Building a Better Student: The Beautiful Deadline

Want to get more kids into reading? Turn them on to writing. Writers are readers. And one of the best tools used to shape a person into a writer is the deadline. It’s why I’m a fan of National Novel Writing Month, known affectionately by its abbreviation: NaNoWriMo. The goal is to write a 50,000-word […]

Building a Better Student: Is That Writing?

The middle school writing assembly had gone well, with an energized audience and a fun exchange of ideas. Then a young man raised his hand. “I want to write a comic book? Does that count as writing?” My answer aggravated a few adults in the back of the room. The same issue arose when I […]

Effective Journal Writing Tips for Children

Keeping a journal is one of the best ways to express ideas, thoughts, emotions and other feelings as they come. For children especially, a journal can be a great way to self-express as they grow. Sadly, many children stare at their journals everyday with less to report home about which makes them more or less […]

Building A Better Student: Character Note

Dear Parent, I’m writing to say thank you for teaching your child to write thank you notes. You’ve obviously figured out what too many other parents have not, mainly that a vital element in a student’s education and growth involves gratitude. It’s funny, too, because so many parents are looking for any sort of edge […]

Building A Better Student: The Idea Tree

The question has become an inside joke amongst writers who visit schools and speak to students about the craft. Every writer has been asked hundreds of times, to the point where we’ve each now perfected an answer. Where do you get your ideas? It’s a question with an almost magical quality in the minds of […]

1 Great Tool to Enhance Kids’ Storytelling

I ran across a fascinating site the other day and immediately had the boys try it out. It’s called, and it’s the fastest way to create your own animated movie that I’ve ever seen. Click on the Make Movies button right under the site name, and you’ll see 6 different styles of movie that […]