Ms. Nancy's Library & Technology Blog

Empowering students with books and technology

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this week in Technology…

February 2nd, 2015 · No Comments · Art, Author! Author!, Education

…we’re working on reading, math, reading, keyboarding, math and Google Docs.

Because we really like to write, that’s why!

And now, how about a beautiful picture for you, before we jump into the lesson?

(Photo by Steve Rawley)

(That’s Willie Nelson, with his pretty daughter, Amy, singing back-up, and his amazing harp player, Mickey Raphael. They like to make music.)

Here are some tricks I teach the students, re: writing:

I’m a writer, before I am anything else. I love being a teacher, a mom, a wife, a friend, a daughter, all of that. But before I was anything else in the world, I was a writer.

I “wrote” my first book, an alphabet book, when I was two and a half or so? I still have it. I didn’t know how to write, exactly, or spell, exactly, so I told my mom what I was trying to say and she wrote the words.

“A” was for acrobat.

I never gave up, and I still love writing. (Let’s see how many times I say “I” here. Sorry.) My teachers encouraged me, and friends and family. I wrote for my high school paper (a little) and my college paper (a lot), and went to work as a clerk for The Oregonian newspaper after that, where I wrote, wrote, wrote my head off.


* Don’t freeze up when you see a blank screen or a blank sheet of paper. Write “gah gah gah gah.” Write, “no, no, yes, yes, yes.” Write anything. Write: “I don’t know exactly what Mrs. R. wants me to write here, so I’ll just keep writing until I dream up something.”

* Write letters — to friends, to family members, to yourself. Write to invisible friends. Write to your grandma. Use 14- or 16-point, and write in a typeface that isn’t impossible to read. Flourishes and fancy-fancy looks good, but can be difficult to decipher.

* Write notes on cards, write notes on postcards, grab some old-fashioned stationery and envelopes. Cover the envelopes with stickers. Mail them. Snail mail still exists; learn (or re-learn) how to use it.

* Keep a journal. Write in it. Make collages, save ticket stubs and cool paper and whatever else you want — tuck it into the journal. Use colored pencils, pens, stickers, whatever you feel like. It’s yours.

* Maybe writing isn’t your thing, but music is. Maybe you’re a songwriter, but not a singer. Maybe you’re a singer, not a songwriter. Maybe you’re good at playing guitar, writing, and singing, like my buddy Willie Nelson. Or maybe your gift is painting. Gardening, knitting, doing math. Maybe you’re good with older people, or little kids. Maybe you’re a healer, and will help people feel better. My daughter had heart surgery a couple of years ago, and her surgeon, an artist in his own right, really loves to play and coach basketball. And save kids’ lives on the side. My point is — you have a gift, and you will figure this out as you go along. Look for the people who will help you hone it.

Have a great week.

— Mrs. R