Category Archive: authors

Keep Learning

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Today I read a few pages from Peter Johnston’s book, Choice Words. You know this book, right? If not, it is a small, powerful read that can change your teaching life forever. (If… Continue reading

Pretend it is Friday

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So I was planning to try a new kind of post last Friday. And then Friday came and went. How does this happen? So right now, let’s just pretend it is Friday. Or… Continue reading

Vintage Ayres {2007}: The Heart of It All

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I’m smiling at the phrase Vintage Ayres. It’s a little bit of a smirk because, really, am I old enough to qualify as vintage? Maybe not. But definitely so in blog years. I… Continue reading

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

Author Visit

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Maribeth Boelts gave an engaging and thought-provoking talk to my students and I last week.  She talked about so much more than just her books and her process — though she did that… Continue reading

Deeper Thinking About Notebook Work

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This week I had the opportunity to interview author John Claude Bemis. This is is latest book: I asked him about notebook work and his response led me to a deeper understanding of… Continue reading

Documenting Our Learning

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Sometimes I think about the amazing work happening in writing workshops, and then wonder if anyone else notices. Sometimes the things that are most amazing are small bits that pack big meaning. Sometimes… Continue reading

The Book Stack: Cynthia Leitich Smith

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One of our favorite reads is… The book is as great as it looks. I love the whimsical illustrations and the strong craft of the text. In fact, each time I read HOLLER LOUDLY by… Continue reading

GUEST BLOG POST: Growing as Writers through an Author Study

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Stella Villalba teaches English as a Second Language at Beechwood Elementary in Columbus, Ohio. Born in Buenos Aires, Argentina, she started her career in education teaching ESL in Asuncion, Paraguay. Stella also publishes… Continue reading

All-Write Conference

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I on purpose waited to write today’s post because I knew I’d have all kinds of ideas swirling after the All-Write conference. However, it is 10:15 and I’m just sitting down alone in… Continue reading

Bits of This & That

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Remember this letter that Allie sent to Eve Bunting last fall along with The Ghostly Scary Mystery she wrote dedicated to Eve Bunting? Allie got a response! Yes, there was a form letter,… Continue reading

Making Characters Come Alive

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I liked this book.  A lot. It’s sweet and charming, and makes me realize that maybe there’s a part of me that’s a hopeless romantic.  After I read it, I had to track… Continue reading

Reading Together (Ruth’s SOLS)

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“Excuse me Mom,” Sam said as we ended a chapter in The Magician’s Elephant. When he talks like this it always makes me smile. I pause and look at him. “You know, I’ve… Continue reading

Words that are Speaking to Me

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Creativity is allowing yourself to make mistakes. Art is knowing which ones to keep.” — Scott Adams Have you heard about Sara Zarr’s speech for the SCBWI conference in NY? Anyone lucky enough… Continue reading

Saturday Mornings

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This is my vision of you on Saturday mornings: A mug of something warm — coffee, tea, or chai — in your hands Snuggled in a comfy chair Allowing peace to replace the… Continue reading

Genre Choice

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Going into the last leg of the school year, I’d like to take a minute to encourage you to empower students to chose the genre they are going to write. It is important… Continue reading

Author Studies Help Children Write Better

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Last month I was consulting in a school with some primary grade teachers. They expressed concerns about infusing mentor texts into their classrooms. I provided them with some language for developing theories about… Continue reading

Memoir Monday: Origins of Writing

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I’ve been thinking a lot about the questions Pam Muñoz Ryan posed to the audience at the TCRWP Writing Institute last week. There are many reasons I write: to communicate with others quickly,… Continue reading

Greater Expectations

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Greater Expectations by Robin Turner is an excellent resource for secondary Writing Workshop teachers.  As a high school teacher, he shares real life experiences, authentic teaching points, superb advice, and high quality rubrics… Continue reading

Virtual Author Visit

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video visit_2, originally uploaded by happygirl_77. Yesterday was Ball State University’s first virtual author visit of the school year. Sue Price and Betsy Likens(middle school language arts teachers) joined their classes in order to… Continue reading