Category Archives: Pay It Forward

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 […]

August 26

Why Picture Books Now? by Mary Boehmer

Remember when picture books gave us a simple view of family, neighborhoods and the world at large? As readers we felt safe, cocooned between the pages of that one view, it was comforting. Fast forward twenty years, an elementary school librarian in a small rural town that is made up of vast social economic disparities. […]

August 07

The 5 W’s (and an H) of an After-School Book Club by Michelle Gajda

Love of books, love of reading, love of learning, love of women’s history…..what do you do when you have so many “loves” inside you? Why you share them, of course! As a teacher, it seems natural to want to share the love and joy of reading and learning. Thus, the Girls with Grit After school […]

August 05

Authors, Illustrators Share Their Talents, Pass On Their Love of Reading, Then Pass Out Their Books by Heidi Powell

I’ve shared my love of reading in expected and unexpected ways. When I was young I book-talked with friends (before I even knew what book-talking was), participated in book clubs, and volunteered and then worked at the local library. Years later, I picked up where I’d left off and became a page at another library—only […]