Monday, December 19, 2011

Reading During Christmas Break

Are you going to have a little spare time over the holidays?  Want to do something enjoyable and earn some extra credit?  All you have to do is READ!

If you complete two or more books over break, and comment on them, you will earn extra credit!  

The best part is the more you read, the more extra credit you earn.  And it will count as minutes on the next Read at Home assignment, too.  A couple of years ago, one student read over 1,400 minutes during Christmas break.  How many books will you read?

Monday, December 12, 2011

The Feeling of Christmas at My House

As the holiday season approaches, family is what matters.  At my house, the Christmas breakfast is where all of the greatness of Christmas comes together.

The Christmas Breakfast

As the season approaches
sentiments turning to family
and the Christmas breakfast
eating together.

Steaming mugs of coffee
amid piles of torn wrapping paper.
Thankfulness for all we have
and the joy of the day.

We come to the table
with warmth in the house
and in our hearts
and celebrate our lives.

The assignment for students is to pick one part of their lives that best reflects their family and the holiday season, and write a gift of poetry.

Thursday, December 8, 2011

Some Student Poetry

Here are a few samples of students' poems.  To see more, just click on the links on the sidebar.

From A Daily Bailey
I Think I'm Going to Puke
I’m not really feeling well
It’s something that I ate
I think I’m about to puke
It tasted like fish bait

Uh oh!
I’m gonna spew
I’m really, really sorry
If I get some on you

It’s all over the carpet
It kind of looks like plums
Hey! What’s that thing there?
It looks like lots of thumbs

I shouldn’t have eaten that food
It looked like an old baseball mitt
I’ll never eat it again
Not even a little bit

It’s all over the room
Even on the couch
I’m sorry it got everywhere
No need to be a grouch

I went and cleaned up                                                                       
Now it’s all gone
Next time I’ll go puke
Outside on the lawn
Divorce, Divorce
Where do I start
It’s a course.

Divorce, Divorce
Why do our parents do that?
It makes me sad.

Divorce, Divorce
My sister and I
Had to cry

My Sister by Keifer
Inspired by Sara Holbrook

My sister is
a splinter
deep down in my skin

My sister is
a baseball game
one I can not win

My sister  is
a rat
with her little mice

Keifer's sister is the sweet looking one on the left.  Hhhhhmmm!
My sister is
a cucumber
one I want to dice

My sister is
a bug
one I want to crush

My sister is
an apple
that has turned to mush

My sister is
a bumble bee
always stinging me

My sister is
just mean
come on can’t you see

Wednesday, December 7, 2011

Are You Bored with School?

Reading Workshop students, what do you think of school?  Are you excited each morning to come to school?  And, if not, if you think school is boring, whose fault is it? 

Do you live every day to get the most out of it?  Do you walk around thinking positive and ready to have fun?

Do you have a smile on your face?  Do people look forward to seeing you?  Do you look forward to seeing people at school?

Who is in control of you anyway?

Image from

Tuesday, December 6, 2011

So Many Ways to Say it in Poetry

How else can you say it?  As we looked at one student's opening line of his poem, so many ideas for sharing were discovered.  We started with Poetry is not me

And came up with this list:
  1. Poetry is unreasonable
  2. Poetry is not what I write
  3. Poetry is not my thing
  4. Poetry has something I don't
  5. Poetry is not bad
  6. Poetry is not understandable to me
  7. We can't connect
    1. We play phone tag
    2. The call is never answered
    3. The meal doesn't fill me up
    4. The hot sauce is mild
    5. Poetry doesn't add up
    6. We can't be together
    7. Poetry and I aren't alike
    8. Poetry doesn't have Internet
    9. Poetry is like a game with no Xbox
    10. Poetry is like eggs without bacon
    11. We are two peas from different pods
    12. Poetry is like pancakes without syrup
  8. Poetry never answers my phone calls
  9. I don't go with poetry
  10. Poetry doesn't pick me up
  11. Poetry and I don't mix
    1. Poetry won't get in the blender with me
    2. Poetry isn't the ice cream for my milkshake
    3. We just don't mesh
    4. Poetry is the book with no words
    5. Poetry is the gun with no powder
    6. Poetry is like the butt with no gas
    7. Poetry is like bird doodoo on your windshield
    8. Poetry is a clock with no hands
    9. Poetry is a clock out of time
    10. Poetry is an IPod with no music
    11. Poetry is a battery with no charge
    12. Poetry is a sentence with bad grammar
  12. When I ring the door bell, poetry never answers
  13. Poetry and me don't fit
  14. Poetry is like a shirt that is just too tight
  15. Poetry and I don't see eye to eye
    1. Reading poetry is a fistfight
    2. Poetry is like an annoying little brother
    3. Poetry is like Lane on a bad day at school
    4. Poetry is like black and white TV
    5. Poetry bullies me
    6. Poetry is a charging bull (and I am a red cape)
    7. Poetry punches me in the mouth
    8. Poetry is a hole in the shoe of a snowy day
  16. Poetry is like reading with foggy glasses
  17. Poetry is the seed that just rots in my garden
  18. Poetry pizza has no pepperoni when I get my order
  19. We were never meant for each other
  20. Poetry and I are breaking up
  21. Poetry loves me but I don't like poetry
  22. Poetry is like a crap sandwich for lunch
  23. Poetry and I don't get along
  24. Poetry is a pie with no crust
  25. Poetry is a puzzle with missing pieces
  26. Poetry tortures me with its bits and bangles
  27. Poetry is the math that just doesn't add up
  28. Poetry was never my type
    1. I'm smile and poetry cries
    2. Poetry isn't the girl for me
    3. Poetry is not my sweetheart
    4. Poetry is sweet to my sour
    5. Poetry is the wrong kind of tissue for my cold
    6. Poetry is night to my daytime
  29. Poetry was never my thing.
  30. Poetry just ain't my bag, baby
  31. Poetry is a baloney sandwich
  32. Poetry is like last year's fashion
  33. Poetry is to reading like the Bengals are to football
  34. Poetry is like my wife's shopping problem
  35. Reading poetry is like kissing your sister
  36. I don't exactly like poetry
  37. Poetry is like shopping for groceries with mom
  38. Poetry is like slipping on oil
  39. Reading poetry is like having your mom pick out your clothes
  40. Reading poetry is like shopping without money
  41. Poetry is like playing with your sister
  42. Poetry is like life without video games
  43. Poetry is colder that my ex-girlfriend
    1. Poetry freezes my heart
    2. Poetry freezes my sun
    3. Poetry freezes my turkey on Thanksgiving
    4. Poetry is the dark side of the moon
    5. Poetry and Pluto are twins
    6. Reading poetry chills my eyeballs
    7. Reading poetry is like being burried alive

  44. Poetry is the cold water shock of breaking through ice
  45. Poetry is like looking in the mirror before makeup
  46. Poetry is a poor sport
  47. Poetry is like a car that won't start
  48. Poetry is a rainy day
  49. Poetry is like lunch in the loo
  50. Poetry is reading quicksand
  51. Poetry is a green vegetable
  52. Poetry is like a broken heart
  53. Poetry is like a sauerkraut sundae
  54. Poetry is more of a pain than my little sister
  55. Writing poetry is worse than cleaning your room.

It's amazing how students that don't like poetry can come up with so many poetic ideas.

Thursday, December 1, 2011

Want to Put a Little Ryhme in Your Life?

We are working with poetry in Reading Workshop.  We have focused on free verse poems, and a few concrete poems, but sometimes it is fun to write a rhyming poem.  A great tool for this is at Rhymezone.

Pick a topic and see what you can do.  Write something that makes the reader laugh, or cry, or both.

I knew from the first day,
these students were weird.
But partway through the year,
It's worse than I feared

I tried to help them,
they definitely needed steered
But partway through the year,
It was worse than it appeared.

I wasn't sure what to do,
Their brains had been cleared.
And partway through the year,
No senses had reappeared.

I gave them good advise,
because I knew they needed steered.
But partway through the year,
their brains were still smeared.

It could be the teacher,
at first I feared.
But partway through the year,
His efforts should be cheered!

Have a nice day students!   You don't like my poem?  Well show me what you can do!