Tuesday, December 2, 2014

Special Message from Cynthia Robinson

 NH Poetry Out Loud's previous coordinator penned this greeting to share...

"Hello POL teachers! Miss you all, and hope you're well! As I was talking with Alexandra today about semifinals and finals processes, I was reflecting on how very hard it is to predict the judging outcome. Some of you will remember that I did some digging into the data to discover how the points shake out. I had been under the impression that it was the Dramatic appropriateness score that was the X factor, but found it really was a combination of ALL of the criteria. Accuracy certainly counts big, but there really was no one criteria or judging point that consistently makes the difference between the top scores and the low scores. To me, this is a good thing, even though it makes the preparation hard. What it means is that your students DO need to prepare the whole package! To feel the poem, become the poem, know it cold, and express it clearly and confidently! And then....each presentation is received by a group of human judges, whose responses can not be completely predicted! At some point in the process students must let go of their own experience of the poem, and allow their audience to have their own experience of the presentation. The joy of POL is that it's all good! They are all already champions for taking that first step to share their poem with even just one person. Very best to you all. I hope to make it to a semifinal or the finals this year- always such a joy to feel the students' excitement for their poems! Cynthia

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