first I must stop and post a line to the Progressive Poem, the brainchild of author Irene Latham.  This year’s poem has taken on a pattern.  It rhymes, too, but I am grateful I don’t have to complete a rhyming line.  All I have to do is set up the next stanza.  The pattern of first lines began with Laura’s “A squall of hawk wings stirs the sky.”  Then Penny made the decision to repeat this pattern in “A cast of crabs engraves the sand.”  So all I have to do is fill in the blanks “A __da__ of __de___ __da-da____ ___di___ __doe___.”  Where do we want to go next?  From observing the sky to the ocean we have watched hawks and hummingbirds and crabs.

I have been working with images for my poem a day project.  My friend, Kimberley, in Maine sent me this picture of purple crocuses in her yard wilting in the recent cold snap.  I decided to keep us in the natural world but move into the plant world.

photo by Kimberley Moran

photo by Kimberley Moran

A squall of hawk wings stirs the sky
A hummingbird holds and then hies
If I could fly, I’d choose to be
Sailing through a forest of poet-trees
A cast of crabs engraves the sand
Delighting a child’s outstretched hand
If I could breathe under the sea
I’d dive, I’d dip, I’d dance with glee
A clump of crocuses crave the sun.
In the spirit of poetry and connecting through blogging, Kevin Hodgson left a comment on my abecedarian post yesterday that honored me as a writer, but also honored the entire blogging community.  Thanks, Kevin!
Blog has
Character beyond
Everywhere you write,
For yourself and readers,
Good words chewed like fine food, nourishing
Health and happiness and creative
Just listen to the music of the dance,
Knowing you are invited to
Learn about the world through
Many voices, many stories, many
New ways of seeing the world, always
Open to
Quell your qualms, for writing has
Real value beyond the shape and texture, and
Somewhere, someone will read your words
Though it might seem terribly silent at times,
Until that moment when they write a note that lets you know with
Veracity that your Truth resonates
With their Truth,
eXceeding the notion of one writer/one story;
You are writing the World together, dancing the
Zydeco Write!Kevin
— Cheated at X.


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Unlike my outside plants that are dying from lack of water, my professional learning network (PLN) is healthy and growing. I have been nurturing my PLN this summer. I joined a group of teachers from around the states discussing writing about reading. We started a Voxer group.

I am totally new to Voxer. It’s novel and fun. Voxer is a phone app that acts like a text message or walkie-talkie. Within the conversation, you can leave a voice or text message. I love hearing the voices of my friends as we ruminate about the process of writing about reading. Now that school has started I am able to use this group to bounce ideas off of and to ask for help and guidance.

This week one of my students wrote about the book he was reading. I wasn’t familiar with the book, so I just sent a message in the Voxer group asking for help in analyzing his reader response. The help came immediately and we used Google docs to communicate further about the writing. How cool is that?

With another group, we’ve started a conversation about student blogging. We met yesterday by Google hangout. We are planning to connect students throughout the year using kidblogs. The connections are still in the planning stage. If you’d like to connect your middle grade kids (grades 4th-6th), let me know.

My PLN is becoming a group of friends. I can call on them with any kind of situation with my students. Last week I received many messages of support and love about the death of a former student. This meant so much to me. Kevin Hodgson responded with a poem. He posted this on Twitter.

Kevin Hodgson

Kevin Hodgson

My digital world is healthy and alive. We are working together to make positive choices about our work with kids. Julianne Harmatz is the pro who can connect you with our Voxer conversations. The Twitter hashtag is #WabtR. This is not a closed community. We are open to new friends, new ideas, and new connections.

If you have a digital literacy post, please link below.

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Please use this button on your site for DigiLit Sunday posts

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I never would have expected that I would be thinking about digital literacy this weekend, but here I am in the front yard of my brother-in-law’s house on Capitol Hill in Seattle, Washington connected to the internet. Next to me is my niece focusing on writing essays for medical school applications. My nephew is shopping for ski bindings. My brother-in-law is working on a grant, and his wife is reading Seattle Times on her phone. We are all connected to the world as we connect to each other.

On the Making Learning Connected site, Kevin Hodgson (who is always thinking about digital literacy) invites us to make 6 image memoirs.

This was harder than I thought it would be. I decided to use Haiku Deck. I perused images and tried to pick out ones that reflect my personal life as well as my professional one. They are so interconnected. When I began blogging three years ago, I did not realize just how appropriate my site name is to the purpose of my writing. Reflections on the Teche does not limit me to only writing about teaching or only posting poetry, but I can do both. My memoir includes my active self (teacher, wife, mother) as well as my reflective self.

It is important in this digital age to encourage our students to not only participate, but to also be reflective and thoughtful about purpose.

Click on the link to view my 6 image memoir on haiku deck:

sunset profile

Link up your digital literacy post or your six image memoir.

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Please use this button on your site for DigiLit Sunday posts

Please use this button on your site for DigiLit Sunday posts

I am not a grandmother yet, but this week made me feel old. The CLMOOC make cycle #2 was on making memes. High learning curve for me. For one thing, you must be tuned in to popular culture…not! And another, you had to have something clever to say…another not! So I got a little rebellious and decided that memes were just not for me.


During the week I posted this silly picture of my cat, Mimi. She loves to perch on top of books. This makes her look especially intelligent. My husband made the comment that she was in her literary post. On my Facebook post, Julie Johnson commented that I could make a meme of that. Since Mimi was sitting on top of Donalyn Miller’s books, I created a caption about book whispering. The post only got 5 likes. Needless to say, I don’t think I get this meme thing.

But I do like that I am out there in this digital world taking a dare. Trying to be brave. Trying to be digitally literate. In all honesty, I will not be using memes with my students; they are only elementary age. Then comes this question from the Connected Learning team, “How do we turn the principles of Connected Learning into memes that spread in an educational setting?”

The CLMOOC principles are important for education. See Why Connected Learning. These principles should be spread. Am I responsible for spreading them in my small corner of the universe? As responsible as I am to any principle that I believe in, so whatever I may personally think about memes and my ability to create a clever one, I should find a way to express the principles of Connected Learning.

connected learning tagxedo

Read more about serious memes on Kevin Hodgson’s site and another one from Beth O’Connor.

So Mimi begs the question, “Am I a Meme or a Mimi?” Sorry, just had to have a little pun fun.

Made in WordFoto

Made in WordFoto

Link up your DigiLit Sunday post with Mr. Linky.

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Poetry Friday Round-up is at  Today's Little Ditty.

Poetry Friday Round-up is at Today’s Little Ditty.


For National Poetry Month, Chris Lehman has invited teacher/poets to join together to read, listen, and discuss poetry. Chris posed this question to the group, “Why Poetry?” Inspired by Kevin Hodgson, I tried out Tapestry for my response. Click on the link to view my response.


Earlier in the week, I posted about my writing life responding to fellow blogger/writer Sandra Sarr’s questions. I am From poems have been around for a while and are written in many middle grade classrooms. But I wanted to take a different spin on the I am From and write about where my writing life comes from.

I am from a short story contest in tenth grade.
I won for my row.

I am from Dear Diary, “I want to be a writer
if only someone would give me the confidence.”

I am from “Where is Papa going with that ax?”
to “Blue is cackling something awful this morning.”
from Children’s Literature class to
the National Writing Project Teacher Institute.

I am from retreats, marathons, and critique groups
holding me accountable to find an authentic voice
and make writing a daily practice.

I am from pen to paper,
fingers to keyboard,
opening my veins and bleeding
my words,
trusting them to
the world.

–Margaret Simon, all rights reserved

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Poetry Friday Round-up is at  The Poem Farm.

Poetry Friday Round-up is at The Poem Farm.

Some days don’t go as planned. As you know, I am trying to do a poem a day using ABCs of styles, forms, and techniques. For Day 3, letter C, we got so wrapped up in book talks that we had little time left for writing.

As we reviewed the results of Round 4 on MMPoetry, we found the words for the final round. Incontinent, kerfuffle, confabulation, and defenestrate. After discussion, collaboration led to a haiku using the word defenestration. I showed my students this new app I learned about from Kevin Hodgson and Michelle Haseltine, Notegraphy. It works well for a collaborative haiku.

Defenestration copy

The line lifter lurked on my students’ blogs and left some cool response poems. The kids were so excited that their poems had been hacked! Thanks, Kevin.

Me –
the mold on the wall,
sticks to you like thoughts in your head
that you can’t ever shake loose
or clean with a swipe
or maybe I am more like a poem
that one shares on the Web
which then whispers melodies of meaning in your ear
all day.

– Mr. Hodgson
Sixth Grade Teacher
Norris Elementary School
aka, the line lifter

Kaylie stopped by our class blog and saw no poems using the letter C. That didn’t stop her from contributing. She wrote a beautiful couplet about pelicans.

The pelican flies out towards dawn
Past the orange sunrise and so on

They travel in pairs across the sky
When the bayou has gone bone dry

They long for the feel of the wet on their feathers
The bayou is where their hearts are tethered

The pelican flies out towards dawn
Past the orange sunrise… on and on and on…
–Kaylie, all rights reserved


Please click on over to Caroline Starr Rose’s blog where I am the guest writer. My post is more about anaphora.

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Poetry Friday Round-up is Here!

Poetry Friday Round-up is Here!

Slice of Life Day 7.  Join the Two Writing Teachers Slice of Life Challenge.

Slice of Life Day 6. Join the Two Writing Teachers Slice of Life Challenge.

Watch out! There is a line lifter lurking in the cybersphere. He goes by the odd name of Dogtrax. He’s been reading poems and stealing lines and writing poems of his own. He also went so far as to make a Prezi for his class, as if this is a practice they may want to emulate.

I have to say, in all honesty, that this practice is the highest form of praise for a beginning student writer. My student, Vannesa wrote a poem posted on my blog here. Kevin, aka Dogtrax, wrote this poem in response.

Who comes from words
I come from words
and you come from the punctuation
at the end of my words
where we can both pause for a second
to think about what I meant to say
when I was writing words
and you were reading them.


Just a few days ago, my former student, Kaylie, joined our class Slice Of Life Challenge blog and posted this fabulous poem inspired by my mother-in-law’s visit last year. Kevin strikes again.

The sun climbs the earth again
feet dragging along the hillsides of my youth
and I wave farewell to the moon and the stars
and the constellations that were stories of my dreams
in order to embrace the warmth of the sun
and welcome the day.

–Mr. Hodgson
Sixth Grade Teacher
Southampton, Massachusetts USA

I find Kevin’s practices on the Internet inspiring. He posted a Haiku Deck poem recently, so I tried my hand at it also. WordPress is not supporting the embed code, so I made the slides into images to post here. This is a haiku version of a poem I wrote for Laura Shovan’s Pantone Poetry Project on Author Amok. (Today is her last day, so sad. It’s been a fun month.)

Created with Haiku Deck, the free presentation app

Today is Poetry Friday and I am celebrating my 300th post! (Throws confetti!) The round-up will be gathered my Mr. Linky. Please come back often to read and comment. As one of my students said today, “Comments are fluffy!”

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