Encouragement

How to write encouraging notes

How to write encouraging notes

WHAT'S the big deal about writing, anyway? For starters, it’s one of the best ways to let loved ones know you care! Don’t get me wrong. I can talk on the phone for hours, and I look forward to texts and emails as much as anyone. But my face lights up most when I hold...

12 favorite posts from 2012

The words are on everyone's lips: Where did 2012 go? I wonder that too. What a full, busy, interesting year! As I look back at the blog over this past year, I thought it would be fun to highlight each month's most popular post. Which was your favorite blog post during...

Motivating young writers with author success stories

Motivating young writers with author success stories

I’m pleased to welcome Samantha Gray as a guest blogger today! Writing is a difficult task. Teaching children how to write presents an even greater measure of difficulty. While it’s not necessarily hard for children to learn to write, I do think it can be...

Conversation Journals

Conversation Journals

After a busy week in the classroom, Friday evenings were a quiet, delightful treat: Delightful because I got to curl up on my living room couch, with cookies and tea, and read through my students' journals. Delightful because the brightly colored pocket folders held...

Thankful in so many words

thank · ful  adj. appreciative grateful content beholden indebted cheerful obliged satisfied overwhelmed at peace pleased glad comfortable

We’ve got (more) mail!

We’ve got (more) mail!

It's always so encouraging to open up my inbox each day and find a glowing review or happy testimonial from a homeschooling mom who's been using WriteShop with her children. It's been nearly ten years since we first published WriteShop I and II, and believe me, I...

Handwritten notes: Christmas gifts from the heart

Handwritten notes: Christmas gifts from the heart

One year for Mother's Day, my son Ben wrote me a long, sappy letter dripping with affection and appreciation. I'm sure he figured that if he was sentimental enough, I wouldn't notice that he didn't get me a gift. Know what? He was right! Sometimes, the best present...

Writing tip: Wise feedback makes a difference

Correct and grade wisely. An arbitrary grade based on feelings (”This feels like a B-”) won’t help your student become a better writer. Tip 4: Offer helpful and consistent feedback. Use objective checklists to help you pinpoint specific areas to improve. Value your...

Inch by inch…it’s a cinch!

When I was little, I loved Benjamin Elkin’s story of The Big Jump, in which a young boy finds a stray dog he hopes to keep. The boy and the pup become fast friends, but unfortunately, in this land only kings are allowed to own dogs. The king, who can spring from the...

Simple words…

Life is fragile. Loss runs deep. An email this morning from my son-in-law's sister reminded me of this as she reflected on what would have been her little boy's first birthday. Stillborn, Brayden entered this world a year ago today. His short life has deeply impacted...