Tuesday, May 21, 2013
Tuesday, May 14, 2013
We took a walk last week with my daughter and son-in-law in the Olympic Sculpture Park. As we entered the park, I spied this sculpture on the side of the freeway and asked Sara and Will if they knew what it was. They thought it was a tool of some kind for the kitchen, but didn't know the purpose of such a tool. It seemed like the brush on the end made it perfect for the kitchen. When I was able to stifle my giggles, I explained the typewriter eraser to them, a tool that the students of my day would never be without, but is unrecognizable by my own children.
Thanks to black chick on tour blogger who allowed me to use her gorgeous image. Check out more sculptures from the park by clicking on the link to her photo tour blog post of the park.
This experience made me think about other things that have gone out of fashion like the pneumatic tubes at our Anthony's department store in my hometown. I loved the sound they made as the cash and receipt traveled to the main office and then whooshed back to the customer and sales person standing at the counter. It made for a few moments of pleasant conversation while you waited for the transaction to be completed.
How about adding machines and inventory taken with pencil and paper (and carbon paper)? I worked at Montgomery Wards department store in high school and during college. I spent days and weeks with the ten key reconciling inventory pages.
I recently had to explain transistor radios to my students. It was such a treasured possession for a teenager in my day, but made little sense to students who carry I-pods in their pockets. It makes me wonder what will be obsolete by the time my students grow up, and what common objects will they have to identify and explain to their children.
Tuesday, May 7, 2013
I ask my students to make handmade cards each year and share a poem or special memories with their parents for Mother's Day or Father's Day. I love watching them make beautiful cards and share special words and memories with their parents. I promise them that these handmade cards and sentiments will be treasured by their parents forever. I've kept all the cards I love and cherish in this special box.
I share the ones I've received from my kids as evidence. The wish list was made by Blake as a coupon list the year before he graduated from high school and the remember card was made by Sara when she was a sixth grader.
Several years ago, I wrote this poem as a tribute to my mother because I have the most wonderful mother in the world. Even though she died 22 years ago this month, I can still recall the touch of her hands and the love I always felt in her presence.
This past week, I received the following email from my son. So I'll let him close this post as my guest blogger. It warmed my heart, and I cherish every word. He won't be here for Mother's Day, but I'll be traveling to DC for his graduation from law school in two weeks. I printed a copy of his email to place in my box of special cards. I encourage my students to share the gift of their words and memories, the best gift ever!
Tuesday, April 30, 2013
Today I join my fellow bloggers in "serving up a slice" to the Tuesday Slice of Life sponsored by Stacey and Ruth from Two Writing Teachers.
We celebrated warmth and sunshine this past week with a writing session outside! Those of us who live in the Northwest know that a sunny day in April is a moment to be seized. When we had our second day of almost sixty degree weather, we took our Writer's Notebooks and headed outside for inspiration.
Inspired by a fellow slicer, I tried my hand at a new form, the arun. It's a fifteen-line poem in three sets of five lines. Each set of five lines follows the same syllable structure: starting with one syllable and increasing by one (1/2/3/4/5 — 3x).
in your glow
one moment in time.
longing to stay
in your warm embrace.
Tuesday, April 23, 2013
sewing gene! I solicited the help of a dear friend thinking that we could do this in a couple of hours one Sunday afternoon. Five hours later, the project was complete!
Each year when I hang it in the hallway, I'm filled with gratitude for these dear friends who helped make my dream a reality. After we share poems on Poem in my Pocket Day, we tuck them into our pockets in the hallway. I love walking down our hallway and seeing students checking out the poems in our pockets!
Tuesday, April 16, 2013
I love that April is poetry month, but I'm always saddened to lose a week of poems to Spring Break, and then it's time to gear up for our state testing. However, Poem in Your Pocket Day is always celebrated in my classroom. We've been busy this week exploring poetry in preparation for Thursday's poetry picnic.
I find myself turning to poetry during happy times, sad times and all the in-between times. I want my students to understand that poetry is for all the times of our lives. From Mrs. Lewallen who taught me "When the frost is on the punkin and the fodders in the shock," and "Hats off, the flag is passing by," to Mrs. Powers who shared "He drew a circle that shut me out," and "I must go down to the seas again," to Mrs. Thrasher who led me into the mysteries of "In Xandu did Kubla Khan A stately pleasure dome decree," and the pleasures of a walk as "Two roads diverged in a yellow wood," my life has been enriched by these women who shared their love of poetry with me. I hope that I can continue their legacy by leading my students to a lifelong love of poetry.
My students read books from 15 genres during 6th grade and one of those requirements is for a poetry anthology. Today's post is a list of my favorite anthologies. One of the things I love in anthologies is the introduction written for each section. One of my students pointed out to me that Jack Prelutsky wrote an original poem for each section of The Random House Book of Poetry for Children. I've owned this anthology since before I had children. I used to read poems to my husband during road trips. My copy of Where the Sidewalk Ends was given to me by my husband's mother after my first visit to meet her. I love these words from Caroline Kennedy's new anthology, Poems to Learn by Heart. "Growing up is hard, but poems can protect, guide, and connect us to others. If we learn them by heart, the emotion, the wisdom, and the power they contain can bring joy to our lives and sustain us through difficult times."
So here is my baker's dozen of poetry anthologies that I must have in my classroom and on my bookshelf. Unfortunately, I don't own all of them . . . yet (but more than half of them are on my personal shelf) and thanks to my library, they are all in my classroom right now!
A Family of Poems selected by Caroline Kennedy &
Poems to Learn by Heart selected by Caroline Kennedy, both books are lusciously illustrated with paintings by Jon Muth
Reflections on a Gift of Watermelon Pickle compiled by Stephen Dunning, Edward Lueders & Hugh Smith
Whisper and Shout: Poems to Memorize edited by Patrice Vecchione
National Geographic Book of Animal Poetry: 200 Poems with Photographs that Squeak, Soar, and Roar edited by J. Patrick Lewis
The Tree that Time Built selected by Mary Ann Hoberman and Linda Winston
Julie Andrews' Treasury for all Seasons
selected by Julie Andrews & Emma Walton Hamilton, with paintings by Marjorie Priceman
& Julie Andrews' Collection of Poems, Songs, and Lullabies
selected by Julie Andrews & Emma Walton Hamilton, with paintings by James McMullan
How to Eat a Poem: A Smorgasbord of Tasty and Delicious Poems for Young Readers
by American Poetry and Literacy Project, Academy of American Poets and Ted Kooser
The Barefoot Book of Classic Poems compiled and illustrated by Jackie Collins
The 20th Century Children's Poetry Treasury selected by Jack Prelutsky and illustrated by Meilo So &
The Random House Book of Poetry for Children selected by Jack Prelutsky and illustrated by Arnold Lobel
Another Jar of Tiny Stars edited by Bernice Cullinan and Deborah Wooten
How about it? Tell me about your favorite anthologies - the ones that you return to year after year!
Tuesday, April 9, 2013
I returned from a spring break trip to Oklahoma last Wednesday evening. I was determined to preserve my "break" mentality until the weekend when I would do some grading and planning for school.
So while I had a few errands to accomplish on Friday, I also wanted to squeeze in some favorite activities to make it a Fun Friday! Here's a quick recap of my Fun Friday book adventures:
- Stop at University Bookstore to turn in student entries for the yearly bookmark contest.
- Peruse the 90% off clearance table where I purchase five books for $3.28!
- Pick up a 50% off copy of The Tree That Time Built, perfect for lovers of poetry and nature, with a CD with readings of 44 poems, including 18 poets reading their own work.
- Stop by the public library to pick up poetry books that I had requested for poetry month.
- Raid the library shelves for more poetry books and fill my red bin to overflowing.
- Stop at Island Books to purchase Caroline Kennedy's gorgeous new anthology, Poems to Learn by Heart. Chat with the owner, Roger Page, while we point out poems to each other and exclaim over the wonderful array of poems in this new anthology.
I carried two warm monster cookies and a glass of cold milk to set on the side table. I settled into my favorite chair and escaped into The House at Tyneford. I was jarred out of this delicious escape by the ringing of the telephone. It was my husband who was headed home early and needed a pickup from the park and ride. I glanced down at the plate to see one-half of a cookie and thought, "Oh well, I can certainly finish this warm cookie before I leave to pick him up." My fatal mistake was picking up the book as I picked up the cookie. When I turned the final page of the book, I stretched out in my cozy chair with the luxurious sigh of a contented reader. . . And that's when I remembered my husband at the park & ride! I had no idea how long he had been waiting for me or how long it had taken me to finish the book. I had been lost in a book, and there's no finer way to top off a Fun Friday!