Tag Archives: teaching

REAL REVISION has a cover!

As many of you know, my first teacher resource book, REAL REVISION: AUTHORS’ STRATEGIES TO SHARE WITH STUDENT WRITERS, comes out this May. It’s a book designed to help teachers – and anyone who teaches writing, really – share strategies for revision that go beyond quick proofreading and spell-checking.  What I love most about this […]

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Novels in verse, discovery drafts, writing music, & Skype

A few weeks ago in the advanced creative writing class that and I co-teach, one of our 7th grade girls had a question about writing novels in verse that stumped us. "Is it better for me to just write these poems as they come to me, do you think? Or should I have an outline […]

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Stories and Standards: Pairing Fiction & Nonfiction (from NCTE)

On Friday afternoon, I was part of an author panel at NCTE on the topic "Stories and Standards: Pairing Fiction & Nonfiction" along with Loree Griffin Burns, Jenny Moss, and Tanya Lee Stone. We spoke about curriculum connections for our books and suggested other titles that would pair well with them in the classroom. Here’s […]

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When You Reach Me, A Tale of Two Cities, and Mr. Caisse

Today in my 7th grade classroom, we started our first read-aloud of the school year, Rebecca Stead‘s amazing WHEN YOU REACH ME.   If you read my review, you know how much I love this book.  I’ve already read it aloud to my eight-year-old daughter, who swooned over it just as much as I did and […]

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First Day of School

The kids came back today!  We had teacher meetings yesterday, but the first day isn’t really the first day until the seats in my classroom are full of 7th graders.  I’m always excited for the start of a new school year, but this year brings some extra joys. One of my former students is all […]

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Twitter, Teaching, & Totalitarianism

I’ve always been a fan of technology and its potential to help people learn and collaborate.  I’ve been thinking for a while about social networking and education, and how it’s probably not such a great idea for schools to simply block sites like Facebook & Twitter and pretend they don’t exist, rather than teaching kids […]

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Welcome to the Future

As a teacher, I’m so very fortunate to work in a school district that supports creative technology integration in the classroom. The kind of technology that let my kids chat with Laurie Halse Anderson via Skype last week. The kind that lets them participate in Harvard University’s River City research project about how science-based virtual […]

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Creating Characters

I’m teaching a brand new elective at my middle school this semester — Advanced Creative Writing — and I’m lucky enough to be working with ten of the coolest, smartest 7th graders you ever did meet.  They’re working on independently selected writing projects, from novels to short stories to screenplays.  Along the way, I’ll be […]

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Congratulations, Laurie Halse Anderson!

The talented Laurie Halse Anderson (halseanderson ) just shared the news that her historical novel CHAINS has won the Scott O’Dell Award for Historical Fiction, and I couldn’t be happier.  My 7th graders and I will be reading the final chapters tomorrow and Friday, and I was excited about that even before I heard today’s news.  […]

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Friday Five – Hand Sales in the Classroom

As authors, we talk a lot about "hand sales" — when a bookseller personally recommends a book to a customer in the store.  But that’s not the only place hand selling happens.  I often give quick book talks in my 7th grade English classroom.  I’ll pull a pile of new or favorite books from my […]

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