Category Archives: Pay It Forward

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, […]

May 25

Read, Rise, Resist, Repeat by Kacy Smith

A few short months ago, my district was in the middle of a comprehensive ELA adoption, which had a focus of providing diverse and engaging classroom libraries. Expected growing pains had arrived and passed, replaced with increased reading volume, stamina, and enjoyment. That all changed after a parent filed a complaint to have Andrew Smith’s […]

May 06

One Author, One Librarian, One Teacher; Three Nerds by Nora Raleigh Baskin, Beth Parmer, and Jimmy Sapia

Nora: When I was asked if I would be willing to teach creative writing at an underperforming middle school in an urban neighborhood with a very small budget, my first question was: What does “underperforming” mean? But I was willing– despite how little they could pay or what that meant exactly– because I’ve been feeling, […]

May 05

Advocating for More #YALit by Oona Marie Abrams

You’ve just finished a new YA novel.  Wow, you think to yourself. This book is awesome. It totally reminds me of …. But, since you are a literacy teacher, of course, you think far beyond this. You start to think about how and why this book can and should have a home beyond just your […]

May 04

Creating Joyful Summer Reading Plans by Pernille Ripp

“Mrs. Ripp, did you know there is only 30 days left after today? “   He looks at me expectantly, clearly excited about the end of 7th grade and all that will happen during the summer.   “No more reading, no more school, just freedom…”   And I realize once again that although we have […]

April 30

A Book Club for Everyone…the Importance of Diversity in Books by Don Vu

A few weeks ago, one of my teachers, Jennifer DeBortoli, gave me a copy of a book titled, A Different Pond by Bao Phi. She left it on my desk with a note that just said, “Don- I think you’ll like this book”. She was wrong. I loved this book. A Different Pond is a […]

April 11

Students Choosing Birthday Books by Leah Gannon

I am a primary school librarian serving students from 4K-2nd grade.  Our school library has a Birthday Book Club. On his/her birthday, each child gets to choose a brand new book free of charge.  Students who have summer birthdays may select a book the last week of school. I can’t take credit for the idea, […]

Read Like The Bachelor: A Guide for Students by Kate Roberts

So one of the more embarrassing facts about me is that my wife and I are pretty committed Bachelor and Bachelorette watchers. In fact, we have not missed an episode in about ten years.   We take no pride in this, yes there is a good deal of shame. I’m sure you know people like […]

February 16

Incombustible Ideas: The Subtle Bigotry of Book Banning by Jennifer LaGarde and Travis Crowder

Books are powerful. They have the unique ability to transform, inspire, and educate, all while wrapping us in the singularly connective tissue of story. The ideas in books also have the potential to challenge the status quo, make us think differently, and encourage change in our world: a power which some find frightening. In her […]

January 29

#BookExpedition: How a middle grade book group came together to read widely for themselves, their students, and each other.

When I spotted this Tweet from educator Mike Contuzzi, I was intrigued.     Educator reading groups were popping up on Twitter, but I had no idea how they worked. I replied to Mike (who has since left #BookExpedition), wondering what I’d signed up for.   Now a #BookExpedition veteran, I love the distance reading […]