Friday, September 2, 2011

growing gills

I've been underwater for the last two weeks, thanks to the hurricane of back-to-school details and a pesky need to actually sleep every night.  However, I must be growing gills, because I'm finding time to post.

It has been a fairly fishy week.  I began the year with my new K class with a deeply favorite book, Swimmy by Leo Lionni.  He's just such a good role model, isn't he?  Swimmy stands out from the crowd, takes care of himself, finds wonder in his surroundings even though he's scared and alone, takes a stand and solves a problem--cleverly--and shows bravery and determination as he leads all the little red fish to liberty.  For right now, I'll be the eye, but soon my 19 little ones will begin to lead the way.

Then we sang a tune I used to sing to my children when they were infants in the tub with me:

"Splish, splash, splish;
I am a little fish.
Swimmy, swimmy, swimmy, swimmy,
Splish, splash, splish."

At snacktime (made necessary by a scheduled lunch time of 10:45!), we've been plucking and reading this week's poem from the Poetree:


Look at them flit
Tearing around
With a leap and a bound
But none of them making the tiniest

by Mary Ann Hoberman

This poem reminds Ms. Mordhorst's Mighty Minnows that fish are very quiet indeed, and that the Mighty Minnows can be very quiet when it's called for.  Now before we enter the hall we sing, "Splish, splash, splish; I am a silent fish," and we swim down the hall like one giant silent fish with our hands finning up and down or side to side.

Tricia at The Miss Rumphius Effect is our "powerless" Poetry Friday host today...hope to surface long enough to see you there!


  1. I love the idea of a class of silent fish swimming through the hall. That's a great hall technique.

    Hope you continue to keep your gills and swim merrily along in your own life.

  2. Ms. Mordhorst's Mighty Minnows! They are so lucky to have you! It's a great thing to begin my morning with that picture of all of you swimming through the hallways... Does your classroom NOT NORMAN by Kelly Bennett or MEMOIRS OF A GOLDFISH by Devin Scillian? You've got me thinking about fishy books... A.

  3. Love the silent fish transport mechanism! So much fun.

  4. I love this whole lesson...makes me wish I were still teaching in elementary school!

  5. I can just see your little 'school,' silently swimming down the hallway... what a nice beginning to September for a once-upon-a-time teacher. Lovely!

  6. I want to come and swim in YOUR "school" and be a Mighty Minnow!

    You K teachers always amaze me with the ways you help the littlest ones learn about lines and quietness, and how you can make (MUST make) everything into a song or a chant or a poem or a story.

    I've got a VERY nice class this year -- no need to whip them into shape. I'm thanking the Universe for noticing the hard work I've put in with very tricky kids for the last...not that I'm counting...five classes.

    Like Amy, you've got me thinking about fishy books -- what about Andrew Clements' BIG AL?

  7. Love being part of the Poetry Madness Crowd again. And look how you update yourselves so easily.
    Love the hat, Amy.
    And thank you all for the fish references.
    Jeanne Poland


Thanks for joining in the wild rumpus!