Category Archive: character development

3 Steps to Building A Learning Community: Vision. Intention. Purpose.

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The young writers sitting in our classroom will rise above the fears and struggles of being a writer, but it will take intentional planning, repetitive teaching, daily writing, and reteaching. Writing is hard work. Students don’t become writers because we have writing workshop. Writers become writers because teachers have clear intentions and a vision of what’s possible.

Creating Characters as Real as Spit by Maribeth Boelts

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Maribeth Boelts provides us with tips for creating authentic, unforgettable characters in stories.

Four Books for Your Summer Reading List

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These four titles are inspirational and useful resources for teachers. Leave a comment on this post for a chance to win one of them.

Getting Unstuck

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“You can’t wait for inspiration. You have to go after it with a club.” -Jack London

Force Field for Good and a Giveaway!

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Learn about Barry Lane’s newest book, Force Field for Good and enter for the giveaway!

The Meaning of Maggie Book Review + Win a Copy of a Fabulous Read

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Soon-to-be-released The Meaning of Maggie by Megan Jean Sovern is a lovely book that offers plenty of opportunities to study high-level character development.

Be Your Higher Self

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Are you being your higher self? It’s not always easy. Barry Lane and Colleen Mestdagh gave me a lesson in teaching this idea to my students through song, writing and conversation.

Connecting with Characters

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My husband and I spent ten hours watching “The Newsroom” this summer.  We DVRed all of the episodes so we could watch them at our leisure.  By episode four I was hooked by… Continue reading

What does she mean add details?

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My daughter shook a paper in front my face, with her other hand on her hip she said, “I lost points because she [the teacher] said I have to add more details. How… Continue reading

Highlights from the Week

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I have been in a lot of different writing workshops lately. Just this week I’ve been in 13 writing workshops and have met with 13 different teachers in either reflective practice meetings or… Continue reading

Winding Down the Knuffle Bunny Trilogy

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Knuffle Bunny Free: An Unexpected Diversion, by Mo Willems, was released last week.  This book is the final part of the Knuffle Bunny Trilogy. Initially I felt sad when I learned Knuffle Bunny… Continue reading

Comprehensive Character Description

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In order to create the world of a story for a reader, it’s necessary to engage in character development.  Writers must make characters come alive in their minds if they’re going to create… Continue reading

Join Us for Today’s SOLSC

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Last week I was chatting with a second grader about characters in stories.  I said, “As a reader, I know you’ve noticed that characters in stories usually change in some way.” “No they… Continue reading

A New Mentor Text: Developing A Character

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It’s hard to develop characters – well.  It’s even harder to develop a character that’s young, irritating, and lovable all at once, isn’t it?  I’ve often noticed this when my students try to… Continue reading

Developing Realistic Fictional Characters

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I was assessing my students in Reading in a colleague’s office today.  As a student was finishing up a passage silently, I began looking at her walls.  I found a great chart on… Continue reading

Character Traits

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I just put together a list of character traits for my students, ranking them as positive, negative, or a mix between the two for an upcoming character study unit we’re doing in Reading… Continue reading

Ideas for Creating a 3-D Character from Today’s M.L. Active Engagement

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First, I have to say that today’s lesson I taught, which was adapted from Session 11 of Calkins & Cruz’s Book on Fiction Writing in Grades 3 – 5 is AWESOME. It’s all… Continue reading

Messy Mountain

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I filled in the last three boxes of my story mountain during today’s W.W. I just added my character’s feelings/thinking in blue to the mountain when I got home. Then I started thinking… Continue reading

Walking the Walk

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As I was conferring with my students today, I realized that many of their fictional characters were just them, but with different names. (They were choosing seed ideas today and developing their characters.)… Continue reading