Category Archives: Pay It Forward

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 […]

September 30

The Power of Un-Leveled Books by Heather Zeissler

“Your books are too easy!” A frustrated first grader told me one spring afternoon, as she methodically looked through our classroom library for a new chapter book to bring home.  This outburst was unexpected, as this particular English Language Learner (ELL) student was still working on constant-vowel-constant words, along with the first 100 sight words. […]

September 11

I’m Raising Fearless Readers Who Will Try Anything by Dena McMurdie

When my girls were small, I decided that I wanted them to grow up without any limits. I wanted them to dream big and not let society’s boundaries define who they are or what they can do.   I knew that if I introduced my kids to lots of ideas and subjects, it would help […]

September 02

Letting Go by Kim Hole

Reinventing Intervention. This statement described my goal this past school year. After 7 years as a K-6 reading specialist I knew things had to change. I had just sent 6th graders off that started with me in kindergarten, those student who for various reasons needed on-going reading support. In 7 years those students’ views of […]