Archive for the 'High School' Category

Teaching “A Lot”

Wednesday, January 25th, 2012

Some English teachers  furrow their brow at the sight of a single word in student papers:  “alot.”  The word does not exist; the correct presentation is in two words–a lot. While a minor gaff, this lesson learned early can help your kids avoid the wrath of the teacher’s red pen. A friend sent me this [...]

We The People: Constitution Day

Saturday, September 17th, 2011

It is a weekday, and for most of us, that means that we are juggling work, homework, practices, and who knows what else.  It is rare that the kids do any additional writing at home. But, today is Constitution Day, the anniversary of the signing of the nation’s founding document, and as is every day–an opportunity for writing!  You [...]

Observation and Writing

Tuesday, August 2nd, 2011

It Takes A Long Time to See A Flower Georgia O’Keeffe once said this when referring to the observation skills necessary to paint the intricate details of flowers in large scale. I like to apply it to the practice of writing description. Rather than really taking the time to observe and note details, my college [...]

Leaf Poetry

Wednesday, November 3rd, 2010

“Fall fell:  so that’s it for the leaf poetry”                                                            from AR Ammons, Called into Play Autumn can be  especially inspirational to writers. Change is often an impetus for creativity, and big transformations occur as we begin the creep toward winter. To while away a Saturday morning last week, we made some leaf prints on heavy-bond [...]

Extra! Extra! Write All About It!

Friday, August 20th, 2010

The only time I ever got into trouble in junior high was related to an “underground” newspaper I wrote and distributed using an old typewriter, carbons, and the Xerox machine at the local library. I recall that my mom was called as I sat on one side of the principal’s desk. I was frozen in [...]

Writing Spark! Abcedarian Sentences

Tuesday, August 10th, 2010

I found a curious definition in The Superior Person’s Book of Words : the Abecadarian Insult, which is defined as follows: “Sir, you are an apogenous, bovaristic, coprolalial, dasypygal, excerebrose, facinorous, gnathonic, hircine, ithyphallic, jumentous, kyphotic, labrose, mephitic, napiform, oligophrenial, papuliferous, quisquilian, rebarbative, saponaceous, thersitical, unguinous, ventripotent, wlatsome, xylocephalous, yirning zoophyte.” The Translation follows: “Sir, [...]

Writing Spark! Fan Letters

Wednesday, July 15th, 2009

“…don’t you like to write letters? I do because it’s such a swell way to keep from working and yet feel you’ve done something.”  ~Ernest Hemingway In this month’s issue of Family Fun magazine is a letter from a woman who prompted her son’s interest in writing by encouraging him to write to his favorite [...]

It’s in the Cards

Wednesday, July 8th, 2009

A staple book that seems to get more attention in the summer at our house is The Book of Cards for Kids by Gail MacColl.  This book, which I highly recommend,  is your guide to every card game you can imagine, from the classics like Gin and Crazy Eights to the more obscure and fun Smudge, [...]

School’s Never Out

Monday, June 1st, 2009

No more pencils No more books No more teacher’s dirty looks So goes the chorus of Alice Cooper’s anthem, School’s Out, that gets ample airplay each June. I am A-OK with doing away with the teacher’s dirty looks, but I’m a firm believer that the books and pencils should not be discarded just because school is [...]

Quitting A Book…

Monday, May 25th, 2009

A few days ago, our ten-year-old reader began reading

Smarter kids; Stronger Families