Permission, Word Lists, and Sacred Writing Time

We are writing. We are writing every single day. Each class begins with sacred writing time. Students use their notebooks to write, to think, to make lists, to play with words, to create poetry. I had my first opportunity to read through these precious pages and I’ve struck gold. There is so much risk taking going on! I notice creativity. I see messy pages with evidence of good thinking. It’s so exciting. 

Our notebooks are being noticed by others too. Linda Urban is an author who has expressed an interest in our notebooks. She’s invited the students to write about permission. Here are some of their pages. Amy Ludwig VanDerwater is a poet who has inspired us to create word lists and write poetry from those lists. Here are some poems.

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Here’s a page that made me smile! What a compliment…



National Poetry Month Day 5

Please link up your National Poetry Month post here.Looking forward to reading and commenting on these posts! Click on the frog button to read and comment on our posts!

So much
swishing around
in my head…


Did I finish…?
When will I…?
I have to ….!
Oh no, I forgot…!


Too much
swirling and gushing around
inside my brain!
I want to turn it off
just for a moment.




Now, what needs to get done?
After that I will,

All of the swirls and gushes
fall into place
and I. Feel. Better.

National Poetry Month Day 2



Please link up your National Poetry Month post here. Looking forward to reading and commenting on these posts! Click on the frog button to read and comment on our posts!





It is Saturday
My brain is turned off today
This is my poem. 

Today I celebrate…
one month of daily writing practice
hearing students say, “I did it!”
new connections created
old friendships strengthened
the feeling of accomplishment

I celebrate…
starting over again with poetry
the beauty of words
the power of determination
being accompanied by writing friends
chasing my dreams
of calling myself
of being
a writer!

National Poetry Month: Day 1



Please link up your National Poetry Month post here. Looking forward to reading and commenting on these posts! Click on the frog button to read and comment on our posts!


Here is my first poem….

Sharing an original poem everyday in the month of April.
Happy National Poetry Month!



Every year
I pick a word
A word to guide
A word to steer
A word to live

This year
The word
I picked is


Then what?
What’s next?

I listen
Pay attention

That’s when
things happen
come true.

Dear Writing,

Dear Writing,

I’ve missed you.
Been gone too long

All the excuses are there…
Too busy, work, family, friends
But it’s not enough
I haven’t made time for you
and I’m sorry.

When I avoid you,
I feel it.

I need you!
Please forgive me.
It’s just that you ask,
you demand EVERYTHING from me
and my resistance comes from
the fear that I don’t have enough to give

I don’t care anymore!
Whether you’re good or

you’re bad… I need you in my life.

Recommitted. That’s me:
4AM morning pages.

Working on my book.
Notebook writing.
Blog writing.
Card writing.
Bullet journaling.

I’m back.
I’m here to stay.
Ready to offer you everything

because the truth is
You. Are. Everything.


This poem speaks to my reluctance and struggle to sit down and write lately. It’s inspired (the format is blatantly stolen) from the retirement poem that Kobe Bryant wrote and published yesterday. His words surprised me and moved me and inspired me. The other reason for this poem is a webinar, The Potency of Poetry, that I listened to last night between Donalyn Miller and Kwame Alexander. They talked about poetry for an hour. Here are some of my favorite lines from Kwame Alexander… “My goal is to make words cool and make words fun!” “I’ve seen poems dance!” “You don’t dissect poetry. You dissect frogs.” After listening to his passion for poetry, I woke up this morning inspired to return to it. Thanks for reading! I hope your day brings you poems that dance and words that are cool and fun!

Zip Odes

I discovered a cool new kind of poetry called Zip Odes. This form uses a zip code. Each line has that many words. The poem is usually about that place. If a zip code has a zero…no words for that line. Here’s my zip code from my hometown Springfield, MA….01118 and my Zip Ode:


I grew up and learned who I was!



I learned about Zip Odes from my friend, Mrs. Smith on her blog. What will your zip ode say?!?!

YAY!!! #18

Today is my 18th slice for the March Slice of Life Challenge on Two Writing Teachers.


Celebrating in a list poem today…

I celebrate collaboration
I celebrate laughing
I celebrate strawberry lemonade smoothies
I celebrate knowing
I celebrate hesitation
I celebrate friendship
I celebrate movie matinees
I celebrate marshmallows
I celebrate family
I celebrate instagram
I celebrate taking a leap
I celebrate notebooks
I celebrate being included in the group
I celebrate standing on my own
I celebrate read alouds
I celebrate student writing
I celebrate staying
I celebrate teacher writing
I celebrate eighteen days of writing!

Five Minute Friday…on Tuesday HERO!

This is a very rough draft of a poem I’d like to continue revising. I’d love to hear what you think…

A hero inspires

A hero fails and
gets back up to try again

A hero is kind
even when it’s inconvenient

A hero is action

A hero is there

A hero is real
in my life

Friends are heroes to me
Bella is a hero to me
My mom is a hero to me
My students are heroes to me

They are present, kind, and they 
always inspire!