Alaska

Write Across America‘s school year marathon visited Alaska in March with writing invitations designed by pre-service teachers. Our writing drew inspiration from these love letters to Alaska exploring places that spark our memory, our imagination, and our connection to a specific place as well as the world in general. If you want to join the Write…

Read More

Celebrating All Aspects of Love

My students and I have been talking about how capitalism has sold us a Valentine’s Day story that we want to reject. Honoring our romantic partners should certainly be a part of any celebration of love, but why not also our family, our friends, and ourselves? In December I shared my Advent of Love poetic…

Read More

Tennessee

Write Across America‘s school year marathon visited Tennessee in February, Nashville in specific, in February thanks to the Middle Tennessee Writing Project. Our writing drew inspiration from the life and work of Dolly Parton. We wrote about Dolly’s music, philanthropy, and fashion and the ways those dimensions intersected with our own lives. If you want…

Read More

Maryland

Write Across America‘s school year marathon resumed in January with a stop in Maryland – Baltimore in specific. Our writing drew inspiration from the stories of six Baltimore artists and their work. We contemplated magical thinking, freedom, unseen layers, time, grief, and secrets just to name a few of our inspirations. If you want to…

Read More
nine hearts in shades of blue and purple

Advent of Love

What are the loves of your life? From food to pets to places to people, we all have many loves that make our lives worth living. Love (and not just romantic love) really does make the world go ’round. The many dimensions of love we experience as we move through life offer rich inspiration for…

Read More

Kentucky Verses

I wrapped up my National Council of Teachers of English Conference experience with the magic of the writing marathon. The writing marathon is an important part of my life as a human and writer, teacher and National Writing Project site leader, and whenever I get to write in community with other writers whether it is…

Read More

Was the journey worth taking?

Reflection is one of the most important things I do with my students, because my goal is to help them grow as writers, humans, and critical thinkers and reflecting about our journey (both the lessons learned from the past and goals we have set for the future) is essential. I know that reflecting on my…

Read More

What If You Hoped?

Where do you place your hope? How do you send your hope out into the world? As we near the end of the semester, my students are planning their What If projects and so this week we engaged in some writing and thinking to support that work. We’ve been preparing artifacts for those projects using…

Read More
quarter moon and stars on a black sky

What If You Dreamed?

When you contemplate your future do you consider your dreams or your heartbreaks? This week as my students and I continued on our “What If” journey, I adapted our usual opening ritual to draw inspiration from Meditations in an Emergency by Cameron Awkward-Rich and asked my students these questions: We then dipped into Encanto with Surface Pressure…

Read More

What If You Noticed?

What sounds and silence do you notice as you move about in the world? How do those sounds work upon you? This week as my students and I continued on our “What If” journey, we used I did not notice the birds by Michael Sun to guide our exploration of our world, or rather worlds,…

Read More

What If You Remembered?

What does your past taste like? What important people represent the milestones of your life? What do you remember of your childhood lair and plans? What stars (real or metaphorical) were you born under? This week my students and I embarked on an exploration of our origin story and the twists and turns that describe…

Read More

Transitions

When did you last contemplate the doors in your life? This week my students were concerned with revision of their rhetorical analysis essays and we used two poems to explore the transitions that our chosen stories have inspired in our lives and futures. I have always loved Doors opening, closing on us by Marge Piercy…

Read More