Digital Magnetic Poetry with the Word Mover App

IMG_3022We’ve been having a lot of fun with found poetry during poetry month.  We started with book spine poems, and we will try some blackout poems very soon.  Today we explored magnetic poetry.  When students were making book spine poems, there were several times that they really wanted to move one or two words around or there was one word that was missing that they really wanted to add.  Magnetic poetry gave them so much more flexibility in that aspect.

Mrs. Ramseyer’s 2nd grade was the first class to try this poetry this year.  We started by using the nature poetry on the magnetic poetry website.  I liked doing this type of poetry after book spine because students quickly saw that they really had to think about how to put groups of words together that made sense.  Books already had the words put together and students just had to decide which books and what order.  Magnetic poetry requires students to start with a bank of words and somehow make sense out of them.  We played around on the board trying to put groups of words together.  We knew that we could throw words back into the bank if we didn’t need them.  Students had many ideas of what should go together, which meant many disagreements as well.  This was a great type of poetry to do alone.

I showed students the Word Mover app on the iPad, which essentially is like magnetic poetry.  Word Mover has an iPad and android version and comes to us from Read Write Think.  There are a few options.  Students can choose a word bank or choose from several famous speeches and songs that can be remixed into a poem.  There is also an option to make your own words, but I discouraged students from starting with the “my own words” category since that would stray from the idea of found poetry.  What we all loved was that you could add any word no matter which word bank you chose.

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Once students selected their word bank, they started dragging words onto the work space and arranging them.  Any words could go into the trash can to put them back in the bank.  Students could shuffle the words in the word bank or even get a bank of new words.

The teacher and I wandered around the media center chatting with students about what they were thinking.  As with any kind of writing, some students were naturals at this kind of poetry while others had to start over a few times.  Some of the students who chose speeches and songs like America the Beautiful and I Have a Dream had a hard time remixing rather than just copying the original.

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Mrs. Ramseyer and I both noticed that students were writing their poetry as if it was one long sentence or paragraph.  Once students told us “I’m done”, we asked them to read their poem aloud.  As we heard them pause in their reading, we suggested that those pauses might be where their line breaks should go.  Students spent a bit of time rearranging their poem so that it was in lines that naturally flowed for the reader.

If time allowed, students chose a background and added a title to their poem.  Some students even figured out that you could change the color and font of the words.

Once poems were done, students saved them to the camera roll on the iPads so that you could enjoy them here.

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Book Spine Poetry with Tellagami (Day 4)

IMG_2914Today was my final day working with 2nd graders on Tellagami.  Mrs. Yawn’s class went through the same process as the other classes.  I’m really glad that I decided to do this in groups.  My original plan was to do individual book spine poems, but I think it would have been very hard to manage on the technology side of things.  Getting 7 poems created and recorded in one class period was an ideal number.

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Here’s a look at Mrs. Yawn’s poems.

 

Don’t forget to view the poems from:

Mrs. Brink’s Class

Mrs. Wright’s Class

Mrs. Ramseyer’s Class

Book Spine Poetry with Tellagami (Day 3)

IMG_2896Today Mrs. Ramseyer’s class came to work on book spine poetry.  The past 2 days, I’ve had a graduate assistant and sometimes a special education teacher or other support teacher along with the teacher and I.  However, today it was just me and Mrs. Ramseyer.  It still worked great, but it was definitely a little more on our plates to manage with 6 groups roaming the library and working in about 5 different locations in the library.  We still had fun, and in the end, the kids still wrote some fantastic poetry.

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Book Spine Poetry with Tellagami (Day 2)

IMG_2889After yesterday’s fun time with Tellagami and book spine poetry, I was really hoping that today would be just as great!  We’ve had some troubles with updating our iPads, so I almost thought that today might be a day where we had to change plans.  However, it worked out for us to have 6 iPads to use during Mrs. Wright’s 2nd grade class.

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Once again, students worked in small groups of 3 to put together their poems.  Once again, I was amazed.  There was absolutely no rush to get these poems done.  Students were critically thinking about each book that went into their stack.

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I’m so glad that I added the piece at the end of the lesson for students to tell their story of how they made their poem.  I initially did this just to fill the time while I switched iPads for displaying on the screen.  However, each story revealed the thought process that students went through to craft their poem and revealed new strategies that students might try next time.

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Here’s a look at Mrs. Wright’s class book spine poem gallery:

Book Spine Poetry with Tellagami (Day 1)

IMG_2872Poetry month is one of my favorite times of year because I’m always inspired by what kids come up in their writing.  I love that with poetry you can try so many different kinds of writing in a short amount of time.

Each year, we usually have several classes explore book spine poetry.  If you’ve never heard of it, book spine poetry is a type of found poetry where you use the spines of books as the lines in your poem.  In the past, we’ve used digital cameras to take pictures of our stacks of books and Photo Story to put those pictures together and record our voices.

This year, I really wanted to try something new.  I decided to try Tellagami since you can take a picture as your background image, record your voice for up to 30 seconds, and create an avatar to be the narrator of your poem.  I may try some other tools, too, but this one seemed like the best to start with.

Today, Mrs. Brink’s 2nd grade class was my first book spine poetry class of the year.  Right before they came, I walked through the process of making a book spine poem myself and recording a Tellagami.  Here’s how mine turned out.

We started our quick mini-lesson on the carpet by talking about what a found poem is.  Then, we used several Google and twitter images of book spine poem examples.  Some of my favorites are from my friend, Jennifer Reed, librarian in MA.  I love this one.

We spent a little time noticing things about all of the poems.  For example, we noticed how some of them stuck to a particular theme or some started with a main line at the top and then other lines seemed to support the first line.

Then, I told the students the story of how I made my own poem.  I started with Joyce Sidman’s What the Heart Knows.  Then, I walked around and looked at books that were sitting on the tops of the shelves to see if any of them had a title that showed what my heart knows.  I was amazed at how many of them did!  It only took me about 5 minutes to find my stack of books and another 2 minutes or so to make my Tellagami.

The students were ready and eager to get started.  I really try not to give them too many rules, but we did go over a few things to think about:

1.  Spend some time walking and looking without taking books off of the shelves.

2.  Find a book title that speaks to you that might make a good starting place and then start thinking aloud about your poem with your group.

3.  Try your best to use each book you pull from the shelves.  We spent just a few seconds thinking about what would happen if 22 students starting pulling every book that they saw from the shelves.

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I designated different work areas of the library.  Single tables were setup in the middle of the library for students to bring books to and sort them into their poem.

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Another section of tables had iPads ready for creating Tellagami projects and taking pictures.  I did not spend time teaching students every step of how to use Tellagami because I knew they could figure this out.  However, I did have Carol Buller-McGee, a graduate assistant, with me today, and she stayed at the iPad tables to assist students.

My office, equipment room, makerspace room, and storage room were available for students to go to and record their projects.

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Originally I was going to have students make individual poems, but I made a last minute change to small groups.  The teacher had the whole class stand in a circle and find their own groups of 3.  She assisted students who needed help forming a group.  They went right to work.  It looked something like this.

The teacher and I walked around and talked with students about what they were choosing.  Many of them found one book to start with and started adding books from there.  For example, one group found Please Bury Me in the Library.  Then, they started looking for books that might designate where in the library they might be buried.  I loved how their poem turned out.

Other groups went with a theme.  For example, one group found a book called Dreaming Up, so they started looking for books that had something to do with the sky.  They even went to Destiny and searched for sky books to see if there were any interesting titles.

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I must say that this was the first time that I’ve done book spine poetry where I really felt like kids were thinking about the books going into their stacks.  In the past, it has felt like students just throw a bunch of books in a stack and say they’re done.  While this is still a poem, in my opinion, what I saw today was much more thoughtful and purposeful.

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After students went through the whole process, some of them started again and made a second poem.

We finished by putting our poems up on the projector screen.  I played a poem and we celebrated with snaps.  While I prepped the next iPad, the students talked through the steps that they went through to form their poem.  I really loved this step because it showed me that students really were thinking carefully about each line that went into their poems.

 

I have 3 more classes coming this week, so we’ll see how this lesson evolves across the week.  I think I’m going to stick to small groups rather than individuals, but we’ll see.

Take a moment to enjoy their book spine gallery.

 

List Poetry Google Hangout with 2nd Grade

list poems (1)During a collaborative planning meeting at the beginning of the quarter, 2nd grade all wanted to come to the library to learn about list poetry.  We love to use the book Falling Down the Page: A Book of List Poems edited by Georgia Heard.  We had a problem, though.  It was hard to find a time on the calendar for each of the 4 classes to come.  Rather than only serve a few of the classes or abandoning the project all together, I suggested that we use a Google Hangout to bring us all together for the same lesson and that we collaborate with one another on a Google Doc.

This was a perfect solution because it really served multiple purposes.  All of these teachers were able to experience a Google Hangout for the first time.  The students all heard the same information from me.  All of the students saw how multiple people can collaborate on a Google doc without erasing one another’s work.  It created more time on the library calendar for more classes to come for other projects rather than one project taking up 4 hour-long slots.

Yesterday, the teachers and I practiced after school for about 10 minutes.  I’m glad we did this because it allowed me to work on some issues with sharing the hangout with them.  I found that emailing teachers the link to join the hangout was much easier than inviting them via their Google Plus.  We also had to install the Google Hangout plugin on all of their projectors.  This didn’t take long, but it was much better to do without a group of students waiting.

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Today, I sent out the link to the hangout.  I also emailed the link to the shared Google doc so that teachers could have it pulled up on their screens.  Mrs. Yawn’s class came to the library since they have a longterm sub.  The other 3 classes tuned in from their own rooms.  As the creator of the hangout, I had the hangout controls pulled up so that I could mute all microphones.  This eliminates feedback from the projector speakers.  If a class needs to speak, I (or even the teacher) can unmute the microphone.  We could also communicate with one another via the chat.

I did a short mini lesson for all of the classrooms.  I talked about the kinds of lists that we all make and how those can turn into poems with just a few added adjectives.  I read Jane Yolen’s “In My Desk”.  Then, I muted my microphone, shared my screen, and we all started writing lines to a new list poem called “Under My Bed”.

List Poem by 2nd Grade   Google Drive

I shared the link to the document on Twitter, and we instantly had viewers watching our poem develop.  This created a great discussion about how quickly something that is posted on the Internet can be seen because we literally had 8 viewers the second that I pressed “tweet”.  Many more viewers came in and out of the document while we worked.  The kids really liked knowing that they had an audience watching their poem come to life.

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The students also loved watching the lines magically appear on the screen from all of the classrooms.

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At the end, I called us all back together and read the poem aloud.  It was amazing to hear how creative their lines were!  To close, I invited students to spend some time in their classrooms revising the poem.  There were several lines that were very similar so it was a natural follow-up to spend time deleting or combining lines.

Many students seemed interested in writing this kind of poetry in for our media center poetry contest.  Students have 2 more weeks to submit a poem.  I’m sure I’ll be reading several more list poems in the future.  Here is our poem as it looked at the end of our hangout:

 

Foam Letter U letter N Vintage Sticker Letter D letter E R

 Vintage Sticker Letter M letter Y

Britten Shopping Centreletter EFret Saw Letter D

Under my bed

you will find…

 

Three old pacifiers from when we were babies.

Two pairs of stinky, dirty socks from my last soccer game.

A box of last years Christmas wrapping paper.

Last night’s dinner that I didn’t like.

My little brother.

A pair of destroyed Jordan’s.

My shiny diamond.

A toy skeleton that I bought last year for school.

Old, yucky trash.

A little brown shoebox with really old seashells.

My tiny puppy.

A Kidz Bop 25 CD.

Motorcycles, cars, crayons, American Girl Dolls, and stuffed animals.

A peach, toy train track,

Hidden laundry like dirty jeans and shirts.

New, blue jewelry I just bought.

Cheetah printed sneakers.

A very old picture of a dog I drew.

Old chewing gum.

Brown Pokemon cards covered in dust.

moldy, blue  roller skates that don’t fit anymore

thousands of stuffed animals that belong to my dog

three feathery pillows that my dog chewed up

a beach ball that popped on a pointy shell at the beach

old shark teeth that are at least 500 years old

nasty, dead cockroaches smooched onto the floor

old baseball cards

five old socks, moldy carrots and clementines, and an old water bottle

muddy shoes from playing outside on the last rainy day

a scratched torn up bookbag that my cat ripped apart

a wrinkly gum wrapper

the teeth that I lost in kindergarten

some thank you cards I was supposed to send to my relatives last year

lots of old baby toys

big mushy bags of clothes I don’t wear anymore

crumply old pieces of paper

red and white basketballs

a black old tissue box

a humongous collection of cars

posters of basketball and soccer players

a nerf gun

the toon collection of children’s comics

a blue light-up yo-yo

a cow stuffed animal

pizza leftover from my sleepover

a huge broken clock

two bags of books

canvas travel bags

two huge blood shot eyes

old notebooks

a big fluffy stuffed animal

old scratched CDs

toys in a tank

a big fluffy gray cat

an annoying brother

old baby suitcases

books that I didn’t even know I had

crumbs from a cookie

dead cockroaches waiting for a pet to eat

an old collection of cricket heads

 

It’s amazing to discover

what’s under my bed

 

 

 

 

Poem In Your Pocket: Live Poetry Cafe 2014 Day 2

Poem In Pocket Day 2 (6)Yesterday, I posted about our annual Poem In Your Pocket Day Cafe.  Today, 13 more classes came to share poetry into our open microphone.  It was a non-stop day filled with wonderful words.  As usual, there were many special moments like a student sharing a poem in Chinese and having his class give him the biggest round of snaps I’ve ever heard.  Listen to their poetry sessions at the links below.

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Boyle Kindergarten

Li Kindergarten

Olin 5th Grade

Watson 1st Grade

Freeman 5th Grade

Brink 2nd Grade

Shealey 4th Grade

Hocking Kindergarten

Ramseyer 2nd Grade

Doneda PreK

Selleck 5th grade

Seeling 4th grade

Stuckey 1st Grade

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We loved having special guests join us online today:

Jovette Francoeur, educational consultant in Montreal, Quebec.

Grandparents in Goshen, CT

Mary Morgan Ryan, librarian in  Illinois

Grandparents from Illinois

Kevin & Diane Fuchs, uncle & aunt from Indiana

Grandparents in Florida

Friends in Boston

Mrs. Hinger, librarian at Clarke Middle School in Athens

And so many more.

Each year, this day holds many special memories for it.  Each year we add something new.  I would love to hear your ideas for how this  event could grow and change next year.