Category Archives: Reading Lives

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 […]

February 18

Reading Lessons Learned by Carrie Rodusky

I am a lifelong reader.  I have always listed reading as a favorite hobby and would choose to sit with a good book over anything else. I was the kid who rode her bike in the summer to the library and sat in the aisles for hours. Once, in the third grade I saw my […]

Graphic Novels are Books, Too! by Stacey DeCotis

Oh if I could count the times I’ve heard adults say that graphic novels are “too easy” or “not challenging enough” or “they don’t count as books”… My 5th grade students this year are devouring graphic novels! Until I started reading them last year, I never understood why (I mean, yeah I got that there […]

February 04

The Most Rewarding Gift by Jodi-Beth Moreno

How many gifts can you keep forever?  Do you have a favorite gift that you plan on keeping with you no matter where life takes you? I keep with me one of the best gifts I have ever received, the gift of reading. I’ve always known how to read. It has been part of my […]

January 28

Can you keep a secret? by Amy Estersohn

The Secret Society of Readers has no monthly meetings, no annual dues, and no application. There are no cancellation fees.  SSR has no advisory board, no headquarters, and no tax identification number.   SSR members may or may not use libraries and may or may not self-identify as readers  They may or may not report […]