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Monday, April 30, 2018

2 by 2 in 2nd grand finale!!! npm18 #30


Dear Diamond Miners,

TA-DA!!!  YOU HAVE DONE IT!  First, you can now check your answer to this equation by counting the words in our poem:

(15 poets x 2 words) x 2 turns = __________

Second, you have collaborated and cooperated for ONE WHOLE MONTH to write a poem about...collaboration!

Last, in your poem, you have chosen juicy and powerful words that sound good to our ears and feel good in our mouths.  These words fit together nicely, kind of like Lego blocks!


Today's ten words are brought to us by Kathy, Ines, Caleb, Arya and Tyler, who really wanted the ending (and did an excellent job).

You can be quite proud of yourselves, and I hope you enjoyed it! 

Love, 
Ms. Mordhorst

P.S.  Blog visitors, the Diamond Miners love it when you leave comments directly for them. Thanks for all your encouragement!

*****************************************


Title TBD
    by the Diamond Miners
    April 2018

When we work
together

it feels fun 
and
difficult like Lego
pieces,
feels like struggling 
with
frustration and figuring
what 
to do. We
live like Legos,
pushing and building, 
pulling and flipping,
lifting and twisting.
We only have
to 
listen to our
friends 
when we build
Lego 
factories, stack together
every
day multicolored blocks
that
are very buildable.
All together!!!
😊



************************************
Words have been added to this poem by these wordsmiths, in order:
Round 1   Round 2
Ms. M      Ms. M
Ziva         Henry
Eric          Elena*
Eldana     Patrick
Henry      Ziva
Kathy      Eldana
Ines          Max
Elena       Xavier
Sophia     Sophia
Patrick      Eric
Xavier      Kathy
Arya         Ines
Tyler        Caleb
Caleb      Arya
Max         Tyler

Friday, April 27, 2018

sooo imperfect

Friends, by a timely miracle, I find myself to be a part of a book I wish I had had as an 8th grader.  It may already have been too late for me then, 12 going on 14, younger than everyone else, striving to be fine, better than fine, perfectly fine as I understood was expected of me.

It was a hard facade to maintain, especially when it came to math; how could I possibly work in base 2 or 5 if I had no systemic understanding of base 10?  Luckily, I was told by the authorities that it didn't matter: I was a poet, not a mathematician.  But the striver in me knew that in order to be fine, better than fine, perfectly fine, I ought to be able to calculate in base 5.

But what if I had had Imperfect?  This anthology of poems about mistakes for middle schoolers, collected and edited by my friend Tabatha Yeatts, might have relieved me.  Instead of walking around cracked and "patched together unattractively with metal staples," I might have discovered kintsugi.  I might have found opportunities to acknowledge and mend my breaks beautifully.  You'd see my "precious scars" made of liquid silver, my pottery bowl full instead of leaking, leaking all the time.

Which poems might have spoken to me?  Surely the opening poem by Ruth Hersey, "Syllabus for Eighth Grade," would have let me know that falling off your chair was to be expected, that it would be normal to

experience rejection,
heartbreak,
elation,
humiliation:
some days, all before lunch.

I would have looked for tissues on the teacher's desk, and if there were none, perhaps I would have realized that something was wrong.

I might have learned that silliness, that "sweet syrup that helps us swallow the bitter pills of life," can helpfully include laughing, especially at yourself.  "Make a Mistake, For Goodness' Sake" by Charles Ghigna might have helped there, full of exhortations to be "wild and woolly...honest and fair," to

Just be yourself. Take care of your health
And don't listen to people like me.

And Margarita Engle would have helped me understand a little earlier in life that "since I'm smart" and brave enough to "ride a crowded bus all the way to downtown Havana," it doesn't mean I have any wisdom.  Better to let Perro the dog

...eat simple dishes
like boiled rice
with raw crickets
his favorite
treats.

And finally, perhaps having the anthology Imperfect would have demonstrated that we don't lose anything in making a sincere apology for our mistakes.  Michelle Heidenrich Barnes knows it:

closed door
between me and you
knocking

Humility heals whether the door opens or not.  I'm grateful to Tabatha for collecting the work of dear friends like Linda Mitchell (whose diamante sinuously converts "Mistake" into opportunity) and Catherine Flynn (whose "The Laws of Motion" captures perfectly he way middle school society works) and many others.  I'm enjoying returning to classic poets like Amy Lowell and Carl Sandburg.

I close, glorying in imperfection, with a familiar, mysterious favorite of mine, by Antonio Machado, which reveals how not-quite-certain I am that it's really okay to be broken-and-repaired:

Last night as I was sleeping,
I dreamt---marvelous error!---
that I had a beehive 
here inside my heart.
And the golden bees
were making white combs
and sweet honey
from my old failures.

I guess that's because, as Ruth Hersey concludes,

nobody has ever mastered
the art of being thirteen
going on fourteen.
Or any other age, really.
We're all just figuring it out as we go along.


The round-up today is with Irene at Live Your Poem, where you can catch up with her ekphrastic project (ugly word for a beautiful thing) and with the Progressive Poem.  Also, thanks for checking out the progress of my 2nd-graders' own progressive poem in the previous posts.  We're flagging a little in the home stretch and would love to have your encouraging comments!

Thursday, April 26, 2018

2 by 2 in 2nd npm18 #26

Dear Diamond Miners,

Just like we have stacked layers of recycled Trader Joe's bags with  layers of scrap paper and tissue, we also stacked our Preamble to the Kids' Constitution onto the Constitution of the United States. Eric chose the words "stacking together," which makes a lot of sense! Our poem is nearing its end now...



Who will add their words next?

Love, 
Ms. Mordhorst

P.S.  Blog visitors, the Diamond Miners love it when you leave comments directly for them. Thanks for all your encouragement!

*****************************************
BRAINSTORMING 
work hard, seems like, to think, we love, to have, we could
apart and together, pulling and pushing, turning and flippingstacking and building and modeling
***********************************************

When we work  
together
it feels fun 
and
difficult like Lego
pieces,
feels like struggling 
with
frustration and figuring
what 
to do. We
live like Legos,
pushing and building, 
pulling and flipping,
lifting and twisting.
We only have
to 
listen to our
friends 
when we build
Lego 
factories, stack together

************************************
Words have been added to this poem by these wordsmiths, in order:
Round 1   Round 2
Ms. M      Ms. M
Ziva         Henry
Eric          Elena*
Eldana     Patrick
Henry      Ziva
Kathy      Eldana
Ines          Max
Elena       Xavier
Sophia     Sophia
Patrick      Eric
Xavier    
Arya        
Tyler       
Caleb    
Max        

2 by 2 in 2nd npm18 #25

Dear Diamond Miners,

Here I stand, O Noble Class,
to help your poem come to pass.
Whisper words of Lego blocks
That I your teacher may unlock.



 
Sophia decided to whisper more about Lego blocks on Tuesday--and not just a few blocks but big, complex Lego FACTORIES!  Being part of a group of friends--or a class--is a little bit like working in a factory.  Think about how we are collaborating to make our Earth Day poster...is that like a factory?



 Who will add their words today?
Love, 
Ms. Mordhorst

P.S.  Blog visitors, the Diamond Miners love it when you leave comments directly for them. Thanks for all your encouragement!

*****************************************
BRAINSTORMING 
work hard, seems like, to think, we love, to have, we could
apart and together, pulling and pushing, turning and flipping, stacking and building and modeling
***********************************************

When we work  
together
it feels fun 
and
difficult like Lego
pieces,
feels like struggling 
with
frustration and figuring
what 
to do. We
live like Legos,
pushing and building, 
pulling and flipping,
lifting and twisting.
We only have
to 
listen to our
friends 
when we build
Lego factories,


************************************
Words have been added to this poem by these wordsmiths, in order:
Round 1   Round 2
Ms. M      Ms. M
Ziva         Henry
Eric          Elena*
Eldana     Patrick
Henry      Ziva
Kathy      Eldana
Ines          Max
Elena       Xavier
Sophia     Sophia
Patrick
Xavier
Arya
Tyler
Caleb
Max

Monday, April 23, 2018

2 by 2 in 2nd npm18 #23

Dear Diamond Miners,

Here I stand, O Noble Class,
to help your poem come to pass.
Whisper words of Lego blocks
That I your teacher may unlock.




What words will you whisper today?  Your poem is really developing now. Should we include some sensory details, like shapes and colors?  

Love, 
Ms. Mordhorst

P.S.  Blog visitors, the Diamond Miners love it when you leave comments directly for them. Thanks for all your encouragement!

*****************************************
BRAINSTORMING 
work hard, seems like, to think, we love, to have, we could
apart and together, pulling and pushing, turning and flipping, stacking and building and modeling
***********************************************

When we work  
together
it feels fun 
and
difficult like Lego
pieces,
feels like struggling 
with
frustration and figuring
what 
to do. We
live like Legos,
pushing and building, 
pulling and flipping,
lifting and twisting.
We only have
to 
listen to our
friends 
when we build



************************************
Words have been added to this poem by these wordsmiths, in order:
Round 1   Round 2
Ms. M      Ms. M
Ziva         Henry
Eric          Elena
Eldana     Patrick
Henry      Ziva
Kathy      Eldana
Ines          Max
Elena      Xavier
Sophia 
Patrick
Xavier
Arya
Tyler
Caleb
Max



Friday, April 20, 2018

2 by 2 in 2nd npm18 #20

Dear Diamond Miners,

It's Poetry Friday!  Today we have been finishing our "Little Slice of Earth" poems and our poems for two voices. Our progressive poem is also growing, with words from Patrick yesterday.  Today it's Ziva's turn and we will pick one more person for Saturday. I think we also owe Elena a word...she chose twisting and ended the sentence with a period, but that's not a word.

I keep thinking of Chan Lo from The Jade Stone...I feel a little like the stone carver listening to a rock to find out it wants to be!

Here I stand, O Noble Class,
to help your poem come to pass.
Whisper words of Lego blocks
That I your teacher may unlock.

Love, 
Ms. Mordhorst

P.S.  Blog visitors, the Diamond Miners love it when you leave comments directly for them. Thanks for all your encouragement!

***********************************************
BRAINSTORMING 
work hard, seems like, to think, we love, to have, we could
apart and together, pulling and pushing, turning and flipping, stacking and building and modeling
***********************************************

When we work  
together
it feels fun 
and
difficult like Lego
pieces,
feels like struggling 
with
frustration and figuring
what 
to do. We
live like Legos,
pushing and building, 
pulling and flipping,
lifting and twisting.
We only 


************************************
Words have been added to this poem by these wordsmiths, in order:
Round 1   Round 2
Ms. M      Ms. M
Ziva         Henry
Eric          Elena*
Eldana     Patrick
Henry      Ziva
Kathy     
Ines       
Elena     
Sophia
Patrick
Xavier
Arya
Tyler
Caleb
Max

Wednesday, April 18, 2018

2 by 2 in 2nd npm18 #18

Dear Diamond Miners,

Everyone has now had their first turn to add two words!  We had some catching up to do again today.  Max and I chose words from the list we brainstormed on Friday.  Then Elena and Henry continued our repetition of  -ing words by choosing more words with the same vowel sound in the middle:  flipping, lifting, twisting.  That's called assonance. 

We are really getting into some great wordplay!

Love, 
Ms. Mordhorst

P.S.  Blog visitors, the Diamond Miners love it when you leave comments directly for them. Thanks for all your encouragement!
***********************************************
BRAINSTORMING 
work hard
struggling with
seems like
to think
we love
to have
we could
apart and together, pulling and pushing, turning and flipping, stacking and building and modeling
***********************************************

When we work  
together
it feels fun 
and
difficult like Lego
pieces,
feels like struggling 
with
frustration and figuring
what 
to do. We
live like Legos,
pushing and building, 
pulling and flipping,
lifting and twisting.


************************************
Words have been added to this poem by these wordsmiths, in order:
Ms. M *
Ziva
Eric
Eldana
Henry *
Kathy
Ines
Elena *
Sophia
Patrick
Xavier
Arya
Tyler
Caleb
Max 

2 by 2 in 2nd npm18 #15

Dear  Diamond Miners,

On Friday we actually got out our Legos, three pieces each, and played with arranging them into different structures over and over again.  We noticed a lot of apart and together, pulling and pushing, turning and flipping, stacking and building and modeling.

These are all juicy and powerful words that are helping us develop our poem.  Tyler and Caleb added their words, giving us more alliteration, another simile and some action!

And then we combined all our pieces into one big structure! Max and I are next....


Love, 
Ms. Mordhorst

P.S.  Blog visitors, the Diamond Miners would really love for you to leave comments directly for them, since after all it is THEY who are writing the poem.  Thanks for all your encouragement!
***********************************************
BRAINSTORMING for tomorrow!!!
work hard
struggling with
seems like
to think
we love
to have
we could
apart and together, pulling and pushing, turning and flipping, stacking and building and modeling.***********************************************

When we work  
together
it feels fun 
and
difficult like Lego
pieces,
feels like struggling 
with
frustration and figuring
what 
to do. We
live like Legos,
pushing and 

************************************
Words have been added to this poem by these wordsmiths, in order:
Ms. M
Ziva
Eric
Eldana
Henry
Kathy
Ines
Elena
Sophia
Patrick
Xavier
Arya
Tyler
Caleb

Saturday, April 14, 2018

progressive poem line 14 is here!

What a journey--and we're only halfway along! I'll start today by thanking everyone for reading my host post interview with Irene and Liz way back on March 30, and for playing along with our request to note where you thought we might go with Liz's first line.

Now it's my turn to reveal my initial expectations....
"I'm picturing a garden, and while we could spend 30 lines chronicling the growth of this one seed--who is she?!--I see the stories of many awakenings taking place in our garden setting, twining together in the way that spring growth happens, burgeoningly!"

I was imagining the sprouting, budding and blooming of many plants and maybe some minibeasts, all thoroughly grounded, so the introduction of Jasmine (not just jasmine), a thousand stars and the Moon as a character required a total reboot.  And then Owl! And now Lee and his party!  I won't think of myself as "wronger and wronger with every line," but you poets, you really know how to turn a ship with a well-chosen word!

Here's something funny: for a couple days this week I got confused and thought that I had the line on the same day as the surprise party for Lee Bennett Hopkins.  I had already begun to think how I could slip in that other definition of "lee" (shelter from wind or weather given by a neighboring object, especially nearby land), or some hopping, or some little reference--but then I realized that was Linda's job...

and boy, did she do it! She has sent Jasmine and Owl and maybe Moon directly to Lee's party!  Why equivocate?  No symbolic sleight of word here!  Linda, you are now officially a braver poet than I.

But let me move forward, with curiosity if not courage:
  
Nestled in her cozy bed, a seed stretched.
Oh, What wonderful dreams she had! 
Blooming in midnight moonlight, dancing with
the pulse of a thousand stars, sweet Jasmine
invented a game.

"Moon?" she called across warm honeyed air.
"I'm sad you're alone, come join Owl and me.   
We're feasting on stardrops, we'll share them with you."   
"Come find me, Moon called," hiding behind a cloud.

Secure in talons' embrace, Jasmine rose
and set. She split, twining up Owl's toes, pale   
moonbeams sliding in between, Whoosh, Jasmine goes.
Owl flew Jasmine between clouds and moon to Lee's party!

Moon, that wily bright balloon, was NOT alone.



********************
I hope that puts my friend Donna in an intriguing and challenging position for Line 15!

I'll sign off, wishing a glorious National Poetry Month to all, and inviting you to scroll down for the latest development in the progressive poem project of my 2nd graders.  They really do appreciate and learn from your comments. Thank you!

Friday, April 13, 2018

2 by 2 in 2nd npm18 #13

Dear  Diamond Miners,

Today we actually got out our Legos, three pieces each, and played with arranging them into different structures over and over again.  We noticed a lot of apart and together, pulling and pushing, turning and flipping, stacking and building and modeling.

These are all juicy and powerful words that are helping us develop our poem.  Tyler and Caleb added their words today, giving us more alliteration, another simile and some action!

And then we combined all our pieces into one big structure!


Love, 
Ms. Mordhorst

P.S.  Blog visitors, the Diamond Miners would really love for you to leave comments directly for them, since after all it is THEY who are writing the poem.  Thanks for all your encouragement!
***********************************************
BRAINSTORMING for tomorrow!!!
work hard
struggling with
seems like
to think
we love
to have
we could

***********************************************

When we work  
together
it feels fun 
and
difficult like Lego
pieces,
feels like struggling 
with
frustration and figuring
what 
to do. We
live like Legos,
pushing
and

hb to the mayor of poetrytown!


For so many years I had known his name, read his work, heard how the children's poetry world revolved around this venerable voice for children and their reading needs.  But it wasn't until 2009 that I had any opportunity to actually meet Lee Bennett Hopkins, and that was no small moment--it happened in front of dozens of the bright lights of children's poetry, gathered to celebrate Lee's receipt of the NCTE Poetry Award.

I posted about that event here and mentioned the poem that I shared at that festival in the "town square" which was really a large but windowless conference room.  What town do I speak of?  Poetrytown!  And who is the Mayor-by-Acclamation of that town?  It is Lee!


What did I read that day?  A poem which coincidentally--for I knew little of this feeling of community or of Lee's leadership until I walked into the room and felt it--described both my desire to invite others "into the house of my poem" and to be invited in.  And here is that poem, dedicated to Lee Bennett Hopkins on his birthday!



Stanza Means Room | Heidi Mordhorst
  for Lee Bennett Hopkins, again


Come into the house of my poem.
Knock on my title,
I’ll open the door--
Knock on my door and come in!


This stanza’s my parlor.  Come in.
Hang up your hat,
Settle in, stay a while—
I’ll tell you my story and you tell me yours.
Sit down in my poem and chat.


This stanza’s my kitchen.  Come in.
Are you ready to eat?
Belly up to the bard—
Sip at a simile, munch on a metaphor.
Dig into my poem and feast.


This stanza’s the playroom.  Come on,
Unpuzz all the packles!
Chant or sing, whisperSHOUT---
Giggle the riddles and chime all the rhymes!
Join in with the juggling and jokes!


This stanza’s the bedroom.  Come in.
Recline on my lines,
Doze off in my drift…
Pillows of imagery wonder your head.
Relax in my poem and dream.


This stanza’s the back door.  Farewell.
You aren’t the same now
As when you came in—
A guest in my poetry house.



********************************
There you are, and there I am, and there are all of us, citizens of Poetrytown--and all over this virtual town today (thanks to Robyn Hood Black, our host today) the houses of our poems will be festooned with balloons and environmentally-friendly confetti and colorful hoopla in honor of Lee!





Thursday, April 12, 2018

2 by 2 in 2nd npm18 #12

Dear  Diamond Miners,

Arya seems to know that working together, with all its frustration and figuring what to do, is a part of life.  He chose we live as our next two words!

I'm noticing that lots of our readers are interested in the Lego idea.  Maybe tomorrow Caleb, Max or Tyler will bring in more Lego words...


Love, 
Ms. Mordhorst

P.S.  Blog visitors, the Diamond Miners would really love for you to leave comments directly for them, since after all it is THEY who are writing the poem.  Thanks for all your encouragement!
***********************************************
BRAINSTORMING for tomorrow!!!
work hard
struggling with
seems like
to think
we love
to have
we could

***********************************************

When we work  
together
it feels fun 
and
difficult like Lego
pieces,
feels like struggling 
with
frustration and figuring
what 
to do. We
live

************************************
Words have been added to this poem by these wordsmiths, in order:
Ms. M
Ziva
Eric
Eldana
Henry
Kathy
Ines
Elena
Sophia
Patrick
Xavier
Arya

2by 2 in 2nd npm18 #11

Dear  Diamond Miners,

We can take a little break today and brainstorm... what do YOU think should come next? What two words would you use to start the next sentence?  Max, Tyler, and Caleb have not yet taken their turns...


Love, 
Ms. Mordhorst

P.S.  Blog visitors, the Diamond Miners would really love for you to leave comments directly for them, since after all it is THEY who are writing the poem.  Thanks for all your encouragement!
***********************************************
BRAINSTORMING for tomorrow!!!
work hard
struggling with
seems like
to think
we love
to have
we could

***********************************************

When we work  
together
it feels fun 
and
difficult like Lego
pieces,
feels like struggling 
with
frustration and figuring
what 
to do. We
live

************************************
Words have been added to this poem by these wordsmiths, in order:
Ms. M
Ziva
Eric
Eldana
Henry
Kathy
Ines
Elena
Sophia
Patrick
Xavier

Tuesday, April 10, 2018

2 by 2 in 2nd npm18 #10


Dear  Diamond Miners,

Silly Ms. Mordhorst!  I got excited and chose both Patrick and Xavier today, even though it's Tuesday and we only needed one turn.  That's what happens when I don't get enough sleep--I make silly mistakes!


Patrick took struggling with frustration and moved it in a positive direction!  One way to respond to a struggle is to engage your PFC and figure what....

and Xavier chose to end the first sentence of our poem with action:  to do, and a period.  We also decided to continue our 3:1 pattern.

We do need to figure what to do when we work together.  What are some juicy words that mean "figuring out"?


love, Ms. Mordhorst

P.S.  Blog visitors, the Diamond Miners would really love for you to leave comments directly for them, since after all it is THEY who are writing the poem! 
***********************************************

When we work 
together
it feels fun 
and
difficult like Lego
pieces,
feels like struggling 
with
frustration and figuring
what 
to do.

************************************
Words have been added to this poem by these wordsmiths, in order:
Ms. M
Ziva
Eric
Eldana
Henry
Kathy
Ines
Elena
Sophia
Patrick
Xavier