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Mini-Mentors for Fixing Run-Ons and Comma Splices

In almost two decades (!!!) of teaching, I’ve taught every grade 7-12. And whether I’m teaching 12-year olds or 19-year olds, run-ons and comma splices abound. I’m not going to spend time here theorizing about why this is true. I suspect that if I interviewed my high school English teachers, they’d say it was prevalent […]

Stigma in the Writing Workshop

On being asked if they would risk being stigmatized so that they move forward in their learning, the majority of the students said, “Yes, I would.” How many times in the last week/month had they taken such a risk? “Almost never,” they admitted. Even though students may be consciously aware that they must put their learning over their fear of stigma, very few are able to do it at the moment it matters. Isolation and ridicule are scary, especially during the teen years when the need to belong is paramount.  

What I’m Thankful For: Small Writing & Big Thinking

These days, everything seems big. The problems are enormous, the exhaustion is shattering, and the challenges are endless. It’s no wonder I keep finding myself feeling totally overwhelmed. Whenever I realize that I’m sitting in an overwhelmed space, I’ve found that something that’s helpful to me is to break the enormity down into smaller pieces. […]

Writing a Climate Victory Garden

Louise Maher-Johnson’s poem, “Notes from a Climate Victory Garden,” offers a series of calls to action, as seen in the poem’s opening: Rebalance: Greenhouse Gases (CO2,N2O, CH4, H2O vapor) with                                                                                 photosynthesis. Recognize: Plants cool by evaporation, ground cover, shade, and                                                                                     precipitation Replant: Lawns with Victory Gardens, as in world war past. Organized by lines beginning […]