Choose A Lens

As my students work on their rhetorical analysis essays, I ask them to consider the lens they will choose to use to examine their chosen text. This is something we should all do from time to time…consider the lenses we use to approach decisions and new experiences as well as live our lives. For a more formal…

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What Can Games Teach Us?

As my students start thinking about rhetorical analysis, I challenged them to think and write about the question of what games can teach us. We discussed some of the moral, ethical, and big philosophical questions that games invite us to consider. We explored the role of games in our human story from who plays specific…

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What Does It Mean To Be A Writer?

As my students polish their This I Believe essays and prepare to write reflections about their journey as writers, I challenged them as well as the Just Write virtual writing group to consider the question: What does it mean to be a writer? Every week we begin our Jam Sessions with this initial writing prompt: I am a writer from……

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What Do You Believe?

As my students draft their This I Believe essays, I challenged them as well as the Just Write virtual writing group to consider the question: What Do You Believe? We drew our inspiration from two poems: Credo by Andrew Zawacki The Answer by Carl Sandburg Both poets offer vivid imagery and intriguing metaphors as they…

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Understanding

Last year the Just Write virtual writing group wrote their way through Black History Month by connecting with the words, values, and lives of Black poets. I curated the poems with an eye toward poems that would connect us as humans (Week 1) and help us understand America’s complicated history (Week 2).  This invitation to write began…

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How Do Games Shape Our Stories?

In our third week exploring games, my students and the Just Write virtual writing group drew inspiration from Ken Burns’ thoughts on baseball. As we learned in our first week in What Are Games? and last week in Why Do We Play?, games and play teach us a lot about ourselves, our world, and the others that inhabit that…

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Connection

Last year the Just Write virtual writing group wrote their way through Black History Month by connecting with the words, values, and lives of Black poets. I curated the poems with an eye toward poems that would connect us as humans. The first of four collections included two poems by Nikki Giovanni to bookend and…

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Why Do We Play?

In our second week exploring games, my students and the Just Write virtual writing group drew inspiration from the TED Radio Hour program Press Play. As we learned last week in What Are Games?, games provide a wonderful writing invitation as every human has life experience with games from our childhood games to gym class to…

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What are games?

This semester my first year writers are exploring games as a way to grow as writers, thinkers, and humans. I have long used games to support the teaching of writing and know that games can be an useful teaching tool in many settings. Games also provides a wonderful writing invitation as every human has life…

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Finding Your Strength in 2022

Our most recent Just Write invitation focused on unpacking 2021 and preparing for 2022. I intended to use Susannah Conway’s Unravel Your Year as a writing prompt before our last writing session but I just didn’t have time/energy for that work. So instead I chose some poems inspired by one of the words I gleaned…

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