We started back today and I've already used so many ideas, concepts and materials from the CSUWP to plan and begin the first week!
I started today with Greg's I Wish I Weren't So... poems with my seventh graders and with the Where I'm From poems with my ninth graders. I used the idea of mentor texts as a bridge to writing and EVERY SINGLE ONE OF MY 120 STUDENTS WROTE A POEM! That is amazing. There are usually at least a handful of kids who can't ever seem to get started, no matter how helpful I think I'm being. The mentor texts, combined with the brilliant prompts, were just the ticket to give them the construct they needed in which to begin. Tonight they are decorating the covers of their writer's notebooks (thanks Sue!) and taping some of the quotes from Lorynda's demo on the inside front cover.
I am so grateful to the CSUWP for giving me such an incredible gift, and to all of you kick-ass teachers for sharing your blood, sweat and genius. Here's my latest poem (a bit different than the August anxiety ones that I've been posting lately), written after school today.
I am going to breathe verbs
all over your chair
and pour beakers of adjectives
on all the desktops.
I am going to rub the pencil sharpener
with nouns no paper can resist
and hang contagious phrases from the ceiling.
Your notebooks will run a fever
and your pens will bleed dry
in an effort to keep up with your
Don’t bother washing your hands.
Antibiotics and tincture of echinacea
will only encourage me while
lowering your resistance.
This epidemic is airborne
and it doesn’t matter
what kind of immunity
you’ve built up
over years and years of
swimming around in
educational Petri dishes
because we are quarantined
and this condition is permanent
and the date to drop the class
I'm looking forward to seeing everyone in September, so I can personally thank you and tell you again what a difference you've made in my life.