Vanessa Ziff Lasdon possesses the dynamic combination of an incisive intellect and boundless passion when it comes to teaching her craft and sharing skills with her students.MaryLynn Richmond
My son learned more about writing and literary appreciation from Ms. Ziff in fifth grade than in any other year of school. I wish all teachers had Vanessa’s passion for teaching and inspiring!Kim Ford
The skills Vanessa taught my son--particularly the value of revising many times […] attention to detail, and high standards—are still with Nico several years later.Liz McNicoll, Attorney, Paramount Pictures
Ms. Ziff is always organized, resourceful, and ready for anything. She believes in a process, [...] the best of all being the Ms. Ziff approach, which makes her spectacular.Kenneth 8th Grade, Harvard Westlake
Ms. Ziff set the foundation for my analytical, constructive, and creative skills. Whether writing a sonnet or writing an essay, I still have her lessons in my mind.Kenneth 8th Grade, Harvard Westlake

Vanessa is an outstanding writer and a joy to work with.

Aimee Trudeau, Web Developer, Kizmato.com
The writing skills my daughter, now excelling in ninth grade English Honors, left Vanessa’s class with continue to be an invaluable set of resources.Betsy Leva
Vanessa is high-energy smarts and charm, the kind of writer and teacher who captures and captivates readers of all ages.New York Times bestselling author, Cynthia Leitich Smith
Vanessa transformed our son Josh from a decent writer into an excellent writer.  We wholeheartedly recommend Vanessa and her ability to draw out the best in your child’s writing ability.Jill and Larry Krutchik
What our daughter values most about her time in Vanessa's class is being inspired to become an organized writer who could convey her thoughts in a meaningful manner.Laurie and Chris Harbert
Ms. Ziff is definitely not just my teacher and tutor; she is my mentor.Lexi 7th Grade, Harvard Westlake
Vanessa is truly a one-of-a-kind teacher. She’s extremely organized, communicates ideas effectively, helps motivate, and has a lively, engaging teaching style that brings out the best efforts in all of her students.Howard Tager
While we continue to be impressed by Vanessa’s many attributes, it is her high energy level, extraordinary patience, and passion for what she does that make her truly unique.Melissa and Rob Weiler
Ms. Ziff always pushed me to do my best, and never let me slack off.  She introduced me to my love of writing and gave me the confidence I needed both academically and in myself.Georgia 9th Grade, The Buckley School
I honestly don’t know what kind of a writer and reader I would be without the tools I learned with Ms. Ziff. She was always a very understanding, rigorous, and involved teacher, and an incredible mentor.Maddie 9th Grade, Marlborough School
Vanessa captured the essence of what I wanted to relay on my site without sounding trite, unlike my experience with previous writers.Martin Pugh, Musician
Vanessa’s greatest ability is to help each student realize his or her own untapped potential. It’s the stuff that changes lives!Jacqueline Frohlich
Vanessa has a gift for inspiring even the most reluctant writer and her passion for writing is infectious. She is a favorite workshop leader at our Young Writers’ Conferences.Julie Moore & Rena Svetic, Young Writers’ Conference Founders
Whether it’s teaching a student to become a more vivid creative writer, a more effective analytical writer, or a more selective business writer, Vanessa can do it all.Meli and Stephen Rose
I learned as much from teaching with Vanessa as any of her students under her guidance. Where so many others fall back on old tricks, Vanessa taps into her extensive experience to invent new methodologies for each and every one of her clients.Patrick Kieffer, Fifth Grade – English & History, The Packer Collegiate Institute
Vanessa is a true master of her craft. She is a blast to work with, completely trustworthy and utterly authentic. To work with Vanessa is a privilege; you just want to soak up all her talent, and bottle it up for yourself! She is an inspiration.Sarina Fierro, Head of Lower Elementary, Curtis School
It's obvious that Vanessa is a wordsmith: "Write. Observe. Revise. Discover...W.O.R.D."  These are the four essential ingredients for becoming a writer; two of them about the work (writing and revising) and two of them about the joy (observing and discovering.) Vanessa accomplishes it all.  Julie Larios, award-winning poet and children’s author
Vanessa’s methods are creative, thorough and innovative. She makes writing fun and has turned our daughter’s “like” of writing into a true “LOVE”.The Altmans
Vanessa’s vast skills, complete dedication, and clear purpose construct a solid core for every student she teaches. Her passionate nature produces both a fun and rewarding learning experience.Michele Noble, Director, Writer, Filmmaker
Ms. Vanessa has challenged me to stretch my writing and I am excited for what I will do next.Evan, 3rd Grade
All of us remember teachers who inspired us to greater heights and who influenced our lives. Vanessa Ziff Lasdon has played this role in my daughters' lives.Jack Tauber, M.D.
I know that the many fun and challenging lessons I’ve learned from Ms. Ziff will help me achieve my goal of one day being a professional writer and filmmaker.Jaren S. 7th Grade, The Buckley School
Ms. Ziff’s friendly demeanor and enthusiasm made communicating easy and learning exciting. She taught us to understand and appreciate the material, and have fun in the process.Alivia 8th Grade, Harvard Westlake
Having an eight-year old highly gifted boy was not enough to make him put all those brilliant ideas on paper. Daniel feels constantly challenged by Vanessa and that ignites him.Liliana Benitez
Ms. Ziff maintains a good balance of knowing when to give more help and when to insist that you rise to the challenge of the learning situation. She instills confidence, honors excellence, and respects effort.Kenneth 8th Grade, Harvard Westlake
Vanessa got my 8-year old son excited and intrigued to dig deeper into his experiences and bring his thoughts to life. Now Evan’s words dance and sing, which makes me want to dance and sing!Sally Micelotta

Teachers Write! A Virtual Summer Writing Camp for Adults

Teachers-Write-Button

Teachers, Librarians, Homeschool Parents, and Children’s Writers: Do not miss one of the most enriching personal and professional development opportunities of the summer: Teachers Write. By participating in Teachers Write – renowned author Kate Messner’s free, on-line summer writing camp – you learn to be a better writer, you instantly integrate into a community chock-full of captivating individuals from all over the world, you have opportunities to interact with an awesome panel of authors AND you can win free books for your classroom or library!

What: Teachers Write: Virtual Summer Writing Camp for Adults

Who: Hosted by children’s author and educator, Kate Messner         

For: Geared to all Teachers and Librarians, but anyone can benefit!

 When: Now through August 16 – sign up today or when your schedule permits

Where: Online

How Much: Free!

Why: Become a better writer!

Sign-up: Click here! 

Teachers Write virtual summer writing camp helps you become a better writer at your own pace and when it’s convenient for you. Although geared to all teachers and librarians, anyone can sign up and benefit from the many treasures Teachers Write has to offer. Even if you are not a teacher or librarian, you can access the daily writing plans and guest writer posts, as well as participant comments and opinions. Teachers Write opens up an entirely fresh way to fall in love with writing for the 1st time … or the 100th.

The camp’s creator, children’s author and educator Kate Messner, describes Teachers Write as, “a community of teachers and librarians who believe that people teaching writing should walk the walk.” Messner’s goal is to provide teachers and librarians opportunities and encouragement to write, learn, and share. She offers her own support, as well as support from an awesome group of published authors, who currently volunteer their time to interact with the camp’s participants.

Teachers Write is in its second year of growing popularity. The 2013 camp began on June 24 and runs through August 16. If you haven’t yet had a chance to sign up or if you’re concerned about joining because you’ll be away at some point during this timeframe, NO PROBLEM! You may sign up for Teachers Write anytime it works for you this summer and you can take breaks whenever your schedule necessitates. While Messner provides a “plan-of-the-day” timetable for the summer, this virtual camp’s flexible structure allows members to, in Messner’s words, “participate in whatever floats your boat and skip the rest.”

Everyday, Messner provides writing exercises that she or a guest author creates.

Here’s a sneak peek at what a week of Teachers Write virtual writing camp looks like:

Mini-Lesson Monday:

The week begins with a writing craft or logistics workshop-style lesson, complete with ideas, tips, examples, and a Monday Morning Warm-up Exercise that you can either work on right away or save for later. Messner provides simple, but critical tricks to help you enhance your writing and better captivate your audience. Just like so many aspects of life, it’s the little things that can often make all the difference with your writing. For example, simply purchasing a journal or a notebook and writing in it regularly is a crucial element to enhancing your writing. Whether you write a list, scribble a plan, or doodle, writing every single day is the first, all-important step to becoming a better writer.

Tuesday/Thursday Quick-Write:

Messner provides various Quick-Write exercises every Tuesday and Thursday to help writers get started, get unstuck, or consider a different point of view. These writing and brainstorming exercises are gems for expanding and opening your mind to new ideas or enhancing your current project. Use these valuable tools and ideas in your writer’s toolbox to reflect on works in progress or on something completely new and different!

Wednesday Q and A

Every Wednesday, Messner provides a forum that allows participants to pose general or specific questions to her or to any of the guest authors! This open-ended question and answer opportunity gives you an invaluable opportunity to interface with well-known and successful authors!

Friday Writing Happy Hour

Share, share, share!  Happy Hour is a time to share your writing, ask others for feedback, or provide feedback to others every Friday. Bonus: author Gae Polisher also hosts a Feedback Friday on her blog, so you may also stop by there, as well, to share your work and to offer or receive feedback. Share anything you’d like – your weekly progress, links to projects you’re proud of, or snippets of your writing you’d like comments about.

Sunday Check-in

Each Sunday, re-charge and spend time with your on-line writing friends. Teacher-writer Jen Vincent hosts an on-line writing group on her blog. She provides encouragement and shares her reflections on being a teacher. This is a fabulous writers’ support group that focuses on goals, progress, setbacks, and achievements.

 

Looking for feedback on a larger body of work? Participants of Teachers Write can easily share full-length compositions and access others’ work – one of the very best ways to gain insight and inspiration. Messner also promises some surprises this summer, such as free book giveaways and unscheduled star guest posts.

Teacher’s Write is an incredible resource and opportunity! Use it!

Jacquelyn Wood**Thanks to W.O.R.D. Ink team member Jacquelyn Wood for her coverage of this week’s blog post!

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