Open Write July 2023

Saturday, 15 July 2023
“The Masks We Wear” with Mo Daley

In a golden shovel poem I used this striking line from Mo’s mentor poem called “Inherited Mask.”

living life hiding behind a mask
trying not to let the plaster crack

To My Mask

Living with you has made
life duller and fabricated–
hiding my depth. Who am I
behind the bluff?
A quiet, nice, wave-calmer is my
mask (that’s you). Yet I am a story of
trying on, opening, weaving through time. I’m
not quite content with me without you, but
to be honest, you can be an excuse to
let me off the hook. I can’t be hurt if
the truth hides. But once in a while the
plaster of pretense cleaves, and I rejoice in the
crack I am making in you.

Sunday, 16 July 2023
Fibonacci Poem with Mo Daley

dissonance of praise
consonance of contrasting calls
quail, jay, thrasher, finch, oriole, dove, woodpecker, wren
dozens assemble on our porch
bird feeders times four
emptied yet

Monday, 17 July 2023
Venn Diagram Poem with Susan Ahlbrand

Tuesday, July 18, 2023
Places We Call Home with Shelby Sexton

To be home is to be in this place
With you as we finish the race
At peace, in love, holding hope,
Holy twists of life’s kaleidoscope

Wednesday, July 19, 2023
Where Were We? with Mike Dombrowski

Don’t hand me the microphone, I thought.
You’re doing fine for both of us.
When did the mom of the bride
have to start talking at
wedding receptions?
What do I say?
I should’ve thought!

I spewed a few
words I don’t recall
The important thing is
our precious couple’s ready
for life together. Now, let’s eat
and laugh and play and dance and dream hope.

Phonics Fibonacci Poems

Slice of Life for 27 April 2021

Tomorrow I will start a new fourth grade small group tutoring club for some English language learners. In the pretest, I noticed they didn’t acknowledge the long vowel in silent e nonsense words.

In addition, these fourth graders’ pre assessments showed a lack of variety in the vowel sounds for the cvc words they pronounced. We have always had difficulty teaching so many vowel sounds to our students. Arabic has only 8 vowel/diphthongs and English has 22 different vowels and diphthongs. We really notice it when trying to teach the short vowel sounds. For instance, even for native English speakers, the differences between /i/ and /e/ are subtle.

We have created some visual cues to help the children. These have proven helpful to children with spelling. Rather than just tell them the letter names of “regular”-sounding words, we tell them the sounds in the word as we use the visual cues, which are also hanging on posters in the room for them to refer to at all times.

Without the heart emojis, these short vowel phonics visuals hang in each classroom KG-5

Another important reason for us all to have a unique visual cue for each of these vowels is the fact that each teacher brings his or her own unique English accent from Egypt, India, Uganda, U.S.A., Sri Lanka, Philippines, Canada, England, and more countries over the years.

Today I wrote some poems, which I may bring to my fourth grade students. I found it fun thinking about these little tricksters and writing these poems today. I used a Fibonacci sequence to 13 and then backwards to one syllable.

Short Vowels
Short words
Sounds like apple /a/
Elephant /e/, igloo /i/, Whee!
Olive /o/ and umbrella /u/ – Try one of these sounds
When a c-v-c word you see–
pap, pep, pip, pop, pup
There’s the key
To c

Long Vowels
names to Z–
Great big silent e
Quietly changes c-v-c
Say their name sounds now: A, E, I, O, and U, you see–
blaze, these, ripe, rope, ruse–try some more:
mame, meme, mime, mome, mume
Silly, still