The Writing Life
CeCe Bell describes how she got herself out of a creative funk when her work wasn’t selling: she worked for fun, not profit, and gave herself a daily sketch challenge.
Kelly Barnhill has a wonderful post about why she’s a writer even though so often writing sucks.
Ellie Herman argues that writing “morning pages” just might change your life. I’m thinking of trying it over the holidays if I can just put my iPad down first thing in the morning.
I loved this peek into Penny Kittle’s writer’s notebook.
The Teaching Life
Read this powerful letter to parents from two first-grade teachers in Tulsa who decided to stand up for what they know is right and refuse to administer inappropriate standardized tests to their students.
The results of the National School Climate Survey about the experiences of LGBQT students at school have been published, and it’s just as depressing as you would imagine. We have to do better.
More thoughtful reflection from Crawling Out of the Classroom: “Why I Am Pretty Sure I Have Been Accidentally Stopping the Most Authentic Book Discussions Taking Place in My Classroom.”
Bernard Bull has some excellent suggestions for creating classrooms where it’s good to fail and learn.
Colby Sharp shares 5 Thoughts on Author Visits.
Carrie Gelson describes how she talks with her elementary students about nonfiction picture book biographies.
Kimberly Moran shares 10 brilliant ways to get elementary students excited about books.
If you’ve read Natalie Lloyd’s A Snicker of Magic, you’re going to love Rebecca’s Beedle Society. What a wonderful way to encourage small acts of kindness and wonder!
The Horn Book released its annual Fanfare of the best books of the year.
Nina Lindsey has a very important post at Heavy Medal about the cultural biases we don’t acknowledge and may not even be aware of as we read. Given how white the Newbery and Caldecott lists always are, this post should be required reading for every committee member.
Lee and Low challenges teachers to incorporate diverse books throughout a yearlong curriculum–not just doing ethnic heritage months.
YA author and poet Jason Reynolds has been visiting juvenile detention centers and talking with the teens incarcerated there. Put your preconceived notions aside, because in this post, he visits the prison library and discovers that the most popular reading is…. romance novels! He and the boys also talk knitting and crocheting.
Phillip Nel collects his tweets about #Ferguson and #BlackLivesMatter in a Twitter essay.
Kelly Barnhill explains how she talks with her children about the “hard stuff” of prejudice, privilege, and racism.
David Cole explores “The Disgrace of Our Criminal Justice” in this book review for The New York Review of Books.