Tag: inspiration

One way of looking at 13 cardinals 

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 that…

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?

Display and honor writers’ thinking (not just final products)

For starters, I’d always have one board that mimics a strategy I use in my writer’s notebook. I’d teach the strategy and invite students to try it—not only to try it in their notebooks but to post their ideas on the bulletin board as well. I’d choose a strategy that will serve students across genres so we can continue to fill the board for months at a time, just as I want them to re-use “old” strategies in their notebooks throughout the year, storing up ideas and inspiration for writing projects they haven’t even thought of (or I haven’t assigned) yet. After all, that’s exactly what I do in my writer’s notebook.

Now that’s a Story: Learn from a 1st Grade Writer

The story below is one of my favorites from our 2011 anthology, probably because I envy the author a bit. Click the video below to follow along as Cody reads it, then I’ll tell you why I’m jealous. Get the video and read more here. Written for Indiana Partnership for Young Writers

My 5 most frequently used notebook strategies

Images of dialogue recorded in Julie's notebooks

People always ask, “How do you come up with ideas for writing?” So I analyzed my writer’s notebook and identified my most frequently used strategies for recording, nurturing, and thinking about story content. Here’s what I found: