Category Archives: Reading Lives

June 17

“I Like Your Hair Better Down”: An Examination of YA Male Protagonists and Their Obsession With The Way Females Wear Their Hair by Janine Quimby

In the second half of the Victorian dramatic monologue “Porphyria’s Lover” by Robert Browning, the speaker of the poem, allegedly so overcome with Porphyria’s goodness and virginal beauty (and thus wanting to prevent her from spoiling her innocence), commits the following act: “A thing to do, and all her hair/ In one long yellow string […]

June 02

The 11th Annual #Bookaday Challenge

Like all readers, my reading life ebbs and flows. For every week I stay up until 2 am to finish Tomi Adeyemi’s 544-page epic fantasy tome, Children of Blood and Bone, I can point to weeks where I read almost nothing, but emails and Facebook posts. We don’t commit to reading once, we recommit every […]

May 27

A Year in Read-Alouds by Carrie Rodusky

  Another school year is ending and that is always time for us teachers to reflect on what went well, what we can change, and so on. The one thing I always look back on is my year in read- alouds. It could possibly be my favorite part of the day. Not because I like […]

April 29

Finding Home in a Word by Tanya Aydelott

In the house where my mother grew up, shelves are filled with books that open to the right, adorned with words that spill across the page in beautiful, fluid script. Urdu is a language of gorgeous curves, its delicate letters flowing from the right to the left. In speech, Urdu sounds like a quick-moving river: […]

April 22

The Power of Choice and Time by Beth Jarzabek

For the past sixteen years, I have had the pleasure to teach Language Arts Lab to middle school students — a class that one of my former students quite aptly described as “Reading for kids who hate to read.”  This is true … for the most part. My kids are typically those who struggle, those […]

April 01

Understanding Representation to the Core by Ro Menendez

This year I posed the question of representation in stories, to my readers grades 1st-6th.  It was an exercise in understanding what representation means, creating awareness of their, and others’, right to be represented and then examining what they felt once they could find a piece of themselves in a story. I also reflected on […]

March 25

Let’s hear it for young readers editions by Alicia Abdul

  It wasn’t until a decade ago that I truly dove headfirst in to middle grade and young adult nonfiction because I felt stuck in fiction. But I can tell you that I haven’t looked back since. In part, a thirst for knowledge that’s different from watching a documentary, plus engaging with events and people […]

March 23

Confessions of a Reformed Non-Reader by Jeff Downs

I was that teacher. You remember the type. Stodgy, uncreative, skewed towards rude. I pushed Caesar over Christopher Paolini, As I Lay Dying over Ally Condie. What does John Green know about unrequited love? Read Hawthorne’s The Scarlet Letter to really see what that looks like. Why should a kid read Hunger Games when to really […]

March 11

Practicing What I Preach by Heather Del Piano

As a middle school reading teacher, I completely support  the idea of giving students a choice in what they read and modeling reading behavior for them. Since I love reading, it is easy for me to do my own independent reading every day; I even take notes on my reading. I enjoy  writing down quotes […]

March 02

Keeping Reading Magic in Middle School (or How We Reorganized our Middle School to Improve Reading) by Tara McCabe

When you build a reading community in your classroom, it’s magical.   We work all year to make magic happen in sixth grade.  My partner teacher and I are both joyful readers who are obsessed with instilling a love of reading in our students. We have extensive classroom libraries and read novels aloud daily. We […]