Friday, July 3, 2015

Poetry Friday - Natures Welcoming


One morning this week I woke up while on vacation to discover my friend Cathy, at Merely Day by Day is at it again!  She is constantly inspiring me and pushing me to do projects with her and projects on my own.  I love how she is using Instagram to share her poetry and photography.  Maybe she will do a blogpost to share if the poem comes first or the photograph.

Cathy wrote a haiku poem about mornings at the ocean beach and I looked out my window at the lake beach and began pondering about my own haiku.  For me, this image came first through observation and I snapped my photograph.  Then while walking my dogs I began my pre-writing process to think about my own haiku.  I started putting together word phrases and counting out syllables.  When I returned from my walk, I went down and sat on the dock to draft my own haiku using the app Phonto because I believe that is what Cathy uses.  

I decided writing a haiku was fun and having the syllable format made me think a bit more intentional about my word choice.  I wrestled with the first line the most and like my final decision.  Haikus are intended to be about nature and I found this poem easier to write than the one I tried later about doughnuts.  Let's just say eating the doughnut was a bit distracting.


                        

Thank you to Donna at Mainly Write 
for hosting Poetry Friday and organizing the Round Up!

Tuesday, June 16, 2015

Slice of Life - Protocols

Protocol.

Modeled yesterday.
Piece of writing is read first by everyone.
One group member shares responses.
Others listen.
The author responds.
Others still listening.
Next group member shares responses.
Others listen.
The author responds.
Others listen.
Repeat and continue until all group members have shared.
Looks easy enough - we can implement.

Reality.
Piece of writing is read first by everyone.
One group member shares responses.
Might be interrupted.
Others listening, difficult!
Eye expressions happen.
Mouths are covered up.
Hand gestures.
Laughter.
Chocolate break to keep self busy.

Goal met.
Writers pushed.
Protocol tweaked.


I have the honor and pleasure to be working this week and next with the Columbus Area Writing Project on a new little adventure.  I am equally blessed to be working in a small group of local educators that has new friends and old friends for me.  I can't wait to see what this week and next brings our group.

Thank you Two Writing Teachers for hosting and fostering this writing community.

Saturday, June 13, 2015

Celebrate This Week - Sitting



Today I am celebrating, sitting.  


We had a double header for softball to start our day.  It was very hot and humid.  I tried to knit but knitting wasn't the most fun as sweat was dripping and rolling everywhere.  So, I sat and cheered and watched a fun group of 12 year olds have fun.  I told myself sitting is okay and I decided if I was a dog my owners would not be happy with how much focus it takes for me to just sit.  

I realize sitting this long is easy for many people.  However, I am usually doing things while I am sitting and the amount of time I sit is very short. 

Then we were invited to a post game pool party and I thought we would be there about an hour, mingling with team parents.  We actually sat and visited, making new friends.  Sharing and listening to stories that create connections for about three hours.  It was fun to watch our youngest play with teammates.  Sitting allowed her to make connections.  

Sitting created connections for us today.
Sitting is important.

Thank you Ruth, for supporting us in finding the positive in our busy lives and using our words to celebrate.

Friday, June 12, 2015

Familiar Author, Different Story - Joy Cowley, Agapanthus Hum


                                             
I've been excited to find authors I know from a series and discover they have other titles and stories to share with readers.  Agapanthus Hum and the Eyeglasses is by Joy Cowley.  Joy Cowley has been a big part of my literacy career through the Wright Group Sunshine titles from years back or the ever popular Mrs. Wishy Washy character. 

Agapanthus Hum is a spunky girl who loves to hum and creates tunes for all the little things she does.  Her dad actually refers to her as a "whizzer and rusher."  These two words alone provide a great visual for how much movement Agapanthus is engaged in during her day.  Agapanthus Hum has one problem.  While trying handstands day after day her glasses fall off each time.  Her parents warn her, they fix them, they encourage her to give them to her mom but she keeps wearing them.  She does come up with her own solution which is quite funny!  We all need mentors and luckily for Agapanthus Hum there is an acrobat show in town and not only does she get inspiration she finds a solution for what to do with her glasses while doing handstands.

This early chapter book is filled with rich language phrases, dialogue and some supportive illustrations.  Joy Cowley doesn't disappoint the beginning reader nor treat them as a novice reader.

Here are three lines I love from this story and hope you find, if you pick this book up.

"You are just like a music box."

"Clean glasses made the garden look as sharp as a tune played on a fiddle."

"Her hum puffed out like a birthday candle, and her head went quiet."

PS - All 3 Agapanthus Hum books can be found at the link above for a penny plus shipping!  Yes, I got all three!

Friday, May 29, 2015

Poetry Friday - Water Is Water










This week I received a package and it just screamed summer surprise, happy first week!  Water Is Water by Miranda Paul and Illustrated by Jason Chin was a book I preordered and let it slip my memory.  Poetry is used to share the various forms water can be by using rhyme, repetition, and onomatopoeia, and interesting line breaks.  I just found the phrases so fun to read aloud.  Here's an example to help you have fun too - 

Page 1              Glide.

                            Slide.

                         Put on the brakes!


                         Ice is ice unless...

Page 2              it forms flakes.

The text is carefully crafted to use just one or two words to describe the action needed to change the form of the current water state.  I found it interesting how the page layout works to help the reader think harder and predict the next state of water to be discussed.  The book begins with water as a liquid and follows the journeys as it becomes steam, fog, a cloud, rain, puddles, ice, flakes, snow, with spring it becomes mud, roots, apples, cider, a drink again.  As I have been discovering with informational poetry there is more information in the back of the book.  The reader first learns more about each form of water mentioned in the poem, explaining the science behind the water form a bit more.  More facts are in three sections; Water is ...everything!, Water is...everywhere!, and Water is...important!

As a reader, I'm always looking out for ways I can share with my students new things I learn by being a reader.  Today I learned "When plant roots absorb this water (seepage), it's called uptake."

I need to make some time to explore with gouache and watercolor on paper.  This is the medium combination used by Jason Chin for the illustrattions and they are just beautiful.  I found the warm, soft illustrations to enhance the poetry and make me wish I could join the children illustrated in the story to play with the different water forms.  

It's so fun to join and return to Poetry Friday.  Thank you to Margaret for hosting Poetry Friday at Reflections on the Teche.  

Monday, May 25, 2015

Math Monday - Spotting Intervals

Welcome and thank you for stopping by Math Monday, 
I hope you will consider joining the conversation.

It's summer time for me and Math Mondays might be light hearted at time, which seems very appropriate since it's summer!  As I worked in the yard this weekend, I noticed my favorite reading spot has intervals.  My first reaction was there were intervals on the back and the seat.  Then I realized the top half of my chairs are tricky because the width at the top of each board increases a smidge in size, which makes the intervals inconsistent in size.  Which leads me to a question and or a misconception I think students could have.  Do intervals vary in size? or Intervals can be of different sizes.  The bottom is consistent in size and a great interval example.

As you see intervals this summer remember to join #intervalchat on twitter.


Leave your link within a comment and 

don't forget to check out other blogs to see what they are thinking mathematically!


To help build our community and support other bloggers, 
it would be nice for you comment on at least three other blogs before you. 
Also, if you tweet about your Math Monday post, don't forget to use #mathmonday!

Monday, May 18, 2015

Math Monday - Intervals


Welcome and thank you for stopping by Math Monday, 
I hope you will consider joining the conversation.


Today is our last week of school and I'm beginning to think about summer; projects around the house, hobbies to reconnect with, time with my girls and time to be.  This list doesn't include anything about teaching but I've been thinking of things to work on during the summer and I recently read a great post - Number Lines, Part 2 over at Becoming the Math Teacher You Wished You'd Had by Tracy Zager.  I found the work she shared around number lines fascinating and inspiring.  I had never thought about showing and modeling intervals in our lives for students.  

As I returned to second grade this year, I've been muddling through lots of new standards and trying to understand them.  Since reading Tracy's post one of my summer plans is to collect pictures of intervals to help make Measurement and Data Standard B.6 visual; Represent whole numbers as lengths form 0 on a number line diagram with equally spaced points corresponding to the numbers 0, 1, 2,... and represent-whole number sums and differences within 100 on a  number line diagram.

However, she inspired me to think about other math areas where intervals are integral; number lines, analog clocks, arrays, rulers, graphs, and measuring cups.  I was also inspired to think about places I see intervals or encounter them within my own life.  While cleaning my house blinds last night, I discovered intervals.

I'm so excited to join #intervalchat and make that part of our Math Monday posts.






Leave your link within a comment and 

don't forget to check out other blogs to see what they are thinking mathematically!


To help build our community and support other bloggers, 
it would be nice for you comment on at least three other blogs before you. 
Also, if you tweet about your Math Monday post, don't forget to use #mathmonday!