Tag Archives : #collaborativegroups

April is Poetry Month

By Deann Marin of Socrates Lantern


virginia-live-oak-440351_1920 smallI just love teaching poetry and spring is the perfect time. For me, inspiration comes from being outside, perhaps walking on the beach inhaling the salty ocean air, or just walking through the woods with my husband and beautiful husky who is no longer with us.


I want my classes to experience the wonderful feeling of just being outside and creating. That’s why I  teach poetry in April or May, new awakenings, flowers coming up, birds beginning to nest, and the warmth that replaces the winter cold.  So I pick a sunny day, take the class outside and have them write a nature poem using all of their senses. I tell them to breathe in the fresh air, so we take some deep yoga breaths, then sit on the grass and listen to the sounds of nature with closed eyes, making notes of what they hear, the things they see, and what they feel.

We might also hug trees, smell flowers and listen to the sounds of insects while watching them complete their instinctual activities.  One of my favorite things to do is to have the kids find a tree to lie under, to look up through the branches at the sky, or to watch the leaves fluttering in the breeze. To listen to the sound of birds and watch little insects buzzing about their business. I ask them to look at the colors and to pretend that they are the color, or the insect, or the bird, or the tree.  I want them to feel the strength of the tree and realize how secure and grounded the tree is because of it’s roots that run so deeply under the ground.

My students have created  some amazing poems from this activity and many of them have gotten published in a book entitled  Celebration of Young Poets-Creative Communication, Inc. The web address is www.poeticpower.com.

This is an example of a poem that a 6th grade student wrote after completing this activity. To tell you I was blown away by this is an understatement.

Azure Drake

Azure blossoms at my feet

Beside the road smelling sweet

To the shade of a Sycamore tree

Swaying branches over me…..Whispering

Footsteps coming down the path

An ancient one with wooden staff

Long white beard and cloak blue smeared

Electric eyes not to be feared…Scintillating

A Druid friend from long ago

The magic words sure to know

Staff held high over azure flowers

Secret words of light and power…..Conjuring

Rustling in the indigo bed

Rising up scales, tail and head

Wisdom eyes, majestic wings

Breath of lightning, Dragon sings…..Thundering

Climbing on blue scaled back

Soaring on white cloud track

Snow capped mountains, Seas of sand

Born of air Free of land….Dreaming

by Sean Hayden


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This is part of our Teacher Talk Blog Link-up. A great month ahead with loads

of ideas that will help get you through the rest of the year.

If you’re interested in joining this unique group of teacher entrepreneurs and blogging buddies as well as our blog linky, sign up here….The Best of Teacher Entrepreneurs Marketing Cooperative.  If you decide to join, be sure to mention my name

April Teacher Talk Word Press

Let’s Go Fly a Kite

By Deann Marin of Socrates Lantern


When I taught special needs kids, each month we would do something special for those who earned enough points. One of their favorite activities was to make and fly kites in March. child-flying-a-kite smallYears later, I was mainstreamed to 6th grade and the children also loved  this activity.  After they flew their kites, they wrote two papers, one explaining how to make a kite and the other about their experience.

I am going to show you how to make simple kites that your class will love doing.

Materials for a garbage bag kite:  plastic bags, two sticks, string, a ribbon and a nice windy day.

Step 1:  Take two sticks, wooden dowels, or garden stakes and put them into the shape of a cross., one horizontally and one vertically. Place the horizontal stick about a third of the way down and tie them together with a string.

Step 2: Wrap the string securely around the horizontal and vertical sticks so that they stay together.

Step 3:  Cut the bag to fit the kite frame. Secure tightly by tying the ends of the bag to the frame at the tip of each dowel or stick.

Step 4:  Tie string from one side of the horizontal stick to the other, make it loose so that it forms a triangle, see first picture in step #4. Tie a large ball of string to thebottom part of the vertical stick. Loop under the loose portion of the horizontal string and tie a knot then tie another knot where the horizontal and vertical strings meet. You’ll know you’ve done it right if you see a triangle shape. See 2nd image in step #4.

Step 5: Tie some colorful ribbons to the end of the kite to give it balance. If it seems flimsy , you can attach washers to the ribbons to add support.

Step 6: Voila, your kites are complete. All you need is a sunny and windy March day and some space for your kids to run with their kites. Have fun. By the way, you can have a contest to see which kite flies the highest or the best.


Another fun thing that I’ve done with the kids is to take them camping at the end of the school year, but that’s another story.


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March Teacher Talk.003

Before you leave, please take a look at the rest of the blog posts that are part of our March Teacher Talk blog hop.

February Teacher Talk

Posted by Deann Marin of Socrates Lantern

Welcome to our February Teacher Talk.  All of us from the Teacher Talk collaborative would like wish you a Happy Valentines Day.  We have so many fab things this month from  proof-reading ideas, to ELA to math activities, to celebrating Black History Month and President’s Day, you don’t want to miss reading these blog posts from some awesome educators.

If you’re interested in joining this unique group of teacher entrepreneurs and blogging buddies and our blog linky, sign up here….The Best of Teacher Entrepreneurs Marketing Cooperative. If you decide to join, be sure to mention one of our names. 


The Proof is in the Pudding, Proof-Reading That Is!

As a veteran English and Social Studies teacher, I’d like to share some effective proof-reading tips that I’ve used to help students improve their writing skills, and to make my life a bit easier.


Love is All We Need

By Retta London of Rainbow City Learning

Just a little inspiration for building confidence and acceptance in your learning community.


IMWAYR: Funny Bones

By Lisa Robles of LisaTeachR’s Classroom

Have you read Funny Bones? Winner of multiple awards and a great informational addition to your Dia de Los Muertos collection!


Valentine’s Day STEM Olympics

By Kerry Tracy of Kerry Tracy

Blog post outlines 5 infatuating Valentine’s Day-themed STEM challenges that can be modified for use with grades 2-8. Help Cupid get some target practice, build a tower of love, design the perfect candy container, find the “heaviest” heart, and have a flower frenzy!


 Cooperative Learning – Bring Core Subjects Together for Student Learning!

By M. Moore of Moore Resources

 Cooperative Learning – Bring Core Subjects Together for Student Learning!


What Word Does This Say: B-L-E-N-D?

By Susan Berkowitz of Susan Berkowitz

This is part of a series of posts about phonological awareness and the different steps and skills to teach. This post is about blending sounds and syllables to hear the word.


Teaching Self-Regulation Skills to Elementary Age Children

By Thia Triggs of Print Path

Finally! A systematic method to teach self-regulation skills to children with sensory, emotional, and behavioral needs. Color coded task cards give students managed choices to learn specific skills that meet their sensory needs and also calm them down, so that they can perform their academic classroom tasks.


My Funny Valentine: Love Letters by Arnold Adoff

By Tracy Willis of Wild Child Designs

A review and glimpse into “Love Letters” poetry by Arnold Adoff. This post also includes a teaching idea for its use in the classroom.


Robots + Math & Science = Total Engagement

By Megan Bodmann of Adventures Teaching 4th

Get your students engaged in learning by introducing robots into your classroom. They are not only a ton of fun, but you can easily utilize them in your math and science lessons. Find out how easy it is to do!


Playground Problem = Real Life

By Kathie Yonemura of Tried and True Teaching Tools

The Playground Problem is a real-life math challenge! It keep students engaged and practicing their area and perimeter skills in a meaningful way.


Understanding Fractions: A 6-Part Series

By Shametria Routt of The Routty Math Teacher

Fractions– a single word that deflates the confidence of our most competent students and adults alike. In this series, I share some of the essential fraction understandings that I have developed over the years, including the many math tools you can use to reinforce these essential skills. With that in mind, each of the six posts highlights a fraction tool and activity that can be used to address a specific Common Core Math Standard (with a few printable freebies too). 


Leveled Math Assessments

By Tammy Roose of Tarheel State Teacher

Do your math assessments encourage a growth mindset? Create an entry point for students who are not yet meeting the standards? Allow above average learners to show they know more than just what’s expected for their grade-level? Find out 7 reasons why I’m committed to leveled math assessments this year! 


Here’s your chance to hop on over and visit the blog posts of our creative teachers.