Category Archives: clmooc

Annotations: NPM22 Day 24

Yesterday was day 2 of the SDAWP Advanced Institute that I wrote about in March. On this second day, we moved our work to focus on revision mindsets and building confidence as writers with the help of Chris Hall’s The Writer’s Mindset and Liz Prather’s The Confidence to Write. An identity as writer for a teacher has an important impact on writing instruction. Teachers teach qualitatively differently when they understand their subject matter from the inside out. Teacher-writers have experienced all that makes writing hard. They know how it feels to face a blank page–and then write through uncertainty and fear. And they can support students to develop a writerly identity too.

This morning I awoke to Jessica’s “found annotations” prompt for #verselove over at Ethical ELA. My first reaction was, “Oh no!” I’m not really much into annotating–and it’s not something I do with first graders. I do annotate their observations of weekly poems and encourage them to respond to text, but we frequently depend on oral language for those annotations.

But then I thought about some of the reading we did yesterday and I grabbed my copy of The Confidence to Write, picked a section in the chapter on the fear of the blank page called Breathe Through It, and started annotating. I then went back and let my poet brain wander through the annotations and my thinking. Here’s my poem:

Complexities of Simplicity

Breathe in

one, two, three, four

Breathe out

one, two, three, four

Feel the rhythm

the beat

drum drumming

refilling air sacs

lung pillows

calming, slowing,

pushing pounds

immoveable objects

pushing stress

filling

refilling

slowing

Breathe in

one, two, three, four

Breathe out

one, two, three , four

Count each breath

like steps

walking

through the sand

hear the tide

pushing in and out

dancing to the beat

of your heart

study says

breathing deep

increases productivity

by 47-62 minutes

Breathe in

one, two, three, four

Breathe out

one, two, three, four

Dive in

swim through

tap the rhythms

find the beat

immersed

in salty life blood

in salty sea water

emerge

with confidence

and breathe

Breathe in

one, two, three, four

Breathe out

one, two, three, four

@kd0602

Sniff In: NPM22 Day 23

I rolled the virtual metaphor dice inspired by Stefani over at Ethical ELA coming up with the words poetry, well worn, and brand new toy. Combined with my afternoon lagoon walk, words tumbled and fell into today’s poem.

Sniff In

Sniff in beach funk

salty fishy

tickling nose and imagination

feet moving over well worn paths

buzzing bees pollinating images

a flash of yellow

stomping above a blossoming of white

birdsong on a post

and balanced on overhead wires

playing with words each day

a brand new toy

nature and poetry

holding hands

@kd0602

No Cheese for Me: NPM22 Day 22

The #verselove prompt at Ethical ELA today is All Things Cheese. But, although I like cheese…I don’t love cheese. So today I decided to write my poem about something I do love: ice cream. Just a Haiku to ease into the weekend.

Ice Cream

Ice cold and creamy

dreamy caramel choco-

late. Dinner tonight?

@kd0602

Sidewalk Beach: NPM22 Day 21

Today’s poem emerged from a mishmash of prompts and experiences. Leilya over at #verselove and Ethical ELA shared her poem about a walk and then Mitch at our National Writing Project Connecting the Network call offered two other mentor poems about seeing ordinary things in new ways, and today’s lizard skittered right into my notebook.

Sidewalk Beach

“Hey friend”

where? I wonder as I search my surroundings

expecting the skitter of reptilian feet

retreating

Today was not-so-usual

in a far-from-familiar place

killing time with an every-single-day practice:

a walk

Sidewalk warmed under robin-blue skies

looked like spring break beaches

bodies lined up, rumps to the sun

crisping, browning

in perfect synchronization

Instead of sketchy skitters

as I come close, it looks at me

a question like a speech bubble

crowning its head

“Why are you here casting shade

on my sidewalk beach?”

I snap a portrait

and it skitters into the bushes

@kd0602

Leave a Space: NPM22 Day 20

Today I’m feeling the accumulation of too much to do and too little time–so when I read Naomi Shihab Nye’s poem Burning the Old Year as part of today’s #verselove prompt at Ethical ELA, the lines an absence shouts, leaves a space shouted at me about the need for space. It’s rough, but here’s the direction I headed.

Leave a Space

Leave a space

for breath

As I hurry to finish all the things

a list longer

than my memory

tying knots between

my should blades

Leave a space

to ponder

instead of filling my brain

with bad news

fake news

ridiculous new

who really needs

this news?

Leave a space

of contemplation

Another meeting

another committee

filled with decisions

that everyone

and no one

cares about and those who care the least

make the final

decision

Leave a space

to just be

wide open space

Leave a space

where I can be me

@kd0602

How to Be a First Grade Poet: NPM22 Day 19

National Poetry Month is such a perfect excuse to focus classroom reading and writing on poetry. For the last several years I’ve challenged my students to write a poem a day–for every day in the month of April. This year, with first graders and a month that began with Spring Break, I decided to have students write a poem each day they are with me in the classroom.

We warmed up at the end of March with a plunge into defining poetry in poetical terms, creating a collaborative Poetry Is poem as well as individual pieces. (I wrote about that process here.) We’ve explored the schoolyard through our senses and iPad cameras, learning to pay attention. We’ve read books and studied poems and written and written and written.

Yesterday we read The Keeper of Wild Words by Brooke Smith and then worked together on a list of wild words that we love. Students added words like waterfall, dragonfly, moonlight, turtle, and dolphin. Words swirled through the classroom as we borrowed from each other, built on ideas from each other, and delighted in the feel of words in our mouth.

Today we built poetry dice. Using a generic fold-a-cube pattern on cardstock, students cut out a flattened cube, wrote their favorite 12 wild words (they made 2 dice), and then folded and taped their finished cubes together. Then came the best part–playing with words and poetry. They rolled their dice, recording the 6 words they rolled in their notebooks. Then they considered those words, how they related (or didn’t) to each other, and wrote poetry. As a teacher of writing, there is nothing more satisfying than watching students transform into confident poets, easily playing with words, experimenting with form and ideas, and bursting to share their poems with me and their classmates.

Here’s a small sampling of poems that emerged from the roll of our student-created poetry dice:

A wolf found a hollow tree.

the wolves sleep at daytime with

very big waves.

A small clown sells big old lemons.

Relax

In spring laying on a Hawaii beach,

watching a cloud float by like

a koala climbing a tree or a

dolphin jumping out of the

water and a coati walking

in a jungle.

Under the sea there was a fish

under a rock

There were a lot of other fish

in the green coral

and the coral was as green as a cactus

and it was as wiggly as a snake.

In the trees, in

middle of nowhere,

there’s a field of poppies.

In the sky there’s an

egret flying overhead

with yellow feet like sticks.

At the beach it’s time for the dolphins to play

in the waves.

And serendipitously, the #verselove prompt over at Ethical ELA was to write a “how to be” poem. Inspired by my students, I wrote mine about them.

How to Be a First Grade Poet

Immerse yourself

in words

from books

and poems

and songs

Open your eyes wide

look carefully

using ALL your senses

Feel the roly polys

under your fingers

Smell the cilantro

from the garden

Hear the hawk

calling as it

swoops above the classroom

Taste the sweet red

strawberries

taking root just

beyond the field

Dance with the words

as they

tumble and roll

calling you to pay attention

Write your world

your thoughts

your feelings

and read them

back with

love and pride

@kd0602

Phew! I can’t wait to see what poetry will emerge tomorrow!

Telling Truths: NPM22 Day 18

Over at Ethical ELA, Maureen has challenged us to tell a succinct truth in the style of Lucille Clifton for today’s #verselove prompt. This seems scary–to tell a truth that maybe reveals an ugly underside rather than finding the beauty in something ordinary. But I had a truth to tell–so here it is.

Taking Aim

i wish

the incessant

flow of words

that spew

like an

upturned fire hydrant

could solve

world hunger

and

establish planetary peace.

instead

they aim

their verbal arrows

indiscriminately

day after day

hour after hour

at friends

classmates

fraying my nerves

piercing my heart.

@kd0602

Photography: NPM22 Day 17

Today’s #verselove prompt was about choices…and I made a choice that was different from the intended direction (I think). So, today I decided to write a #smallpoem (close to Haiku) to go with a photograph–where I wrote with light.

Photography

Today I write with light

images speak my words

exposing sea treasures

@kd0602

Sea Song: NPM22 Day 16

Verselove over at Ethical ELA continues to be bounty of poetic forms–that all seemed designed to bend or break the rules I had previously learned. Today Tanka, a form I had learned as 5 lines with a 5-7-5-7-7 syllabic pattern was transformed by Cara to a 3 line, 31 syllable meander.

I’m combining #verselove with some #beachlove today in several approximately 31 syllable Tanka.

Sea Song

One squishy step after another

pulls me into the noisy silence of the sea

where worries slip like water off a duck

Tides ebb and flow revealing an upside down world

tiny crabs, anemones, silver darting fish

dance of predator and prey

Like seabirds, thoughts take wing

breath calms, an echo of water’s rhythms

lullaby sung by the sea, perfect harmony with me

@kd0602