A Favorite Mistake



“Mistakes are painful when they happen, but years later a collection of mistakes is what is called experience.”  — Denis Waitley

Making mistakes can be frustrating, but we can grow from them.

Newsweek magazine has a regular column called “My Favorite Mistake” in which people of note are invited to tell about mistakes they are glad they have made because the mistakes taught them  valuable lessons or gave them insight they wouldn’t otherwise have.  In class, we’ve read about the favorite mistakes of violinist Joshua Bell and Congressman Jason Chaffetz.

Now it’s our turn to write personal narratives about our favorite mistakes and what we learned from the experiences.  Perhaps some of those essays will appear in our blogs. 

Do you have a favorite mistake?  What did it teach you?

Spotlight on Weekly Free Topic Posts



Read Nina’s poem about Daylight Savings Time.

Visit the beach with Madilyn.

Experience a thunderstorm through Anisha’s vivid description.

Savor a just-right cheeseburger with Kelly.

Enjoy Valerie’s post in recognition of our nation’s veterans.

Ava writes about a favorite place in her home.

Have you ever heard of a smartwatch?  Matthew can tell you all about it!

Julius gives us insight into our reading of Robert Nye’s Beowulf:  A New Telling.

Ryan shares a story of a childhood treehouse and has a question for us to answer about our own experiences.

Myles shows us what Science Day is like for the middle school students who present lessons to the elementary school kids.






Gary Paulsen Asks for Your Help

We’ve been talking about the importance of beginning a composition with an interesting lead, and author Gary Paulsen invites you to help him write one for his next short story.

The details are explained in the flyer linked below, but here are the basics :

Help Gary Paulsen by writing a riveting first line. Gary will choose the winning first line and use it to start an original story. It will be in the May 2014 issue of Scope. The winner’s name will appear in the magazine, and he/she will also receive $50! Plus, we’ll send the winner’s teacher a free one-year subscription to Scope. The winner’s classmates will each receive a copy of Jim Paulsen and Gary Paulsen’s novel Road Trip.

Download the form, fill in your idea for a story lead, then email or mail your submission to the address given at the bottom of the form. Your idea may be published as part of Paulsen’s next fiction piece!  Deadline is November 15.  Good luck!