Thursday, April 18, 2013

parade of poetry

April is National Poetry Month.  Today I would like to share with you some poetry books that my students or I have been enjoying.
National Geographic Book of Animal Poetry is a collection of poems gathered by J. Patrick Lewis.  There are plenty of poems in this book, but the draw really is the excellent photographs of the different animals.  If your child likes animals, this would be a good way to nudge them toward enjoying poetry as well.  It could be used with any age of elementary students.  At the end, there are some suggestions on how to write animals poems in different styles-couplet, shape, haiku, limerick and free verse.
Dear Hot Dog by Mordicai Gerstein is a poetry book written about everyday things.  Gerstein writes primarily in free verse and does well at creating word pictures about ordinary things.     
Neighborhood Odes by Gary Soto is for older elementary or middle school students.  Soto crafts a collection of poems about about things like shoes, the library, and La Llorona.  Soto is Hispanic, and he reflects some of his culture in his poems, making references to Mexico and Mexican things.  

Three more poetry books for children and adults that I would recommend are Poetry Matters by Ralph Fletcher,  Falling Down the Page by Georgia Heard here, and Dirt on My Shirt by Jeff Foxworthy. 

Friday, April 12, 2013

Snow Day Sewing

Yesterday I had the day off because of snow.  Since my taxes are done (I did those on the March snow day) and I didn't have a book I was dying to read, I shoveled snow for a good hour and then I started a quilt. The inspiration for this quilt can be found on my sister's blog. I am not making it big enough for a bed, but leaning toward a baby sized quilt. If that is the case, all my nine patch blocks are done. It just needs sashing and borders.

Monday, April 1, 2013

books by Stuart J. Murphy

If you are a parent, teacher, or tutor of children between the ages of three and ten and haven't read any books by Stuart J. Murphy, I suggest you look for some of his books the next time you are at the library.  He has over sixty story books with math concepts embedded in them.  At the end of each book there are suggestions on how to extend talking about the math concept from the book.  My students enjoyed reading the books and I could see them as a great introduction or reinforcement of math lessons.  At his books' website ( it tells the concepts covered in each book as well as some additional activities to help children understand and learn math concepts.  I like the book Treasure Map.  Some of my students really liked Less Than Zero.