Thursday, August 4, 2011

Book Review - Your Child's Writing Life

When I was first asked to review Pam Allyn's newest book, I had no idea that I'd be moved to tears before the bottom of the first page. The book is called Your Child's Writing Life: How to Inspire Confidence, Creativity and Skill at Every Age.  Ms. Allyn's new book inspired me as a parent and as a teacher.  You can click on the image below if you want to check it out on Amazon.

My favorite quotes from the book:
"Let us influence our children to fall so in love with words and stories and ideas that they can't help but want to put them somewhere, like little treasures."  Words are treasures to me (thank you mom/dad and the fabulous teachers that fostered my love of words), but I want my students to view words as treasure too. 

"This is the secret of how to raise a writer: be a dedicated listener."  This quote struck me because I have been recently frustrated by parents who do not put their technology down, look their children in the eyes, listen ... and ultimately show them that what they have to say matters.  With that being said, I will also confess that I am guilty as a parent and a teacher of the same thing on occasion... although I make a huge effort to listen expectantly when a child is talking to me.

Ms. Allyn describes the following things that teachers (and parents) will want to read about:

The Writing Pillars - I'm going to use these pillars to help me plan my writer's workshop lessons this year.

1. Stamina
2. Creativity
3. Fluency
4. Phonemic Awareness
5. Organization

The Five Keys
W - Word Power
R - Reading Life
I - Identity
T - Time
E - Environment

Chapter 3 in this book describes the writer's ladder.  This section describes the top 10 stages of writing development and suggests writing activities and books to use at each stage.  As I was reading, I quickly scribbled down several "must do" ideas for my classroom. She even gives you ideas of things to say to your child/student when you notice certain things in their writing or about how they "approach" writing tasks. Ms. Allyn dedicates another full chapter to how to help children who struggle with writing. 

Overall, this book is so helpful that I'm pinnin' it on my Books Worth Reading board on Pinterest!  It was just the inspiration I needed to help me re-think writer's workshop in my classroom.

Happy Thursday!


  1. I definitely need to put this on my list of books I need to read.

  2. There is a chance you're eligible for a free $1,000 Amazon Gift Card.