Tuesday, April 24, 2018

Collaboration



We all have the same roots and we are all branches of the same tree.  ~Aang (in Avatar: The Last Airbender)


Collaboration

Testing means work silently (all by yourself) but we
are accustomed to collaboration. We know we are all
smarter when we work together, but we have
to take the
test alone. It is not the same
as (all those times) when we discovered how our (very different) roots
could lead us to common understanding. Testing is too quiet and
the air is filled with tension. We
struggle silently (on our own) until we are
all finished. At last we get our voices back and we are all
of us (once again) like branches
(grafted from many nations and cultures) of
the
(strong enough to support us all and tested by time) same
(collaboration makes us all smarter) tree.


©Mary Lee Hahn, 2018



Monday, April 23, 2018

Easier Said Than Done



Treat people the way you want to be treated.  ~The Golden Rule


Easier Said Than Done

Learn to treat
yourself with kindness, because other people
might not. Believe the
truth contained in your heart. Get out of your own way
and become the person you
were meant to be. If you want
to, you can fix what’s broken. You can be the one to
make sure every injury will be
treated.


©Mary Lee Hahn, 2018


Sunday, April 22, 2018

Persona


Everything that can be counted does not necessarily count; everything that counts cannot necessarily be counted.  ~Einstein


Persona 

I’m interested in everything.
The world is full of ideas and wonders that
blow my mind. I can
make amazing connections, be
the one who sees what others cannot, be counted
on to be the one who does
not take a statement for granted – the one who is not
afraid to question (but also who does not necessarily
think before I put my opinion out there). However, you can count
on me to understand that everything
I do or say matters, and that
admitting my mistake counts.
I have a keen sense of humor, and although I cannot
necessarily
time my jokes accurately, I keep trying. My best might be
the Poetry Friday ant rap. That definitely counted.


©Mary Lee Hahn, 2018



Saturday, April 21, 2018

Advice to Writers



Don't judge a man until you've walked two moons in his moccasins. ~Sharon Creech (Walk Two Moons)


Advice to Writers

Writing well is more than just words on a page. Don’t
be satisfied with your first draft. Be the one to judge
your own writing with a
critical eye. Man
up (or woman up) -- work on revising and editing until
you’ve
walked
through your piece at least two
times. If you’re writing about stars and moons,
get your facts straight. Don’t write “in
his
shoes” if what you really mean is moccasins.


©Mary Lee Hahn, 2018



Friday, April 20, 2018

Reciprocal


When you live happy, you are happy.  ~Layann

Reciprocal

The Sparkly Unicorn Award is given when
you notice someone being amazing. You
get as much joy giving it as receiving it. The sculpture will live
on the recipient’s desk for the rest of the day, making them happy
every time they look at it. You made their day, so you
are
also happy.


©Mary Lee Hahn, 2017



Late last fall, we spent a morning messing around with plaster of paris. We made discs and ornaments and pendants and other assorted creations, which we decorated with glitter, ribbon, sequins, shells, etc. One of the creations was given to me -- a disc with edges dripping glitter and a Unicorn Horn Shell jutting up out of its center. Weeks later, on a day when someone did something totally awesome that needed a spotlight, I dubbed the disc+shell The Sparkly Unicorn Award, and I bestowed the award upon the awesome child. I allowed them to keep the award on their desk for the rest of the day (getting glitter all over someone else's work for once). Since then, students have begun bestowing the award upon each other, and one girl especially (the one who dances and draws through "Luminosity") has become our Lead Noticer of Other People's Awesomeness. She has given the award more times in the last few weeks than I have since last fall. It's one thing to BE awesome, but it's another kind of awesome to shine a light on others.

This class. I think I'm already starting to miss them.



Thursday, April 19, 2018

Positivity


At least I tried.  ~Hugh MacLeod

Positivity

A smile is at
the heart of all that is good, and it is the least
I can do. Every single day I am a success because I can say, “I
came, I smiled, I tried.”


©Mary Lee Hahn, 2018




Wednesday, April 18, 2018

Persevere



This is your life. Do what you love and do it often.  ~The Holstee Manifesto


Persevere

Hard work. This
is
how you make your
dreams come true. Your life
is yours to mold like clay. Do
not wait for someone else to decide what
you
will be. Find what you love
most in life and
make it happen. Do
not be afraid to follow your dream as far as it
takes you. Just don’t forget to return home often.


©Mary Lee Hahn, 2018




Tuesday, April 17, 2018

Keen Observer



Unless you try to do something beyond what you have already mastered, you will never grow.  ~Ralph Waldo Emerson


Keen Observer

Unless
you
bother to watch for hawks, unless you try
to
find a preying mantis hiding in the garden, you do
not know that there is something
beyond
what
is obvious and easy. You
have
to stop assuming that you have already
seen it all, mastered
it all. You
must become a keen observer or you will
never
grow.


©Mary Lee Hahn, 2018




Monday, April 16, 2018

Cookies



We measure minds by their stature. It would be better to estimate them by their beauty.  ~Joseph Joubert 

Cookies

Remember the time we
decorated cookies? There was no unit of measure
for our joy that day. Who minds
learning by
mixing icing and food coloring to make their
cookie’s stature
more massive (and of course, more beautiful)? It
was about way more than just the cookies, though. Who would
believe that such a diverse group could be
unified at Christmas? No better
way than to
share a 34-year cookie decorating tradition. Don’t under-estimate
the power of cookies to overcome differences. Let them
heal the world by
their sweetness and by their
beauty.


©Mary Lee Hahn, 2018



Sunday, April 15, 2018

Growth Mindset



Super heroes are made, but heroes are born.  ~Antonio (in 365 Days of Wonder)

Growth Mindset

Think of seeds: what will someday be super
starts small. Those who will someday become heroes
often have no inkling that their tiny lives are
about to be made
into something not just big, but
mighty enough for them to become heroes.
You cannot know the good you will do. It is enough that you are
born.


©Mary Lee Hahn, 2018



Saturday, April 14, 2018

Endeavor


Do or do not. There is no try.  ~Yoda (Star Wars)

Endeavor

Whatever I do
with my life or
my life’s work, I will do
it not
because I want praise, but because there
is
a problem that needs to be solved. There is no
way of knowing if I’ll completely fix it, but I’ll roll up my sleeves and try.


©Mary Lee Hahn, 2018




Friday, April 13, 2018

That Feeling You Get When You Solve a Hard Math Problem


Have you had a kindness? Pass it on.  ~Henry Burton


That Feeling You Get When You Solve a Hard Math Problem

The numbers click in place like a combination lock. You have
cracked the code, you
have mastered the challenge! The problem had
you cornered, but it was decimals that gave you a
way out. A mathematical kindness
was bestowed by the universe: a “Pass
Go Collect $100” card, and it
gives you the joy and energy to carry on.


©Mary Lee Hahn, 2018


A couple of my students had a great day in math this past week. (One was the future astronomer from Day Two's poem.) We were working on irregular volume and they got to the challenge problem -- making an irregular figure with a total target volume of 325 cubic units...with the additional self-imposed challenge of not using a 1 in their answer. So, for example, they didn't allow themselves this solution: 10x(3x10) + 5x(5x1). They were stumped at the end of math class, but later, at the end of the day, they grabbed their papers out of the pile and kept working while we waited for the buses to be called. The student who gave me this quote asked, "Can we use decimals?" I answered, "Why not?!" and he promptly found a solution: 10x(3x10) + .25x(10x10).



Thursday, April 12, 2018

Tenacity


You can never cross the ocean until you have the courage to lose sight of the shore.  ~ André Gide


Tenacity

You are the one who gets the job done. You
don’t wait to be told what to do, you can
find the work and you can do it. This is also true: you are never
the kind to sit on the shore. You cross
to the other side even if you have to paddle across what feels like the
ocean.
You paddle until
you know where you are going. You paddle until you
see the sun coming up to light your way, until you have
a clear view, until you have the
courage
to
lose
all the burdens you carry and set your sight
on the new path that starts at the distant edge of
the
barely visible shore.


©Mary Lee Hahn, 2018



Wednesday, April 11, 2018

Confidence



Always do what you are afraid to do.  ~ Ralph Waldo Emerson

Confidence

You will not always
be sure, but don’t let that stop you. Do
the brave thing. Do the right thing. Do what
will make the world a better place and you
will be one of the ones who are
not afraid
of what the world asks you to
do.


©Mary Lee Hahn, 2018

Tuesday, April 10, 2018

Luminosity




When it is dark, be the one who turns on the light.  ~Joseph (in 365 Days of Wonder)

Luminosity

I hear music even when
you can’t. It
calls me to dance, tickles my feet, is
a beam of light when all the world is dark.
My pen calls me, too. Calls me to be
the
one
with a new way to see, the one who
finds beauty, the one who turns
lines on
paper into the
vision that amplifies the world with ever more light.


©Mary Lee Hahn, 2018



Monday, April 9, 2018

Teamwork



It's good to be important, but it's more important to be nice.  ~Anthony’s Grandmother

Teamwork

Your team surrounds you. It’s
the day of the big game and it feels good
to
be
geared up and ready to play. It’s important
to remember that you have to play as a team, but
if you get the chance to make a big play, it’s
nothing that makes you more
important
than any of the other players. No matter what, you have to
always be
humble and just plain nice.


©Mary Lee Hahn, 2018


Congratulations to our school's dodgeball team, the elementary champions for the second year in a row!







Sunday, April 8, 2018

Indomitable



Just keep swimming no matter how hard the current is.  ~Ava (365 Days of Wonder)

Indomitable

I will fight for what is just
I will keep 
swimming
upstream against hate and discrimination. No
matter
how long the battle, no matter how
hard
the fight, I will do my best to change the
current
way the world is.


©Mary Lee Hahn, 2018



Saturday, April 7, 2018

Springtime



Life is short. Make it amazing.  ~Hugh MacLeod 

Springtime

Springtime, and life
returns in a green haze of leafbuds. The seasonal burst of life is
short-
lived, but the surprise of the splashy daffodils will make
it
all the more amazing.


©Mary Lee Hahn, 2018



Friday, April 6, 2018

My Favorite Subject is Science


The miracle is not to fly in the air or to walk on the water, but to walk on the earth.  
~ Chinese Proverb

My Favorite Subject is Science

Photosynthesis is the
miracle
inside plants. Our planet changing from season to season is
not
any less miraculous. And to
learn that planes fly
not because of the engine but in
response to the
lift of the air
under the wings -- amazing! Food chain or
food web – both work elegantly to
balance life in the wild. Walk,
run, stand, sleep: your heart beats on.
The
water
cycle, symbiosis, sound waves – more miracles asking nothing but
that we pay attention to
this walk
we have been given on
the
earth.


©Mary Lee Hahn, 2018



Some process notes about this (crazy) project...

In about mid-March, each of the thirty 5th graders in my class chose a quote from the classroom quote books or the stack of GapingVoid (gapingvoid.com) cartoon-quotes I printed and laminated a few years ago.

Before the end of March, I typed each quote (vertically and right-justified) in its own document.

On the drive from Ohio to Colorado and back during spring break the last week of March, I fiddled around with most of the quotes and wound up with about 10 poems that felt mostly ready. I panicked a bit because I realized that I wouldn't be able to write a poem about each child using the quotes they'd chosen. So I made a sheet with all the names and a brainstorm list of all the topics we've studied so far this year. Whew! There are at least as many topics as students! Some of the poems will wind up being more about the child who chose the quote than others, but all of them taken together will be a record of our year together this year.

In answer to Diane's question from yesterday's comments about how I actually go about drafting the Golden Shovels: As I mentioned, I have the quote written vertically and right-justified. I write into those end words, going for as much enjambment as possible. I am trying to write a poem that's not necessarily on the topic of the quote so that the quote and poem together are a little bit surprising. I think I'll be doing a better job with this in upcoming poems where I won't try to write about the child who gave me the quote. I'll be choosing a quote and writing a poem on a topic from our classroom. Stay tuned. We'll see how that goes! Beyond that, there's lots of staring into space, starting and stopping, retyping the quote again below the first draft and trying another draft (and another), and a nice dose of mystery and magic and surprise!

Keep Your Promises -- this quote came from the child who gave me the 30 days 30 students 30 poems challenge. Seemed only right for him to go first!

Astronomical Passions -- the child who chose this quote aspires to be an astronomer.

Legos -- this original quote was written by a Lego-maniac.

Walt Didn't Say This, But He Would Approve -- my Everything Disney girl wrote this original quote. It was fun to work the Disney-ness in!

100% Authentically ME! -- if you knew this girl, you would understand how perfectly this poem captures her spirit. She beamed when I showed it to her!

My Favorite Subject is Science -- I'm not sure if the guy who chose this quote would agree that science is his favorite subject, but it's definitely a favorite for most students in my class. It's such a perfect age for beginning to learn about the way things work on this beautiful planet (and in this amazing solar system) of ours.


Thursday, April 5, 2018

100% Authentically ME!



Just be who you want to be, not what others want to see.  ~Unknown

100% Authentically ME!

I am me. Perfect just
the way I am. I will not be
someone who
changes the way I look at the world because of what you
say or do. I want
to
always be
the one who tells the truth, not
without a smile, but also not just repeating what
others
say. I want
to be authentic, to
show you all the truths I see.


©Mary Lee Hahn, 2018



Wednesday, April 4, 2018

Walt Didn't Say This, But He Would Approve



If you have a life, why not live it!  ~Lexie

Walt Didn't Say This, But He Would Approve

If
you
wish upon a star you will have
a
life
filled not with the why
but the why not.
Grab life by the mouse ears and live
it!


©Mary Lee Hahn, 2018








Tuesday, April 3, 2018

Legos



We are strong as one, but we are stronger together.  ~Brennan


Legos

Like Legos, we
stick together. We are
not just strong,
we are as creative as
the wildest imagination. Like Legos, you start with one
but
you end with something surprising and new. We
really are
stronger
together.


©Mary Lee Hahn, 2018





Monday, April 2, 2018

Astronomical Passions




Invite others to wonder with you.  ~Austin Kleon


Astronomical Passions

Black holes! Galaxies! Space! The Universe will invite
you to be awed and amazed. Find others
with the same astronomical passions to
marvel at, to wonder
about, and to investigate with
you.


©Mary Lee Hahn, 2018



Sunday, April 1, 2018

Keep Your Promises





Make your life a masterpiece. Imagine no limitations on what you can be, have, or do.  ~Brian Tracy

Keep Your Promises

I accept your challenge. I will make 
a poem using each of your 
quotes. A snapshot of your life 
in fifth grade, the collection will not be
masterpiece 
and I imagine 
no 
one will appreciate the poems as much as you. The limitations 
I have put on 
myself with these poems will show you that what 
you 
challenge yourself to do can 
be 
done. You have 
to keep your promises. There is no either/or
do what you said you would do.


©Mary Lee Hahn, 2018


Friday, March 16, 2018

Saying Goodbye


Unsplash Photo by Steve Johnson


Saying Goodbye

The storage unit is pitch black
The boxes 
are stacked right where we left them. I kick one with my shoe 
and wonder what I’m going to do with these boxes 
once I get them home. There will be new 
piles of boxes 
in our basement. I’d rather have you 
back than all these memories stuffed into boxes.


©Mary Lee Hahn, 2018




This Golden Shovel was written for the March 2018 Ditty Challenge 
using part of a line of a poem by Devon Hope.




Sunday, February 18, 2018

It's the Silence


Untitled, Artist Unknown

It's the Silence

It's the silence I love the most.
There's not actually more of it here
but it's easier to find
between twig-snap
and leaf-rustle,
bird-song and
mote-float.

I sit.
I listen.
I fit
again.


©Mary Lee Hahn, 2018


Epitaph for a Childhood


Unsplash photo by Johnny McKlung

Epitaph for a Childhood

Your days were unhurried,
unworried, unvaried.

Then came the jobs, the bills,
a mortgage, a marriage.

You're not really gone,
just buried.


©Mary Lee Hahn, 2018


Friday, February 9, 2018

I Have Waited a Lifetime For This Moment


by Thelma Wilson Brain

I Have Waited a Lifetime For This Moment

I have waited a lifetime for this moment.
For you to leave the fencepost by the pasture
the power lines by the road
the thermal where you glide
so close I feel the deadly strength of your grip
see the gold flecking in your eyes
know the tension between wild and willing.
It matters not at all that
this is only a dream.


©Mary Lee Hahn, 2018



Wednesday, February 7, 2018

Flatlander


"Low Tide" by Andrea Lavoie

Flatlander
I know juncos on the snow
how to raise tomatoes
inky black of crow in oak
but not tides
neither high nor low.

I know finches in the meadow
play house under the willow
the way a prairie wind blows
but not tides
neither high nor low.

No beach or sand or ocean
no shells no crabs no undertow
no waves no gulls that soar
no tides
neither high nor low.


©Mary Lee Hahn, 2018


Saturday, January 27, 2018

Space Heater




space heater
small but mighty silver dragon
breathing heat with no fire on my winter-cold feet
bring me your confidence
that I might believe my small actions 
can make a big difference

©Mary Lee Hahn, 2018


Inspired by a prompt at Irene Latham's blog Live Your Poem.