Category Archives: Reading Lives

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 […]

November 06

Fear Not The Adaptation by Emily Meixner

This summer my son finished reading all thirteen books in Lemony Snicket’s Series of Unfortunate Events series. He’d wandered uninterested past the first few books on our bookshelves for several years, even though he knew my husband had read and enjoyed them.  Then, this spring, as we desperately waited for sunshine and warmer weather, we […]

October 14

The Books That Bind Us by Susan Knell

I had the opportunity to visit The Netherlands and Germany this summer, and like many teachers, I try to find children’s books from the culture I’m visiting. Bringing back children’s books from trips, whether across the state or across the ocean and sharing them with students is a wonderful way to show them the world. […]

October 09

Driving Our Children to Life Long Reading by Meg Leventhal

As part of our district’s reading workshop program, my fifth grade students are required to read a self-chosen book for thirty minutes each night for homework. As a teacher, I know how vital this reading is to each student’s journey to the place where reading becomes like breathing. As a parent, however, with two children […]

September 25

Setting Is Where the Heart (of the Story) Is by Nicole Warchol

If anyone were to ask me my favorite element of a book, my instinctual response would be great characters. Characters who are like me or ones who aren’t like me at all. Characters who I can root for or against. Recently and surprisingly, my reading life is being transformed more by the places on the […]

September 23

The Important Decision I Made to Create a Reading Community Classroom by Kristen Rowlands

As an educator I face a daily challenge. How will the work that I do today equip my students to love reading? How will kids discover they are not alone in the world through the power of literacy in my classroom? When I graduated from college I knew I wanted to help children. I was dedicated to helping […]

September 18

A Toast to Kate DiCamillo by Kirsten LeClerc

“I’m only eating toast today. Toast with a great deal of butter on it,” declared my daughter. She was six years old at the time and a Mercy Watson superfan. I humored her at breakfast, and she snacked on buttered toast for the next couple of days. Need I tell you how that turned out? […]

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 04

An Ode to the Books of My Childhood . . . And to the Ones I Missed by Maggie Bokelman

In the box of things my mother saved from my childhood is an “about me” book written and illustrated by my third-grade self. On one page, a stick figure with a creepy grin and no nose is stretched out on a couch holding a book; nearby is an enthusiastically polka-dotted window. The text reads, “I […]

August 28

The Thrill of the Ride by Bill Lingle

  It’s a yearly rite of passage in the school year, the assembly to get students excited for our magazine subscription fundraiser. In front of the gymnasium is a large screen displaying  a video of BMX Professionals performing 180 nose pivots, 360 tail whips, and double barspins. The children are stirred into a frenzied state […]