To prepare for the Putting the “Tech” in Poetic workshop, my assistant and I spent the afternoon setting up displays of poetry books for teachers to browse through before and after the presentation.
I pulled about a hundred poetry books and sorted them into categories (Concrete, Haiku, Novels in Verse, Themed Poetry, Art and Music in Poetry, etc) to make book selection easier, and Mrs. Jordan printed signs for each.
We also put out a display of books by our current U.S. Children’s Poet Laureate J. Patrick Lewis, and featured a collection of eight Langston Hughes titles designed to inspire a Poet Study.
In addition, I had one of our document cameras set up as an example of how you could give students a close-up view of a collection of objects to inspire poetry writing, using a poetry book like Keepers: Treasure-Hunt Poems by John Frank, or a nonfiction book like Swirl by Swirl by Joyce Sidman.
I also had a FLIP camera and a digital camera on display near a computer with a microphone plugged in.
When teachers arrived, they signed in to receive technology re-certification credit and to win a door prize. We had snacks out – after a long day of teaching you need something to keep you going! – as well as some discount coupons for our local bookstore.
Once everyone was settled, the real resource-sharing began! I spent the last two weeks in March adding websites to a Poetry LiveBinder that I created for the teachers. Resources in the Binder include links to lesson ideas for some of the poetry books in our school library (hosted at ThingLink), websites featuring free online poetry for children, poetry lesson plans from Read/Write/Think, web tools for interactive poetry writing, and sites that facilitate sharing and responding to poetry.
Most of the resources I included are ones that teachers can explore on their own according to their individual needs, so I focused my presentation on the technology tools that they might need more assistance with.
For example, I showed them how they could use Padlet to upload student poetry and have other students respond to it. (I especially like that Padlet doesn’t require an account to leave a comment, and keeps your links private until you share them.) Click here and here for examples.
I also demonstrated how student poetry could be shared both visually and orally via VoiceThread, and how viewers can leave an audio or text comment on a poem, provided they are logged into VoiceThread. Click here for an example.
As a bonus, these tools can also be used to share other types of writing, as well as photos and videos. I’m sure that some of the teachers who don’t use them for poetry will incorporate them in other areas of instruction.
At the end of the session, I encouraged everyone to share their best student-written poetry with me so that we can feature it on our Poem in Your Pocket bulletin board over the next few weeks. We’ll have multiple copies of these poems available for library visitors to read and take with them.
The workshop attendees left the library with a whole new set of possibilities for using poetry with their students, I’m confident that they will share them with the teachers who could not be there.
If you have a great poetry resource that I need to add to my collection, please leave a comment and tell me about it!
In honor of National Poetry Month, I’ve been pulling together some poetry resources to share with my teachers in an after-school workshop tomorrow. (Click on the image to download the flier I sent out.) The focus is on using technology to enhance poetry lessons.
I’ve created a Poetry LiveBinder to organize all the resources to make it easier for teachers to plan poetry lessons for their students. I especially like the lessons at the Read/Write/Think website, so I’ve given them their own Tab in the binder. I’ve also included several sites featuring online poetry, and sites that offer interactive poetry-writing tools.
I’m also excited about sharing my ThingLink Channel, which features links to resources for some of the poetry books we have in our school library. These images are “re-mixable,” which means anyone can add links to any of the books I’ve uploaded. This way teachers can share their own lesson plans and activity websites for these books. It’s a great way for them to collaborate, even when they can’t meet together in person.
In addition to the web resources I’m sharing, I’ve also pulled about 75 poetry books to have on display for teachers to check out after the workshop. The books will be grouped into categories such as Haiku, Curriculum Connections, Concrete Poetry, Novels in Verse, and more.
I’ll update this post later with photos and more resources. In the meantime, please leave a comment sharing your favorite poetry site for elementary students so that I can add it to the collection!
April is School Library Month, and this year I’m celebrating by tooting my own horn! Today I placed one of these 4×5 cards in each teacher’s box:
If you want to do something similar, here’s a link to the printable document I made.
Feel free to download it, modify it, and use it any way you wish. All I ask is that you please replace the word picture with your own graphic. (This one belongs to Janelle Kelly.)
Oh, and I’d love to see your finished product, or hear what PR projects you have planned, if you’d like to leave a comment and share!
I spent last week fighting off sinus headaches, so I didn’t get as much reading done as I had expected to for Matthew Winner’s Shelf Challenge. I didn’t have time to write about everything, so here’s a sampling of what I’ve read so far from my Easy “L” Section, in no particular order. (Hover over the book covers to see the titles and authors/illustrators.) Some of the books I read alone, some I read with one or both of my children. Sorry for the poor formatting; my blog style and I are about to part ways over this issue!
Are you using ThingLink yet?
I was just introduced to it a few weeks ago by @AuntyTech on Twitter, and I quickly realized that it was the perfect free tool for my new poetry project!
I want to make it easy for teachers to use poetry books from our library in the classroom, and since I know they don’t have a lot of extra time to search for lesson plans and extension ideas, I’m happy to do it for them. ThingLink works well for this because I can upload a photo of each book cover, provide a summary in the comment section, and add unlimited links (to lesson plans, author interviews, book trailer videos, printables, etc) to the image. This allows teachers to quickly choose the perfect book for their classroom and put together an entire lesson plan without spending precious planning time surfing the web for resources.
I’ve included some sample images here, complete with links, to give you an idea of how ThingLink works. (Just hover over the image to see the links.) I love that the images can be embedded in a blog, wiki, or webpage, as well as shared via the most popular social media sites. You can choose from an assortment of link icons, and you can add a brief description of each link.
Blue Circle = Lesson Plan
i = Book Preview
Person = Author Info
Red Circle = Book Site
Play Button = Video/Audio
Green Circle = Discussion Guide
Yellow Circle = Extension Ideas
Black Circle = Misc. Resource
You can visit my Thinglink Channel to see all the books I’ve curated so far. All of my images are set to be “re-mixable” which means anyone can grab an image and edit the links for your own use. I have also enabled editing on each book photo, so if you have created a lesson for any of these books, or you know of a good internet resource that I missed, please add it!
My goal is to upload all of the poetry books that I have in my school library by the end of the month, so you may want to follow me on ThingLink to see when I’ve added new photos. I’ll also be encouraging my teachers to share their own lesson plans for these books, so I’ll be adding more links to existing titles as well.
If you’re using ThingLink yourself, please leave a comment to share what you’re doing and give us a link to your Channel!
I went off the grid last week during Spring Break, and what better way to return than with the TL Cafe session for April! Tonight’s topic is The Connected Concierge in Your School and Classroom, hosted by Tiffany Whitehead (aka The Mighty Little Librarian) and Nick Provenzano (aka The Nerdy Teacher) at 8:00 pm EST.
Last time I tried to participate, I had technical difficulties with my computer. I’m crossing my fingers that I won’t have any problems accessing Blackboard tonight. See you there!
Updated 9:45 pm: No technical difficulties tonight! If you missed the chat, catch the archive here!
The winners have been announced for the Edible Book Festival, sponsored by Zoe at Playing by the Book, so I am now free to share my entry. (Participants were sworn to anonymity until the judging was complete.) Presenting……..
I was inspired by one of my favorite picture books, Woolbur by Leslie Helakoski, illustrated by Lee Harper. He created Woolbur with paint, but my version had to be entirely edible, so I used marshmallows (jumbo for the body, regular for the head, mini peppermint for the muzzle), white frosting, coconut flakes, thin pretzel sticks, dried black beans for the eyes and hooves, and a little red food coloring on the ears.
In hindsight, I wish I had taken some process photos, but my hands were SO sticky from beginning to end that it’s probably best I didn’t! I’m wondering if there would be any interest from students if I sponsored an Edible Book Contest at my school as part of Children’s Book Week? I’d love to see what they might come up with!
You can go here to see all the other entries. So much creativity – I’m glad I didn’t have to judge!
Edited 4/9/13: Just had to share a follow-up to my Edible Book Festival entry. On Easter Sunday the kids in the family used my leftover Woolbur ingredients to create their own lamb faces! They had a ball smearing frosting, sprinkling coconut, and placing M&Ms just so. Many thanks to Zoe for inspiring this new family tradition!
Carolyn at Risking Failure has issued a challenge for the month of April:
During the month of April, I am challenging my students to read all of the books in our picture book collection…. If you would like to join us for the month of April, go for it!!!”
Count me in! But I am going to modify the challenge for myself: Instead of emptying the Everybody shelves, I’m going to focus on the 811 section. I’m already working on ideas to promote those books anyway for National Poetry Month, so rather than splitting my focus, I’ll just make an even bigger push to get them into the hands of students and teachers. I’ve taken a ”before” picture, and I’ll add an “after” picture at the end of April when I share my results.
If you’d like to join in, go to the Empty the Shelves Challenge post and leave a comment for Carolyn telling her what section of the library you want to empty out next month!
Matthew Winner (The Busy Librarian) has issued a challenge:
Select a section of your library collection to read throughout the month of April. Try to read every book in that section over the course of the month. Share selected gems (and cringes) through a favorite social media outlet.
Okay, I’m in. Now, which section should I choose? Hmmmm, the Q shelf in the Everybody section looks doable….
Ha, ha, just kidding! Seriously, how about the L shelves in the Everybody section? Looks like a nice mix of old and new titles, with a manageable number of books to read. Plus, “L” for Library and “L” for Lori, right? Sold!
Want to join us? Head on over to Matthew’s Shelf Challenge blog post to get all the details and sign up. Then start reading! (Well, don’t start reading yet; you need to wait until April 1, although I won’t tell Matthew if you don’t.)
I’ll be sharing my “gems and cringes” here, and on Twitter (@LibraryLoriJune) using #ShelfChallenge, throughout the month of April. My Spring Break starts Friday (whooo hooo!) so I’ll take a few armloads home today to get ready for the Big Read!
Until I sat down to create my first book spine poem (a unique poetry form invented by Travis Jonker of 100 Scope Notes) I didn’t really know what was involved in creating one. Now that I’ve written one myself, I’ve learned that there’s more going on with book spine poetry than meets the eye!
I’m sure the creative process is different for everyone, but in my case wandering around the library staring at row after row of titles (my first approach) did not result in a stack of books that formed a poem.
Wandering around the library and catching sight of The Long Winter by Laura Ingalls Wilder did spark the idea for my poem, but once I settled on a topic it took at least a dozen OPAC title searches to come up with a list of 15 or 20 promising books. (I searched for snow, cold, frozen, winter, snowfall, blizzard, sleet, icy, windy, storm, snowfall, chilly, and spring, and those are just the words I remember looking up.) Then I went and found each book on the shelf, and finally I arranged and rearranged them to create my poem.
Think about that: Choose a topic. Develop a search strategy. Perform the searches. Write down the titles and call numbers. Locate the books on the shelf. THAT’S AN ENTIRE LIBRARY SKILLS LESSON DISGUISED AS A FUN POETRY WRITING ACTIVITY! Thank goodness Travis Jonker is a benevolent genius and not an evil genius, or we’d all be in big trouble.
I plan to try this with my 5th graders next month; I’ll let you know how it turns out. Maybe you’d like to try it with your students too, in which case you can leave a comment and let me know how it turns out!