Poetry Month Day 6: What it’s Like

Hey kids! In honorof National Poetry Monthlet’s try a little FUN with SIMILES Ever wonderwhat it’s like to teacha group ofeleven-year-oldsa new thingin technology? Forget herding catsor nailing Jell-o to the wall. It’s like putting puppies in a boxcleaning raw egg with your bare handsriding a bike on top of a skateboardplaying checkers with sixContinue reading “Poetry Month Day 6: What it’s Like”

Story Challenge Day 21: You Asked For It…

…you got it! I had some folks mention yesterday that boy, it might be cool to see a story I’ve told. Well…after digging around, I found a video of one! There are others I’m trying to dig up (especially The Great Banana Fight of 1978), but this one below is a favorite. I made thisContinue reading “Story Challenge Day 21: You Asked For It…”

Story Challenge Day 18: A Nod to William Carlos Williams

So much depends upon Giggly fourth graders Writing new poems And finding their power simplicity. specificity. clarity. there are worse things to teach… Interested in learning more about the March Slice of Life Challenge, or wanting to read more great posts? Head over to the Two Writing Teachers site!

Story Challenge Day 14: On Letting Things Marinate

I’ve had a lot more writing time with my kids, and it’s one of the things I’m proudest of this year. It’s something kids look forward to, because they get to spend time writing whatever it is they choose. It’s a class session I really look forward to, because I get to be eyeball-deep inContinue reading “Story Challenge Day 14: On Letting Things Marinate”

Story Challenge Day 13: Two Years

Two years. It’s been two years since we packed up our loveys for a couple of weeks of online learning before spring break. Two years since kids, backpacks stuffed to the brink with textbooks and worksheet packets and iPads and school supplies, flooded the hallway with the same kind of excitement and anticipation that usuallyContinue reading “Story Challenge Day 13: Two Years”

Story Challenge Day 11: The Important Thing

Note: Inspired by Margaret Wise Brown’s The Important Book, I’m working on these alongside my students. Enjoy! FRIENDSThe important thing about friends is that they are friendly.They talk to you,And they go for coffee.They give you thingsAnd go on walks with you, And they show you the good and not-so-good Parts of yourselfYou hide fromContinue reading “Story Challenge Day 11: The Important Thing”

Story Challenge Day 9: Signs of Spring

when I look at a group of kids and realize, “Oh! They’re not third graders anymore. They’re fourth graders waiting to happen.” Or, “Yesterday I was looking at fifth graders. Now I’m looking at middle schoolers.” Really. It happens in a day. They just…turn, transform, evolve.

Story Challenge Day 7: Class Assignment

My fourth graders are experimenting around with poetry. We started out by journaling how we were feeling. I joined them in the writing (and no, I didn’t get distracted this time). Here’s what I wrote: Then I demonstrated my thought process for how I might choose which words go on which line. (More on thatContinue reading “Story Challenge Day 7: Class Assignment”

Story Challenge Day 3: Teaching Detour, Told in Real Time

From time to time, folks ask what it’s like teaching a classroom full of gifted-talented children. What does a day in your room look like? This post, I think, says it all. Where it starts, what my intentions are, and where it goes – all of it – puts what I do in a nutshell.

Slice of Life Challenge Day 2: Once a Lovey, Always a Lovey

I’ve been teaching a while. Twenty-seven years, in fact. And when you’ve been teaching twenty-seven years, and you keep up with some of your former students, there’s something amazing that happens. You get to see them grow up. You get to see them step into their lives, into the world as adults and selves inContinue reading “Slice of Life Challenge Day 2: Once a Lovey, Always a Lovey”