Monday, June 14, 2010

My Poem Writing Year #75 - Next Year

Some students and teachers are out for the summer already, and some can now count the days left on two hands.  This time feels almost too busy to reflect, but in the hurry scurry of finishing up papers, clearing out desks, finding a summer home for the class pet, and gathering up the missing library books...there is a moment of pause.  This is the end of something, maybe something difficult, maybe something beautiful, maybe both.  In a few weeks time, these same bodies will never live together, breathe together, figure-it-out-together, laugh together again.  It's like the end of a book, when you say "farewell" to the characters, close the cover, and sigh.

Thank you to all teachers this month.  As a mother and still-in-my-heart-teacher, I know what you do and believe it to be the most valuable gift of all. 

Joan suggested the other week that we share book lists and favorite ways to end the year.  Do you have something that you like to do at the end of the school year, a way to say goodbye or to remember the year together?   A favorite read aloud?  To talk about community, Roxaboxen, by Alice McLerran, is my book to hug.

The years went by, and the seasons changed, until at last the friends had all grown tall, and one by one, they moved away to other houses, to other towns.  So you might think that was the end of Roxaboxen - but oh, no.  Because none of them ever forgot Roxaboxen.  Not one of them ever forgot. 
from Roxaboxen, by Alice McLerran

At Two Writing Teachers, principal and guest-blogger Mary Alice shares a simple and elegant design for summer journals.  Check it out here.

Over at Write Time,  Linda's students write poetry as a way to celebrate all they have learned throughout the year.  Here are some of their poems and Linda's explanation of this powerful writing exercise.

Some teachers say goodbye by writing a poem for their students.  Read Kyle's poem to his fifth graders over at Ukulelear and Mary Lee's poem to her fourth graders at A Year of Reading.

How do you end your year? Please share in the comments, and I will include your thoughts in a future post.

(Please click on COMMENTS below to share a thought.)


  1. Hi Amy, loved your poem. It is happy/sad when the school year ends. Your poem really expresses those feelings.
    Thank you for including Write Time in your list of end of the year writing activities.

  2. Hi Amy,

    You continue to fuel the fire in our writing lives. Your poem and post choked me up a little as I will hate to say goodbye next week.

    Our plans for the next week will include a few more poems, decorating summer book boxes, and a memory book. Coming from a long line of list makers myself and seeing such interest in the Scholastic Book of Lists, we are going to try a book of lists to rap up the year. Each student will have lots of choices, but will definitely include a list of favorite books, authors, poems, characters, and much more. And then there is the "to-do" list...better get back to report cards! ~Theresa

  3. Linda,
    I hope your end of the year goes well...I was so happy to have found your post!
    Thank you for sharing your list of lists...that sounds like a lot of fun, and something neat to keep and reread in the years to come. (Like those end-of-year lists in the newspaper on December 31!) Your class sounds full of beautiful year-end rituals. Please let me know if you would be willing to share in a future Poetry Friday??

  4. Hi Amy,

    I would love to participate in a Poetry Friday. For several months I have enjoyed the feature. Let me know what I should do to prepare. Summer will afford me the time to spruce up my blog site and establish a regular routine for commenting on others as well. Thanks!

  5. Dear Theresa,

    Oh! I'm sorry for my confusing message. For hosting Poetry Friday, Mary Lee at A Year of Reading is in charge. She's reachable at (This is still such a new world to me in here!) I was wondering if you might be willing to share some of your students' work or some of the work you do with poetry here at The Poem Farm...kind of like the other Poetry Fridays where I have featured a classroom and student work. I'd love it if you were willing...