More Poem In Your Pocket 2011

Today, 7 more classes came to the media center to read their poetry.  Even with power outages and our wireless network crashing, we were able to get every class’s reading recorded.  Some of the recordings will have moments in them where the video feed is lost, but all students were recorded.  Here are their poetry recordings.

Boyle Kindergarten

Li Kindergarten

Carney Kindergarten

Hocking PreK

Spurgeon PreK

Stuckey 1st Grade

Wyatt 1st Grade

Poem In Your Pocket Day 2011

Amazing! Global!  Collaborative!  Snap!  I’m overjoyed by how today’s Poem In Your Pocket Day went.  For the past 3 years, we’ve been observing national poem in your pocket day by carrying poems in our pockets, wearing stickers to promote the day, and holding a day of poetry reading in the media center where every child (and adult) has a chance to read poems into our open microphone.  This year, we tried something new:  a live webcast.  Using Clarke County’s new purchase of Adobe Connect, Joel Frey setup a room for the Barrow Media Center.  The link was sent directly to the PTA listserve and an online registration was setup via Google Forms for anyone else interested.  Registrants on Google Forms were emailed the room link.

Today, 18 classes came to the media center for 20 minute poetry reading sessions.  Students came up one at a time and read their poems.  We all celebrated with snaps.  At the same time via Adobe Connect, parents, media specialists, classrooms within our school, classrooms across the district, and family members in other parts of the United States and the world were watching, listening, and making comments about the student poetry.  As online participants made comments, I shared the comments with the students in between poets walking to the microphone.  Amazing things started to happen.  Students started huddling around the computer waiting for the next comment to come in.  They got excited when they saw that someone was typing.  They wondered why someone didn’t make a comment about their poem.  They kept asking, “You mean people can really see us?  They’re watching us right now?”  It was electric.

Online, participants made comments about how much they appreciated being able to connect with their child, nephew, cousin, etc.  People joined us from multiple locations:  Mrs. Marsha West, Barrow’s former media specialist, joined us from Lincoln, Nebraska.  One student had family members join us from Chicago, Illinois, Cohutta, Georgia, and Chattanooga, Tennessee.  Another student had an uncle tune in from Afghanistan.  Parents explored a technology that many had never tried, and they appreciated this opportunity to think about learning and connecting globally in a new way.

At the same time, every teacher in the school got to see a new technology in action, and now the ideas are beginning to spark about how this can be used in the future.  At least two teachers have already approached me with ideas for future events or lessons.

This afternoon, as I walked down the halls, a student stopped me and said, “Mr. Plemmons, did anyone else make a comment about my poem?”  Kids want authentic audiences beyond their classroom walls.  Thank you, Clarke County for giving us this tool.  Now, our task is to keep using it, seeking out authentic audiences, connecting with experts around the globe, and collaborating with classrooms in our own district and beyond.

You can listen to every class recording on Adobe Connect below.  At each link, you will hear and see the students reading poetry.  You will also see the chat comments that took place during the webcast and hear my announcements to the students each time a comment came in.  I hope you will take some time to see what an important day this was for us in the media center.

You are also invited to tune in on Monday April 18th, where several PreK, Kindergarten, and 1st grade classes will read their poems between 8:00AM-12:20PM EST.

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Hart 1st Grade

Sheppard 2nd Grade

Watson 1st Grade

Brewer 1st Grade

O’Prey 5th Grade

Beshara 5th Grade

Slongo 5th Grade

Freeman 4th Grade

Selleck 4th Grade

Landstrom 4th Grade

Em Kindergarten

Brink 2nd Grade

Sitler 2nd Grade

Yawn 2nd Grade

Cantrell 3rd Grade

Griffith 3rd Grade

Rogers 3rd Grade

Shealey 3rd Grade

2011 Poetry Contest Winners

Today we announced the winners of the 1st annual Barrow Media Center Poetry Contest.  We had a staggering 156 students who submitted a poem.  After many hours of reading, debating, and discussing with others, two top poems were chosen from PreK-1st grade, 2nd-3rd grade, and 4th-5th grade.  We also recognized 43 other poets who had outstanding poems in the following categories;

Most Unique (a poem about a napkin written on a napkin)

Acrostic Poets

List Poets

Shape Poets

Digital Poets

Group Poets

Rhyming Poets

Pondering Poets

Nature Poets

Form Poets

Story Poets

Personal Story Poets

Congratulations to all of our winners!

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Battle of the Books 2011 District Champions

Once again, Barrow Elementary 5th graders have won the Clarke County School District Battle of the Books.  The Fantastic Five has read books and practiced tirelessly since December.  As always, it was so much fun to have all 14 elementary schools in our district come together to celebrate reading with a fun competition.

When we returned to school, our superintendent, Dr. Lanoue, just happened to be hear and stopped by to speak to the team and praise them for their accomplishment.  Congratulations Jack, Katy, Gabby, Olivia, and Suvitha.  You earned it!

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Poem in Your Pocket Day: LIVE!

We have some exciting news about this year’s Poem in Your Pocket Day Friday April 15th in the Barrow Media Center.  Two things will be happening for the 1st time:

1.  Most students will be reading original poetry at our open mic poetry cafe.  Many of these poems were entered in our 1st annual media center poetry contest.

2.  Parents and other interested individuals will be able to listen to the poetry readings live on the web!

Thanks to our district’s new purchase of Adobe Connect, we will be broadcasting each class’s poetry readings online.  An email has been sent out to the PTA listserve with the link to the room.  In the spirit of trying to give our students an authentic audience while still maintaining a safe online atmosphere, we do ask that anyone who would like to view our poem in your pocket day poetry readings register at the following link by Friday morning.  Because of the number of classes doing poetry readings, we are holding poetry readings on two different days.  You will receive a link to our room and can come in and out of the room throughout the day on Friday April 15th and Monday April 18th.  The two-day schedule is posted below.  We hope you will join us and celebrate each student’s poetry with online snaps and positive vibes.  “See” you online 🙂

Poem in Your Pocket Schedule Friday April 15th (Times are EST)

Time Class
8:00 AM Hart
8:20 Sheppard
8:40 Watson
9:00 Brewer
9:20 O’Prey
9:40 Beshara
10:00 Slongo
10:20 Freeman
10:40 Selleck
11:00 Landstrom
11:20 Em
12:00 PM Brink
12:20 Sitler
12:40 Yawn
1:00 Cantrell
1:20 Griffith
1:40 Rogers
2:00 Shealey

Poem in Your Pocket Schedule Monday April 18th (Times are EST)

Time Class
8:00 AM
8:20 Boyle
8:40 Li
9:00 Carney
9:20 Hocking
9:40 Spurgeon
11:00 Stuckey
12:00 PM Wyatt