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 once lost a journal, left it behind at a breakfast diner in the heart of Boston… I didn’t sleep for two full days worrying about it. …Had it been noticed or unwittingly swept into the trash? …did anyone read it? Did they laugh? In the good way? Or cry? Did they see any potential? Did they like it? Boston is a literary city, after all, so there was a lot at stake for me.
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.
Good narrative writers don’t rely on punctuation to convey emotion. Good writers know that characters convey emotion. Their body language, their actions, and their speech reveal what they feel.
On the third anniversary of my mom’s death, I was visited by more than a dozen red cardinals in five days. I otherwise hadn’t seen one since Christmas, a full six months earlier. I looked up the meaning of cardinal sightings, though I had a vague memory that my mom had told me once thatContinue reading “One way of looking at 13 cardinals “
Originally published in April 2015 and updated this month, teacher/consultant Mary Roderique and I offer five quick reminders and how-tos for conferring in writing workshop.
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?
With Katherine Bomer’s book HIDDEN GEMS in mind, I take a close look at a text by an upper grade student and offer my analysis of what’s going well, what I’d teach next.
Get a step-by-step tour of how you might teach a poetry unit. Sample mini-lessons, noticing charts, conferring videos, conferring notes and more are included. Also includes “Teacher Try-Its” to help you fill your own writer’s notebook with material that you can teach from!
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.