One of my biggest challenges as a teacher is getting students to feel connected to history. To them, especially at the middle school age, history might as well be the Milky Way– kids are told that it’s real and that they are a part of it, but the scope of history often has such galactical […]
The experience of writing a novel together didn’t inhibit individual creativity – it made them all want to go home and write more on their own.
My 40th birthday is in a couple of days, June 6th to be exact. I expected this to be a difficult time in my life as I don’t like accepting that I’m getting older (turning 30 involved a lot of crying!). It has been kind of the opposite; it has made me appreciate the cliche […]
Playlists are constantly playing in my classroom and house. But what are the playlist of our lives? In this piece Abigail takes you through the moves of using writing playlists to create meaningful narratives.
Teaching writing, at first, was a struggle for me. It was a struggle because the kids seemed to detest it. When I asked them why I received all sorts of answers, but one answer that kept coming up was that they didn’t feel like the writing was “real”; they turned in all their writing to […]
Teaching grammar is my instructional nemesis. I’m sure I am not alone in feeling this way. For nearly twenty years now, I have worked at teaching grammar in the context of writing, without skill-and-drill worksheets, and every year I tweak my approach, often some variation of Harry Noden’s creative Image Grammar approach. But it’s still […]
Image via Pixabay They say when you turn off one of your senses, one or more of the others gets stronger. That’s what I love about teaching writing. The endlessness of possibilities for process means you get to start all over each time. Each time is an opportunity to focus on one of the “senses” […]
The good news is that words bind us together and can help us to create collaboratively with our students even as we all adjust to our new, socially distant ways.
When I think of increasing student choice and voice this leads me to think about increasing student motivation and happiness. And when these ideas coalesce I can’t help but think of Malcolm Gladwell’s Ted Talk (I realize this is a strange connection to make, but hear me out). Gladwell discusses how Prego, back in the ’70s, took over […]
Recently, I was wandering around a Target while my daughter was at Girl Scouts, and I was amazed to find six (six!) collections of poetry in the book section! Poetry! At Target! I was so moved that I took a picture and Tweeted, I suppose what moves me is that I don’t think it’s coincidental […]