Writing and the Upper Elementary Grades:   

We Can Write ~ We’re Just Not Published Yet Recently I shared my non-fiction book, Wild Ponies, with a group of third graders. When I entered the classroom, I noticed the teacher holding my book and talking to the students. They sat cross-legged on the carpet, listening. Immediately three hands shot up before I even removed my coat. Whispering ensued … Read More

Purposeful Writing

Provide purposeful writing opportunities and students will write! Note the Elf on the Shelf sat atop some Goldfish with children’s letters gathering below. How fun and so unexpected! The first time the Elf appeared, she sat on the rim of a large, blue bucket with a plastic white-handled strap, holding her in. Part-way through the day, she started to lean … Read More

Finding Inspiration to Write

Sometimes finding inspiration only takes a spark – a hint of something not yet manifested or an unanswered nudge.  Then if I pause, just for a moment, the idea slowly takes shape before it tumbles forth.  This makes me think of kayaking and how I hear the rapids before I see them.  I pause, listening, a whisper of running water, … Read More

Active Verbs and Creative Writing

As I embrace a VERY brisk morning walk in Niagara Falls (34 degrees yet the wind chill boasts 24), I recall another time, another place, in Western New York.  Crisp evenings downhill skiing at Kissing Bridge where stars sparkle like shards of glittering glass and snow crunches noisily, piercing the night’s stillness.  Toes and fingers numb from the cold as … Read More

Writers Help Others See

Writers help the world see “things” in a new way.     John Koehler, author, inspired attendees at the Roanoke Regional Writers Conference. He encouraged writers to continue to write because it starts with you and then spreads.  Whether an adult or a child, the thoughts you put into words on paper (or computer), are yours and yours alone – not to … Read More