Archive for the ‘General’ Category

Student Spotlight: Cassidy!

Student Spotlight Cassidy

Brave Writer student, Cassidy, not only won last May’s Preschool Powol Packets poetry contest in the 7-9 year old category (she entered a sonnet she wrote for our Shakespeare Family Workshop class) and created a Poet-Tree, she has now authored her own book!!

Roller Coaster: A Kid’s Guide on How to Write Poetry

A kid’s guide to writing poetry, by an 8-year-old kid like you! Cassidy wanted to show other kids how easy it is to write a poem of their own. In this book, she introduces and explains some of the most common types of poems. As examples, she also shares the poems she composed in April 2014 in honor of National Poetry Month. Some of the poems are silly and goofy. Some are clever. You will have fun reading and learning about poetry at the same time!

Congratulations, Cassidy! We’re so proud of your accomplishments!

From me to you

Thank You

Thank you…

…for making the grocery list, shopping, finding discounts and deals, remembering to buy gluten or lactose free, selecting the sparkling cider for the kids, and buying two kinds of whipped cream.

…for cleaning the house, even the bathroom you usually ignore, in time for company or family.

…for getting up early on the holiday to start the turkey while everyone else sleeps in.

…for making a huge mess in your kitchen and then cleaning it up on what is a day off for most people.

…for the lovely table setting, the well timed coordinated finish of all the dishes.

…for hosting or being hosted and not minding either.

…for bringing your best pie or side dish to your mother-in-law’s, and driving on the busiest travel day of the year.

…for stopping to help a sad child, for changing a diaper, for putting up with grouchiness and hungry tummies while the real meal is cooking, for being taken for granted.

Thank you for being the glue of the family, the backbone of tradition, and for the cheerful way you hunker down to create memories and meals.

Thank you for what is hidden from view (how you let the insult slide, how you held back a snappy retort, how you stood up for yourself inside).

Thank you for doing what is expected, even if you wish it weren’t expected of you.

Thank you for caring and carrying on tradition.

Happy Thanksgiving week!


Image by Katharina Friederike

April: National Poetry Month


To get you started, check out our SPECIAL:

The Arrow Poetry Guide is only $4.99 this week (April 1-8). Regular price: $9.95.


    You Read to Me...


If you’ve never tried the Tuesday Poetry Teatimes, this is the month to start! There are many benefits to reading poetry, not the least of which is the sugar-sweet fun of rhyme, and the playful pop of alliteration and consonance as words trip their way over your tongue.

For the intimidated (you know who you are—you worry that you don’t “get” poetry or that you’ll fail at discovering meanings and themes and imagery), I have tips to make it easy for you to wade into these (I promise) friendly waters.



  1. Start with limericks and nursery rhymes. They’re easy to read/say, easy to understand (insofar as understanding even matters), and easy to repeat (leading your family in reciting them together. I don’t know why Jack jumped a candlestick or how an old woman turned a shoe into a family home, but for children, these images are direct and delightful. And that’s all that matters in this poetry ready. You’re delighting in sound, silly images, words, and linguistic music. You get to “go dense” on meaning for a change and know that that’s okay!

  3. Jack Prelutsky and Shel Silverstein. Get their books, ready them, enjoy them. One poem at a time— no need to read like a chapter book. Note that these two “get” children. They share the same sense of humor and level of insight that children enjoy.

  5. Riddles and jokes are a kind of poetry. They may not rhyme and they don’t follow poetic structure, exactly. But they are all about puns and language play. Include them in your poetry teatimes.

  7. Read poems in tandem. The poetry book featured above is one my grandfather gave me in junior high (you can tell it was well-loved as the frayed paper cover indicates). In it is a collection of poems that are written in alternating blue and black ink. Each reader picks a color and together, two people read a poem aloud! This book You Read to Me, I’ll Read to You is still in print, if you want to try it.

That’s enough to get your started. Seriously!

Set the table for tea, pull out the Oreo cookies or bake a batch of brownies or slice Pippin apples! Whatever is your family’s pleasure. Then, read aloud, laugh, read to yourself, try your hand at making your own rhymes, and notice all the while that you’re doing what you always say you want to do—bringing learning to life.

We’ll post some poetry resources on the blog over the course of the month so stay tuned!


To get you started, check out our SPECIAL:

The Arrow Poetry Guide is only $4.99 this week (April 1-8). Regular price: $9.95.

Friday Freewrite: Stubborn

“Stubborn” by Stacy Wachter

Like a Mule!
Describe a time you were stubborn.

Snow day

World in white #snow #snowday