SOLC#29: Take Your Parents to Work Day

I remember they used to have take your kids to work day when I was growing up. Now, I feel like the roles are reversed. Today, my parents came to work with me. They are visiting Korea for the first time since I moved here. They came to see my school and meet my students. So I forced my mom to teach my writing workshop lesson! She is a poet and writes poems in Korean which fit in nicely with our poetry unit.

She shared with my students a Korean poem she wrote about spring and then had the students ask questions about it. She also shared her book of poems and pictures she had. After, I had the students work on poems in English and/or Korean. The students seemed to enjoy it, as did my mom!

The magical place from yesterday's post!

SOLC#28:A Magical Place

In the middle of our work time in writing workshop today, I walked over to the rug area, where two of my students were sitting by the window. We have windows that go almost to the floor on our walls. They were the two lucky students who were allowed to sit next to the window and make observations through the window.

During the mini-lesson, I was discussing with them where we could find ideas for poetry topics. One of the suggestions a student had was to look at nature and the world around us. So I had two students sitting by the window recording observations and collecting ideas for possible poems.

“How’s it going? Did you collect a lot of ideas?” I asked.

“This is a magical place. ” She replied.

“What did you say?” I thought I had misheard her.

“It’s a magical place. I’ve collected so many ideas. I saw cars, trees, the playground.  I think I might write a poem about global warming.” She confidently told me.

SOLC#2: A Different Road

I stood at the top of the stairs on the edge of the field as the students started to trickle into line from recess. I anticipated the complaints from the boys about the soccer game.

Kevin* came up to me and exclaimed, “Ms. Kim, Ms. Kim. Someone kept telling me to shut up during soccer.”

“Who was it? ” I asked. He looked around pointed to another boy on the other line.

“Jeremy.* But Ms. Kim, I just ignored him and walked away.” He replied satisfactorily.

“Give me a high-five!”  I responded. Finally, I thought to myself.

*Name changed

I was reminded of this poem after this happened:


by Portia Nelson


I walk down the street.
There is a deep hole in the sidewalk
I fall in.
I am lost … I am helpless.
It isn’t my fault.
It takes me forever to find a way out.


I walk down the same street.
There is a deep hole in the sidewalk.
I pretend I don’t see it.
I fall in again.
I can’t believe I am in the same place
but, it isn’t my fault.
It still takes a long time to get out.


I walk down the same street.
There is a deep hole in the sidewalk.
I see it is there.
I still fall in … it’s a habit.
my eyes are open
I know where I am.
It is my fault.
I get out immediately.


I walk down the same street.
There is a deep hole in the sidewalk.
I walk around it.


I walk down another street.

Celebrating Valentine’s Day!

I’m a bit late posting this, but here are some of the heart maps & heart poems my students created. I had the students cut out hearts using the painted paper they made. One one side they put a heart map, where they map out all the things in their “heart”. Then, I had them choose one thing from their heart map to write a poem about. The poem went on the other side. After, I laminated their hearts and punched  a hole at the top. I hung the hearts up in my classroom.

Also, I made chocolate for my students and put them in little plastic baggies with other bought chocolate. It’s super easy to make the chocolate. You buy the chocolate morsels for melting and then put them in the plastic molds. After, you put the plastic molds in the fridge and it hardens in a few hours. 🙂

the praying mantis lives…

It is week two with our praying mantis as our unofficial classroom pet. It has been quite interesting to see the effect it has been having on our class. During recess time, a good handful of my students are very busy collecting and catching food for the praying mantis. They have caught grasshoppers, butterflies, dragonflies, and other insects from the field to feed it. They bring the praying mantis with it to lunch and recess, in it’s small plastic container. Two of the boys during our library visit last week were super excited about finding books on the praying mantis. A few of my students wrote about the praying mantis in their writer’s notebook. Here is an excerpt I liked:

“and other children ran fast as possible, but they were no match for dragonflies’ extremely fast wings.  …

He suddenly swung the net like a baseball bat. It hit the dragonfly in the head. The dragonfly’s head went flying. He thought it was dead, but I said to just put it in the praying mantis’ cage. He did. The headless dragonfly was moving. Its legs and belly was moving quickly. I read in a book that dragonfly’s body is different from human’s.  Then, the deadly-insect predator snatched the headless prey and ate it happily. The praying mantis looked very happy.”

I loved this poem that another student wrote in their writer’s notebook:


fly fly butterfly

don’t be snatched by mantis

don’t be snatched by bird

fly fly butterfly

don’t die in the rain

don’t die in the snow

fly fly butterfly

fly through the fresh air!

There have been some good teachable moments with the praying mantis. I’m thinking that it will fit in nicely with our unit on ecosystems in science, especially when we are studying the food web. However, it’s cage is starting to smell.

For more slice of life entries go here:

poetry while you wait

typewriter, poetry and washingtonsquare park

It’s hard to not love NYC when you can find people ready to write you a poem for a small monetary contribution. This was actually the second person I came across on this lovely summer Saturday ready to write a poem with a typewriter for people. I knew I had to get a poem from him. When he asked me to choose a theme for the poem, I didn’t know what to say. The first thing that came to my mind was summer. After 10 minutes or so, I had an original poem from him! I actually like it a lot. I ended up giving him $10 for the poem.

Maybe I can use this somehow in my poetry unit this year.  Maybe I will make them have a poetry stand where they have to write poems for people on the spot! It could be a fundraising idea?! I’ll have to think more about it.