Showing posts from November, 2015


The snow is already up to the tops of my boots here in the burbs of Chicago. I have a snowman I can look eye to eye with in my front yard and yet it's not even Thanksgiving yet. Welcome to the Midwest! It should be 50 by Thursday so all the snow will turn to leafy brown sludge rimed with ice in the mornings. However, it's the time of year we all turn our minds to our blessings instead of the irritations of things like the weather.

I find it interesting that every November my Facebook wall explodes with people telling the world what they're thankful for. Every day for the entire month until we get sucked into the wonderful world of Christmas shopping and elbowing people out of the way for the newest creepy Elmo toy. Don't get me started on that elf on the shelf thing. (Shivers) I swear those things are plotting against us when we're not looking.

Back to thankfulness. I decided to not participate in the public declaiming of thanks this year. I have in the past, but f…

Do Your Research

My students had research papers due this week. We'd spent five weeks reading the Walter Dean Myers book Fallen Angels and researching and learning about the Vietnam War. We always do the Vietnam War in October to November because it's a war we so rarely get to it in social studies and it's such an important part of our national history and identity. Anyway, we spent two weeks on the who research process. It's always a struggle.There are always a couple of kids who think because they found the information and copied it it's theirs. Plagiarism is an uphill battle in the classroom. I think we got the point across.

As writers, you'd think that all you do is just make stuff up. Right? Well, kind of. We do make up a lot of stuff. And we have to keep all that made up stuff straight. I actually have a notebook in which I write down definitions and descriptions of the things I've created in my worlds. However, there is a lot of research that needs to happen. We don&…