Welcome to my first post in the "Red Pen Tidbits" series where we will make mistakes and break the rules! Sort of. What are you talking about? I have taught English for several years from 6th grade up to 12th grade, and I love it. One of the moments I enjoy the most are when [...]
“Don’t tell me we went the wrong way.” Logan growled like an angry tiger and kicked the air in front of him, which caused him to trip over a hidden root and fall on his face. He started to yell, but nothing came out. Instead, he looked up and stared at the trees.
Welcome to your crash course in phrases of the dependent variety! Do you feel like you're at school, yet? Don't fret, there's no test. This time. Let's start with the basics: What is a phrase? A phrase is a word or group of words that expresses a single concept within a sentence. It is dependent, [...]
A book review -- your opinion about a book based on evidence from it. We've seen them on Amazon and Goodreads. We may have even read a few... but are we writing them, too? Wait? Writing a book review? I can't do that. I don't know how to do that... Please don't ask me! Please! [...]
He took a deep breath. “Your dad was a wicked one when he tried to turn you back down the aisle instead of giving you away.” He laughed. “You pulled him instead to make sure he gave you away, though.” He paused. “Strong-willed, your father. Too strong-willed to stick around here, so I couldn’t even watch you grow up.”
Earlier this week I was asked what it takes to set up writer's notebooks in the classroom: cost, time, content, etc. I shared why I use them in my post last year (The Wonderful World of Writer’s Notebooks), but this post is dedicated to the logistics. (You're welcome, Jeffery Frieden!) To start, let me say that [...]
At the end of last month, I entered a short story into my first ever public contest. The Blank Page Challenge is a brand new contest for writers to try their hand at creating a story using a picture prompt. Each story is read by a panel of judges, and then they choose the top three to [...]
Back in August, I posted about the changes I'd made to Writing Goals for the Classroom. I also mentioned that they'd probably change again (and hopefully improve) based on student feedback and personal growth. Well... It's time! We've adjusted the format from the first six weeks quite a few times, so I'll walk you through each [...]
What? Is that even a word? It sounds like a word that would get your mouth washed out with soap if you say it in front of your mother. Is it one of those words?
Absolutely not. It's a beautiful word that inspires beautiful writing. Epistolary writing is...
Based on the prerequisite portfolio you submitted, you are expected to score well in all areas. However, we are a little concerned about your entry in the Criminal section...
When I was a student in middle school and high school, life was simple: go to class, write down the assignment, complete the warm up, listen to the teacher, take notes, read the assigned passages, answer the questions, turn in your work, and repeat tomorrow. Was every class like this? Didn't any class use other [...]
Allen ran his hand through his short black hair. “They’re not even real.” He turned her back around. “They make a living lying to people, telling them what they want to hear.”
I don't know about you, but one problem for writers is a blank page. What do I write about? This question pops up all too often, and it can keep students from achieving their personal writing goals. Students have loved writing bingo in the past, so I created a Google Form for them to submit [...]
Brenna stepped into the elevator, balancing both coffees in one hand and her office bag in the other in an attempt to locate her keys. She found them as the ding announced the third floor and lifted her elbow in a wave to Naomi as she stepped out.
When you try something new, your expectations are set quite high. Some people give up on the new thing when it becomes too difficult or when the high expectations they set for themselves aren't showing. Last year I decided to join in on the first #FlashFicHive challenge (hosted by Anjela Curtis). This month-long event challenged writers to create [...]
How many of you set goals each year? How many of your goals do you achieve? I set quite a few goals for 2017, and some of them were successful. I hope to be a lot more successful this year by planning out exactly what I need to do to achieve them. I start by [...]
The man laughed. “Oh, Sonny, everyone worries about me, but it’s useless. I’m going to do my own thing no matter what anyone thinks or says about it.”
Why are we teaching? What keeps us teaching? What makes us come back after the break (especially after Christmas break)?
NaNoWriMo... Gibberish, right? That's not even a word. How do you say it? To writer's, it is the month when the entire world ceases to exist... when life on Earth becomes a distant figment of our imagination... when we forget all the other hobbies we had if they don't include a notebook, a pen, or [...]
People write for all sorts of reasons every single day: send a text or email, leave or make a note, finish something for work or school, jot down a recipe, send a letter, balance a checkbook, make a grocery list, etc. I, too, write America. As a writer and teacher of writing, I'm also excited [...]