Category: publications

Reckoning

Navigating early motherhood is hard. Doing it without your own mother—because she dies unexpectedly while you’re in the throes of it—is perhaps harder. In the wake of loss, middle-aged first-time mom Julie Patterson considers whether grief dramatically changed her children’s personalities, or if her children dramatically changed her grief.

Writing as a way of life

I was everything in those stories that I thought I couldn’t be in real life: a sassy smart aleck with an uncanny ability to insult and/or shame all those who wronged me in any way. I also wrote letters to my mom (my frequent antagonist) and then tore them into tiny undetectable pieces and threw them away. I suppose it was always about the process of writing for me, about how I felt after writing, not about publishing my end products.

I have lived (and write about it)

Notebook entry about trip to hair salon

I am honored to be a contributor to a blog that I love, Sharing Our Notebooks curated by children’s author and teacher Amy Ludwig VanDerwater. I have given writing teachers a quick peek inside my notebooks in the past, but with Amy’s blog as inspiration, this time I am baring entries that fed the works closest to my heart.

Ways to celebrate, publish student writing

What do you do at the end of unit of study? Your students have spent weeks cultivating their texts through a complete unit of study…What do you do to reward their efforts and emulate “publishing” for an audience beyond the teacher?

Notebook strategies to help generate and revise poems

Here are five notebook strategies that can support your poetry unit. They also fit or could be adapted to other units of study. In fact, it’s not a bad idea to teach the same notebook strategy in multiple units—that demonstrates how valuable the strategy is across genres, subject matter, audiences, purposes, etc.

Endings: What Can You Teach?

To me, endings are all about the take-away. What do you want readers to know, feel, do, think or wonder about after they finish reading your story? You can’t write an ending until you decide that.