Wednesday, February 11, 2015

What's In Your Desk Drawer? Day 8

(This post is part of a series about the weird stuff teachers have in their desk drawers. You can read more about this project here, and I hope you'll share the stories of the weird stuff you have in your desk too!)

A mystery container!

In my desk drawer I have this container...which I think is an old tub for frosting (which I was thrifty enough to save, because I'm sure I'll find a use for it!)

What could be inside?

Oh, you'll never guess.

Here, take a peek:

Have you seen these before?

(A bunch of random words? What are these for?)

My guess is that if you are of a certain age, you'll remember these.

Cliché of the late 90's, it's refrigerator poetry! Strips of magnetic tape with words printed on both sides. Stick them to the side of the fridge, and start your creative juices flowing!

Cheesy, right?

But perhaps there is something going on here. For instance, I just randomly stirred through the pile, and found this poem in the words I grabbed:

Okay, so Shakespearian sonnet it ain't. I'm pretty sure no one is going to be wooed by these words of love, no matter how breathily spoken. (Yikes.)

So this is all just silliness, right?

Let's try again...


Bruise juice.


Suddenly I'm feeling like there might be a poem there. Or at least the seed of something...

Let's try another!


Sumptuous concrete landscape...

That one has promise. I like the mental imagery of this one so much, I actually hung it up on the side of my filing cabinet. You can just see the edge of my globe in the picture above. Maybe a good reminder--seeing those juxtaposed--that we (I) have a responsibility to care for the earth? Lest it all become a "sumptuous concrete landscape?" Or perhaps a call to be outdoors, in a sumptuous (glorious) concrete (tactile) landscape?

Today I'm thinking about the silliness of refrigerator poetry...but at the same time, I wonder if it can't provide a hook to help kids (or grown-ups?) break through a creative block. Or help them give voice to a poem they already have inside of themselves?

As a student, I never enjoyed poetry much--either reading poems, or writing them. I wonder if the silly-but-safe approach of refrigerator poems might have helped?

I'm not trying to beat up my English teachers of yore, please don't hear it that way. I'm thinking that this might be a good reminder for me: I need to make the things we are learning relevant to my students. How can I "hook" them? How can I "get" them? Because I already know the content; I already love the content. But they...might not be as enthusiastic about it as I am. do I make it accessible to them? How do I make it safe for them?

(Dare I say it?)

How do I make it fun for them?

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