Friday, September 21, 2012

Poetry for Kindergarten!

Happy Song for the First day of School
by Patricia Hubbell

It's my 


I wish
This day
Would never
End - 

I've just
Made a

Love, love, love this poem!  What a bouncy collection of words for emergent readers to hear and read.  This poem can be found in The Poetry Friday Anthology -Poems for the School Year with Connections to the Common Core compiled by Sylvia Vardell and Janet Wong.  You can purchase a K-5 edition or a grade level edition as an e-book.  My grade level edition was just $3.99.  I just had to skip a visit to any of our local ice cream stores and believe me it's worth so much more than that.  

The book came to be from the momentum for Poetry Friday here in the blogging world.  The introduction in my K book addresses literacy needs for K students.  It feels like the authors are speaking right to me as they discuss focusing on enjoying and understanding poetry as a goal.  Kindergarten students need to focus on figuring out how words and language interact in their literate minds.  The authors also provide tips for reading poetry aloud.  I found this to be a helpful refresher and I think essential for a new teacher.  You will also find 10 reasons to use poetry.  Easily a great resource to help parents understand.  After each poem there are 5 suggestions for using this poem in your classroom.  

It's sometimes difficult to find a great resource specific to kindergarten and kindergarten alone.  This collection is perfect for kindergarten.  Poems carefully crafted for emerging readers and learners.  I can't wait to share a poem a week with my students.  I hope you can skip that special treat during your week and pick up this must have text.

Poetry Friday is hosted by Renee at No Water River, Thanks Renee.

Wednesday, September 19, 2012

Cybils and Nonfiction Picture Books

I am honored and thrilled to have been selected to join the Cybils Awards process this year, actually a little bubbly!  The Cybils Awards are chosen and given by bloggers for children's and young adult text.  I've read and followed some of the Cybils buzz in the past on and off however, I just learned a lot about the whole process from the Cybils FAQ page.  I am excited to be thinking about and discussing Nonfiction Picture Books.  Nonfiction is a genre for everyone to reckon with if you are carefully reading the Common Core.  I'm also interested in what new authors are doing to make nonfiction accessible to emergent readers.  I feel very lucky to have a reason to discuss books with new friends on the Cybils Award process.  I also feel very lucky to have Round 1 judges looking for the best to pass along to the Round 2 judges.  You can find the complete list of judges at the Children's and Young Adult Bloggers' Literary Awards.

Monday, September 17, 2012

Reading Like a Writer

There has been a lot of conversations this summer about The One and Only Ivan by Katherine Applegate.  At our first staff meeting our librarian and another fourth grade teacher were just gushing about this new book also.  Then Mr. Schu posted Ivan had passed and I thought I need to read this book.  I was also hoping to spark an interest in my fourth grader too.  What I discovered as I was reading, I was reading like a writer.  Lines of this text just made me stop and think about the language choice.  It made me realize the careful craft of choosing words to create images, emotions, and thinking.  Since there has been so much buzz about this heartfelt story I thought I would share the lines that struck me most written by Katherine Applegate.

-"Humans waste words.  The toss them like banana peels and leave them to rot."

-"Humans are clever indeed.  They spin pink clouds you can eat.  They build domains with flat waterfalls."

-"But even though I draw the same things over and over again, I never get bored with my art."

-""Memories are precious," Stella adds.  "They help tell us who we are.""

-"Because she remembers everything, Stella knows many stories.  I like colorful tales with black beginnings and stormy middles and cloudless blue-sky endings.  But any story will do."