Twice Told Stories

My nine year old daughter came home from school a few days ago and told me that she is writing an adaption. It took me a minute, but based on her description — “a story I already know, but different” — I realized she was talking about an adaptation. I was excited to hear her version […]

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The Devil in the Details

One thing that teachers consistently tell student writers to do is to add details into their writing — details that paint a unique picture and effectively, sometimes even jarringly, communicate an author’s voice and perspective. Students rise to meet this challenge in varying degrees. But detail is, in the end, the fuel that propels words […]

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Failing and Rising

Two new books — The Gift of Failure, by Jessica Lahey, and Rising Strong, by Brene Brown — take up the merits of making mistakes and being vulnerable. Lahey’s book, targeted toward parents, teachers, and coaches, reminds us that we learned best when we struggled through challenges, and that our children and students need to be strong […]

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Once Upon a Time

Last weekend, I visited Atlanta with two of my best friends, both former English teachers. Susan and Laura have always been like big sisters to me, giving me great advice throughout our 15 years of conversation. We try to spend one weekend every year together, and no matter where we are, we always end up […]

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In the Neighborhood

On a recent Friday night, my 12-year-old daughter and I wandered through some vintage SNL skits on YouTube before landing on Mr. Robinson’s Neighborhood. While I laughed nostalgically at Eddie Murphy’s hilarious and at times outrageous lampoon of Mr. Rogers’ Neighborhood, my daughter was unusually quiet. I tried to explain to her the humor behind the parody, and […]

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