Monday, February 18, 2013

Poetry Night


By Liberty Hyde Bailey

One day
I went
To the fields to rest.

The sun
Hung low
On the rim of the West.

A sparrow
As it dropped to its nest.

And my soul
Had found
The boon of its quest.

Liberty Hyde Bailey was a man of many interests.  He wrote this poem in his book of poetry entitled, Wind and Weather in 1923.  My students have been writing poetry on and off throughout the year.  They celebrated their poetry writing with "Poetry Night."  Students chose two of their favorite original poems to share on stage at Foundry Hall.  We filled the theater with family and friends.  After the readings, the young poets autographed programs.  We had a wonderful time!   The sample below is just one of the amazing poems written and read at Poetry Night. 
I Am Autumn
By Jennifer Guzman
I see frost on blades of grass
I feel cold whirling wind going through my branches
I look at my leaves that already floated to the ground
I smell cold wind
I have a rough tree bark
I see animals getting ready for winter
I stretch my roots into the dirt
I am Autumn 

Celebrating Poetry at Foundry Hall!


Sunday, February 17, 2013

Great Backyard Bird Count!

Russ Schipper and students looking at birds

This past Friday my students participated in the Great North American Backyard Bird Count through Cornell University.  Russ Schipper, from the Kalamazoo Audubon Society, was their bird guide and resident expert.  He and Anne Long (Director of the Liberty Hyde Bailey Board) took students out in small groups to look for birds.  They spotted 80 birds and 12 different species.  Most of the birds students observed were ones that they had studied in class.  The week before the count, students made bird feeders with Anne Long.  The very first thing they checked when they went outside were their bird feeders.  They most certainly attracted birds to the area.  It was an exciting morning!  We submitted our findings to the online site at Cornell, along with hundreds of other backyard birders.  It was both fun and exciting to participate in this real-life science project!  Results can be found at (look for a link to the Great Backyard Bird Count).  A special thank you to Russ and Anne!  We had a wonderful time exploring birds in our backyard!  

Sunday, February 10, 2013

Winter on the Trail

Deer Tracks on the Trail


Student with bird feeder!
Last week we continued to learn about birds in class, as we prepare to participate in the North American Backyard Bird Count on Friday, February 15th.  Russ Schipper, from the Kalamazoo Audubon Society will be back with us to help identify the birds in our backyard and submit our findings online to Cornell University.  Learning about the common birds in our backyard has been an exciting way to practice non-fiction reading and writing.  Last Friday, Anne Long came to our class bringing supplies and helping us make bird feeders to attract our feathered friends.  We made them and hung them out along our trail.  We can't wait to see who has been dining on our delicious peanut butter/lard/fruit/seed bird feeders!  We have also used our knowledge of birds and written a variety of poems.  This Tuesday, 7:00 p.m. some of those poems, along with other favorite poems, will be part of our Poetry Night at Foundry Hall.  My students will be reading original poetry on stage and signing autographs afterwards.  This fun event is opened to the public and sure to bring a smile to those who love birds or kids or poetry.