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Multi-Genre Projects April 4, 2010

Filed under: Class Reading Responses — hollytimberlake @ 1:05 pm

It excites me so much to see research and new ideas on multi-genre projects. For several years now I have tried to incorporate multi-genres within projects mostly for the reason of allowing and providing choices for my students. I was empowered to continue my own research and investigation to develop even more multi-genre ideas for my classroom. One of my main goals as a teacher is to integrate the 4th grade currciulum so that my students can connect all of the information they are given. To me these connections will deepen their understanding and even mastery of the curriculum.


Memoir March 17, 2010

Filed under: Class Reading Responses — hollytimberlake @ 2:00 pm

I really enjoyed reading the memoirs for this class. “When I was Young in the Mountain” reminded me so much of my childhood days spent at my grandparents. Now that my mamaw has Alzheimer’s Disease, my memories of my time with her are even more precious. There are times when I think I could write a book about times spent on my grandparents’ farm whether making scarecrows for the watermelon patch, or watching and helping as my papaw and his brothers slaughtered hogs. The memoir allows those memories to leave the mind and unfold on the paper to be shared with others.

Roald Dahl does just that in “Boy.” I thought his story about the candy store was hilarious and wondered if he fashioned the Twits after Ms. Pratchard.

Between the books and the article, I was able to think about ways I could use memoir in my classroom.


This Week in Poetry February 23, 2010

Filed under: Uncategorized — hollytimberlake @ 8:39 pm

I really enjoyed the variety of poems we were given to read this week. From the metaphorical book “Mojave” so vividly describing every aspect of the Mojave Desert to “Atlantic” giving me a new perspective from the ocean- this weeks readings were exciting and inviting. G. Brian Karas offered a unique twist in “Atlantic” as he intertwined what I presume are I Poems as well as concrete poems. “I am the Mummy Heb-Nefert” was not my favorite read, as I know very little about that period of history, but I was able to appreciate the poet’s purpose for writing such an intriguing book. “Dirty Laundry Pile” was definitely the favorite at my house and brought chuckles to myself and my children. Maybe I will bring that book out again when our “Mt. Washmore” seems to reach its’ peak! (that’s what we call it when the laundry piles too high at our house!) The article about “I Poems” offered such practical strategies for building background and demonstrating comprehension. I personally connected to the piece about “Sarah Plain and Tall” as I have previously used that with third grade and have family ties to Maine. I was interested in the idea of “borrowing” ideas and creating a poem. I can’t wait to start my poetry unit with my students… now that I have so many ideas to pull from!


Poetry February 15, 2010

Filed under: Class Reading Responses — hollytimberlake @ 9:24 pm

“Silver Seeds”- I thought this was a cheerful and colorful book that would attract young readers attention. I thought it was neat because of how the poet took us through the cycle of an entire day with acrostic poems from nature. This book could be used in so many ways even to intgrate science content and poetry.

“African Acrostics” really captured my attention and curiousity as I tried to discover for myself what type of acrostice poem it was. I didn’t realize that there were a variety of ways to write an acrostic poem from the normal acrostic of single letter forming a word downward to double acrostics, to cross acrostic, and even multiple acrostics. Between the pictures, the acrostic form and the way the poet brought the animals’ character to life I was intrigued from cover to cover.

“Flicker Flash” was a book that captured my attention with the shape poems. I enjoyed looking at all of the ways light could be depicted through concrete poems.


Class 4- Virtual Class Meeting February 11, 2010

Filed under: Uncategorized — hollytimberlake @ 12:20 am

PowerPoint Analysis-

Connections to Readings-

  • Like Lee Bennett Hopkins states when “poetry is new for the first time they will be blown away like never before.” I think Janet Elliott and Janine L. Certo would agree. When we use poetry in a way that is intriguing and empowering- they will be changed.
  • Patricia Hubbell’s quote, “The act of making a poem is essential” can be compared to Elliott’s ideas for brainstorming from a small poem things they noticed about it, and then moving to writing. It is also similiar to “Love That Dog,” how Jack  moves from not wanting to write to a beautiful poem in the end that was from the heart. These things don’t just happen they require guidance, questioning, and modelling.
  • Taking something so simple as a picture like in the book “Brown Angels,” an ordinary object, like those in “All the Small Poems,” and an apology like in “Just to Say,” can create curiousity for the reader and the writer.

Connections to Experience-

  • Like the first slide showed, I have used a name poem as an activity for them to explain themselves and their actions and traits.
  • Just like Alice Scherle says, “Poetry invites  you to consider from new perspectives,” the readings combined with poems I have read have given me a new and invigorated desire to teach poetry not as a stand alone unit, but throughout the year throughout all areas of the curriculum.
  • Just like Paul Janeczko’s analogy of the tree house, I am always reflecting and changing instruction to meet the needs of my students.
  • I am excited about trying the SAID strategy in my class.


  • How will my students’ respond to the SAID strategy?
  • Is it more difficult to start with such a normal object rather than using an experience, person, or place?


see- when closed an object of little worth/ when opened a responsible piece of metal

smell- office area with machines running

hear- “You can depend on me!”

taste- “PB and Jelly” like they must have each other a paper clip in order to be effective must have paper

touch- success, organization

What does it do? clasps important documents together

What could I do with it? use it to pick the lock on my daughter’s bedroom door

Where or when do I find it? in my desk, on the floor- hopefully I find it at my point of need

What pops in my head? boa constrictor, cruise, closing on a house at that attorney’s office

Why is it special? it aids in my organization


I found Sharon Creech’s website very helpful and full of ideas. I am hoping to use “Love that Dog” soon with my fourth graders and appreciate your showing us that resource as well as the website from writing fix. Both will be helpful as I plan that novel study.

Wow! Joyce Sidman’s website is amazing and offers so many great, and simple ideas for starting poems. The lists of her books offer great boosts for sharing with students, and to be able to hear her read her poetry is an added perk.

Readwritethink.org is one of the best resources I use for teaching language arts. For anyone who has never used it before- it is awesome!


Ordinary Objects February 10, 2010

Filed under: Uncategorized — hollytimberlake @ 7:44 pm

So much depends on this doughnut. The stress of my day. Whether to indulge or refrain.



So much depends on this shell.

The smell of salt water breathed through my nose.

The beauty of watching my children splash in the waves and build their first sandcastle.

The sounds of waves crashing on the shore during a peaceful walk hand in hand with my husband.

The sand squishing between my toes, and sifting through my childlike hands.

The taste of a shrimp dinner after a fun, relaxing day on the beach.

My memories from my favorite place depend on this shell.


Poetry February 5, 2010

Filed under: Uncategorized — hollytimberlake @ 8:13 pm

As I have been reading the various books and readings for the week, I almost became ill with myself that as much as I personally love poetry I had never used it as a “link” for my students’ writing. In the past, I have taught free verse, cinquain, limericks, etc. As I read “Love that Dog” and the corresponding handout, I began to think about all of the ways I could use this book for instruction. From teaching elements of poetry to being able to show my students that it is okay to be resistent to writing at first, to being able to show them that a poem is a free expression of writing.  From the article I really liked the idea of using a poem to “link” new writing ideas and then write a poem from those ideas. After reading this week, my “wheels are spinning” trying to think about how I can introduce and integrate poetry into my classroom.