Celebrate Poetry Friday: Kinders Meet Middle Graders!

For today’s #PoetryFriday, I am linking up with others with Tabatha Yeatts @ her blog, The Opposite of Indifference. Thank you for hosting our gathering today, Tabatha.

Today’s #PoetryFriday is hosted by Tabatha @ The Opposite of Indifference

I am also linking up with Ruth Ayres to #Celebrate a very exciting day of poetry writing in my class this week. Click here to read other celebration posts, or better yet, add your own. The more the merrier!

Find more celebration posts at Ruth’s blog.

In my first year teaching kindergarten, I committed whole-heartedly to teaching my littles poetry during the month of April. We have read a lot of poetry over the months in anticipation for the time they would begin composing their own poems.

I am happy to report that we are making great progress! With the help of Regie Routman’s book, Kids Poems: Teaching Kindergartners to Love Poetry, I have found the process to be a great deal of fun. My kids arrive at the rug each day, eager to read poetry from other young writers, talk about what they notice, and then try it out for themselves. Most days before I send them off to write, I model writing a poem through a shared writing experience, and some days we write together.

This week our focus was food. I told them they were “foodie poets” for the day. I shared with them how much I love sweets, and that one of my favorite sweet treats is cupcake ice cream. We decided to interactively write a poem about this delicious treat together.

When we finished, we were so excited. In the moment, I suggested we share our piece with a teacher friend of mine (and maybe yours too..she’s pretty well-known in the #PoetryFriday world!) Margaret Simon. We practiced reading it several times, then I took a video of them as they read it aloud. I sent it off to her, hoping we would get her feedback before day’s end.

While my students were at lunch, I was thrilled to receive a response from not only Margaret, but two of her students. They had watched our video and decided they would write a poem in response to ours! They posted a picture of the poem along with a Voxer recording of them reading it aloud. I couldn’t wait to share this with my students!

Later that afternoon, we listened to their poem and celebrated the joy of poetry. I’m not sure they completely understood how amazing it was that technology made it possible for kids all the way across the country to see us read our poem and then send one right back to us. I tried sharing my When-I-was-in-kindergarten-we-didn’t-have-computers stories, but I’m not sure they really got it.

What I do know they got was joy in writing and sharing poetry! This experience fueled them for the next day of writing, and the next, and the next. They have yet to tire of coming back to the blank page each day and trying another poem. Sharing our pieces with each other spurs on more excitement, as our folders begin to bulge with growing anthologies. I am hoping each student will find one gem they want to take all the way to final publishing and reciting at graduation in June.

It’s right around the corner!

11 thoughts on “Celebrate Poetry Friday: Kinders Meet Middle Graders!

  1. Tabatha says:

    That’s such a terrific story! How generous Margaret and her students are. It warms my heart to hear about all this frosty camaraderie! You are definitely getting your students off on the right foot 🙂

    Like

  2. Kay Mcgriff says:

    Wow! What a joyful celebration of poetry. And even though they may not realize it, your kinders are benefiting from our modern technology by making connections all around.

    Liked by 1 person

  3. haitiruth says:

    Wow, how wonderful to communicate that way with older kids! This makes me want to take my middle schoolers across campus to read aloud to the preschoolers as I’ve done in the past. Maybe I’ll try it before school’s out. Ruth, thereisnosuchthingasagodforsakentown.blogspot.com

    Liked by 1 person

  4. Alice Nine says:

    Wow, Dani! There is sooooo muuuuuch to celebrate in this post! I hope you are writing every day in a journal about your poetry experiences with you students…. and taking snapshots of all the work. I’d love to hear and see more. I had to chuckle about the “When I was in kindergarten…” I remember teaching about the Oregon Trail; we had worked to contrast life then and life now. Then during a discussion about how long it took to travel to Oregon, one student ask, “Why didn’t they just fly?”

    Like

    • Love your student’s comment, “Why didn’t they just fly?” So funny! Thank you for your comments and genuine enthusiasm for my celebratory post. My students keep ALL of their poems in their writing folders, so before they disappear at year’s end, I will be snapping pictures of them!

      Liked by 1 person

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