Posts Tagged ‘Tamera Will Wissinger’

Slice of Life Day 9.  Join the Two Writing Teachers Slice of Life Challenge.

Slice of Life Day 9. Join the Two Writing Teachers Slice of Life Challenge.

Calling all teacher-nerd-bloggers to join in the DigiLit Sunday Round-up. I will be hosting every Sunday. This is a huge leap of faith on my part, so I am hoping I have some leapers join me this week. Mr. Linky is waiting at the bottom of this post. Link up your own Digital Literacy post. I am still looking for a logo. Any ideas are welcome. This is all new to me.

One of my biggest problems in using the Internet in my classroom is blocking by the district network. I am pleased that YouTube is now available. This is due to the new curriculum our state is using that requires use of YouTube videos. So this week we were able to view a video by Tamera Will Wissinger. She read a poem to us from her book “Gone Fishing.”

A student from another class doing the Slice of Life Challenge wrote about Kid President, so we watched a few of those. I’m sure there are more ways I can use YouTube in my classroom. I welcome your ideas.

Still I run into frustration, especially when we are trying out new apps. I wanted my students to try out Haiku Deck that Kevin Hodgson led me to. When we pulled it up, all the parts worked except the pictures were all blocked. The best part of this app is the beautiful images to choose from. We managed to find a few pictures that would work, but only by trial and error.

Another difficulty we’ve encountered this week was that most blog sites are blocked. Fortunately, the Two Writing Teachers was not, so I could link up our class’s blog to the Classroom Slice of Life Story Challenge, but if the other classes use any site other than Kidblog, the site is blocked. We are able to link up with other slicers through Kidblog.

I am trying to teach my students about fair use of pictures from the Internet. Mary Lee Hahn talked about using the Google Search Tool under Usage Rights: Labeled for reuse. The problem with this is most pictures that are reusable are blocked. I have taught my students that for use in the classroom on projects and PowerPoints, we can use a picture that is not creative commons; however, if they are going to use it on our public blog, it must be an original picture or one for reuse.

I’m sure many of you are running into these kinds of roadblocks and welcome any advice for working around and with them.

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Slice of Life Tuesday

Slice of Life Tuesday

In this wonderful world of blogging, I discover new and exciting writers. This weekend on a visit to Barnes and Noble, I picked up a copy of Gone Fishing by Tamera Will Wissinger. This is the kind of book I wish I had written. Gone Fishing is a verse novel, but not only that; it teaches different poetry forms and literary devices along the way, an elementary writing teacher’s dream text. I also enjoy Tamera’s posts on Poetry Friday at her blog, The Writer’s Whimsey. I used this book to introduce the ode by reading “For the Love of Harold, Best of the Worms.” The illustrations by Matthew Cordell are adorable, too.


From Amy Ludwig VanDerwater at Poem Farm, I am inspired to sketch into poetry. Amy is a much better sketcher than I, but I reminded my students that it’s not about the product, it’s about the thinking time when you are sketching.

And the last source of inspiration for writing odes came from the master himself, Pablo Neruda. I splurged and bought a hard bound copy of Odes to Common Things. I read aloud a number of his odes. From “Ode to a pair of socks:”

    My feet were
    two woolen
    in those outrageous socks,
    two gangly,
    navy-blue sharks
    on a golden thread,
    two giant blackbirds,
    two cannons:
    were my feet

My students loved hearing the rambling praise of something so ordinary. They laughed and called out,”How can he write all that about a pair of socks!”

So, inspired by Tamera, Amy, and Pablo, we sketched and wrote odes. I finally found a way to write about my ankle. I had tendonitis from November to April. I am now able to dance again and go on long walks, so I give praise to my ankle.

foot sketch 2

I never thought before
about the importance of an ankle
joint until pain came,
swelling, annoying,
limping, awkward
twisted shift in stride.
Turning talocrural-
where foot and leg unite,
back and forth fulcrum
functioning fine until
it didn’t.
My ankle wanted to be noticed,
announcing its presence
to gain some appreciation
in my world.
Here I am, said ankle to me,
the most complicated,
intricate joint
in your entire body,
thank me, why don’t you?
See how I dorsiflex
and articulate,
turn the a, b, c,
but can you make it to Z, hah!
Not without me!

Oh, gentle joint,
I love how you roll,
how you stretch and adjust;
you are a fine friend.
I will carry you tenderly,
massage you regularly,
soak you in Epsom salt,
and praise you
when I walk,
You are mine forever.
We are going places,
you and me.

To read some of students’ odes, go to our Slice of Life kidblog site.

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