Thursday, January 16, 2020

Poetry Friday -- Schooled

foggy view of the sheep farm by our school

It was foggy yesterday.
On my early morning walk,
I considered ways to describe fog.
None were new:
it shrouds and blankets and conceals,
it muffles and oozes,
smooth and thick.
Of course it sneaks,
famously tiptoeing.
It is pensive, introverted,
secretive, and calming.

Later, I asked my students to describe fog.
Suddenly, fog was new again:
clouds too lazy to float,
earth auditioning for a scary movie,
floating water,
clouds coming down to say hi.

At that moment,
I was the fog
and they were the sun,
illuminating new ways
to see the world.

©Mary Lee Hahn, 2020

Catherine has the Poetry Friday roundup this week at Reading to the Core.

Thursday, January 02, 2020

Poetry Friday for A New Year

This gapingvoid graphic.

This podcast review of Auld Lang Syne by John Green, for all the AKR fans out there. (Grab a hankie before you listen...)

This New Year poem by Barbara Crooker.

And this book...

16 Words: William Carlos Williams & "The Red Wheelbarrow" 
by Lisa Rogers
illustrated by Chuck Groenink
Schwartz & Wade (September 24, 2019)

This is a book about how we write poetry every moment we're alive, awake, and aware. It's also a book about how to read poetry. How to imagine into a poem everything that shapes 16 words into an entire world.

Now it's time to CONTINUE over to Carol's Corner for an inspirational poem by Maya Angelou and this week's Poetry Friday roundup.

Friday, December 27, 2019

Poetry Friday: Thanks

THANKS by W.S. Merwin
This poem starts out easy, but it gets complicated real quick. Kind of like life. In her commentary, Tracy K. Smith says of the poem,"It insists upon a fierce form of moral reckoning."

Nonetheless, I'm giving thanks for YOU, as well as for every bit of this complicated messy achingly beautiful world. Listen to the podcast and read the whole poem here.

Thanks, also, for Michelle Kogan's POWER filled Poetry Friday Roundup. The last roundup of the year. I almost missed this one...what day is it today? Lookie there! It's Friday!!

The January - June 2020 roundup list is in our sidebar for the grabbing (or message me and I'll send you the code) and on the Kidlitosphere website.

Friday, December 20, 2019

Poetry Friday -- The Power of Short Writing

I found this great article that reminded me about the power of short writing. SHORT writing seemed like just the thing for this past SHORT week and its potentially SHORT attention spans. It was also a good way to keep working on one of my main goals as a teacher of writing -- I want my students to be fluent as writers. I want them to be able to get an idea and run with it, to take risks, to get words on the page...and then go back and make those words communicate more clearly and effectively.

We started the week by writing 50 word summaries of the read aloud we finished last week, Indian No More by Charlene Willing Mcmanis.

I think JC did a great job with her summary! She is an EL who has only been in the US (from Hong Kong) for five months.

I love GP's themes, especially, "No matter what road you get, you still have to drive." I'm thinking he's heard that one at home!

This one is my favorite. HM clearly has some challenges with his writing conventions, but his thinking is SO intact. He found some sketches of butterfly chrysalises in his writer's notebook, from back in the fall when we watched caterpillars grow and change. He drew them on his paper, but I wouldn't let him get away with randomness. I told him he had to connect them to the story. And he did. He so did. The butterfly stage represents the family's happiness on the reservation. The pupa stage represents their sadness and struggles. But after the pupa stage comes another butterfly, so they WILL be happy again. And "they will always stay Indian."

After our 50 word summaries, we went on to Get Curious -- Encyclopedia Edition. I gave each child (or pair) one volume of our classroom set of encyclopedias. The assignment was to 1. Browse, 2. Get Curious, 3. Take Notes, 4. Write a haiku. Here's one by ZA about Kimchi.

Kimchi’s important
It is traditionally
Used in Korea


Next, we did Get Curious -- NewsELA Edition. JW read articles about the impeachment process (mouths of babes, my friends...mouths of babes), and JF read about the tourists who were killed by a volcano in New Zealand.

Donald Trump is bad.
Donald Trump should be Impeached.
Donald Trump is bad.


14 die on New Zealand’s White Island During Volcanic Eruption

December 9th
The blast left 30 people hurt
Words were things like help


Here's to SHORT WRITING on almost the SHORTEST DAY of the year! Buffy is hosting the "Almost Solstice" edition of the Poetry Friday Roundup today.

Wednesday, December 18, 2019

Teaching is hard.

Teaching is hard. No, wait. Let me rephrase that. Raising up twenty-seven 10- and 11-year-olds to be kind, responsible citizens is hard. Doing that makes adding and subtracting fractions with common denominators look like a piece of cake.

We make mistakes. (At least I do.) But hopefully, we also reflect, and talk to our unpaid counselors (brother, husband, friends), and come back the next day ready to do a better job.

This is year 36 for my tradition of making cookies for my class to decorate. And this year, I made the mistake of holding cooking decorating over their heads as if it is a reward for good behavior.

And it's not.

And it never has been.

Cookie decorating is a gift I give to my students. It's a gift of my talents and my heart. It has always been and always should be given with joy and love.

Like a parent, I must compartmentalize my disapproval of and frustration with a child's behavior, and my love for the child as a growing, learning young human. As an adult, I must model for my students how to criticize constructively while loving unconditionally.

I'll stop there, because I need to go iron my Pajama Day pajamas and get to work.

Thursday, December 12, 2019

Poetry Friday -- The Grace of the World

Vermont, 2015

The Peace of Wild Things
by Wendell Berry

When despair for the world grows in me
and I wake in the night at the least sound
in fear of what my life and my children’s lives may be,
I go and lie down where the wood drake
rests in his beauty on the water, and the great heron feeds.
I come into the peace of wild things
who do not tax their lives with forethought
of grief.

(read the rest here, and take a few moments to listen to him reading the poem)

Impeachment, global warming, violence, mass extinctions, greedy corporations. But also Greta Thunberg...and art that has lasted 44,000 years...and the peace of wild things. These all give me some kind of hope for some kind of future. Plus, for the short term, we've got a Poetry Friday Roundup Schedule for January-June 2020!

For the even shorter term, head over to Liz Steinglass' blog right now for this week's Poetry Friday Roundup!

Wednesday, December 11, 2019

Imagine That!

Here are two books that will inspire children to use their imaginations.

What's Your Favorite Food?
by Eric Carle and Friends
Henry Holt and Co., 2019
library copy

Each illustrator chose a favorite food, wrote a little about it, and illustrated it in his/her own unique way. Not only is it fun to see which of OUR favorite foods are THEIR favorite foods, we get to see (in the illustrator bios in the back) each of the illustrators as a child! Yes, their bio photos are of themselves as children. Lookie there! Kids that look like YOU who grew up to become famous illustrators! Imagine that!

It Began With a Page: How Gyo Fujikawa Drew the Way
by Kyo Maclear
illustrated by Julie Morstad
HarperCollins, 2019
library copy

Gyo Fujikawa's life as an artist intersected with historical events that shaped who she was and what she believed about her art. In this picture book biography, we see her drawing from a very young age, then, after high school, attending art school in the mid-1920's on scholarship. She worked for Disney in the early 1940's, saw her family sent to internment camps during the war, witnessed the beginnings of the Civil Rights Movement. In the early 1060s, she submitted her groundbreaking book illustrated with multiracial characters and didn't back down when the publisher said children of different races should not be in the same book. It is thanks to her (and other bookmakers such as Ezra Jack Keats) that all kinds of kids can see characters who look like them in more picture books than ever. Imagine that!

Saturday, December 07, 2019

Poetry Friday -- Advice

Unsplash photo by Joel Muniz

Be kind to yourself. 
Empty your bucket and then... 
be kind to yourself.

©Mary Lee Hahn, 2019

"Never be afraid 
of showing someone you love 
a draft of yourself."

(from the author's note in EVERYONE BRAVE IS FORGIVEN by Chris Cleave)

I'm sure I'm not the only one whose bucket is or has been empty. These #haikuforkindness are a reminder that we need to take care of ourselves. There can be no #haikuforjustice if we don't put the oxygen mask on ourselves first.

Tanita has the Poetry Friday roundup at [fiction, instead of lies].

Thursday, November 28, 2019

Giving Thanks for Poetry Friday!

Thanku: Poems of Gratitude inspired my Thanku/Haiku-a-Day this month. I managed to get November 1-15 onto Twitter, and I'm back on Twitter with November 26-30. Here are the ones that were written, but never made it to Twitter!

Deer in the headlights.
Same spot: hawk swoops low with prey.
Blessings from the wild.

Step, step...mind elsewhere... step...PANIC!
Floor, meet hands and knees.

Antiques Roadshow was a splurge
and I'll pay for it.

Final Prep Thanku
two days of sub plans
hours and hours and hours of work
then just walk away

Travel Day Thanku
For the traffic jam
NOT on our side of the road --
relieved gratitude.

Award Selection Day Thanku
A day of hard work:
laughter, talk, perspectives shared.
Not just the books won.

Presentation Day Thanku
Bad sleep, up early,
back-to-back schedule ready.
Right now--calm. Quiet.

Almost the End of Conference Thanku
complete exhaustion
sleep wraps you in its blanket
cradles you gently

Driving Home Thanku
Ridge top silhouette--
bare November trees, silo.
Evening sky--one star.

Words Spoken Upon Releasing Into the Garden the Spider I Captured on My Office Wall
Dear Tiny Spider,
Life has infinite value.
For yours, I give thanks.

Bridget Magee at Wee Words For Wee Ones has the Poetry Friday Roundup all the way from Switzerland this week! I'm EXTRA glad to be back after my longest absence ever.

The call for roundup hosts for Poetry Fridays January 2020-June 2020 is also ready for dates to be claimed!

Poetry Friday -- Call for Hosts

It's that time again. Six months have passed since last we queued up to host the Poetry Friday roundups.

If you'd like to host a roundup between January and June 2020, leave your choice(s) of date(s) in the comments. I'll update regularly to make it easier to see which dates have been claimed.

What is the Poetry Friday roundup? A gathering of links to posts featuring original or shared poems, or reviews of poetry books. A carnival of poetry posts. Here is an explanation that Rene LaTulippe shared on her blog, No Water River, and here is an article Susan Thomsen wrote for the Poetry Foundation.

Who can do the Poetry Friday roundup? Anyone who is willing to gather the links in some way, shape, or form (Mr. Linky, "old school" in the comments-->annotated in the post, or ???) on the Friday of your choice. If you are new to the Poetry Friday community, jump right in, but perhaps choose a date later on so that we can spend some time getting to know each other.

How do you do a Poetry Friday roundup? If you're not sure, stick around for a couple of weeks and watch...and learn! One thing we're finding out is that folks who schedule their posts, or who live in a different time zone than you, appreciate it when the roundup post goes live sometime on Thursday.

How do I get the code for the PF Roundup Schedule for the sidebar of my blog? You can grab the list from the sidebar here at A Year of Reading, or I'd be happy to send it to you if you leave me your email address. You can always find the schedule on the Kidlitosphere Central webpage.

Why would I do a Poetry Friday Roundup? Community, community, community. It's like hosting a poetry party on your blog!

And now for the where and when:

3    Carol at Carol's Corner
10  Sally at Sally Murphy
17  Catherine at Reading to the Core
24  Kat at Kathryn Apel
31  Jone at Deowriter

7    Laura at Writing the World for Kids
14  Linda B. at TeacherDance
21  Cheriee at Library Matters
28  Karen at Karen Edmisten*

6    Rebecca at Sloth Reads
13  Matt at Radio, Rhythm & Rhyme
20  Michelle at Michelle Kogan
27  Tabatha at The Opposite of Indifference

3    Heidi at my juicy little universe
10  Amy at The Poem Farm
17  Molly at Nix the Comfort Zone
24  Christie at Wondering and Wandering

1   Liz at Elizabeth Steinglass
8   Michelle at Today's Little Ditty
15 Jama at Jama's Alphabet Soup
22 Linda at A Word Edgewise
29 Mary Lee at A Year of Reading

5   Margaret at Reflections on the Teche
12 Irene at Live Your Poem
19 Tricia at The Miss Rumphius Effect
26 Karen at Karen's Got a Blog!