Friday, February 14, 2014

scary valentine's day! and sunshine and march madness

It is a little scary here in the mid-Atlantic, with about 13" of snow arriving in two rounds yesterday.  School was cancelled for Thursday by 3 pm on Wednesday, and now school is closed Friday as well as Presidents' Day Monday--a 5-day weekend.  This makes a total of 7 snow days so far this year, but fortunately/ unfortunately (depending on who you are and what you lose) the State of Maryland has declared a State of Emergency, so those missed school days will not have to be made up in June.  Perhaps climate change is another reason why American school systems are going to need to shift to a year-round schedule with rearranged breaks...

Anyway, school Valentine parties are all rescheduled for next Friday and will have to be a little blip on the landscape instead of the big deal it once was in my 4's nursery school class.  One inspired year, following the lead of the children, we spent February pursuing MONSTERS.  In those days I played guitar, we sang every day, and I made up stuff here and there as needed...including the following celebration of love so powerful it's scary!  I don't have chords and can only dimly remember what tune we sang, so if anyone out there would like to compose a new tune, these lyrics are definitely for sale. ; )  We made crazy monsters with heart-shaped bodies and accordion-folded limbs to go with the song.

The Love Monsters

Look out!  Watch out!
The Love Monsters are coming!

Look out!  Watch out!
The Love Monsters are coming!

They come in every shape and size
They live under your bed
Their favorite day is Valentine's
They're pink and white and red

Their long arms stretch to hug you tight
Their sweet lips want to kiss you
Their long legs chase you day and night
When you're gone they miss you

Look out!  Watch out!
The Love Monsters are coming!
Look out!  Watch out!
The Love Monsters are coming!

HM 2014
all rights reserved

In other news, Ruth from There is no such thing as a Godforsaken town has nominated me for a Sunshine Award!  The award is actually a homework assignment of the best kind; here's how it works.
  1. Share 11 random facts about yourself
  2. Answer the 11 questions the nominating blogger creates for you
  3. List 11 bloggers
  4. Post 11 questions
  5. Acknowledge the nominating bloggers
  6. for the bloggers you nominate to answer and let all the bloggers know they've been nominated.  (You cannot nominate the blogger who nominated you.)
My 11 questions from Ruth are
1.  What's your favorite song right now?
2.  What made you decide to start blogging?
3.  What's your favorite post you've ever written?  (Link, please!)
4.  What's a book you've given (or loaned) to multiple people because you love it so much?
5.  What Hogwarts house would you be in?
6.  What's your comfort food of choice?
7.  What book character would you like to have lunch with?
8.  What's your favorite podcast?
9.  What's a movie you've watched many times?
10.  What are your favorite clothes to wear?
11.  What's a book on your wish list?
I shall be working on this over the next week and I have a feeling I might have trouble finding 11 bloggers who have not yet if you're feeling sunshiny, let me know and I'll tag you.

And, last but not least, I find myself getting excited about the challenge of participating once again in the March Madness Poetry Tournament hosted by Ed DeCaria at Think Kid Think.  Ed is not only a technogeek who uses tools and statistics to analyze poetry (his "Poemetrics" approach) but has been tireless in his efforts to make the tournament a real reflection of poetic skill.  In the past there was some feeling that poets could win a round based on popularity or number of friends voting rather than on the success of their actual poem. This year Ed has introduced new opportunities for participation by the public as well as new guidelines for winning a match-up:

Unlike previous years where the public vote alone determined the winner, in 2014, #MMPoetry authletes must win two of three of the following separate votes to win their matchup:

  1. Public vote
  2. Classroom vote – this is where you come in!
  3. Authlete vote
Do you see that, teachers?  Your class can become a pre-approved official voting classroom, helping to ensure that the winning children's poems in the Tournament have actually been read by children!  (And voting classrooms are entered to win a really nice prize: a collection of FIFTY (50) children's poetry collections.)

Do you see that, poets?  Your poems will be voted on by kids and your poetry peers, not just the general public!  I encourage you to join me, Jane Yolen, Allan Wolf, Tiffany Strelitz Haber, Samuel Kent and prodigy Gloson Teh (and many more) by signing up to "compete"!  The application is here:


  1. Wishing you lots of love, monster-style, on your snow days.

  2. If I remember the tune, I'd love to hear your poem sung!

    There are some awesome "Please prove you're not a robot" words for today! They're all Valentine's related and accompanied by hearts! Plus, they're actually readable on first look!

  3. I got an email that said our school district is asking for a waiver so we CAN make the days up! We've had 9 days off, (4 make up days). They will take most of our spring break away.

    Happy Valentine's Day!

  4. Love monsters want to hug you tight! Very sweet song...what happened to you playing guitar?
    Dash calls this "Winter Break III."

  5. I bet your Love Monsters song was a HUGE hit with the kids! Looking forward to seeing what monster poems you come up with for the March Madness tournament this year.

  6. Oh I can just imagine you singing this with a troop of pink, white, and red four year olds. This would be a treat in a magazine like Ladybug.
    I'm looking forward to March Madness too. Enjoy your extra long weekend.

  7. The kids must have loved singing this!

  8. Love your song, especially:
    >>Their favorite day is Valentine's
    They're pink and white and red<<
    Happy Valentine's Day to you!

  9. I have a 4 1/2 year old granddaughter who is much in love with monsters, so I see why the song-how wonderful, Heidi! I'm sure they loved every single line! Having a break is a good thing because of the ice and snow, but missing Valentine's Day is sad, too. Best to you all next week! And, I'm looking forward to March Madness-Ed works hard on it I'm sure!

  10. What a fun song. Good luck with MM !

  11. Looking forward to march madness as we'll. I like the improvements to the scoring! See you there!

  12. I love your MONSTERS poem, Heidi!
    Happy Valentine's Day!

  13. Hello there Heidi. We've been hearing about how winter is unusually bad this year. Sending you warm thoughts and gleaming rays of sunshine from Singapore. Also enjoyed reading about the Love Monsters - perfect for the Valentine Grouch. :)

  14. "Their long arms stretch to hug you tight
    Their sweet lips want to kiss you"
    Those are my kind of monsters... That is a lot of snow days! I had no idea there have been so many. Stay warm and Happy Valentine's Day! <3

  15. I love the memory of those heart-body accordion-leg creatures we made!

    Best wishes in Mach Madness -- we've got 4 voting 5th grade classrooms at my school!

  16. Thanks for linking me up to sign my class up for March madness. I tried once before and couldn't get the link to work.

    This Monster Love is awesome. I can just hear those little voices singing. I know you were sad to miss actual V Day, but if it's any consolation, my students were a bit hyped up and generally quite irritating.

    What a crazy winter we have had!

  17. I love the Monster Love song. We used to make folded leg Valentine creatures in my class. What fun to have connected them to a monster theme!


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