Last day in Paterson

Hi everyone,

Over the past three days I’ve been visiting students in Schools 24, 26, and 29 in Paterson, NewJersey. I’m enjoying the hospitality here and, of course, the opportunity to spend time with children in grades three, four, and five. I’m here as part of a grant-funded project to promote poetry in the classroom to enhance learning, stimulate a love of writing, and model teaching strategies.

I’ve presented Word of the Month Poetry Challenge as well as half a dozen other strategies, including reading and writing poems for two voices. The favorite? Poems for two voices. Kids in all three grades love to read them and nearly every hand goes up when I ask for volunteers. For those of you who teach elementry school or have children in the family in that age range, consider adding poems for two voices to your library. Reading aloud together with a young person quickly turns into a favorite time for both parties. Not only that, this is an activity that improves reading fluency and understanding.

I don’t want to nag but contributions to our Woza Woza Poem and our game of Poetry Tag have fallen off to nothing. If you have any new ideas to add, please get us going again.

I’m looking for my next Guest Reader. If you haven’t been featured and would like to send me your story about your journey as a writer — or anything else germane to children’s literature — get in touch and we’ll see about getting you posted.

I’m also working on a list of new Featured Guests. It has been a while since I sent out invitations but I hope to get back on task soon.