Monday, April 27, 2009

Poetry Portal!

Need more poetry in your life? Want to marinate your students in poetry? Check out the Online Poetry Classroom for more than 2,000 poems, links, curriculum units and lesson plans, and biographies of poet:

Thursday, April 23, 2009

Writer's Notebooks

If my house was on fire (God forbid!), I would grab my son's baby pictures, my brother's ID bracelet, and all my writer's notebooks. Even better than photo albums (which are all now electronic anyway), my writer's notebooks are a time capsule of my life, my thinking, and (hopefully) my growth over the years (I have been keeping a writer's notebook since second grade - not a diary!). Just last week, I took a little tour of my 30's by revisting my writer's notebooks. I found so many quotes, so many "Aaaha!" moments, and so many dreams still living and still reaching out to me.

Here are thoughts from fellow writer's notebook lovers, quotes I dedicate to treasured friends Bonnie Campbell Hill and Carrie Ekey as they work on their book chapters about writing this very week :)
Cheers and happy writing!

"I always tell kids that the most important book I've written is one that will be published: my writer's notebook. As the TV commercial used to say, I don't leave home with it!"
Ralph Fletcher

"The writer's notebook provides conditions that are necessary for students to grow into strong writers...The writer's notebook gives kids a place where they can enjoy language for its own sake..."
Ralph Fletcher

It's a Place
by 5th Grade Poet, John Mihaltses of Long Island, NY

Why am I keeping this notebook?
Because it's a place where I can
keep track of my life.
It's a place where I can observe
And where I can store little pieces of
It's a place where I can keep the elements
of Life
(lightning, fire, ice, time, and space)
and Writing
(poetry, words, eyes).
It's a place where tales weave.
All in all
It's a place for ME.

"A notebook is a receptacle, a tool, a way to hold on to things. Students should view notebooks as documents of their lives; they learn not only to honor what they see but to look in the first place. If students become more aware of the world around them and know there is a place for these observations, then this awareness will be more naturally included in their own writing. They will learn to think on the page, so their notions of what's possible in writing become less limited."
Joanne Hindley Salch

"Always, though, I write my stories out first in a notebook. That works best for me. Pencils are easy to carry and I can take them any place I go. I have written in dentist' waiting rooms, in my car during a traffic jam, and in a floating chair in our swimming pool. Sometimes I get an idea when I don't have my notebook with me. What a disaster!"
Eve Bunting

"Writing in a notebook is a way to fuel up. Supreme superior unleaded. And it's free!"
Naomi Shihab Nye