Blog

February 25, 2017

YK Pao International School – Shanghai

We begin this stint in China by speaking to a compilation of local librarians from English speaking schools in the city. A seditious bunch for sure headed up by our host Kendra Perkins who arranged and organized our first three days in Shanghai with the precision of a – well, a librarian.

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February 19, 2017

Write to Learn Conference – Osage Beach MO

“What are you afraid of?”

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February 6, 2017

International School of Kenya

You could almost smell the wood burning as they set to the task. They were having fun, they were close reading the text, they were writing, they were employing poetic elements, cognitive dissonance was running rampant. I had a ball.

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February 6, 2017

International School of Tanganyika

We worked on extended metaphor, personification, and memoir and the students and teachers were super receptive. For extra-added excitement we participated in a practice lockdown and hid amongst the books in the library stacks while Courtney was assigned the role of prowling the school and shaking the locked doors knobs.

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January 14, 2017

Police, Poetry, Pupils and Pedagogy

So armed with bags of pretzels we brought our two groups together for a little collaboration. The break down ended up with an officer at a table with six students. We had the officers and students talk about their experience writing poetry about personal conflict.

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January 10, 2017

More response from the article on standardized high stakes tests.

      http://www.fox26houston.com/news/228183139-story  

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January 9, 2017

Poetry, pupils, pedagogy and perspective.

Today Sara and I continued on our writing with cops and kids program. We met with Libbie Royko’s 7th graders and we completed the fist have of a guided writing clinic on conflict. We wrote an example piece together comparing a staged almost fight with a thunderstorm and then we brainstormed details for a personal […]

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January 5, 2017

Another case against standardized high stake tests

Teachers are also trying to survive as they are tasked with teaching kids how to take these tests, which they do by digging through past tests, posted online. Forget joy of language and the fun of discovery in poetry, this is line-by-line dissection, painful and delivered without anesthetic.

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January 4, 2017

Poetry, police, pedagogy and perspective.

So, Sara and my latest project involves students and law enforcement officers. It’s something we have been talking about for a long time but never had the chance to implement. We’ve had a couple false starts over the years but we’ve finally got our foot in a door. We’re just starting out and we will […]

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December 13, 2016

If the Streets Could Talk: Poetry with Cops and Teens

Poetry was never meant to be parked in academia. Too dry. Too proper. Too overdone. Real poetry is more raw. As real as a flag at half mast hanging limp above dirty snow gathered on a concrete palette under a gray winter sky. Poetry doesn’t belong on a pedestal, it should be better grounded. Experience put […]

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“Sara and Michael bring infectious energy and joy leavened with deep knowledge of best practices in literacy to their work with children and teachers.” Ellin Keene – Author of Mosaic of Thought and The Teacher You Want to Be
“Sara and Michael bring magic, and a contagious love of words to both students and teachers alike!” Georgia Heard - Author of Awakening the Heart: Exploring Poetry in Elementary and Middle School More testimonials...