From the Sketchbook: 3015 was the Year of Yellow Notes

The following entry is from my writer’s sketchbook. Not familiar with a writer’s sketchbook? Find out more here. I got a kick out of using one of my own writing prompts to generate an unexpected story called . . . “3015 was the Year of Yellow Notes”

Summer Programs 2016

Get you student writing over the summer—the fun way! Did you know that students lose up to three months of learning over the summer? The best way to avoid this “summer learning loss” is to keep your kids actively using their brains over the summer. Reading and writing are among the most crucial brain building skills, but—as you well … [Read more…]

Making writing fun again: How to get your students to assign themselves homework

This is a crash course for teaching writing the fun way. In this post you’ll learn how to grade writing and make writing a game. Plus, I’ll give you a bunch of free writing games and resources at the end.

Secrets to rapid and consistent writing improvement

What is the secret to improving your writing? I sought this secret for over 15 years. Maybe if I found the right journal I’d write more, I thought. Maybe if I had the right pen.   But the secret is staring us all in the face. It took me 15 years to learn, but I wanted to save you … [Read more…]

Use stick figures to help you show instead of tell

Cartoon drawing of a school kid in a blue shirt and sneakers. Pictures of cats on shirt and backpack. He is standing in a school room in front of a desk and chalkboard.

Sometimes it’s hard to write better character descriptions. Have you ever felt frustrated when you get a paper back, and it says in red ink, “include more description” or “show, don’t tell?” Here’s an activity that’ll help write better character descriptions and show instead of tell.