Historical Fiction

“History is that certainty produced at the point where the imperfections of memory meet the inadequacies of documentation.” ― Julian Barnes, The Sense of an Ending We have done some recent work on the area of writing with voice. After researching and collecting evidence about the unhappy struggles of the early settlers of Jamestown, Virginia, […]

A Recap

“What’s past is prologue.” ― William Shakespeare, The Tempest Hello, again. It’s been awhile. I started this blog with the best of intentions, but I also had the propulsion of summer-energy to set my lofty goals. It’s easy to say you’re going to post weekly on a blog when you’re not also balancing that with […]

Personal Narratives

“I am not saying that everyone is Shakespeare, but I am saying everyone has a genuine voice that can express his or her life with honest dignity and detail” (Natalie Goldberg, Writing Down the Bones). As I read through the stack of narratives turned in yesterday, I was struck by the differences. Here we have […]

My favorite part of the day

“Thirty years ago my older brother, who was ten years old at the time, was trying to get a report written on birds that he’d had three months to write, which was due the next day. We were out at our family cabin in Bolinas, and he was at the kitchen table close to tears, […]

Making Goals

“Don’t write a book, write a page.” -Peter Bregman (Harvard Business School professor) (from The Happiness Advantage by Shawn Achor) “What do you think this quotation means?” I asked my students. We’re going to do a 5-minute quick-write, and I’d like you to focus your first thoughts on this quotation. After that, you can move […]

Yum Yums

I’m going to divert a little from classroom learning and news to share a recent observation. In 5th grade, we try to give the kids a little more independence and freedom. One way I do that is by telling them that they can eat their snacks anytime they want during the day. As long as […]

Writer’s Workshop

“Most of the basic material a writer works with is acquired before the age of fifteen.” ― Willa Cather   My recovery process to fall back in love with writing took almost 20 years. Actually, to be perfectly honest, I’m probably more at the like-on-my-way-to-love stage of the journey. My relationship with writing took a […]

Got Grit?

  “Grit is living life like it’s a marathon, not a sprint.”-Angela Lee Duckworth There is a word going around in education circles these days: grit. Research by Angela Lee Duckworth shows that it’s one of the most important factors in determining success in many contexts, including students’ education. So, what is grit? In her […]

The First Week of School

First of all, I think we can all agree that I deserve major points for posting after the first week of school, when I could be getting some extra sleep or enjoying some of the luxuries I haven’t indulged in much this week, like sitting or silence. 😉 In all seriousness, though, the week went […]

A Classroom Tour

In high school, when it was time for me to apply to colleges, I knew exactly where I wanted to go. I pictured myself exploring the dark corridors, admiring the ancient portraits that appeared to follow me along my path to my room or to the Great Hall, where I would eat my meals with […]