Steering My Craft: Am I Saramago

This blog post is part of an effort to refine my own work as a writer, and to strengthen my practice as a writing teacher. For each exercise, I’ll provide the directions, my effort, and a short reflection. The Assignment: Craft a passage using NO punctuation. Gulp. Here was my go: He tied his shoes yes allContinue reading “Steering My Craft: Am I Saramago”

Steering My Craft: Sound of Words Part 2

This blog post is part of an effort to refine my own work as a writer. For each exercise, I’ll provide the directions, my effort, and a short reflection. The Assignment: Write a(nother) passage that wants to be read aloud, this one dealing with a particular action, feeling, or emotion. Here’s where I landed: Yes.Please.Thank you.Tight words,Continue reading “Steering My Craft: Sound of Words Part 2”

Steering My Craft: Exercise 1-The Sound of Words

This blog post is part of an effort to refine my own work as a writer. For each exercise, I’ll provide the directions, my effort, and a short reflection. The Assignment: To craft a short passage that asks to be read aloud. The object is to have fun playing with words and their sounds. Here’sContinue reading “Steering My Craft: Exercise 1-The Sound of Words”

Summer Dreams

This post is in response to a bookcampPD challenge, asking teachers to think about what they dream about for the summer. Here was my submission. I can’t wait to see what my online colleagues have to say as well! …and you…? I’d love to know what you dream of doing this summer. Leave a commentContinue reading “Summer Dreams”

Troubleshooting: Questions Edition

It started out easy enough. My second graders were sharing the questions they had written with one another, and to promote supportive listening I had the kids nominate strong questions for a light-hearted “awards” ceremony. Our “Questies” consisted of 3 categories:*Questions we’re most curious to find the answer to*Big questions, that nobody really has theContinue reading “Troubleshooting: Questions Edition”

Making Lemonade

Now is about the time of year when I give my fifth grade students an assessment on literary analysis. We have spent a fair amount of class time learning how to write proper claims and arguments, and we have also discussed the type of language that is best suited for the tone of academic writing.Continue reading “Making Lemonade”

On Teaching and Transparency

I’m always complaining that I don’t have enough mentor texts to teach my students about reading and writing concepts. I can never get enough. That’s why I was so excited to introduce a concept to my two fourth grade groups yesterday and today. I got the idea from Kristin Ackerman and Jennifer McDonough’s book, Conferring withContinue reading “On Teaching and Transparency”

Ah, Fiction! We meet again.

I have a confession to make. I have not written fiction in…I cannot remember how long. There’s just something about writing fiction that stops me in my tracks. I don’t know what it is. Personal narrative? Poetry? Essay? I’m all in. Fiction? Move it along, nothing to see here. I’ve tried countless times, with stops andContinue reading “Ah, Fiction! We meet again.”

Right Poem, Wrong Assignment

Today I had my fourth graders write about something small, taken for granted, or unappreciated. We started with a poem I wrote and shared about lowly feet. Then it was time for the kids and me to get cracking. I meant to do the assignment along with them. I really did. But I couldn’t thinkContinue reading “Right Poem, Wrong Assignment”

More Important Things

Once again, I got to enjoy composing alongside my students today. This group of fourth graders was also working on “important” poetry, but we decided on pencils as our object. Here’s my contribution: The Important Poem The important thing about a pencil Is that it is sharp. It’s long, it’s yellow And you can twirlContinue reading “More Important Things”