Showing posts from January, 2013


What can I write about? What can I write about? Did my brain turn to mush? Did all smart thought leave my brain? I know they're in there. They were there Sunday during #iaedchat. People even commented and favorited Things that I said! And I had ideas to write about then. I know there were thoughts in there Yesterday--an ice day here in Iowa. I chatted with people on Twitter Watched the book awards online. I had things to say about books! I had things to write about the power of a thank-you. I had things to write about Chloe. I had things to write about teaching. I had things to write about the grandkids. But they're gone now. Where'd they go? All that's left are Wandering Words with No connections To my life.

10 Minute Revolution

It's amazing to me what a difference 10 minutes make.... In 10 minutes you can send an email make a phone call play fetch with the dog sing along with a couple of songs on the radio chat with a friend eat lunch (if you're a teacher) stare out the window grade an essay record a class of grades on the computer begin a blog post cuddle a dog walk around the block check Twitter check Facebook play a Facebook game warm up leftovers for supper make coffee And In 10 minutes you can read a book. Quietly. Purposefully. Read a book. And like it. And ask  beg for more time. 10 minutes Transforming my classroom and my students. Those freshmen who proudly proclaimed they never read a book. Those freshmen who hated to read. They're reading. And they're liking it (well, most of them). 10 minutes That's all it takes. Set the timer and go. Only now, after a couple of weeks, The books get put away a little slower than they did at the beginn

Author's Hearts and Secret Poets

Every semester I have my Creative Writing students write their "Writing Autobiography". They write an essay explaining their feelings about writing---whether  they like it, loathe it, tolerate it or are secret poets.  The essays help me get to know them and their writing. I can plan mini-lessons and big lessons. I find out who to nag at and who to let simmer. I know who needs help coming up with writing ideas and who will find their own. Here's what this semester's classes have to say. I think they speak to all writing teachers... I have a few like KC, who told me, " Well, to tell you the truth, I love to write. I will write all the time. Well pretty much any time I have a chance. You could say I’m a secret poet."   Don't you love those words, "secret poet".  She will do well this semester.  And then I have VH. I wrote back to her and said I can hardly wait to read what she has to write. " Since second grade I’ve known I had an aut