Thursday, September 29, 2016

Poetry Friday

"Poet Laureate Jose Felipe Herrera just gave me this writing advice: 'Face the Abyss with many different colors'."
                                                                                               ~Gene Yang

The bit of writing advice above combined with Tabatha Yeatt's poem from last Friday was my inspiration for today.

Last Friday, Library of Congress’ Ambassador for Young People’s Literature, Gene Yang, visited my school. 

Mr. Yang's visit was absolutely stellar. Students and staff were completely enthralled. One math teacher tracked me down on Monday, “Mrs. Mitchell, I’m not going to lie. I was not happy about having to give up my planning time to chaperone the assembly….but I LOVED it.”

Administrators from our Central District Office attended  and enjoyed Gene’s presentation so much that they promised to grant us money to buy more of his graphic novel series, Secret Coders, for our library.

The PBS News Crew that came to interview our students and Gene were happy with the footage they got of kids excited over an author discussing his book  about a group of kids that discover a secret school and solve mysteries with binary code!

As a Teacher Librarian I have to say I slept with a smile on my face that night. Friday, September 23rd was an A+ day. I know author visits are good for kids….but this particular author visit was especially outstanding. We are fueled to talk about coding and graphic novels for at least this school year. It was a literature and literacy success.

Like my students, I am one of Gene Yang’s biggest fans. I will buy every word he is able to publish. I follow him on social media like the fan-girl that I am.

After leaving my school, Gene attended the National Book Festival in DC in an official capacity as Ambassador and as a guy who’s passionate about kid-lit. He had a chance to talk to Poet Laureate Juan Felipe Herrera and shared the writing advice Herrera gave him. It's no surprise that the advice was poetic. Mr. Herrera really knows what we writers, famous or not, face.

Thanks First Books/Children's BookCouncil for sponsoring Mr.Yang's visit!

Thanks to Karen Edmisten: Mom. Writer. Consumer of Coffee. for hosting today's Poetry Friday!
Mr. Yang talking coding & books

Friday, September 23, 2016

Poetry Friday

Michelle H. Barns has a wonderful interview of Jane Yolen on her blog Today's Little Ditty.  Michelle also hosts a monthly poetry challenge inspired by the poet she interviews.

This month, Ms. Yolen challenged us to write a septercet....a form she invented. A septercet has seven syllables per line in a three line stanza.

My contribution to the challenge is my contribution for Poetry Friday. Thank you to Reading to the Core for hosting today's Poetry Friday roundup.

New Girl Literacies

We shared a computer desk
side by side, first day of school
I asked her, what is your name?

Shiny braids shook back and forth.
Oh, I see. Where are you from?
Left and right the braids – no, no.

EspaƱol? Or, Arabic?
Her hair now quite talkative
All the words quite clearly, NO.

I clicked on a map, her eyes
swept right, then she clicked a spot.
The braids at rest. Oh, Nepal!

© Linda Mitchell

Friday, September 16, 2016

Poetry Friday --don't miss lots of poetry fun at Michelle H. Barnes' Today's Little Ditty

Salas, Laura Purdie. Shrinking Days, Frosty Nights: Poems about Fall. Mankato, MN: Capstone, 2008. Print

Friday, September 9, 2016

Poetry Friday

I feel like riffing on Ludwig-Vanderwater....who was inspired by Mary Oliver who......oh, you know how this goes. Be sure to stop by Amy's amazing blog, The Poem Farm, for poetry, learning and an overall creative experience.

To a Visitor

I live in a cookie-size house
between bigger brick loaves.

Don’t worry.

There’s as much to love

and be loved in my cozy space.

Just kick off your shoes inside the door.
The cat will think it’s time to eat 
and wrap around your ankles,
purring and pushing you toward her dish.
See the books on the stairs
shelves, floor and table?
You might find a good mystery or sci-fi.
Go ahead and dive into a story. 
If you’re hungry, tomatoes grow
out back, beneath the kitchen window sill
by the basil and parsley gone-to-seed.
Don’t mind backpacks, socks, 
homework papers, water bottles.
These are feathers of squawking teens 
now at roost somewhere.
Come on in, find a spot.
The zucchini bread is fresh.
Coffee’s hot.

Click here to visit The Poem Farm

Tuesday, September 6, 2016

Slice of Life: Is Handwriting Dead or Making a Comeback?

I wrote a note to a student....who told me that they could not read it. And, the debate over handwriting hit me right in the face.

Once all but left for dead, is cursive handwriting making a comeback?

Thursday, September 1, 2016

Poetry Friday

My friend, Julie, challenged me to a six-word story. I started with September.

It was fun thinking up more. I may keep these a while...and see if I can knit them together into something.

Thanks to Penny Parker Klostermann, poet and author of There Was an Old Dragon Who Swallowed a Knight for hosting this week's Poetry Friday fun.

A Year in Six Words

September planted student rows, June’s hopeful harvest.
October pumpkins glow, orange Halloween smiles.
November leaves applaud bringing down the house.
December's spoon swirls spices, secrets and snow.
January, A bed made with hospital corners.
February makes lacy homemade valentines… mine?
March: A lion dressed in lamb's clothing.
April a peek-a-boo between rain clouds and sunshine.
More Poetry Friday fun at Penny Parker Klostermann's blog
May’s a picnic basket full of birdsong.
June’s moon a wedding bell in tune.
July’s stratospheric sparklers red, white and blue.
August a ripe moon, gold and sweet.

(c) Linda Mitchell