Friday, October 19, 2018

Poetry Friday -- Ode to Parent Conferences


Unsplash photo via Chandler Cruttenden


Ode to Parent Conferences

Conferences, you exhaust me.
I spend hours getting ready for you,
gathering work samples,
reviewing notes,
finding the positives amongst the goals to work on.

Conferences, you feed me.
The hours I spend talking with families,
sharing stories,
comparing notes...
you help me find more than enough positives to carry on.

©Mary Lee Hahn, 2018



Brenda has the Poetry Friday roundup at Friendly Fairy Tales.


Friday, October 12, 2018

Poetry Friday -- Autumn Cadenza


Unsplash photo by NordWood Themes

Autumn Cadenza

Oak leaves drift down, a brown rustle.
Crickets are hushed.
Only sound --
plop --
acorns bonk roof.
Steady
drop.
Winter is here
when they
stop.


©Mary Lee Hahn, 2018


This poem is a Zeno, a form invented by J. Patrick Lewis. It has 10 lines with a syllable count that goes 8, 4, 2, 1, 4, 2, 1, 4, 2, 1. The single syllable words rhyme.

I've seen several Zenos in the Poetry Friday Roundup recently, and I thought I'd give it a try. I was inspired by the acorns falling, and I found my rhyming words first. The temperature dropped from the 80s to a morning temperature today in the 40s. On my early morning walk today, the silence was a bit shocking -- no crickets! I'm sure we'll have some more warm weather, but winter has served notice -- she's on her way!

Laura Purdie Salas has the Poetry Friday Roundup this week at Writing the World for Kids.




Thursday, October 04, 2018

Poetry Friday -- The Poetry of US (mine)



Click to enlarge 


Click to enlarge

I'm tickled pink and proud as punch! I also can't wait to dig into the book and read all the poems...but the boxes of books for the Charlotte Huck Award keep coming and coming, so my reading life will not be my own until after NCTE! I'll try to make it around to the roundup this week, but I can't make any promises. :-(

Speaking of the roundup, Tabatha is hosting at The Opposite of Indifference.



Thursday, September 27, 2018

Poetry Friday -- Choosing Teams

Flickr Creative Commons photo by VirtualEyeSee


Choosing Teams

There are owls in the neighborhood now.
Two barred owls wondering,

“Who cooks for you?”

They wake us in the middle of the night.
We worry about the littlest skunk.

The one with white angel wings.

The silent puff of scent who cleans up dropped seed
beneath our bird feeders each dusk.

We are simply spectators in this backyard drama.

Is it bad form to cheer equally
for predator and for prey?


©Mary Lee Hahn, 2018



Howdy! It's good to be back!

I wrote this poem in response to Naomi Shihab Nye's challenge in her Spotlight on Today's Little Ditty. It contains a question I don't need to answer.

Jone has this week's Poetry Friday roundup at Deowriter.


Friday, September 07, 2018

A Good Problem


I'm on the Charlotte Huck Award (for Outstanding Fiction for Children) committee. This is what my basement book shelf looks like:


Several HUGE boxes have already been eliminated, weeded, and donated. Those boxes in front of the shelves and peeking from the bottom right corner are TBR. Total books received so far: +/- 300.

Then this happened yesterday:


I still need to catch up on reading through last week's roundup, but needless to say, I'll be reading books instead of Poetry Friday posts this weekend! Then next weekend is the annual Casting for Recovery Ohio retreat, so I'll be part of the team who pampers the 14 breast cancer survivors with an all expenses paid weekend wellness retreat...where they also learn fly fishing! I've written multiple posts labeled "Casting for Recovery," but this is my favorite.

See you in a couple of weeks! Happy Poetry! Happy Fridays!


Thursday, August 30, 2018

Poetry Friday -- Teaching




TEACHING

I teach,
I watch.
They fall,
I catch.

I lift,
they soar.
I brood,
they hatch.

They spread,
I gather.
I pair,
I match.

I teach,
I watch.
They fall,
I catch.


©Mary Lee Hahn, 2012


An oldie goldie from (how can that be possible?) SIX years ago!

Robyn has the Poetry Friday roundup this week at Life on the Deckle Edge.



Another Must-Read...

...although I feel slightly ridiculous because the contrast between this and the book Franki posted about earlier this week is...um...stunningly contrastful. But I'm going with it.

You MUST read...


My review from Goodreads:

Don't you dare put this in your (class) library without reading it first. Don't get stuck on the knock-knock jokes thinking they are ridiculous childish humor until you see what Pilkey does with them as a plot device. Think hard about the message he gives about a bad character wanting to change. And if you don't tear up when you read p. 216-223, then you just don't even have a heart.

Dav Pilkey is flat out brilliant. I've believed that since the first Captain Underpants books, and I'm not changing my story even though he made me cry at NERD camp.

Read. This. Book.
Read. This. Series.



Sunday, August 26, 2018

So You Want to Talk About Race by Ijeoma Oluo: A MUST-READ!


The book So You Want to Talk About Race by Ijeoma Oluo was recommended to me by a few friends early last spring. I bought it, put it on my shelf and didn't get time to read it until another friend strongly recommended it to me again this summer.  I decided on the audiobook version which I highly recommend. The narrator is fabulous and listening to it in the car gave me chunks of reading at a time with time between to think and reflect. This book took me a bit of time to read--about 6 weeks. And I am so glad I didn't rush it.

This book is one I'd like to buy for everyone I know.  For my husband, my children, my friends and anyone I know who has been thinking about our role in changing things in. our world.  It is packed with information and stories that have helped me better understand issues of race and oppression. The author is incredible at sharing her understanding and she is very aware of the misconceptions and arguments people have about several of the subtopics. I so appreciated her honesty and directness. She is very clear and firm throughout the book and she gave me, as a reader,  knowledge and understanding that changed who I am and helped me realize what I could do differently on a day-to-day basis.  The Table of Contents helps to show some of the things she addresses and some questions that she answers:


This book is written for people who want to do a better job at understanding and acting when it comes to oppression--I don't think you'd pick this book up if you weren't committed to new learning.  I expected to learn from this book, but I really didn't expect for it to include as much as it did or to explain things with such depth. I felt like every 15 minute spurt required that I really stop, dig into my own biases, understandings, and actions, and figure out what each segment meant for me personally.  I liked the combination of information, stories from the author's life and the clear ways that she showed how things that may seem like "small things" are really very big things. This book really helped me better understand the systematic part of systematic racism and oppression.  It also put the few things that I did understand in a context that helped me see it differently I guess.

Ijeoma Oluo also focuses on action and helps us to see what we can and should do in our every day lives to make a difference---to act instead of merely work to understand.  I have read several other articles by the author since finishing this book and I'd buy anything she writes from now on.  She is one of those people that I'd love to hear speak sometime so I will definitely keep an eye on the events page of her website.

This is a must read for sure. So much to think and talk about. I am anxious for others I know to read it so that we can talk through some of the ideas.


Thursday, August 23, 2018

Poetry Friday -- More



The More You Love

The more you love,
the harder you work.

The harder you work,
the more you accomplish.

The more you accomplish,
the greater the expectations.

The greater the expectations,
the more epic the fail.

The more you fail,
the harder you work.

The harder you work,
the more you love.


©Mary Lee Hahn, 2018



(I think this poem might work as a reverso!)

It's the end of the first full week of school, and these first eight days have been filled with love, hard work, and a little bit of fail (not epic...not just yet). Good thing there's always a tomorrow and a next week. We pick ourselves up and try again!


Margaret has the Poetry Friday roundup at Reflections on the Teche.



Wednesday, August 22, 2018

Making Time and Place for Nonfiction: Bat Citizens by Rob Laidlaw


I love discovering great new nonfiction books, especially when a great new book leads me to an author who is new-to-me. Last week I picked up Bat Citizens: Defending the Ninjas of the Night.


First of all, when I think about topics that might engage kids who don't typically read nonfiction, bats seems like a great topic.  And not only is this book about bats but the focus is on the importance of bats in our ecosystems. It is packed with information but it is also packed with information that is connected to a bigger topic which I think is important.

The layout of the pages are inviting. Lots of text on each page along with great photos and supporting facts.  Although there is a lot of text on the page, the font makes it accessible.  There are many supports for readers--a Table of Contents, Headings and Subheadings, captions, a glossary, an index and more. The book is about 48 pages long which seems a perfect length for readers who are moving to longer nonfiction.

My favorite feature of the book is the "Bat Citizen" feature.  Author Rob Laidlaw highlights 10+ bat activists--young people who are doing something to protect and help bats in some way. This is a great feature as it not only highlights kids who are making a difference, it will also help us expand our definition of the word "citizen".

Many of the Bat Citizens are part of the "Bat Squad" and the many resources for kids/by kids on the Bat Conservation International website. Lots of great resources that I'll need to explore more and so much of this connects to our life science unit of study.


As I mentioned early in the post, I immediately checked out the author--Rob Laidlaw-- after I fell in love with this book and he has so many other books that I think my students would enjoy.  He is passionate about protecting animals and shares his knowledge in a way that is perfect for middle grade students. Each book focuses on a topic such as Animal Captivity or Animal Parades. I am considering reading one of these as a read aloud and I am definitely going to check all of his other books out soon. I imagine many will be added to our classroom library and these may be the books that hook some of my students on nonfiction reading.