Monday, October 21, 2013


Last Saturday,  I attended (and presented) at the 2013 OCIRA Fall Conference.

October is such a conference-rich, professional development month that I have never been able to attend in previous years.

Wow! I have been truly missing out each fall on an excellent opportunity  to think, talk and learn with other literacy educators.

I had an opportunity to connect  with old friends, as well as meet new colleagues. I was delighted to see a number of preservice teachers participating, as well.

Featured keynotes included Sharon Draper and Barry Lane,  In addition to their keynotes, each conducted a small session.

As readers and  writers, as learners and educators we encounter so much information.

Conferences and other professional growth events serve to not only introduce us to new ideas, but also  to remind us of what we already know- information forgotten or pushed to the side as new information, new theories, new approaches stream into our teaching repertoire.

There were so many important reminders at OCIRA:

Sharon Draper reminded us that one purpose of teaching reading is to connect one kid to one book.
She also affirmed for us the secret of the Common Core:  It is simply and mostly what good teachers used to do.

Will Hillenbrand reminded us that we all have stories to tell. He also reminded us that you can't predict a favorite book for someone.  To see a behind the scenes video of creating his book Off We Go, click here. 

Barry Lane reminded us that even the most academic writing and closest reading can be fun.  His proof sandwich and kernel essay techniques are just that. For me the highlight of his session was presenting potentially dry and boring geology information in a  fashion show with live models  from the audience. For more of Lane's suggestions and related handouts click here.

Linda Parson and Lisa Patrick reminded us that poetry is everywhere and can be used to deepen our understanding of both nonfiction texts and literature. They easily linked found poetry to the Common Core and reading complex texts.  Participants had a chance to create our own found poetry from Chapter 10-In the Water from Titanic: Voices From the Disaster  by Deborah. Hopkinson.

Here is my resulting poem composed completely of words or phrases that I deemed important in the chapter.

final moments
in freezing water
in the lifeboats
and down
in all directions
impossible to grasp
horrific noise
lights blazing
breaking apart
into an eerie darkness
2:18 a.m. the  lights went out
final moments

At OCIRA 2013 I refound many teaching notions and also refound found poetry.

Here is my poem using the highlighted phrases from above.

Connect, think, learn
to find poetry
new ideas
deepen our understanding
of complex texts
academic writing
closer reading
excellent opportunity
(to learn)
what good teachers used do
what we already know:
the secret of the Common Core

If you are interested in reading more about this poetic form and possible variations, as well as reading samples of found poetry click: Poetic Form: Found Poetry or Found Poetry Review

Click here to see images of found poetry.

And finally you may want  to read my previous posts related to found poetry :

Big Headlines and Small Fates

Today's Deeper Writing Possibilities

Look for poetry today where ever you go.
Create your own found poetry.

Look for words and phrases that strike you as important, interesting or speaking directly to you.  Keep a list of  these words through out the day.

At the end of the day, arrange these words into a poem.

What are you reading?  Take a page or two of your current reading and circle words that stand out.
Arrange these word into a found poem. 

No comments:

Post a Comment