Author Archive

My Last Day in New York City

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It rained today. Hard. Really, really hard. I had to run the windshield wipers on the highest setting just so I could see out. Hence, I didn’t do everything I had hoped to… Continue reading

WN Entry: Moving

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Right now I feel like the young girl (actually Patricia MacLachlan) in Maclachlan’s Memoir What You Know First. I’m preparing for a move from one east coast city to another and it feel… Continue reading

Strategy: Use photos to tell a story

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I often have my students bring in photographs of them at special times in their lives in order to help them spark their memory (and write a small moment story.) I discourage them… Continue reading

WN Entry: Fireflies

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I stepped out of the car in New Jersey last night. Home sweet home, I thought. I was coming home to my parents’ house for two nights. I slammed the passenger door to… Continue reading

Poetry Friday: Credo (A poem about love)

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Credo I believe there is something else entirely going on but no single person can ever know it, so we fall in love. It could also be true that what we use everyday… Continue reading

Looking at Your Place: Making a Memory (WN Entry)

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Everyone who attended George Ella Lyon‘s Session on Saturday Morning had the opportunity to make a memory after thinking about a drawing a floor plan of a home they’ve lived in. I went… Continue reading

I met George Ella Lyon!

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George Ella Lyon and I started communicating with each other this past winter when I needed to request permission for my students to mentor their “Where I’m From” Poems after hers when they… Continue reading

Poetry Friday: A Poem by Billy Collins

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I’m still on my Billy Collins kick. This has been going on since Saturday… I’m just loving his work. Here’s one I especially like: Introduction to Poetry I ask them to take a… Continue reading

WN Entry: Noticing People

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As I walked through my day today, I noticed the small things that people do that we often overlook. For instance, during my layover at O’Hare, I noticed that one of the women… Continue reading

Haiku

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I pulled the grays out but they’re sprouting back again they make me feel old. I wrote this after hearing Billy Collins speak last week. I thought it might be good to write… Continue reading

Rethinking Independent Writing Projects Plan Sheets

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M. Colleen Cruz wrote a stellar professional book, Independent Writing Projects: One Teacher, 32 Needs, Topics, and Plans. Her book inspired me to get my students going in Extended Day last year. I… Continue reading

Ode to My Second Cupcake

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Ode to My Second Cupcake You come from Buttercup Bake Shop On the Upper West Side. You sat amongst other delectable creations, Waiting to be picked. Your cake is golden. Your icing —… Continue reading

Did You Know 2.0

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Here’s the link in case you want to pass this video along to someone else: To join in the Shift Happens Conversation, click here. I particularly like their discussion questions, which are as… Continue reading

Advice from Poet Laureate Billy Collins

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I heard Poet Laureate Billy Collins speak today at Columbia University’s Roone Arledge Auditorium. He was fascinating, funny, and filled with ideas for teachers on how to be better teachers of poetry. Here… Continue reading

Poetry Friday: The Poets’ Room

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THE POETS ROOM has nothing in it. No comfortable furniture, no TVs, voices, clocks ticking, nothing except beats of air and blood pulsing through your lungs. You take a clean breath and quietness… Continue reading

Fourth of July Parade

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Hear the blare of bugles, Hear the beat of drums, Hear the sound of marching feet. Down the street there comes, Playing, marching, Marching, playing, In the sun and shade, All the music,… Continue reading

Resume Writing

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How many kids do you know that have resumes? Well, I now know five since I just helped to create resumes for five of my former students on Career Kids, which is a… Continue reading

Writing About Reading

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I wrote the following in a reflection after hearing Ellin Oliver Keene speak at Teachers College on April 3rd, 2006. I think what I wrote then is worthy of mentioning on this blog… Continue reading

Poetry Friday: The Final Days of School

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I put the following poem into my students’ fifth grade yearbook. The irony is that on the last day of school, which was two days ago, we DID do the chant greeting of… Continue reading

WN ENTRY: Kids on Leashes

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Ralph Fletcher gives young writers 11 tips for things to collect in their writer’s notebooks. Fletcher encourages writers to notice the world around them and write about it. Here’s what I observed/noticed this… Continue reading