Day #5…Poetry Challenge

A One Week Poetry Challenge

We have continued to observe objects in our classroom…today I focused on the books in our library corner…

Books  by Marie


Open up a book

and feel the


surround you.


All the wonder and


will fill your

head with enjoyment

and empower you

with knowledge.


Open up a book

and feel the


surround you




We have a yorkie-poo that is almost 8 months old.  He has been a great joy to have around.  He is a very happy puppy and well disciplined…for a puppy anyway.  And…I must mention that he is very spoiled because he is the “baby” of the family!   This evening, as I sat at the computer working on a case study paper for a grad class… he kept coming over and bumping his head (on purpose) on the door of the amour that the computer is in.  I didn’t know what he was doing but honestly it was beginning to get on my nerves.  After about the fifth time that he did it I took him to the door and asked if he wanted to go outside…no that isn’t what he wanted.  After the sixth time…I got up to get him some water and a little treat…no that isn’t what he wanted.  After the seventh time…I asked him to talk to me and tell me what he wanted.  My 12 year old said, “Don’t you know he just wants you to play with him!?”  So, I asked Einstein, “Do you want to play?  Go get purple…(which is what we call one of his toys).  He dashed off to his toy box and got purple…and brought him to me.  Josh was right…Einstein wanted me to pay attention to him and not the computer!  Josh said, “See I told you…his name is Einstein you know…that means he is smart enough to get you to stop working!”   I just had to smile…and get off the computer for a while!! 🙂

Day #4…Poetry Challenge

A One Week Poetry Challenge

Today my mini-lesson was “Poets are like scientists…they observe the world around them.  I shared my Old Oak Tree poem from my nature walk on Saturday with the first graders that I am doing a poetry unit with.  It was raining outside so we couldn’t go on a nature walk…so we went on a “classroom” walk.  They all found ordinary objects in the classroom that we could observe and write about…and we decided that we would make a class anthology of the poems that were about “school stuff”.  I observed a pencil and wrote about it as a model writing. ~ Happy Reading!
The Pencil by Marie

The golden


freshly sharpened


to spill

it’s magic of words

out upon

a piece of




April is for…Poetry Lovers

Since it is April…National Poetry Month…and since I am in the Poetry Challenge this week at Two Writing Teachers … I decided that for this resource Monday I would round up some of my favorite poetry resources….just a thought…Katie Wood Ray says…”to write a poem, you have to read 100 poems first”  I agree with her 100%.  Reading like a writer has been the number one thing that has helped me to become a better writer…so go for it…read a 100 poems and then write one for yourself!

Front Cover         Front Cover    

About 8 years ago I heard Georgia Heard Speak at a summer literacy institute for 3-5 teachers.  Her topic was Poetry and she walked us through her book called Awakening the Heart.  I love this book and use it every year when I teach my poetry unit in April.  She has another book that I love called, For the Good of the Earth and the Sun.  Both of these two books are enough to get you started writing poetry for yourself!


Here are two poetry anthologies that I use: 

Poems    Creatures of Earth, Sea and Sky …the poems are written by Georgia 

Poems of Comfort   This Place I Know: Poems of Comfort  Georgia compiled these poems of comfort into one anthology in order to comfort children in Manhattan In September 2001!  This is a very powerful teaching tool…It will show your students how poems can evoke feelings.  It is a great anthology to read each year in honor of 9-11

Check out these PDF handouts from Georgia Heard:

Georgia Heard has recently teamed up with Lester Laminack to write a wonderful resource for K-2 teachers to use for teaching children how to read and write poetry.  It is called: Climb Inside a Poem: Reading and Writing Poetry Across the Year.  Georgia and Lester have stated, “It is not only possible but vital to weave poetry into the daily fabric of a school day by reading a variety of poems for a variety of purposes throughout the year.  We believe that children will fall in love with all kinds of poetry, if they have a chance to read or hear a variety of poems.”

Climb Inside a Poem

The lessons in this collection are well-organized and can be taught as a unit of study or throughout the year.  I agree with Lester and Georgia…exposure to poetry…will allow children to envision themselves as writers of poetry.  I didn’t get this resource until January at the Reading Recovery Conference…to bad I didn’t have it to start off the school year with!!

Happy Poetry Month 🙂

Day #3…Poetry Challenge

A One Week Poetry Challenge

I noticed that several of the other poets in this week long challenge have written Haiku’s…I have never really enjoyed them…mostly because I have a hard time writing them…so here is my first!


by Marie



such an immense, wondrous thing

takes you anywhere


My Writing Mentors

 I have a few writing mentors that I admire…some for their professional works for teachers…and some are children’s authors.  Here are a few of my favorites:

ü      Katie Wood Ray and Lucy Calkins…they have both inspired me to use units of study.  The work that the kindergarten through second grade friends that I work with has shifted from being the work of K-2 students to being “WOW” work of K-2 students.

ü      Ralph Fletcher…I heard him speak the summer before I looped up to third grade with the second graders that I had just finished teaching…He spoke about his writer’s notebooks and why teachers need to be writers themselves if we were going to teach children how to write.  I took every word he spoke at that session and ran with it…writer’s notebooks…can’t live without them!

ü      Georgia Heard…She spoke at the same conference as Ralph…she talked about her writer’s notebooks too!  She shared her book Awakening the Heart…and I was hooked.  I had already seen myself as a poetry writer/reader…but I always wrote structured poems.  Georgia convinced me that I could…and can write free verse…and it is now my favorite way to write a poem.

ü      Lester Laminack…He came to my school and modeled instruction on reading aloud to children and writing workshop.  I fell in love with him the day I heard him read The Sunsets of Miss Olivia Wiggins…He helped me understand the need to use mentor text with our students so that the can envision themselves as writers…just like Lester!  In January he presented at the Reading Recovery conference in Virginia Beach, VA…He shared his book called Saturday’s and Teacakes and his new writing teacher resource called Cracking Open the Author’s Craft.  I had to buy it as soon as I left his session…and I am loving using it.

ü      Cynthia Rylant…I have never met her…but I feel like I know her because I read like a writer and I love her style of writing.  She is one of my favorite authors to study with K-2 children.  They really can envision themselves writing just like her and they can truly connect to her books.  One of my most favorite books by her is Missing May.  It is a chapter book for 4th grade up.  Oh…and I absolutely love the Cobblestone Cousins series!


There are many more…but my brain has stopped thinking for now…I will come back and add to this list…someday!!??




Day #2… Poetry Challenge

A One Week Poetry Challenge

Blue China Egg  by Marie


It was a sad day in September

Everyone at Grandma’s house

    after a long tearful funeral—

Voices humming in the other room

   swapping stories

And me,

Rummaging through Grandma’s bedroom

  trying to find that perfect

  thing that would keep her alive


I found it.

The blue china egg

I plopped onto her bed

   and looked inside

It was empty

   just like my heart felt

I closed my eyes and suddenly

I remembered

Grandma in the kitchen

   baking Italian cookies

   cooking an Italian meal

And saying “coma esta Maria”

Suddenly I realized

The blue china egg

   wasn’t empty after all

It was full of

Precious memories.



My Grandma passed away when I was a sophomore in college…today when I was dusting my bedroom …and the blue china egg…all the memories of that day came back to me.  Wow…that was 21 years ago.


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