Wednesday, March 2, 2011

SLICE OF LIFE CHALLENGE TWO - March 2. 2011

The one thing that’s difficult about being a literacy coach/roaming teacher is that I don’t have the chance to know the students so well. They aren’t “my” students, so if I teach a group of them, I see them in short spurts during the days, & am not involved with their entire school life. This week, I’ve also started a poetry group for a teacher (lucky me), something that I miss so much from my own classroom. I know the students by name, & have worked with a few on other projects, but I didn’t know their feelings about poetry. We will meet only once a week so I had to find a quick way to see what they believed was good, what they loved & what they didn’t like so much. I read poetry every day, collecting poems I believe are good, that touch me in some way. I copy & save them for the right moment. I must have over a hundred that I keep in a big envelope. It was a lovely surprise to see the group’s eyes light up when we sat on the floor & I spread the poems out. This poetry group their assignment was to read, to choose a few poems that seemed important to them in some way. It was my gift to them. Toward the end of the group, I asked everyone to share a chosen poem & to tell why it was chosen. Hearing these students talk about poetry gave me information about them: who liked the structured rhyme, who chose the quirky poem with a kicker at the end, who chose the more personal message, & who liked the creative look of a concrete poem. As a whole, the activity showed me that these students really love poetry & want to mess around with it more & together. During our reading time, they showed each other poems & parts of poems, saying ‘look at this’ & ‘listen to this’ a lot. For our next session, I will use this knowledge to plan for them, & also next time I will encourage them to find a poem that isn’t necessarily a favorite, but to examine it for its attributes as a poem-to stretch their experiences. And-also next time-we will bring a poem that we have written. Their choices of poems they like told me one thing; those they write themselves will tell me more.

11 comments:

  1. I like your idea of choosing some great poems for them and spreading them out for them to choose. What a great way to get to know the students you hardly see! Great slice!!!

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  2. Sounds like this will be a great group to work with and get to know. Poets amaze me with their concise language. I wish I had that talent.

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  3. I've never cared for poetry. Maybe with you as a teacher I would have. Even though I'm a LA major, poetry and Shakespeare are my downfalls. Just do not like either. Maybe if I forced myself to read poetry in small doses daily, maybe I would find some I like. I'm into this 30 things in 30 days thing this year, maybe I'll do a 30 poems month. Hmmm, thanks for the idea.

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  4. A site called your Daily Poem is a lovely way to start (http://www.yourdailypoem.com/). They'll send you a poem a day! And the site called Poetry 180 is awesome, too. Hope I can get you started. . .

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  5. Thanks for the poetry tip above. I'm not very confident in my poetry but I try. I believe it's important to expose children to poetry. As a literacy coach, I have found that I'm like a cheerleader. I believe they can do the writing and am excited. Your post gives me a glimpse into your belief as well. :) MaryHelen

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  6. I can completely relate to that feeling of not having your own students. There are so many variables you can't control as you roam from room to room. I love teaching poetry. And kids love it too. I wish I could be there with your group. Sounds like fun to me! I haven't had a chance to do any poetry lessons this year and miss it. April is poetry month and it is just around the corner! I will look forward to reading what happens with your little group.

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  7. Thanks for all your thoughtful comments. This is such fun already, like having a good conversation, which is how I view reading sometimes.

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  8. It is great that you get the chance to work with this group! They sound excited. I love that! I used to be afraid of poetry but once I heard Georgia Heard speak and bought her book, I have never been the same. I love it! I can tell you do too. I appreciate you sharing your ideas. Happy Slicing! Have a wonderful weekend! :)

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  9. I also miss having my own group of students on day to day basis. Great community building and getting to know these students in a deeper way through poetry.

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  10. That's great that you can have a poetry group with a few students. I've just started my poetry unit, and it's one of my favorite units to teach!That's great that your students love poetry. It sounds like a good activity.

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  11. I'm with you about not having your own class--not able to really know the students. I taught Special Education for 9 years, and for 3 of those, I was the "resource" teacher--not a great position to say the least. But, you do have influence on a wider range of students--a good thing sometimes!

    I love your idea of spreading the poems out and letting the students choose one they like. I, too, keep poems (on my g-mail account, usually), and share poems periodically; however, I think I can adapt your idea with my high schoolers, if it's okay with you...

    Also, thanks so much for your comments on my Slice today. They really helped me out a lot!

    Stephanie
    http://boxofchocolates29.wordpress.com

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Having a conversation is a good thing!