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My interest in loose parts play evolved out of the discoveries I was making through my own action research in the years prior to the release of my first little book, Make Writing. You can read more about that work by visiting any of these posts if you’re interested. These are a few that I find particularly revealing, as a reflective practitioner: Writing Ideas at Play (2010) Research and Writing in Kindergarten (a series) (2011)…

It all started when we were about two weeks deep into our new pandemic lifestyle. John and I were sitting in our living room, which sits about twenty feet from the tree-lined sidewalk that edges our street. That sounds quaint doesn’t it? The tree-lined sidewalk that edges our street. And it is most days. Some days though, those huge trees fall down. The fall down on top of our houses. Like our house, for instance.…

“I just ordered my first box of those weird under eye gel patch thingies that everyone from Rachel Hollis to Oprah to Brene Brown seems to be sporting on social lately,” I laughed, leaning away from the screen. “I mean, if Brene uses them, they have to be good, right?” “Do they sell them in extra-strength Covid-size?” my friend asked. “There is no eye gel patch thingy made for this moment,” I admitted. “But buying…

Last week, Judge Penny Wolfgang invited me in to her studio at Entercom Communications to chat about the WNY Young Writer’s Studio, the Common Core Learning Standards, and the influence of both of those things on kids who love (and hate) to write. I truly enjoyed my visit, and I’m grateful to her for shining a bit of light on the great things that are happening at Studio. The interview was broadcast on Kiss 98.5,…

I am BEYOND EXCITED to be hosting this event with everyone at the WNY Young Writer’s Studio! For the last several years, our annual writing celebrations were inspired by the spirit and the structure of the unconference model. Writers of all ages shared their growing expertise by leading conversations and mini-sessions that featured their favorite strategies and resources. Some of my favorite Studio memories were made on these days. Now that we have our own…

I like my laptop, but I love Post Its. iPads certainly support the professional learning that happens in my sessions, but Post Its contain that learning and make it transparent and immediately to accessible to everyone in the room. We can touch each other’s thoughts and hold them in our hands. We can move them around and break them apart. We can remix¬†them, and when we do, they change. And then our thinking changes. This…

“There’s a ghost in our classroom,” Ian informed me as I slid into the seat right next to him. “Really?” I asked, looking around his kindergarten classroom for clues. “How do you know?” And that was when the power went out. “Well, there’s some proof,” he suggested drily. “And the bathroom door keeps opening and closing.” “It’s really windy out,” I said. “We’ve got a ghost,” Ian said plainly, tiring of my antics. And that…