Saturday, April 22, 2017

Educational Links 4/23/17


25 Education Leaders to Learn from Today


What does assessment without testing look like?


There’s an emotional side of edtech—and it’s affecting school innovation


Brain-Based Strategies to Reduce Test Stress



A Chance to Raise the Bar for Special Education

Dyslexia and Foreign Language Teaching


Helping Students Find Their Writer’s Voice


How do authors draw us in with their prose? What does an article or book do that makes us nod along, laugh out loud, or shout, “What?” Used well, a writer’s words can speak inside us. How do we develop a student writer’s voice so they can have the same effect on their readers?

Teaching Is Understanding Child Development

1. Child Development Tracker

Use the Child Development Tracker to get insights on the stages of growth.
http://www.pbs.org/parents/child-development


2. Child Development

http://www.cdc.gov/ncbddd/childdevelopment/index.html


 3. T. Berry Brazelton, M.D.


http://www.brazelton-institute.com/berrybio.html 


4. Middle Childhood Development


http://www.childdevelopmentmedia.com/middle-childhood-development.html 

5. Developmental Issues With Pre-Adolescents

http://www.livestrong.com/article/125347-developmental-issues-preadolescents/ 


6. Adolescent Stages of Development


http://childdevelopmentinfo.com/child-development/teens_stages.shtml 


7.  Piaget's Stages of Cognitive Development


http://ehlt.flinders.edu.au/education/DLiT/2000/Piaget/stages.htm 


I like Piaget and his beret.

National Poetry Month: Poems #16 and #17


The Old Guitarist, Pablo Picasso

La Guitarra, The Guitar



Federico García Lorca

Empieza el llanto
de la guitarra.
Se rompen las copas
de la madrugada.
Empieza el llanto
de la guitarra.
Es inútil callarla.
Es imposible
callarla.
Llora monótona
como llora el agua,
como llora el viento
sobre la nevada.
Es imposible
callarla.
Llora por cosas
lejanas.
Arena del Sur caliente
que pide camelias blancas.
Llora flecha sin blanco,
la tarde sin mañana,
y el primer pájaro muerto

sobre la rama.
¡Oh, guitarra!
Corazón malherido
por cinco espadas. 
The Guitar
The weeping of the guitar
begins.
The goblets of dawn
are smashed.
The weeping of the guitar
begins.
Useless
to silence it.
Impossible
to silence it.
It weeps monotonously
as water weeps
as the wind weeps
over snowfields.
Impossible
to silence it.
It weeps for distant
things.
Hot southern sands
yearning for white camellias.
Weeps arrow without target
evening without morning
and the first dead bird
on the branch.
Oh,guitar!                                                                        
Heart mortally wounded
by five swords.


  Maybe the old guitarist was playing this:
Albéniz, Asturias (Leyenda), guitar solo, James Edwards (animation)  

 

Concert for Bangladesh, George Harrison
Prince, Tom Petty, Steve Winwood, Jeff Lynne and others -- "While My Guitar Gently Weeps" 

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=6SFNW5F8K9Y 


 While My Guitar Gently Weeps
George Harrison
I look at you all see the love there that’s sleeping
While my guitar gently weeps
I look at the floor and I see it need sweeping
Still my guitar gently weeps

I don’t know why nobody told you
How to unfold your love
I don’t know how someone controlled you
They bought and sold you

I look at the world and I notice it’s turning
While my guitar gently weeps
With every mistake we must surely be learning
Still my guitar gently weeps

I don’t know how you were diverted
You were perverted too
I don’t know how you were inverted
No one alerted you

I look at you all see the love there that’s sleeping
While my guitar gently weeps
I look at you all
Still my guitar gently weeps

National Poetry Month: Celebrating World Poetry (a Great Resource)

The poet Dante, of Inferno fame
Inaugurated by the Academy of American Poets in April 1996, National Poetry Month (NPM) brings together lovers of poetry from around the country to celebrate poetry and its vital place in American culture. This year, the Academy is offering today’s tech-savvy students a new way to experience memorable poetry. See the Poetry Flow link at the end  of this post.

National Poetry Month: Celebrating World Poetry

http://edsitement.neh.gov/feature/national-poetry-month-celebrating-world-poetry

National Poetry Month: The Power of Poetry

http://edsitement.neh.gov/feature/national-poetry-month-power-poetry 

The 2014 Poetry Out Loud National Finals will be at the Lisner Auditorium, The George Washington University, April 30 (semifinals will take place on April 29). Admission is free and open to the public and the semis and finals will also be webcast live at arts.gov.

Poetry Out loud

http://www.poetryoutloud.org/about 

National Endowment for the Arts Acting Chairman Joan Shigekawa and Poetry Foundation President Robert Polito announce the 2014 National Finals of Poetry Out Loud, April 29-30, 2014 - See more at: http://arts.gov/news/2014/2014-national-finals-poetry-out-loud#sthash.kefrgKwM.dpufPoetry Out Loud Finalists 2014

http://arts.gov/news/2014/2014-national-finals-poetry-out-loud


http://www.neh.gov/
This site includes resources for National Poetry Month.
Here are a few of their choices:
  • Epics
  • The Ramayana
  • Arabic Poetry
  • Japanese Poetry
  • World Poetry Sites

And a few of their related lessons:
  • All Together Now: Collaborations in Poetry Writing »
  • "Animal Farm": Allegory and the Art of Persuasion »
  • Animating Poetry: Reading Poems about the Natural World »
  • Arabic Poetry: Guzzle a Ghazal! »
  • Can You Haiku? »
  • Carl Sandburg's "Chicago": Bringing a Great City Alive »
This year EDSITEment is broadening the horizon by focusing on the different poetic forms developed across time and around the world.

This is a marvelous app designed for the iPhone, but can be useful for any internet connection.

Poem Flow app review: a beautiful way to experience poetry



Friday, April 21, 2017

Educational Links 4/22/17


Where Good Ideas Come From & How Your Classroom Can Respond


Teaching Generation Z? Start by engaging their parents—here’s how we did it


How to Hire a Superintendent Who Will Stick Around


How Various Learning and Attention Issues Can Make Mental Math Hard


Having Just One Black Teacher Can Keep Black Kids In School


To Reduce the Stress of Parent-Teacher Meetings Try This...


Forget Grit. Focus on Inequality.


However, treating grit as an appealing and simple fix detracts attention from the larger structural inequities in schools, while simultaneously romanticizing notions of poverty.

Teaching Is...Counseling and Supervision


What to change in a school? I have reflected upon what change would have the greatest impact based just upon my own observations.

Counseling and supervision. More and more effective supervision and counseling. Kids learn better when their minds are focused. Internal and external conditions affect their ability to be successful in school, therefore counseling and supervision.

Counseling usually indicates a counselor working in scheduling classes and sometimes personalintervention with parents and kids. Of course keep this, adding more opportunities for individual students and groups to interact with trained counselors. Have a variety of topics, a variety of groups. Maybe even a club. A qualified counselor at every school site.

Classes and class activities can  identify and/or aid in relief of tensions and stressors. Activities can give kids confidence and bolster their ability to learn.
One year when I was teaching a Special Day Class for the Severely Handicapped, a group of students from the student government class came once a week for a class period for peer interaction. My students and the gen. ed. student leaders interacted while I ran a very simple self-esteem class. The benefits? The gen ed. kids were exposed to new career choices (SPED teacher, counselor, etc.) and my students gained language and other academic skills, plus great self-confidence and new friends. It was like pouring Miracle-Gro on them.

Here are a few activities I developed to help students relieve stress:

Writing Prompts to Sooth Kids' Toxic Stress
 http://mzteachuh.blogspot.com/2012/04/writing-prompts-to-sooth-kids-toxic.html 

Books to Relieve Kids' Toxic Stress 
http://mzteachuh.blogspot.com/2012/05/mzteachuh-books-to-soothe-kids-toxic_26.html

Here are curriculum sources for self-esteem:
Discovery Education 
http://www.discoveryeducation.com/teachers/free-lesson-plans/self-esteem.cfm

Writing prompts have therapeutic effects for students, too. The counseling comes in with discussion, either through teacher's written response or carefully guided group discussion. Kids are eloquent when narrating their own feelings and experiences. Teachers are professionals who interact with students at least 35 hours a week--we need to know them and how they are doing. Reading their thoughts in writing will do that. Then it is up to us to interact personally with them. Identify a student's internal stressor a student leads to getting them the help she/he needs.

Here are sources for writing prompts for self-esteem: 

Self Esteem & Confidence 52 Journal Prompts for Kids 
http://journalbuddies.com/journaling/self-esteem-confidence-journal-prompts-for-kids/ 


Reflective Journal Writing Prompts


 http://www.self-esteem-health.com/reflective-journal-writing-prompts.html


Supervision-oh my!  By my observation, only one school I taught with in the about a dozen in the past two decades actually followed the principal's directives on supervision consistently. On the playground, at the classroom doors before and after school, during assemblies. It was amazing. It was as though that principal had somehow cornered the teacher market on efficiency and cooperation. As a result, the kids were more secure, cooperative and generally happier. School rules were consistently enforced. The teachers were dependable in their appearances to supervise. At this school, the principal was also present on the campus, even making surprise visits to the classrooms, where he was welcome.


No teachers at any other school I encountered, except for the one above, even consistently enforced supervising passing time between classes. Every year the principal of these schools would announce the importance of teachers being at the door during this time, and in about a week most of the teachers stopped doing it. Why? Because people do what you inspect, not was you expect. The principals had no system to verify if teachers were doing this, except the increase of horseplay, fights  and other misbehavior in the hallways based on referrals. Parents of my students would tell me their child was afraid to go down the fall, to lunch or even to the restroom. 


Supervision, or lack thereof, enhances the student's learning environment or detracts from it. Personally, I believe the leadership in the admin. building needs to step up on this matter.


Just to put a chill down our spines.


FAILURE TO PROPERLY SUPERVISE STUDENTS


CAN LEAD TO EXPENSIVE LITIGATION 



 School Supervision Problem Areas


National Poetry Month: Not To Be Morbid Or Anything...

...but poems seem to be mostly about love or death. Or both.

This Tennyson poem comforted Victoria when Albert passed.




In Memoriam Canto 27
Tennyson
I hold it true, whate'er befall;
I feel it when I sorrow most;
'Tis better to have loved and lost
Than never to have loved at all.

Holy Sonnets X
Death be not proud, though some have called thee
Mighty and dreadfull, for, thou art not soe,
For, those, whom thou think'st, thou dost overthrow,
Die not, poore death, nor yet canst thou kill mee.
From rest and sleepe, which but thy pictures bee,
Much pleasure, then from thee, much more must flow,
And soonest our best men with thee doe goe,
Rest of their bones, and soules deliverie.
Thou art slave to Fate, Chance, kings, and desperate men,
And dost with poyson, warre, and sicknesse dwell,
And poppie, or charmes can make us sleepe as well,
And better than thy stroake; why swell'st thou then?
One short sleepe past, wee wake eternally,
And death shall be no more; death, thou shalt die. .
- See more at: http://www.allspirit.co.uk/dying.html#dearest


72. "Death be not proud, though some have called thee"


DEATH be not proud, though some have called thee
Mighty and dreadfull, for, thou art not so,
For, those, whom thou think'st, thou dost overthrow,
Die not, poore death, nor yet canst thou kill me.
From rest and sleepe, which but thy pictures bee,         5
Much pleasure, then from thee, much more must flow,
And soonest our best men with thee doe goe,
Rest of their bones, and soules deliverie.
Thou art slave to Fate, Chance, kings, and desperate men,
And dost with poyson, warre, and sicknesse dwell,  10
And poppie, or charmes can make us sleepe as well,
And better then thy stroake; why swell'st thou then;
One short sleepe past, wee wake eternally,
And death shall be no more; death, thou shalt die.


John Donne

 The Chimney Sweeper

Holy Sonnets X
Death be not proud, though some have called thee
Mighty and dreadfull, for, thou art not soe,
For, those, whom thou think'st, thou dost overthrow,
Die not, poore death, nor yet canst thou kill mee.
From rest and sleepe, which but thy pictures bee,
Much pleasure, then from thee, much more must flow,
And soonest our best men with thee doe goe,
Rest of their bones, and soules deliverie.
Thou art slave to Fate, Chance, kings, and desperate men,
And dost with poyson, warre, and sicknesse dwell,
And poppie, or charmes can make us sleepe as well,
And better than thy stroake; why swell'st thou then?
One short sleepe past, wee wake eternally,
And death shall be no more; death, thou shalt die. .
- See more at: http://www.allspirit.co.uk/dying.html#dearestThe Chimney Sweeper
 William Blake
 
When my mother died I was very young,
And my father sold me while yet my tongue
Could scarcely cry 'weep! 'weep! 'weep! 'weep!
So your chimneys I sweep, and in soot I sleep.

There's little Tom Dacre, who cried when his head,
That curled like a lamb's back, was shaved: so I said,
"Hush, Tom! never mind it, for when your head's bare,
You know that the soot cannot spoil your white hair."

And so he was quiet; and that very night,
As Tom was a-sleeping, he had such a sight, -
That thousands of sweepers, Dick, Joe, Ned, and Jack,
Were all of them locked up in coffins of black.

And by came an angel who had a bright key,
And he opened the coffins and set them all free;
Then down a green plain leaping, laughing, they run,
And wash in a river, and shine in the sun.

Then naked and white, all their bags left behind,
They rise upon clouds and sport in the wind;
And the angel told Tom, if he'd be a good boy,
He'd have God for his father, and never want joy.

And so Tom awoke; and we rose in the dark,
And got with our bags and our brushes to work.
Though the morning was cold, Tom was happy and warm;
So if all do their duty they need not fear harm.


Do not go gentle into that good night,
Old age should burn and rave at close of day;
Rage, rage against the dying of the light.

Though wise men at their end know dark is right,
Because their words had forked no lightning they
Do not go gentle into that good night.

Good men, the last wave by, crying how bright
Their frail deeds might have danced in a green bay,
Rage, rage against the dying of the light.

Wild men who caught and sang the sun in flight,
And learn, too late, they grieved it on its way,
Do not go gentle into that good night.

Grave men, near death, who see with blinding sight
Blind eyes could blaze like meteors and be gay,
Rage, rage against the dying of the light.

And you, my father, there on the sad height,
Curse, bless, me now with your fierce tears, I pray.
Do not go gentle into that good night.
Rage, rage against the dying of the light.
- See more at: http://www.poets.org/viewmedia.php/prmMID/15377#sthash.CwfQZi06.dpuf
Do not go gentle into that good night,
Old age should burn and rave at close of day;
Rage, rage against the dying of the light.

Though wise men at their end know dark is right,
Because their words had forked no lightning they
Do not go gentle into that good night.

Good men, the last wave by, crying how bright
Their frail deeds might have danced in a green bay,
Rage, rage against the dying of the light.

Wild men who caught and sang the sun in flight,
And learn, too late, they grieved it on its way,
Do not go gentle into that good night.

Grave men, near death, who see with blinding sight
Blind eyes could blaze like meteors and be gay,
Rage, rage against the dying of the light.

And you, my father, there on the sad height,
Curse, bless, me now with your fierce tears, I pray.
Do not go gentle into that good night.
Rage, rage against the dying of the light.
- See more at: http://www.poets.org/viewmedia.php/prmMID/15377#sthash.CwfQZi06.dpuf

Shakespeare, MacBeth

Tomorrow and tomorrow and tomorrow
Creeps in this petty pace from day to day
To the last sylable of recorded time
And all our yesterdays have lighted fools
The way to dusty death
Out out brief candle
Life’s but a poor player
That struts and frets his hour upon the stage
And then is heard no more: it is a tale
told by an idiot, full of sound and fury,
Signifying nothing

The Cross of Snow

Henry Wadsworth Longfellow
In the long, sleepless watches of the night,
A gentle face--the face of one long dead--
Looks at me from the wall, where round its head
The night-lamp casts a halo of pale light.
Here in this room she died, and soul more white
Never through martyrdom of fire was led
To its repose; nor can in books be read
The legend of a life more benedight.
There is a mountain in the distant West
That, sun-defying, in its deep ravines
Displays a cross of snow upon its side.
Such is the cross I wear upon my breast
These eighteen years, through all the changing scenes
And seasons, changeless since the day she died.

Do Not Go Gentle into That Good Night

By Dylan Thomas

Do not go gentle into that good night,

Old age should burn and rave at close of day;

Rage, rage against the dying of the light.

Though wise men at their end know dark is right,

Because their words had forked no lightning they

Do not go gentle into that good night.

Good men, the last wave by, crying how bright

Their frail deeds might have danced in a green bay,

Rage, rage against the dying of the light.

Wild men who caught and sang the sun in flight,

And learn, too late, they grieved it on its way,

Do not go gentle into that good night.

Grave men, near death, who see with blinding sight

Blind eyes could blaze like meteors and be gay,   

Rage, rage against the dying of the light.

And you, my father, there on the sad height,

Curse, bless, me now with your fierce tears, I pray.

Do not go gentle into that good night.

Rage, rage against the dying of the light.

I heard a Fly buzz - when I died - (591)

By Emily Dickinson

I heard a Fly buzz - when I died -

The Stillness in the Room

Was like the Stillness in the Air -

Between the Heaves of Storm -

The Eyes around - had wrung them dry -

And Breaths were gathering firm

For that last Onset - when the King

Be witnessed - in the Room -

I willed my Keepsakes - Signed away

What portion of me be

Assignable - and then it was

There interposed a Fly -

With Blue - uncertain - stumbling Buzz -

Between the light - and me -

And then the Windows failed - and then

I could not see to see -

Thursday, April 20, 2017

Educational Links 4/21/17

Learning With Virtual Reality Ignites Creativity and Career Exploration


Phonics leads to easier, more accurate, reading, new research finds


WAYS TO PROMOTE DIVERSE CULTURES IN THE CLASSROOM


Students Entering 1st Grade With Better Reading Skills Than Previously, Study Says


Recess Duty and 5 Other Moments Busy Teachers Should Prioritize


Symptom Checker

The Role of the Teacher in High-Quality PBL


How exactly is an effective project-based learning (PBL) teacher different from a non-PBL teacher? How is the practice and approach to teaching shifted? What does a PBL teacher need to do to support the PBL environment? And conversely, how can the PBL environment support the teacher?
When we collected input on ways PBL is implemented effectively and areas where PBL could be improved, many ed leaders honed in on the role of the teacher as a most pivotal point in the success of a PBL classroom. For PBL to be successful, there must be a shift in the definition and expectations of the teacher, and acceptance of breaking from the traditional “teacher and students” model.

National Poetry Month: I've Looked At Clouds From Both Sides Now

JONI MITCHELL /// 10. Both Sides Now - (Clouds) - (1969) 

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=_i7WceS--p4 


 Bows and flows of angel hair
And ice cream castles in the air
And feather canyons everywhere
I've looked at clouds that way

But now they only block the sun
They rain and snow on everyone
So many things I would have done
But clouds got in my way

I've looked at clouds from both sides now
From up and down, and still somehow
It's cloud illusions I recall
I really don't know clouds at all

Moons and Junes and Ferris wheels
The dizzy dancing way you feel
As every fairy tale comes real
I've looked at love that way

But now it's just another show
You leave 'em laughing when you go
And if you care, don't let them know
Don't give yourself away

I've looked at love from both sides now
From give and take, and still somehow
It's love's illusions I recall
I really don't know love at all

Tears and fears and feeling proud
To say "I love you" right out loud
Dreams and schemes and circus crowds
I've looked at life that way

Oh but now old friends are acting strange
They shake their heads, they say I've changed
Well something's lost but something's gained
In living every day

I've looked at life from both sides now
From WIN and LOSE and still somehow
It's life's illusions I recall
I really don't know life at all

I've looked at life from both sides now
From up and down and still somehow
It's life's illusions I recall
I really don't know life at all

Teachable Moment: Earth Day Is Coming Up (April 22)


Earth Day Activities UNLV 
1. Green Schools Leadership Center
http://edu.earthday.org/ 

2. Earth Day: The History of A Movement

http://www.earthday.org/earth-day-history-movement 

3. 22 Interactive Lessons to Bring Earth Day to Life

http://blogs.kqed.org/mindshift/2014/04/22-interactive-lessons-to-bring-earth-day-to-life/ 

4. Watch the World Go Green

http://blog.epa.gov/pick5/hp_maps/map 

5. Celebrate Earth Day!

http://www.readwritethink.org/classroom-resources/calendar-activities/celebrate-earth-20468.html  

http://www.pinterest.com/pin/12807180163051657/

6. EARTH DAY Arts & Craftshttp://www.kinderart.com/seasons/earthday.shtml 

7. Earth Day on Pinterest

Ideas, lessons and freebies for celebrating Earth Day. 

 

 

Happy Earth Day (Every Day)


Painting: Vincent Van Gogh

Earth Day

http://www.activityvillage.co.uk/earth-day 

Happy Earth Day! 5 Ways to Get Kids to Help the Planet

http://www.livescience.com/50565-earth-day-get-kids-involved.html

Earth Day for Children

http://greenliving.lovetoknow.com/Earth_Day_for_Children

How Earth Day Began: With Somber Reflection, and a Few Dump-Ins

http://time.com/3822575/earth-day-history/ 

Graphic: How Earth Day looks at 45

http://www.usatoday.com/story/news/2015/04/20/earth-day-turns-45/26062273/ 

Earth Day Meteor Shower 

http://science.nasa.gov/science-news/science-at-nasa/2015/21apr_lyrids2015/ 

Chesterbrook Academy releases ladybugs for Earth Day

http://www.dailylocal.com/general-news/20150422/chesterbrook-academy-releases-ladybugs-for-earth-day 


Lady bug, lady bug, fly away home!

  

National Poetry Month: Earth Day Every Day Gerard Manley Hopkins

 This might be the first poem supporting the ecological movement.

God’s Grandeur
 by Gerard Manley Hopkins

THE WORLD is charged with the grandeur of God.
  It will flame out, like shining from shook foil;
  It gathers to a greatness, like the ooze of oil
Crushed. Why do men then now not reck his rod?
Generations have trod, have trod, have trod;        5
  And all is seared with trade; bleared, smeared with toil;
  And wears man’s smudge and shares man’s smell: the soil
Is bare now, nor can foot feel, being shod.

And for all this, nature is never spent;
  There lives the dearest freshness deep down things;        10
And though the last lights off the black West went
  Oh, morning, at the brown brink eastward, springs—
Because the Holy Ghost over the bent
  World broods with warm breast and with ah! bright wings.

Spring

By Gerard Manley Hopkins 
Nothing is so beautiful as Spring –         
   When weeds, in wheels, shoot long and lovely and lush;         
   Thrush’s eggs look little low heavens, and thrush         
Through the echoing timber does so rinse and wring         
The ear, it strikes like lightnings to hear him sing;
   The glassy peartree leaves and blooms, they brush         
   The descending blue; that blue is all in a rush         
With richness; the racing lambs too have fair their fling.         

What is all this juice and all this joy?         
   A strain of the earth’s sweet being in the beginning
In Eden garden. – Have, get, before it cloy,         
   Before it cloud, Christ, lord, and sour with sinning,         
Innocent mind and Mayday in girl and boy,         
   Most, O maid’s child, thy choice and worthy the winning.    

Hopkins was a Jesuit priest in England during the Industrial Revolution.
Gerard Manley Hopkins

Wednesday, April 19, 2017

Educational Links 4/20/17

Earth Day 2017--Invite a Guest Speaker or schedule a Skype Lesson or Virtual Field Trip so your students can learn more about our beautiful planet from the experts. 


6 Ways To Make The Most Of Limited Access To Technology


Evaluating Your Child for EFD


Making Standardized Testing a Positive Experience

http://blog.mimio.com/making-standardized-testing-a-positive-experience 

What Autism Can Look Like

Making Earth Day More Than Just a One-Day Celebration


Teachers Guide to OCD in the Classroom


Children who have obsessive-compulsive disorder (OCD) are plagued with unwanted thoughts, images or impulses that are difficult to suppress, causing them great stress and worry.

Five Poems to Soothe Kids' Toxic Stress

Grandpa was really sick now, thin like a skeleton.
The last thing I remember him saying was, "Did you bring the little dog?"
We hadn't brought Kip because Grandpa was in a hospice, but the pain-killers made him think he saw the chihuahua at the foot of the bed.  Kip had been a faithful friend stationed at the foot of his bed the previous five years at home when Grandpa was bedridden due to cancer.

Melanie, Grandpa and Kip 1962
Technically, Grandpa wasn't our 'real' grandfather. He was our grandmother's second husband. But to me, my sister, and all the many cousins, he was the best grandpa in the whole world. Everyone says that, even over fifty years later. He loved children. He loved us. He spent time talking to us, taking us on walks, teaching us to play the card game 'Casino.' And card tricks, too. All the photos with him showed everyone smiling. He was like that.

I recall watching baseball on television with him. He was a San Francisco Giants' fan. I realized last year that the reason I knew so much about the Giants was because I watched the World Series (1962) with him (the last baseball season Grandpa was at home), before he passed away the following spring. His going left a dark hole in the family.

Literature can ease the stress of a child's serious loss, so the effect doesn't advance to toxic, chronic stress. Literature draws the isolating pain out in the open. We aren't alone in our experiences; universal themes speak to our human condition, too. For me, I somehow found  "The Rainy Day," by Henry Wadsworth Longfellow, probably in my parochial school library. It soothed my heartbroken, prepubescent soul with lines like "Behind the clouds is the sun still shining" and "Into each life some rain must fall, Some days must be dark and dreary."  Henry knew how I felt. 
http://www.americanpoems.com/poets/longfellow/12207 


#16 Life Doesn't Frighten Me At All by Ian Lantz
Childhood can be filled with fears, even terrors, real and imagined. We don't need to describe the traumas kids suffer. Maya Angelou's "Life Doesn't Frighten Me," infers a child's nightmares and possible real terrors;  the voice in the poem stands up to her fears. A group discussion of a poem allows a student to absorb the comfort at her own pace and need; she can share her fear or not. But the universal experience of fear is acknowledged. http://www.swaraj.org/shikshantar/life_mayaangelou.htm

Kids can be demeaned, betrayed, bullied. How can a kid handle that? Students, usually middle-schoolers, respond with shock at the opening lines of'
                                            I'm nobody! Who are you?
                                            Are you nobody, too?


Someone else knows how it feels? I'm not the only one going through this? When you're born into the caste of the rejects--what's a kid to do? Like Emily Dickinson suggests, reject the insult--its the conformists who are to be ridiculed.  To read how the totally unique Emily suggests we do this, go to this link and see all the poem. http://www.online-literature.com/dickinson/448/

Every year I have taught in Southern California, I have students that have had traumatic losses due to violence close to them. Even what we consider to be a cliche can comfort them. Famous sayings and poems aren't famous to kids--its new material.  The well known saying from Tennyson's "In Memoriam" is still valid:
                      
                                           I hold it true, whate'er befall;
                                           I feel it, when I sorrow most;
                                           'Tis better to have loved and lost
                                           Than never to have loved at all.
For the rest of the poem, 
http://www.poetryfoundation.org/poem/174603. I always liked the reference to not wanting to be a 'linnet' (caged bird) that was never free to experience 'the summer wood.' Life has joys and sorrows, and we fly to the first despite the eventual descent into the second. 

Our people, our family can uphold us. Langston Hughes' "Mother to Son" speaks a mom's heart.http://allpoetry.com/Mother-To-Son Life's exertion, exhaustion, and unexpected reversals require relentless effort to overcome, often too much for the young  person by himself. Whether its a mother to son, grandpa to granddaughter, teacher to student---there are grown-ups reaching out to you. Someone cares. We can navigate you, one step at a time, past the hidden trip-ups. We know where they are-- we've tripped over a few--but let's get up and keep on climbing.

The comfort from the community;  poets from even two hundred years ago can be a member of that community. A poem can embrace the sad, frightened, lonely soul of a child.





I thought of Grandpa when his Giants won the World Series in 2010, 2012, and 2014.  I couldn't share it with him, except in my heart. That's a comforting thought. I learned that from poetry.