Sunday, May 1, 2016

Celebrate This Week: Poetry, Friends, Teachers, Sunsets, and Books!

                             Join us each weekend for Celebrate This Week with Ruth Ayres. 
                                                             When we pause to celebrate, we find the joy.
Discover. Play. Build.
                                   A week filled with moments to celebrate and remember. 

Thanks, Donna, for that lovely last line.  
I like the way you posted the poem with each 
contributor's name beside his/her line.  

2.  A technology win! 
I finally figured out how to add a gadget
(the sidebar) for the progressive poem with links
to each poet a full week before the poem's completion. 

3.  Girls' Night Out!

An evening exploring family history with
these friends at the Seattle Discovery Center.

4.  Teacher encouragement for SBAC! 
Testing season finds most teachers as grumpy as
our students.  I love that at a recent training session
we made posters of encouragement for students.
This week the posters and pics of teachers
who created them appeared in our hallways.
This acrostic poem was my favorite!

Crush it!

(Teacher on far right was my mentee two
years ago AND one of my third graders. )
5.  Saturday night sunset at Slater Park!  
I'm always hopeful that I might bump into my 
friends that I first met at this park two years ago
when they were expecting Vivian. 
They weren't there last night, but I did see them
a couple of weeks ago, and Vivian is almost two.

6.  Book joy!
I stopped by the library on Friday afternoon
to pick up my holds.  Two novels-in-verse were waiting:
Booked  by Kwame Alexander
The Last Fifth Grade of Emerson Elementary 
by Laura Shovan.
Saturday was Independent Bookstore Day so, of course.
I had to stop at Island Books.  It took me awhile to find the
perfect book for the last day of April, but I finally did.  

I was so sad when I had to return it to the library
last week, and I'm so glad to have my own copy!

Friday, April 29, 2016

Poetry Friday: Rounding Up 30 Books of Poetry!

Head over to Buffy's Blog for today's round-up of poetic goodness.
Thanks to Buffy Silverman for hosting this week's buffet of poetic goodness.
Don't miss her salute to spring music, "Toad's Swampy Serenade."    

On the first Poetry Friday in April, I shared book spine poetry.
On the second Poetry Friday in April, I shared eight favorite titles from poets I've met. 
On April 19th for my SOL, I shared three titles I handed to reluctant poetry readers.
SOL - Enticing Poetry Books
Edited by J. Patrick Lewis

by Pat Mora

,On the third Poetry Friday in April, I shared line 23, of the 2016 Progressive Poem. 
On the fourth Poetry Friday in April, I'm sharing eleven more favorite poetry books
for a grand total of 30+ poetry books shared in April.  
I love that Poetry Friday is a year-round celebration of poetry!

20.  Read-Aloud Rhymes for the Very Young,
The 20th Century Children's Poetry Treasury,  and 
The Random House Book of Poetry for Children selected by Jack Prelutsky
(I know that's three titles, but I love all of them.  Great memories 
of my preschool daughter reciting "The Skeletons are Out Tonight" from the first title,
my 6th grade students loving the second title, and reading poems aloud from the third title
on road trips with my husband in the early 80's before kids. )
21.  Ten-Second Rainshowers:  Poems By Young People compiled by Sanford Lyne
22. Reflections on a Gift of Watermelon Pickle  . . and Other Modern Verse 
compiled by Stephen Dunning, Edward Leuders, & Hugh Smith
23.  Julie Andrews' Treasury For All Seasons
selected by Julie Andrews and Emma Walton Hamilton
24.  Sunflakes:  Poems for Children selected by Lilian Moore
25.  One Big Rain:  Poems for Rainy Days compiled by Rita Gray
(When you live in the NW, you must have an anthology
devoted to rain by seasons of the year.)
26.  A Family of Poems:  My Favorite Poetry for Children
compiled by Caroline Kennedy

Books by Favorite Poets:
27.    Handsprings. Summersaults, Autumnblings, and Winter Eyes
by Douglas Florian
28.  A Maze Me:  Poems for Girls by Naomi Shihab Nye
29.  Blue Lipstick:  Concrete Poems by John Grandits  
30.  English, Fresh Squeezed!  by Carol Diggory Shields

Oh, and here are some more favorite poets that I couldn't fit in:
Valerie Worth, Karla Kuskin, Alice Schertle, Mary Ann Hoberman,
Bruce Lansky, Bob Raczka, Charles Ghigna,  X.J. Kennedy, 
Rebecca Kai Doltish, Tracie Vaughn Zimmer, Bill Martin Jr., 
Constance Levy, Myra Cohn Livingston,  & Barbara Juster Esbensen!

Be sure to let me know which of your favorite poetry books or authors I left out.  
A trip to the library is never complete without a stop by the 800s for poetry.  
And here's a pic of me all decked out last week for Poem in Your Pocket Day, 
(Can't decide on a favorite poem?   Get yourself an apron with many pockets!)

Tuesday, April 26, 2016

Slice of Life: Audacious Poetry Promoter

Today I join my fellow bloggers in "serving up a slice" 
to the Tuesday Slice of Life (SOL) community.
Thanks to Stacey, Tara, Betsy, Dana, BethAnna, Kathleen, and Deb
                   for hosting this meeting place each Tuesday and nurturing our writing lives.

If it's April, then I'm celebrating - sunshine, longer days, blossoms, and National Poetry Month!  Similar to the familiar book, If You Give a Mouse a Cookie, I come to you today with the fun a retired teacher can have with a platform for poetry.  It all starts with Books, Brownies and Beyond, our after school book club.  If it's April, then you can be sure that I have at least two bins of poetry books in the trunk of my car.  I start collecting them in March with visits to our library on Mercer Island, the Bellevue library, and even a stop by the Issaquah library.  I stop by the school library and pull a cart of favorites from the shelves that I can roll down to book club each week.  We read poetry books at book club, we sticky note our favorite poems, we copy them, and we mount them on colorful paper - all in preparation for today's Books, Brownies, and Beyond blitz of bulletin boards. We'll head out with those favorite poems and staplers in hand this afternoon to share poetry love with our larger school population.

If it's Poem in Your Pocket Day, then you can be sure that I'll be somewhere at school with a poem in my pocket.  This year I showed up in an apron with multiple pockets and poems.  Members of Books, Brownies, and Beyond manned a table so students could stop by to share the poem in their pocket and receive a sweet treat in return.  At lunch, club members joined librarian Carrie Bowman to hand out poems rolled and tied with ribbon at Tuesday's book club meeting.
If it's the day after Poem in Your Pocket Day and I'm subbing as secretary at the front desk of our school (with lots of candy left over from the day before), I'll sneak in an announcement:  "Ms. Behnke is subbing for Ms. McCann.  Stop by the front office, share a poem, and she'll share from her leftover stash of candy." 

If I'm subbing in the front office, then you can be sure that I'll take advantage of the front counter to promote favorite poetry books.  If you pause for more than a moment, I'll plead with you to peruse the pages of Daniel Finds a Poem,  my latest "favorite" poetry book.  
This teacher (with no poem in her pocket) recited
Shakespeare's Sonnet XCVIII verbatim.  
A few of my "favorite" poetry books!
If you're placed in the front office for a appointment with an administrator,  I'm sure to share a "favorite" book with you, A Fury of Motion:  Poems for Boys by Charles Ghigna. I'll ask you which poem you liked best (the one about soccer), and you'll ask me which poem I liked best ("What's a Poem?")  And the best moment of my day?  When you  pull up a rap on your   i-pad (written for a social studies project on prohibition) to share with me!

Sunday, April 24, 2016

Celebrate This Week: Poetry, Showers, and Blossoms

                               Join us each weekend for Celebrate This Week with Ruth Ayres. 
                                                             When we pause to celebrate, we find the joy.
Discover. Play. Build.
                                   A week filled with moments to celebrate and remember!

1.  Added line 23 to the 2016 Progressive Poem!
2.  A baby shower for Courtney,
sweet mama-to-be!
3.  Poem in  Your Pocket Day!
Members of Books, Brownies, and Beyond 
handed out candy to students with poem in pocket.
4.  More blossoms and sunshine!
5.  A rain kissed tulip!
Happy for the return of rain and cooler weather.

Friday, April 22, 2016

Poetry Friday: My Line for the Progressive Poem

Don't you love the visual for this year's progressive poem?  The image of the stones going round and round leading to a lovely floral center . . . Or is it the lovely floral center that leads us out and out and around and around?  

I promised myself that I wouldn't get involved this year.  But I watched the spaces on the calendar fill up and before I knew it, I committed again to join Irene Latham and friends for the 2016 Kitdlitosphere Progressive Poem.  The schedule for the month and the links for each day are in the sidebar.   

I enjoyed the analogy in Robyn's post linking the cruise ship docking process to our communal progressive poem - a journey directed by different folks along the way.   Robyn handed me this line: "blowing soft words the seer discerns."  I've spent many petrified moments reading and rereading our poem, thinking, writing and rewriting.  I chose to drift a bit, to gaze back at the journey we've taken together.   

I loved Jan's nod on the 21st to Poem in Your Pocket Day.  I included my own little nod to Earth Day in my contribution for the 23rd (composed on Earth Day).  I'm in awe of each added line and thank each poetic friend fellow poet (definitely in the fledgling ranks here) for his or her contribution.  Without further ado, I add my italicized line and pass our poem into Amy's capable hands at The Poem Farm

2016 Progressive Poem

A squall of hawk wings stirs the sky.
A hummingbird holds and then hies.
If I could fly, I’d choose to be
Sailing through a forest of poet-trees.

A cast of crabs engraves the sand
Delighting a child’s outstretched hand.
If I could breathe under the sea,
I’d dive, I’d dip, I’d dance with glee.

A clump of crocuses crave the sun.
Kites soar while joyful dogs run.
I sing to spring, to budding green,
to all of life – seen and unseen.

Wee whispers drift from cloud to ear
and finally reach one divining seer
who looks up from her perch and beams —
West Wind is dreaming May, it seems.

Golden wings open and gleam
as I greet the prancing team.
Gliding aside with lyrical speed,
I’d ride Pegasus to Ganymede.

To a pied pocket, the zephyr returns
blowing soft words the seer discerns
from earthbound voyage to dreamy night

Thanks, Jama, for hosting this week's poetry round-up of poetic goodness.  And I promise to get back soon to my project for April of sharing thirty favorite books of poetry!

Monday, April 18, 2016

Slice of Life: I Don't Like Poetry!

Today I join my fellow bloggers in "serving up a slice" 
to the Tuesday Slice of Life (SOL) community.
Thanks to Stacey, Tara, Betsy, Dana, BethAnna, Kathleen, and Deb
                   for hosting this meeting place each Tuesday and nurturing our writing lives

First of all, let me make one thing perfectly clear.
I am not the "I" in the title of this post!
It was Tuesday afternoon of the week before spring break
and time for Books, Brownies, and Beyond.  
I wheeled in a cart of poetry books, 
ready to begin our prep for Poem in Your Pocket Day. 
I was surprised when one young man, 
an enthusiastic participant in our book club,
eyed me with a rather sour expression,
followed by the words,
"I don't like poetry!"
Unfazed by this proclamation, 
I scanned the cart for a winning title
and promptly handed him this book.

Another student was less than enthusiastic and so
I asked him, "What's your favorite thing?"  
When he replied, "Food," I reached for this title.
It wasn't long until the room was quiet,
 as everyone plunged into poetry,
enticed by the words and illustrations to discover poems 
they might choose to tuck into a pocket,
to fill a basket of poems for lunchtime sharing,
 or to mark for copying for our school-wide blitz when we blanket
the hallway bulletin boards with poetic goodness. 
I smiled as I noticed this book filled with sticky notes,
a personal favorite that I'm happy for students to discover.  
Before we knew it, our hour together was almost over.
We saved a few minutes for everyone to share a poem. 
And that young man who didn't like poetry?
He begged to share a second poem with the group!  

Saturday, April 16, 2016

Celebrate This Week: Sister Fun!

                                Join us each weekend for Celebrate This Week with Ruth Ayres. 
                                                             When we pause to celebrate, we find the joy.
Discover. Play. Build.
                                   A week filled with moments to celebrate and remember!

When I returned from my recent trip to California, everyone queried, "What did you do?"  In our family, just being together is the best treat ever, and I celebrate my five ordinary days in California.  Those ordinary days were extraordinary because Kay and I spent them together!

We did a few things:  got mani-pedis, went to church together, watched Call the Midwives and some Hallmark movies, had some shopping outings to the grocery store and Wal-Mart, baked some family favorites and tried out some new recipes, went to see My Big Fat Greek Wedding 2, and headed out to dinner on my last evening there for Mexican food at Don Jose's (always a requirement when I visit).

The time together went by much too fast.  I wish I lived closer to my siblings, but I'm happy when I get to visit each of them.  And visiting is the best part of my trip - plenty of time to talk about our memories and bring each other up-to-date on our lives.

Next sibling trip is in June when I'll visit my brother and family to attend my niece's wedding in Oklahoma.  After that I'll be headed to DC to meet my new grandson!

 Bougainvilleas outside the movie theater
Cinnamon and chocolate roll -
a family tradition for generations
A friend at church took this fun sister pic - 
Ramona (that's me) and Kay (the sis in the scarf)!