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!


  1. Oh, Ramona, I love this! Your passion for books, for students, for teaching... it brings such a smile to my face. I wanna be like you when I retire. :)

  2. I adore hearing all about your week, Ramona, and wish as much as anything that we lived closer. Thanks for the final title. I have ordered several of Charles' books, but don't know this one! Happy Poetry for the rest of the week!

    1. Oh Linda, wouldn't we have fun together? Poetry pals and blogging buddies!

  3. Ramona, I think your National Poetry Month ideas are so engaging, especially the one about making an announcement on the loudspeaker. Creative fun gets the word out on poetry.

  4. You have such a zest for all aspects of literacy, but poetry seems to hold your heart. I've been helping to set up our library sale and when I saw Butterfly Eyes and Other Secrets of the Meadow by Joyce Sidman, I had to grab it.

  5. I want a Poem in your Pocket Day apron! We should make them on Etsy. What a great way to celebrate poetry!

  6. You are a marvel, Ramona - keep on passing along that book and poetry love, my friend, the world needs it!

  7. Your post is a poetry-lovers treat!

  8. Your love for poetry is contagious - I've written down several titles. I'm going Lincoln Center tomorrow night for star studded poetry readings. But honestly, a teacher who kids know, love, and respect is the best to introduction to poetry. "verse on"

  9. I really don't think you're retired! You are so busy and still do so much with the students. They are lucky to have you. I love your Books, Brownies, and Beyond. And, thanks to a subtle nudge from you, I celebrated A Poem in Your Pocket Day this year.

  10. Thank you, and thank you from Daniel our little ambassador of Poetry!

    Micha Archer

  11. This is an ABSOLUTE DELIGHT! And that tablecloth! I hope to see an apron picture too! Thank you! xx

  12. Can we bottle you??? Every school in every country needs a Ramona! #Fabulous #ohtheJOY