Sunday, May 31, 2015

May Mosaic

Row 1: Hard to believe the blooming time is long gone already! And one month later, the Land Lab is now in desperate need of another big weeding.
Picture #4 is a joke -- Teacher Appreciation gift of hand sanitizer arrived on the same day as a notice to parents that there had been a case of pinkeye in my class. Ah, the joys of teaching!

Row 2: Food for Thought at Old Worthington Library was Dan the Baker. Yum.
"Beets, With a Side of Maple and Oak"
Race for the Cure, Columbus Downtown on Race Day

Row 3: Fox in the Snow (locals, if you haven't been there -- GO!)
My gerbera daisy bloom looked like it had cellophane on it. When I transplanted it, I clipped the bloom off and looked at it up close in sunlight -- tiny tiny spiders had built a web that encased the entire bloom!

Row 4: Last picture row 3 and first picture row 4 -- tartines from Dan the Baker's Toast Bar. (Again, locals, if you haven't been -- GO!)
Rafael Rosado and John Novak at Cover to Cover for Dragons Beware.

Row 5: Rosado signing and drawing.
Jeni's is back! YAY! I had popcorn ice cream. YUM!
Iris in the sun.

Row 6: Will in the sun.
3 Bean Salad (Summer is officially here.)

Row 7: The sore throat that felt like I was swallowing razor blades was a virus, not strep, but this sign at the Urgent Care was almost worth it. Almost. "Unattended children will be given an espresso and a free puppy."
Oh, JOY! ARC of Selznik's new book!
Spotted the work of Sam Fout, our art teacher, in the real world at Rivet Gallery in the Short North.
Mini veggies at Kroger -- quarter-sized squash and finger-length zucchini. Why?

The photos in this mosaic are on Flickr here if you want to see them bigger.

Saturday, May 30, 2015

All About Them Books

This darling video by a librarian in Worthington says it all!

And may I just add, how am I supposed to get any work done when THIS showed up in yesterday's mail:

Friday, May 29, 2015

Poetry Friday -- Probably Not Poetry, But a Darn Cute Rhyming Book

What This Story Needs is a Pig in a Wig
by Emma J. Virj√°n
Harper, 2015
review copy provided by the publisher

So many rhyming animals (up to and including a panda in a blouse) join the pig on her boat that she finally sends them all away, which leaves her blissfully, and then forlornly, alone. Until...surprise ending!

A book with not too many words needs to have interesting pictures that help the reader and add to the story, like when the goat on the log performs a balancing act, or when the rat trades its top hat for a swimming cap when pig sends them all off the boat. And not only does this book have a pig in a wig, it has lots of hidden pig snout shapes to look for.

This book is kid-tested and kid-approved. With no prompting, kindergarteners began rhyming along with the book (although they did have to ask what a blouse was). And they loved the author's picture (she's wearing a drawn-on red wig and a pig nose).

Looking forward to more books in this fun series!

Margaret has the Poetry Friday roundup today at Reflections on the Teche. Next week we'll start building the July-December schedule!

Thursday, May 28, 2015

Photos Framed

Photos Framed: A Fresh Look at the World's Most Memorable Photographs
by Ruth Thomson
Candlewick Press, 2014
review copy provided by the publisher
"When photography began, it was an elaborate, expensive, time-consuming, elite activity, using heavy, cumbersome equipment. Today, taking photographs can be instant, cheap, and accessible to anyone. Despite the enormous changes in photographic equipment and technology since the nineteenth century, the purposes of photography have remained essentially the same, whether immortalizing, exploring, documenting, revealing, or showing us what we can't see with the naked eye." -- from the introduction of Photos Framed
It's amazing, isn't it, that in less than 200 years, photography has become a universal art form? Children can take photographs before they have learned to hold a crayon. I think I can confidently say that every student in my class has taken a photograph. And because of that, I can't wait to share this book with them and dig into the history of photography and the art of photography.

Photos Framed is divided into four sections: Portrait photography, Nature photography, Photography as art, and Documentary photography. Each of the sections features examples from the 18th through the 21st Centuries. And each of the photographs is explored in the same ways: there is a section of text describing and discussing the photograph, a section that tells about the photographer, three questions ("Photo thoughts") for the reader/viewer to consider, a sidebar ("Blow Up") that features one tiny bit of the photo and a question to consider, and another sidebar ("Zoom In") that helps the viewer to consider the photo as a whole. Finally, there is a quote from the photographer that accompanies the photo.

I'm thrilled to see that there are multiple copies of this book available in our metro library system. I am imagining a whole-class study of this book in the first weeks of school which would lay the groundwork for students to build a photographic/visual portfolio alongside their digital portfolio/notebook (folder in their Google drive) and their pencil/paper writer's note/sketchbook.

Writing that last convoluted sentence made me realize that there just about isn't such a thing as a plain and simple Writer's Notebook anymore. All of these digital and non-digital spaces need to be developed to provide students with opportunities to capture and hold creations of all kinds at all stages of the process.  Maybe it really is time to stop calling it Writers' Workshop and call it Composing Workshop.

Hmm...the wheels are turning...

Wednesday, May 27, 2015

Digital Reading

Last week, Digital Reading: What's Essential in Grades 3-8 was published by NCTE.  This book is a book I co-authored with Bill Bass.  It has been a long process with a lot of great learning along the way. Our editor Cathy Fleischer really pushed us as learners and writers, so it was a great process. We were able to really dig in and think through our beliefs about reading and how it is changing in this digital age. It is fun to see the book finally be released into the world.   We have lots of voices from classroom teachers in the book--people we learn from and with every day. We listed the contributors in our NCTE blog post -great people to follow if you are thinking about digital reading!

It has been fun chatting with others about the topic since the book's release.  Earlier this month, NCTE asked us to host #nctechat around Reading in the Digital Age. It was a great chat. If you missed it, you can read the archives here.

The book is part of the PIP imprint and there is another book in this particular series that you'll want to check out. Troy Hicks and Kristen Turner just released Connected Reading:  Teaching Adolescent Readers in a Digital World. We had many thought-provoking chats during the writing of our books and we are excited that their book is out in the world now!  You can listen to Troy and Kristen talk about their new book on Education Talk Radio.  They have also created an amazing wiki that goes along with their book.

 Kristin Ziemke posted on the Nerdy Book Club blog about the topic. It was an amazing post and is in line with our thinking about reading in the digital age.

Digital Literacy is a topic we care deeply about and will continue to think about and learn about. 

Tuesday, May 26, 2015

A Week Full of Reading Celebrations!

We have 6 days of school left. It is hard to believe that the school year is ending.  Last week, I looked at my camera roll and realized that the last full week of school, in many ways served as a celebration of our reading.  

On Thursday, we had a FABULOUS Skype visit with Liesl Shurtliff.  Rump was our last read aloud of the year and it was FABULOUS! Kids loved it and many have added Jack to their summer reading list already!

Irma asks Liesl Shurtliff a question about Rump.

On Friday, we had our last "Books and Breakfast". It was a full house with 15 students coming to school early to enjoy donuts and discussion about the first book in a new series by Bruce Hale--The Big Bad Detective Agency.  The kids loved this book and have enjoyed the 6 Books and Breakfasts we've had throughout the year. 

Our Last Books and Breakfast of the year!

On Friday, we had an All-Day Read in our classroom (every 3rd grade classroom did!). It was pretty low-key --something kids have been asking for for months. We talked about the joy of a full day for reading and kids started to think about books they'd bring from home.  That morning, some kids brought in bags of books--favorites from their home reading life. They reread these and shared them with friends. 

Kids brought in bags of favorite books for the All Day Read!

The day before the All-Day-Read, we decided to pull some books that we'd loved this year to put out so they could be easily reread during the All-Day-Read. For the last 30 minutes of the day, there was a whirlwind of favorite books being pulled. I overheard lots of, "Oh, remember this one? We loved it!" as they rediscovered books from earlier in the year.  

Some of our favorite books of the year.

Some of our favorite books of the year.

One of my own personal celebrations happened last week in the midst of reading workshop. A few kids were choosing new books when one of my past students came in to get a book.  I have a few students who stop down frequently to grab a book they know I have, ask for book recommendations or just browse.  What was fun about this visit was how she just became part of the conversation already happening at the bookshelf where kids were sharing books as they browsed.  Love how even though these kids didn't know each other, they trusted each other about books just by standing together browsing:-)

I love reflecting during these last weeks of the school year and I love how naturally things happen around reading at this time of year.  I am going to miss this community of readers but  I am enjoying sitting back and watching them interact these last few weeks, hoping that this feeling they have as readers stays with them.

Monday, May 25, 2015

Math Monday -- In Which the Lesson Doesn't Go As Planned...And is a Success

It's Math Monday! 
for the Math Monday link up!

We were going to begin a big estimation problem (How Many Books Are There in Ms. Hahn's Classroom?), so I chose my math workshop opener from Estimation 180 -- days 28-30, a sequence of toilet paper estimations. I knew exactly what I wanted to get out of this opener, and I expected it to be quick.

What I didn't expect what that my students would get mired down in a dis-remembering of what exactly perimeter, area, and volume are, and why the square footage fact we jotted down from the packaging shown in the answer of day 28 could not be used as the total length of the toilet paper on the roll on day 30. Maybe it's because we were talking about squares of toilet paper that their brains convinced them that square feet would be okay as a unit of length.

I let them struggle through misconceptions like squares and cubes are the same and you use 3D measurement for square feet. It was one student's tentative sharing of a rhyme she learned at her old school, "Perimeter goes around, but area covers the ground" that finally turned the tide away from the confident assertion of another student that square feet is a measure of length. You should have seen the lightbulbs go off above the heads. Boom. They had it back. Area is LxW (2D), volume is LxWxH (3D), and perimeter is S+S+S... (a measurement of length). Whew.

I've written often about the difference between leading the learning and following the learning. The importance of following is something I have to remember over and over again.

Friday, May 22, 2015

Poetry Friday

Flickr Creative Commons Photo by Sarah Browning


Just when the story's getting good,
I must close the book and return it
to the rightful owner.

I have marked up the text a bit:
underlined key phrases,
jotted notes in the margins.

I've dogeared some pages,
left smears of optimism,
streaked whole paragraphs with my tears,

slept with the book under my pillow,
taken it with me everywhere,
thrown it at the wall in frustration (on more than one occasion).

You'd think by now I would have learned to live
with never knowing the ends of these stories.
I have not.

©Mary Lee Hahn, 2015

There are just a few more days of school left, and I am getting ready to say goodbye, in most cases forever, to the people who have been my life for the past 9 months -- this crazy, quirky bunch of students who bloomed late, but bloomed GLORIOUSLY.

Matt has the Poetry Friday Roundup at Radio, Rhythm & Rhyme.

Tuesday, May 19, 2015

Dragons Beware!

Dragons Beware!
by Jorge Aguirre and Rafael Rosado
First Second, May 12, 2015
review copy purchased for my classroom library

Claudette is relentless. She has not given up on becoming a warrior. Her little brother, Gaston, is equally single-minded. He HAS given up his dream of becoming a chef until he can become as good a blacksmith as his father and/or do something that will make his father proud.

When the flying gargoyles attempt to attack their village, Claudette and Gaston's father, Augustine, and his sidekick Zubair set off to get Augustine's sword Breaker from the belly of the dragon Azra so they can defeat the evil Grombach, who is sending the gargoyle army.

Knowing that Claudette and Gaston will try to come along, Augustine leaves them locked in the tower with Marie. Guess how long that lasts?

Here's how our heroes are armed to defeat a dragon and an evil...grandfather (you'll have to read the book to get the back story on that plot twist): Claudette's stumpy little sword seems to have some magic, and she is not at all lacking in bravery. Gaston is encouraged by Hag (a character I'm pretty sure we'll meet again in book 3),
"Don't turn your back on a talent, Boy. Lots of folks spend their whole lives looking for something their good at."
as she presses a book of spells into his hands. "Casting spells is like learning a recipe. Like cooking."And Marie has been learning about diplomacy.

I loved the first book, Giant's Beware!, but I love this book even more. I can't wait to hear Rafael Rosado (artist) and John Novak (colorist) speak at Cover to Cover on Saturday, May 23 from 2-3:30. See you there!

Monday, May 18, 2015

Math Monday -- Pans of Brownies

It's Math Monday! 
for the Math Monday link up!

Dividing whole numbers by unit fractions and unit fractions by whole numbers are 5th grade standards.  (CCSS.MATH.CONTENT.5.NF.B.7)

I've never taught division of fractions, but when you are struggling to understand something yourself, you often do a better job explaining it to someone else.

In my classroom, dividing fractions is all about pans of brownies. 

If you have four pans of brownies and you want to divide them each into fourths, how many fourths will you have?

4 ÷ 1/4 = 16

You will have sixteen one-fourth-sized pieces to share with your friends.

But what if you you share 15 of those one-fourth-sized pieces and realize you forgot to share with 4 other friends? 

If you chop a one-fourth-sized piece into four pieces, what size of piece will each of those friends get?

1/4 ÷ 4 = 1/16

They will get a tiny little piece, but at least you didn't completely forget them!

Creative Commons photo from Wikimedia Commons

Friday, May 15, 2015

Poetry Friday -- Gold

Nothing Gold Can Stay

Nature's first green is gold,
Her hardest hue to hold.
Her early leaf's a flower;
But only so an hour.
Then leaf subsides to leaf.
So Eden sank to grief,
So dawn goes down to day.
Nothing gold can stay.

by Robert Frost
(in the public domain)

Diane has the Poetry Friday roundup at Random Noodling.

Wednesday, May 13, 2015

RUMP by Liesl Shurtliff

I chose RUMP by Liesl Shurtliff as our last read aloud of third grade.  We may fit one more in but it is doubtful. RUMP has been one of my favorite read alouds of all time. I was worried that it would be too complex for 3rd grade but they LOVE it and it is bringing together so much they understand about story.

Before we started RUMP, we read several picture book versions of Rumplestiltskin. (This fabulous advice from Colby Sharp:-)  Some of the versions were fun. Others were a bit scary. Some of the movie versions we watched were a bit creepy. The kids loved the conversations around the similarities and differences in this stories.  But Rumplestiltskin as a character was pretty much the same--a not so nice, magical creature who is out for himself.

So much of 3rd grade is learning to read complex books, learning to look beyond the surface and to infer a bit more than what is on the page.  So much is learning to know characters beyond a few descriptors. What do they do and why do they do what they do? How do they change over time?  What do they learn from their problems?

The year has also been about connecting stories in a way that helps you understand better.  Noticing the ways that stories connect and characters remind you of other characters. It has been about thinking about what you can expect from a story because of its genre, author or topic. And it's been about the fun in changing your thinking in the midst of reading once you learn more about a character.

So, this book has been perfect t to tie all of our conversations together and to think more deeply about a character we thought we knew well enough. We are learning that perspective matters and the conversations around this book have been such fun!

Before we started the book, we previewed together and listed those things that we expected as readers as well as questions we had:

We also created a chart of Rumplestiltskin's character traits-what do we know about this character and how might our thinking about him change as we read this story?  Our original thinking is on the left and we are filling in the right side when we realize something different.

I'm noticing that perspective is misspelled on this chart at the beginning. We fixed it up and added new things we learn about Rump as we hear his story. The 2 columns of things we know are becoming very different!

Because Liesl Shurtliff is so brilliant and clever as a writer, the class is having great fun noticing little details in the book that may refer to another fairy tale they know or something from the original tale that they may have forgotten.  So much fun discovering not only Rump's perspective of all that happened but also in discovering the brilliance of this author, who is new to them.

As we get ready to think about our summer reading, I am sure many of my kids will want to read Liesl's newest book, Jack.  I know I am anxious to read it.  (And I am very excited that Liesl will be at NERDCAMP this summer!)

If you want to learn a bit more about Jack and the 3rd book that is coming next year, you can read an Interview with Liesl Shurtliff on The Nerdy Book Club site.

Tuesday, May 12, 2015

Studying Slide Design: Learning from #EdcampKids

We started with our own version of #EdCampKids in later March.  So far, we've had 4 EdcampKids sessions where kids attend 4 workshops each time. Every single child in my class has presented something--it is always a choice but everyone loves to share things they know.  We are in an animal slideshow stage right now--probably because so much nonfiction they are reading is about animals.  They seem a bit obsessed with animals and slideshows but we also have workshops on Origami, science experiments, and building and we have children who choose to create posters or use non-tech visuals. The conversations around audience and purpose have been amazing.

The teaching that comes out of #EdcampKids is incredible. Every time, there are so many things that happen that fall into our learning the following week.  We started this late in the year to see how it went but I can imagine that next year, the possibilities for teaching from what happens each session will have a huge impact on our writing workshops.  One of my favorite conversations happened a few weeks ago when a student very kindly shared how distracting it was as an audience member when a word was misspelled on a slide.  Such a natural way to bring up the importance of editing when you are publishing in this way.

Last week, during writing conferences, I met with several students about slide design. I am noticing from afar that the sophistication of slide designs--the choices that writers make when deciding how to design slides--is really changing.  There is a great deal of intentionality in the slide design and I wanted to capture a few that we could study. I met with several students who had recently completed a Google Slideshow to share during Edcamp and they chose a slide that they were especially proud of.

It is easy to start to worry about the traditional things we think are important---because students are not citing sources or the wording often sounds too fact based instead of synthesizing what they know. But in this process, I feel like I've gotten back to the true feel of the writing workshop.   I remember these are eight year olds who are learning to share their new learning with others. They are thinking hard about audience and purpose and how to share their new passions with peers. They are learning to combine images and text in unique ways.  They are learning to navigate sophisticated tools and collaborate with others in the process. I am reminded of all I learned from Troy Hicks The Digital Writing Workshop and Crafting Digital Writing every day as I listen into kids' thinking during writing. I am looking forward to revising both of those amazing books this summer as I plan for another year of digital writing workshop.

So in the coming weeks, some of our mini lesson work will focus on slide design (which transfers to pretty much any nonfiction writing design). We will use these slides to begin our conversation and to look closely at decisions third grade writers have made.  Since all of the kids have participated in EdcampKids as both presenter and audience member, I expect these conversations to be powerful.

You can find the padlet here.

Monday, May 11, 2015

"Rich" Math Problems

I got the best compliment ever last week: "That math problem was really fun! That was the best day in math so far this year!"

It was this problem from Robert Kaplinsky: "How Much Money IS That?!"

I put the pertinent information (photos, link to the video, questions to ask) into Google Slides, and printed the above picture for individuals and small groups to mark up. (We did the Coinstar problem the day before.)

I wish you could have been there when I started the slide show with the above picture! Excited conversation ERUPTED all around the classroom! Questions, predictions, estimates, scenarios...leave it to money to get kids excited to solve a problem!

We worked on this problem over the course of two days, and our final answer was in the ballpark of the actual amount, but not at all spot-on. That's okay. We had already determined that we were not going to be able to aim for precision with this problem.

This week, I'm going to try some of the problems from Inside Mathematics. I like how they come tiered with different levels on the same theme.

Happy Problem Solving, and Happy Math Monday!

It's Math Monday! 
for the Math Monday link up!

Friday, May 08, 2015

Poetry Friday -- A Kind of Poetry

A Kind of Poetry
by Chi Lingyun

To discover a tree's memories is impossible.

To seek a pebble's experience 
is also impossible.
We spy on water's motion

but in the end we still can't touch its core.

The cloud has always been there, we exhaust our energy
to understand its will, yet there's no hope
it will reveal the sky's mysteries.

Poetry also has the will of clouds

with words like rain, to avoid madness

it creates more madness. Just as when love

is written down, it loses half of its sincerity.
When explained, there is only a layer of sticky
mist left. No one is quick or deft enough

to capture poetry for long. Everything perfect
contains a dark cave.

(the rest of the poem is here -- scroll down to the third poem)

My brother found this poem and shared it with me. I loved it in March, but I love it even more after poetry month. The line, "Just as when love/is written down, it loses half of its sincerity" seems to have been written just for me and my PO-EMotion collaborators! And I found so many dark caves last month...

For more Poetry Friday "spelunking," visit Michelle's roundup at Today's Little Ditty.

Wednesday, May 06, 2015

2 Books to Start Conversations about Words

I found two new books at Cover to Cover last week.  Both will be great for writing workshop and discussions and words.

There's No Such Thing as Little by LeUyen Pham is one that I picked up because I LOVE this author/illustrator.  I thought it would be too youngish for my classroom but when I picked it up, it looked perfect for writing workshop. The book begins with two children who don't like being called "little" They want us to know there is so much more to them than being little!  The book goes on to look at lots of little things. A little light, a little snowflake, a little hand. But with the turn of the page, we see that those little things are so much more than little.  For example, a little tree becomes a generous tree when we look more closely.  The pages have little cut-outs which make the book even more fun. We see the "little" through a hole peeking into the next page --a feature I think kids will love and one that helps us connect the words in the book.  I think this will be a perfect book for writing workshop when we talk about word choice and the ways we can use words that truly give meaning to what we are saying.

The other book is Outstanding in the Rain: A Whole Story With Holes by Frank Viva. This one is
another book that has holes as part of the illustrations. In this book though, each hole reveals a word on the page.  For example on the first page, the text reads "Ice Cream," I say. My birthday surprise.  The word Cream is shown through the cut-out.  On turning the page, we see that "cream" becomes part of a new word scream in a new sentence that continues the story. This word play happens several times throughout the book as we see words change into different words.  Another book that will be fun as part of our word play conversations. The illustrations in this one are unique and I think kids will like the color choices and the humor.

Tuesday, May 05, 2015

The Olive Books

I discovered the book Olive and the Embarrassing Gift by Tor Freeman this year. It was a great story that made me smile so I bought a copy for the classroom. When I read it to my class, I realized it was a perfect read for 3rd graders. One of the things that is hard for me when being newish to a grade level is finding books that are a perfect fit.  I am always looking for books with enough depth and things to talk about, but books that are simple enough that most kids can access in a mini lesson.  It is often tricky in early 3rd grade to find the right types of books.

In this story, Olive gets a gift from her good friend. But she doesn't like the gift and is embarrassed to wear it. There is humor in the story and a great lesson. It is something 8 and 9 year-olds could relate to for sure.  A fun story with lots to talk about.

I recently discovered that there are three Olive books in this series and I purchased them all because I think they are great for primary students to learn to talk about books and to revisit throughout the year.  Knowing what a good conversation starter the first book was, I think getting to know Olive in three stories will be great fun!  I think these three titles will naturally lead to great conversations around characters and theme.  

Olive and the Bad Mood is about a day when Olive is a little grumpy with her friends. And Olive and the Big Secret is the story about Olive sharing a secret.  I think these books are great for K-3 classrooms.  Fun and simple but with lots of things to talk about!

Monday, May 04, 2015

Math Monday! I See A Pattern Here by Bruce Goldstone

It's MATH MONDAY! Join Mandy at Enjoy and Embrace Learning for the Math Monday Link Up!

I am a huge Bruce Goldstone fan and was thrilled to see his new book I SEE A PATTERN at Cover to Cover last week. I bought it, figuring it might be a bit primary for my kids but that we definitely needed to add it to our Bruce Goldstone collection.  If you are not familiar with this author/photographer, we've reviewed several of his books on the blog!

WOW! Was I surprised. I should have know that Goldstone would teach us more about patterns than I expected. I should have realized that he would take the book in directions I hadn't considered.  The one thing I love about his books is that there are so many places for readers to enter and engage.

As always the photos in this book are fabulous. The size and color draw you in immediately. For young students the visuals will be plenty to learn from and talk about.  For older readers, Goldstone includes options.

He begins the book talking about pattern, what makes a pattern, where we find patterns.  In the bottom corner of the first spread, there is a bright box with the heading "MathSpeak". In it he says, "Mathematicians use special words to describe patterns. Check out these speech balloons if you want to talk MathSpeak, too. Then on pages throughout the book, Goldstone introduces math words that go along with what he is sharing on the page.

Goldstone starts with simple patterns with beads and explains how they are made using slides. He continues on with ideas around rotation and symmetry, scale and tessellations.  There are some activities for kids at try at the end of the book.

This book, as with all of Goldstone's, is one that I am excited to bring to the classroom. Lots of ideas about patterns for kids to explore over time!

Sunday, May 03, 2015

April Mosaic -- Two by Two

Two colors of hyacinth (and fun with a lens).

Cars so small that two can fit in one parking space.

Two yellow blooms in a sea of green.

Two daffodils after a rain shower.

 New leaves and new blooms--two unfurling on the redbud.

April this year was a month for writing poetry, not for taking pictures. Hopefully, May will be a month for both!

Friday, May 01, 2015

Poetry Friday -- Emotional

What I love most about my 2015 National Poetry Month project is what I love most about writing poetry: I had the vaguest of notions how the whole thing would play out, and it grew to be more than I ever could have imagined.

I billed the project as emotions from "Anger to Zest," when in fact we went from Anticipation to Relief.

Not I -- we. The most amazing thing about the month was writing alongside Carol, Kimberley, Kim, and Steve. I loved overlapping challenges occasionally with Jone, and also having Carol V., Linda, Heidi and Kevin write with us occasionally. The conversations in the comments both at A Year of Reading and Poetrepository kept me going.

I'm proud of my collection as a whole, but there are a couple with inside jokes I'd like to share.

On April 29, I tucked the adage, "Pride goeth before a fall" into this poem:


Is it branches full of unopened blossoms against
an impossibly blue April sky?

Or could it be rows of trees, heavy with fruit in
late summer, yellow jackets hovering?

Look down. Is it in the remains of
the bounty, rotting after October frosts?

©Mary Lee Hahn, 2015

I'm still cracking myself up over the various kinds of interest you encounter at various kinds of banks. (from April 19):


At the bank
it's what you get
without trying.
You just have to be there.

At the (river)bank
it's what you get
without trying.
You just have to be there.

©Mary Lee Hahn, 2015

But probably my favorite, is this hidden tribute to ROYGBIV, from April 14:


tulip petal
monarch wing
forsythia's shock
first leaves in spring

prairie sky
shadows on snow
thunderhead's tower
dogwood, crow

©Mary Lee Hahn, 2015

There's a whole blogpost to be written about my email haiku lessons from Diane Mayr. In that future blogpost, I will show how this pair, seen here still in draft, have undergone an amazing transformation through a series of gentle nudges by Diane!

The roundup is now at Ellen Leventhal's personal blog, Elementary Dear Reader