Playing with poetry

Hi everyone,

Mary Jo Fresch, my friend, co-presenter, and writing partner on several educational books, recently republished an article called “Playing with Poetry to Develop Phonemic Awareness” on Research Gate: This originally appeared on ILA e-ssentials and included some of the work we used when we wrote a five book set on this subject for Teacher Created Materials. I admit that Mary Jo wrote nearly all of this article but I “hepped” some.

The article has already been read more than 400 times, 23 in the last week. Way to go Mary Jo!


Kirksville kids

Hi everyone,

Robyn Paso, the librarian at Kirksville Primary School, sent me some pictures of my recent visit there. You don’t see me in this shot but I was standing in front of 560 students K-2 on the gym floor and spoke for thirty minutes. After that we broke into groups so I could work with individual classes.

At the end of the day we met back in the gym where each group performed something I’d assigned them during our earlier sessions. The students all did a stellar job. It was a happy day.

Dreaming through the night

Hi everyone,

I don’t always remember my dreams but the past two nights they’ve have been so vivid I wasn’t sure if I were dreaming or lying awake with my eyes closed.

Two nights ago I kept trying to solve a problem about how a young person could build some cash equity. My thought began by wondering how much money a person would have at age 65 if he/she began putting one dollar per day into an interest bearing account at age twenty. At that rate, seven dollars a week, $365 per year over forty-five years, compounding at, say, 0.025 interest, would amount to . . . what? Needless to say I never got the problem solved but it seemed to take up the night and I got up still thinking about it.

Last night I kept trying to figure out how to build a modest home on the arm of a scenic river that is known to flood. With a protective limestone wall behind me, I dug down to bedrock to build an enormous steel reinforced concrete retaining wall between my site and the river and then elevated the house itself so that my front porch was high above grade and provided a fantastic view of the river below. I know there were a lot of stairs involved but I hadn’t designed the house yet before the alarm went off. I was disappointed because I really wanted to see the finished house.

Where DO these things come from? I hope I’m getting some rest. Who knows?

Spring? Maybe

Hi everyone,

Goose Lake is a busy place these days. In spite of the cold spring that has held back the usual flow of things, I saw a pair of geese and their three tiny goslings out for a swim a few days ago. Some slightly older ones are learning to graze on my neighbor’s lawn.

The goose that lost her five eggs to rising water recently seems to have gone to the nest again. I haven’t found it yet but the gander is wandering around alone most of the time. And smaller birds are taking advantage of our feeders, which this time of year is usually an indication they have a nests nearby.

Haven’t spotted the foxes since Christmas so I guess they found better places to den elsewhere. We were visited by an osprey two days ago. Way out of its normal territory. Two weeks ago we were visited by fifteen cormorants, also out of their usual area. I wonder if such unusual visitors are on their way back from winter migrations.

Most trees are budding and some have blossomed but the frost keeps knocking them back. A few snow flurries and a bit of sleet once or twice keep reminding us that nature will do what nature will do.

The week to be

Hi everyone,

Looks like a good week coming up. Monday is lunch with an old friend, Laurie Edmondson, a Drury University professor in the school of Education and Child Development, with whom I wrote a book about writing a few years ago.

Thursday evening is the annual Missouri Writers Hall of Fame Student Awards Banquet. I had the pleasure to help start the organization with three others in 1993. At this event four of us will read the winning works of area students who were selected from entries in the LAD Fair (sponsored by the Language Arts Department at Missouri State University in Springfield), itself an annual event that attracts around 7,000 student entries each year.

Friday evening is the annual banquet sponsored by The Breech School of Business at Drury. The school is named for Drury graduate Ernie Breech who, during his brilliant career, served as head of Ford Motor Company and Trans World Airlines. I was inducted into the Breech School of Business Hall of Fame in 2004. This year an old fraternity brother is being inducted so I look forward to seeing him again after all these years.

Saturday from 10:00 – 12:00 I’ll sign my newest book, CRAWLY SCHOOL FOR BUGS, at Barnes & Noble in Springfield.

Otherwise it looks like a good week for writing and I know exactly what I’ll be working on. Unless, of course, something else comes up. Which, of course, is likely to happen.