Saturday, April 4, 2009

Smith House Poetry Day

A few weeks ago I started teaching my amazing 1st graders about poetry. I told them that poetry can be about anything and can be written in any way, even if it doesn't make sense. It is a way to express themselves. At first they were a bit timid to write in such a way that had no real format, but it didn't take long for them to see the freedom poetry provided. After we had been writing for about 3 weeks they decided that their parents should hear what wonderful poets they had become and we came up with the idea of having a poetry day in our classroom. We decided on a name, "Stuffed Animal Poetry Day at the Smith Coffee House." What else would you expect coming from 6 year-olds? :) We also decided that we would provide the same thing a coffee house would provide - coffee, doughnuts, and hot chocolate for people under the age of 10 (I guess a 10 year-old is allowed to have coffee according to a first grader! :) They also decided that they wanted to dress up for this special occasion - so cute! So, we made invitations and invited all our parents in for coffee, doughnuts, and great poetry this past Friday. We re-arranged our room to look like a cafe' and set up a directors chair and a microphone for poetry readings. They became such sweet authors as they read their poetry to the guests that came. Every parent smiled a proud smile as their child came up to read and everyone laughed at the things 6 year-olds say. It was such a special moment.

To the left is a picture of Hannah and I. Her poem went like this...
I have a loose tooth
Loose, Wiggly, Bleeding.
I have a loose tooth
Loose, Wiggly, Bleeding.

And to the right, is a picture of Ana. Her poem went like this...
I like Angelina.
She is my friend.
But when she cries, it makes me sad.
I still like her!

After our poetry day was over and we were cleaning up the classroom, I stopped, looked around, and watched them - in awe. I am in awe of what little people they have become. These children have such a special place in my heart. I have had most of them since the first day of kindergarten and now they are big first graders - almost second graders! They don't need me to read things for them anymore - they can do it themselves. They don't need me to tie their shoe anymore - they can do it themselves. They don't need me to help them go potty, line up at the door, remind them when to say sorry and when to forgive; they don't need me to help them write their name, put things away, use their manners, or remind them how to be a good friend - they can do all of it themselves. I was thinking this must be what it feels like when you become a mommy and your child doesn't need you for all the small things anymore because they are now big people and can do it on their own. I am so proud of my sweet little children. Even in the moments when they drive me crazy, I love them like I would my own child. After all, most of them call me mommy anyway. :) I just can't believe how independent they have become. The transformation is amazing. First grade rocks! :)

No comments: