Category Archives: Pay It Forward

January 08

Be the Example by Sarah Krajewski

“Mommy, can we go have a picnic now? Mommy? Hello, Mommy!” I swear I wasn’t intentionally ignoring my daughter, but she caught me in the zone. You know exactly which “zone” I’m talking about: that place you go when a book is so enthralling that the rest of your world disappears. That’s where I was […]

December 11

Don’t Be the Grumpy Film Critic of Children’s Literature by Mike Grosso

Do you remember the last time critics panned a film you admired? If you’re like me, you probably wrote your own imaginary impassioned response chock full of frustration and disbelief. The critic is entitled to their opinion, of course, but as a filmgoer you’ll reconsider the authenticity of their words the next time you see […]

November 26

Impact: Matching Books to Readers by Ona Feinberg

I got to help kindergartners pick books today. “Bring over your book bins, friends,” I told each group. “Today, I get to do some of my favorite things! I get to hear you read books, and I get to help you pick ‘just right’ books.”   I wasn’t exaggerating, these really are a few of […]

November 20

That’s Not a Real Book: In defense of non-traditional reading by Amy Gibson

“How do you ever find time to read all those books?” ”Well, I listen to audiobooks during my commute…” “Oh. That’s not really reading.”   I find myself having this conversation more and more these days. What counts as real reading? Is listening to an audiobook the same as reading the book? Is a graphic […]

November 13

Box of Buttons, Room of Readers by Dana Kramaroff

Our readers come to us, like a box of buttons. I realized this while crafting with my three year old daughter. I watched her drag her fingers through, feel each one and bend her ear down low to listen to the sounds of them clinking together, ever so slightly. Through her eyes, I observed how […]

November 11

Text, Tool, and Thought: Rufus the Writer by Melanie Fuemmeler

Text: The book Rufus the Writer by Elizabeth Bram is an endearing tale about a young boy (Rufus) who decides rather than the traditional lemonade stand, he’d like to open a story stand.  With all the diligence and vision of a young entrepreneur, he readies his stand with a tablecloth and sign, paper and pencils, a cheery […]

November 10

Keep it R.E.A.L.! Relevant, Engaging, and Affirming Literacy for Adolescent English Learners by Mary Amanda (Mandy) Stewart

As a twenty-two-year-old, I completed my student teaching in an 8th grade Reading class for students new to the country. My cooperating teacher told me, “It’s just like teaching Pre-K to teenagers!” Even my much younger self knew something was not quite right about that statement. Did these adolescents with nearly adult bodies and often […]

October 30

The Text Connections We Need to Be Making by Liz Garden

I remember when I was in first grade; I spent more time in the school library than I did in my classroom.  It’s true.  My teacher, Mr. Page, would send me to read in the library because I didn’t fit into the blue, red, or green reading group.   And so I spent my days devouring […]

October 28

A Second Chance – For All of Us by Samantha Goodger

This school year, for a variety of reasons, I was moved from my position as the middle school instructional coach up to the high school to work with students in our credit recovery courses.  These students have a variety of academic, socio-emotional, and other needs and, honestly, I was unsure where to even start.  It […]

October 23

All the Feels: Creating a Classroom Community of Readers by Rachel Weidenhammer

Two summers ago, I read and fell in love with Donalyn Miller’s books, The Book Whisperer and Reading in the Wild. I felt passionate and invigorated to help build a love of reading in my 5th grade students. After reading incessantly, creating Donor’s Choose projects for more high interest books, adding in reading time to […]