Monthly Archive: September, 2012

Reflections from Listening to M. Stiefvater

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Here’s the thing: I’m not really the kind of person who follows authors around and gets their signatures and takes photos with them. In fact, I’m rather shy when it comes to this… Continue reading

Where am I?

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Look who I spent the evening listening to… Yes, that is Maggie Stiefvater, YA novelist and one of my personal mentors when it comes to crafting a story. Later I’ll share some of… Continue reading

The Magic of Workshop

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Today I was working with a group of primary teachers (Hello North Webster Elementary School!) and we were talking about the silly things kids share during writing workshop. Sometimes their stories are outrageous… Continue reading

Paragraphs — Part II

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I took your wise words and put them together in a chart. It’s hanging in my office because I love how it is a reminder of the power of collaboration. It also restores… Continue reading

Hello Slicers

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Paragraphs — Part I

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How do you know when to start a new paragraph? Yep, that’s all for this post. Do some thinking and then leave an answer in the comments. It’s an important question and one… Continue reading

I Read Banned Books

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How will you celebrate the freedom to read during Banned Books Week, September 30 – October 6, 2012? Check out the official website.

Best First Draft

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When students move from their notebook to draft, I encourage them to write their best first draft. (Click here to see other posts I’ve written about best first drafts.) Something that I’m always… Continue reading

Topic Choice

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So often, we run into students who say, “I don’t know what to write about.” We work to help them develop topics. We make lists of writing ideas. We encourage them to explore… Continue reading

Slice of Life

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Woohoo! It’s Tuesday…even better, it’s Slice-time!

Scene Changes

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I’ve been trying to think through how to explain thinking in scenes to young writers in a way that makes it accessible. It seems they either write two scenes and call it done… Continue reading

Shana Tova

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Rosh Hashanah, which literally means “head of the year,” marks the beginning of a new Jewish year. The year 5773 begins tonight at sundown. Ten days after Rosh Hashanah is Yom Kippur. This… Continue reading

Craft Tables for You — Part III of III

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This week I’m sharing the Happy Like Soccer craft table my graduate students created.  My students worked in partnerships to flesh out explanations for craft moves they identified in Maribeth Boelts’s book on… Continue reading

Facing Discouragement

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I hesitate to write this blog post. Yet it needs written. Maybe for you or for the teacher next door. Definitely for me. This week I’ve had too many conversations with teachers who… Continue reading

Weekly SOLSC

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Today is the 11th anniversary of the September 11th Attacks. It’s hard to believe it’s been over a decade since that horrible day, when everything started out right and ended so catastrophically. Today… Continue reading

Words that are Speaking to Me

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Fresh activity is the only means of overcoming adversity. Johann Wolfgang von Goethe

Chatting with Leigh Hodgkinson + a Giveaway

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Ever since I was a little girl, I’ve loved books about bears.  Therefore, when I picked up Goldilocks and Just One Bear, which feels like the sequel to “Goldilocks and the Three Bears,”… Continue reading

Craft Tables for You — Part II of III

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This is the second in a series of three posts that include craft tables you can download for use during your conferences or strategy lessons.  If you missed last week’s post, which talked… Continue reading

Structure + Choice

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Here’s what I’ve been thinking about lately: How do we provide both structure and choice in writing workshop? Both are essential to empowering young writers. Structure is necessary to lift the level of… Continue reading

Annie and Helen Blog Tour

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I spent a lot of time reading biographies of prominent Americans when I was in third grade.  The biography I liked most was that of Helen Keller.  I admired her determination and courage. … Continue reading