Write Like You Care….And You Will!

“Writing that is over-planned and over-rehearsed is juiceless.  Later drafts are about pumping it up.  How much better to have a wild and somewhat unruly first draft, something so full of detail, it’s a question of what we want to leave in, not a question of what still needs to be added.” –Julia Cameron   […]

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Happy Birthday John Muir!

The environmentalist John Muir was born on April 21, 1838.  If you are looking for a way to celebrate this great man’s birthday in your classroom, may I humbly suggest using my picture book, John Muir Wrestles a Waterfall.  The book tells the story of John Muir’s midnight climb up a rocky ledge beside Yosemite […]

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Students Sharing Stories

“The shortest distance between two people is a story.” –Patti Digh. Before first period, Sandra told me about her funny cheerleading accident.  After second period, T.J. described a movie he saw over the weekend.  Trevor did too.  Kyle always has a story to tell me.  Sometimes it’s about his new kitten, sometimes about his little […]

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Using First Day Jitters to Teach Inferencing

  As an author, I find that mentor texts are one of the most powerful, and versatile, tools in my toolbox.  As a teacher, I used mentor texts to teach both reading strategies and writing skills.  So here is one way I helped students understand inferencing by using my book, First Day Jitters. Strategy: Students […]

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