Taylor Cairns’ Weblog

Just another WordPress.com weblog

All the Small Poems and Fourteen More… September 1, 2008

Filed under: Uncategorized — taylorcairns @ 10:17 pm

While reading All the Small Poems and Fourteen More by Valerie Worth, I was struck by the fact that even the most simple things in life are exquisite when you really think about them.  Valerie’s poems are about the ordinary, every day things that we sometimes forget to notice.  She writes poems about tractors, safety pins, and even a soap bubble.  I would love to use this book of poetry in my classroom because it teaches students that poetry is accessible to anyone.  To be a poet, you do not have to write about something so complicated that no one else can understand the meaning of your words.  Instead you can draw meaning from the world around you and use it to write your poetry.

One of my favorite poems by Valerie Worth is “Slug.”

Slug

The slug
Slides sly
By night,

To nibble
The new
Green shoot,

To riddle
The weak
White root-

Hated
By all
But the moon,

Who smiles
On his scenes
Of crime,

And silvers
His trails
Of slime.

How great is that?  A poem written about a slimey little slug!  I love it and I know my students will too!

Advertisements
 

Notebook Entry #1 August 28, 2008

Filed under: Uncategorized — taylorcairns @ 7:14 pm

It has not stopped raining in four days!  At first I was happy to see the rain soak the thirsty ground, cooling off the hot summer air.  But then it seemed like the clouds would never stop pouring water from their dark depths.  Day after day we waded through puddles, weighed down from the heaviness of our soaking wet backpacks.  Fat raindrops bursting with water, a drizzle so faint that it was barely there.  Oh what I would give to look up at those clouds and catch a glimpse of the sun!

 

Notebook Know-How

Filed under: Uncategorized — taylorcairns @ 6:46 pm

    My overall impression of this book is that it is going to be very easy to implement the strategies from this book in my classroom.  I really like how Aimee Buckner uses real-life examples to demonstrate how to use the Writer’s Notebook in your classroom.  For example, at the beginning of the second chapter she recounts a discussion between her and her students in which she used oral story telling to launch the Notebook.  Aimee Buckner doesn’t just tell her readers what to do to create a Writer’s Notebook- she shows them!

    The purpose of a Writer’s Notebook is to help students see that the world around them is full of ideas for writing.  In encourages children to examine their own perspective on life and it teaches them how to get their thoughts on paper.  Notebooks also provide a place where students can practice their writing.  It gives them a comfortable environment in which to work on their spelling, grammar, punctuation, and more.

    My goal as a teacher of writing is to encourage my students to be confident in their abilities as writers.  Many kids think that they don’t have anything to write that is of any importance to others, so they don’t write at all.  I want my students to know that they have phenomenal ideas and that they need to share those ideas.  Also, sometimes students write what they think their teacher or their peers want to read, instead of what is really on their minds.  I don’t want my students to be afraid to think outside of the box.  I want them to take an interesting idea and learn to be confident in it and expand on it.  Most of the greatest writers have emerged because they are non-conformists who aren’t afraid to speak their mind.  Also, I want my students to have plenty of practice writing so that they have good knowledge of grammar and spelling.  I want them to learn from their mistakes and try hard to produce work that they can be proud of.

    To launch the Notebook in my classroom I would definitely like to use the story-telling technique that Aimee Buckner introduced.  I would use this because I am the type of person who loves to tell stories and build off of those stories.  I can see myself in my classroom with my students gathered around me on the carpet, sharing stories and using them to launch our writing ideas in our notebooks.  I also like the idea of showing my students that I am a writer too by writing about ideas that I get from our conversation.  I think that my students would really benefit from seeing me model the writing process.

    I am a very organized and methodical person, so I would like my students to have a Composition Notebook with pages that can’t be ripped out. These notebooks can be stored very neatly.  Composition notebooks are inexpensive and can be easily replaced when they are filled.  Their hard exterior makes them durable for the tough love my young writers will give them.  Also, composition notebooks can be easily personalized with markers, photos, magazine clippings and more.  I want my students to know that their notebook is an extension of themselves, and I want them to feel a personal connection to it.

 

Hello world! August 27, 2008

Filed under: Uncategorized — taylorcairns @ 4:39 pm

Welcome to WordPress.com. This is your first post. Edit or delete it and start blogging!