Friday, December 10, 2021

They're Not...They're...


Draft of Poem
Photo by Amy LV

Students - I dedicate this poem to my new first grade friends from Ms. Rose's class and Ms. Ferrari's class at Furnace Woods Elementary School in Cortlandt, NY. We had a virtual visit yesterday (they at their school, me in my old camper), and one thing we talked about is the importance of making changes to our work. I loved meeting with these thoughtful students, and this is the poem I was drafting before and after our visits. You can see how many changes I made to it in my notebook!

Sometimes people think of cross outs and scratch outs as "mistakes." But I don't see them that way at all. They are really growing marks, showing the birth of new ideas and understandings.

So if you cross something out in your work to replace it with a new idea or to simply leave space where it needs to be...celebrate that and celebrate you!

Can you think of a time when you thought of something one way and then realized that it is not that way at all? This could be the good start to a poem. If you wish, you could even begin by writing:

They're not....


It's not....

It can be helpful to have a starter and then keep it or not once you get going. 

Your writing is yours. I wish you scribbles!

Cathy is hosting today's Poetry Friday roundup at Merely Day by Day with a gentle and generous poem that she wrote for the Poetry Friday community. It speaks of all teachers and all who give. Please know that all are welcome each Friday as folks share poems, poem books, poetry ideas, and friendship.



  1. Wonderful! It's always interesting to see the evolutions that a poem goes through as we work it into it's final form.

  2. Nice, Amy, for students & for all of us who write!

  3. I love scribbles and notebooks. You remind me to attend to my notebook which has been missing me.

  4. Thanks, Amy. As easy as technology has made it to edit, the old scratch out method is the best.

  5. Yes, it does take bravery to revise! Embrace the...I was going to say mistakes...scratches, scribbles and X-outs!

  6. What a wonderful post! I remember getting called out on this "mistake" many times in ES. I wish I could have seen my changes as grow marks.

  7. "Change marks." I love it. Signs that we have grown. I hope teachers will scoop this up and share it with their students. I can think of books it would pair so nicely with as teachers press resent in the coming new year.

  8. Thanks for sharing Amy! When I worked with young writers I always encouraged them to cross out and not erase so we could see the tracks of their thinking. This poem is perfect for that!

  9. Bob Ross was famous for referring to, "happy mistake(s)". After a painting didn't turn out the way I wanted, I coined the term, "creative mistake(s)". I didn't like the painting, but I'm excited about the story/poem idea I got from going through that process. #learning 😊