Category Archives: Pay It Forward

September 22

A Tale of Disruption: Teaching The Marrow Thieves by Cherie Dimaline – Post by Emily Visness

“We’ve always taught that novel.” “The lesson plans and activities for that novel are already prepared.” “I love teaching that book!” “We have enough copies of the book for all our classes.” “It’s a classic!” The reasons, or rather the excuses, are many, but these are some common responses from teachers when the contentious topic […]

August 20

The Power of Listening to Stories Together by Tammy Mulligan and Clare Landrigan

Recently, I got the chance to watch Josh Funk host story time at a local bookstore, Newtonville Books.  Fans, young and old, and even shoppers who were there by happenstance, crowded into the tiny backroom of the bookstore to listen to a story together.     As Josh read, I found myself intently listening to […]

August 04

A Classroom Library: If You Build It, They Will Read by Jim Bailey

I had just finished sharing the latest research about classroom libraries with my teachers at a staff meeting.  The research didn’t surprise anyone.  Students who are able to utilize a well-stocked, diverse classroom library spend 60% more time reading compared to those that don’t.  These same students are also more likely to talk about the […]

August 03

New Resources for Teaching Nonfiction by Melissa Stewart

In July, I was lucky enough to attend nErDcampMI for the very first time. And all I can say is WowOhWowOhWowOhWow! I met so many dedicated educators and had so many great conversations that sometimes it felt like my brain was about to explode—in a good way. I’d been connected with many of these folks […]

July 28

The Great Graphic Novel Experiment by Sarah FitzHenry

I hear it often: “Kids won’t read real books anymore.” Two or three times a week, a parent— such a powerful voice in the reading life of a child— will come to my school library and roll their eyes while they ask me how to get their child to “put down the comics.” Often, the […]

June 30

Reading Promotion: Transforming the Reading Culture of a K-8 Building by Allison Stout and Jill Ramig

In the fall of 2016, we were inspired by Jillian Heise and the #classroombookaday program (see Jillian’s July 3, 2017 Nerdy Book Club post “#classroombookaday & the Power of Shared [Picture Book] Stories”).  We knew we wanted to bring the idea to Remington Traditional School.  We recruited two other non-classroom teachers to adopt a room […]

June 23

“Eight reasons we’re ready: Human Rights, Social Justice, and LGBTQ Book Clubs” by Emily Meixner, Rachel Scupp, and Rachel’s 8th grade students at Grover Middle School

Last fall, I had the good fortune of being welcomed into Rachel Scupp’s 8th grade IRLA (Integrated Reading Language Arts) classes.  Earlier in the summer, I had mentioned to Rachel that I wanted to develop LGBTQ middle grade curriculum — to which she immediately replied, “Why not my classes? We teach a social justice curriculum!” […]

June 10

Kids Need Books Everywhere by Jennifer LaGarde and Donalyn Miller

  Indisputably, children and adolescents benefit when they attend schools with degreed librarians and well-developed library collections (Scholastic, 2018). We also know that providing kids with reliable access to books is one of the easiest, most cost effective ways to influence their achievement. (Allington, McGill-Franzen 2014). Unfortunately, too many young people live in “book deserts” without […]

June 09

Let’s Start at the Very Beginning… by Mark Overmeyer

My first year teaching, I was one of the lucky ones.   I had come out of a strong student teaching experience, and my new teacher colleagues provided a perfect balance of providing support and letting me try (and often fail) and try again.   And my class– I will never forget my incredible sixth […]

June 01

Digital Device + Free Texts = Reading All Summer Long by Tammy Mulligan and Clare Landrigan

When we read the Pew Research Center’s report about access to digital information, it confirmed the work we are doing with digital reading.  Although many students may not have easy access to actual books at home, based on these statistics, they probably have access to a digital device. Devices can give students more reading choices, […]