Literacy Links – Volume 91 *Poetry Edition*

book list, literacy links, poetry
The library of poetry picture books at the Poetry Foundation in Chicago, aka my version of heaven.

Two summers ago, in The Before, I attended the Summer Poetry Institute hosted by The Poetry Foundation (PoFo) in Chicago. It was a glorious week of being immersed in poetic forms and devices. I learned and learned and learned and wrote and wrote and wrote. I’m embarrassed to admit that I learned a new-to-me literary term: ars poetica, which means poems about poetry. My upcoming poetry display’s theme is going to be ars poetica, and I can’t wait to unveil it this week.

If you love or are intrigued by poetry, I urge you to consider any events hosted by PoFo. I might just change your life.

Here is this week’s roundup of POETRY links if you’re looking for some quick inspiration, tips, and refreshment:

Literacy Links – Volume 89

early literacy, literacy links, professional resources
Students playing math game, “Minus One” from K-5 Teaching Resources.

This past week I finally feel like I hit my stride in kindergarten. Stations were running, books at independent reading levels were being read, we celebrated the end of a unit that we completed *together in person*. The only bummer? It’s *March*. In the Before, I’d be feeling this way in October. I know I’m supposed to “give myself grace” and “let go of previous expectations”, but as excited as I was for our accomplishment, I’d be lying if I didn’t say I also felt like a failure. What a bizarre year.

Here is this week’s roundup of literacy links if you’re looking for some quick inspiration, tips, and refreshment:

Literacy Links – Volume 88

coaching, literacy links, math workshop, reading, writing
KV’s post box for our Connection unit in Impact Workshop (formerly known as social studies)

One of my favorite memories from my own kindergarten experience was a Valentine’s Day station rotation that imitated the process mail goes through to travel from one home to another. So when I started planning a unit on connecting with others as part of my Better Lesson coaching, I knew it would involve some kind of mail system. When my family got some new cabinets to DIY an island in our kitchen, I knew an empty box would make a perfect post office. It was kismet.

Here is this week’s roundup of literacy links if you’re looking for some quick inspiration, tips, and refreshment:

Literacy Links – Volume 87

book list, literacy links, online learning, professional resources
*Optional* Choice Board for families and students.

One of the many (endless?) struggles of remote teaching has been how much of my students’ days do I fill with learning? I, of course, want to grow their brains, but I also don’t want them to be in front of a screen *all* day. Another aspect to consider is their families: Some families want more structure and other families want less. I have no clear answer to my problem, but in the meantime, I created an optional choice board that’s going to provide families with optional activities. I tried to create meaningful activities that can work in many contexts, sort of like a center I might have in my classroom in The Before. I hope it’s helpful to those who use it.

Here is this week’s roundup of literacy links if you’re looking for some quick inspiration, tips, and refreshment:

Literacy Links -Volume 86

book list, coaching, early literacy, literacy links, math workshop, reading
One of my daily slides for our week of remote learning.

For the week after Thanksgiving, our district was remote. Remote is not the end of the world, but it is very different from in-person pandemic teaching (and light years away from teaching in The Before). The structure and routines that I teach students in class don’t necessarily translate to remote teaching. One of the biggest missing elements is turn and talk, an essential element of my classroom since I believe learning floats on a sea of talk. Remote teaching ends up being uncomfortably teacher-centered. But other routines could easily work in a remote environment, like using my name sticks to call on students to avoid Zoom chaos. I feel so foolish for needing a whole week to realize this, but that’s my brain’s processing speed in The Now. Here’s to a better online learning session next time.

Here is this week’s roundup of literacy links if you’re looking for some quick inspiration, tips, and refreshment:

Literacy Links – Volume 85

literacy links, math workshop, play, reading, writing
DIY rainbow nails for my first week teaching kindergarten

While it’s day 38 of the school year, it’s only MY fourth day of teaching kindergarten(ever!), and I’m totally in love. Some of my teacher friends from years’ past might be SHOCKED by this fervent feeling since there was a time that I only ever considered moving UP from fifth grade. But over my six years of coaching, I have spent a lot of time in kindergarten classrooms, and I have truly fallen in love with the grade. It doesn’t hurt that my first class and their families are INCREDIBLE. I’m so very lucky.

Here is this week’s roundup of literacy links if you’re looking for some quick inspiration, tips, and refreshment:

Literacy Links – Volume 84

book list, literacy links, math workshop
The sign = the rainbow connection scrap

A few weeks ago, I learned that I would be teaching kindergarten in November if the School Committee approved a new proposal. They approved, and a two week countdown began. Between monster cutting and laminating sessions, I decided to collage a cover for a kindergarten notebook for all of my ideas, to-do lists, and PD. I usually collage my PD notebooks, so whenever I find an image, quote, pattern, logo, etc. that strikes me, I stash it in a folder for my future covers. So I pulled out my folder, and the image above is what I found. I nearly gasped. I’d already decided on a rainbow theme for my room and the biggest word scrap in my pile said “the rainbow connection”. I took it as a sign, and I felt so much excitement.

Here is this week’s roundup of literacy links if you’re looking for some quick inspiration, tips, and refreshment:

Literacy Links – Volume 83

literacy links, online learning, outdoor learning, reading
Part of Lucy Calkins’s message in her closing remarks at last weekend’s Saturday Reunion.

Last weekend I attended the first-ever virtual Saturday Reunion from Teachers College Reading and Writing Project. Lucy Calkins had very powerful closing remarks that landed just right. Teaching is tough in The Now. Our elementary schools are about to bring back K-2 students (mostly) full-time. Lots of changes ahead for everyone that I know we’ll manage. But it’s still a lot to handle. Her message was reassuring: It doesn’t have to be perfect. Just show up. After drying my tears, I made this poster to hang on my door as a reminder as we continue teaching during a pandemic.

Here is this week’s roundup of literacy links if you’re looking for some quick inspiration, tips, and refreshment:

Literacy Links – Volume 82

literacy links, poetry, professional resources, reading
Next week’s theme is Special People in Our Lives!

Now that teachers are wrapping up their Writer’s Workshop launches, they are gearing up for their first standards-based units on personal narratives. This is exactly why next week’s theme is SPECIAL PEOPLE. I especially love the background knowledge resources: a special StoryCorps video and some of my favorite picture books. In fact, one of the books, You Hold Me Up, IS a poem, so I created a copycat template. My week at the Poetry Foundations Summer 2019 Institute is where I discovered the other poem, “Abuelito Who” by Sandra Cisneros, and the strategy of creating templates for poems. A very special poem, indeed.

Here is this week’s roundup of literacy links if you’re looking for some quick inspiration, tips, and refreshment:

Literacy Links – Volume 81

literacy links, online learning, poetry, professional resources, writing
Next week’s theme is autumn!

Since it is the most gorgeous time of year in New England right now, I decided that next week’s theme will be AUTUMN! To get students in the writing mood, I *highly* recommend taking them OUTSIDE for a nature observation walk. Check out the poems I selected and my resources and ideas for teaching them by clicking on the image or link above. Happy poem writing!

Here is this week’s roundup of literacy links if you’re looking for some quick inspiration, tips, and refreshment: