Friday, August 31, 2012

seize the day

It's Poetry Friday here in the Kidlitosphere, Poetry Friday in my classroom, and I dream of a day when it will be Poetry Friday in every classroom across the country.   The new Poetry Friday Anthology, conceived and published by Janet Wong and Sylvia Vardell, takes us one step closer to that happy circumstance.  Today I'm doing my part to bring it about by posting to my whole school about the availability of this resource for bringing poetry into the classroom every week.

Why poetry?  Among a mass of benefits, poetry
*reinforces phonemic awareness
*provides oral language practice and
*develops metaphorical thinking.

If that ain't enough for you, the new Common Core Standards place a stronger emphasis on poetry experience, enjoyment and study--so we're SUPPOSED to be doing poetry on a regular basis.  The Poetry Friday Anthology is just one source of good poetry with tips for bringing it to life in the classroom, but it's dear to my heart:  it contains the work of lots of folks I know and love as my poetry peers (and two of my own poems as well).

This morning, if I weren't obligated to choose a poem concretely connected to the actual red female betta living in room 166 (Mary Ann Hoberman's "Fish"), and if I were teaching older kids with a better sense of time, I might be using this first poem in the Anthology.  I include three stanzas, but to get all four, you'll need your own copy of The Poetry Friday Anthology!

The Most Glad-to-See Day of the Year | Allan Wolf

My favorite, special, most glad-to-see day,
the day I consider the best.
The day when I really get carried away.
The top day all year!  Can you guess?

It's not a one-timer.  My day never ends.
It's the first, second, middle and last.
It is here, holy cow!  It is new. It is now.
It is not in the future or past.

I'll give you the answer:  my day is...Today!
There's no waiting in line. There is no long delay.
What yesterday was and tomorrow will be,
Today's the most wonderful day for me.
The Poetry Friday round-up is hosted by Sylvia Vardell herself today at her blog Poetry for Children. Go for a dip, a dunk or a dive into Friday's pool of poetry!


  1. I love your teaser--using three of Allan's stanzas. And he is such a "seize the day" guy, I can easily picture him shouting this poem while jumping up in the air (I think he levitates in one of his publicity photos). As for your red betta: try "Fish" by Joy Acey in The Poetry Friday Anthology! Thanks for this great post, Heidi!!

  2. Heidi, I love YOUR contributions in the anthology... that one about looking up? Oh, my mind was just spinning with possible answers to your ending-line question. Thank you so much for writing it!

  3. Can't wait for my copy to arrive.

  4. I guess I'll have to get my hands on a copy to see the last stanza.

    Eve Merriman's poem "Lullaby" is one of my favorite fish poems. You can find it in this article:
    It starts:
    Sh sh what do you wish
    sh sh the windows are shuttered

    It is really beautiful to read aloud.

  5. Heidi,
    Thanks for telling all the teachers at your school about THE POETRY FRIDAY ANTHOLOGY. I never thought about masses of children all over the US using the same poems on a Friday. (Duh? I'm so slow.) Just the thought of kids everywhere enjoying poetry on Friday with us is so exciting.

    Please do share FISH with the kids. And if you contact me, I'll share a fill in the blank form children can use to write other poems about animals using questions.

  6. Hi, Heidi. What a sweet poem. I love how Allan slips a little zen philosophy in there with the adorable riddle! I hope you had a great first week back at school.

  7. Thanks for sharing this wonderful new anthology, Heidi - I just purchased it for my class and can't wait to enjoy it with them.

  8. I bought the Kindle edition of the PFA so I could project the poems more easily, and yesterday started my year of Poetry Fridays with Jack Prelutsky's week one poem for fifth grade. We tried our first "open forum" discussion with this poem (I was challenged by both Ellin Keene's and Peter Johnston's new professional books to try this way of having a group discussion where all of the comments aren't channelled through the teacher). It was all kinds of fabulous.

    WOW! The Mighty Minnows have a betta as their classroom fish! That's a powerful fish role-model. Hopefully it's not the fighting kind!

    Re: the daisies in my post. You truly have the best Daisy of all...especially now that she's returned to herself. Best wishes for a fabulous school year!

  9. I love how much the Poetry Friday anthology book is receiving so much love this week. And well-deserved, I am sure. I hope we can have copies here in our Singapore Libraries as well. I also enjoyed the poem you selected - too often we are concerned about the past and planning for the future, that we fail to enjoy the here and now. Carpe diem indeed!

  10. I've got my copy next to me and am thoroughly enjoying reading the work of all the PF peeps! Loved your contributions, especially "Things Are Looking Up." One of my hobbies is embroidery, so I really appreciated the idea of a needle "seeking a better view of the unstrung world" - how lovely is that!!

  11. Heidi do you even know how much I loved your poems in TPFA? I flipped for "Funday Imaginary 1st" I'm telling you if e.e. cummings and Emily Dickinson had a baby it would be you!


Thanks for joining in the wild rumpus!