March: Blowing in Like a Poem

So many little miracles happened for me today. I got a hug from a reserved second grader. A tricky third grade class was beautifully behaved. And this morning the world brought me a seed for a poem, which I carried in my pocket and thought about through the morning. And when my fifth graders heldContinue reading “March: Blowing in Like a Poem”

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”

Finding Trusted Readers

Sometimes, I don’t have all the answers. (Whaaaaatttt? Stop the presses! And don’t tell my children.) Naw, just kidding. But really. I know I’m not the only one who gets blind to my own writing, unable to either see or overcome the shortcomings of my craft. That’s when I need somebody else’s eyes on my work.Continue reading “Finding Trusted Readers”

Using Images to Establish Mood

A little while ago, my fourth graders and I began to pair poetry and art to show how words and images are powerful creators of emotional imagery. First, we talked about art. What mood do artists create, and what techniques do they use? Color? Light? Shade? Brush strokes? Position and treatment of the subjects? It wasContinue reading “Using Images to Establish Mood”

When in Rome

Whenever I assign my kids creative writing, I like to join along. For starters, it helps keep my own creative juices flowing. More importantly, I want my students to see me as a writer, right along with them. I want them to see what successes struggles I encounter as I work to improve my craft. Today,Continue reading “When in Rome”

Shangri-La

You know what this stuff is, right? To the uninitiated, it’s just a big old mess of math supplies. Well, actually, you’re right. That’s what it is. But really? That’s not what it is. You see, I’m a teacher. The desire for new school supplies runs in my veins. The yearly school supply order bringsContinue reading “Shangri-La”