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Writing

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This week, it was my privilege to process the whole of this strange and chaotic year in the company of other teachers who–despite that reality–deepened their professional learning relative to making and writing and all things multimodal composition. I wanted to create an experience that was as much about them as it would be about the writers they serve. I wanted to offer questions and invitations that would resonate and center everyone while offering an…

Jody Shipka’s Toward a Composition Made Whole has been good company this month. If you’re in the process of reexamining your understanding of what it means to write or teach writing well, you will appreciate her wisdom. It runs deep. I couldn’t help but reflect on this reality as I was reading, too: So often, our efforts to get beyond print in our writing classrooms and workshops are complicated by misguided understandings and applications of…

Paper is one of my favorite love languages. It’s different from clay or LEGO or watercolor or wire. If you’ve been around for a bit, then you know how much I adore making writing with natural elements too, but paper? Let me tell you why paper is so special to me. First, it’s everywhere, and it’s free. It’s also incredibly dynamic. We can crumple, tear, fold, and stain it. Paper has texture, and when…

Yesterday was my work anniversary! One year ago, I accepted a position as an instructional designer at Daemen College. I’ve been designing a sociolinguistics course that I’ll be teaching remotely soon as well, and I get to teach advanced composition again! If you would have told me one year ago that my life would look anything like it does today, I wouldn’t have believed you. And I’m profoundly grateful for where I am right now.…

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)…

If you’ve read my new book, then you know that I’m a huge supporter of what my friend Michelle Haseltine is doing over at #100DaysofNotebookKeeping and Beyond! Last week, she welcomed fellow notebook keepers back into that community, where everyone makes a commitment to 100 days of notebook keeping. I started last year, floundered, and eventually quit. This year, I’m planning to go the distance. One of the things that I love most about the…

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…

Hey–happy Friday! How was your week? Mine was productive. Very productive. And productive feels so much better than just about anything else right now. I just wrapped my first week as an Instructional Designer at Daemen College, and I am loving it. I mean, talk about serendipity. There may be no better definition of just-in-time professional learning right about now. I’ll try to pay as much of it forward as I can. My first recommendation?…

What’s Culture Got To Do With It? Before I share some of what I’m learning here, I need to make myself clear: When I use the word culture, I’m not referring to race alone. That very fact—the fact that I’m not speaking to race specifically–is problematic, too. I know. I knew it when I was drafting today’s post. I will write that piece separately, I thought. I will write that one next. Why? Well, because…