Thursday, July 12, 2018

Good morning! No... GREAT Morning!

Welcome, Poetry Friday Peeps!

My Caldecott "family" including the artists seated in front! 
It’s been a fun summer for me thus far—traveling half the time and working on projects half the time. Celebrating “my” committee’s Caldecott at the ALA conference in New Orleans was a highlight—with my whole family along for the ride. 

And now Janet (Wong) and I are launching our latest project for a brand new audience: school principals (and other school leaders). It’s called GREAT Morning! Poems for School Leaders to Read Aloud, a collection of poems for principals to read along with the morning announcements (or any time). You’ll find 75 poems by 50+ poets—including some new collaborators. Wish we’d had room in this book for even more poets and poems!


In this book, we’ve provided short opening and closing paragraphs to bookend each poem; reading the “Did You Know?” and “Follow Up” paragraphs aloud, with the poem in between, takes just a minute. This makes it easy for principals to jump in and share a poem without too much prep. Every poem has an additional linked poem that can be used by teachers or librarians with other nuggets such as “hidden language skills” for digging deeper into the poems during classroom instruction. 

Steve Wilfing & Vicki Alley

We were lucky enough to get a fabulous elementary school principal to “test drive” the collection this week. BIG THANKS to Steven Wilfing, principal of Stony Brook Elementary School in Pennington, New Jersey, for allowing us to crash his office during his summer break—and videotape him reading a poem from GREAT Morning!  (And to Vicki Ailey, awesome school secretary, who welcomed us warmly!) 

In this fun one minute video, Steve reads “To Our Front Office Staff: A Celebration” by Kay Winters.

Doesn't he do a GREAT job?! 
Readers of these morning announcement poems could also include other members of the office staff, the nurse, counselor, custodian, security guard or police officer, parent volunteers, guest readers from the community, and even student leaders. We hope that creating this poetry reading ritual on Poetry Fridays—or on any day—can help support a school culture of kindness, respect, and gratitude. 


As you may know, I’m also a big fan of “back matter,” so we included a ton of additional information we hope will be helpful: Poetry Performance Tips, Setting the Stage for Poetry, Poetry Across the Curriculum, Poetry Awards, Poetry Blogs & Websites, Poet Blogs, Nurturing Young Writers, Places for Students to Publish Poetry, A Letter to Parents, and Sharing Poetry at Home. And of course we have a list of “More Poetry Books for School Leaders” that includes titles such as:
  1. Bagert, Brod. 2008. School Fever. *Hilarious poems about school from the child's point of view
  2. Dakos, Kalli. 2003. Put Your Eyes Up Here: And Other School Poems. *Fun, lively poems that explore the world of one make-believe classroom 
  3. Derby, Sally. 2017. A New School Year. *Six children (K-5) share their worries, hopes, and successes on the first day of school
  4. Florian, Douglas. 2018. Friends and Foes: Poems About Us All. *Humorous and honest poems about the many facets of friendship 
  5. Franco, Betsy. 2009. Messing Around the Monkey Bars and Other School Poems for Two Voices. *Playful poems that capture life around the school from the playground to the library to the classroom
  6. Hopkins, Lee Bennett. Ed. 2018. School People. *An anthology that celebrates the grown-ups that children encounter throughout the school day
  7. Lewis, J. Patrick. 2009. Countdown to Summer: A Poem for Every Day of the School Year. *Fun poetry full of wordplay on a variety of subjects and forms that counts down from the first day of school to the last 
  8. Salas, Laura Purdie. 2009. Stampede! Poems to Celebrate the Wild Side of School! *An inventive poetry collection featuring first- and second-graders at school
  9. VanDerwater, Amy Ludwig. 2017. Read! Read! Read! *23 poems about the joy of reading everything from maps to sports news
  10. Winters, Kay. 2018. Did You Hear What I Heard? Poems about School. *35 poems about a variety of elementary school experiences
Anyhoo, we hope you’ll check it out and share it with principals and other school leaders! Learn more about GREAT MORNING! Poems for School Leaders to Read Aloud and books in The Poetry Friday Anthology series and Poetry Friday Power Book series at PomeloBooks.com. Find it on Amazon starting on July 25, or order now from QEPBooks.com: (800) 323-6787.

Let’s link up together for our lucky Friday the 13th Poetry Friday Round Up. 
Thanks for stopping by!


35 comments:

Mitchell Linda said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Michelle Kogan said...

Congratulations to you and Janet Wong, "Great Morning" sounds like a terrific new book Sylvia, I'm looking forward to reading it! Reading poetry out loud, what a wonderful area to focus on. I wish there had been a small inkling of the amount of poetry that I see in elementary schools today when I was in school. The back matter sounds like an added bonus. Thanks for the summer poetry reading list– and for hosting the Poetry Friday, Roundup!

Molly Hogan said...

Congratulations and thanks so much for sharing this rich resource. What a wonderful concept! I'm looking forward to reading the poems and exploring the additional materials. Thanks also for hosting this week!

Laura Shovan said...

So excited to hold GREAT MORNING in my hands and to share copies with the schools where I work. I'm honored to be included -- with a reverso poem, what a challenge!

My friend, author Kathy MacMillan, is visiting my blog this Poetry Friday. Kathy is also an ASL interpreter and trainer. I'm giving away a signed copy of her new board book, NITA'S FIRST SIGNS. You'll want this one for your library. Kathy also shares a video of a classic ASL poem, "Dandelions," by Clayton Valli. Enjoy!

http://laurashovan.com/2018/07/poetry-friday-giveaway-nitas-first-signs/

Kathryn Apel said...

What a fantabulous collection of themes and poets. Love this idea - and hoping heaps of school leaders do too!

Mitchell Linda said...

My APOLOGIES! Obviously, I had a crazy time getting my link to....link on Sylvia's blog which is why it's showing up so much. You know, I only act like SUCH a doofus in front of people I admire so MUCH....you know that right?! I'm so middle school!

I'm off to try to delete my many attempts to get things right. Meanwhile, here's my original comment that I deleted ....because I thought, "I'll start from scratch." Ha!

YOU BETCHA! I'll be sharing this book. What a great concept for a book -- for school leaders. And, I love that you have the back matter there for support and an enriched learning experience. You inspire me! Not only to keep pecking away at poems but some of those projects that are awaiting my summer attention. Thank you for such a great Poetry Friday post

Mitchell Linda said...

OK Gang, I successfully deleted all my extra links. Geesh.....live & learn, eh?

Diane Mayr said...

Congratulations on the new release! It sounds great! The back-of-the-book list of titles looks to be a great resource, too!

Mary Lee said...

Thanks for rounding us up! This book is going to bring poetry to SO MANY kids!! Brilliant (as usual) idea!!

Tabatha said...

Wonderful idea for a book! I arranged for kids to read poems over the PA system one year at my kids' elementary school and it was such a wonderful experience.

Buffy Silverman said...

Thanks for hosting, and to you and Janet for bringing more poetry to kids! I'm eager to read GREAT MORNING.

Linda B said...

Each time a new book appears, you make me want to return to the classroom, Sylvia. This idea will help reach so, so many kids with poetry. Thanks for hosting, too!

Carol Varsalona said...

Sylvia, your post is beaming with pride over the long-awaited release of "Great Morning! Poems for School Leaders to Read Aloud." Congratulations to you and Janet for this ingenious idea for a book that is going to add a poetic touch to morning announcements. I am honored to be included among the 50+ poets and cannot wait to spread the news of the book now that you made it public knowledge. I even have an idea for a Twitter chat that I will share with you and Janet. Thank you for hosting today's PF.

Carol Varsalona said...

Sylvia, I cannot seem to get my link up listed on page 2. I tried to reload but it says I already submitted. Can you see my post on your end? http://beyondliteracylink.blogspot.com/2018/07/giving-and-receiving.html

Ruth said...

I had a lot of trouble adding my link, and from the other comments it looks as though I'm not alone! I think I succeeded, but just in case, here it is: https://thereisnosuchthingasagodforsakentown.blogspot.com/2018/07/poetry-friday-calling-yourself-poet.html Thanks so much for hosting!

Matt Forrest Esenwine said...

Thank you for hosting today, Sylvia. Congratulations and best wishes with the new book...sounds like a great concept to encourage poetry in schools.

Christie Wyman said...

Thrilled about the new book, Sylvia. I can't wait to gift a copy to my principal. I, too, am struggling to get my link up on your post. Just in case, here it is! -- Christie @ https://wonderingandwondering.wordpress.com/2018/07/13/butterfly-dances-poetryfriday/

Kay said...

Congratulations on the new book! It looks like a fabulous resource. I seem to be another one with technical difficulties adding my link. The confirmation email has never shown up. Here's my link: http://kaymcgriff.edublogs.org/2018/07/13/poetry-friday-saying-goodbye/

Catherine Flynn said...

My principal and I have been reading poems during morning announcements for years, so we are thrilled to have this book! Thank you for hosting today, Sylvia!

Janet Wong said...

I want to give another big THANK YOU to Steve Wilfing, the principal of Stony Brook Elementary in Pennington, NJ. I visited Stony Brook in April of this year and was really impressed with the enthusiasm of the kids, their excellent behavior, and phenomenal poems. I knew that this was a very special school—and had a great time chatting with Steve and Vicki in the front office. So, a few days ago when Sylvia asked, "Can we videotape a principal reading a poem?" I thought, "Well, why not ask?" Steve carved time out of his busy schedule to meet with us, talk about the book, and read several poems. Entertainment industry friends: I think Steve needs to be on your radar, the next time you need actors in Central Jersey!!

Irene Latham said...

Looks like another winning project from the Vardell/Wong/Poetry Friday community... congratulations to all, and may these poems be shared far and wide. Also, Sylvia, I kind of cracked up when I read the bit about how we might know you like backmatter. Ha! A true librarian, you. Happy summer! xo

Elaine Magliaro said...

I'm so excited to have a poem of mine included in GREAT MORNING!

Thanks for doing the roundup this week. At Wild Rose Reader, I have two different versions of a bee poem. The first was included in my THINGS TO DO manuscript that was submitted to Chronicle Books. The second is the one that appears in the published book.
http://wildrosereader.blogspot.com/2018/07/two-bee-poems-revising-for-publication.html

skanny17 said...

This book is sure to be a hit in many schools. An entree to poetry for some who are not already in love with it and a terrific resource for school personnel who are in charge of morning announcements. In my former school (37 years there) my friend, our STEM lab teacher, is in charge. (Not to mention we have a new principal!) When I told her about the book and sent her the link she was excited. I know poems will become a regular part of morning life now. (Plus I hope to be a guest reader at some point!!) I can't wait to hold the book and am excited to have a poem in this sure-to-be-popular latest edition from Janet and Sylvia. Great video showing just how easy it is for a principal to read a poem over the announcements. It will be a GREAT MORNING/DAY, indeed !!!!
Janet Clare F.

Douglas Florian said...

Thanks so much for mentioning Friends & Foes and So Much More!

Karen Edmisten said...

Congrats to you and Janet on the new project -- what a great idea!

Thanks for hosting this week, in the midst of your very busy schedule!

Little Willow said...

Thanks for hosting! Happy Friday!

BJ Lee said...

Congratulations Sylvia and Janet! I have love this concept for a book since I first heard about it! Thank you for including one of my poems! Can’t wait to see the book itself!

Linda said...

Congratulations Sylvia and Janet! Steve did a fantastic job reading a selection from GREAT MORNING! What a wonderful way to introduce children to the roles staff members play. I can't wait to read it and share it with my former colleagues.

laurasalas said...

So exciting! I can't wait to see this book in person:>) Happy to be part of it. (And thanks for having STAMPEDE on your list--I just read a couple of poems from it with kids at a library event last night!)

Ramona said...

It's great to see this latest collaboration between you and Janet ready to launch before a new school year begins. What a gift to have these poems collected and ready for morning announcements. I love anything that spreads poetry love throughout a school community. Thanks, Sylvia and Janet!

Brenda Harsham said...

Congrats on another great project!

Carol said...

I know what I am buying my principal and assistant principal for back to school gifts! Thanks so much!!!

Sylvia Vardell said...

Hey, y'all! Thanks, everyone, for joining the Poetry Friday gathering here. It was so fun to see everyone's posts and feel so connected once again! Carol, Ruth, Christie, Kay, Elaine-- yes, you're links here are working just fine. Sorry for any confusion. There must be some delay between submitting and seeing one's link. Wishing everyone plenty of sun, fun, and poetry this summer! :-)

Michelle Schaub said...

Janet and Sylvia, I am SO EXCITED about this collection. It will help schools make every morning a GREAT morning by starting off with poetry!

Lorie Ann Grover said...

Such a great post! Thanks for sharing!