If You Want To Perform Magic, Teach Reading

Learning to read is a magical process: we recognize letters and assign them sounds and then smash the sounds together into words. Then we read many words in sentences and in paragraphs, not only decoding the them but extracting meaning from them. It’s pretty trippy if you dwell on it too long. Seeing as learning…

What’s the Key to an Engaging Story?

Last week, my fifth-grade reading group and I finished a classic novel. I’m not going to say which one it was because I’m not going to say very nice things about it. The story itself was fine. It followed a classic narrative structure and was occasionally gripping. The problem was… Well, it was boring in…

Flash Fiction: The First Day

This week’s prompt over at Carrot Ranch gave me an idea immediately. I think the story is one teachers will relate to, as it recalls my days as a second- and third-grade teacher. The prompt is this: In 99 words (no more, no less) write a honeymoon story. It can be between a couple before, during…

The Teachee Has Become The Teacher! Or Something.

I have exciting news! Remember that writing conference I went to a few weeks ago with Jenny and Dan? Well, I thought to myself, Self, I write books and know things. Maybe I know things the conference organizers would like to see in workshops. So I applied, and guess what! My proposals were accepted and I’m officially…

In A Crowd Of Encouragers, Who Would You Draw?

This morning, I taught the third grade class in the kids’ area of my church. The lesson was about Biblical figures who persevered through difficult circumstances and those who encouraged them along the way. To go along with that, we completed a seriously cool project with the main point being this: when times get tough,…

If You Want To Learn Something, Teach It

Yesterday, I read this great article by Nat Russo about how important it is for writers to master the craft before we start defending our style. Click on his name to read the whole thing (which I recommend), but here’s a chunk of it: You’ve heard people do this. When you offer constructive criticism, they’ll…