Category Archives: Pay It Forward

March 12

It’s Not About Us by Donalyn Miller

  Two weekends ago, I volunteered at the North Texas Teen Book Festival, a two-day event in Irving, Texas. I travel to lots of literacy and literature conferences, but it’s a rare treat to attend such a fantastic conference without leaving home. The first day of the festival is an Educator Day for teachers and […]

March 04

JOLABOKAFLOD: The Christmas Book Flood by Jody Fassett Kyburz

NPR teaches me a lot of new things if I’m not busy with an audiobook.  When I heard about Jolabokaflod just prior to Christmas 2015, I immediately began preparing to make it happen for 2016.   Jolabokaflod developed into a tradition thanks to the publishing industry in Iceland, a country with an extremely high rate […]

Layering “Texts” to Deepen Understanding as Students Read (Secretly modeling how to be passionate about inquiry) by Shelli Thelen

History is an important window for all students to view the world through. As a child, I learned about American history and ancient civilizations. I was not interested in history as a student until we began to learn about more contemporary events that occurred in the 20th century. As a fifth-grade teacher of social studies […]

February 18

One Book + One School = One Reading Community by Karyn Lewis

As a school librarian I gush over books, I hug books, I smell new books, and I treasure all the stories that come into my life. I became a librarian to share with my students the joy that books bring me. So after 3 years as the librarian in an affluent elementary school, I was […]

February 05

Inspiring Readers and Writers with Author Visits by Jim Bailey

Everyone has a favorite day of the school year.  It could be the first day, a special performance, or a tradition that is unique to your school.  For me, my favorite day is an easy choice:  the day of our annual author visit.  This year our guest author was Marc Tyler Nobleman.  He wowed the […]

January 27

“Tell Them Stories” by Jenn Risser

This tattoo sums up everything I’ve ever gotten right in my life.  It embodies every facet of my little existence:  even the guts it took me to finally walk into the tattoo parlor and let someone mark me forever.     But this is the power of story.  Story is what sets us free.   […]

January 22

Freedom of Speech by Donalyn Miller

  “Congress shall make no law respecting an establishment of religion, or prohibiting the free exercise thereof; or abridging the freedom of speech, or of the press; or the right of the people peaceably to assemble, and to petition the government for a redress of grievances.” –First Amendment, U.S. Constitution     The United States […]

January 21

The Portals We Create by Pernille Ripp

I don’t remember the first time someone told me I should be fired as a teacher in response to work my students had done.  I know it was several years ago.  I remember the fear though, how it felt like a bucket of water was thrown in my face.  Here I thought we were doing […]

January 16

“Yes. . .I Have Those Kind of Books.” by Paul W. Hankins

I had a Nerdy Book Club post ready for the administrators to post today. When Cindy emailed and asked for a new bio and picture to go along with the post, I told her that I had a new bio. . .a new picture. . .and a brand new post. This is that post. The […]

January 14

Picture Book Believing: Sharing Picture Books with Intermediate Students by Carrie Gelson

Stories have the potential to alter our perceptions about our world. We need stories. Lots and lots of them. Picture books, shared in a classroom where writing, thinking and discussion happen, offer countless opportunities for each of us to grow in how we understand each other, our place in our communities and in the larger […]