Friday, September 13, 2013

pfams weather

We had some exciting weather yesterday outside our kindergarten classroom: at 1:35 we went out for our five-minute scream-and-chase-fest and noticed, despite the sunny sky and sweltering heat (and the screaming), some pretty powerful rumbles of thunder.  By 1:45 it had grown darkly cloudy and the rain was peltering down.  Lightning had joined the thunder, which was then joined by gleeful and fearful shrieking of 5-year-olds. 

We stopped looking at yesterday's-best Writing Workshop work and spun around on our blue sitting lines to face the weather graph, where we recorded.....our first rainy day in September!  And wind!  And still red-hot out there! 

[As I struggled to maintain control amid the storm and get everybody settled into Think-Draw-Write-Read mode, my parent volunteer, in for the first time, spoke the words we teachers long to hear, because so many people believe otherwise:  "This is a very difficult job--I don't know how you do it."]

All of this weather sent me looking for a sudden storm poem.  I picked up The Poetry Friday Anthology for Middle School and found three mighty enjoyable Week 9: Weather poems.  7th grade has Leslea Newman's "After the Blizzard, Outside My Window," and 8th grade has the rather exquisite "Sunbeam Confesses Its Love of Geometry" by Mary Lee Hahn, but it was in 6th grade that I found a poem closest to my stormy afternoon.  In case it's not obvious--I identified with the general. 

Racing the Clouds | Jacqueline Jules

The sky
is the color of a battleship.
wait with heavy breath,
like tense soldier listening
for a general's barked command.
The battle
will begin tonight.
But now
the sidewalk summons,
and a warm breeze kisses my cheek.
I'll take a chance
and race the clouds.
Hear my heart pound
in rhythm with my feet.

©The Poetry Friday Anthology for Middle School 2013

The round-up today is with Jen at Teach Mentor Texts, a new place for me.  And really, don't miss my Tuesday post below, a poem I found in my Comments inbox.  It's just too good (better than my blog lately).  And oh my gosh!  I almost neglected to mention that I am now a member of the Poets' Garage!  This is a wonderful development for me and I'm grateful for the opportunity, plus I like the cool badge.  Thanks to all the poets and clever administerial types who make the Garage run like greased lightnin'.


  1. Your enthusiastic description of your weather party is so much fun - you put me right in the action! I love how kids get so excited...but you know, I still do too when there's a really good storm.

    Jacqueline's poem is perfect for the occasion.thribut 153

    Also - welcome to the Poets' Garage! I'm so thrilled to have you there!

  2. We're having intense weather here in Florida, too, Heidi -- lots of rumbling thunder! Loved the poem you selected!

  3. Hello there Heidi - a battlefield in the skies! Now that's a powerful metaphor that's sure to capture children's imagination. And yes, being a teacher is indeed hard work! :)

  4. What excitement and potential chaos that you turned to calm with your charm. Love the storm poem. I am still exploring this wonderful collection.

  5. "five-minute scream-and-chase-fest"

    I've been witness to many of those and it's amazing how contagious they are!

  6. Love this poem, Heidi! You sound like a great teacher--don't you just love those "teachable moments" that sneak up on you??

  7. Love this poem Heidi! It describes the monsoon storms we experience here in Tucson. And yes, you do a difficult job and we thank you for it. =)

  8. A. Your first paragraph is a prose poem.

    B. What the parent said is an understatement, especially when it comes to Kindergarten.

    C. Thanks for Sunbeam's mention. She is ever grateful for the help you gave her.

    D. Congrats on Poets' Garage.

  9. No crazy weather here, but I do love how a little thing like the weather can completely turn your school day upside down when you're working with the little ones. so many "teachable moments," and though we are exhausted at the end of the day, it really is a whole lot of crazy fun, isn't it?
    Great post. And welcome to the Garage!!!

  10. Late with my comment, I know, but I wanted to tell you how much I liked that your classroom mirrored the storm with the "gleeful and fearful shrieking of 5-year-olds." "I'll take a chance/ and race the clouds./
    Hear my heart pound/ in rhythm with my feet." really hit home with me as well. Congrats on entering the Garage... I'm hoping to get in there myself one day.


Thanks for joining in the wild rumpus!