Monday, April 11, 2016

More on Poetry Month 2016

In my last post, I mentioned that the high school book group wanted to create poems in the style of Mad Libs as an activity during lunch in the library. Neither the students nor myself really have time to spend creating these pages. Looking online, I found a site that allows you to input words, and then a poem is generated for you with the words that you entered. We tried it during today's Bookmarked meeting. The kids liked the outcome, and it will be fun to do on the interactive whiteboard with a large group of students. This is the link from Language is Virus blog to generate your own Mad Libs style poems

Below is the poem that the students made today: 

blue rock's blue rock

patiently i have never murder, floppily beyond
any wall, your cake have their round:
in your most evil eyebrows are things which annihilate me,
or which i cannot imagine because they are too flabulously

your crazy look gracefully will unfeast me
though i have break myself as crossbow,
you ride always nostril by nostril myself as TARDIS buffalo
(pronounceing lovely, quickly) her superfluous lie

or if your ice cream be to chomp me, i and
my fork will talk very morbidly, well,
as when the camera of this wall squat
the panda horribly everywhere stabing;

nothing which we are to backhand in this pokemon punch
the icebear of your cold weasel: whose blood
torture me with the ferret of its fez,
sniffing noun and spoon with each deduceing

(i do not incinerate what it is about you that mutilate
and eat; only something in me carry
the fetus of your cake is catlike than all TARDIS)
baby bottle, not even the sponge, has such hairy mr. spock

- Bookmarked & e.e. cummings

Create Your Own Madlib on

Sunday, April 10, 2016

April in the Library and National Poetry Month 2016
By the time April rolls around I am exhausted. We have just celebrated Teen Tech Week in the library, and I am gearing up for all the end of the year tasks that I do that don't happen to relate to the library. These tasks include preparing for the induction ceremony for the National Honor Society, completing duties as AP coordinator that take a huge amount of planning and logistics, assisting the val and sal with their speeches, and getting the script for graduation ready for the big day. The class of 2016 graduates on May 14th which is very early, and the last day for the rest of the students is May 25th. 

If I want to celebrate National Poetry Month, we need to design and plan easy to do activities that the students can handle themselves or that take little work from me. One thing that I will do is send out a poem every day of the school week via email. I am not a big fan of email blasts, but I am careful to put National Poetry Month in the subject line. That means the students and staff members know exactly what kind of email they are receiving. They can choose to read or delete as they see fit. Usually, I just put the text of the poem in the email. This year I decided to change it up a bit. On Friday, I sent out the picture that you see at the top of this blog post. One day last week, I sent out a link to make your own poems online with magnetic poetry words. I asked students to share with me the poems that they created via email. I did not get many, but you can see some of the results below.

by Lindsey, 9th grade

by Nile, 8th grade

by Tyler B., 9th grade

by Tyler H., 9th grade
I have asked the members of the high school book group to volunteer one day in a week to read a poem over the loud speaker during the morning announcements. I am not sure if that will happen because I have let them know that they need to practice. I also need to hear the poem before they perform it for the whole school. I am still waiting. 

The book group members came up with a great idea to make poetry mad libs and invite students in during lunch one day to play them. We were going to create them ourselves, but I think that we might find some online to download. I will let you know.

To end this post, I am going to share a poem that I student sent to me. She wrote it and thought that I would like it because it was poetry month. She has been reading her emails!

Unexpected Love
By Nina, 7th grade

People say that life
Is full of open doors.
I just happened to be
Curious and loved to explore.
I opened a strange door -
The one that led to you.
I fell into a wonderland,
And my heart fell, too.

I never knew that the
Stars could shine so bright.
I never thought to think
In the middle of the night.

I never knew how easy
It was to make me cry.
I never knew how easy
It was to make me smile.

Life is a mystery -
One for us to solve.
But for this case,
It was no mystery at all.

As time and life went further,
I knew that my heart grew.
I was sure of everything,
Because I fell in love with you.

Saturday, April 2, 2016

Book, Movie, and Game Review Contest for Students 2016

For Teen Tech Week, I wanted to create some kind of contest where I would provide a grand prize. The contest would be designed to have students submit some sort of written piece, and then I would randomly draw two names for the grand prize winners, one from middle school and one from high school. I like the idea that the winners are selected randomly and that just by entering the contest all students had an equal chance to win. Thinking about it, I decided that I would ask the kids to submit a review of a book, movie, or game that they would like to recommend to their friends. I gave wide parameters of what they could review. The students had to submit one paragraph with a brief summary and one paragraph explaining why they would recommend the book, movie or game to their friends. I created a Google form for them to submit, so it was easy to share on the library website and in emails. The students chose from new and old and below is a pie chart showing what they chose to review. It was nice to see that 47% of the reviews were for books. 

Click on the image above to enlarge it and make it easier to read

I also asked the students to give "if you likes" about the book, movie or game. So, if you like action and adventure, then you would like the book that they reviewed. Here are the percentages of what the reviews were most like. 

Click on the image above to enlarge it and make it easier to read

Several students wrote multiple reviews, but I only published one review per child. You can read the reviews here on the library website. 

You will see that on the review page, I published a review by seventh grader, Julia Hutto, for Carry On by Rainbow Rowell. She submitted several reviews to me, and I wanted to share one with you here because it says so much about how books touch the lives of the children who walk through the doors of our libraries every day. 

The Harry Potter series:

"Harry Potter is about a miraculous adventure of a boy named Harry attempting to destroy the great Lord Voldemort. Harry finds out how his parents died, how he's actually a wizard, and what's up with the strange lightning bolt scar he's had on his forehead since before he can remember. While destroying the great evil that is Voldemort, Harry finds the meaning of friendship, the power inside of himself, and the importance of being brave. Can Harry manage to not only save himself but also the rest of the wizarding world? The fate of an entire world rests on the shoulders of a small boy named Harry who lives in a cupboard under the stairs.

I cannot begin to express the importance of this book series and the impact that it has had on my life. I have grown and learned with Harry, Ron and Hermione. Without this book series, I would not be a reader, and I would not have half the friends that I do now. I would not know what I would do or be without having known Harry Potter. And for that, I am eternally grateful. The story of Harry, what Ms. Rowling went through to succeed with this idea, and how amazing her life is now because of it is truly inspiring. As a huge fan of this book series, I can recommend it to anyone brave enough to take the adventure. Put on your cloaks, grab your wands, and get ready for the experience of a lifetime."
-Julia Hutto, 7th grade, Patrick F. Taylor Science & Technology Academy

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