A Quick Comprehension Check: Reading Response Exercise #106


Read for at least twenty to thirty minutes.

Reflect & Write

Think about what you have read, and answer the following questions:

  • What happened in today’s reading?
  • What do you think will happen next?
  • Based on what you have read so far, would you recommend this book to others? Why or why not?


Share your responses with your reading partners, or share your response as a comment here on the blog. Remember to mention the title and author of your novel. That way, readers intrigued by your response can check out the book for themselves.

Happy Reading!


Play With Your Words Writing Prompt #81: Wisdom or Kindness?


Some say there is no wisdom that is greater than kindness. Do you agree or disagree?

Get out a piece of paper and brainstorm ideas for both points of view. Choose one point of view to write about.


Compose a one-page essay explaining your point of view. Consider incorporating not only ideas supporting your opinion, but acknowledge the opposite opinion and explain how your perspective is superior. Use strong details and examples.


When you have  finished writing, read what you’ve written with your writing partners or share your writing here as a comment. Compliment one another on the strengths of your arguments and the details and examples you used to support your point of view.

Apologies: No Greek and Latin Roots This Week


I went on a writer’s retreat last weekend, started a new job this week, spent time with my parents who came up from California to visit, and attended a school function last night. Consequently, I have not had time to pull together this week’s Greek and Latin Roots lesson.

I am so sorry! I hate letting people down. Unit 1 Lesson 4 should be up next week. Thanks for your patience.

“Non-Writing Ways to Become Better Writer.”

In this troubling economy, we have all had to make difficult or unpleasant choices. The bad new is, I need to return to the workplace. The wonderful new is, I get to return to something I love—teaching!
Therefore, as I have been contemplating the need to revise my writing schedule, I found this article from Rachelle Gardner’s Books and Such Blog inspiring: “How to Become a Better Writer: *10 Non-Writing-Related Ideas.” Check it out. I think you’ll like it.

(I particularly liked idea #1.)

Which is your favorite?

Why Read Young Adult Fiction: Wonderful Words!


Today’s quote comes from an article written by Alyssa Rosenberg, “From ‘Harry Potter’ to ‘Twilight,’ The Enduring Draw of Young Adult Fiction,” that I read last spring on the Atlantic.com. Rosenberg says:

Young adult fiction offers a promise to all of us that there is no suffering that’s not worth it, no agony that goes unrewarded down the line.

Have you read any young adult fiction lately? Who are your favorite authors and what are your favorite books?

Reading Response Exercise #105: What Do You Think?



Read for at least twenty to thirty minutes.


Think about what you have read.

  • What was interesting in this reading?
  • What might have been boring?
  • What do you wish the author might have included before moving on in the story?
  • Explain why you feel the way you do.


Share your responses with your reading partners, or share your response as a comment here on the blog. If commenting here, please mention the title and author of your novel. That way, readers intrigued by your response can check out the book for themselves.

Happy Reading!

Point of View-Play With Your Words Writing Prompt #80: What Would _____ say?


Write a one to three paragraph description of yourself, and then list three friends.


Choose one friend from your list and rewrite the description for yourself from this friend’s point of view. Keep in mind:

  • the things your friend knows about you (which can be included)
  • the things only you know about you (which can’t be included)
  • the things your friend may deduce or suspect about you but must in the end make a guess about if included in the description.


When done, read what you’ve written with your writing partners. Discuss how the change in viewpoint effected the writing decisions you made from the first set of paragraphs to the second. And please, share your insights here for others to read.

Roots for Early Dismissal Vocabulary Exercise

One of my students’ favorite ways to review their Greek and Latin roots was to play “Roots for Early Dismissal.”

What do you need to play?

  • The list of the week’s roots and review roots
  • Popsicle sticks or slips of paper with your students’ names on them
  • A container to hold the names

How do you play?

Give your students enough time to clean up and gather their stuff leaving about 2-3 minutes before the bell rings. Do not start the activity until everyone is sitting quietly in their seats with their things, ready to go.

Draw a name and say a root. If that student provides a definition for the root, she may leave. If she can’t, continue to draw names until someone finally defines it and leaves. Allow students only five-ten seconds to define the root before you move on to a new student. In order to review as many roots as possible, this is a staccato, rapid-fire game.

Once a root has been defined, proceed to a new name and the next root on the list.

When you come to the end of the root list just go back to the beginning and keep playing until the bell rings.

My students loved the opportunity to get out of class early, even if it was only a few seconds, so they were all eager to participate in the game. Furthermore, students who had not yet learned their roots benefited from hearing their classmates correctly define them.

The pace moved so fast, there was not much time for any one student to be embarrassed if he missed a root, and students who needed the practice got a second chance at success–if they have been listening.

Give it a try. I guarantee, “Roots for Early Dismissal” will become a favorite in your classroom as it did in mine.

Why Read Historical Fiction?

A new blog launched this month, Corsets, Cutlasses, and Candlesticks. Their focus? History, fiction, and, of course, that blending of the two—historical fiction (one of my favorite genres). Their inaugural post, “Why Read Historical Fiction?” provides a great introduction to their blog and the value of reading historical fiction and including it in courses of study. Check them out. Their content has proven valuable and enjoyable so far. I think you will like it, too.

Forgiveness, Courage and Strength: Wonderful Words

 Saturday, the Goodreads Quote of the Day was:

“The weak can never forgive. Forgiveness is the attribute of the strong.”
~Mahatma Gandhi
All Men are Brothers: Autobiographical Reflections

These words grabbed hold of me and would not let go. It takes such courage and strength to forgive, to willingly to relinquish a grudge, particularly when you have truly been wronged and face a future which may be new and unknown.

My faith calls me to forgive, and I want to forgive. I can even see that forgiveness blesses the forgiver even more than the forgivee. But, forgiveness is hard. It is a journey you must embark on, a letting go of bitterness and anger—over and over again until the process is complete. Forgiveness does take strength.