I Spy

Thursday, April 26, 2012

Horses (a poem)

I can hear the clinking of their feet,
they're always looking for a treat,
twitching 'cause of those old flies,
blinking those beautiful eyes,
hear them neighing,
Watch them playing,
    - Julia

Mine by Lilian Moore : The Poetry Foundation

Tuesday, April 24, 2012

A Poem about Poetry (by one of our students!)

Poems can be red
You can read them in your bed
Poems can be blue
Some are funny too
They can be about bikes and kites
And making sure the bedbug bites
All the way to leprechauns in tights
I'm not trying to rhyme
But they can be about charades or a mime
You can read them anytime
Some for less than a dime
Poems are good for you
So let's see you make one too.
                     - Anonymous

Enjoying the Great Outdoors

This time of year brings out the nature admirer in many of us:

Forest Walk by Kristine O'Connell George : The Poetry Foundation

Monday, April 23, 2012

Rain, rain...

After a week of beautiful weather for our vacation, raindrops welcome us back to school.  Here's a poem from one of our second grade friends to celebrate our much needed rain showers:

Dear Rain

Cloudy, sparkling




I hear you slide,
Glide and slip

You bring us water
Make it cooler
Not hotter

I wish you no pain
My dear friend,
-       Sophia

Sunday, April 22, 2012

For the Fans of Acrostic Poetry

Universe by Steven Schnur : The Poetry Foundation

Try your own hand at writing an acrostic poem.  Here are some words to try:
  • PETS

And if acrostic poetry is your cup of tea, you may want to check out African Acrostic: a Word in Edgeways.

Wednesday, April 18, 2012

Images of Summer

This recent weather conjures up images of evenings by the campfire, toasting marshmallows and making s'mores.  This isn't a s'more, but I like the images created in this poem:

Toasting Marshmallows by Kristine O'Connell George : The Poetry Foundation

Tuesday, April 17, 2012

Do you remember this classic?

"The three little kittens, they lost their mittens," by Mother Goose : The Poetry Foundation

Books, books, and more books...

The little book elves of our library have delivered some more great reads to our library:  missing selections from some of our favorite series, more poetry collections, new and exciting books about space, and some wonderful new picture books.  Deciding which books make it onto the "New Books" easel will be quite a challenge indeed!

And speaking of books, if you find some gently used children's books in the midst of your spring cleaning, please consider making a donation to our "Spread the Word" campaign.  The number of inner city children who do not have books of their own might surprise you, and one way to encourage the development of literacy is to have great books available to read at home and at school.  Let's make sure that each child in the school we are sponsoring gets to pick out a book to take home!  For those who have already make a donation, thank you so much!

Sunday, April 15, 2012

Memories from Childhood

I cannot remember the first time I heard my dad recite this poem, nor could I begin to count the numbers of times I've heard him recite it since.  It always gives him such delight to say it, and it makes me smile every time I hear it.  And now I'm sharing this gem with you:

How much wood could a woodchuck chuck ...  by Mother Goose : The Poetry Foundation

Saturday, April 14, 2012

Cambridge Science Festival

So, you're home for vacation week and would like something to do?  I strongly recommend making the trip to Cambridge this Friday for the Opening Day Carnival of the Cambridge Science Festival.  Lots of fun activities that feed your curiosity, and it's FREE!  Check out this link for the full scoop:

Photos from a previous Opening Day Carnival.

Friday, April 13, 2012

Time for Vacation...

Time for Vacation                    

Time for vacation,
to take a break
from the day-to day
racing around;
Time to relax
and just s...l...o...w down.

Time to visit
family and old friends
or dive into a book
that you hope
will never end.

Wherever your vacation takes you, and whatever adventures come your way, may you have a restful and relaxing break!

Thursday, April 12, 2012

What a Lovely Surprise!

Several students in yesterday's 1st grade class presented me with a lovely surprise...their original poems!  It's great to see so many students getting excited about poetry.  Here's a sample:

"Jump Rope"

Jump slap,
jump slap,
twirl slap.
Jump roping.

Wednesday, April 11, 2012

Today's Poem

Sneezles by A. A. Milne : The Poetry Foundation

New Titles in Our Sports Section

Looking at the votes collected so far, I see a strong interest in adding more sports books to our library.  This section has always been one of our most popular, and we have recently added many new titles in sports such as baseball, basketball, football, hockey, gymnastics, skateboarding, and swimming.  Some recent additions include:

  • The Story of the Boston Red Sox                                       
  • The Chicago White Sox
  • The Story of the Colorado Rockies
  • The Chicago Bulls
  • The Dallas Mavericks
  • The New York Nicks
  • The Pittsburgh Steelers
  • The New England Patriots
  • Soccer in Action
  • Kids' Book of Soccer
  • I Want to Be a Gymnast
  • First Day at Gymnastics
  • Swimming in Action
  • Skate Boarding
  • The History of the Philadelphia Flyers              

In fact, we've added over 50 new titles to our sports section...be sure to check it out soon!  

Tuesday, April 10, 2012

New England Society for Children’s Book Writers and Illustrators Mix and Mingle with Picture Book Creators

New England Society for Children’s Book Writers and Illustrators Mix and Mingle with Picture Book Creators:    April 20, 2012    Time: 11:30 am - 1:30 pm

Visit with picture book creators Anna Alter, Carlyn Beccia, Harry Bliss, Brian Lies, Shelley Rotner and Dan Yaccarino and get your favorite books signed.

CactusHead Puppets presents The Emperor’s New Clothes

CactusHead Puppets presents The Emperor’s New Clothes:
April 16 - April 21, 2012       Time: 2:00 and 3:00 pm

Fashion is the most important thing to the Emperor, even more than taking care of his own kingdom. When two strangers come to town promising the most beautiful clothes anyone has ever seen, the Emperor learns a lesson in fashion he will never forget. Come join us as CactusHead Puppets puts a silly spin on an old favorite.Sponsored by MEFA's U.Fund College Investing Plan and Fidelity Investments. Click here for more information.Tickets may be purchased in advance at the Museum Admissions Desk or by calling (413) 658-1126.

Special Storytime with Author Kathy Brodsky and Artist Cameron Bennett

Special Storytime with Author Kathy Brodsky and Artist Cameron Bennett:
April 14, 2012   Time: 2:00 pm

See an author and artist at work as Kathy Brodsky reads and talks about the books she’s written while illustrator Cameron Bennett sketches. Book signing to follow.

Favorite Poem?

Yesterday, one of our inquisitive first graders asked me to share my favorite poem.  I'm not I really have a favorite poem.  Not yet, anyway.  If I were being honest, poetry used to be intimidating to me...all that imagery, rhythm, and rhyme!  At least that's what I used to think.

And then a friend challenged me to try my hand at haiku, a form of poetry that comes to us from Japan that has a specific form and is focused on nature.  Seventeen syllables, describing something in nature...how hard could that be?  Harder than I thought, but the process of reading and writing haikus helped me develop a new appreciation of poetry in general.  So many forms: concrete, acrostic, cinquain, sonnet, free verse, limerick, couplet, diamonte...not the stuffy image I'd originally created in my mind.  Thank you to my friend for challenging me to take a fresh look at poetry.

Today's poem:  http://www.poetryfoundation.org/poem/176031

Sunday, April 8, 2012

First Men on the Moon by J. Patrick Lewis : The Poetry Foundation

First Men on the Moon by J. Patrick Lewis : The Poetry Foundation

Spread the Word

It's that time of year...flowers and trees are in bloom, the grass is green and growing, and many are getting the itch to spring clean.  As you clean out your closets and bookshelves, please consider donating your used children's books to the "Spread the Word" campaign.  All books are donated to an inner-city Springfield elementary school.  We need at least 500 books to make certain that each student is given a book.  A collection box will be located in the front lobby, and our book drive runs from April 9th through May 4th.  For more details, click onto this link: Spread the Word Book Drive details .

Friday, April 6, 2012

Jack Pretusky - a Popular Poet for Children

Jack's poetry is whimsical, imaginative, funny...everything you might want in a children's poet.  We have several of his books available in our library.  If you would like to try out a few of his poems in the meantime, follow this link:  http://jackprelutsky.com/



Thursday, April 5, 2012

Poetry Month, Day 5

At the Playground

Away down deep and away up high,    
a swing drops you into the sky.
Back, it draws you away down deep, 
forth, it flings you in a sweep
all the way to the stars and back
---Gooby, Jill; Goodby Jack:
shuddering climb wild and steep,
away up high, away down deep.
                         - William Stafford                             

Love the imagery of this poem...I can almost feel the breeze blowing through my hair as I reach my toes for the sky!  

I stumbled upon this great blog about poetry for children:  http://poetryforchildren.blogspot.com/

Wednesday, April 4, 2012

Creating Poetry Together

In the first grade class today, we worked together to create a poem.  We started by brainstorming ideas before narrowing our focus to math.  We then made a list of words that came to mind when thinking about math, and here is the result:

Numbers, Numbers Everywhere

Counting numbers: 1, 2, 3.
Adding numbers: 4 + 4.
Leap frogging along the number line.
Leap frog right,
Leap frog left;
Ten minus one equals nine.

This poem will be added to our collection on our classroom Poet Tree.  What creative students we have!

Tuesday, April 3, 2012

New Poetry Books

Just in time to help us celebrate National Poetry Month, we have added some new poetry books to the library.  Titles include:

 I'm Allergic to School
Skeleton Bones & Goblin Groans
African Acrostics
Almost Late for School
For Laughing out Louder
From the Doghouse
If You're Not Here, Please Raise Your Hand
Today at the Bluebird Cafe

We have also gathered a number of guides to writing different forms of poetry, along with rhyming dictionaries.  These books will remain in the library for Poetry Month so that all students can use them as references while we all try our hands at becoming poets.  Beginning in May, these books will be available to check out.

For a little more inspiration, take a look at this link:  http://www.gigglepoetry.com/

Monday, April 2, 2012

National Poetry Month, Day 2

Today's poem has been submitted by one of our fabulous first grade students:


                      Oh dogs, dogs,
                      beautiful friends to play with,
                      they jump and run, 
                      jump and run.

                      Beautiful friends to play with,
                      they cuddle and lick happily,
                      a dog for a best friend.
                      Oh dogs, dogs, dogs.

Looking for some inspiration?  Want to see how published poets do their work?  You might want to check out this site:  

Have fun, and keep sending along your poetry!

Sunday, April 1, 2012

And for our creators of prose:

I was recently introduced to a great website that provides inspiration to those wishing to create their own picture books.  The site is called StoryBird, and our third grade students are beginning to explore this site together while visiting the media center.  Here is a sample of what can be done with a few clicks of the mouse and a little creativity:

Welcome to a Day in the Life of Bob by klonganecker on Storybird Student usernames and pass codes are available upon request.  Send me an email or stop by the media center to be added to our group!

Happy National Poetry Month!

Just a reminder that we will be accepting original poetry all month to post on our Poet-Tree in the media center.  Using the 'Poetry Idea Machine' on the Scholastic website, I created this limerick in homage to the upcoming baseball season:
     There once was a lad from Nepal                                  
     Who dreamed every night of baseball:
     He would step up to bat
     Wearing his tights and a hat
     And hit a home run past the wall.
To give this site a try for yourself, click onto this link:  http://teacher.scholastic.com/writewit/poetry/poetry_engine.htm#