Sunday, November 22, 2015

The Mayflower

Sailing with three masts
And a crew of twenty-eight,
The Mayflower ship
Brought Pilgrims to their fate.

The year was 1620.
The ship was rather small.
The trip was very rough,
But the Pilgrims felt a call.

After ten long, stormy weeks,
The ship landed on the beach
Of a Massachusetts bay;
New land had been reached!

A hundred left from England;
A hundred crossed the sea;
A hundred landed safely,
In the land of the free.

Wednesday, October 14, 2015

North or South?

Is Kentucky in the north?
Is it a southern state?
Ever since the Civil War
There’s been some great debate.

We speak in southern accents,
We like bourbon and barbecue,
And, by and large, the Baptists
Fill the Sunday morning pew.

But, we also shoot for baskets,
Our winters can be harsh,
And when we clean our clothes,
It sometimes sounds like “warsh.”

So choose a side and claim it,
And be Kentucky proud;
Whether you say “you” or “ya’ll” –
In Kentucky, both allowed!

Saturday, September 26, 2015

What is Science?

Learning in the Sciences
Means "making" every day --
Making messes, testing theories,
Making learning out of play!

Sunday, August 16, 2015

The Bigger Goal

Little Penny Perfect
Always makes straight A’s,
She sits up front no matter what
And seeks the teacher’s praise.

Little Sammy Struggle
Sits in the very back,
His mind begins to wander
Due to skills that he may lack.

Mrs. Brand-New-Teacher
Sees them both (and all the rest),
She knows that children learn
When the goal is not a test.

So, she helps Penny Perfect
To focus on real skills
And to learn authentically
Not excel at practice drills.

And she helps Sammy Struggle
Recognize that learning’s more
Than memorizing facts
That to him are such a bore.

And all the other children
In that teacher’s class
Learn and grow and think,
And not just merely pass.

by Kathy Mansfield, 2015

Thursday, August 6, 2015

What is Social Studies?

(Inspired by the C3 Framework)

What is Social Studies?
Is it knowing lots of dates?
Is it naming every country
And their economic rates?

I think Social Studies
Is all about the “why” –
Inquiring in our world,
Not afraid to ask and pry.

It’s being civic-minded,
It’s applying what we learn,
It’s evaluating sources
And learning to discern.

Social Studies means
Asking every chance,
Knowing history patterns,
Supporting our own stance.

But the learning doesn’t end
With answers we derive,
We put it all in action
And make Social Studies thrive!

By Kathy Mansfield, 2015

Thursday, December 11, 2014

My PGES

Here's a fun poem during this holiday season about the new Professional Growth and Effectiveness System (PGES) being implemented in our state this school year. School librarians are participating in a pilot this school year utilizing a framework specific to them, so I hear lots of feedback about their participation in the system. They are certainly excited about a tool that is built specifically for them! (see related post here)


My PGP is written and
My SGG is planned;
My peer observer now proclaims
She is my biggest fan!

My admin saw my framework,
And he saw all that I do.
Student voice is next
To get the kiddos’ view.

I liked the self-reflection;
I could see where I might grow.
I found where I’m accomplished,
And that is good to know!

I think I’ll take a breath now
And reflect on what I’ve done –
Lots of thought and work,
And some of it was fun!

Monday, November 17, 2014

Common Core Craziness

Common Core craziness
Has reared its head again
With misinformed pundits
Adding to the din.

"Obama-Core!" they shout,
"Math we can't compute!
To heck with higher standards;
Give them all the boot!"

But, by and large I see
A crowd who hasn't read
Any of the standards;
They just repeat what others said.

When I ask someone to quote
A standard they don't like,
I usually get a hem and haw
And told to "take a hike."

Instead of reading for themselves
The standards on their own,
The critics seem to blindly grasp
Opinions out on loan.

"That book is Common Core!
It's not worthy for the shelves!"
Hearing that's a clue
They've not read standards for themselves.

The standards don't propose
Books that should be read;
They give some sample prose
Of text complexity instead.

The standards help our students
Know and understand
Instead of recitation
Of answers that are canned.

So, go and take a look --
Read the Common Core,
Then form your own opinion
After reading, not before.