Muddling through the blogosphere

August 15, 2009
by blogwalker

More Resources for Promoting a Love of Reading

Since reading Kelly Gallagher‘s Readicide, I’ve been thinking about online resources to help find books our students just can’t put down, as they are swept away in a “reading flow.” Here are a few of my favorites:

  • Educating Alice: If you’re an elementary teacher and can’t find the time to read Monica Edinger’s blog, then follow her on Twitter.  She’s on vacation in Alaska right now, but even as she explores Denali, she’s sending out Tweets with 5 star recommendations, such as yesterday’s link to A. S. Byatt’s The Children’s Book. Eleven years ago, Monica introduced me to Harry Potter, months before the Harry Potter tsunami hit the US.
  • The Reading Zone: Another resource I discovered via Monica’s blog is the Reading Zone. Written by a 6th grade teacher, this blogger provides excellent book reviews and shares her passion and strategies for promoting the love of reading.
  • The Book Whisperer: I discovered Book Whisper Donalyn Miller  through a post on the National Writing Project’s site.  Her reviews, recommendations, and strategies target a broad range of readers, including adults.

    The Book Whisperer addresses topics such as Creating Readers – Part 1, and Creating Readers – Part 2 in her column for Teacher Magazine.

  • How about some of those YA books you already know your students would love if you could just get them to pick them up?  Robert Rozema‘s pre-service teachers have created an awesome bank of YA book talk podcasts – just enough to peak even a reluctant reader’s interest.  Checkout, for instance, this team approach to Walter Dean Myer’s Monster.

If you have more recommendations, please jump in with a comment!

May 18, 2008
by blogwalker

Improving Quality of Student Comments

As I move through the 31-Comment Challenge (ok, I’m behind), I’ve been thinking about ways to help students improve their commenting skills. Via Donna DesRoches‘s “Blogging and Reading Comprehension Strategies,” I found a great free resource to provide some scaffolding for young bloggers: Comprehension Strategy Posters provided by


The posters are available in both Word and PDF formats and include:

  • Asking Questions
  • Determining
  • Inferring
  • Making Connections
  • OWL (Observe, Wonder, Link)
  • Repairing Comprehension
  • Synthesizing
  • Visualizing

If students were encouraged to focus on one strategy per week, and could refer to the posters, teachers might see less of the “I liked your post” one-liner responses and more of the thoughtful kind of writing the improves literacy skills – and bumps up the learning possibilities of the blogging project. I like how Donna explains the importance of encouraging better commenting: “Blogging is a great communication tool but it is the use of effective commenting skills that will extend and engage global conversations for our students.”

*Note: Image from

Skip to toolbar