Category Archives: School

The Payback Game

“The library is no place to play the Payback Game!” I told a normally sweet 4th grader the other day. She and another student had been running and hiding behind shelves and lunging at each other, trying to hit each … Continue reading

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All Work and No Play Makes Jack. . .

Kindergarten parents in Long Island received a letter this week in the mail from school officials. The contents surprised so many people that the letter made national news: In the interest of the kindergartners’ future college and career preparedness, the … Continue reading

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Of Music and Hope

More than once this past weekend, I leaned over to someone sitting next to me, raised my eyebrows, and said things like, "Wow. That was special,” and “I’m so glad I got to hear that!” My daughter, Amanda, was amazed … Continue reading

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“Touch your Shoulders, Touch your Knees,” and have a Happy Easter!

Happy Easter, Friends and Family! This week on the playground, I learned a new word: Sigdet. I made the boy who told me about it repeat it about ten times, because it was so unfamiliar to me! It comes from … Continue reading

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Going through the Motions–Victoriously

Rote learning, as a major educational strategy, went out of style years ago, as did similar practices in the church, like rote prayers and Bible verse memorization. A song came on the radio the other day where, in a similar … Continue reading

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Hearing God’s Voice in Books and Butterflies?

When I was radioactive and isolated for a week for thyroid cancer treatment a number of years ago, I couldn’t touch anything I couldn’t wash and would need again in the next three months, so I spent the week reading … Continue reading

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Abraham Lincoln’s Secret Weapon (Can it Save the Day for You?)

Winter is over, but many readers are still looking at dirty snow on the ground. Spring is here in Seattle, with daffodils and plum blossoms everywhere, but spring break still feels far away, and the end of the year even … Continue reading

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Traitors and Treasures

I’m a big fan of Steve Sheinkin, a narrative non-fiction writer for readers ages 10-14 or so. If you haven’t read his National Book Award finalist Bomb, about the race to build–and steal the technology for–the atomic bomb, run to … Continue reading

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Wicked since Birth?

Can you remember the first time you did something bad? A time when a little voice said, “Don’t,” but your hand reached for the forbidden cracker anyway? I have a really hard time with that question–and it probably has something … Continue reading

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Making a difference in “Life, Heart, and Brain”

Before I started writing my novel for kids, I did a lot of counted cross stitch. I even got a little creative with it and developed my own patterns. Someday, I might blog about how small the world got between … Continue reading

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