More Heart Poems for Banding Together

heart poems (14)Each time a group of students submits a new batch of heart poems to our Banding Together project, I smile!  They are so honest in their words.  Some of their poems are filled with joy while others are filled with sadness.  I smile because I am so proud of how they are sharing with the world “what their heart knows”.  You can read more about this project here & here.

Heart Poems

Enjoy the newest group of poems submitted yesterday and today.

Sophia David C. Barrow Elementary Treasure and everyone is everything
aesa David C. Barrow Elementary Please find lovable families so you can have food and games and fun!! please!!!!!!
Jonathan David C. Barrow Elementary My four dogs are furry when I run my fingers through their fur.
Martavious David C. Barrow Elementary Michael Jordan is the best.
Derrick David C. Barrow Elementary I would change my front yard because I want a basketball goal.
Sophia David C. Barrow Elementary Mom and Dad are the greatest treasure
Eunwoo David C. Barrow Elementary My parents and my loving sister always Bring me great joy in my heart.
Katherine David C. Barrow Elementary Love to pass to pupil to pupil
jameriya David C. Barrow Elementary Pets make me smile just seeing pets I feel like I’m in pets world.
Katherine David C. Barrow Elementary Joy to you from me
Jayelan David C. Barrow Elementary Family is love
Hamilton David C. Barrow Elementary We long for our family to take care of us
cyra David C. Barrow Elementary every one has happiness in their lives.
niv David C. Barrow Elementary Friends feel like family when you work together
David David C. Barrow Elementary I am scared of me because I get in trouble a lot and I am sensitive.
Jack S David C. Barrow Elementary Nothing is more powerful than Love.
Jermaine David C. Barrow Elementary Love brings me joy
Carinne David C. Barrow Elementary The sun shines on the other side. You bring joy.
Matthew David C. Barrow Elementary Long, poisonous, snakes make me hide
cyra David C. Barrow Elementary one smile grows into more smiles.
clara David C. Barrow Elementary I love to play in the summer breeze all around me
izzy David C. Barrow Elementary watermelon has great taste, strawberries are juicy, lemonade is sweet
and so are you:)
quavarion David C. Barrow Elementary I dream every one have a good day and a good life.
Kyleigh David C. Barrow Elementary Friends stay friends promises stay promises and we do to.
jameriya David C. Barrow Elementary Haunted houses scare me if I go in one I might cry.
jack k. David C. Barrow Elementary I love chocolate.When I think of my best friends.What do you think of chocolate?
Stefan David C. Barrow Elementary My guinea pig’s squeak is like the good morning for me.
Abney Marie David C. Barrow Elementary When frogs croak it brings peace to my ears.
Jamaria David C. Barrow Elementary My family brings joy to me.
Emma David C. Barrow Elementary Sweet, sour: candy is spectaular
Za’Ryiah David C. Barrow Elementary Dogs bring joy by just the lick of it’s tongue.
Cheyten David C. Barrow Elementary Peace is a wonderful sight that brings a heart.
Elizabeth G. David C. Barrow Elementary Love is happiness and it shines like the morning sky.
Aubrey David C. Barrow Elementary Summer summer 1,2,3 summer summer come to me so I can jump into pools oh it’s so much fun pleas summer come!!!
maya David C. Barrow Elementary Dripping wet leaves, a sunny blue sky, the birds and the bears NATURE
John H David C. Barrow Elementary Do what you want to do, reach for your dreams.
Yehyun H. David C. Barrow Elementary The beautiful trees, the beautiful flowers, the beautiful nature.
Jalondra David C. Barrow Elementary love is in our heart and it makes me happy
elijah David C. Barrow Elementary Love never hates.
Audrey David C. Barrow Elementary Love is a story that never ends
Elizabeth G. David C. Barrow Elementary Believe in love if you do it will come right in to you.
Elizabeth G. David C. Barrow Elementary Summer brings me joy.Does it to you? Come right here and count to two.
Audrey David C. Barrow Elementary It flips and it flutters goes all about.
Jihye David C. Barrow Elementary Hugs bring joy hugs bring love.
Jon M David C. Barrow Elementary puppies are joy that has come to life

Heart Poems, 3D Printed Charms, and Rainbow Loom Bracelets for Banding Together

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We kicked off poetry month today with Heart Poem writing.  After our wonderful Skype last week with Shannon Miller’s students and poet, Joyce Sidman, our second graders have been hard at work crafting their heart poems to attach to our Rainbow Loom bracelets.

They started by filling out the heart poem graphic organizer from Joyce Sidman’s website.

www.joycesidman.com books what the heart knows chants heart worksheet.pdf

They did this in their classrooms and also in the media center.  Teachers sent small groups to me about every 15 minutes so that I could conference with some of the students and help them think about what their hearts know.  Each heart map was so personal and I smiled with students as they shared the happy things that their heart knows, but my heart also hurt with them as they shared very sad things that their hearts know too.  I was just floored when a student told me, “Mr. Plemmons, even when our hearts our sad, there is still happiness.  Everyone has happiness.”  Wow!  When I heard that, I knew that this project was going to be something that truly mattered in the world.

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When I conferenced with students, we looked at their map and I asked them if there was a part of their heart that spoke to them more than others.  Most students gravitated toward what brought them joy and what they treasured.  A few wanted to write about what they longed for.  Even fewer wanted to write about fear, but we still talked about that part of their heart since Joyce Sidman really encouraged us to.

Once they selected the part of their heart to focus on, I asked them to think about how to add words to that thought to really make the poem sing or to make a picture in our heads or to make us feel an emotion.  Each conference was a little different.  We played around with words and thought about how a thought in our heart could sound different depending on the words that we put with the thought.

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When students were happy with the poem, they used iPads to scan a QR code that took them to a Google form.

Heart Poems

They typed their first name, selected their school, and typed their poem.  Each poem went to a spreadsheet so that I could print them, cut them into strips, and attach them to our Rainbow Loom bracelets.  Here are a few of their poems so far:

Adaline David C. Barrow Elementary The waves, the sun, the beach, it makes me happy!!
cyra David C. Barrow Elementary Dogs spread joy with a wag of a tail.
clara David C. Barrow Elementary Nature brings me joy and love when the wind blows and it rains and I go splashing through the puddles.
Wilson David C. Barrow Elementary Sudden noises scare me but my family comforts me.
Sola David C. Barrow Elementary Love is everywhere,up the hill and over the mill,in nature.
Jacob David C. Barrow Elementary Sun feels warm when you be nice
Finley David C. Barrow Elementary Spring showers brings spring flowers.
Mara David C. Barrow Elementary Love is in this bracelet.
Claire David C. Barrow Elementary You give me the best thing someone has ever gave me and it is the love,joy,and the happiness that makes my heart sing
Carinne David C. Barrow Elementary We are joy. We are bright together. You are powerful.
Evin David C. Barrow Elementary Enjoy the world,keep it healthy
Finley David C. Barrow Elementary Animals spread joy with a wag of their tail
Alanna David C. Barrow Elementary Roses are red, violets are blue. I’m your friend and I hope you are too.
Harry David C. Barrow Elementary Love defeats hate.
Natalia David C. Barrow Elementary April fun and sun. Here. I come! Flowers. Showers Baby. Animals
Axel David C. Barrow Elementary I wish my brother would come back.
Finley David C. Barrow Elementary Bands linked together just like a family
Kyleigh David C. Barrow Elementary My family bring’s me joy and my school bring’s me joy and so do you.
Alice David C. Barrow Elementary Don`t expect things to be bad, expect things to be good.
Adam David C. Barrow Elementary I wish I was magic so I can bring my papa back to life.
Adam David C. Barrow Elementary I wish I was magic so I can bring my papa back to life.
Sha’Niyah David C. Barrow Elementary Enjoy you – don’t change enjoy life – do what you like enjoy Love – love your love
Sophia David C. Barrow Elementary Treasure and everyone is everything

Students and families are helping me with attaching poetry to bracelets.

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These poems are such a great addition to our Rainbow Loom bracelets.  I was excited when we added 3d printed charms, but the poetry brings the bracelets to life as if they had a voice to speak to our friends across the miles.  We will write more poetry tomorrow before we finalize our package of bracelets to ship to India via Van Meter.

Happy Poetry Month!

 

 

Banding Together with Joyce Sidman and Heart Poems

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Our two schools are part of a wonderful project called “Banding Together”.  In partnership with In This Together Media, the Van Meter third graders kicked this off while working on their Rainbow Loom research projects.  After creating so many beautiful bracelets throughout the project, they wanted to do something special with all of these handmade creations.  They partnered with In This Together Media to bring these bracelets, happiness, and friendship to children from an orphanage in Mangalore, India.  The third graders decided to call the project “Banding Together” and the next step was bringing others onboard to make a difference in the world.

Shannon told Andy about “Banding Together” right away….Van Meter School couldn’t wait for Barrow Elementary to be partners with them too.  Together they would bring so much to the children in India….and to each other.

Recently during a Skype planning session, Andy brought up the idea of incorporating poetry into the Banding Together project.  It started with a wondering.  What if we added short poetry, like a fortune cookie slip, attached to the bracelets?  Shannon said, “Let’s go for it.” And the brainstorming began.
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We both started thinking of possible titles for the short poetry.  We wanted the title to represent the spirit and joy of the Banding Together project.  In looking through poets, we thought of Joyce Sidman and her new book, What the Heart Knows:  Chants, Charms, & Blessings.  In her note to readers, Joyce Sidman writes, “We believe in the power of words themselves.  Why else would we pray, sing, or write?  Finding phrases to match the emotion inside us still brings an explosive, soaring joy.”

That idea of finding a phrase that matches the emotions in our hearts really connected with what we hoped the Banding Together poetry would represent.  Suddenly, we had a thought about our poems.  What if we called them “Heart Poems”?  They would have a connection to our inspiration from Joyce Sidman’s words.  They would represent spreading the joy in our hearts to friends across the miles.  They would also be symbolic of the heart charms that we have been creating on our Makerbot 3D printers.
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We both reached out to Joyce Sidman to share our ideas and see if she would like to meet our students to kickoff the heart poem project.  Not only did she say yes, she pointed us toward a great graphic organizer on her website that would help our students figure out what their heart knows. www.joycesidman.com books what the heart knows chants heart worksheet.pdf.png

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Today our students in Athens, Georgia and Van Meter, Iowa came together with Joyce Sidman via Skype.  After a quick hello and meeting her dog, she read the poem, “Blessing On the Smell of Dog”.  She reminded us that when she is with her dog, she feels like she is home.

This setup the idea that poems come from what he hold in our hearts whether it’s joy, treasures, things we long for, or even what scares us.  Joyce spent time walking through each question on the graphic organizer and giving examples of what the question means to her and why it’s important to think about all of these emotions we hold in our hearts, even the feeling of being scared.

She encouraged our students to write from their hearts.  She also connected with our Banding Together project.  She said, “You’re helping form a bond between you and kids in another part of the world.”
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Our students were able to ask her some questions at the end of our Skype.  When asked why she writes poetry and not other kinds of writing, Joyce said, “I notice the things that are happening around me and I celebrate them.  Poetry allows me to focus on that one thing”.  IMG_2523.JPGIMG_2450.JPG

She also told our students, “Even if there are times when you don’t write, you can always go back to writing from your heart.”

Our students left this experience eager to begin writing heart poems to attach to our Rainbow Loom bracelets.  They will fill out the graphic organizer and then submit their poems using a google form.
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Students can quickly get to this form from Symbaloo or by scanning this QR code.

Poems will go into a spreadsheet when they are submitted which will allow us to easily print them and attach to our bracelets.  Heart Poems  Responses .png

We invite you to join us by submitting your own heart poems.  Use Joyce Sidman’s great graphic organizer and have your students submit their poems in our Google form.  We’ll attach them to bracelets that we have as well as share them with other special friends in coming months.  You can also use the hashtag #heartpoems to share some of your poems on Twitter.

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Thank you, Joyce Sidman, for inspiring this special addition to the Banding Together project, and thank you for taking time to connect with our students.

 

 

 

Joyce Sidman Poetry Study

An amazing opportunity came through my email a few weeks ago when Jennifer Graff, co-chair of the Children’s Literature Assembly Breakfast at NCTE, was looking for student poetry inspired by Joyce Sidman, the keynote speaker at the breakfast.  I immediately agreed to work with students on a poet study because Joyce Sidman is one of the poets that most inspires me as a writer.

I sent out an email to teachers with possibilities for this study.  Here were some options:

  • Read Red Sings From the Treetops: A Year in Colors and write poems about colors in the various seasons
  • Read Ubiquitous: Celebrating Nature’s Survivors and write poems and informational text about things in nature that have survived the test of time
  • Read Dark Emperor & Other Poems of the Night and write poems and informational text about plants and animals of the night
  • Read multiple books by Joyce Sidman and write poetry that was inspired by the elements of her poetry

Each one of these options could involve multiple forms of technology or be done with paper and pencil.  So far, one teacher has completed a Joyce Sidman collaboration with me and another has signed up to begin in late April.

I collaborated with Ms. Olin, my former paraprofessional and now student teacher, to read multiple poems from Joyce Sidman’s books and talk about “noticings” from each of the poems.  We looked at things like similes, repetition, rhythm, shape, form, word choice, and more.  Students decided to write poems about nature since much of Sidman’s work is nature and science based.  They took photographs of flowers, trees, and other nature around our school and also searched on Creative Commons for images.  Students wrote poems at the media center tables and conferenced with me, Ms. Olin, Ms. Biehl, and their teacher, Mrs. Selleck.   Finally, students used Photo Story to import their pictures, add text and music, and record their voices reading their poems.

These poems and others created in the coming weeks will be played at the Children’s Literature Assembly Breakfast at NCTE in Chicago.  I’m so excited that our students’ work will have this authentic audience to appreciate their creative endeavors.  You can get a sneak peek at some of the poems by clicking these links.

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