Tuesday, July 9, 2013

National Writing Project Day #2 & Photo Editing with Pixlr

Day #2 of my National Writing Project experience is now past me and we had another great day!  I am coming away with so many awesome ideas for teaching writing.  I hope that if you get the opportunity to experience the NWP at a site near you next summer, you jump at the chance!  You won't be sorry!

Today's lesson that I would like to share is called "Roll the Dice" poetry, compliments of one of our facilitators, Amy Harter.  Amy is a high school teacher from Milwaukee and has been participating in the Writing Project since she went through the program in 2010.  She is one of the most creative and energetic educators I know!  I encourage you to visit her blog at www.universeastext.com to read more about her great ideas!

Begin by assigning different topics to each student.  They can be very random or specific to something you are studying -- multiplication, ecosystems, the American Revolution, a human body system, etc.  Some of the random topics from today included soap, happiness, quilts, and weddings so you can see that you can use just about anything for a topic.

You take two 10-sided dice (if you don't happen to have any handy, you can use virtual dice at Roll Dice Online or on many SMART Board document software.)  Students will roll the dice a total of 6 times.  The first time they roll, they add the amounts on the two dice together and that equals the number of words in their poem's TITLE. 

The second roll added together equals the number of words in the first LINE of the poem, the third roll added together equals the second LINE, and so on. 

There will be a total of one title and 5 lines in this poem.

Here's the catch....each line has to be its own sentence.

So here's what I wrote today....The random topic I was assigned was "Favorite T-Shirt."  (Just focus on the bold face words.  The number that is in the parentheses is the sum of the two dice to determine how many words are in each line.)

Title (13 words): 
An Ode to my Favorite T-Shirt, I Will Keep You Forever and Ever

Line 1 (18 words) : 
Summer camp, baseball team, teeny bopper band, the color green, my t-shirts, soft from love, all promote you.

Line 2(9 words):  Though worn and frayed, you’ve grown comfy with age.

Line 3: (7 words):  I wear you now when I sleep.

Line 4: (8 words):  Keeping me company as I count jumping sheep.

Line 5 (10 words):  T-shirt, know my love and respect for you is deep.

It's pretty goofy, I know, but it was a lot of fun to write and extra challenging with limiting myself to using an exact number of words.  I hope you will give it a try!

Today is Tuesday so I'm going to link up with Holly from Fourth Grade Flipper for Tried It Tuesday to share a fun photo editing tool I found this week called Pixlr.  (Was I the only one that didn't know about this fun tool???)  Holly's regular weekly Tried It Tuesday returns in August so I'm glad I can share this now.

Pixlr is a free online photo editing tool that is a lot of fun to play around with.  (And I'm sure spare time is something we all have right now, right???) 

You can choose your photos from your computer and play around with the effects.  I had so much fun with this!  Here are a few of the family that I doctored up...

Finally, before I go and work on my big project that I have to present at NWP on Friday (I'm researching how to use mentor texts to revise writing), I want to remind you to enter my Rafflecopter drawing to win a $10 Amazon gift card and one of my Writer's Notebook Divider Pages sets from my TpT Store.  The contest ends Wednesday night so enter below!

a Rafflecopter giveaway

Until tomorrow!


  1. The National Writing Project sounds amazing!
    TGIF- Third Grade Is Fun

  2. So, I know you have a big project to do, BUT I nominated you for the Liebster Award. I totally understand if you can't do it until after your presentation on Friday! Good Luck!
    <3 Alison
    Nomination for Liebster Award

  3. I edit all of my pictures with Pixlr. It makes great collages, too. Megan @ I Teach. What's Your Super Power? has a good tutorial.

    My favorite inspirational quote is from Maya Angelou and is my PMA Wednesday for tomorrow. I hope you will come link up again.


  4. Nope, definitely not the only one not using Pixlr! I don't know anything much about ANY photo apps since I just got my first iPhone last week! This is all new to me. I still take pictures with my "regular camera"! Who does that?!? Haha. Thanks so much for sharing and linking up! I might be able to try it now that I have a phone to download apps on to!
    Fourth Grade Flipper

    1. Going back through the link ups to organize them on my toolbar and just realized I wrote a comment on your most recent post thinking it was your link up! Glad I came across more of your "Writing Project" information. It is outstanding!!

  5. I've used Pixlr, but not for my photos...yet.
    My favorite quote:

    "Our prime purpose in this life is to help others. And if you can't help them, at least don't hurt them."

    His Holiness the Dalai Lama

    Life in Room 24

  6. I love this poetry idea. What a fun way for kids to work on free verse.

    On the Trail of Learning

  7. Oh man, you mentioned my OWA! Now I'm famous!!! :D Hi, Jennifer! Could I ask you to put a hyperlink to my blog (www.universeastext.com) on my name in this post? I'd really appreciate it! I am very much enjoying following your insights on teaching and life.

    -Amy H.

  8. I love this poem!!!! I will definitely have to remember this. If you think of it can you remind us in April :) just kidding. Best of luck in your project!

    :) nicole
    Tadpole Tidbits
    www.mrscorbitt. blogspot. com

  9. I really like the dice poem. I think it could be a fun switch up during our poetry study. Amy's website looks like a good one to investigate further too! Thank you for sharing!

    Teaching Tales Along the Yellow Brick Road


Thank you for taking the time for stopping by! I would love it if you would leave me a comment to let me know that you were here. (Please make sure that you are not a "No Reply Blogger" so that I can email you back.)