Saturday, February 23, 2019

Ordinary Magic

I'm Celebrating this Past Week!

Writer and educator, Ruth Ayers at created Celebrate This Week, a community of writers that write about their week’s celebrations, whether ordinary or extraordinary. I decided to gather some of my celebrations from this past week here, today.

Poetry Celebration #1!

Each Friday, not only on my blog, but at school, I like to take the time to celebrate poetry. I share a “Poetry Break!” with the entire school, by reading a poem on the morning announcements. Yesterday, to wrap up Random Acts of Kindness Week, I read Eileen Spinelli’s “How to Love Your Little Corner of the World.”  It’s one of my favorite poems. It's one I've copied into my Poetry Journal and created a collage for. It was appreciated by many staff members as well as some students who commented that they liked the poem that I shared on the announcements. I love that I can reach the whole school by sharing a “Poetry Break!” on the announcements!  It's a great way to begin our day.

Poetry Celebration #2!

A second celebration around poetry also occurred yesterday. I call each Friday, Poetry Friday and share poetry with my Book Clubs (also known as my reading intervention groups). I read aloud poetry, have s collection of poetry books for students to peruse, give out poems to read and sometimes illustrate with a sketch, and many other activities that involve poetry. Students love Poetry Friday in my Book Clubs!  I know this because they tell me so each week. As a matter of fact, yesterday, one of my fourth grade boys commented, “Why do we only get to have Poetry Friday?  Why not Poetry all the time?”  My response was that we also had many books that we would be reading.  Another student replied, “Yeah, we should have Poetry Friday and Poetry Monday!”  I thought about how excited these kids were to have time built into their day to spend with poems. I decided that I will add poetry into each day that I see my Book Clubs. After all it takes a minute or less to read aloud a poem.

I Won a Scholarship!

I'm so excited that after applying for a scholarship, I won!  The scholarship will allow me the opportunity to attend the New York State Library Association’s annual Conference!  I've not yet been able to attend one. So this May I'll be attending the NYLA SSL Annual Conference!  Here's a link to the list of amazing speakers I love learning from authors, educators, and other speakers!  I also submitted a proposal to present at the conference. I'm still waiting to find out if it was accepted.

New and Improved Reader and Writer!

To wrap up my celebrations for this week, I'll add that I signed up for two writing courses through SUNY Broome’s  Continuing Education program. I can't wait to participate in them!  I've also been in touch with a couple of authors regarding the NYSRA Charlotte Book Award and not only considering their books for the Ballots but also to set up interviews that I'll feature here.

I feel as though each day I come closer and closer to the reader and writer that I once was. Not only do I feel that I am nearer to her, but I feel as if I am a new and improved improved reader and writer. I'm a better version of each because all my experiences from the last few years have had a tremendous impact on my growth and learning.

Thursday, February 21, 2019

Full Moon Dreaming

I'd like to begin today by saying a very special thank you to the Poetry Friday community of readers and writers. You have welcomed me and my poetry and applauded my bravery. I'm so glad that I chose to be Brave and share my writing. I've loved your feedback and support.

Today's Poetry Friday host is Robyn from Life on the Deckle Edge Please stop over to find lots more poetry love.  I adore the moon and watching it change each night. In anticipation of Tuesday's Super Snow Moon, I wrote this poem . . .

Full Super Snow Moon
Photo taken by Amy

Full Moon Dreaming

Something in your light
Something in your glow
Makes me feel alive
Feels like home
Something in your energy
Something in your power
Makes me feel alive
Feels like healing

In the dark you give light
In the dark you give life
Makes me feel alive
Feels like love
In the dark you give beauty
In the dark you give hope
Makes me feel alive
Feels like faith

You are full
You are the moon
I am full
I am the human
I see you
You see me
Let's dream together
Of all that can be.

Friday, February 8, 2019

Starting Over

Today I am being Brave once more, as I am sharing my own poetry here for today’s Poetry Friday celebration.

Starting Over

How many times
can I  try again?
How many times
can  I  start anew?
How many times
can I begin something fresh?
How many times
can I go ahead once more?
How many times
can I walk a path
that I've walked before?
How many times
can I take a road
that I've traveled so often?

As many times as I need to
because each time I do
I learn something new.

Poetry Friday is being hosted by children's author, Laura Purdie Salas. Click on her name to visit her site for lots of poetry posts.

Monday, February 4, 2019

Mother Goose Monday

A Mother Goose Cookie Jar

Recently as I hunted through various booths at an antique/thrift store, I stumbled upon a Mother Goose Cookie Jar. It was labeled at an irresistible price!  I had to bring her home!  Now she sits proudly on my countertop, where she is a constant reminder to me, of the joys of sharing traditional rhymes with children.

I've shared nursery rhymes with my preschool classes when I taught Head Start children years ago. I recited them and sang them to my own babies as they grew into preschool and then school aged children. And now I've been sharing them with young children, first as a reading specialist and now as an elementary school librarian.

Nursery rhymes were such a big part of our daily lives and routines for my own girls. We recited, “Rub-a-Dub-Dub” when it was bathtime, “”Jack and Jill” as they ran up and rolled down a small hill in their grandparents front yard.  Taste-tested peas and honey from a knife, as we ate peas for dinner and recited, “I Eat my Peas with Honey.”. And I was told by my late husband, John, that I was the cause of my older daughter's fear of spiders because we acted out “Little Miss Muffet!” (I'm not convinced of this, though Sienna did burst into tears when we were frightened by the spider!). Integrating nursery rhymes into our lives was so natural, as they lend themselves to so many childhood routines.

As a former early childhood education student, and then teacher, it was natural for me to understand the value of integrating these childhood rhymes into my babies’ lives. It was amazing and beautiful to watch as John seemlessly did the same with our girls. He so enjoyed finding opportunities to recite with the girls as he dressed them and recited, “One Two Buckle My Shoe,” or played “Ring Around the Rosie,” as he held their hands and danced around the living room. What precious bonding time these simple nursery rhymes offered our family. Now they remain, just as precious in our memories. Not just memories of days gone by, but memories of a mom who is still here as a mom to two teenagers, but also as a memory of a dad that is no  longer with them  Memories of their dad that has passed away but a dad who has left his children with beautiful, yet simple memories.

All of this has come from the simplicity of a cookie jar that was happily discovered as a treasure from the antique/thrift store. What memories are you making today?  What simple objects hold a memory of the past?  What treasures might you discover, that will bring about memories of the past?  Memories that cause you to smile each time you look st your treasure.

Friday, February 1, 2019

Our Tree: A Poem

Happy Poetry Friday!

Today's roundup is being hosted at The Opposite of Indifference.

"Our Tree" 
Photo by Amy Merrill

I thought I'd take a risk today and put one of my poems out there into the world. This poem was inspired by my lovely friend and author, Amy Ludwig Vanderwater. Thank you, Amy, for all you do to inspire both students and their teachers!  (You are a beautiful soul!). Check ou Amy's poem that was the inspiration for my poem. She explains that it is called a then and now poem. I love to watch this tree that's in front of my house, as it changes with the seasons. My late husband had it planted when we first moved into our home. It's stood tall throughout the years, watching as our family grew. I know it will live on, as do our memories.

Our Tree

When we moved into our house
there were no trees
(twe needed a tree to feel like home)
one was planted in the spring
it was quite small
it would grow
as our family grew.

Now as I look out my
window I see our tree
reminding me of John
because he's gone
but our tree remains standing .
A reminder of love
It will live on.
as do memories.