The Importance of Joining a PLN (Personal Learning Network)

I'd have to say that one of the greatest things I've done for myself as both a teacher, and a writer, has been joining a Personal Learning Network (PLN).  Being able to converse regularly with like-minded professionals has really inspired me to become a better writer, teacher, and learner. I've found my Teacher PLNs on […]

Guest Author Blog: Traci Sanders

I'm pleased to hand over my blog today to my friend Traci Sanders, award-winning author and creator of the Readers Review Room, an on-line review site for authors, which provides fantastic indie books for lovers of reading.  Traci is a multi-genre, multi-award-winning author of ten published titles, with contributions to three anthologies. An avid blogger and […]

Working with Young Writers

One of the things I look forward to each year is my after-school Writing Club.  For 10 weeks, middle school students (aged 12-14) sign up to spend an hour after school with me just...writing.  Luckily, my district recognized that not all students are involved in sports so they agreed to allow me to host a […]

November Writing Challenge - K-8 (modified NaNoWriMo challenge)

If you haven't heard of it, November is National Novel Writing Month, or NaNoWriMo. It's a time for buckling down, setting some word count writing goals, and spitting out an entire novel in one month's time. While I admire anyone who can actually do this (and it would require almost 2000 words a day!) while […]

Writing with Senses - Descriptive Writing

One of the first things we try to drill into the heads of young writers is to "write using senses" - describe for the reader using sight, sound, smell, touch.  This is one of my favorite activities for demonstrating to students how they can do that, and all it takes is a trip to the home […]

Sharing the Joy of Other Writers

I was honored to be invited to the book release of a newly published author. I loved it.  From the butterflies in his stomach, to the pride on his face as he read a few excerpts from his book, I lived every moment along with him. I mean, let's face it - nothing matches the […]

The "Key" to Creative Writing in Middle School

The key to creative writing in Middle School is...  keys, apparently. Inspired by a pin I saw on a pinning site, I searched for some inexpensive, ornate keys to use with my 7th graders in a writing activity.  We've been spending so much time working on structured writing - essays, formal letters,  responses to questions […]

When a Character Takes Over...

Over the past few months, I've been carving out time in my busy schedule to write a sequel to my first book, "Casey of Cranberry Cove".  The main character, Casey, is fun to write, and I'm enjoying the adventures that we've been having together. However, she suddenly has become a bit of a brat. Instead […]

People DO judge a book by its cover!

I'd have to say that one of the true pleasures that happens after "birthin'  a book" is speaking with your audience.  Since "Casey of Cranberry Cove" has debuted, I've been blessed with having the books sold locally in Lavallette, where I live. Recently, I was shopping in one of the stores that carries the book, […]

Watching Young Writers Bloom is Magic!

As I went through the process of shopping a publisher and then having a book published during this school year, I shared all I learned along the way with my 8th grade class in hopes that they would share in the excitement of birthing a book. To encourage them to write, and ultimately to pick […]