A Day with a Writer

Yesterday I got to spend a day with a writer, and not just any writer…Nora Raleigh Baskin. She is kind and generous. She is smart and funny. She made yesterday a day we will all remember for a long time.
I picked her up at her hotel in the morning. We chatted for the entire ride to school. She’s so easy to talk to and we have so much to share. At school, things get set up. The technology magically works and kids begin arriving. I could feel the excitement. So many people stopped and listened to her talk, but the sixth graders were so excited. (I’ll get reactions today in class.) 

She talked about how she got the idea for the book, what it was like writing about an event like 9/11, and how it was like writing four books in one. Throughout her talk, she engaged the students and asked them questions. She talked about how books are windows and mirrors to the reader. She talked about the hard work of writing and revising and research.

During lunch, she asked the teachers for feedback on her presentations. What do you think? How is it going? Nora is a great listener. When she listens you feel like the most important person in the world.
She signed book after book after book. She took her time and really talked to the students as she signed. One student told her his idea about a book. Another student shared the research she did about Nora. Nora listened intently and her face lit up when the kids shared these things with her.

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She graciously posed for pictures. She talked about how she became a writer. In sixth grade, her teacher read her story to the class. He said it was the best one. In that moment, she decided to be a writer. One student asked for advice to young writers and her answer was, “Write your truth. Write from the heart.”

I’m rereading this post and it’s like a book report of the day, but I don’t want to forget a moment. Here are some of the things she said,
“Writing healed me.”
“Writing is magical.”
“I use a new notebook and a new pen when I start a new book.”
“Words are very important to me.”

On a personal level, Nora is a new friend. A day like yesterday is a dream come true. I’m grateful to Nora for her precious time. I’m grateful for everyone who helped pull this together. I can’t wait to hear what the students think!

Permission, Word Lists, and Sacred Writing Time

We are writing. We are writing every single day. Each class begins with sacred writing time. Students use their notebooks to write, to think, to make lists, to play with words, to create poetry. I had my first opportunity to read through these precious pages and I’ve struck gold. There is so much risk taking going on! I notice creativity. I see messy pages with evidence of good thinking. It’s so exciting. 

Our notebooks are being noticed by others too. Linda Urban is an author who has expressed an interest in our notebooks. She’s invited the students to write about permission. Here are some of their pages. Amy Ludwig VanDerwater is a poet who has inspired us to create word lists and write poetry from those lists. Here are some poems.

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Here’s a page that made me smile! What a compliment…



At the End of the First Day

As I sit here, all of you (the students) have gone home. The classroom is quiet. I’m thinking about the day. It was perfect. Learning names and watching you meet each means that we are already building our classroom community! Talking about YOU MATTER and how we will live that this year brings me such hope!

You Matter


Reading aloud is always one of my most favorite parts of class. I hope you enjoyed School’s First Day of School by Adam Rex. It’s a new favorite of mine. The mind maps you are making are so creative and I get to learn more about you. I think my favorite part is reading your writing. I can’t wait until you finish your writing and I can read the letters and sentences. When you write, you share a part of yourself. I’m grateful that I get to read your writing.

I can’t wait for day two!

Welcome to Sixth Grade!

Welcome to Room C10. We will spend time together every day this year. We will be reading and writing a lot! I have spent lots of time preparing and I have a few surprises ready for you. If you are wondering what it takes to be successful in this class, the answer is easy…

Show up.
Do your best.
Be kind.
Make mistakes.
Be honest.
Work hard.
Take risks.
Ask questions.

This is going to be a great year! Please stop by our class Twitter account at @haseltineclass and our class Instagram at @haseltineclass. We have a facebook page too: Ms. Haseltine’s Class.

I can’t wait to get started!

Bella LOVES her new blanket.

Bella LOVES her new blanket.


Behind the Scenes!

Karen Harrington is an amazing author! I have read and loved all of her books! Her newest book, Mayday, comes out this week. I was lucky enough to get an advanced copy and many of my students have already read and LOVED it! Today on twitter, Karen Harrington announced a blog series about her new book called, 20 Days of Backstory. It’s a behind the scenes look at the creation of this powerful book. Here’s her first entry. I can’t wait to get a behind the scenes peek at this book. Thank you Karen!

Wishes Come True

Today I read wonder #1683 on Wonderopolis, called Can You Make a Wish Come True? I learned that ancient Greeks thought that smoke from candles brought prayers to the gods and that’s why we make a wish when we blow out candles on a birthday cake. People in England started wishing on eyelashes more than one hundred and fifty years ago. 

I think wishes are hopeful. My cousin always wishes when it’s 11:11 or 12:34. It makes me smile. I believe in hope and hard work. I make wishes, but I don’t stop there. What do you wish for when you make wishes? 

I wish for all people to be treated with love and kindness.
I wish for joy and success for all of my students.
I wish that I finish writing my book and get it published.
I wish to live at the beach.
I wish for sunshine…

What are your wishes? 

National Poetry Month Day 19

Please link up your National Poetry Month post here.Looking forward to reading and commenting on these posts! Click on the frog button to read and comment on our posts!

Poetry is


There’s nowhere to


Carefully chosen words

express emotions.


Strong sentiments

for all the world to



No masks

No protection


Words display

Words reveal





Oh, fierce poetry

How I love you!

National Poetry Month Day 18

Please link up your National Poetry Month post here.Looking forward to reading and commenting on these posts! Click on the frog button to read and comment on our posts!


I don’t feel like

writing today

but here I am,

I show up.


I’ve missed

many days

I feel like

I’ve failed,


I show up.


I’ve learned

that life is



hard, and


and the only

thing I must

do is this…

I show up.



Sharing an original poem everyday in the month of April.
Happy National Poetry Month!