Sunday, November 29, 2009

Poetry Out Loud

It is time for my students to pick out a poem for our annual Poetry Out Loud contest. My seventh graders seem to be more enthusiastic. They just take what I say as law and know they'll be doing it. Aww what a class! Sigh...

Eighth grade is not so easy. They can not for the life of them figure out why on earth I would make them memorize a poem and recite it again. I'm not sure how I'll convince these kids that this is worth their time. I'll be enthusiastic. I'll smile a lot and tell them how excited I am about the wonders of poetic devices. I'll believe it.

Sunday, November 22, 2009

The Rock Star I'll Miss the Most

A week and a half ago, we lost Jason's grandma to a sudden heart attack. Her passing was a shock. Grandma Tracy was a crafter at heart. As we cleaned her apartment we found many, many boxes filled with beads, sequins, quilt blocks, and yarn. Many days we'd sit together and crochet after a family meal. Grandma always asked if I was doing any special craft. She was always interested in my projects.

This Thanksgiving, I was hostess as usual. No one showed up an hour early as I was hiding my clutter in the spare bedroom. I didn't hear that distinct giggle as the girls sang Thanksgiving songs.

Thanksgiving was lonely without her.

Saturday, November 14, 2009

World Diabetes Day

Stopping by Woods on a Snowy Evening

Stopping By Woods on a Snowy Evening

by Robert Frost

Whose woods these are I think I know.
His house is in the village though;
He will not see me stopping here
To watch his woods fill up with snow.

My little horse must think it queer
To stop without a farmhouse near
Between the woods and frozen lake
The darkest evening of the year.

He gives his harness bells a shake
To ask if there is some mistake.
The only other sound's the sweep
Of easy wind and downy flake.

The woods are lovely, dark and deep.
But I have promises to keep,
And miles to go before I sleep,
And miles to go before I sleep.

As you know, we are reading Love That Dog by Sharon Creech.

I shared this recording by Uregelt from youtube. This guy has such an amazing voice.

Everyday before class. We read the poem. Kids complain about how they don't get the poem. We read about Creech's Jack. The kids laugh because he had many of the same reactions they did. And then, they write a poem or a reaction to the poem.

At the beginning, the seventh graders loved loved loved the book from the get go, but the eight graders? They were sort of mad that they were doing the same thing as the seventh graders. And asked "Why do we have to read this dumb book?" Ouch.

Every day... I hear less of that. And I can't wait to get all of their writings on my wall just like Miss Stretchberry did in Love That Dog!

Sunday, November 8, 2009

The Red Wheelbarrow

The next two weeks we will be reading "Love That Dog" by Sharon Creech. I love this book. It's so special. I love the way this book takes some of my favorite poetry and introduces it to kids. I love that.

Tomorrow's poem will be William Carlos' Williams "Red Wheelbarrow." The students will be writing poems that start with the phrase "So much depends on..."

I will start mine -

So much depends on a good book -

Now how do I end it?