Dreaming of NCLB

Poetry month continues in my classroom (you may have noticed my half-assed attempt to share poetry on this blog) and asking the students to create their poetry has yielded some mixed results. My mom passed along an incredible book, Wishes, Lies and Dreams, and I've been using it this past week to guide my teaching. It's a mix of authentic poetry written by kids preK-6 and advice from the author on how to use the writing prompts he used with the kids.

Today we tried to write poems based on dreams. There were some interesting poems like one about "a house with 12 doors and 3,000 windows" and a dream about robbing banks and ending up in jail. Then there were some less creative dreams... "I dream I will read a T,U,V,W book," "I dream I will pass the science test," and "I dream I will pass the 4th grade to the 5th grade."

Maybe the poems I wrote for the kids as models weren't imaginative or creative enough themselves. But I worry that maybe school and learning itself has lost an innate quality of creativity and discovery. The dreams of my students were telling in their serious, data-based quality. Now it's my job to find a way to spark that sense of wonder and discovery in my kids so that they can have dreams about more than tests and increasing their reading level.


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