Which came first–the chicken or the egg? Or which comes first–the body or the opening paragraph? I have some strong opinions about this that I answer in today’s blog video/live class! 🙂 Additionally, this post contains a video lesson on creating opening and closing paragraphs for research reports. I teach my students (and I use this approach in my books) that there are over a dozen ways to create an opening paragraph. (See idea list below.) I also teach them that in upper level writing, they should be very specific in their opening and closing paragraphs. No more summarizing here and there (or restating everything you say in the paper!). I teach them HOW to write the various opening and closing types so that they can use them in their writing. Watch today’s video and follow along with a few pages of the text we used. (Jump Start II–coming out this month!)
My Meaningful Composition co-author (my oldest child Joshua) and I have been writing a novel for, um, four years now. Well, truth be told, he has been writing it for nearly twenty years as he started outlining it when he was eighteen years old. It is finished actually, but Joshua is a perfectionist (at teaching, instructional writing, lesson plan preparation, and novel writing), so it isn’t finished in his eyes. We recently got it back out, dusted it off, and dug in to find his perfect spot again (and add in more technology…do you know how much things change in our world in four years?).
I have written seventy-five books in the past fifteen years—averaging 800 pages a book. The first forty were completely new books, and the next thirty-five have been re-writes and new books taken out of the original forty (i.e. half of the MC lessons came out of Character Quality Language Arts, for instance). But it has been a long journey nonetheless.
Click to watch!
I have loved teaching reading again! And I have loved creating products to use for letter recognition and sounds/letter recognition. It is so fun to work with younger children again…and makes me anxious to teach my grandkids to read (or help teach them!).
Every fall I want to share this….and every fall I make my way through the poem again, look at pictures, cry, and put it all away until next fall. Then I repeat the cycle.
Until this fall. Seventeen years ago today we lost our last child, a little girl we named Carly Grace at twenty-one weeks gestation during an intrauterine blood transfusion. The details are in the free verse poem that I wrote seventeen years ago this winter.
I don’t have answers for mamas who are grieving such devastating losses. But I do know this…writing this poem, reading it over and over through the years, talking about Carly with family and friends (especially our children), and thinking about her really have helped me.
So if you are suffering a current loss or a loss from long ago, don’t be afraid to share it. Don’t be afraid to talk. Don’t be afraid to tell that it hurts like mad. Because it does.
This week’s Wondering Wednesday is a video in which I teach how to use my Checklist Challenge. Whether you are a CI curriculum user (Character Quality Language Arts, Meaningful Composition, or Write On!) or not, if you are a teacher who longs to merge grammar with writing (as it should be!), this video will give you tips and ideas that you can begin incorporating immediately.
The store description of the Checklist Challenge Packet is given below. This text will give you some ideas on what you can expect to learn in this week’s Wondering Wednesday!
Aboard, about, above. Along, among, around….
Whether your kids sing them, recite them, chant them, rap them, or write them…prepositions are important.
I learned them in chant-like form when I was in school. However, I never knew WHY I needed to learn them.
My newest downloadable product will teach kids prepositions—in a way that focuses on the WHY, that is, what prepositions really do!