Wednesday, June 29, 2016

SJVWP Reunion Day with Juan Felipe Herrera

Juan Felipe Herrera addressed our group. Juan Felipe Herrera is a poet, performer, writer, cartoonist, teacher, and activist. Herrera has been the United States Poet Laureate since 2015. The son of migrant farm workers, Herrera was educated at UCLA and Stanford University, and he earned his MFA from the University of Iowa Writers' Workshop.

I loved how he transitioned by playing the harmonica. He had everyone up on their feet and participating in a fun and safe manner.

He read many of his poems to us throughout the day as well as have us read along with him or repeating after him as he read. 

He had a printed hand out which I have posted on another post. There is so much that he has taught us about writing that can be used in any content area. These methods and strategies will work in my math classroom as well as my science class. Learning is learning and absorbing information is best when we use many strategies. It is like the more you incorporate the five senses, the more you will absorb.

There are so many cultures in our community. Likewise there are so many diverse cultures in our classroom. 

There are three things that are most important according to Mr. Herrera's mother: Be kind, be respectful, and to find happiness. Live these three things and everything else is just the icing on the cake. 

Skate Fate is one of his books full of funny poems and some serious ones. The book is dedicated to a boy that was shot in an apparent hate crime. He came open about being gay. The kid continued to write and leave poems all over the place. 

Have you ever had a dueling word wall? I think if I had opposing word walls and one line of students face the one wall and the other set of students face the other wall and as the students go down the line listening and writing what they hear being said, it is a mix of both word walls. I am looking forward to trying this with my students this year.

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