Category Archive: craft

Fault Lines in the Constitution: A Review, Five Tips, + Giveaway!

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This new book by Cynthia and Sanford Levinson is a treasure trove of information as well as a handy example of many elements of inspiring nonfiction writing.

First Graders Get Crafty

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First graders use a mentor text to get crafty during a unit on informational writing.

Sharing Some Exciting News

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I’m proud to announce my second professional book with Stenhouse Publishers will be coming to you in the winter of 2016.

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

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

Craft Tables for You — Part I of III

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Craft tables are a way to organize one’s thinking about a books teachers will be use as a mentor text.  Since a good deal of the mentor text work we do with students… Continue reading

An Interview with Maribeth Boelts + a Giveaway of Happy Like Soccer

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Maribeth Boelts will be the visiting author for the graduate course I’m teaching about children’s literature and the teaching of writing this summer.  I’m SO EXCITED to meet her in person since I’ve… Continue reading

The Book Stack

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An eclectic little stack today. Click on the images to go to a link about the book. I’ve been enjoying books I can read a little here and a little there. This book,… Continue reading

Purpose, Process, & Craft with Carl Anderson

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Carl Anderson (aka: The Conferring Guy) has not only listened to the Beatles’ music; he has studied it.  He has determined by the Beatles wrote particular songs, how they wrote them, and what… Continue reading

Spilling Ink in the Classroom

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Nearly every professional book I’ve ever read has encouraged me to include guides about writing in the classroom writing center.  Year-after-year, I tried to search for books about writing for kids to stock… Continue reading

Picture Books in Upper Elementary School

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The Fall of 2006 brought me the savviest class I ever taught.  Nearly all 32 of them scoffed at me on Wednesday, September 6th when I pulled out Nothing Ever Happens on 90th… Continue reading

Planned & Unplanned Mentor Text Conferences

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I have been a bit of a mentor text aficionada for the past three and a half years.  It all started when I asked an incoming class of fifth graders this question at… Continue reading

Mentoring Primary Writers

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The past eight days have been exceedingly busy, while also being exceedingly great.  First, Ruth was here and we spent a lot of time planning out the final third of our book.  Then,… Continue reading

Personification, An Effective Ending, & More

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A copy of Laurie Halse Anderon‘s The Hair of Zoe Fleefenbacher Goes to School arrived at my home last week. I read it once and put it aside since I was unsure of… Continue reading

A New Source for Finding Mentor Texts

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I’m not recommending a children’s book you can use in your classroom today.  Instead, I have something better.  It’s a professional book about children’s books that every writing teacher needs to have improve… Continue reading

Professional Book: Crafting Writers K – 6 by Elizabeth Hale

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As I settled in my chair with a highlighter, pen, and sticky notes, I cracked open Crafting Writers K – 6 by Elizabeth Hale.  I started reading and was soon totally immersed in… Continue reading

Specific Examples of the Power of Three

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Last week I wrote about the power of three in writing.  I felt my post lacked specific examples of what this looks like in published writing.  So, I looked back at Carmen Agra… Continue reading

Learning More About Conventions Through the Close-Study of a Text

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I’ve been thinking a lot about conventions and their importance. Without proper conventions, how can a piece of writing hold its own? All of our young writers need to realize that published writers… Continue reading

Noticing Exclamation Points and Periods in a Published Text

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I’ve been preparing for a p.d. session on conventions that I’m leading with one of my colleagues next Friday.  Hence, I’m trying to look at picture books with an eye for grammar and… Continue reading

Punctuation Is NOT An Editing Tool: It’s a Crafting Tool!

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I started reading Dan Feigelson’s Book Practical Punctuation: Lessons on Rule Making and Rule Breaking in Elementary Writing yesterday.  It’s the first time I’ve sat down and read a book on grammar and… Continue reading