Category Archives: Pay It Forward

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 […]

August 04

Falling in Love with 826CHI by Jen Vincent

“Writing a book, publishing it, buying it, and putting that book into a child’s hand may be one of the most important acts of resistance we have. Because books give children light. Books give them hope. Books give them power.” – Donalyn Miller, Nerd Talk, Nerdcamp Michigan, 2017     Over spring break, I invited […]

July 24

Not Assessable (Or Is it?) by Patrick Andrus

As I sit on my porch reflecting on the last 172 days, I seem to be “stuck” in thought about the state of education and where we currently are in the realm of assessment.   In my district, the “focus” seems to be the MCA (Minnesota Comprehension Assessment) and other district testing.  We are data […]

July 22

Leading with Reading or How I Found a Career that Nurtured my Book Addiction by Liz Garden

I have discussed my book addiction with many different people.  The first step is admitting you have a problem, right?  I know I have a problem.  I just can’t say no to books.  I guess there are worse problems I could have.  I have multiple to be read piles, yet I just signed up for […]

July 10

Other Duties As Assigned by Emily Visness

Summer is here, and as the weeks of shuttling my kids to swim team practice, swim meets, and for-fun swimming consumes many of my waking hours, I also spend time chipping away at my enormous “To Be Read” list. Like many readers, my TBR list is an ever-growing mountain, and each time I read one […]