I teach kids it’s okay to be rejected

Rejection proves that my students are indeed writers I teach kids it’s okay to be rejected. I teach them it’s okay to fail and That it’s good to receive a rejection letter because That’s what writers do: They get turned down. I teach kids it’s okay to be rejected. I teach them to risk itContinue reading “I teach kids it’s okay to be rejected”

My students confuse the words “although” and “however” and I’m not sure why

So, as a teacher, how do I figure this one out? Lately, I’ve noticed a pattern in my students’ writing. The pattern I’m noticing may reveal some confusion that my students have regarding  the words “although” and “however.” It seems that some students will use “although” correctly in a guided writing prompt, but then inContinue reading “My students confuse the words “although” and “however” and I’m not sure why”

To the parent who told my student she’d never be a writer

Thanks but no thanks for the motherly advice. Yes, a student informed me about a month ago that her mother told her she wouldn’t ever be a writer. “Say that again?” I asked when I overheard Claire report to a friend what her mother had said the previous evening as she revised a narrative essay.Continue reading “To the parent who told my student she’d never be a writer”

NCTE’s Promising Young Writer’s 2019 Contest Prompt has been released

A writing contest just for 8th-graders! The long-awaited 2019 prompt for NCTE’s Promising Young Writer’s contest has been released. This year, NCTE invites students to write about instances in their lives when they “made a conscious choice to welcome or show hospitality to an experience, feeling, or person.” Click this link for more information. This contest’s purposeContinue reading “NCTE’s Promising Young Writer’s 2019 Contest Prompt has been released”

I love this back-to-school poetry project for 6th-graders from YA author Kate Messner

It combines poetry and revision (and publication!) “The Sometimes Poem” is one of my favorite ways to start the school year with my sixth-graders. I’ve used this project for two years running and I plan to use it again in August. It includes three skills: poetry techniques, revision, and submitting for publication. I credit children’sContinue reading “I love this back-to-school poetry project for 6th-graders from YA author Kate Messner”

When my class is your class’ punishment

Since when should writing be a form of punishment? This happens every so often: I’ll be talking to other teachers about some discipline issue they experienced during the day where they had to dole out some kind of punishment. More times than I want to remember, they’ll say something like, “So I made him writeContinue reading “When my class is your class’ punishment”

Paperless classroom? No thanks.

I like “the little transaction.”   I don’t have a paperless classroom and it will always be this way. I like the transaction that occurs when students actually turn things in. When students turn in assignments, they walk over to the three stacked baskets (one for each grade that I teach) that stand at theContinue reading “Paperless classroom? No thanks.”

Contest #8: Cursive is Cool

It’s a cursive handwriting contest! I stumbled upon this cursive contest online a few days ago sponsored by Campaign for Cursive (C4C).  This organization is a committee of the American Handwriting Analysis Foundation (AHAF) and is an all-volunteer non-profit that began in 2012 in the Southern California chapter of the AHAF. Its goal is to “bringContinue reading “Contest #8: Cursive is Cool”

“Why do we have to write in cursive?”

Pure and simple: to compete.   Near the beginning of the school year, I read aloud the comment in the picture below to my middle school Language Arts students. I came upon this comment one day when I was reading this New York Times article about the death of cursive writing. The writer of thisContinue reading ““Why do we have to write in cursive?””

Read this Gary Provost gem to teach sentence variety

You’ll see light bulbs pop on across your classroom as you read it. Photo: Gisella Fotographie on Pixabay Copy off the paragraph below from writing guru Gary Provost and read it aloud to your students at the beginning of class or as a mini-lesson. Don’t just read it aloud… make sure they follow along onContinue reading “Read this Gary Provost gem to teach sentence variety”