The Verbs of Kindness

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A verb:  an action or a state of being.

No grand gestures here.

To do. To act. To be.


In no particular order:

  1. help
  2. respect
  3. include
  4. encourage
  5. care
  6. welcome
  7. listen
  8. smile
  9. praise
  10. notice
  11. offer
  12. share
  13. greet
  14. thank
  15. give
  16. invite
  17. compliment
  18. accept
  19. honor
  20. love

If you need a verb in your day … take one.

If you have a verb to add … leave one!



Reading Love



Love my students.

Love reading.

Love my students reading.

Here’s a quick little Valentine bookmark for the book lover in your life.


  • scrapbook paper
  • card stock
  • heart-shaped paper punch
  • ribbon
  • rubber stamp
  • gold ink
  • ribbon
  • coordinating marker
  • washi tape

Originally, I shopped at Walmart for multi-pack Valentine cards for my students. Since I have 30 students, and the cards were $7.97 for a pack of ten … I decided I could do better on my own. I didn’t even like them really.

These bookmarks are soooo much cuter. With a bonus: it’s a reading love note too!


And made with love.


Summer Writing Souvenirs

I teach my first writing class of the new school year in just 13 days.

Our writing year is wide open, I will tell my students. We will write whatever and wherever our stories, our curiosities, and our opinions take us.


We’ll write together, I’ll promise, each one of us knowing what it feels like to look at that blinking cursor and blank screen, that wide expanse of empty paper. We’ll know because we face it every single day too. We’ll know today’s drift will lead to tomorrow’s draft. We’ll understand our beginning confusion may end as courage if we’re each willing to write our way through it.

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At some point in that first 43 minute period I will tell them I spent my summer vacation writing.

And I will tell them, if I wasn’t writing, I was thinking about writing. I listened to phrasing in my head while folding laundry. I wrote bumpy journal notes during long car rides. I subscribed to writing magazines and reached out with story ideas.  I shared my writing with other writers. And  I wrote every letter, syllable, word, phrase, and sentence with my heart.

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Now my heart’s invested in writing with all of them too.  I didn’t just write for me, I wrote for them. And all summer long, I wrote like a writer who also teaches writing.

So here’s some summer writing souvenirs I’ve stashed in my school bag:

  1. Make time to write. Writers write.  In our class, we will write every single day.
  2. Notes count. Lists and letters too. So do sketches, doodles, diagrams, and drawings. Thinking is writing too, so we’ll be sure to think with our screens open or a pencil in hand.
  3. Use photography.  Photos sometimes inspire topic, but mostly theme, mood, and feeling. I’m a visual learner and many of my students are as well. Sometimes all we need is a visual jump start, and words will come.
  4. We will write from all the places we go: the cafeteria, the playground, field trips, the soccer field, and the bus. We will find the stories of our lives in the dentist’s office, the dance studio, and at the dinner table. We will find our stories in the places where we live, learn, and play.
  5. We will reach out to other writers. Nothing builds confidence like community. Technology allows us to write with other writers all around our world. Our writing will reach, teach, and touch others – and our community will celebrate the writers we are.
  6. DSC_0736Write as if no one else will ever read it. Write without fear. Write real. Write you.


And toss in a little trust, I’ll tell those kids, because you’ve come to your writing home.