Words on a Limb Interviews Peter H. Reynolds

peter_reynoldsWhether he is busy at FableVision inventing new ways to inspire children to just start, or enlightening people at his Reynolds Centre for Teaching, Learning and Creativity, or building a community center with his Blue Bunny bookstore, Peter Reynolds is doing what he does best, CREATING.

A couple of months back, my son came home with a request from his kindergarten teacher to capture the colours of the sky at various times of the day. She had read the story Sky Colour by Peter Reynolds and wanted to help her students experience a bit of the story. I thought this was a clever idea. Not having heard the story before, I quickly went out to my neighbourhood bookstore get my own copy. It was a unique pleasure to read his work and begin a poetry project of our own as a result of his inspiring words. Peter Reynolds is truly an ambassador for creativity.

We invited Peter to tell us more about where it all started and where he feels it is all going. Here is what we discovered.


Thinking back to when you were five years old, what did you want to be when you grew up? When did that change to story-teller?
I was asked by Major Mudd, a television show broadcast in Boston when I was a kid, what I wanted to be and I responded, “A firetruck.”
Fortunately, I broadened my horizons and started a newspaper with my twin brother, Paul in first grade.
That lit the publishing fuse for me.

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This is Not Goodbye!

f4939b9d9b4f5f90c8240245691056faGet out those lawn chairs, dust off the patio, find those sun hats you thought you’d never see.  Summer is finally here!  For us, teachers, this warm welcome is also accompanied by a departure, as we bid farewell to our cherished students.

In that honor, I would like to share a poem I wrote for my students marking this time of year.  If you read my last post, you know that for some students saying goodbye is not an easy task.  Well, this is not goodbye.

This is Not Goodbye!

TeacherFinalImage

As I send you on your way,
There’s something I want to say –

Throughout the year I watched you grow,
Blossom into the gem we all know.
We learned, we played, we laughed a lot,
We built a castle where once stood a dot.

As you spread your wings and begin to fly,
Always remember it began with a try.
‘I can’t’, ‘I won’t’, was not permitted,
Fear and doubt should be omitted.

Be your best and try your hardest,
Read a lot to go the farthest.
Come and visit and say ‘Hi’,
See you later – this is Not goodbye!

Feel free to download a copy of the poem by clicking on the link below.

This is Not Goodbye !
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Thank you and happy Summer everyone!

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This is Not Goodbye by Lora Rozler is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial-NoDerivatives 4.0 International License.

Silent Battle – Artists on a Limb

GravatarHello everyone, welcome back to Words on Art. 

Here is the last art piece we featured on Artists on a Limb. We had asked you to submit your words and captions to capture the essence of the art and were very pleased with the feedback we received.  Thank you to all who participated.  We would like to showcase the beautiful words sent to us by Aisha.

Thank you for your submission Aisha.


Silent Battle

I sit here in a crowded room,
And I am so alone.

I hear the voices of strangers,
Yet the silence is deafening.


For our next art piece, we are showcasing the work of Irene Berkovsky. Thank you Irene for your submission!

We are once again inviting readers to capture the essence of the art by submitting writing pieces (captions, poems, short narratives, etc).

To participate, please submit your words on art to wordsonalimb@bell.net. Please write Words on Art in the subject line.  If you have an art piece that you would like us to consider for our next showcase, please feel free to email us a picture.

Please note that the art pieces must be your own creation.

Looking forward to your next Words on Art.

Lora


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Venus by Irene Berkovsky is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial-NoDerivatives 4.0 International License.

Every Ending is a New Beginning

cute-flower-girl-summer-sun-Favim.com-281317As the school year draws to a close, so does another year’s journey in both teachers’ and students’ lives.  For some children, this sudden abandon from all they have grown accustomed to (and love) is not an easy transition.

I recall, several years ago, when one of my beloved students had a very hard time ending the year.  Any time there was any reference made to the summer holidays, this otherwise happy-go-lucky girl, would break down into tears.  It completely took me by surprise (and melted my heart) when she confessed to being sad about not having me as her teacher anymore (she had been with me for both JK and SK). I consoled her as best as I could and we came up with a plan – she would come in to help me pack for the rest of the week and also be my special helper during recess the following school year.  It wasn’t an ending.  It was a new beginning.

It has been two years since, and this precious child still comes in every single day to help me.  I appreciate her dedication and support, but more than anything else I value the lesson she has taught me and continues to remind me of each day.  Regardless of age, background, title, position, etc., there is a beautiful bond that exists between people, if we just recognize it and let it flourish.

With that thought, I’d like to share a poem I wrote.  As I often do with my students (and family and friends alike), I would love to hear your interpretations of it.

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Thank you,

Lora


We Made a Pact

runningWe made a pact, he and I.
He’d come out and I’d join too.

We made a pact, not long ago.
He’d bring the warmth and I’d rejoice.

We made a pact, this much is true.
He’d light the sky and I’d lead the way.

We made a pact, but he bailed out.
Just like that, got up and left.

I searched for him as night crept in,
across the field,
between the clouds,
over the hills.

No sign of him.

I called to him but silence followed.
I grunted, frowned – I was not pleased.

I won’t forgive him.
I won’t. I won’t.

And now, because of his shenanigans,
Mommy said to go inside.

bedI ate my dinner but I was mad.
I brushed my teeth but I was livid.

I lay in bed, covered in heaps.
I won’t forgive this – we had a pact.

I tossed and turned and missed him so.
Perhaps I should forgive him.

I closed my eyes as sleep crept in.
Maybe, just maybe, I thought,
I’ll give him one last chance tomorrow.


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We Made a Pact by Lora Rozler is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial-NoDerivatives 4.0 International License.

Words on a Limb Interviews Ashley Spires

ashleysWhether she is busy hacking her new book into a stylish bag, or demonstarting her flair for fashion, or buried in a heap of ideas embodied by her sketches, Ashley Spire’s artistic passion shines bright.

A few weeks ago, we picked up her latest picture book The Most Magnificent Thing and recognized that Ashley brings a fresh voice to children’s picture books; in this instance, sharing a story about perseverance and the value of imagination, mixing in some science, math and technology. Your little ones will love this story’s diminutive protagonist and her loyal assistant. The book is brimming with clever, engaging words and complemented by Ashley’s own charming artwork.

Ms. Spires has also authored the wildly successful Binky series, along with other picture book favourites like Larf. We reached out to this favourite Canadian author to learn more about and ultimately share her story as a writer and illustrator. After her whirlwind Library Tour, we finally caught up with her. Here is what we discovered.

What were you like in school growing up on the west coast?
I was constantly drawing. Every project had the most elaborate title pages! When my best friend and I passed notes, we weren’t writing about usual kid stuff, we were writing each other stories. Mine always had illustrations with them too.

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Father’s Day

GravatarHappy Saturday everyone.

The third Sunday of every June marks a very special day in Canada and the United States – Father’s Day. It is a day for people to show their appreciation for fathers and/or other father figures in their life.  For most teachers, this means we will be busy thinking of a special craft to make with our students.

I would like to share a poeCoverm I wrote, along with a craft I created and will be using with my Kindergarten students this
week – My Hero (poem-in-shirt). You will notice that the word Father was omitted from the poem.  This is to allow students a chance to personally address the craft to someone in their life, who may or may not, be their father.  I think it’s important to note that we need to be extra sensitive when talking about families around this event, as not all children may have a father present in their life.  In my class, I emphasize that Father’s Day is not just about celebrating dads, but also about recognizing father-figures in their life.  Sometimes this can mean a brother, an uncle, grandfather, stepfather, etc.  I also make sure to include literature in my classroom that reflects that diversity.

This package includes: the poem My HeroIMG_20140607_102741a dress-shirt template, 3 tie templates (one with stripes that students can colour in a pattern, one with polka dots, and another for students to draw their own design). The shirt template is best photocopied on light construction paper, and the tie on white paper. Once the tie is cut out, have students glue the top of the tie onto the neckline of the shirt.  When the tie is lifted, it will reveal the poem, My Hero, beneath.

The top of the dress-shirt should be cut off IMG_20140607_103008(to create shoulders), and the rest of the shirt can be decorated in any way the students choose (polka-dots, stripes, finger-paint splotches, etc.).

Happy crafting!

Lora


Click Here to download the Father’s Day craft package.

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Creative Commons License My Hero by Lora Rozler is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial-NoDerivatives 4.0 International License.

Alphabet Bingo

Alphabet BingoALPHABET BINGO is a fun game to play with young children as they learn the letters of the alphabet! Created with Primary students in mind, this unique game is designed to help kids recognize both uppercase and lowercase letters, while reinforcing basic shapes and colours.

Played like most bingo games, children use a cover-up bingo chip to cover letters as they are named by a “caller” (teacher, parent, student). Alphabet Bingo can also be played with a focus on sounds. For example, instead of calling out lower case b, emphasize a sound (i.e., This is a letter that makes the sound bbb, as in ball).  In this variation, both uppercase and lowercase b will be covered up.

The download includes 48 bingo cards, a set of 52 Upper case and Lower case Letters to call out and an instruction sheet.

Click HERE to get all you need.
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Happy Playing!

Lora


Alphabet Bingo by Lora Rozler is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial-NoDerivatives 4.0 International License.