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Welcome to kindergarten! Join me as I share my experiences in the classroom, my professional learning and reflections and my love of teaching. Teaching is an exciting journey - come along as I share mine!


Tuesday, April 30, 2013

Chalking Up a Slice

    

Wow! It's a great day when I get to slice and chalk!  Today is Slice of Life Tuesday hosted by Ruth Ayres and Stacey Shubitz at their Two Writing Teachers blog AND it is Chalk-abration day hosted by Betsy at her blog Teaching Young Writers.  Check out more Slice of Life stories or Chalk Poems - or better yet - write your own to share!

Wouldn't you know it rained on Chalk-abration day?!  Since it was too wet for chalking outside...we improvised!  We used large sheets of black paper and our sidewalk chalk instead.


My students have not studied poetry yet so we mostly did chalk drawings...and shared a lot of smiles!  I added my own poem (originally published here) to their pictures...it just seemed to fit.

In Just- Spring

In just
Spring





When the world
Is Flower-delicious
And the bees buzz
My ears



In just
Spring





When the world
Is
Flutter-iffic
And the colors
Flash
Before my eyes










In just
Spring




When the world
Is
Puddle-tastic
And the mud
Beckons
Call to me









 

Sp
       l
         a
               sh!


Tuesday, April 23, 2013

Old Man Winter

 Last week we had true Michigan weather.  We had a warm 60 degree day with sun, we had several days of rain and then we had two days with snow.  This is a picture of my backyard.  As you can see, there is green grass - from the sunny and rainy days.  There is a huge puddle-pond of standing water in what is usually a dry shady area of the yard - from all the rain.  If you look carefully, there is a layer of snow on the deck and under the swing set - from the two days of snow flurries.  I'm more than ready for spring to arrive and decide to stick around.  I am craving sun, blue skies and warmth!  All of this inspired the poem below.



Old Man Winter
Give it a rest
Your snow is not welcome
Your cold, not the best

Signs of spring are everywhere
Flowers sprout under snow
Spring puddle-ponds emerge
Grass is greening up, you know

Still you lurk
Around every corner
Bring out the sun
Make us feel warmer

Go away winter
Spring, you can stay
At least until summer
Comes rolling my way

Tuesday, April 16, 2013

How To...

How To Enjoy Spring's Arrival

1. First, walk to the nearest window.
2. Open the window wide.
3. Take a deep breath of fresh air.
4. Notice the grass turning green.
5. Look closely at the flowers popping out of the ground.
6. Note the small, green buds on the trees.
7. Appreciate the war, yellow sun shining brightly.
8. Smile and feel good.



Can you tell what we are working on during writers workshop?  Yep!  We have been trying our hand at how-to writing.  I'm not going to lie - there have been some potholes (still thinking about spring!) in our travels down how-to lane, but it's been a really neat experience.  I've been impressed by the way my students are able to stretch the steps needed for their topic and the way they have adapted their picture drawing to this different type of writing.  Here are some of the samples I looked at today.  Check out those pictures and labels too!

 How To Wash a Car by R
 First, you get a bucket.

Next, you get a glass of water.
Third, you get a bottle of soap.

Fourth, you get a sponge.
Fifth, you put the sponge in the bucket.


Sixth, you take the sponge out of the bucket and take the sponge and put the sponge on the car and scrub the sponge on the car.

How to Make a Mud Cake by A
Put dirt in the pan.

Put water in the pan.
Put sticks in the pan.


I'm proud of my little how-to writers.  Many are starting their second how-to stories tomorrow.  Some are working on stretching out all the sounds they hear in words.  Some are adding labels to their pictures.  Some are rereading to make sure they are using their "bossy" voice and have included all the necessary steps in their pieces.  It's been a nice change of pace from the personal narrative writing we have been working on for so long. 

Tuesday, April 9, 2013

A Found Poem

Wikipedia defines found poetry as: "a type of poetry created by taking words, phrases, and sometimes whole passages from other sources and re-framing them as poetry by making changes in spacing and lines, or by adding or deleting text, thus imparting new meaning."

Last week was my spring break and during those glorious, lazy days at home I found myself listening to music a lot.  I listened to my old favorites and downloaded some new favorites to enjoy.  Apparently, the music was making quite an impact on me because I would catch myself singing favorite bits and pieces of those songs even when I wasn't listening.

Once I noticed how the lyrics were getting stuck in my head, I started thinking about how powerful music is and then, how music is a form of poetry.  I kept thinking there must be some way to turn all that music and thinking into a slice.  Yesterday I spent some time looking up lyrics on www.metrolyrics.com and copying the pieces that I found most meaningful into a Word document.  I had no idea where I was going with that process but I assumed I would figure it out eventually.

Today I started thinking that maybe I could find and highlight individual words in each set of lyrics that I copied that would make a poem.  That was my grand plan.  And then I sat down and started rereading the snippets of lyrics that I had and realized that combined together they made an interesting poem that went well together and flowed nicely.  And so...my slice for today was born!  Maybe you will recognize some of the lyrics!  I have no idea if I gave proper credit in the correct way, but I did the best I could without pulling out the college APA/MLA style textbook.



You've got
The most unbelievable blue eyes I've ever seen
You've got
Me almost melting away
As we lay there
Under a blue sky with pure white stars
Exotic sweetness
A magical time
Say it, say it again
I love you always forever
Near or far, closer together
Everywhere I will be with you
Everything I will do for you

Yeah, I was caught somewhere between
A woman and a child
One restless summer
We found love, growing wild
On the banks of the river,
On a well beaten path
It's funny how those memories they last             
Like strawberry wine and seventeen
The hot July moon saw everything
My first taste of love, oh, bittersweet

If I could walk on water
If I could tell you what's next
Make you believe
Make you forget
So come on, get higher, loosen my lips
Faith and desire and the swing of your hips
Just pull me down hard and drown me in love

Happy is the heart that still feels pain
Darkness drains and light will come again
Swing open up your chest and let it in
Just let the love, love, love begin

When I look into your eyes
It's like watching the night sky
Or a beautiful sunrise
Well there's so much they hold
And just like them old stars
I see that you've come so far
To be right where you are

Raindrops, rolling off my brim
Streetlights, got the pavement glistening
Touchdown, I fall into your arms
Right where I belong, your everlasting arms
Where would I be, without you
I'd be packing my bags where I'd need to stay
I'd be chasing every breeze that blows my way
I've been building my kingdom just to watch it fade away,
It's true
That's me without you!



Lyrics from www.metrolyrics.com

Stanza 1: I Love You Always Forever, sung by Donna Lewis
Stanza 2: Strawberry Wine, sung by Deana Carter
Stanza 3: Come on Get Higher, sung by Matt Nathanson
Stanza 4: Everybody, sung by Ingrid Michaelson
Stanza 5: I Won’t Give Up, sung by Jason Mraz
Stanza 6: Me Without You, sung by Toby Mac

Wordle: Love

Tuesday, April 2, 2013

Success!

Happy Tuesday!  It feels good to slice again!  For more slice of life stories, scoot on over to Two Writing Teachers hosted by Ruth Ayres and Stacey Shubitz.


It's the second day of spring break at my house and it's been pretty blissful so far.  Yesterday was spent on our favorite things.  I got to spend time hanging out with my friend.  It was great to be able to sit back and chat...and way overdue!  My kiddos also got to do some of their favorite things: playdoh, dress up, legos, video games and a few favorite tv shows thrown into the mix.  They even got to eat whatever they wanted for lunch: cereal and poptarts with Easter candy for dessert.  It was like a yes day for them.

Reality knocked softly on the door this morning though.  I realized we've had a weekend and a whole day of break and there hasn't been a single page read in a book by anyone.  And so...off to the library we went.

My son was less than enthusiastic about going.  He thinks reading during spring break will take away from video game time.  He's correct about that too!  Just call me Mean Old Mom.  He ended up quite pleased with his book selections.  He found a spring training baseball book, a Magic Treehouse book and a Stink book.  He's currently working on finishing up the second Percy Jackson book so he can get started on the new library books.  Success!

My oldest daughter had no trouble finding a wide variety of books.  She went straight for Rosemary Wells to find the Max and Ruby Easter book and Bunny Money, old favorites.  Next, she picked out two American Girl books, an Aurthur book, and one about cupcakes.  Finally, she came over and took my hand. 

"Mom, can you show me a good girl's book?" she asked.

I had seen the Baby Mouse books as I was helping my son find his books.  So off we went!  I've never read a Baby Mouse book but I figured she would be intrigued by the comic book format and I was right!  I guess it pays off to see big brother and Daddy reading them.  Success!

My middle daughter ALWAYS goes to "the Max and Ruby shelf" first.  She picked out her usual favorites: Max's Chocolate Chicken and Max's Dragon Shirt.  While she was there, she hit up another favorite author, Mo Willems, and grabbed a Knuffle Bunny book and a Pigeon book.  At that point, her bag was full and she had spotted the little people toys in the kid's corner and she was ready to play.  Books before play?  That works for me.  Success!

Little Half Pint, my youngest, spent her time at the library in her stroller with a nursery rhyme book.  She would slowly turn the pages and touch everything in the pictures before heading to the next page.  She also enjoyed a little play time...they have really cool new bead toys and magnet toys...and she stayed mostly quiet while we were there.  Success!

When we got home, we all settled in for some reading time while half pint had her bottle and got ready for her nap.  It's been a good couple of days in our house!  If you peeked in the windows, you would see a lot of smiles and now, a lot of new books stacked around us.