Sunday, June 30, 2013

Chalk-ety Chalk

Ah, here we are once again. Welcome. It is so nice to see you.

 Borrowing from my other blog, I Think in Poems, is the above cup of words. That is all a poem is really. A cup of words that you sip from and then listen to the stories spill into you. Just enough words at the perfect temperature because they are from your heart. Poems are nothing to be afraid of. Instead they are a celebration. One never to be forgotten. Look around you and see all the cups of words that surround you. We don't realize how many poems we are walking past everyday. When you write your words for others to walk by they are bound to resonate with someone. And it spreads. Go spread your joy and chalk a poem. Anytime in the next few days. I don't care if it is today or next week, if you share your words you will bring happiness to many.

You drink
the sky
your eye
up high
you are
the light
your face 
sun bright.

Remember, you can also chalk an illustration and simply share the words through your keyboard too. Illustrations convey an important part in the art of sharing. 

Comment if you like but definitely share your link below and direct us to your blog. If you don't have a blog I will add your photo as soon as I can to this post so others can share in your work. Just email your pic to

Check out the lovely chalk round up!

Linda from Teacher Dance joins us with a music-filled poem.

Margaret from Reflections on the Teche joins us with student Chalku poems.

Over at Teaching Tomorrow's Leaders, Robin shares her children's chalk work!

Mary Lee joins us with a Chalku for Eastern Colorado.

Lori joins us with student Chalk - both poems and some work-in-progress pictures!

Sunday, June 23, 2013

Chalk-A-Bration June 30th

 I DO!

Don't forget, it is right around the corner. Go on! Buy some chalk, go outside and write some favorite poetic words, original or not! Then photograph them and link them here on June 30th! I will be off the grid but that doesn't mean you can't be chalking. I just won't be commenting or rounding you up until I return. If you have access to some kids (or kids at heart) get them chalking too.
UPDATE: There might be some wifi in my location, cross your is currently only a rumor ;)
My first chalk poem, sigh. Where it all began.

The post will be up and ready for you so be sure to share some chalky goodness for all to see.

Share this button, found on the right side of your screen to spread the word!
What is chalk-a-bration you ask? Click here for the back story.
Still there? What if you don't have a blog...well, first I would say GET ONE AND START WRITING, but...if you aren't ready to do that, send me your photo and I will add you to the post as soon as I can:

Thursday, June 20, 2013

A Day of Learning

Anticipation, excitement, notebooks, pens, ideas...these among other things are what I was carrying around this morning as I got myself ready for the first day of the ALL WRITE!!! conference in Warsaw, Indiana. Could I be surrounded by nicer, smarter, more open educators? 
I love being in an environment where I meet new faces that reflect my same beliefs and philosophies when it comes to teaching a writer. 

Here is what I took away from today:

Start and end your day with a poem.
Dedicate the reading of a poem to a student, they will remember this gift.
There is a structure to "adding details." Three main points:
  • action details
  • thought/feeling details
  • dialogue as a detail
There are little bits in between, but saying, "add details" doesn't really help students add anything. 
When you confer there is a structure:
  • Research what your students know.
  • Decide what you they need next.
  • Teach it.
  • Link it, make a connection. 
Top Book Picks: Here are a few that stood out for me from the list of great mentor texts:
  • Little Bird, Zullo  
  • Ms. McCaw Learns to Draw, Zemach
  • Thank You, Miss Doover, Pulver
  • Zero Is the Leaves On the Tree, Franco
I wrote a poem with the simple prompt--Journey, which I will link here.

What a full and luscious day! 

Tuesday, June 4, 2013

As a Writer...

Writing has become so much more than words on a page. I see and appreciate so much more about the writing process since becoming a writer myself. It was always in me but suppressed by fear. This community is what brought me out of that fear and helped shape a more confident writer, free to express herself. I wasn't sure what my slice would be today, my sick daughter (sinus infection), the beautiful sunshine (perfect day to be outside), a poem (HERE) or my growing excitement for the ALL WRITE!!! conference later this could have been any of these.  Then Stacey's question begged to be answered.

What does being a writer myself do for me as a teacher:

  • grows my confidence
  • puts me through the frustration of not having anything to write about
  • gives me something to share
  • allows me to model planning, drafting and revision....yes even in kindergarten
  • becomes a bridge to drawing, another love
  • reminds me that writing is a process
  • connects me to other teachers who love teaching 
  • makes me vulnerable
  • makes me think and process more
  • helps me to reflect as a learner
  • reminds me that writing is fun and stirs my enthusiasm...therefore stirring my enthusiasm to teach writing.
I think that last one is what makes the most difference. Before I was a writer my enthusiasm for writing was lacking. I was at a loss. I didn't really know how to do it and how to create excitement. I saw writing as a "thing" to be done on the list of things. I now know better. I know it is so much more, so much more than just words on a page. 

If you didn't get a chance to see all the chalk-a-brators last week you should check them out. Remember, there is another Chalk-A-Bration on June 30th, July 31st, and August 31st!