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Category: teaching

Love Not Control

When I was an undergrad, I had a professor who encouraged us to use positive reinforcement for classroom management. He suggested to look for a student who was doing the right thing and say, “I like how Johnny is standing in line,” or “I like the way Johnny is sitting quietly,” or “Thank you, Johnny, for keeping your hands to yourself.” I piped up (it was before my filter was securely in place like it is most of the time now) and said, “Yeah and then everyone wants to beat… Read more Love Not Control

Teaching Paragraphing

Last night Annabel Hurlburt and I were talking about helping fourth grade writers organize their narratives with paragraphs. Annabel has done an incredible job of helping her students think in scenes and craft a story. As we were looking at some drafts, we realized starting new paragraphs wasn’t automatic for most writers in the room. I was reminded of the tricky nature of knowing when to start a new paragraph. Several years ago, I posed the question to Two Writing Teacher readers: How do you know when to start a… Read more Teaching Paragraphing

Teach Writers Like Nate Taught Swimmers

My husband’s and my friend Nate taught three of our four children how to swim. Nate was 20 when I scribbled these lessons in my notebook after our final swim lesson. Get in the pool. Nate was a competitive swimmer. He knows how to swim well, so he can teach in a richer way. As writing teachers, we need to put words on paper. It gives a deeper insight into how to teach writing well. Teach one thing. After watching a swimmer he gave one suggestion to make the stroke… Read more Teach Writers Like Nate Taught Swimmers

Believe in Them

Sometimes the grind of parenting a child with a hard history gets to me. Sometimes I’m tattered teaching a child how to give and accept love. Sometimes I’m worn out fighting the same battle over the same boundary for 600 straight days. And then someone says something like, “Wow, I just can’t imagine becoming a mom the way you did.” On a day with grace, I’m able to seal my sharp tongue behind my lips. Sometimes affirmation follows. It sounds like this, “I admire the way you see who they… Read more Believe in Them


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. ***** My friend Joe sent me an email and told me he was rereading Crazy Love by Francis Chan. Strangely enough, I’m rereading it this week too. Joe asked me to read Chapter 7, “Your Best Life…Later” and then send him some thoughts. I like the way our thinking weaves around one another and gets to new ideas. ***** I had my year-end evaluation meeting on Friday… Read more CELEBRATE This Week: XXXIII

25 Things to Do About Not Wanting To Write

Last week I posted 25 Reasons People Don’t Write. As an after thought, I added a silly little list about what to do about not wanting to write. I’ve been thinking about that little list and realized I ran out of steam for the list. (I didn’t want to write it…how ironic!) So here is another attempt at the list. How about you? What do you do to keep going when you don’t want to write? Write anyway. Talk to someone else. Believe my words matter. Set and meet goals… Read more 25 Things to Do About Not Wanting To Write