Laura's Blog
Thursday, 30 June 2016

Happy Poetry Friday! Today, I’m sharing a concrete poem written by a poet named Jackie Kozell. Let’s take a look at it first, and then I’ll share the story behind this poem. Jackie is a talented artist, which you can see in the shape of the poem. But her artist’s eye also makes her observant […]

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Happy Poetry Friday! The American Library Association is coming up next week. I’m looking forward to checking out fall trends in middle grade and, of course, what’s new in poetry. I’ve had a blast during my debut author year spending time with fellow middle grade novelists. Today, I’d like to introduce Poetry Friday readers to […]

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Thursday, 2 June 2016

POST UPDATE: Thanks to Charles at StartSleeping.Org for reaching out to me. I’m happy to share information about the organization. Charles writes: I work with a passionate team at StartSleeping.org that strives to provide the best resources possible to help those in need get a good night’s sleep. With winter fast approaching we like to turn […]

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Thursday, 26 May 2016

Today was the poetry open house at Northfield Elementary School. It was an emotional day. I’ve been poet-in-residence at this school for ten years. The third grade teachers’ stories about how our poetry workshops have impacted their students, and their own teaching throughout the year, were so moving. There were lots of tears and hugs. […]

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Wednesday, 25 May 2016

We’re wrapping things up at Northfield Elementary. Our third and final poetry workshop focused on odes. Tone is a difficult literary concept. The website Literary Devices defines it this way: “Tone, in written composition, is an attitude of a writer toward a subject or an audience. Tone is generally conveyed through the choice of words or […]

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Monday, 23 May 2016

Greetings, poets and friends. The Northfield third graders are working on imagery today, by focusing on our five senses. The five senses are an important tool in communication, whether you are telling a story to friends at the lunch table, or writing a poem. Appealing to your audience’s senses creates that “you are there” feeling. Using […]

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Every once in a while, I read a book and — the moment I’ve finish the last page — I know the novel’s perfect poem. That’s what happened with my good friend Kathy MacMillan’s YA fantasy SWORD AND VERSE. Kathy and I, along with debut authors Ava Jae and Janet Sumner Johnson, did a mini book-tour together in […]

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Welcome back to the Northfield Third Grade! Our poets are continuing to work on list poems, using Naomi Shihab Nye’s “Words in My Pillow” as a mentor text. You can read more about the model poem and  how the students are using it to create their own list poems at yesterday’s post. Mackenzie is a […]

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Monday, 16 May 2016

Hello, Readers! After my new middle grade novel launched in mid-April, I took a month off from blogging. In that month, I’ve visited schools and bookstores in Albuquerque, New Mexico, New York City, and Baltimore. Now I’m back in my own neighborhood, teaching at Northfield Elementary. I’ve been poet in residence with the Northfield third […]

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Happy Poetry Friday, everyone! I’m traveling to Albuquerque next week, where I’ll be visiting two schools — including a real Emerson Elementary. That’s where I’ll be on April 21, which is national Poem in Your Pocket Day. Because I’ll be sharing the day with students, I’ve been thinking about some of my favorite ways to […]

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