Welcome. My name is Corbett Harrison, and I have been an educator and a teacher-trainer since 1991. I specialize in teaching writing using differentiated instruction. I also focus on critical thinking techniques, especially during the pre-writing and revision steps of the writing process.

I serve Northern Nevada for nine months of the year (August-May), and during summers and during our two-weeek breaks during the school year, I hire myself out to school districts and professional organizations around the country.

Summer of 2014 is all booked. If you would like to check my availability for the summer of 2015, please contact me at my e-mail address.

 

Always
Write

 
       Because writing--when taught right--can be the most enjoyable part of your teaching day, I created this website.

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Mr. Stick's presence helps my students enjoy looking back through their writer's notebook for ideas for upcoming writer's workshops!

Mr. Stick Resources at my Website:

I can't draw, but I know for a fact that sketching my topics improves my thinking and my writing process. My students discover this too: Pre-writing is such an absolutely critical part of the writing process. I've come to believe that most of us do a a fair-but-nowhere-critical-enough job helping students understand not only its importance but also the variety of "shapes" pre-writing can take. In our classrooms, most of us teach things clustering, outlining, and/or free-writing, but these are simply the "tip of the pre-writing iceberg" of skills that can be classified as pre-writing.

Donald Graves--the great author/writing teacher--once suggested that, when the writing process is truly being honored, a student could very easily spend 85% of his/her time in the pre-writing stage alone. I always marvel at that lofty number when thinking about my own classroom's writer's workshop. I honestly don't believe I've ever come close to spending 85% of our instructional time in pre-writing with any of my best writing lessons, but I like keeping that number in mind when I challenge myself to do a better job with the work we do before composing actually begins.

I am so very devoted to writer's notebooks as the foundational tool for our writer's workshop because they offer that daily opportunity for my students to simply explore ideas and thoughts and words without worrying about structure or conventions. Weekly, I expect my students to talk to each other about writing that finds its way into their notebooks. Simply talking about what one might write about is a huge part of pre-writing; when students hear their own ideas out loud from their own lips, and when they hear one another's ideas during "notebook sharing," I see great ideas spark in their eyes during the exchanges. You really can't teach students to talk about potential writing in a meaningful way, but you can model it using your own writer's notebook stories(I'm assuming you're keeping one!), and you can faithfully provide them class time to simply share their best ideas out loud with each other.

Talking about future writing is one simple way to move closer to that 85% that Donald Graves hinted about and--unintentionally--gave me a personal classroom goal. But how do you deal with that natural shyness almost every student shows when asked to share his/her ideas for writing with a peer? How do you move students from believing one of their own ideas is "stupid" to thinking the opposite because another student has said, "That's an awesome idea."

And along came Mr. Stick, an active member of my classroom since 1996! Ladies and gentlemen, in my classroom the answer to over-coming notebook shyness has been "Mr. Stick!"

He started out as our "margin mascot," a quick drawing I began asking my students to find time to do in that physical gap that naturally happens between some of their daily writing and the spiral binding that holds their notebook together. In the beginning, I required a facial expression that somehow related to what the students had written; I also strongly suggested that Mr. Stick be given a dialogue bubble that allowed him to make a comment about what was written by the student. It was a simple technique to help everyone begin including visuals so their notebooks weren't just block-paragraphs after block-paragraphs. I went out of my way to make it fun, which really helped "sell" the idea; my students did an awful lot of laughing at the Mr. Sticks I showed them as I taught the finer points of drawing a good Mr. Stick.

I then eavesdropped as students shared their pre-writing ideas, which I asked them to do at least once a week. Almost 100% of the time, as students flipped through their older notebook pages to find some idea to share, it was a Mr. Stick drawing from one of their margins that initiated the conversation. "Tell me about this one," students would say as they spotted a Mr. Stick that had caught their attention. These conversations--all part of pre-writing, if you ask me--improved over time. The students' efforts to make their "Mr. Sticks" look more appealing, well, it improved too.

Yes, Mr. Stick naturally evolved. It started when he began by leaving the narrow notebook margins to become more prominently featured alongside the students' writing. Many of my students liked the suggestion I made of drawing empty 3" x 3" boxes before they started writing, and then they would place a Mr. Stick illustration that matched where their pencils and minds had gone that during that session daily writing. A few writers began carrying their own sets of colored pencils, and several began taking their notebooks home to add finishing touches to the simple drawings. Color was never something we had done much with in our journals or notebooks, and now color was a common piece of every page; I believe color became a new challenge for them when I started showing them pages from journal- and notebook-inspired mentor texts, like those pictured at right, which I still show every class at the beginning of every new school year.

And then something really huge happened that changed my practices as a writing teacher. It was something so obvious, but it honestly hadn't occurred to me to do it before: I created my own Mr. Stick-decorated journal that I could show my students in the Fall of 1998. I had journals and notebooks from college that I would sometimes show my students, but none of those featured the visuals I had begun requesting from my own students. Having my first authentic teacher-model of a journal made a huge impact--on both them and on me. And on Mr. Stick. The journal did very cool things with Mr. Stick.

It al came about this way: September of 1998, that was I first premiered my elaborate, Mr. Stick-friendly journal, which I I had created that summer. You see, I had won an educational fellowship from the C-SPAN cable network (thanks to some of my students' hard work and a contest I entered it in the year before), and for a month that summer, I worked in Washington, D.C., helping C-SPAN develop some online educational resources. It was an amazing summer to be in D.C., especially to someone who had never been there before. When they handed me an empty composition book on my first Monday there and said, "You have to keep a journal that documents your work," I asked, "Can I include visuals too? I'm not a very good artist, but I'd like to try something unique with this journal."

Wonderful things happened all around me while I was in this new-to-me place, and it was a perfect circumstance for maintaining a new journal. That was the summer of Monica Lewinsky, and I was a mere two blocks from the Capitol building when two security guards were shot and killed in a tragic attempt to attack one of the nation's Representatives. The picture (above--click on it or here to see it larger) comes from my journal, and the Mr. Stick sketch here has me and a fellow fellowship-winner, Bob, watching C-SPAN's coverage from that tragedy the next morning in the control room. I learned so much about skillful editing that day while I listened to the TV segment's director selecting from a variety of potential visuals as people expressed their emotions on a call-in program.

For the first time ever, I had a complete journal that I could show as my teacher model; it was the exact kind of journal I wished I had been given permission to create when my teachers required journal-keeping from me. My new journal's presence gave my students the permission I had never been given. That was the year I began seeing the best journals I had ever had from my own students...or from any other teacher's students. That winter, I was also teaching inservice workshops after school to my fellow teachers, and when I asked certain students if I might borrow their journals (we weren't calling them "writer's notebooks" back then...not yet) to show during one of my evening classes, they looked petrified that I might lose them if I took them out of the classroom to show others. Know this, I never did lose a single kid's journal, but I also never had students so dedicated to the journals they were keeping. and the pre-writing they were capturing on the pages. In just a few short years, with just a few strategies in place, my students' journals went from half-hearted attempts at pre-writing to treasured tools that proved they were thinking about important ideas.

It was that simple little stick man. He made our journal-keeping fun. Anyone could draw him. Everyone did. He helped us talk about our ideas for writing.

In my classroom today, with my fancy Interactive Smartboard and our wheeled cart of wireless laptops, we truly have an authentic writing environment that cost my district a pretty penny. I still marvel at how Mr. Stick--the simplest, cheapest technique ever to enter my classroom door--has made the biggest difference on my students as writers and thinkers.

Mentor Texts that Encourage my Students to use More Visuals in their Notebooks and Journals:

If you appreciate the lessons I am posting at my website, kindly consider using the links below to purchase any mentor text I am recommending; a very small percentage of each sale from Amazon helps me keep this website free and on-line for all to use. Thanks in advance in helping me out!


Amelia's 7th-Grade Notebook
by Marissa Moss

Moss's entire Amelia's Notebook series is a dream-come-true for me as teacher, skillfully showing how a young writer's combination of visuals, emotions, and words in a faux-composition book can--by itself--tell an interesting tale. Any of the books from the series will excite your students about keeping visual notebooks.


Max's Logbook
by Marissa Moss

Moss went out of her way to create a boy's version of her successful Amelia's Notebook series. Although this book is charming, it didn't quite catch on, which has always made me sad. Still, my out-of-print copy of Max's Logbook sits proudly in my chalk tray, and it inspires my boy writer's with its use of "Alien eraser heads." Get a copy, if you can!


Field Notes from Yosemite by Teresa Jordan

I had the pleasure of meeting this author, and I know she understands the importance of connecting her "journal thoughts" with visuals. Any book by this author you can find, buy it!

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Resources from my OriginalMr. Stick Demonstration Lesson for the Northern Nevada Writing Project...1998-2008

At the University of Nevada-Reno, I proudly served as Director of the Northern Nevada Writing Project between 2003 and 2007. I say it a lot, and I often say it loudly, but I'll reiterate it once more: our NNWP provided me with the finest professional development experience of my teaching career; I became Director afterwards because I wanted to give back to this fabulous organization that truly changes so many teachers' practices. During their five-credit summer institute, which I took way back in 1996 as the very first class in my Master's Degree program, I learned the strategies that helped me truly believe I was a writing teacher, and I left that institute with the motivation I need to change my classroom into an environment that--first and foremost--developed critical thinkers who show what they know through writing.

As part of any Writing Project Summer Institute, each participant develops and presents a 90-minute demonstration lesson on a specific "best practice" related to the teaching writing; if a demonstration lesson is good enough, the NNWP will hire you to present it at future professional development opportunities in the area. The demonstration lesson I created during my institute focused on using word processing to make the writing process feel more authentic to students, which was still a fairly new idea back in 1996; sadly, I was never hired to present that particular demonstration lesson again, but that's okay. Two years later, however, my experiences with Mr. Stick and student journals had given me enough new materials to create an even better demonstration lesson for the NNWP. Over the ten years that followed, I presented my Mr. Stick materials close to a hundred times; it was such a popular session wherever I went, and teaching colleagues began calling me "Mr. Stick," which I kind of thought was charming. Kind of.

Our NNWP creates local teacher leaders by helping them develop the skills to effectively present demonstration lessons to each other; I was not a teacher leader until they brought me into their organization. Over the years, I have created and developed dozens of demonstration lessons for them, and doing so has made me such a better writing teacher; when you learn something well enough to teach it to another teacher, you have truly learned it at a very high cognitive level. I have created dozens of other demonstration lessons for the NNWP since introducing Mr. Stick, but the Mr. Stick materials will always hold a special place in my heart. They gave me my first experience with success as a professional development provider, which motivated me to become an even better teacher leader.

My Mr. Stick demonstration lesson was called "The Cave-Wall Journal" because I always felt the journal drawings were similar to primitive petroglyphs; you can see my Mr. Stick cavemen on the cover of my demonstration lesson's packet (above). My presentation taught my participants how to draw Mr. Stick, how to give him a face and a voice, and how to design journal assignments that were "Mr. Stick-friendly." During my 90 minutes, we analyzed many student samples of both journal pages and the portfolio pieces they inspired, and I finished my demo by challenging teachers to create their own "Mr. Stick journals," like the one I had that documented on my trip to Washington, D.C.

In 2008, I officially retired my original "Cave Wall Journal" presentation so that I could begin focusing more on Mr. Stick as a character for my new writer's notebook, rather than my traditional journal. The new materials are being slowly posted on my writer's notebook resource page here at my website. Please be sure to check them out; my illustrated writer's notebook is one of the best teaching tools I have ever created to share with my students.

Just below, I happily share some of the most popular artifacts from my now-retired "Cave Wall Journal" presentation.

Resources from my "Cave Wall Journal" Demonstration Lesson, 1998-2008

Mr. Stick was featured in the NNWP's 2005 Writing Across the Curriculum Guide. This seven-page article--"Both Art and Writing Must Be Non-Intimidating"-- is what I wrote for that publication's "Journals & Learning Log Section."

Here's the original PowerPoint Drawing Lesson I created (complete with the original sound effects, which I NEVER use in my PPTs anymore!); this showed my students how to draw Mr. Stick step-by-step. So many people asked me to e-mail them this one-slide demonstration, that I finally put it here on-line. Because I wanted it to keep its animation, I didn't post it as a PDF. If you modify this, please be sure to cite me as the original author. I appreciate it.

My students learned to draw Mr. Stick using specific criteria in the first two weeks of school. This two-page document was a part of their notebooks, and we referred to it if a student suddenly forgot how to draw our "margin mascot. "

If anyone knows the original creator of this fabulous face handout, please tell me! It was shared with me over e-mail with the instructions "distribute freely," which I have always done. This handout will make your Mr. Stick creations come to life as well as teach emotional vocabulary.

Mr. Stick, from his spot in the journal margins, needed to say things about what the students had written. When my students needed assistance giving Mr. Stick more intelligent things to say, I gave them one of these Mr. Stick Bloom's dice, which they folded, taped, and rolled.

Journal-Page Assignments from my Demonstration Lesson that I turned into Webpage Lessons at WritingFix
Here's a Former Student's Journal Page:
The Cave Wall Journal Prompt

Click the image to be taken to WritingFix, where I have provided a write-up of this journal page assignment.
Here's a Former Student's Journal Page:
Illustrated Vocabulary Pages

Click the image to be taken to WritingFix, where I have provided a write-up of this journal page assignment.
Here's a Former Student's Journal Page:
Illustrated Note Pages

Click the image to be taken to WritingFix, where I have provided a write-up of this journal page assignment.
Here's a Former Student's Journal Page:
Empty Box Before Writing

Click the image to be taken to WritingFix, where I have provided a write-up of this journal page assignment.
Here's a Former Student's Journal Page:
Looking for Sets of Three

Click the image to be taken to WritingFix, where I have provided a write-up of this journal page assignment.
Here's a Former Student's Journal Page:
The Board Game Summary

Click the image to be taken to WritingFix, where I have provided a write-up of this journal page assignment.
Here's a Former Student's Journal Page:
The Haiku Summary

Click the image to be taken to WritingFix, where I have provided a write-up of this journal page assignment.
Here's a Former Student's Journal Page:
Mostly Silent Storyboards

Click the image to be taken to WritingFix, where I have provided a write-up of this journal page assignment.
My Students' Journal Pages Inspired Full-length Stories for their Writing Portfolios
The goal of my original writer's workshop was fairly simple: students were to write enough in their journals so that on designated workshop days, they could flip through their pages to find and self-select an idea they would be willing to take through the entire writing process. When a piece went through all steps of the writing process, it would go into that student's writing portfolio.

In my classroom, I expected students to go through this process ten times in a school year. 80% of my students' final grades were based on the pieces of writing in their portfolios. Writer's workshop was the most important work we did in class. Their writing ideas always began in their journals.

At right are some artifacts from my mythology class's writer's workshop. Here are two journal pages from two students, and the portfolio pieces they ultimately inspired.

from sophomore Will H.
A journal page & portfolio piece
from junior Jennifer F.
A journal page & portfolio piece
Other Teachers Share their Mr. Stick Variations

Geography teacher Jenn Wright shared with me this seven-page instruction manual that she uses to teacher her students to draw her Mr. Stick variation.

Math teacher Holly Young had her students use Mr. Stick to help them process notes. Here, she required a "Mr. Stick Soap Opera Story Board" to teach radical numbers.

Math teacher Holly Young also shared with me this page from a different student's math notebook. Here, students processed perpendicular and parallel line notes.

Mr. Stick Uses Outside of the Journal
My students loved Mr. Stick so much in their journals that they began asking if they could use him with their outside-of-journal assignments too. Of course, I said yes.

As I continued learning about better formative assessment techniques and differentiating formative assessments, I began to create Mr. Stick examples for my other classroom strategies.

Mr. Stick's Vocabulary Sketch-n-Write has students define several related vocabulary terms in their own words on the right, then illustrate on the left with stickman-art.

Mr. Stick's Haiku Comic Strip has students summarize information from their notes in a haiku-inspired storyboard.

I hope you've enjoyed these Mr. Stick materials. If you wish to use them in your classroom or share them with teachers, you have my permission provided you keep any page citations intact. Thank you.

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Giving Credit Where Credit is Due...My Former Student & the TV Program that Actually Inspired How Mr. Stick is Drawn
I happily give away so many ideas from my classroom at this little old website of mine. I hope you will always remember to give me credit for any idea you find here and share with others, including your students and their parents. I'm going to be a little blunt here, but I become a bit sad for our profession when I discover a teacher who is not only using my freely-posted resources, but who has also actually placed his/her name over my name on documents from my website, as if claiming the idea was originally their own. This has happened to me dozens of times since I began sharing my ideas on this website and on WritingFix.

Me? I try to always give credit where credit is due. I hope you do too. That's the act of a responsible educator.

That said, I must not claim that "Mr. Stick" was my own creation. Like I could really invent a stick-man, but allow me to direct credit where credit is duly due. Back in the mid-1990's, when Star Trek: The Next Generation was still running brand new episodes, MTV had a thirty-minute cartoon program called Liquid Television. Liquid Television was always on a half-hour before they aired the latest Star Trek: TNG episode. If I recall, this all happened on Wednesday evening, and I, therefore, had a Wednesday ritual that was rarely missed.

On Liquid Television, they had many regular features, but one of my favorites was called "Stick Figure Theater." Each cartoon took a soundtrack (dialogue and music) from a classic movie (like It's a Wonderful Life), and they re-told the story with animated stick-people. These stick people had shoulders and knees, they had two-jointed arms and legs, they had simple but effective hands, and they had these facial expressions that were hysterical. I loved their faces the most; the stick-interpretation of Jimmy Stewart needs to have great expressions, and believe me, he did. Here is a You-Tube link to that I hope you are able to access to see what I mean.

I was teaching high school back in those days, and I had a cool, semester-long elective class that focused exclusively on poetry. I decided that year, we would read a poetry-filled Shakespearean play not normally studied at my high school: King Lear. After each act, my student poets had a choice to either summarize the act with a one-page write-up, or they could story board the act if they felt artistically motivated. Had I been one of my own students, I would have always chosen the summary writing over the art option; my older brother was a skilled artist, and his drawings always intimidated me to try drawing.

For the third act of King Lear, one of my favorite students of all time--Stephanie Perry (if you're reading this, Stephanie, contact me; I've been dying to know what you're doing now)--surprised me by creating a story board (shown here--click on it to see the amazing details!) that clearly showed she too was a fan of "Stick Figure Theater." I was so inspired by the quality and simplicity of Stephanie's Act III story board, that I forced myself to learn to draw stickmen in Liquid Television's style as well.

The next year, I started teaching all my students to draw "Mr. Stick" in their notebooks. I had begun my own Master's Program by then, and I was actually using Mr. Stick in my own night classes when I took my notes during lectures; the students loved to see my doodles alongside the notes from my own night-class, and it inspired them to "outshine" me with one of their doodles from my class.

Almost 15 years later, Mr. Stick is still a beloved character in my classroom. One of my whiteboards in class is devoted to the "Mr. Stick Metaphor of the Week," which has become my weekly reminder to the students that I want them to keep including a "margin mascot" in their writer's notebooks. My middle school-ers are starting to do very creative things with him, as you will see on this page. They always say, "But you draw such better Stickmen than I do, Mr. H.," to which I always say, "I just practice a lot. Keep practicing. You'll be amazed what artistic and creative skills you might have in you."


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Mr. Harrison's Awards a Mr. Stick of the Week Edmodo Badge Every Week of Every School Year
I've taught (and used Mr. Stick) with pretty much every grade level, including college. I am currently teaching middle school, and, in general, I find 6th-8th graders to be some of the most competitive students in the K-12 continuum. I appreciate their competitive spirit, and I work hard to make competitions between my students healthy and thought-provoking. If they're competing just for the sake of competing and having a winner, that's no good to me; if they're all being pushed to try something new or learn something new in the process, then that's a good competition for my classroom.

I've used Mr. Stick and I've used Writer's Notebooks for many years now with my students, but it was just during the last school year (2011-12) that I began photographing my students' most interesting Writer's Notebook pages. I have a pretty good camera, and it's pretty easy to spread a notebook out flat on a desk and take a nice picture that can be zoomed in by another student in order to see details. When students noticed me photographing notebook pages after school and started asking, "Aren't you going to photograph mine too?" well, that's when I the idea for a healthy competition occurred to me. At this website, I began posting a favorite new writer's notebook entry each week from my students, and I told them I was specifically looking for notebook pages that made interesting uses of Mr. Stick.

Throughout my own Writer's Notebook based on my snippets of writing and observations of the world, you will find hundreds of Mr. Sticks in a variety of roles and poses. After showing my own favorite Mr. Stick-inspired pages, I challenged the kids to out-do me first, then out-do each other next. My classroom has its own Edmodo page; if you use Edmodo, you know the student-friendly site allows you to create "badges" to award students for any feat you can dream up for them, and so I invented a Mr. Stick of the Week badge.

The competition was on. Over the course of the 2011-12 school year, I awarded 44 badges to 44 different students. There were a few weeks when I chose more than one winner, and I also chose winners to represent the weeks we were out of school. The benefits were many, but most importantly:

  • My students learned the value of taking the time to add interesting visuals to accompany notebook writing they had created. As I say often, a visual Writer's Notebook--when a writer flips back through it looking for ideas--is more inviting. An entire notebook of nothing but block paragraphs is difficult to navigate and--to be honest--a bit boring when compared to mentor texts I share with students, like the Amelia's Notebook series by Marissa Moss.
  • I believe passionately in having both teacher- and student-made exemplars for one's best writing assignments (that's one of my Seven Elements of Differentiated Writing Instruction). Showing an exemplar early on is the best way to demonstrate expectations and to set the bar high. This little weekly contest of ours helped me create an amazing collection of student-built exemplars that I can use for years to come, and having them digitally online sure makes it easy to show my students.

And so, as long as I continue to use Writer's Notebooks with my students as part of our Writing Workshop, I will continue to host the Mr. Stick of the Week award for my students.

It is below that you will find access to our classroom "gallery" of my students' best artistic attempts when they are applying Mr. Stick to the pre-writing and the personal observations they are making about the world during our ten minutes of daily sacred writing time. This little competition has become one of my students' favorite ways to earn extra-credit from me; on my Extra Credit Options page here at my website, students can carefully read my "5 Tips for Winning the Mr. Stick Edmodo Badge," improving the likelihood that they might earn one of these extra-credit offerings.

Our Mr. Stick of the Week Gallery! My Kids' Notebook Pages Exceed all of my Expectations! Here are some Awesome Examples:
(click any writer's notebook image to enlarge it)

Our Mr. Stick of the Week Archive:
Click here to view all Mr. Stick of the Week winners from the 2011-12 school year.

Your Teacher's Favorite New Notebook Page from this Past Summer!
From Mr. Harrison's Writer's Notebook

My sixth and seventh graders will become my seventh and eighth graders next school year, which is the perfect system for a middle school, if you ask me; other than my incoming sixth graders, I don't have to train my students to keep Writer's Notebooks this Fall because they already know how to do it.

My students are required to take their Writer's Notebooks home with them over the summer, and they return in August with ten new entries that they completed over the summer months. One of these ten new entries will hopefully become an inspiration for their first writing workshop piece. I am building a new resource page that features unique and excellent summertime notebook entries from my writers.

I am adding ten new pages to my writer's notebook too. I plan to show off all ten of my pages as soon as we are back in session and using ten minutes of Sacred Writing time daily. My students will be showing each other their ten summer entries during the first weeks back, and they will be asking each other for advice on which notebook idea might make an interesting rough draft.

At present, here is my best new entry to my own Writer's Notebook, which I added this summer. I don't forbid forms of the verb "to get" in my classroom, but I strongly dissuade my students from using them in their final drafts. I find get and got to be pretty unspecific verbs, so I encourage my students to eliminate them during revision because--while they're acceptable verbs in conversation--I find them to be "lazy verbs" in formal writing.

I do, however, believe there are completely appropriate times and places to use get or got in final draft writing. This new page I worked on for my writer's notebook celebrates a few instances when I think it's appropriate to use them. Check out my Mr. Stick Monopoly Card, and my Mr. Stick-as-Hamlet image!

Our First Mr. Stick of the Week Winner Announced!
Good job, Andrea (8th grade)

I love how the words border the water slide, Andrea. Nice work!
Check out this Mr. Stick of the Week Winner!
Good job, Emily (7th grade)

A great summertime memory captured by Emily! I love the facial expressions.
Check out this Mr. Stick of the Week Winner!
Good job, Ryan (7th grade)

Sometimes Mr. Stick doesn't need a facial expression, as Ryan proves here!
Check out this Mr. Stick of the Week Winner!
Good job, Nathanael (8th grade)

Excellent 50-cent word with oologist, Nathanael!
Check out this Mr. Stick of the Week Winner!
Good job, Victoria (7th grade)

Victoria, you've set yourself up with an excellent expository topic perhaps...?
Check out this Mr. Stick of the Week Winner!
Good job, Josh (7th grade)

Sometimes a "theme" emerges in the same week that helps me determine which stickmen (among many great entries) should win. This week's theme: superheroes!
Check out this Mr. Stick of the Week Winner!
Good job, Nico (7th grade)

Nico not only added "stick muscle," but he also was inspired by the short clip I showed from Extremely Loud & Incredibly Close. Click here to see what I mean.
Check out this Mr. Stick of the Week Winner!
Good job, Chaz (6th grade)

Hooray! Our first sixth-grade "Mr. Stick of the Week" winner! Way to go, Chaz. Notice his attention to details and his high-quality rough-draft writing, fellow sixth graders.
Check out this Mr. Stick of the Week Winner!
Good job, Mimi (7th grade)

Oh, Mimi. You blew my mind with this two-page spread of Barbie models not found in stores. As a Simpsons fan, I like "Lonely Cat Lady Barbie" the best!
Check out this Mr. Stick of the Week Winner!
Good job, Ben (7th grade)

My seventh graders showed off their "stick skills" this week by imagining the poem, Reuben Bright, as a movie. Here is Ben's awesome movie poster.
Check out this Mr. Stick of the Week Winner!
Good job, Hannah Q. (7th grade)

My seventh graders are also working on their verb skills by composing one of Hercules' labors with no linking verbs! Here is Hannah's version of labor #12.
Check out this Mr. Stick of the Week Winner!
Good job, Kyra (7th grade)

My seventh graders created alpha-lists inspired by topics they'd be willing to research for upcoming expository lessons we'll be doing. Kyra too great care with hers.
Check out this Mr. Stick of the Week Winner!
Good job, Emily (8th grade)

My eighth graders are working on "This I Believe" essays, inspired by NPR's radio segments. Before drafting her essay, Emily wrote a poem about her belief in art.
Check out this Mr. Stick of the Week Winner!
Good job, Charles (7th grade)

As sometimes happens, a Mr. Stick theme emerges, which helps me choose when I have too many great entries in the same week. Charles' non-fiction look at space...
Check out this Mr. Stick of the Week Winner!
Good job, Austin (8th grade)

...and Austin's poetic thoughts about space seemed to complement each other nicely, and so I am juxtaposing them here as this week's two winners!
Check out this Mr. Stick of the Week Winner!
Good job, Ian (8th grade)

As far as the 8th grade "Alpha-tones" I have seen, I have to award Ian the prize for most action-packed use of stickmen. Click image to see both Ian's pages.
Check out this Mr. Stick of the Week Winner!
Good job, Dylan (6th grade)

And speaking of action-packed, 6th grader--Dylan--has been working his heart out on this two-page spread about a his "super-wedgie" on the Viper at Wild Waters.
Check out this Mr. Stick of the Week Winner!
Good job, Kage (8th grade)

For Common Core, we developed some fun interdisciplinary projects, including one that focuses on "myth busting" mysteries. Kage shares his "recipe" for D.B. Cooper...
Check out this Mr. Stick of the Week Winner!
Good job, Rebekkah (6th grade)

...and Rebekkah shares her writer's notebook "recipe" for the mystery of Anastasia. Recipe metaphors are a great way to have students report on learned information!
Check out this Mr. Stick of the Week Winner!
Good job, Jaysen (7th grade)

To round off our October of "recipe writes," here is Jaysen's Paul Revere recipe, which went along with out study of the American Revolution.
Check out this Mr. Stick of the Week Winner!
Good job, Ashley (6th grade)

Ashley S. gave me this as a "Metaphor of the Week" submission, but I was thrilled with the Mr. Stick drawing she had added to decide it should win a place on this page.
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Good job, Colette (8th grade)

My 8th grader--Colette--is trying to feature a Mr. Stick/anime combination in the "vocabulary collector" collection of her writer's notebook.
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Good job, Jonathon (6th grade)

And 6th grader Jonathon--after faithfully submitting an entry EVERY week since school began--has finally won his first "Mr. Stick of the Week" award. Go perseverance!
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Good job, Drake (7th grade)

7th grader--Drake--has been faithfully submitting a metaphor and a Mr. Stick entry almost every week. I'm pleased to announce that he's finally taken the honor!
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Good job, Savannah (7th grade)

And 7th grader--Savannah's--stick instructions for washing a dog charmed me after having to put my dog to sleep last week. It brought back good memories.
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Good job, Mackenzie (6th grade)

6th grader--Mackenzie--helped Mr. Stick do a little fancy dancing! With Mackenzie's permission, I might use this metaphor in my "This I Believe" essay!
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Good job, Travis (6th grade)

6th grader--Travis--was very proud of his Mr. Stick-inspired superhero that he created for his writer's notebook.
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Good job, Mark (7th grade)

7th grader--Mark M.--was inspired by our Sacred Writing PowerPoint Slide to write about National "Name Your PC" Day in this manner in his notebook.
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Good job, Daniel (7th grade)

7th grader--Daniel M.--took on an interesting topic with this two-page entry about colors and their scientific properties..and his creative thinking.
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Good job, Tayler (7th grade)

7th grader--Tayler G.--created this "Mr. Stick Cartoon" for his vocabulary section of his writer's notebook. This word came from Flowers for Algernon.
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Good job, Emily E. (8th grade)

8th grader--Emily E.--created this "Mr. Stick Cartoon" for her vocabulary section of her writer's notebook. She found this word in The Jungle.
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Good job, Irene (7th grade)

7th grader--Irene D.--created this "Mr. Stick Cartoon" for her vocabulary section of her writer's notebook. This word came from Flowers for Algernon.
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Good job, Abby B. (8th grade)

8th grader--Abby B.--created this "Mr. Stick Cartoon" for her vocabulary section of her writer's notebook. She found this word in The Jungle.
Check out this Mr. Stick of the Week Winner!
Good job, Mimi (7th grade)

7th grader--Mimi H.--created this "Mr. Stick Cartoon" for her vocabulary section of her writer's notebook. We studied this word as part of our debate unit.
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Good job, Ryan L. (7th grade)

7th grader--Ryan L.--created this "Mr. Stick Cartoon" for his vocabulary section of his writer's notebook. He found this word in his independent novel, To Kill a Mockingbird.
Check out this Mr. Stick of the Week Winner!
Good job, Jaysen (7th grade)

7th grader--Jaysen S.--created this "Mr. Stick Cartoon" for his vocabulary section of his writer's notebook. This word came from Flowers for Algernon.

Who will win this week's
"Mr. Stick Vocabulary Cartoon" Award?

Extra credit points await someone!

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