Thursday, April 11, 2013

Today We Created A "Choose Kind" Poem Virtually With Our Iowa and Vermont Friends

This story starts with a tweet that my friend Cally Flickinger sent to me. 
Cally had seen the blog posts about a collaborative poem project with Andy Plemmon's students and our second graders yesterday.  After reading "In Our Desks", we created a poem of our own together in a Google Doc.  This collaborative connection was one of the best ever.

I loved her tweet because she just reached out and asked me if we wanted to connect with our students and write a poem together too.  

YES, we would love to!  Cally and I picked a time in the afternoon and I reached out to my friend Staci Braun who teaches 4th grade.  I quickly explained it to Staci and she was excited to come join me for this connection too. 
I really wanted to try something new for this connection.  I thought it would be fun to use Padlet (the old Wallwisher). Cally thought so too and created one for us to use together.  

We also had to come up with a theme or idea for the poem we were going to create.  I knew that Staci was going to start Wonder by R.J. Palacio today so the students could create a "Choose Kind" poem together.  What a nice connection between new friends and special introduction to one of our favorite books in the Van Meter Library.  
The 4th graders were really excited to come to the library and connect with the 3rd graders in Vermont.  After sharing a few things about our schools, towns, and states, Cally and I told them that we would be creating a collaborative poem using a Web 2.0 tool called Padlet.  I showed them an amazing video of all different ways to show kindness from the Choose Kind website.
Cally and I both had the "Choose Kind" Poetry Padlet up in our libraries.  We turned the sound down a little on our laptops so we could add the students ideas to the poem.
Within minutes beautiful statements of kind filled our Padlet.  It was a wonderful way to learn something special about the students within our library and also about our new friends in Vermont.  

We shared our poem with each other and everyone just loved what we had created together. 
Cally also told us about a book called Each Kindness by Jacqueline Woodson.  I love it when books are shared this way.....Our connection, our poem, and sharing "Choose Kind" connected her to sharing this one too.  And tonight....I ordered this one, I can't wait to share it with my students and family.  
One of our students Josie also made her very own connection to the poetry projects that the 4th graders created last month.  After writing their own poetry about themselves, the students created their poetry using art, technology, music, and anything else they wanted to pull into their project.

They have been displayed in the library and we have all enjoyed reading and sharing them.
At the end of the day when I went to Staci's classroom I smiled at what I saw.  She was reading Wonder to her students.

I can't wait to hear their thoughts tomorrow afternoon when they come to the library.

What an amazing connection and experience that will make a difference.

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