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4 Steps for Setting up a Writer’s Notebook (Classroom Edition)

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 [...]

My First Rejection: “Engraved Memories” — a short story

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 [...]

Writing Goals for the Classroom — 2018 Edition

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 [...]

Empowering Students One Phase at a Time — Innovative Teaching Academy

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 [...]

5 lessons I’ve learned about writing flash fiction — Author Toolbox

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 [...]

Scrambling before NaNoWriMo… Author Toolbox

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 [...]

When Writing Takes a Backseat – Author Toolbox

If your September has been anything like my September, then you have been a busy bee. School started, so my days are filled with teaching, lesson planning, and after-school activities. (Thank you #51Writers for today's topic of Oxford commas. As you can see, I am definitely on #teamoxfordcomma!) The problem... Okay, so we're busy. What [...]

Micropoetry When Life Is Busy…

School started here this week, so I've been quite busy learning new names and faces, teaching classroom procedures, setting up notebooks, and encouraging a variety of writing from the very beginning. Since I've been busy with school, I haven't been writing a whole lot... Okay, I haven't been writing at all. I don't have writer's [...]

5 Steps on the Journey to the First Draft — Author Tool Box

What can I share for this month's Toolbox? What can I write about that could be even slightly helpful to other writers? I've been trying to answer this question for a few weeks in preparation for this post, but I still didn't have an answer until recently. Someone suggested I write a brainstorm about zombies... [...]