Monday, March 31, 2014

breath of thpring: happy firtht of april!

 Spring Breeze by K L Bailey
[dedicated to the theveral toothleth thix-year-olds in Room 166]
breath of thpring

the betht month of the year
the month of poemth ith near
so all and one pleathe gather round
and join the joyful lithping thound--
the thong of thpring ith here!

This ditty sounds better than it looks, I think.  Happy April, everyone, and Happy Birthday to Daisy!

Thursday, March 20, 2014

march madness round 1

Yes, I signed up again.  I like events and challenges--more than I like competition but also more than I dislike competition. I also rather enjoy being called an "authlete."

I received my word in the Think, Kid, Think March Madness Children's Poetry Tournament on Monday evening (our last and let's hope LAST snow day) and then completely forgot about it all day Tuesday.  I had a rough draft in mind by Tuesday night but forgot to send it in by the deadline (that'll cost me some late penalty votes!); I pulled it all together fast on Wednesday night and sent it in, and then realized I used the wrong form of the word.  Somehow I am not disqualified....thank goodness.

Now it's up for voting through 4pm on Friday--but it will be tough for you Poetry Friday people, because my "opponent" is fellow PF'er and teacher Linda Baie (who, curiously, also wrote a funny dialogue between mother and son.  How does that happen?).

And here is my poem, in its rushed and raggedy glory...

Mother’s Retort to Junior, Age 15

You think I am too old,
                      too late---
You think I can’t incorporate
          new style, new sounds,
          new swag, new “apps.”   Perhaps.

But even in my frail and failing state,
there must be some  way to rejuvenate
my sadly sagging groove and---    WAIT! 

How ‘bout I chaperone your date?

--Heidi Mordhorst 2014
Enjoy the hijinks of Poetry Friday with Julie at The Drift Record.

Friday, March 14, 2014

birthday discoveries psa...

Readers, I have now become a woman d'un certain ├óge.  Many would say that with age comes wisdom; I maintain that my main function in the world is to be enthusiastic, not wise.  And yet I do have some recent discoveries to share with you--a sort of public service announcement, a list of birthday discoveries that you might not want to miss.  (And, as various Documentations of Interventions must be completed for various students exhibiting various needs for intervention, my PSA will be merely a list of thanks with links.)

0) Thanks to Mary Lee: reading must be risked (see number 11 at link) despite and because of that gone feeling you get from the ideal book for the moment.

1) Thanks to the Wyngate Arts Exhibition:   "The Cup Song" is a perfect variety show number for elementary school girls--far more appropriate than, say, "Please Don't Stop the Music."

2) Thanks to Mark and Kim at Baltimore's Area 405's Supper and a MovieParis, Texas is a film worth returning to 1984 for.

3) Thanks to DJ Ivan and lots of my friends:  dance party knows no age, and the "tea dance" is a concept that deserves a popular general update!

4)  Thanks to my mom, personal shopper:  a bright new fruit bowl can just transform one's attitude in the kitchen. 

5) Thanks to my own good sense:  on the first sunny warm afternoon of nominal spring, three spa treatments is plenty and four is just excessive.

6) Thanks to writerly friends Tabatha Yeatts and Laura Shovan:  virtual is very fine, but you can't beat lunch with Pisces persons at a nice vegan restaurant with gifties from Robyn Hood Black's artsyletters shop.

7) Thanks to British in-laws Teresa O'Brien and John White:  poets Liz Cashdan, Gillian Clarke, Rebecca Elson, Beatrice Garland, Christopher Reid.  Golly.

8)  Thanks to creative, clever, caring offspring:  coupons for fancy meals, ten-minute massages, and happy playlists.  Something to look forward to is a great gift.  (And unlinkable children is probably also a great gift.)

9) Thanks to beloved spouse:  Sonos upstairs, Sonos downstairs, Sonos all around!  Please don't stop the music.  And also The Flavour Thesaurus, a synaesthetizing thing of joy.

10)  Thanks to my juicy little universe:  gratitude is good medicine

Today's Poetry Friday round-up is hosted by Kara at the intriguingly-named blog Rogue Anthropologist.  Wishing you all some of this same birthday enthusiasm this week, birthday or not!

Friday, March 7, 2014

oik friday and the pfa for science

It's been a long while since I OIKed, and usually OIKing happens on Tuesdays, but this week we have a Friday Overheard in Kindergarten moment.  Actually we have more than one!  It's very important to maintain a sense of humor when the weeks are so irregular (our school system has not had a complete week of school since DECEMBER) and when the children are so irregular surprising.  Here are gems from yesterday which are evidence, I like to think, of children learning what I'm teaching:

K.MD.A.1 Describe measurable attributes of objects, such as length or weight. Describe several measurable attributes of a single object:
"Miss Jenson, have you lost waist?"

3.1.C.2a. Examine a variety of living things and their offspring and describe what each parent and offspring looks like (we have been researching turtles particularly):

"Ms. Linney's baby is going to hatch soon!"

and, my personally resonating favorite (from Elmer, a recurring character)--

4.K.B.5 With guidance and support from adults, respond to questions and suggestions from peers and add details to strengthen writing as needed:

"It took me six months not to finish this!"


It took me six months
a lot of weeks at least
to remember what
I wrote

It took me six months
since I was still five
to read my
old words

It took me six months
and again today
to add one more
describing word

It took me six months
not to finish this!
and now tomorrow
I'm finally done!

HM 2014
all rights reserved

I must say that this poem reflects the sorry state of Writing Workshop in my classroom this year.  Something about our funky schedule and the particularities of my class has meant that many, many days our scanty writing time just gets swallowed up by difficult afternoon transitions and the need for a movement break and an unusually large number of kids who don't find a focusing joy in expressing themselves on paper.  I've always taught kids that Writing Workshop is "our favorite time of the day," the most relaxed, self-differentiated activity we do, but we haven't been able muster that habit this year. " It's taken me six months not to finish this..." and it's a mighty disappointment, to tell the truth.

AND YET!  How thrilling that on the same day we have finally arrived at the possibility of publishing our writing, copies of the Poetry Friday Anthology for Science also arrived at my door.  I was able to open the awesome Fourth Grade Student Edition and show my "Cicada Magic" poem right there in a real book, with my name and everything!  And THEY were thrilled and excited for me and for themselves, to actually reach an end point and publish their writing in a finished-looking form.  Deep breath; renewed commitment.

I believe that most regular Poetry Friday participants have poems in this anthology, the delights of which I haven't yet had time to fully savor--but if somehow you haven't heard, do go and look at the riches which are now available for you, your students, your children, your scientist friends, your anybody!

Join Margaret at Reflections on the Teche for PF goodness today and all weekend.