Questions #23

cow 1

This post was inspired by Steph at Box of Chocolates 29.

Why are you looking at me?

Have you been banished to this section of the field? Are you in time out?

Do you really want to know? Or are you just a curious on-looker?

Is it something you said or something you did? Is everyone mad at you?

It really doesn’t matter but, would you be so kind as to open this gate for me?

Where would you go? What would you do?

Why do you care? Can you help a bovine out?

Wouldn’t the farmer miss you? Are you old enough to be on your own?

Is it fun on the other side of this gate? Could I find some greener grass to munch? Hey, where are you going? Weren’t you going to let me out?  Will you be back tomorrow? Can we chat again?

It’s Time for Spine Poetry! #22

It’s that time of year again! What time of year? you wonder. It’s time to scan bookshelves, searching for titles that will create a spine poem. Once you have selected the titles, you stack them, one upon another to create a poem from the spines of your books.

Travis Jonkers, from 100 Scope Notes ( puts a call out each year for your (yes, you) spine poetry. He said, “If you do give it a go, take a picture and post it to your blog, or send it my way via email (scopenotes (at) gmail (dot) com). On Tuesday, April 2nd I’ll be posting a gallery with all your work, and continue to add to it for the entire month.” Click here to go to a page of hints and examples of spine poetry.

So before I left home, I scoured my bookshelves.

walterpancakeswrittenSo what are you waiting for? Get out there and start pulling books to create your own poem. Don’t forget to have FUN!

Writer’s at Work #21

Check out more slices at Two Writing Teachers

Check out more slices at Two Writing Teachers

This week I get to observe teachers and students in writer’s workshop. This is my second year of working with this group of K-2 teachers. Last year our focus was on developing balanced literacy in the reading block of their schedule. This year the focus has been implementing writer’s workshop. My week will be drawing to a close on Friday and I will travel back home where I will evaluate what I have seen, so that I may continue to guide them as these teachers work to deliver the best practices in literacy instructions.

I have watched mini-lessons that range from learning how to use commas in a series, adding details to enhance the writing, discovering the how-to writing genre, being aware of sentence fluency and how it affects the piece of writing, using transition words effectively, and narrowing the focus of their writing. Then I get to watch the students in action. The quiet ten of no walk, no talk is delightful to watch. As I sat in class yesterday I tried to put into words what I was noticing. My two word sentence poem was born. The soft classical music was just the right note to begin stirring my creative juices.

classHeads bend

Pencils move

Brains think

Eyes read

Papers rustle

Music calms

Minds engage

Brows furrow

Pages turn

Writers create

Writer’s workshop is a good place to be, no matter how old you are.

Spring Takes a Stand #20

Here is a poem that I started working on after our one summer day which was followed by several days of spring-like weather. I thought it would be just right for the start of spring. However, old man winter is having his last laugh as we are predicted to get some measurable snow on Thursday.




Spring heard Summer was pushing her way in.

It wasn’t time for Summer to arrive.

Winter reached his gnarled hand out to hold on,

But Spring pushed him back.

"Did you hear? Spring is on her way!"

“Did you hear? Spring is on her way!”

“This is my time,” she declared in a voice that surprised her with its strength.

Although she knew she was a few days early,

She didn’t let that stop her arrival.

She resembles her sister, Summer, but her warmth is not quite as searing.

She brings healing rains, which will turn the faded yellow grass back to its lush and verdant state.

Her warm breezes encourages leaves to unfurl so that they may sway to the tune of the chirping birds.

Winter wear is stowed as the people embrace the coming of Spring.

Welcome back Spring!

Can you stay awhile?


I don’t think spring will be arriving anytime soon at my cousin’s home in Wisconsin. He said he’s still waiting for the January thaw. I think you are out of luck cousin. How about a May thaw?

How many of you are living in a world buried under the white?

How many of you are living in a world buried under the white?

Where Did It Go? #19

I have a special coin case in my purse. It has never held coins or money of any nature. This is the pouch I use to store gift cards, discount cards, loyalty cards, punch cards, etc. At one time they fit into my wallet. As the collection grew I knew I needed to find some other way of organizing and storing them. At first I thought a rubber band would do the trick. It didn’t. Eventually I found the coin purse and it fit the bill. It held all the cards (they measure 1.5 inches thick).

Now stores have replaced the credit card sized card with the mini card that you are supposed to put on your key ring. That’s great they are smaller, but after a while they take over the key ring. All the little cards were moved to a single ring and stored in the coin purse with the larger sized cards. I’m very careful with my cards, because I like a deal or discount.

key ring

So I was perturbed when I went to Panera’s several weeks ago and reached into my coin purse for the ring of cards and it was gone. I rooted around but could not find it. Fortunately, they take your phone number and that records your purchase. I could not imagine what had happened to the ring. It was no where in my purse.

Ah yes, maybe it is on my desk. Something was stirring in my mind that I had to go on-line and enter some number from one of the cards. As soon as I got home, I went immediately to my desk. It was not in sight. I lifted papers. I moved folders. I shifted books. No ring.

It really bugged me that I could not find it. I kept returning to my purse, maybe it was in a side pocket. No ring. What happened to it? I thought about going to the grocery store to see if I dropped it there, but in my heart I knew I had not. So slowly I was going about the business of replacing the cards on the ring.

Yesterday I wore a coat that hadn’t been worn in a while. I put my hands in the pocket and felt something. My fingers explored the item as I was bringing it out. There was a ring. There were small rectangular shapes attached. Yes, it was the missing card ring!

Slowly a vague memory came back. My husband and I were going out to lunch. I didn’t want to bring my purse. I needed the loyalty card to get the discount. I dropped it into my pocket. We ate, we returned home, I hung up my coat. I didn’t wear that coat because the weather turned colder.

Mystery solved, ring returned to the coin purse. I must be more mindful (OLW) of my belongings.

My Best Part #18

Yesterday I left the post pondering what is my best part? It is so easy to pick out the parts that I’d like to change, but that’s not the task.

I could pick my hair color. I had brownish hair growing up. I didn’t think there was anything special about the color.  It was what it was. I thought I wanted it to be lighter, but this was long before highlighting hair was done. Once I sat out in the sun, at the top of a slide in a park near my home, because someone told me the sun would bleach my hair. It didn’t.

In my twenties a gray hair was discovered mixed into the browns, but I didn’t bother it. I was too poor to go to the beauty shop for color. I looked at hair color products once, but found them confusing, so I walked away. Pulling the hair was not an option, I did not need to inflict pain upon my scalp. So the only option was leave it alone.

More and more gray hairs joined the first and eventually they took over. However, when I looked in the mirror, I didn’t see gray, I still saw brown. Finally I had to admit I had gray hair when the hair on the floor of the salon looked as though Jack Frost had moved indoors (although I still see brown under the gray).

I have come to appreciate my color. Once I was shopping in Walmart when a lady (stranger to me) came up to me and asked, “Who does your hair? I love that color and that’s the color I want.”

I looked at her confused. What did she mean I thought. I replied, “I guess you could say God does my hair, because I don’t color it.” She walked off disappointed.

It's hard to take a picture of yourself.

It’s hard to take a picture of yourself.

But although my hair color is a great part, it is not the part I think is the best.

I have always loved the color of my eyes. They are green. Sometimes they are green-ish. But they are never blue or brown. My brothers and sister  have brown eyes. I have green. I am different from them. This is something that makes me unique in the family.

I love the flecks of amber that appear mixed in with the green. Maybe there are times they are hazel colored. But they are never blue or brown.

Green has always been my favorite color. I think it started with my eyes. The best part of me is my green eyes.

You can't really see the color, but they are green. Not blue or brown.

You can’t really see the color, but they are green. Not blue or brown.

The Best Part of Me #17

Check out more slices at Two Writing Teachers

Check out more slices at Two Writing Teachers

Do you know this book?

The Best Part of Me by Wendy Ewald

The Best Part of Me by Wendy Ewald

A photographer asked children  “What is the best part of you?” Each child wrote a short essay explaining their best part and it was compiled into a book.

I discovered this book several years ago and introduced it to teachers as a possible writing lesson. They oohed and ahhed as they looked at the book, but that’s as far as it has ever gone. I have never seen evidence that anyone tried it with their class.

This week I walked into a school, hustling down the hall to the room where I would meet with the teachers and stopped in my tracks. On the wall was a small display of black and white photos of body parts and writings below. I didn’t have time to stop at that moment, but knew I would revisit to study the pictures and read the writing. And take photos of their work.

mouth ear mouth 2

I had not introduced the book to this school. I was curious if someone had this book. What I discovered was this writing was from a special education class. The teacher had no clue there was a book . She had seen something on Pinterest and that had prompted her project. She said the kids had loved doing this.

Here are two of them (original spelling retained):

The Best Part of Mehands

My hands are the best part of me. They hlp me turn pages in books so I can read. My hands hlp me lift wood for the fire. I use my hands to blld presnts for my sisters.

feetThe Best Part of Me

My feet are the best prt of me. I can wok inewher with my feet. I can run at reses with my feet. I can stand up with my feet.


So now I must ponder, what is the best part of me?