Winding Oak's Bookology Magazine

Teach it Forward

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A Match Made in Heaven

A lit­tle more than two years ago I shared a Teach it For­ward col­umn enti­tled “Books for my Grand­ba­by and Me.” As I cel­e­brat­ed the arrival of my first grand­child and mar­veled at the joy of becom­ing a first-time grand­ma, I embraced the chance to share my love of read­ing with this most pre­cious future […]

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The Beauty of Joy Writing

If you dropped into Room 212 for a vis­it between 11:00 a.m. and 12:00 p.m. you might won­der what kind of “Writer’s Work­shop” was under­way. It’s not that you wouldn’t find evi­dence of writ­ing … the ques­tions raised might cen­ter on the gen­res of writ­ing you would be hard pressed to detect. No per­sua­sive essays. […]

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The Beauty of Imperfection

As I reflect on the start of my 27th year of teach­ing, I am struck by what an unusu­al first week of school it was. Room 212 was filled with a sense of calm that doesn’t usu­al­ly accom­pa­ny my first few days of a new school year. The fact that our school build­ing was closed […]

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Read-Alouds That Leave a Lasting Imprint

The gift of a favorite teacher read­ing aloud an unfor­get­table book is an expe­ri­ence like­ly to leave a last­ing imprint on a student’s heart. For me, it was Ramona the Pest, intro­duced by my sec­ond-grade teacher. I’ll always remem­ber Tam­my Burns, the girl in my class who had beau­ti­ful ringlets just like Ramona’s class­mate Susan. […]

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The Gift of Books:
Terrific Titles for the Classroom Library

As teach­ers across the coun­try take to the streets to push for ade­quate com­pen­sa­tion and work con­di­tions, it’s a won­der we still have young peo­ple enter­ing this noble pro­fes­sion. And yet, at col­lege and uni­ver­si­ty grad­u­a­tion cer­e­monies every­where, new teach­ers will be receiv­ing their cre­den­tials as they embark on what will like­ly be one of […]

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Gifts from the Trenches

Life in the trench­es, a/k/a the class­room, is not for the faint of heart. In pre­vi­ous Bookol­o­gy arti­cles I’ve shared my take on many of the chal­lenges faced by teach­ers in today’s edu­ca­tion­al cli­mate. Lack of mean­ing­ful oppor­tu­ni­ties for the teacher’s voice to be heard, mount­ing pres­sure to pro­duce stu­dents who per­form well on high […]

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It’s All About the Heart

And now here is my secret, a very sim­ple secret: It is only with the heart that one can see right­ly; what is essen­tial is invis­i­ble to the eye.”  ― Antoine de Saint-Exupéry, The Lit­tle Prince Orig­i­nal­ly this install­ment of Teach it For­ward was going to offer my take on how to fos­ter inde­pen­dence and pro­mote sta­mi­na […]

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From Gridlock to Road Trip

If you were stuck in bumper to bumper grid­lock, head­ing south on Hwy 100 last week, you may have noticed a woman laugh­ing all alone in her car as she wait­ed patient­ly (with eyes on the road) for things to start mov­ing again. The very next day you might have caught a glimpse of that […]

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Food for Thought

As the first month of a new school year comes to a close, I offer some food for thought about nour­ish­ing our teach­ers. Lit­er­al­ly and fig­u­ra­tive­ly. Years ago when I was work­ing on my administrator’s license I dis­cov­ered a gem of a book called If You Don’t Feed the Teach­ers, They Eat the Stu­dents! Guide […]

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Describe 10 Things in Your Perfect World

Mon­ey that grows on trees. Free hous­es, free cars, free food, and free phones. More books, more pets and more med­i­cine for sick peo­ple. Clean water. Par­ents who don’t fight. These are the wish­es of JD, a sin­cere and striv­ing eleven-year-old read­er I am tutor­ing this sum­mer. The prompt that pro­duced his wish list (which […]

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Capitulate vs Conquer

As I eager­ly gath­ered up my ideas and insights for a fol­low-up arti­cle about last month’s “Mys­tery Read­er” top­ic, I found myself try­ing to nego­ti­ate two seem­ing­ly incom­pat­i­ble schools of thought regard­ing effec­tive lit­er­a­cy teach­ing and learn­ing. I am a huge pro­po­nent of stu­dent choice and voice (instead of teacher- or cur­ricu­lum-dic­­­tat­ed text selec­tions), teacher […]

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Mystery Readers

In this col­umn, I’m pleased to share a brief overview of “Nur­tur­ing the Devel­op­ment of Reflec­tive Read­ers,” a ses­sion I attend­ed at “Echoes of Learn­ing,” the lit­er­a­cy con­fer­ence at Zaharis Ele­men­tary in Mesa, AZ. Kris-Ann Flo­rence and Megan Kyp­ke, sec­ond and fourth grade teach­ers, shared how they pro­mote reflec­tion and enhance com­pre­hen­sion by using a […]

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Spring Break 2017

I’m still rel­ish­ing the mem­o­ry of spring break. Sur­round­ed by moun­tains and plen­ty of sun­shine, I stum­bled upon a lit­er­a­cy oasis that up until then, I had only vis­it­ed in my dreams. Almost a month lat­er, I am still intrigued and inspired by what I expe­ri­enced. I knew instant­ly that this mag­i­cal place would be […]

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Isn’t It Time to Listen to the Teachers?

Recent head­lines are sound­ing the alarm: More Min­neso­ta teach­ers leav­ing jobs, new state report shows One-fourth of new teach­ers leave with­in first three years, accord­ing to a new state report.  The statewide teacher short­age described as an “epi­dem­ic” has Min­neso­ta school dis­tricts search­ing for strate­gies that will increase teacher reten­tion. A Feb­ru­ary, 2017, Star Tri­bune […]