Squirrel Guardian, of the House of Procrastination and Random Mischief

A huge shout-out of gratitude to Angela Stockman: read this first: Ah, the synergy and serendipity of collaboration and conversation. I’m sitting in my writing shed, something I wanted forever, am very grateful to have, and am still paying off. And the barn-style door does not stay propped open on its own (does anything?). Returning from a walk, I go back to the shed to see what kinds of inspiration can be gleaned from a sunny, anxious depressing, cortisol-filled day. Now, mind you, the garden statuary of the squirrel has a long story, and not sure I’m going to write…

Sturdy Structures and Tapestries

Every time I feel I have my Professor McGonagall-mojo in place, inevitably realize I am only a Trelawney. I want to be firm, peering over the edge of my spectacles, jumping in and of animal bodies with ease and precision (aka going from my awkward projector on the cart to the tiny weird screen, to the tiny space for the doc camera, etc.: the tech in my room is…uncomfortable). If I could shout out with my confident Scottish brogue, “TWENTY POINTS FOR FIRST PERIOD!” with a flick of my wand, oh what wouldn’t I give? But alas, every day my…

Write.

http://www.yesmagazine.org/for-teachers/writing-competition-essays/spring-2018-national-student-writing-competition-letters-of-hope The Writing Prompt Students, please respond to the writing prompt below with an up-to-700-word letter: Think about what matters most to you about our country’s future. Write a letter to someone important to you, describing that future you imagine and hope for.   Who is Eligible? You must be a classroom teacher—homeschool cooperative, resource centers, supervised writing groups, and schools outside the U.S. included—for your students to participate. Student writers should be in grades 6-8, grades 9-12, college/university, or adult continuing education.   How does it work? Complete the competition registration form by March 9, 2018 (see link at bottom of…

'tis the season: December Ideas

Two Writing Teachers posted: Narrative Writing Makes a Beautiful Gift Writing is a gift–and perhaps if students of writing see themselves, their words, as gifts to themselves and others we can reshape how they feel about writing (which isn’t always positive). My favorite December idea: Drabble-A-Day Creative constraints provide necessary restrictions for all of us who wish to create productively. It may seem counter-intuitive, but creative constraints produce better focus and creativity, not less. Drabble A Day Writer Portfolio Document: (click for Google Doc) Using Signposts: https://docs.google.com/document/d/1ohdgdQm4siMObbeEOsaO9hhuV9iVTCyQqu5Dm02EJ0I/edit?usp=sharing Going to freshen this up today, too: http://lookupwriting.edublogs.org/  

Saving Summer: Point of View

One of my go-to independent reading activities: Re-writing key scenes from PoV of different characters #ProjectLITchat pic.twitter.com/BABlWzjppY — Jarred Amato (@jarredamato) August 20, 2017 //platform.twitter.com/widgets.js #ProjectLITChat This is a great idea. Simple as that.

Best laid plans.

We broke rain records this year, no small feat considering the Seattle area maintains a well-deserved reputation of one of the soggiest places around. Drizzles, downpours, drenching or dollops–no matter the size of the drop, it’s wet. Personally, my older son and I share the love of the gray, goopy clouds. Whenever I think of our rain, inevitably Tom Robbins’ thoughts on rain come to mind. (Some works of fiction stain a lifetime.) “And then the rains came. They came down from the hills and up from the sound. And it rained a sickness. And it rained a fear. And…

Los Zumbis de Washington

  //giphy.com/embed/4cfV5bkDSYUx2 via GIPHY This will be a long post: I am retracing my steps on the creation of a unit. TL:DR: Zombies and survival themes are great for 8th-grade students. E-mail me if you want resources or have questions. One of my teammates Nate had a fantastic idea for argumentative work: Zombies. With the help of my teammates Nate, Sabrina, and the Notice & Note social media site, especially Beth Crawford, we unleashed zombies. Trying to put together a unit without common planning or time to meet (each of us is in different phases in life: I could work on…

Write-It-Right Wednesday

We are writers. Writing serves my creative mania. In my classroom, historically, we write more than we read. Do I love books? Of course! Am I passionate and excited about passages, excerpts, themes, patterns, characters, and juicy plots? Naturally! But in my experience, if you truly want to a student, a person– to engage, spill their guts, bare their soul and express themselves, writing is it. Write-It-Right Wednesdays are mini-lesson moments and writing workshop days. Mini lessons are those quick, here is a “thing you need to know” thing. Writing Workshop is a very different animal, and all I’ve learned…

Source material.

We have had a firehose of information provided us for the SBA writing tasks. I am doing my best to make sense of it. https://prezi.com/embed/1ellu5vq58bz/?bgcolor=ffffff&lock_to_path=0&autoplay=0&autohide_ctrls=0&landing_data=bHVZZmNaNDBIWnNjdEVENDRhZDFNZGNIUE43MHdLNWpsdFJLb2ZHanI0enlpVDZVRG1LczFkVUhqV3lVWEMxSU9BPT0&landing_sign=o1xp6_Srpa1it4zlMAspOx8msf15421FLfCpoauamFI This is the near-final version of the Prezi: but I’m at the point where I can’t edit any further. Its intended audience is the staff right before school starts, to help all staff members to feel supported with writing across the curriculum. If you see something wonky, needs fixing, big ‘ol “huh?” please let me know. Thank you! The link for resources is here: https://drive.google.com/file/d/0ByKyQvl3l_F5cEF5ckpPb2VzOG8/view?usp=sharing