Tuesday, May 17, 2016

Slice of Life - Finding Joy

Last week I shared one way I find joy in teaching is through helping my students create.  It stirs my passion and keeps me going.  Several readers mentioned wanting to see photos of our poetry publication I had planned.  Today is a photo essay of sorts, I've been reading a lot of Elsie Tries Writing as a mentor text.

Before you look at the photos you must know this was worthwhile hard work.  The night I brought home 80 poems to read and offer some quick editing advice on was tiring.  The busy room was joyful and every student knew what they had to get done and what they wanted to get done.  There was lots of choice and voice.  I believe choice and voice brings magic and growth.  I wasn't happy using tempera paints as the color wash.  The students struggled with getting the right watery consistency.  Next year I will use liquid watercolors instead.  Oh there were moments of spills and messes but during those moments I encouraged the children to clean it up.  Messes happen but there was a double spill for one child that took a few deep breathes.  He doesn't understand the balancing act of a brush in a cup of water.  How is he going to learn?  There was paint on the floor.  Clean up means teamwork and it was amazing to see how clean we got our room.  There's still a small amount of paint in the hallway but the waxing this summer will get that off.  Watching each student pick one poem to orally share at our Poetry Cafe was joyful.  Watching parents mingle and read many student's poems was joyful.  Bringing home 20 books and reading 80 poems last night while leaving them a Reader's Comment was joyful.  
Drafting, Editing, Comparing Drafts and Final Copies

Creating Mental Images from the Words with Oil Pastels

Color Wash with Tempera Cakes

Messy, Yes!  Drying in the Hallway, Clean Up

Poetry Cafe

Published Poetry

Thank you Two Writing Teachers for hosting this writing community and for encouraging us to live a writerly life.


  1. Wow! Lots of gorgeous and beautiful focus in these writers!

  2. The photographs are great! I love seeing the process in photos.

  3. I love how you embraced the messiness. The final photos show that it was all worth it!

  4. Joy is evident in every photo! Yes, a lot of work, but it was a labor of love. This will be one of your students favorite memories when they think back on this year. Well done! (Thanks for the shout out 😃)

  5. Poems! Paint! Passion! Parents! Popcorn! These children and parents will never forget this night. So beautiful...thank you for including us in your celebration. xxxx!