Teachers, Will You PLEASE Answer Jane Yolen’s Questions???

During #MMPoetry 2014, in the comments section of one of my reflective posts about voting results, Jane Yolen posed a series of questions that have yet to be answered nearly a year later.

But I know the answers are out there, so I am hoping to round up some of last year’s classroom teacher-leaders for their insights.

Here are Jane’s questions:

“I would be interested in hearing from teachers and how they use the competition in their classrooms. Do they have children read the poems aloud? Do they discuss them? Take a straw vote first before the real vote? Is there vote trading? Do they do ALL the poems or just pick and chose a handful? DO they try each poem with judge and jury, prosecuting and defense attorneys? Or do the children just read what they want, silently at their desks, pick what they like best without discussion? Are the votes open or secret?”

TEACHERS: Please share your experiences below. Include the age/grade level of your students. Thanks!

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  • http://www.glosonblog.com Gloson

    Yes, teachers, please answer this question! :)

  • mrsw6

    I teach sixth grade, and we have our Integrated Language Arts students for two 42 minute periods a day. Typically, I choose 1-2 match-ups and display them on the Smartboard. I read the poems out loud, and the kids reread orally or silently and discuss in their table groups. Then, we have a show of hands to vote. Because we only have the teacher computer, we cast one vote for ALL of our classes. I also encourage the kids to go on at home, read more of the pairings, and vote there. I wish we had more time to really delve into all the wonderful poems each round.

    • http://www.thinkkidthink.com/ Ed DeCaria

      Thanks so much for your reply. Was the “show of hands” generally closer to unanimous or closer to an even split?

      • Mrsw6

        There is typically a “clear winner,” but I hope for the tighter races, which happens sometimes, because the kids feel more strongly about going home and casting their own vote if there is more of a debate about it.

        • http://www.thinkkidthink.com/ Ed DeCaria

          Would you be interested in or have the ability to your classroom’s “score” instead of a single vote? That is, if you have 20 students, and 16 like Poem A and 4 like Poem B, would you want/be able to submit “16” for Poem A and “4” for Poem B instead of just selecting “Poem A” from a radio button?

          • Mrsw6

            That would be great. Probably too late for this year, but please consider it for next!