Showing posts from September, 2009

My Opinion on Snail Mail

I'm not sure about you, but I always like to receive personal letters. There's something intriguing about a letter--maybe it's the idea that it came from so far away (as most of my letters originate from), or that it takes more time to write and respond to a letter. When I check the mail I'm always happy about three things:

1.) Letters
2.) Netflix (we just received our new movie!) 
3.) Coupons (I think that using scissors to cut them out holds a certain appeal here, besides saving money)

I get a certain excitement from writing, and receiving, a letter that I don't get with email. It could be the stationery--I do have, after all, a lovely pinkish flowered print paper, and another one that's designed to look like a scroll. (My mom gave them both to me for my birthday, or maybe Christmas.) It's very fun to write longhand when you have interesting paper to write on. [Author's Note: I also have a fairly wide collection of pens that range from your typical ballpo…

Confessions of a Couch Potato Part 1

I feel very guilty about my habits. This afternoon, I watched thirty minutes of ABC World News with Charles Gibson while lounging on the couch and doing apathetic leg movements in a penitent effort to exercise. The fact that I'm watching news programming doesn't excuse the fact that I am not exercising as much as I should.

Here are the facts:
I do not usually walk around the neighborhood more than twice a week.I dread the idea of walking up the steep hill on which I live, which leads to the above fact.I like eating foods that are probably fatty, like cheese and yogurt.I am making some half-hearted attempts at exercise. For instance, I tried to do splits. Because this is an impossible feat which even my older sister (who is, compared to the rest of our family, a workout guru) has not accomplished.But I must now depart to go on a walk around the neighborhood. It's my first this week.

Response to Comment

I recently received this comment (on a different website):

There is very little evidence in her [my] writing that she understands how
the world works. In other words, her writing lacks verisimilitude, a quality of
entertaining, engaging writing (even in fantasy novels).My conclusion is hard to
prove because it requires negative evidence. But every good story reflects
something about our shared reality--our existence, the choices we must make, the
difficulties of being human (even in stories about non-humans), the moral
ambiguity, etc. There is little of this in her writing.
I can understand why the commenter may have felt this way. Many of the stories I post on this blog are fantastical in nature, often with seemingly little connection to real-life situations. I wanted to note that I write many of these stories with third-grade audiences. As a result, I talk about things that are interesting and fun to a third grade audience--which will probably not be the same thing that feels realistic to t…

Story Written with Lincoln Elementary Third Graders

It was a cool but sunny September day in Indianapolis when Dan Kuso decided to take his daughter, Abigail, and their pet, Superdog, for a walk.
Superdog was no average dog. For one thing, he was a lot smaller than an average dog. Many people thought that Dan Kuso was walking a cat on a leash. He had to explain that Superdog was a special breed of dog.
Superdog also had the incredible ability to talk. However, he didn’t do it much in public, in case he scared people.
Abigail also had some special powers. She was able to turn invisible, but only for five minutes at most. You see, Abigail really liked to wear bright colors, and it’s harder to stay invisible that way.
Dan Kuso knew that he had an incredible daughter and an incredible dog, but he never imagined that one would be kidnapped.
Which is exactly what happened.
Eight minutes into the walk, Dan let Superdog off his leash to run around the park. It had been fifteen minutes when he started getting worried.

Story Written with Video Conferencing Third Graders

It was a sunny September morning, and Jasmine, Diannela, and Dante were heading to the pool with all kinds of flotation devices.
Diannela was the first to jump in the water.
“It’s nice and cool!” she said happily.
Dante was more cautious, and tiptoed into the water anxiously.
“I’m not sure how well I can swim right now,” he said nervously.
“Oh, come on. You’re the best swimmer,” Jasmine said, smiling.
They were having fun swimming, doing underwater cartwheels, and back-floating when Angel came in. Although he was able to fool most people with the name, he was actually very bad-tempered.
When he saw Jasmine back-floating peacefully, he jumped right into the water next to her, sending water splashing everywhere--and up Jasmine’s nose. Coughing, she had to get out of the water.
“Hahahaha,” Angel snorted. “Can’t even back-float! I did that when I was two.” Diannela edged away from Angel, but he started splashing water all over, making it impossible to swim…

Education Articles

Dear Readers,

If you would like to read my blog posts about education and my kid's eye view of the classroom, go to . The Educator's Royal Treatment is a blog I write for. You can go to the Adora Svitak page to find all my articles. This blog is a wonderful resource for educators. Have fun reading!