Thursday, March 3, 2016

SOLC 3 - Yesterday's Read Aloud


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Day 3! 
Basically a tenth of the way through the month...
Just do this ten more times this month, and you are there!  Well, plus a day.
My bag is packed, I'm ready to go...
Yesterday I had a fantastic time at our elementary school talking and reading to fifth graders.  We talked about why we read books and the different types of reading for different purposes.  I pulled out cookbooks, a jewelry making book, a magazine about writing and publishing, and my "The Fall of the Leaves of Fall" poetry book.   We talked about Haiku, and I showed them the postcards I'd made and encouraged them to take a picture sometime and write a Haiku to go with it.  Then I showed them my blog from yesterday with the Tagxedo squirrel and the reversed squirrel acrostic.

It was then that I saw my error!  Somehow, while I was deep in the forest of "Revising Land", I had left off the all important letter Q!  How embarassing!   How mortifying!  How so not to show the way you write an acrostic!

Or was it?

It turned into a mini lesson on taking care revising, making sure you reread your work before "finalizing" it, and resuming the revisions when you find you haven't quite "done it" yet!   I asked if they had ever done that before - written something and thought it was right, only to read it again and find a BIG mistake!  They seemed to know just what I was talking about.
Then I called for words that might be used for the Q, and we tried out some.  As we did so, one student pointed out that now the "treasure/pleasure" rhyme would be messed up!  I wholeheartedly agreed with him - that would definitely be the challenge, but that I couldn't just leave it the way it was for very long!

I told them I might just be in the school parking lot for a while thinking and rewriting!  But I did leave and I drove into town where I sat in the grocery store parking lot.  I finally got it  revised and republished on the page.  Phew!

Before Q (and some of you read it but either didn't notice or were too kind to point it out!):

Leaping from tree to tree,
Enjoying being free;
Running and
Racing;
In secret placing
Underground treasure -
Stores of winter nibbling pleasure. 
You know it's still a good poem - you just can't call it an acrostic...maybe it could be renamed ... an alostic - when you lose one of the letters in an acrostic...

Leaping from tree to tree,
Enjoying being free;
Running and
Racing;
In secret placing
Under ground his acorns-
Quivering in delight at his treasure
Stores for winter nibbling pleasure.

by Donna JT Smith


After the reading and poetry discussions, I began reading "Nuts to You" by Lynne Rae Perkins.  I didn't get as far as I would have liked, but what I did read was well received.  I left them a copy of my "The Fall of the Leaves of Fall", and their very own copy of "Nuts to You" so they could add it to their classroom library, and they could finish the book.
I baked some squirrel shaped cookies in the morning and brought those as a treat.  I'm off sugars for a while, so didn't get to sample them (even though they were gluten free), but the students said they tasted good!




11 comments:

  1. I just love the upside down-ness of your acrostic ....what a great spin on a format that my students love but absolutely overuse! When we make errors or omissions, it is a lesson to our students that there's always a solution to a problem. Enlisting their help shows there's power in a classroom community!

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    1. The thing I like about acrostics is teaching the kids early on that it doesn't have to be a "list" poem; that a "t" can be for "the" or "terrible", etc. and it can flow like a sentence. I had first graders doing that and wow! what poems they came up with then! Gone were the stilted -
      "Silly
      Quick
      Up in a tree
      In a hole
      Red
      Running
      Energy
      Loves nuts"

      - acrostics of old when they realized that!

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  2. Great post. When people tell me they are afraid of not being perfect when they are observed in a lesson or are public speaking, I always say it's not the perfectiont that matters, it's the flexibility and the adjustment. Your audience makes the performance what it is, so you can only prepare so much. Right?

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    1. Ha! I LOVE that "perfection" has a t!!!! Perfectb!

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  3. What a great teaching moment and one that I think all of us can relate to.

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    1. I am fortunate to be able to supply many "teaching moments" from my life! lol!

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  4. What a powerful teaching moment! Kids think adults always have it right, but we know the truth. I must say, I did not notice the Q missing. I guess I just enjoyed the poem and trusted the author so I didn't spell check the acrostic. I enjoyed the second version too. :-)

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    1. I do not have a clue what became of the original Q. In my quest to see if I could finagle a rhyme, I must have deleted a line!

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  5. It's lessons like this, entirely real and human, that stick. Good for you to see the moment in a positive way.

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    1. I actually loved having that moment with them. Sometimes I used to make up mistakes to use, but the REAL ones are BEST!

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  6. I suspect this lesson will stick more than most, Donna. I didn't notice either, really, but loved the poem. And now I adore those squirrel cookies. You made such a wonderful lesson for them.

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