Friday, May 22, 2020

Miss Amy {Poetry Friday}

guided me
guided we

opening doors
a starting point

a high five 
a smile
a kind gentle word

collecting words
all poetry

and we

@Mandy E Robek

Our distance learning journey was brightened each day by working with Amy Ludwig Vanderwater's Keeping a Notebook Series.  At first when my teaching world had been turned upside down, I used exclusively Amy's daily videos for my writing instruction.  I watched and observed teaching moves she made to guide her audience.  I watched my students connect and respond to her ideas growing their own writing.  During our morning meeting responses I started getting a "high five Mrs. Robek, just like Miss Amy."  After spring break, we began a poetry unit and I continued using Amy's generous sharing.  As my student's shared their writing with me, I began noticing teaching moves I could make to help accelerate their writing or reinforce an idea Amy shared.  Our writing workshop grew.  We'd watch Miss Amy's video and then I would try Miss Amy's idea in my notebook - snapping a picture to share and recording my thinking over the photo using the tool Seesaw.  Sometimes, a few students would address Miss Amy in their writing sharing with a connection, wondering, or telling her they wanted to do something different today as a writer.  Distance doesn't seem like the right word here for our learning together.  Our continuous structure and repeated visits brought connections - we had connected learning.  Thank you Amy for making something challenging doable.  Hugs.  XO.  - Mandy

Thank you Carol at Beyond LiteracyLink for hosting Poetry Friday this week. 


  1. Oh, Mandy! I am sniffing over here. Connecting with you and your students was an absolute gift to me during this time. I began addressing a void, and then, suddenly, I was addressing your beautiful wise young students and feeling that I had a colleague - you. Thank you for sharing your teaching journey with me...and for teaching me. Love to your students and to you. xxxx

  2. Wow, this is so beautiful! I love Amy's posts and videos too, and I love them more now, knowing how much they helped and encouraged you in your teaching. We really are all in this together. <3

  3. Amy has created a lifeline during this time that, I suspect, won't stop this year. I love your poem tribute, Mandy, and how the words from Amy were woven so beautifully into your classroom.

  4. Mandy, Amy's videos are wonderful teaching tools so am glad to hear your story. It is amazing how we can grow writers with consistent and patient teaching followed by practice. It sounds like #stuvoice is growing among your young learners.

  5. Her voice, her wisdom, her calm voice, and those high fives and blown kisses! She kept me sane, too. (Not sure how many of my students connected, but we'll be starting with her at the beginning of the year next year. So much is unknown, but not that!)

  6. Oh my gosh, what an AMAZING tribute to Amy--and to you, finding your way through to connect with your kids and keep them learning and growing. Yay for ALL of you!

  7. Kudos all around! Isn't it wonderful to learn and be appreciated and to write??? Love it!