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Friday, January 20, 2017

Love is an Apple Core {CELEBRATE This Week: 176}

I'm glad you are here to celebrate! 

Share a link to your blog post below and/or use #celebratelu to share celebrations on Twitter. Check out the details hereCelebrate This Week goes live on Friday night around 10(ish). Consider it as a weekend celebration. Whenever it fits in your life, add your link. 

Please leave a little comment love for the person who links before you.

***



It was a busy day, the kind where I eat lunch in my car to make the schedule work. No matter how harried a day is,  I am still committed to living unhurried. So when I eat apples, I'm mindful. I pause and chew and taste.

I realize apple cores are evidence of true love.

In a world where creative dates and big bouquets of roses and gushy affirmations on social media for #mcm (Man Crush Monday) or #wcw (Woman Crush Wednesday) is considered true love, an apple core might seem laughable. The world says love should be fancy and make you happy.

This is a dangerous lie to believe.

Happiness is not a dependable marker of love.

Love is about sticking through the hard, even when the hard isn't happy. 

The truth is, true love doesn't care about personal happiness. It's not egocentric. It cares about offering happiness to another person.

It's apple cores.

Because the reason I have an apple core is because someone else did the grocery shopping late the night before. Someone else left the apple in plain view for the next morning. Someone else put my happiness ahead of his own.

Rarely is true love fancy.

It throws in a load of laundry at 11 pm and stays up to fold it together.
It takes the dog out in the rain.
It changes the sheets after the toddler gets sick in the middle of the night.
It does the dishes.
It makes the coffee.
It bakes cookies.
It runs into town to pick up and drop off and pick up kids.

It believes making another person's life pleasant is more important than personal happiness.

It is unlikely a bouquet of roses with a love note will ever be delivered to my work. The chances of a profession of love for me on social media is statistically impossible. Unless I believe a creative date is when I ask friends to meet us at a favorite bar for dinner and beer, it isn't ever going to happen.

But I have apple cores and the truth about true love: it isn't fancy and it isn't about my happiness.

The truth remains. The more I love in selfless and unprecedented ways, the happier I am.

This is the paradox of love.

Thanks for sharing your celebrations today.


If you haven't grabbed my free topics guide, check it out today.

Monday, January 16, 2017

Video Minilessons: Independent Writing Projects

One of my go-to ways to breathe new life into writing workshop is to invite students to create their own writing projects. This doesn't have to be complicated or time consuming. It can happen between units or in the middle of a unit. It can happen in one workshop or a handful of workshops. 

Trust me, invite your students to create their own writing projects, and their energy for writing will increase.


Below are two minilessons (one for primary and the other for intermediate writers) to springboard into a invitation for students to pursue their own writing projects.


I'd love to know how you breathe new energy into your writing workshop. Leave a comment and let us know!






Lesson: WRITE YOUR BEST BOOK EVER (K-3)
Playlists:

Grades K-1
Grades 2-3
Routines
Launching Writing Workshop

Description: Launch writing workshop with students writing their BEST BOOK EVER! In this lesson, students are invited to consider the things they know as writers to write a BEST BOOK EVER. 


Special Notes: There is an explanation of the routine for "turn and talk" in the middle of this video.

Extra Resources: Check out the webpage I put together with the chart and inspiration boxes.




Lesson: WHAT WILL YOU MAKE IN WRITING WORKSHOP? (3-UP)
Playlists:

Grades K-1
Grades 2-3
Routines
Writing Process
Launching Writing Workshop

Description: Offer an invitation for students to create their own writing projects. Students consider audience, genre, purpose, and topic when developing writing projects. 


Special Notes: Make sure to create the chart to use in the minilesson, inspiration boxes for students, and to give students access to the WIP Brainstorm Sheet (found on the resource page).

Extra Resources: Click here for the chart, inspiration box explanation, and WIP Brainstorm Sheet on the resources page.



Friday, January 13, 2017

Give LOVE Away {CELEBRATE This Week: 175}

I'm glad you are here to celebrate! 

Share a link to your blog post below and/or use #celebratelu to share celebrations on Twitter. Check out the details hereCelebrate This Week goes live on Friday night around 10(ish). Consider it as a weekend celebration. Whenever it fits in your life, add your link. 

Please leave a little comment love for the person who links before you.

***




image from The Giving Keys website

I gave LOVE away this week. 

Ever since May, I've been wearing a Giving Key necklace. The Giving Keys is a pay it forward company that helps people move out of homelessness. I bought it at the same time that I bought Kim's retirement gift. (If you missed last week's celebration, click here to read about my friend Kim.)

It was the perfect gift. Kim and I often exchanged kitschy jewelry. The key held an extra meaning because Kim was a realtor. She also believed in supporting organizations that made the world better. She liked companies with a cause. I gave Kim a key stamped with the word INSPIRE. She was a beacon of inspiration for many people.

Personally, Kim inspired me as an educator, momma and business woman by the way she unabashedly loved people. She was over the top in the love department. She never worried about whether it was her place to love people; she just did. So while I was buying Kim a necklace for her retirement gift, I bought one for myself too. Mine was stamped with the word LOVE. 

Kim loved her necklace. (I knew she would.) And she loved that I bought a similar one as a reminder to love without embarrassment. She giggled when she saw me and we were wearing our necklaces. She would lift her key and shake it, saying, "I love this!"

The premise of The Giving Keys is to "embrace your word, then pay it forward to a person you feel needs the message more than you." I've been wearing my necklace and learning to love in bold and unprecedented ways. I was beginning to think maybe I wouldn't be positioned to pass it on. I wasn't sure if I would ever master the message of radical love. Then Kim died suddenly, and I didn't know if I would want to pass on my necklace.

I wore it to the Celebration of Life. Standing in line, there was a teacher who Kim mentored. I do not know the teacher personally, but I know her through Kim's stories. Kim loved the way this young teacher loved children. Kim believed this teacher has much to offer other teachers. Often I would ask about her, much like I asked about Kim's sons. Kim would rattle off a story from her kindergarten classroom, and glow at the way this teacher has developed the art of teaching.

She wept softly as we waited to go into the gym. My heart cracked with sadness. I wanted to hug her, to whisper, "It's all good," and to slip my LOVE necklace over her head. Kim would have liked that. 

Instead I stood silently.

I wore the necklace to the funeral. We remembered Kim for her big love. It was impossible love. No one could possibly love as big and as much as Kim. Yet she did it. The pastor said it was because Kim knew the love of God and passed it on to others.

I knew it was time to give LOVE away, except I felt embarrassed about giving my necklace to someone I barely knew. It took me a few days to muster up the courage. I kept wearing the necklace that began to feel like stolen treasure. No longer was it mine to wear.

I wrote a note to the teacher.
I thought about what to say.
I waited until after school.

I took a deep breath, walked down the hall, through the classroom door and across the room to the teacher.

I leaned into love.

I stumbled over the words. 
I told bits of the story. 
I blinked back tears. 

I pressed LOVE into her hand and said, "This is so you'll always remember how much Kim loved you and how much your love matters to others. Don't grow weary."

I hugged her, a stranger who no longer felt like a stranger, and left the room.

Giving LOVE in a bold way made me feel a little embarrassed. I wished I could have been someone different, someone whom she called friend. I wondered if she would wear the necklace. 

It's all good. It was a wisp from my heart, but I knew it was true.

Today, the teacher stopped by my door to talk. She was wearing LOVE around her neck. It is true, we can't love too much.

It's all good.


Tuesday, January 10, 2017

Video Lesson: Be a Brave Speller




Lesson: BE A BRAVE SPELLER
Playlists:
Conventions
Grades K-1
Grades 2-3
Writing Process
Launching Writing Workshop

Description: Our youngest writers can learn to courageously stretch rich words to make their writing meaningful. This lesson provides a chart and a concrete way to share brave spellings, as well as conventional spellings. 

Special Notes: This video is longer than usual. The reason is because it is two parts. The first portion is designed to be the minilesson. It explains the chart and models how to use it. The second part is to be used before the share session. It explains how to celebrate brave spellings and share the conventional spellings.

Extra Resources: This lesson was inspired by Lisa Cleveland and Katie Wood Ray in their book About the Authors. When I saw the chart they made like this, it changed the way I talked with young writers about the words they used. I love that we can celebrate their spelling choices, even when it isn't conventional. I also appreciate being able to post the conventional spelling alongside the brave spelling.


After I created this video, I was doing a little thinking about extra resources to share with this lesson. As I was staring at the chart, I realized I used a "brave spelling" for afraid. Yikes!

My first thought was to redo the chart and the video. However, I had already shot another video for an online course where I discussed the importance of valuing approximations. 

The irony was thick.

In that moment I had a choice. I could redo hours of work to get it right, or I could embrace imperfection and keep moving forward. I wish I could say it was an easy choice.

It's never easy to put less than perfection into the world. 

I took a deep breath, rolled my eyes, snapped a selfie and decided it is more important to put this lesson in the world than to be shackled by perfection. I'm sure you'll use conventional spelling in the title of the chart you create for your room. *smile*

Saturday, January 7, 2017

it's all good {CELEBRATE This Week: 174}

I'm glad you are here to celebrate! 

Share a link to your blog post below and/or use #celebratelu to share celebrations on Twitter. Check out the details hereCelebrate This Week goes live on Friday night around 10(ish). Consider it as a weekend celebration. Whenever it fits in your life, add your link. 

Please leave a little comment love for the person who links before you.

***


I like it when things settle back to ordinary. The Christmas decorations are put away, the fridge holds more fruits and vegetables than it does cookies and candies, and the shopping is primarily at the grocery store.

I've spent a lifetime learning to love ordinary. There is holiness in routine. There is power in the familiar. The secret is to continue to see these things as sacred.

2016 was a year of friction. The Christmas season of 2016 was no different.  This was true for me and for those who are closest to me. The glow of Christmas lived side-by-side with heartache.

Learning to tailor a life well lived is about remaining steadfast through the trials. It's about loving when it's hard. It's about believing in a greater good.

My friend Kim always said, "It's all good." She would share a trial or a tiff or a situation that didn't quite go how she would have liked. She would tell me how she was mad and cried and said exactly what was on her mind. Kim had passion. And then she'd say, "But it's all good." The stories always ended with her smoothing things over with the other person. She didn't do it in a condescending way and she didn't sacrifice her core beliefs. She simply allowed her love for people to trump all disagreements. Everyone knew Kim loved them.

It's all good.

This phrase is all around my school communities. It's on business windows and school message boards. It's on restaurant signs and Facebook feeds.

It's all good.

Kim and her oldest son passed away in a car accident on Christmas evening. It is a devastating situation. At the Celebration of Life, I sat in a packed high school gymnasium. One of the speakers asked for audience participation. Four times during his speech he shared a common Kim scenario, and then  asked us to say the words that were commonplace when talking with Kim:

It's all good, rumbled throughout the gym.

I sat in the dark church sanctuary for the small funeral service. The pastor unpacked the reasons why Kim was able to say, with authority, "It's all good." Kim knew there was a good God at work. Kim knew things on this earth are temporary. Kim knew people mattered more than anything else. She assured everyone she met, "It's all good."

What an incredible legacy Kim has left on earth.

As things around me return to ordinary, I am not. The gnarled living of 2016 changed me. I have a new perspective, whether I like it or not.

My ordinary is evolving.

I celebrate that through the hard, we can find good on the other end. I celebrate, like Kim, that

It's all good.

Share your celebrations...


Friday, December 30, 2016

OLW #12 {CELEBRATE This Week:173}

I'm glad you are here to celebrate! 

Share a link to your blog post below and/or use #celebratelu to share celebrations on Twitter. Check out the details hereCelebrate This Week goes live on Friday night around 10(ish). Consider it as a weekend celebration. Whenever it fits in your life, add your link. 

Please leave a little comment love for the person who links before you.

***


My One Little Word for 2017 has claimed me. I'm welcoming it with open arms, adding it to my collection.

2006-2015
2016

Steadfast. Its roots mean standing firm. I look back at my collection of words and it makes sense to select steadfast next. I'm determined to stand firm as my words continue to wrap around me and provide direction for the way I live. I will be steadfast in faith and love and work and writing. I will remain faithful in the small things.

In 2015, I created a video to document a decade of OLW. Perhaps you'll find it inspiring and encouraging to select a word to live beside in 2017.


Happy 2017! Here's to celebrating!


Tuesday, December 27, 2016

Don't forget these gifts!


I hope you are enjoying your winter holidays. One of the things my kids always do is gather their gifts and take a picture. It's fun to look back at these pictures and remember.
At the beginning of November, I set a goal to send a newsletter with a freebie each week until the end of the year. I've had so much fun creating and developing resources to make teaching writers manageable and enjoyable.
Just like my kids line up their gifts and snap a photo in order to remember, I wanted to recap the gifts I've given in the past two months.
  1. What to do when students have nothing to write: Finding Topics: A Guide for Teachers (my second ebook). Elsie tweeted, "Just out! A fabulous guide for teachers. Help students who have nothing to write about."
  2. A True Confession about Grading Student Writing (my first vlog): JUMP IN: Great Teaching Begins in the Pool (my first ebook from Spring 2016)
  3. What to say in a writing conference: Video Training: 3 Secrets to Powerful Conferences and a PDF of my Conference Question Cheat Sheet. Jennifer Court left this comment, "You have provided quick and meaningful information to implement into classrooms with easy steps. I appreciate that what you have suggested could happen tomorrow in any classroom."
  4. Teach students to think in parts: 5 Storyboard Templates
  5. Quick & Meaningful Writing Assessment: A mini-course on Happy Teaching with Ruth Ayres. Maggie Chase said, "Ruth is down to earth, encouraging and knowledgeable about the realities and practicalities of grading students' written work."
  6. How to make student stories fun to read: Video Training: Stories Have Struggles
  7. How to stop hearing I CAN'T WRITE! from your students: 10 Tiny (But Mighty) Celebrations
You can pick up any of these free resources on my website. (No worries...you won't receive double emails from me -- my email list provider has superhero capabilities and takes care of things like that.)
While you're on the resource page of my website, you'll also see the link to my YouTube channel where I house all of my video minilessons. You might want to check that out, too. Teachers tell me the video minilessons are super helpful to use in writing workshop.

Friday, December 23, 2016

merry christmas! {CELEBRATE This Week: 172}

I'm glad you are here to celebrate! 

Share a link to your blog post below and/or use #celebratelu to share celebrations on Twitter. Check out the details hereCelebrate This Week goes live on Friday night around 10(ish). Consider it as a weekend celebration. Whenever it fits in your life, add your link. 

Please leave a little comment love for the person who links before you.

***


Christmas is love in action. Every time we love, every time we give, it's Christmas.
--  Dale Evans

This is one of my favorite pictures. It was taken Christmas Day 2009, four years before Jay became part of our forever family.

The girls were home for less than two years. It was becoming evident that adoption isn't always a warm and fuzzy experience. It was a dark time for me. I'm glad I didn't know then that the road to healing was going to be years, maybe even decades. Unfortunately there are many untold stories of adoption. There are too many partial stories -- those that romanticize the healing process.

The truth is, healing from trauma is gnarled and ugly. Facing the hurt and harm, and then choosing to move on can be, in many ways, even more painful than the original trauma. Christmas, though, it always gives me hope

It is always, always the best day of the year for our family. We stay home all day long. Everyone maintains self-control. We've yet to have a meltdown, an argument, or a fit on Christmas Day. It is a modern Christmas miracle. 

I am not being dramatic. Every Christmas we are blessed with a miracle of an entire day of FUN. 

It is how Andy and I choose to live. We live FUN. It takes strong and rooted faith to live fun.

Fun is Andy's One Little Word for the third year running. For awhile I thought it was fluff, and he was mocking One Little Word. Now I realize that it takes true strength to keep living fun year after year.

On this holy weekend, I celebrate that Andy and I lead our family in living FUN. We are proof that even in this world where horrific things happen to little kids, we can believe (with a know-so hope) in complete healing. We celebrate the baby in the inn with no room, because He came to offer hope that it is possible to turn darkness into light. 

This is why Andy and I choose live FUN even on the not-so-fun days. On Christmas Day all of our kids choose to live it too. It gives me hope that one day they will learn to live FUN on every day of the year.

Add your celebration here:

Tuesday, December 20, 2016

what to do when students have nothing to write


We hear it all too often, usually from the same students, and almost always said with all caps.


I DON'T KNOW WHAT TO WRITE!


As writing teachers, we know the importance of choice, so we don't want to tell them what to write, but on some days we don't know what else to do.

I've come to realize that the young writers who lament I have nothing to write about really don't need a strategy to figure out a topic. They don't need one more list or another notebook entry or a magical graphic organizer.

They need validation.

Writing takes guts and perhaps the bravest decision is topic choice. More than anything else, students need us to validate their topics. This helps build confidence in young writers.

Many writers (kids and adults) put a lot of pressure on themselves to find the perfect topic. It is a myth to believe that if we just find a grand topic, we will produce grand writing. It doesn't work this way. In fact the most mundane topics often lead to mighty writing.

When students can learn that small and ordinary is worthy, then there's less pressure to determine the perfect topic. Our students need to know that a trip to Walmart is just as worthy a topic for a narrative as a trip to Greece. They need to know that a story from a secret hideout is just as valid as a story from Disney World. Students need to know that an opinion about kindness in the lunchroom is as important as a call to action about fighting homelessness.

As teachers, we can help students understand this truth by affirming their topic choices.

I think the best way to do this is to find ordinary topics ourselves, as teachers who write. When we use ordinary topics to model in writing workshop, we send the message that small is worthy.

In order to help you find ordinary topics, in a variety of types of writing (narrative, informational, opinion, and poetry), I've created Finding Topics: A Guide for Teachers. It will take you through questions to discover topics that are small, but mighty. You can get the free guide by signing up below. I also share a few video minilessons that use ordinary topics as mentors for students.

Saturday, December 17, 2016

hideous truth {CELEBRATE This Week: 171}

I'm glad you are here to celebrate! 

Share a link to your blog post below and/or use #celebratelu to share celebrations on Twitter. Check out the details hereCelebrate This Week goes live on Friday night around 10(ish). Consider it as a weekend celebration. Whenever it fits in your life, add your link. 

Please leave a little comment love for the person who links before you.

***



I am surrounded by white Christmas lights and the smell of freshly baked Christmas cookies. Packages are wrapped. I'm drinking coffee out of a festive mug and stacking words like I have endless time. If you were to peek in the frosty window with snow softly falling, you would see the markings of holiday perfection. Your heart would warm.

My heart is warm, too, only because I'm clunking through the season with a know-so hope. This advent season, I have one job.

BELIEVE.

It's not easy to believe, especially when things don't go how you think they should go.

Sometimes believing gets mixed up with hoping. I'm learning there are two kinds of hope:

  1. hope-so hope
  2. know-so hope
My job is to believe in a know-so hope. This is faith. It's not easy to keep believing in good when everything is unraveling. The truth is, holding tight to a deep faith is a battle.


Looking through the window into someone's life can be deceiving. Things are not picture-perfect for our family. 

I wrote a post on a private blog where I'm allowing our current story to unfold raw and real. These words spilled out: 


Sometimes honesty is hideous

This week, my friend, Christy Rush-Levine, wrote me a note in response. It said:


The hideous truth of your story is that it is a beautiful story.

The writer in me appreciated the juxtaposition of her words. It is true. Sometimes the most beautiful stories are hideous as they unfold. It is an act of faith to believe there will be beauty out of the grime.

Today I celebrate the know-so hope (also called faith) that ugly stories can turn beautiful.

I'm glad you're here to celebrate too.



Just in case you missed this week's writing post, make sure to check it out. It's about what to say in a writing conference and is filled with good stuff!

Tuesday, December 13, 2016

What to Say in a Writing Conference


Our days are full of predictable conversations. You can probably predict your first conversation of the day. You probably know how a conversation is going to go with a spouse, parent, or child after school. You might know how the conversation at lunch is going to go with your colleagues. You have a good idea of how your next conversation with a cashier is going to go.

Conversations are predictable.

Writing conferences are predictable conversations too. There are conversational moves teachers and students make in a writing conversation. When everyone knows the way a conference conversation goes, it becomes more powerful.

Because of this, I consider a minilesson about the structure of a writing conference to be essential. Students must know the way a conference conversation will go. This takes away anxiety and creates a safe place for students to learn how to be stronger writers. 

I created a video minilesson about What to Say in a Writing Conference for you to use with your students.


To simplify the conversation, consider a writing conference as having two parts.

Part 1: Figure out what students are doing as writers.

Part 2: Help them do it better!

Every time I have a conference, I navigate through these two parts. I ask an open-ended question to get students talking about their writing work, and then I look at the writing to see if the work lines up with the talk. (Part 1)

Then I affirm the work students are doing as writers, and teach them something they can use as a writer. (Part 2)

It won't take long for us to run into a student who doesn't have much to say in a conference. It's why we often want a list of questions to ask in a conference. I've learned that the right question is only part of the secret to getting kids to talk in conferences.

Don Graves said, "A student should have more energy for writing after a conference than before." The way to get kids to talk in conferences is to figure out how to increase their energy for writing during a conference.

I've created a mini-training video of 3 Secrets to Powerful Writing Conferences. Sign up below and also get a list of my go-to questions to ask during a writing conference.



Friday, December 9, 2016

OLW 2016: TREASURE {CELEBRATE This Week: 170}

I'm glad you are here to celebrate! 

Share a link to your blog post below and/or use #celebratelu to share celebrations on Twitter. Check out the details hereCelebrate This Week goes live on Friday night around 10(ish). Consider it as a weekend celebration. Whenever it fits in your life, add your link. 

Please leave a little comment love for the person who links before you.

*****




For the last 11 years, I've lived one little word for 365 days. This year's word makes me laugh a skeptical kind of snort.

The word came to me late, a few days after 2016 was underway. I was hesitant to claim it, but it kept following me, like a lost dog in need of a home. I have an affinity for souls in need of homes. This word was a lost soul and begged to inhabit my 2016.


Those who are closest to me would tell you the parenting terrain doesn't get much more rugged than its been this year. We're learning trauma can cause extreme behavior, even years after its supposed to be over. We're learning overcoming a hard history isn't a warm and fuzzy event.We're learning that healing is a gnarled process. 


Sometimes love is tough. It calls for the unimaginable. It calls for choices that no parent ever wants to make. We've learned to love in unprecedented ways, in ways that a year ago were unfathomable.


Meanwhile, my word keeps begging for me to pay attention to it.


Treasure.


It feels like a cruel joke, this little word of mine.


As the year unfolded, the trials continued, increasing in intensity. Month after month, James' words taunted me, "Count it all joy, my brothers, when you meet trials of various kinds." 


I decided I wouldn't like being friends with James.


I've put off reflecting on my little word, because I'm doubtful there will be any connection between my word and 2016.


Count it all joy when you meet trials of various kinds...


There is a single word that means the same thing as the phrase count it all joy...


Treasure.



Treasure, friends, when tests and challenges come at you from all sides. You know that under pressure, your faith-life is forced into the open and shows its true colors. So don’t try to get out of anything prematurely. Let it do its work so you become mature and well-developed, not deficient in any way.
(James1:2-4, The Message)

James understood things about faith that I did not. 

He understood it is through challenges that faith is evident
He understood it is through tests that faith grows deep roots
He understood it is through trials that faith becomes indisputable.

I'm beginning understand these things, too.


It seems that 2016 lived up to its word after all. Although the events of the year have left much to be desired, my irrevocable faith will always be something to 


Treasure.



The Quick & Meaningful Writing Assessment course is still open for free. I know you're busy right now, but here are two reasons to register.

  1. You get lifetime access. So even if you don't have time now, it'll be waiting for you when you do.
  2. There are 5 lessons and each of the videos are less than 5 minutes. You have time for this.




Tuesday, December 6, 2016

Tired of Crazy Writing Time? Take Time to Pause.


Last weekend I went rollerskating. I love rollerskating, and I never worry about being on wheels. No matter how long it’s been since I’ve laced up skates, muscle memory kicks in and I’m flying around the rink. My kids are always impressed.

This time it was different. My wheels didn’t spin. My skates didn’t glide. The rink was pitted and sticky in places. Whenever I pushed off on my left skate, it stuck.

I stumbled. I ran into a wall to avoid a little girl. I pulled a muscle.

No matter what I did, I couldn’t make rollerskating work for me.

It reminded me of writing workshop in December.

Things shift in December. There are jingle bells and Santa cookies. There are music concerts and canned food drives. There are sing alongs and elves watching. All of these things are good things, but they can wreak havoc on a schedule.


What I should have done when I realized things weren’t working when I was rollerskating was paused. I should have exchanged my skates for a better pair. I should have considered the rink conditions and made mental notes of where it was not ideal.

I didn’t do these things.
I was too busy pressing through.

In writing workshop, when things become not ideal, it is best to pause. Take some time and remember the conditions matter to writers. Think through the purpose and the routines that are missing because of the shifts from the season.

Sometimes it seems like we don’t have time to pause.

I wish I would have paused and changed the conditions while roller skating.
Then I wouldn’t have slipped and flew and landed hard.

My daughters laughed. I did too. “You looked like a cartoon!” Martha giggled. They helped me up. The world was spinning. I couldn’t see straight. My head thumped. So did my shoulder and my hip and my knee.

We have time to pause and set the conditions necessary for writing workshop.

No matter how busy December becomes, we can pause and return to the basics.

  1. Time to write.
  2. Access to materials to write.
  3. Choice in what to write.
Pause now and consider how to wrap strong arms around writing workshop and protect it from the busyness of the season! (Click to tweet.) I’d love to hear what you realized when you paused. Leave a comment and let us know!


Don’t forget to register for the free online workshop, Quick and Meaningful Writing Assessment. Join the 250+ other educators who are lightening their grading load!