1. amandaonwriting:

    In the beginning, there was change…

    When I’m teaching our Writers Write course, I’ve found that students seldom want to know how to write a perfect beginning. They think they already have that one in the bag. After all, they’ve worked it over many times, even if it’s only been in their heads. Generally, they have decided that it will be a prologue, usually a flashback that will show the reader something he or she needs to know in the future. Then they start at the beginning with backstory. They must because, ‘the reader won’t understand the story if I don’t show who the character is and where he comes from.’
    Sound familiar? Don’t be too hard on yourself. We all start writing that way. We were taught exposition at school. We had to set up the story before we could begin. As a fiction writer you need to un-learn everything you were taught about story-telling as a child. Adults want to read a book that begins with a bang. They want to land in the middle of the action, identify with the protagonist, and take a thrilling vicarious ride to a resolution.
    We can learn how to do this. We don’t need to hang on to bad writing habits that bore readers. The backstory belongs in your character profiles, your timelines, and your first draft. After that, we have to get rid of most of it, and start where things change.

    So what are the elements of a good hook?

    (via hanunanu)

     
  2. Truth

    (Source: teachinginthemiddle)

     
  3. tedx:

    High school senior Piper Otterbein has dyslexia, but it doesn’t define her. In a talk at TEDxYouth@CEHS, she shares the lesson that her difficulties with dyslexia have taught her — the best path in life is to harness the strengths you already have, rather than fixate on things you think you lack.

    Watch the whole talk here»

    (via learn2teach-teach2learn)

     
  4. surprisemme:

    the story lies within the pages. not upon the look of the cover.

    (via codenamereader)

     

  5. "If one reads enough books one has a fighting chance. Or better, one’s chances of survival increase with each book one reads."
    — Sherman Alexie (via afternoon-tea-and-books)

    (via rodrigojheman)

     
  6. Cool spelling game.

     
  7. Dying to try out this cute winter bulletin board! I could have the kids make their own snowflakes and that would be a good way to show them how they are each special and unique. 

     

  8. "It’s strange how teachers can go off to college for all those years to learn to become teachers, but some of them never learn the easy stuff. Like making kids laugh. And making sure they know that you love them."
    — Matthew Dicks, Memoirs of an Imaginary Friend
     

  9. nitanahkohe:

    I would really recommend reading the resources here, this is really important stuff. Native students, particularly those from reservations, face a unique set of challenges that most non-Natives don’t realize—it’s not just cultural differences (though those are a factor), it’s also things like policy that disproportionately affects tribal schools.

    On most measures of educational success, Native American students trail every other racial and ethnic subgroup of students. To explore the reasons why, Education Week sent a writer, a photographer, and a videographer to American Indian reservations in South Dakota and California earlier this fall. Their work is featured in this special package of articles, photographs, and multimedia. Commentary essays offer additional perspectives.

    (via brintty)

     

  10. "Education is the most powerful weapon which you can use to change the world. It is through education, that the daughter of a peasant can become a doctor, that the son of a mineworker can become the head of the mine, that a child of farm workers can become the president of a great nation. It is what we make out of what we have, not what we are given, that separates one person from another."
    — Nelson Mandela, former president of South Africa, 1993 Nobel Peace Prize laureate (via bookmania)

    (via apenguinsprogress)