Show Me a Story

Show Me a Story

I love stories. I love hearing good stories and I love telling stories. I can still remember my unbounded delight when my elementary classmates enjoyed hearing installments of my magical sagas. And these days I love the moments I steal from work to write stories of fantastic islands for my favorite young people. Stories take … Continue reading

I’m Back!

I’m Back!

I’m back! Not so much like a movie meme, but more like a hiker slogging in after a long trek through the wilderness. Yes, it has been that kind of spring/summer. Life—personal and professional—just got complicated. But there are seasons like that, and I always learn a lot, some of which I hope I’ll be … Continue reading

Atoms, Cookies, and Creative Choice

Atoms, Cookies, and Creative Choice

Recently I had the chance to make spring sugar cookies with a group of young friends. We had all the cookie cutters you might expect–flowers, butterflies, hearts, rabbits, and eggs. The children had a grand time rolling out dough, cutting cookies, and later frosting them. Some of the cookies looked typical, but the ones we … Continue reading

Chalk Photography Magic

Chalk Photography Magic

Even in Michigan, there are hints of spring. While we can’t guarantee we’re snow-free yet, the dirty snow heaps are gone and I can begin to see buds on the trees. For many of you, spring break may be right around the corner. Here’s an idea for some family fun or art-lesson magic for your … Continue reading

Runway of Dreams, and Inspiration

Runway of Dreams, and Inspiration

If you were a parent whose child asked to wear jeans to school on “Jeans Day,” what would you say? No problem, right? What if that child had a disability that meant he could not put jeans on independently or use the bathroom while wearing jeans? What then? How do you tell a child he … Continue reading

How to Put Your Parents to Bed

How to Put Your Parents to Bed

I make no claim that this is an unbiased review: One of my friends, Mylisa Larsen, just wrote a wonderful picture book: How to Put Your Parents to Bed. But you don’t have to believe me—The New York Times loved it, too. Here’s a preview, just to give you a smile. As you can tell, … Continue reading

Motivation and Me: Part 2

Motivation and Me: Part 2

Again, today, I’m thinking about motivation, specifically, motivation to learn. Needless to say, teachers hope students will be motivated to learn the content they’ve prepared. There are few things more frustrating than facing a class with a carefully crafted lesson only to be met with indifference. Thinking about what motivates students to learn—and how it … Continue reading

Sparking Student Creativity

Sparking Student Creativity

If you are looking for a practical resource for adding some “sparks” of creativity to your curriculum planning, ASCD has a resource that may help. Patti Drapeau’s Sparking Student Creativity is subtitled “Practical Ways to Promote Innovative Thinking and Problem Solving,” and it delivers on that promise. The book is organized around four “roads,” one … Continue reading