Category Archives: Pay It Forward

May 17

Turning Readers into Writers by Carrie Rodusky

I stumbled upon this rock while walking my dog through the woods. It is about to be a creative writing prompt for my upper elementary students. Who knows where it will go.     As an ELA teacher I have to find a way to include reading, grammar, language, and writing in a 60 minute […]

May 10

Book Dating by Kyla McDonald

As a parent, teacher or librarian, you might never have thought to encourage your tweens or teens to start dating, especially speed dating. I’m here to tell you that it’s ok for your kids to date early, as long as they are dating books! Unlike dating people, book dating is free from rejection, completely safe […]

May 02

We Are in Charge of Reading Celebrations by Tammy Mulligan

“Tell me about the books in your book bag.” I ask a third grader during a recent conference.   She reached into her book bag, pulled out a book and declared, “This is my dessert book.  I read it just-for-fun.”   “What does it mean to read “just-for-fun?”   “Well, it’s fun because I don’t […]

April 27

More (eating) poetry, please. by Emily Meixner

When my son was in kindergarten, he and his classmates regularly read and talked about poetry. They shared poems in their morning meetings, they illustrated poems as they were learning to recognize sight words, they made paper pockets to carry the poems they wanted to share on Poem In Your Pocket Day. They ingested poems […]

April 22

The Power of Choice and Time by Beth Jarzabek

For the past sixteen years, I have had the pleasure to teach Language Arts Lab to middle school students — a class that one of my former students quite aptly described as “Reading for kids who hate to read.”  This is true … for the most part. My kids are typically those who struggle, those […]

March 18

Why Share Wordless Picture Books? by Carrie Rodusky

A colleague recently brought me a donated pile of books to see if I could use any in my 4th grade classroom. One of the books was a wordless picture book. I cannot remember the title, but it was very abstract and I thought it would be a great addition to the 7th or 8th […]

February 23

Making Connections with Authors by Kris Barr Paquette

When I was a kid, I had a penpal who lived in South Carolina.  We sent letters and packages back and forth for years.  We met at camp.  Not to date myself, but this was before email and this was before texting and Snapchat.  I loved it.  I looked forward to running to the mailbox […]

January 13

What Happened to My Reader? by Sarah FitzHenry and Jared Passmore

“What happened to my reader? Last year, he was in the library every week picking out books. I had to take his book away at meals. Now, I can’t get him to read anything. It’s like he has no interest in it.” This mystery baffles parents, librarians, and teachers alike. As students pass through middle […]

January 12

Rethinking “Just Right”: Reader and Text Variables that Impact Comprehension by Jennifer Serravallo

Seven years ago when I was home on maternity leave, I found it really hard to get through the sorts of rich novels I’d devoured pre-baby. Sleep deprived, I struggled with remembering everything that had happened across the text and started abandoning books halfway through. Then, a friend handed me Nora Ephron’s I Feel Bad […]

January 11

Fact VS Fiction: Teaching Critical Thinking Skills In the Age of Fake News by Jennifer LaGarde and Darren Hudgins

  Let’s start by making one thing clear: writing Fact VS Fiction: Teaching Critical Thinking Skills In the Age of Fake News was not a labor of love. Don’t get us wrong, we loved working together. We loved our research driven writing process. We loved our editorial team. And we loved being able to share […]