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Posts Tagged ‘The Poem Farm’

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

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

Twenty-eight years of teaching,
Three years in the same classroom,
Relocation notification from B-hall to A-hall.
5,878 steps
Boxes, bins, games,
VCR tapes, cassette tapes,
masking tape, Scotch tape,
scissors, glue,
hot glue gun, glue sticks,
paint, paint, paint, paintbrushes.
Two sets of Encyclopedias!
Books, books, books!
Boxcar Children, Magic Tree House,
Harry Potter (fills a whole box)
Professional books: Aimee Buckner, Ralph Fletcher,
Donalyn Miller, and Georgia Heard.
Yellow, pink, blue sticky notes: thumbs up!
The Easy button,
our sacred writing bell,
pillows, a blanket,
two painted author’s chairs.
Pencils, pens, erasers, markers, crayons,
Letters, cards, “I Love you, Mrs. Simon”
“Your (never you’re) the best teacher ever!”
Mugs, vases, photos,
stories, memories,
voices of many children,
the heart of one teacher.

My poet friend, Amy Ludwig VanDerwater and blogging friend, Kimberley Moran, have teamed up on Sharing our Notebooks to get us ready for summer writing. Head over there and see my post about found/black-out poetry. You are welcome to contribute a Try This as well. Here’s the link to Amy’s Google doc.

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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.

This morning, I’ve been cleaning and doing chores like kitty litter and laundry. My hands smell like bleach. I kinda like the smell, tingly clean, but I should’ve worn gloves. As I swept the kitchen floor, what else was there to do but reflect on my week. Do I really have anything to celebrate? The list got longer and longer.

scbwi logo
The logo for SCBWI is a kite. I set out my kite last weekend. I found out it needs a few repairs, but it may fly one day. I have hope. The Houston conference gave me hope, but I also connected with other writers on this journey and that is what I celebrate today: Connections. I wrote about the conference for Slice of Life Tuesday.

On Tuesday night my husband and I attended a fund raiser for a fairly new nonprofit called the Shining Light Foundation. The organization provides financial assistant to children who have a dream. The event offered a roundup of local Cajun and Zydeco bands. I was particularly taken by a young girl playing the washboard. She has such a natural rhythm and a sense of confidence. I celebrate young talent and passion for going for it.

Chubby Carrier and students

Chubby Carrier and students

This week our gifted sixth graders finished up their project on Wonders of Iberia Parish by painting sets for an original play. Their performance was held at our Gifted by Nature Day for all elementary students, and the three boys that I teach felt proud of the accomplishment. I can see how this experience changed them into confident leaders. I celebrate student leaders.

set painting at WOW

My students continue to enjoy singing poems with Amy Ludwig VanDerwater over at The Poem Farm. Some of them are going to the site on their own between class meetings. One of my groups created their own song this week. See if you can figure out the tune. Here is a matching form from Amy’s site. Like Amy, I will post the Soundcloud tomorrow for you to see if your guess was right.

Written by Matthew, Tyler, Noah, Jacob, and Vannisa

Tree Song

Apples fall from apple trees
Watch out! Watch out!
Syrup comes from maple trees,
Sweet, a sticky mess!

Acorns fall from old oak trees.
Squirrels eat them.
Squirrels and humans both alike
all depend on trees.

All depend on trees,
All depend on trees.
Squirrels and humans both alike
All depend on trees!

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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

Amy Ludwig VanDerwater is doing a unique and fun writing project on her blog, The Poem Farm.  My students are huge fans.  We have been checking in daily to see the new poem, to sing all the match up songs possible, count syllables, then make a guess.  We have recorded our guesses on Soundcloud using my iPhone.

My students have gotten good at this.  They are not in the least bit shy about singing.  This week was mostly filled with more state testing.  So when testing was over, and we finally had uninterrupted time together, they insisted on visiting The Poem Farm.  We read Amy’s poem Memories and after quite a few fails, we decided it was the tune of “London Bridge is Falling Down.”

Day 16 Song - Memories

 

Writing workshop became a frenzy of experimenting with different songs, counting syllables, and writing original poems to the tunes.  I was particularly fond of Emily’s because I helped her with it.  She was writing about stinky feet.  We googled a picture of a labeled shoe to get the proper shoe vocabulary.  I talked to her about how she could personify eyelets.  Finding rhymes was a challenge, too.  (Rhymezone.com helped) I kept trying to describe that reeking of feet as steam. She came up with word vapor.  So we made a near rhyme with vapor and garbage collector.  It worked.  Read the poem first to see if you can guess the tune, then listen to the Soundcloud.  Thank you, Amy VanDerwater for inspiring such creativity and fun.

 

Do your shoes smell bad?
Do your laces stink a tad?
Can the eyelets see the dirt?
If they can, they may avert.
Does the footbed reek and vapor
like the garbage can collector?
Do your shoes smell bad?

by Emily

 

Link up your Digital Literacy posts 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.

I am pleased, honored, amazed to announce that I am the 2014 recipient of the NCTE Donald Graves Award for the teaching of writing. The award will be presented to me on Thursday, Nov. 20th in Washington, D.C. at the Elementary Section Get-Together during the annual convention. Follow this link to see my name in lights and a link to my reflective essay. I owe a huge shout out to all of my blogging friends who have supported me in the development of my teaching philosophy. I am so blessed to be a part of this supportive community.

Minga, my mother-in-law, sent me flowers to celebrate the Donald Graves Award.

Minga, my mother-in-law, sent me flowers to celebrate the Donald Graves Award.

I want to celebrate the outpouring of love and compassion from the kidlit blogosphere in expressing sympathy for my student Emily’s loss of her mother this week. I will be attending the funeral today and sharing with Emily your messages. Amy VanDerwater of The Poem Farm shared a poem yesterday that was inspired by my post about Emily. Emily and I are both touched by this kindness. Visit Amy’s site to read her special poem of empathy.

FOREST COVER

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Discover. Play. Build.

Public domain image

Public domain image


I am celebrating another week of poetry. This was testing week. I had the time (while monitoring a small group of 5th graders) to read and to write. I spent some time with my new favorite poetry book, Gold by Barbara Crooker. A poet-blogger friend recommended it. I love Barbara’s style. I sat with the poem At VCCA, I Hear a Red-Bellied Woodpecker, and Think of Martha Silano. I used the line This morning deliquesces. I had a dictionary nearby, so I looked up deliquesces. Then jumped over to the J’s. I found some great J words: jazz, jay, jettison, joyful.

I love playing with words. Thanks for being a part of my month of ABC’s in poetry.

I wish Storybuilder would appear in WordPress, but you have to click the link to see it.

http://goo.gl/971wHa

Jabber

The blue jay jazzes up to the birdbath
looks left, then right
bobs his head up and down
jettisons oak leaves and pollen curly Qs
lifts his nutcracker beak
to let the water flow down his throat.

I watch from the porthole of my kitchen,
think I should clean it today. This king
of jays shouldn’t have to drink dirty water.
This morning deliquesces, softens edges
of the dark night. I want to join
Mr. Jay making his daily rounds,
here and there, collecting
for his new nest. I would gather
blossoms from the fruit tree,
place their fragrance in your path
to let joyful praise of simple beauty
give your heart wings.

–Margaret Simon, all rights reserved

For this poem, I just wrote. I didn’t change much from the written draft to the typed one. This rarely happens to me. I did play around with the line breaks. I enjoy reading about other poet’s processes. Amy Ludwig VanDerwater shares her process on her site The Poem Farm. At the Two Writing Teachers, Betsy Hubbard shares a process she learned from Georgia Heard. I celebrate being a part of a community that learns together.

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sugarcane 1

Today is Sugarcane Festival Farmer’s Day in New Iberia. I have watched the cane grow all summer. It is over 8 feet tall. Should be a good year!

Sugarcane stalks standing tall,
side by side,
guarding, swaying
swish, swish!

sugarcane 4

Hear the sweetness?
Smell the burning field?
Anticipate the haul-
Slow, slow.

Moving to the mill,
Grind, Grind
Just in time
for Christmas candy canes.
–Margaret Simon

Poetry Friday is being hosted today by Amy at The Poem Farm.

Poetry Friday is being hosted today by Amy at The Poem Farm.

happiness is

Happiness is a new poetry book. Announcing the release of Illuminate, a book of my poems with my father’s drawings. Here’s what others are saying:

Illuminate

“John Gibson, the father and artist, and Margaret Simon, the daughter and poet, have teamed up to communicate the beauty and mystery of the manifestation of God in the world in this small volume. Finely honed lines by both artist and writer will cause readers to ask for more, as the creators of Illuminate have, with light and deft strokes, captured the gift of the Incarnation.” Diane Moore

“In the imaginative, graceful and grace-filled poems of Margaret Simon, we are taken into her experience of faith through a vision that is clear and a voice that is authentic. Each poem, lovingly crafted, is homage to her father’s art and to her God, and resonates with her love of and enchantment with words.” Clare L. Martin, poet and author of Eating the Heart First (Press 53, 2012)

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