Category Archives: Pay It Forward

August 10

Creating a Reading Culture in the Classroom by Ann Hagedorn

When students walk into my classroom, I want them to see that I value reading and books and that my goal is for them to do the same. There is a sign that hangs in the front of my class that states, We read every day. I have a large classroom library that spans the […]

August 09

Ideas for Teaching Writing A Book Review by Carrie Rodusky

“Since we don’t know who young writers are going to become, when they are writing we should let them be whoever they are.” John Warner This quote may be finding its way into my upper elementary classroom this year; not only as a message for the students but also as a reminder to me, their […]

August 03

Reading is a Forever Thing by Brooks Spencer

As part of a High School English conversation, a couple of teachers were overhead saying “My students won’t read outside the classroom, so there is no need to assign independent reading. It’s a waste of time.” They felt their classroom novels were enough. I don’t understand how you teach English without expecting students to read […]

July 27

Graphic Novel Geeks Only: Create Your Own After-School Club by Sarah FitzHenry and Megan Grant

If you’re a reading teacher, librarian, or parent, then you probably already know: graphic novels are all the rage. They’re fun to read, they’re deep and evocative, and they engage all kinds of readers at first glance. If you’re not convinced yet that graphic novels are real and worthwhile texts to bring into your classroom, […]

July 20

You Get a Book and You Get a Book and You Get a Book! by Liz Garden

There is a small part of me that always wanted to be Oprah or Ellen.  It’s not because these ladies are so famous that we only need to use their first names to identify them.  And it’s not because they probably don’t have to worry about choosing which bills to pay each month and which […]

June 24

20,000 Pennies: How a Book Club Transformed our School Community by Sarah FitzHenry

I stood in the middle of the room and listened to the sound of more than 20,000 pennies clinking and jingling around me. To my left, a fourth grade student helped her first grade buddy to count the nickels held in her sweaty palm (they had to start over after losing count at 12). To […]

June 22

Claire’s Day: Celebrating Young Readers by Julie K. Rubini

“Thank you for all you do,” the father said, with tears in his eyes. “You don’t understand what this award means to my daughter. She’s had it on her calendar for a month, crossing off the days counting down to Claire’s Day.” Nearly nineteen years ago, my ten-year-old daughter, Claire, gave me “just one more […]

June 15

Dog Man to The Rescue: How Book Access Saved My Third Grade Student by Renee Bowman

Teachers, you already know the student I am about to describe. The one who arrives halfway through the year from out of state, with a mother unsure of which grade her son was in just last week. The 9 year-old who carries a chip on his shoulder as if he were 29. The third grader […]

June 10

Why the School Nurse’s Office Should Have a Well-Stocked Library by Melissa McDonald and Melanie Roy

Joseph Addison and Sir Richard Steele wrote “Reading is to the mind what exercise is to the body.” Being a school nurse teacher I deeply believe in this quote. My mother instilled in me a deep love of reading. Growing up I witnessed her donate countless books to projects and children in need. When I […]

June 01

When a List Is More Than Just a List by Kirsten LeClerc

A few years ago I wrote a Nerdy Book Club post that was widely shared and (mostly) well received. It was titled “Windows, Mirrors, and Portals to Magic”. I made a mistake in that piece, though. I neglected to cite Dr. Rudine Sims Bishop, the scholar who came up with the concept of windows, mirrors, […]