• Great Reads,  Lists,  Writing

    Six To Consider: Writing Books Worth a Look

    I’ve always got a stack of things to read, don’t you? My stack’s typically related to my latest interest or project. I’m a nonfiction reader, my current stack a mish-mash of art techniques and inspiration, small business ownership, and the craft of writing. When writing evaded me over the past year, I figured I’d read about writing until my own writing mojo found its way back! And my dear husband, who reads mostly on his iPad or iPhone (BIG screen) feeds my wish to have books near me… Christmas 2014 found a stack of Writing books and Writing magazine subscriptions under the tree…. a welcome diversion in a year that was often silent. Here are a…

  • Classroom Life,  Humor,  Process,  Students' Words,  Writing

    Creative Chaos?!?!

    I took this picture yesterday …. I’d love to tell you it was a few minutes of messiness, but that would be a BIG, FAT, l.i.e. Can you relate? Or, are you shrieking as you look at the cacophony that threatens to swallow my desk in its discord? One day last week, as 1st period was getting underway, one of my HS students suddenly proclaimed, “You must be really organized in your home office!”  Another student enthusiastically agreed, “Yea!!” I don’t remember what spurred this revelation, but it was clear in that moment that my students have met Dr. Jekyll and Mr. Hyde, and don’t even know it.  🙂 They (my students, not Jekyll and Hyde) know I’m a blogger/writer, have a…

  • Instruction,  Process,  Quotes

    Help Readers Read: Banish Boredom!

    Five years into my teaching career, I decided to move from English Language Arts to Reading, specifically. I began working on my Master’s in Reading Education, and while I learned a lot, my biggest A-ha! came not from the volumes of textbooks read or the 1,000s of words written. No, my biggest lesson came from my students. “Reading is boring!” they said. “What??”  There was no hiding my surprise … or confusion! “What do you mean, ‘Reading is boring?'”  I wanted to ask, “Have you lost your minds?” but I had been teaching long enough to know that was not an appropriate question –  at least not in that tone. Turns out, reading comes down to two…

  • Great Reads,  Writing

    How to Write Short: a Must-Read! {Great Reads}

    Quick:   How many words was your last blog post or article?  Under 100? 500? 1,000?  Did you get your message across? How do you know? Could you have said it in fewer words without losing its essence? What would have been the benefit of doing so? These are just a few of the questions addressed in Dr. Roy Peter Clark’s How to Write Short: Word Craft for Fast Times, publication 2013. “A writer who teaches and a teacher who writes…,” Clark shares many historical and contemporary examples, annotated to help the reader see the value in and purpose for, short-form communication.  Grace Notes help put ideas into (approachable) practice. Both the title and…