Friday, January 10, 2014

in January it's so nice

We now resume our regularly scheduled programming...Happy New Year, everyone!

Update from Room 166: 
On January 2 I repeated a most successful lightbulb idea from last year.  Having read a number of books by Leo Lionni, we enjoyed Tillie and the Wall, in which Tillie, the youngest and most curious mouse living near a seemingly boundless wall, wonders what's on the other side.  After several tries, she hits on the idea of digging under it.  She tunnels along and emerges on the other side to find not the fantastical plants and animals she imagined, but regular mice just like herself.  All the same they're delighted to meet her and there is celebration with flags and confetti and a party. 

We talked about the old year and the new year, and how the new year is new but very much the same as the old--and then we "tunneled" under all the tables from 2013 to 2014,  cheering and greeting each other as we emerged on the not-so-different other side.  It's always delightful to celebrate.

On January 6 I opened up my raggedy, yellowed, dogeared big book of Chicken Soup with Rice for the 25th time and took yet another class of children on a foolish and fanciful trip around the year.  Of course we have to sing it, and just in case there is anyone who does not know Carole King's Really Rosie (a scripted, animated and most importantly scored conglomeration of Maurice Sendak's Nutshell Library), here is the video we've been watching and moving to on all these days of indoor recess.  Most satisfactory kindergarten poetry, don't you agree?

I tell you once, I tell you twice,
all seasons of the year are nice
for eating chicken soup
eating chicken soup
eating chicken soup with rice!
(chicken soup, chicken soup with ri-ice)
Update from my own personal Writer's Workshop:
With critical help from members of the Poets' Garage (especially Liz Steinglass) and the generous Laura Shovan, I have finally completed a WIP that has been underway for more than five years!  It's a good feeling to have that done, and it was a great luxury to spend hours and hours pulling it together, especially those spent in Seaford, England at The Well Cottage.
No, this is not a gorgeous, charming and comfortable B&B offering writers' retreats--but it could be.  It's the new home of my mother-in-law and her partner, and they hosted us for Christmas AND provided poet support services that you couldn't pay enough for elsewhere.  I'm very grateful.
Please slip and slide on over to Mainely Write with Donna for this week's Poetry Friday round-up.


  1. Let's hear it for celebrating the ordinary! And for chicken soup with rice! Congrats on the completion of your WIP. Nice to have you back, Heidi :-)

  2. Wow! It sure looks and sounds like a wonderful writing retreat! Congratulations on completing your project. We love Really Rosie. Now you've got me singing it.

  3. Happy new year, Heidi! I hope you and your family enjoyed some quality time together. Congratulations on completing your WIP!

  4. I've been wondering where you were. Looks like you've been in a beautiful and productive place. My children loved Chicken Soup with Rice. Such a fun song and story. Congratulations! and Happy New Year!

  5. I love the way you brought the new year in for your kinders by tunneling under desks! You are definitely the Kindergarten teacher in my dream school!

    And what a dream vacation!

    And to top it all, a completed WIP!

    Three cheers for you!!

  6. I can't tell you how much I love Chicken Soup with Rice! One of my all-time favorite read-alouds. [Another one is Piggy in a Puddle by Charlotte Pomerantz, if you don't know, look for it, I think your kids would love it! It is silly to the max.]

    Glad to hear your WIP is now WF!

  7. Thank you so much for sharing this beautiful video clip! How awesome. Your students are lucky to have you as teacher.

  8. Thanks, everyone! Diane, you are getting to know me so well--in the spring we spend a whole week with Piggy in a Puddle, acting it out and making a "story folder" with popsicle stick puppets to take home.

    Myra, I like seeing a picture of you--I don't think I knew what you looked like!

  9. Congratulations on completing your WIP! From one full-time teacher to another, I know how difficult it is to find writing time, but you did it! Yay!

  10. Hey there, Friend! Glad to see you on this side of the tunnel.
    Ears been burning? My daughter is spending a lot of time in the classroom this (senior) year, and I was reminding her over break to check out your blog, for amazing adventures like this one. I told her I want to be a Mighty Minnow.
    Happy 2014 and thanks for sharing Sendakian treasures!

  11. Hi, Heidi. I had a great time reading the manuscript and can't wait to see it in print. Thanks for that fun little bit of Carole King.

  12. Oh, Heidi! I'm late to this post, I know...but that image of you all tunneling like that just made my morning. Tillie and the Wall was a book I loved reading to our three, and this brought back such a happy memory. Your students are fortunate to have a teacher who knows what it is to be a child and holds onto it in these times. Many many congratulations on your manuscript! What a lovely place to write... xo, a.


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