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Posts Tagged ‘starling murmurations’

Find more Poetry Friday at Today's Little Ditty with Michelle H Barnes.

Find more Poetry Friday at Today’s Little Ditty with Michelle H Barnes.

Migrating starlings, over the southern Israeli village of Tidhar, on February 12, 2014. (AP Photo/Oded Balilty)

Migrating starlings, over the southern Israeli village of Tidhar, on February 12, 2014. (AP Photo/Oded Balilty)

My students were mesmerized this week by the Wonder of the Week, Starling Murmurations. As I often do with these Wonder lessons, I asked them to choose 4 of the Wonder Words. Then we watched the video, looked at The Atlantic site, and selected a picture to write to. The above image was selected by Erin. Erin is a third grader. She has a confidence about her that I wish I had. She sat writing her poem and told me, “I am writing a staircase poem.”

“What is a staircase poem?”

“Look at the lines. They look like the steps on a staircase.”

I think Erin just created her own form.

Erin's journal

Ready, set, fly,
One bird takes flight,
another one and another one
until there’s a million in the sky
making an illusion of love as one goes by
washing over me.
Come along and see.
To believe is the key.
The key is to believe.
So graceful and startling,
a routine with meaning. Just
believe and you will see that anything
can be beautiful if you just put love into it.

–Erin, 3rd grade

I showed my students my poem movie from Spiritual Thursday. (You can see the post here.) I made the suggestion that they make a poem movie with their starling zenos. Some of my students are loving J. Patrick Lewis’s new form. A zeno is a great form for writing nonfiction poems. Enjoy these poem movies made using Animoto.

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Please use this button on your site for DigiLit Sunday posts

Welcome to DigiLit Sunday. Please consider joining in the roundup by posting a Digital Literacy post and linking up with Mr. Linky.

I am working on framing my daily language lessons for my gifted students in grades 5 and 6 using WONDER. Here is a form for creating your own Wonder lesson. Wonder template for ELA (2) This framework will lead my students to explore Wonderopolis, an amazing educational site, as well as help them respond to real-world content. These frames are aligned to the Common Core Standards and use pre-AP skills.

I worked on the Thinglink Teacher Challenge this summer. I wanted to put my Wonder framework into a Thinglink image. I used Starling Murmurations as the Wonder for this experiment. I also tried PollDaddy to embed two polls, one for a definition and one for a question. I put in links with each of the Wonder activities. These activities include

  • W- Exploring the wonder
  • O- What is your opinion?
  • N- Notes, find words of awe and wonder
  • D- Define phenomenon
  • E- On Tapestry, rewrite phrases to create a logical sentence.
  • R- Response to reading: Summarize and article.

Here is the link to Thinglink: 

Have you ever wondered about Starling Murmurations?

Have you ever wondered about Starling Murmurations?

I wonder if Thinglink will make the work of Wonder more motivating or more time-consuming.  Will Thinglink be a useful tool in my classroom or not worth the time it takes me to create one?  All this remains to be seen as I begin working with my students this year.  All in all, trying new applications is challenging and fun, so I hope my excitement translates to the children.

What new technology will you try this year?  Don’t forget to link up.

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Slice of Life Day 30.  Join the Two Writing Teachers Slice of Life Challenge.

Slice of Life Day 30. Join the Two Writing Teachers Slice of Life Challenge.

Please use this button on your site for DigiLit Sunday posts

Please use this button on your site for DigiLit Sunday posts

Do you YouTube? I was pleased when our district opened the site this year. We are using a new Common Core Standards aligned curriculum that depends on YouTube videos for instruction. This can be a dangerous thing. Especially when you forget that restrictions have been lifted and allow students to look up a Christina Aguilera song. Whoopsie! Naked woman! Click off! Yes, this happened, but thankfully no body parts were revealed and the kids all understood that it was inappropriate for school. Whew! Try again.

Now I am very cautious and preview whatever we watch. This week a friend on Facebook posted an amazing video of starling murmurations. Amazing! We watched this to have a brain vacation, as one of my students called it. This was almost a spiritual experience, such beauty, a miracle shared. Shortly after our brain vacation, we wrote nonfiction rhyming poems. I used Laura Purdie Salas’ lesson from Teaching Authors. This was a collaborative piece that Kaylie and Matthew wrote.

Starling Birds

Mesmerizing clouds of iridescence

Inky black plumage of brilliance

Dark plump birds in coexistence

Nature’s way of perfect balance

–a collaborative poem by Kaylie and Matthew

Please link up your Digital Literacy post today.

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