#clmooc #digilit Random Me

clmooc imageAgain an exciting summer of self-chosen professional development to become a better writer and a better teacher. My summer PD with CLMooc often includes poetry. Last year we played #poettag and this year we play #clPoem, suggested by Jeffrey Keefer. That’s the thing about clmooc: It’s a connected learning massive open online collaboration where participants lead the way.

We started with “untros,” a reflection and analysis of our identities, a shattering of our different identities in various communities which allowed us to understand the essence of those identities. And although suggestions were made for how to “untro,” each person finds their own journey, which can be overwhelming to new participants wondering where to start. Sometimes participants just want to know the idea and take off on their own. In this seeming chaos, Jeffrey pondered about community with a poem and an invitation to others to write poetry tagged with #clPoem.

And so it begins: the cascade of ideas, remixes, invitations, all for a shared purpose: to learn together with the tools that fit, digital or analog.

As the #clmooc introduced the untro for Cycle One, I was captivated by the ingenuity of the responses by participants and intrigued with the traits behind the person and the making. [ Specific examples ]  In my meandering aechoinggreennd following Twitter links, I discovered Echoing Green, an organization that supports young graduates to “Work with a Purpose.” At the bottom of each page was a blue logo, which inspired me to try to rebuild my identity so I created this poem make on “Unshattering Identities,” asking participants to:

Challenge: Consider your beliefs. Using six words, arrange them as phrases read horizontally and vertically to express an essence of your identity.

The slides are filled with reflective six word poems that can be read in different ways; each participants take is unique as we embrace the connected learning principles of interest-powered, peer-supported, production of learning creations.

As you can see, this journey meanders as participants pick the projects in which to participate, create remixes or original makes to fit the topic in their way, and share and reflect on the process, the creations, and the pedagogy. We use tools to create in the physical world and the digital world; we share on Twitter, Facebook, and the Google Plus community — and Soundcloud [#adhocvoices], the blog hub [where this post will find its way], Thinglink, etc. Our connections and our community is a neighborhood built by our choices. Technology provides the ship we sail on to connect and learn collaboratively.

Michelle Stein provides another example: she started a poetry make on identity. She asked us to:

1. Randomly choose a word for each letter in your name.
2. Add a verse to this narrative poem, using each word you have chosen as the focus of a sentence.
3. Revel in the awesomesauce that is CLMOOC.

I chose to do this project because it’s writing, and I enjoy writing poetry, simple as it is. In my response, it’s more narrative poetry, but I wrote it not just for #clmooc and Michelle, it’s a gift to my family. And that is another part of #clmooc: authenticity — the participants make from the interests and who each is and what each needs at the time.

So, if you’re looking for projects both digital and analog, and you want to work with creative people and build your PLN: join CLMooc !


Here’s my response to Michelle’s “Make,” starting with random words:

This post is also part of #DigiLit Sunday, started by Margaret Simon to help blogging educators share their digital learning.


#clmooc #lightandshadow

I’ve been missing Kim’s Friday Photos.

I wondered where I would find light and shadows in my yard. The day is cool and crisp today but the sun is bright, peeking over the edge of hill across the river, illuminating the blossoms on our pear tree.


I zoomed in and snapped a screenshot to view closer the shadows created by even the thin filaments of the stamen. Isn’t that amazing?


I actually couldn’t believe the shot; I just reached up above my head with my iPhone and clicked. Then I had to research pears, because the trees were here when we moved in 25 years ago. We’re wondering if we should try this: Thanks for the great ideas for photography Kim and Kevin. Sheri

cross posted at iAnthology Ning

And Haiku


#DigiLit Sunday #Chalkabration Poetry

sundaydiglitIt’s Sunday!


DigiLit Sunday is a Sunday post on literacy, an invitation by Margaret Simon, to share literacy strategies and tools for the classroom. This week’s list of bloggers: Sunday, Aug 31, 2014.



We also join Betsy Hubbard’s Chalkabration.



To be digitally literate means that you communicate with the tool that fits best. Betsy asks us to share poetry in chalk, on chalkboard, on black paper, or on the sidewalk. Some people may even want to play with neon writing in apps as an adaptation. If you write or draw your poem, you’ll need a tool to snap the image and upload it to your computer to place in your blog: that could be a digital camera or phone. And perhaps your poem is fits with a video format, using an app like Vine.


The important idea is to choose the tools – digital or analog – that fit your audience and purpose.


What about the poem? Of course, you’ll need to write your poem, using powerful words and chalk that colors that make your idea pop. Don’t have an idea? Read others’ poems to for a spark of an idea. Then use your powerful writing strategies to write your idea, to create an image in the reader’s mind. Snapshot. Figurative Language.

Writers don’t just prewrite, draft, revise, edit, publish. Writers are always thinking about the end — what the words look like and sound like, and how to best get those word ideas across – with color, image, video, illustration, etc. It’s a recursive process, moving back and forth into drafts to make the words, and the accompanying media, work together.

If you look at my poem in the image or Vine, you won’t see how I thought about the end of summer and moving into fall. I didn’t use “Fall” or “Autumn.” But I inserted the word “slip” as another word for fall to complete the alliteration of “Summer slips slowly.”  I then thought of “falling” to bring “Fall/Autumn” in with “slip,” adding “with leaves” to complete the connection. My colors start with spring green, summer great, yellow, and two shades of orange to move the words through the seasons. The small leaf added the final touch, the end of summer. Since the breeze kept blowing away my leaf, I added the vine, a perfect tool to accentuate the poem.

So, the writing process started with the spark of the end of summer, and through thoughtful give and take of ideas and words, my poem came alive — using the tools needed to share with other #chalkabration writers.

How about you? How do you show your digital literacy? How is your process?



Common Core State Standards

Anchor Standards


5. Develop and strengthen writing as needed by planning, revising, editing, rewriting, or trying a new approach.

6. Use technology, including the Internet, to produce and publish writing and to interact and collaborate with others.

6.3E Use precise words and phrases, relevant descriptive details, and sensory language to convey experiences and events.


6.4 Determine the meaning of words and phrases as they are used in a text, including figurative and connotative meanings; analyze the impact of a specific word choice on meaning and tone

7. Integrate and evaluate content presented in diverse formats, including visually and quantitatively, as well as in words.

#clmooc #light Like Dandelions

Kim Douillard’s Sunshine on a Stem

Yes, I love these words, so powerful in their simplicity and wish. Interestingly, Kim doubted her metaphor, and shared it out to us for comment. When I read her post, I smiled, knowing that on my wall in my classroom is a tall poster that reads: Dandelions are my favorite flower because they refuse to stop growing. It’s there every year, for almost thirty years. So Kim, we educators love that metaphor!

This is Write with Light  [Storytelling with Light] Week 5 of #clmooc. And the first story I thought of was this metaphor, so I neoned it the best I could:


But it just didn’t seem quite the light it needed. I live in a rural area, and there’s not much in supplies for glowing things, but I do have Keynote on my Mac.  And I know I can make words and images sparkle and shimmer with light with that app. So I created the video above [first in Keynote, then in iMovie, and on to YouTube. It’s not perfect, but it fits with light, sparkling dandelion constellations, and growing writers and tinkerers and explorers. Because I did those things to make it.

But the best Make on Like Dandelions is from Anna Smith with her Zeega.

Like Dandelions

► Play Zeega ►

by anna


Thanks #clmooc team this week [ the Maker Jawn Initiative from the Free Library of Philadelphia ], Kim Douillard, and Kevin Hodgson for inspiring this Write with Light.

How are you writing with light this week?


#clmooc #clpoettag Poetry Tag Part 2



Poetry Tag Part 2

Poetry Tag June 30 +

For #clmooc Week 3, we played and created and hacked games. As a Language Arts teacher, I wanted a game that could fit our curriculum and spice it up with technology [or not]. I wanted a game for students to see themselves as wordsmiths — to play with words and sense and see the wonder in the ordinary.

So I introduced Poetry Tag Part 1. Several people took up the tag, and the game began. In the image above, you see some of our Notegraphy poems, and the Google Plus, Storybuilder, and Notegraphy poems can all be found Storified: Poetry Tag.

 Poetry Tag Part 1 provides the background and rules, but basically the idea is to document the snippets of life in our everyday moments so they are recorded for future writing drafts. In the tag game, if you see the #clpoettag, add a new poem of your own sometime that day. If possible, spin off the ideas and words of that poem, even hack some lines — you’ll see this in the samples in the Storified: Poetry Tag and Notegraphy poems.

Michelle Stein’s poem shows how we are creating a movement, and this expressed our engagement. Kevin Hodgson created a story from our poems with Storybuilder and on Wednesday, so did I: Movement: Shift. As you can see, we have created, shared, remixed, and hacked through several apps our play with words that demonstrates a shift in writing paradigms, as Mallory McNeal’s poem expresses.

Weshifttheparadigm... (1)

Now what?

Poetry Tag Part 2: The Classroom

As stated, the rules are simple: the idea is to document the snippets of life in our everyday moments so they are recorded for future writing drafts. In the tag game, if you see the #clpoettag, add a new poem of your own sometime that day. If possible, spin off the ideas and words of that poem, even hack some lines to use in your poem or create a story. Just recognize  the author.

How do we do this?

Use any app [ Notegraphy, Google Apps, Keynote, Twitter, Visual Poetry, Tackks.com/education, Kidbog, Edublogs, etc. ] to create your poem. The poem may include images.

Share it out with #clpoettag which means Connected Learning Poet Tag. Share it in the community used by your classroom. That could be your Kidblogs, Edublogs, Twitter, Google Plus, Instagram, etc. with a link to your poem.

Here’s some options creating and posting and tagging:

  • Creating: We used Notegraphy quite a bit. That’s nice because the website will gather those tags together for sharing and discussing.
  • Posting: Post in Notegraphy, Instagram, Kidbogs, Edublogs, Google Apps, or create a tackks.com/education stream [works in Edmodo] whereby anyone can post.
  • Tagging Sue Waters suggested using classroom Twitter accounts to share out the poems.
  • Blog Tag: Write and post a poem on your blog, then tag someone with a comment on their blog to create a poem hacking yours and adding to it. That person wold comment back with a link to their poem.

Want to engage students in word play? in a game of wordplay? to become wordsmiths?  As Donald Murray says, “Writing is hard fun.” And this would be fun.

What do you suggest?  What hacks to the rules or process would you suggest?  Thank you !

#clmooc Poetry Tag

Poetry Tag


IMG_7704 I rested under the scrub elm tree, one whose shade everyone tries to park under. A cool breeze gently flowed through the elm leaves, refreshing me from the warmth of the morning. A small songbird flitted from tree to tree, singing to each person, returning to each spot as if she were a messenger, reminding us to remember this day.  I captured her song in a Vine:


Then I remembered it was Game Week at #clmooc . As a sixth grade teacher years ago, my students and I made stapled small pads of slips of paper in class — about 2 1/2 inches by 4 inches — that would fit in our pockets so we could capture the phrases we said or considered that could be great lines in a story or poem. With today’s technology, this would now be so easy to create and share.

So I snapped my picture:

IMG_7703And wrote my poem:

A gentle breeze

soothes the summer heat

and songbirds chirp a wish

that we cherish this day.


And combined both into Visual Poetry

cherish songbirds treesAnd now I notice that I should drop the “day.” But we’re looking for the snippet of the scene, a memory of the moment, captured to save for revision and adaption on another day.

I sent out an invitation tweet to #poetrytag, not realizing that hashtag is already taken, so I’ve chosen #clpoettag #clmooc for this Poetry Tag.

The rules?

1. When a phrase strikes you, tweet it out to #clpoettag #clmooc

2. If desired, make it pretty or add a picture, though not required

3. If you notice the tag, reply with your own phrase, including hashtags #clpoettag #clmooc

4. Optional: tag someone with your post and that person must either:

a. reply with an image to match within one day

b. reply with a new phrase within in one day

5. On Thursdays, see what thunder we have worked with words — Options:

a) gather a few lines of each entry and post a poem with credits

b) work with one of the participants to create a poem together, incorporating each participants’ lines and post with credits

c) post means to post the poem to twitter — make it an image [screen shot or other visual]

 6. Change any rules as desired to keep the connected learning poetry tag game alive.

I wonder if we should start a google slideshow for step five [5]  We’ll see what happens on Thursday.

How about it?  Anyone game?

#napowrimo14 is what?

April is National Poetry Month

sponsored by the Academy of American Poets

What is poetry? What is a poem?

#napowrimo is National Poetry Writing Month!

started by poet Maureen Thorson

a challenge to write a poem a day

that’s write: 30 poems in 30 days 


Let it bloom !

Ready ? Set? Write !

Writer’s block?  Not sure what to do?

Try these:  Online Interactives from Read/Write/Think: Theme PoemsAcrostic PoemsDiamante Poems

or learn from poets how:

Instant Poetry Forms

Kinds of Poems by Kathi Mitchell

Ken Nesbitt’s Poetry4Kids

Giggle Poetry How To

Which kind fits you? Why did you chose it? Why is it poetry?

Write it up !

Draft your poem on your Kidblog  and edit. Let us know:

Which kind fits you? Why did you chose it? Why is it poetry?



Read it up!

Not sure you want to write a poem every day? How about reading one every day. Find one you like. Link to it in your Kidblog and let us know:

Which kind fits you? Why did you chose it? Why is it poetry?

A Poem a Day by GottaBook

Children’s Poetry Archive — hear poets read 

What do you notice?

Help document: Stuck on the questions: Which kind fits you? Why did you chose it? Why is it poetry?  review author craft in the help document.  Make two copies as directed and fill it out for a poem  your connect with.

Let’s discover:

What is poetry? What is a poem?


Teacher Resources