Wonder Media Poem: Aurora (Surfing the Solar Wind)

Today’s Wonder of the World poem is about the colorful phenomenon of the Aurora. I dove back into Webmaker to find a way to liven up my poem about “surfing the solar wind” and came upon a cool space-themed template by my friend, Chad.

Aurora poem

Click on the image to go to the multimedia poem. As always, there is a “remix” button at the top of the Webmaker page. Click that and remix away.

Peace (in the sky),

Slice of Life: Writing A Poem about Writing a Poem About a Poem

WRITE a slice of life story on your own blog. SHARE a link to your post in the comments section. GIVE comments to at least three other SOLSC bloggers.

There’s a bit of convergence here, as I am writing poetry every day with Mary Lee over at a Year of Reading, while also keeping an eye out for the work that Chris Lehman is doing with teachers as poets, and of course, this familiar home of Slice of Life.


The other day, Chris suggested that we write a poem about a “sliver,” which just seems to echo so nicely with Slice of Life. I wrote about watching one of my students writing a poem in what we call “inside this” — using figurative language to capture the essence of inanimate objects. He was struggling and then found inspiration with the assignment itself — writing a poem about the poem he was supposed to be writing about.

So, I wrote a poem about his poem about the poem. And then I made it tappable.

Peace (in the slice),

Wonder Poem: Everest

Today’s Wonder poem is about Mount Everest, and the mountain and its role as  an unpredictable force of nature has been in the news lately (sadly) with the avalanche that has taken the lives of native guides. Mary Lee captures that role of the mountain in her powerful poem this morning. I decided to go after the mountain with wonder, in the form of a haiku.

Created with Haiku Deck, the free presentation app


Peace (in a few lines),


Wonder Poem: Your Tongue as Pen to Stories of the World

Today’s Wonders of the World Poem is focused on the Great Barrier Reef. I found myself entranced first by the colors, which are brilliant, and then on the sobering news of how Global Warming and environmental change is killing off the reef, making it gray and solid. The poem then become a metaphor poem (or is every poem ultimately a metaphor poem in the end?)

Your Tongue as Pen to Stories of the World (Great Barrier Reef)

You used to splatter me with paint:
bright blues;
interesting oranges;
radiant reds.

I’d lounge here quietly in this cascade of colors,
letting the currents bring you in and out,
and in again as with the tides,
your tongue as pen to stories of the world.

But even I can hardly fail to notice that
with each passing day,
our hues have become a bit more duller
and our movements, ever slower.

Where once the solid form of us was teeming with love
and alive with wonder,
now, it is becoming little more than
a hardened reminder,
a silent statue of remembrance to
what once might have been.

Here is the podcast, too.

Audio and voice recording >>

Peace (on the reef),

DigiLit Sunday: Mozilla Webmaker


I feel like I can’t shout quite loud enough about the resources being developed over at the Mozilla Foundations’s Webmaker space. Here, the philosophy of the “open, remixable web” comes to fruition with a series of projects and tools that invite you to remix and remake in your own light, with tutorials on coding and creating that provide entry points for just about anyone with an interest. Mostly using its Thimble (a webpage-style publishing tool) and Popcorn (a video and digital story tool) platforms, Webmaker offers free and interactive ways to become engaged with digital literacies.

You will need an account with Webmaker to save work (but you can tie it to other email accounts) and I am still navigating the best way for my sixth graders to create work in our environment where they don’t have school emails (ack). But at the very least, you can explore the world of making the web with its remixable templates, and there is the built-in ease of publishing in a matter of minutes just by clicking the “remix” link on any of the projects, tinkering with code and text, and remaking it into something new.

There are also sections at the Webmaker space for how to teach with its tools, where all sorts of “kits” are available for free, and freely remixable for your own situation. You can also use their blank templates for your own lesson plans and ideas.

Go ahead. Remix. Publish. Share. Make stuff and have fun.

Peace (in the open world),

The Return of Making Learning Connected (aka, CLMOOC)

We’re starting our planning for this summer’s Making Learning Connected Massive Open Online Collaboration (notice how we don’t say “course” — that’s important) or CLMOOC. We’re in a very soft launch mode right now, but you can visit the FAQ page and add your email to our update lists.

Basically, it will be a summer of play and exploration and learning, all under the umbrella of Innovator Educator‘s Summer to Make, Play and Connect. We had great success, and a blast, last summer and we’re working to build on that experience for Round Two. Making Learning Connected runs from June 13-August 1, 2014 and we use the Twitter hashtag #clmooc.

More information (and periodic teasers) to come …

Peace (and play),



Wonder Poem Interactive: A Drink from the Mouth of the Well

One thing I have been intrigued about when it comes to doing some research on the topics for the Wonders of the World poems are the translation of names of places on the list that Mary Lee has pulled together. So, this morning, when I was learning about Chichen Itza, the Mayan city, I was intrigued by the poetic translation of the name as “the mouth of the well,” and that led me into my poem.

As some of you know, I’ve been trying to work in different technology as best as I can into my poetry writing (although I am starting to feel that I might just fade the technology and concentrate on the writing as the second half of the month unfolds. We’ll see …)

This morning, I decided to check out Mozilla’s Webmaker space, to see if there were any cool remixable projects that might work well with my poem of looking ahead and looking behind. I did find one, although it is a bit more advanced than I am used to. But the beauty of Webmaker is that the original creator leaves notes in the code for the remixer (Webmaker rocks!), so all I had to do was follow the instructions to create my own interactive poem page of “A Drink from the Mouth of the Well.”

Drink from the Mouth of the Well

(Click on image and it will take you to the poem)

I like how it came out, with each hovering over a section of the poem revealing a stanza. I did podcast the poem but could only fit it at the bottom of the page, which is not ideal, although I suppose this way, the audio does not disrupt the reading of the poem in sections.

Peace (in the remix)


Web Literacy Pathways Resource (from Mozilla)

This is an amazing resource about Web Literacy ideas. Click on a skill and see a pathway forward towards new skills that connect back to the original inquiry. (nicely done, Laura Hilliger and other folks at Mozilla). Plus, the whole resource is remixable, so you could revise it for your own audience and purpose.

(Thanks to Mike Downes for the screenshot and for Doug Belshaw for sharing this out)

Peace (along the many paths),