Hi everyone! I’m Amanda from the blog  My Shoestring Life. You may also know me from Twitter and Instagram as MsAPlusTeacher. I’m so excited to be guest blogging today! Courtney is awesome and I’m so glad we get to collaborate on #WeCantPutBooksDown. Thanks so much for this opportunity Courtney!

Courtney asked me to write about some of my favorite poetry books… I was so excited! But then it hit me… How was going to need to narrow down my poetry collection to some of my most favorite poetry books?!  This was a fun but daunting task!  So, I hope you find some new books to load into your Amazon cart or check out from the library. Here are my five favorite types of poetry to inspire middle grade readers and writers!

Drum roll please…

If you’re teaching haiku poems then books the next three books are where it’s at!. Haikus are wonderful because they are short and precise and you have to really choose the best words. They’re great because I can trick my fifth grader haters into “writing poems” because they just have to make three short lines! My favorite haiku models are Hi, Koo, Dogku, and Guyku!

My next favorite types of poetry books to include in the classroom are concrete poetry books! My students just can’t get enough of poetry books that take on shapes. They just can’t get enough concrete poems. I’ve had to order multiple copies of each of my concrete poetry books just because they are so popular with my students. Some of our favorites are Technically, It’s Not My Fault and A Poke in the I. Technically, It’s Not My Fault includes poems about Murray the Fart, skateboarding, shooting hoops and the woes of having a cast!

The next books are my lists are some of my favorites to share with my students! After reading William Carlos Williams’ poem “This is Just to Say,” I have my students write apology poems. The poems they create are always half-hearted and hilarious! To my surprise, there are two amazing books that serve as excellent middle grade mentor texts. This is Just to Say and Forgive Me, I Meant to Do It: False Apology Poems were just the books I was looking for! Poems range from hamsters expressing sorrow for biting to a dodge ball game gone too far. But perhaps my favorite is from a little brother that just so “happens” to destroy his sister’s Barbie by rubbing off her face with sandpaper. But he’s really sorry. You will be laughing along with your students as you read both of these books!

I love color poems. They can be super simple are very complex. A personal favorite, Red Sings from the Treetops.  This is a picture book of color poems about the seasons. The author crafts such beautiful phrases plus the pictures in the book will turn any poetry hater, into a poetry lover. My students love seeing the world through each color’s lens. The book is also great for teaching mood. You feel the icy cold of winter and the happiness of spring!  Another great color poem read is Hailstones and Halibut Bones: Adventures in Poetry and Color.

But perhaps my favorite form of poetry to share with my students is double voice. These poems are great for teaching voice and point of year throughout the year and not just during a poetry unit. These short poems are also great for practicing fluency and those speaking and listening skills! A recent favorite is Seeds, Bees, Butterflies and More! : Poems for Two Voices. These nature inspired poems would be great for cross curricular connections in science.

Hope you saw a few favorites and few new to you reads!  It’s been a pleasure guest blogging and sharing some poetry love with all of Ramona Recommends’ readers!

Please leave some of your favorite poetry books in the comments below! 

Come check out who is guest blogging over at Jen's blog.
Sparkling in Second

Happy Sunday!

Hope you are all having a bookful day. Just stopping by really quick to give you my newest gem. Twice a year Scholastic comes to our school with lots of books for the kids to purchase. It is one of my favorite events, I wonder why? :) To help kids and parents know what to purchase, I create a helpful shopping list. Here is the deal!
 -Tomorrow morning before school, I will go into the book fair and check out all the wonderful titles and then create a list for the entire upper grade on which titles I believe are must haves. It is a win win situation. More books are sold and kids read awesome books. FYI-I have also made a list for the primary teachers to use as well. Click below for your copy. Have a great week!


Hi! Are you looking for ways to help parents build success in their children. I blogged about it over at Maria Dismondy's Blog


Do you know someone who is AWESOME? Do you know someone is TOTALLY AWESOME? Do you know someone with Autism? Wait, is it the same person? Oh yes! That is what I thought. Bring awareness for autism by wearing blue during the month of April. Students with Autism share the most magnificent thing, they share GRIT. They fight everyday do the impossible. I am proud to know some amazing kids who fight this battle everyday. They are TOTALLY AWESOME. Autism does not define them, they are still STRONG and GREAT kids.

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