Back to School with Teachers And Writers Magazine!

My email newsletter came today from Teachers & Writers Magazine–the online zine of Teachers & Writers Collaborative. It is loaded with wonderful and imaginative ideas for teaching your writers. You can subscribe to this wonderful magazine (I think I have mentioned it somewhere before on this blog) for free–however, T&W Collaborative is sustained by donations.

T&W publishes Teachers & Writers Magazine as a resource for teaching the art of writing in kindergarten through college and also in non-classroom settings. The online magazine presents a wide range of ideas and approaches, as well as lively explorations of T&W’s mission: “educating the imagination.”

Here’s a taste of what they offer you in the Back to School edition. Visit to sign up for this great magazine, and share with your colleagues!

From the Aug 2016 edition (but also check out the archives for great ideas and lesson plans):
Travel Poetry
Just Write—a daily ritual in a middle school classroom…Also loaded with good writing tip starters.




National Poetry Month

Every April, I highlight National Poetry Month and encourage teachers to take full advantage of all of the amazing resources available to you on the Academy of American Poets website,   Caution! You can get lost in the good stuff on this site :0)

Of special interest to teachers, check this out: is also on youtube and twitter. A twitter feature I especially like is the April highlight called Teach this Poem. If you twitter, you can link to a poem and add YOUR great ideas for teaching.

Poetry lives in and emerges from our souls. To me, every month is poetry month, as it is my favorite genre. Each April I am grateful that encourages everyone to celebrate how poetry touches and enriches our lives.

I hope you will visit and explore this wonderful site!

Robert Frost Farm website

I always say that I love Robert Frost because a teacher loved him first. A favorite high school English teacher was crazy in love with his poetry; her passion was contagious. She traveled to Washington DC to hear him give the Inaugural poem for JFK. She visited Robert Frost Farm, in Derry, New Hampshire. Just shows you how a teacher can ignite a lifelong interest and passion. One of my favorite gifts ever is a book of his poetry given to me by my son.

The Robert Frost Farm website is a fun visit, filled with so many great teaching ideas—or just linger awhile during this month when we honor our American poets, explore and enjoy.

poem in your pocket day

Every April, one day is targeted as Poem in Your Pocket Day, a day to celebrate a favorite poem, write it down and carry it all the livelong day to share with others. This year, the date is April 30. Mark it!! You can also share your poem selection on Twitter by using the hashtag #pocketpoem.  I’ll be sharing mine! Teachers–you can find poems to download on Poem in Your Pocket Day page of

I know I will argue with myself…do I share a favorite Ted Kooser, Mary Oliver, or Billy Collins..Mmmmm..choices!

Dear Poet…..

Dear Poet is a Academy of American Poets invitational challenge to students in grades 5-12 to write a letter in response to poems written and read by some of the award-winning poets who serve on the Academy of American Poets Board of Chancellors. The multimedia project (LOVE that it is multimedia) extends through the month of April, National Poetry Month.

Instructions for students may be found on the Dear Poet link above.

Teachers—if you are interested in using Dear Poet in the classroom, has worked with a curriculum specialist to design a series of activities, aligned with the Common Core, especially for you. Here is the link to Lesson Plans. The lesson plans are intended for middle and high school students, but can be adapted for a younger group.

LOVING this!!! Hope you will, too, and challenge your students!

Read Works for National Poetry Month

Linked to Read Works just a few minutes ago, but here is a timely link for poems to celebrate National Poetry Month, which is always in April. Bet you will find some good poems!!

…if you needed a reason to need poetry…..

I admit my bias–that I seem to read and write poetry more than any other genre–BUT, having admitted such, I also find that poetry is the least-liked, least-read genre by my college students. If kids are exposed to the joys, without the dissections, of poetic pieces, to the extent they are exposed to other genres…maybe this would change. Anyway…another really good one from Edutopia!

5 Reasons we need POETRY in schools…

…poetry newsletter grab

My newsletter yesterday from the Academy of American Poets celebrates that March is Women’s History Month. The poems from ten American women poets are featured in the newsletter–well worth taking a look. (Newsletter sign-up is available on the website–FREE–it’s a wonderful resource, and while you are at check out all of the other free resources available–particularly for educators. The newsletters are archived. The one I feature in this post will be dated March 3rd).

One of the celebrated poets is Naomi Shibab Nye, poet, songwriter and novelist, whose works I have devoured with relish for years, and have also shared so many with students. The poem featured in the newsletter, The Words Under the Words, is dedicated to her Sitti–her grandmother. While the poem stands beautiful alone, I look forward to sharing it with a paired text by Naomi Shibab Nye–a picture book (my personal copy so well used) also of her Sitti–Sitti’s Secrets. The story is beautiful, universal, and reaches across nationality, ethnicity, religion, and ages. A favorite part of this small book is the Author Page comment, where Nye says if grandmothers were in charge of the world there would be no wars. I gotta agree….