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Articles by: Joan Wink

AERA 2023, Chicago, April 13 to April 16

AERA 2023, Chicago, April 13 to April 16

Hi WinkWorld Readers,

I have completed my term of six years on the Board of Regents, and now I have one more conference to go, the American Educational Research Association with Dawn and and an a colleague from Australia, Nerida Blair.

Our time/location/ title is posted near the bottom of this WinkWorld.  However, my topic is  easy and fun for me.   I am speaking about The Power of Story. In what follows is a peak into a part of what I will share.

I have never written this before, but one of the problems with growing up mother-less is that you have no stories.  The reason that I love this photo so much is that it makes me wonder: Who put those curls in my hair?  Who  bought that dress?  Where was I going?

I am prepared with 4 short stories: The Chalk, Oh Fudge, Three Perspective, and The Blueberries. I am guessing that I will probably only get time for one or two stories, and I will decide which stories to share based the needs of the audience.  If they are serious experienced researchers, I will probably choose “The Chalk,” as it takes a funny story about a statistics class and leads to a greater discussion of the dominance of quantitative research to more acceptance of qualitative research. During my teaching and researching career, I experienced this transformation in all of the types of research.

The Chalk

I will begin with a brief mention of the significance of old-fashioned blackboards and chalk when I started teaching (Great Valley High School, Malvern, PA, Spanish 1, 2, 3, & 4) in 1966.  Often times in a presentation, I have participants, who have no experience with a blackboard. From here I jump right into the mid-1980s when I was working on  my Ph.D. at TX A&M.

The Chalk story is about a very serious gentleman professor who taught the doctoral level of statistics.  A friend had given me a heads-up and told me to sit front and center and not to take my eyes off the prof, which, of course, I did.  The prof did not allow us to use computers, nor calculators.  We did every weeks’ assignment on yellow legal pad: Pages and pages of yellow legal pad.  He reviewed every single page and returned the pages the following week with corrections.  He spent every class period working out each step of each problem on the blackboard.

As you might image, chalk dust flew in every  direction. Finally one day, when we were all bleary-eyed with statistics and chalk dust, and I am sure that I was the only student still keeping an eye on him, this highly-respected prof was writing on the chalk board and quietly popped an entire new stick of chalk into his mouth and chewed it and swallowed it. He continued to solve the problem on the board.  My friend had told me that he would do it, and he did.  To my absolute delight!   I turned around and looked all around the class, and I could not find one other student (of the 50 students) who saw him eat that chalk.  I do remember a small twinkle in his eye  as class continued.

Two Perspectives

Oh, Fudge

Three Perspectives (Dayna’s story)

The Blueberries by Jamie Vollmer

I think Vollmer’s story helps us understand why a school is not a business.

The Blueberry Story


TITLE of symposium

Education Research through Indigenous Frameworks, Story, and Scholarly Personal Narrative in Pursuit of Multiple Truths


April 13, 2023, Thursday

2:50 to 4:20 CDT

Chicago Marriott Downtown

4th Floor Armitage Avenue Ballroom







April 10, 2023Read More
Books 2023, January

Books 2023, January

Hi WinkWorld Readers,

Happy New Year to us all! Let’s keep on reading this year.  In this WinkWorld, I will share a bit about some of  the books, which I have enjoyed in the last 3 months.

Atall School

Reading with these students is my joy. I learn about so many good  books from the students.  Atall, as many of you know, is a small rural K-8 school on the isolated prairies of South Dakota.

Atal School

Missy Urbaniak is the teacher and my cousin.  Here she is holding the new Donalyn Miller/Colby Sharp book about building a classroom library.

Missy Urbaniak

Books For Kiddos, Tweens, Teens, and Me

The stack of books below are some of the books discussed at Atall.

First, C.S. Lewis: This was the book which the kids found on their desks, when school began in the fall.  Missy is a fabulous Read-Aloud reader, and the kids are mesmerized when she reads.  Second, the younger students will read “The Lemonade War” by Jacqueline Davies.  In the story one student is “word smart,” and another is “number smart,” which took several of us back to Multiple Intelligences. We had a wide-ranging conversation which involved scholars from several states.  Eventually, this discussion led me back to a former student, whom I had not heard from in years.  She now has her doctorate, and we have our first ZOOM scheduled.  All because the Atall kids will be reading this novel.  The third book in this stack below is a page-turner historical novel, “Words on Fire” by Jennifer A. Nielsen about the resistance of  the Lithuanians, when the Russian army marched into Lithuania.  A heart-breaking story of trying to save books written in Lithuanian in order to save the language, culture, and identity of being Lithuanian. I know the students will understand and respect the Ukranians more when they read this book. Fourth, “The Secret Garden” by Frances Hodgson Burnett was a new copy with new cover, which Missy gifted me. Finally, “The Christmas Pig” by J.K. Rowling entertained us all.

Books for kids, tween, teens, and me

What’s Whole about Whole Language?

Recently, I have had the joy of ZOOMING with a group of professionals connected to the University of AZ, as we re-read Ken Goodman’s ideas on whole language. 

Book Cover: What's Whole About Whole Language
Book Cover: Whole Language 21st Century

Hearing Carole Edelsky do Close Reading of the text is pure pleasure.  Carole, as many of you know, is  the author of “With Literacy and Justice for All.”

Adelberto M. Guerrero

Cuando mis Hijos sean Grandes
Surprising my favorite professor

I had the pleasure of surprising my favorite prof ever, when he was honored for his book, “Cuando Mis Hijos Sean Grandes.” This pix is dear Profe Beto and his daughter.

Mary Pipher Books

A Life in Light

If you have been following, WinkWorld, you know that I am a great fan of Pipher; I think I have read all of her books.  I made the mistake of talking about her to a group of readers, so now next week I have to share about this book.  Oh dear, I have not touched it since last November.

Mary Pipher books

Books Waiting for Me to Dive In

Demon Copperhead
The Woman in the Library

Rethinking the Education of Multilingual Learners



January 5, 2023Read More
Books: Looking Back on the Last Couple of Years

Books: Looking Back on the Last Couple of Years

Hi WinkWorld Readers,

I have been reflecting on some of my reading in the last couple of years.  I am doing this for a specific group of readers, but thought I would share with you, too.



For whatever reason, when COVID hit in the spring of 2019, I immediately started reading books about the future and the future of education.


From there I went to something I know: Women and libraries. Many of these books were about a particular woman who saved (or tried to save) a library in Europe during WWII.


When I tired of the brutality of the Nazis in those historical novels, I found William Kent Krueger, whom I had never read, and I still have not read his various series.  I heard him speak at the Tucson Festival of Books, and he explained his detailed outlines for his books in series.  He said that when it came time to actually write the books, they mostly wrote themselves, as he knew the outlines so well.  This is true for all except for Ordinary Grace  and This Tender Land, which he wrote without an outline.  He seemed very happy with his new more organic style of writing.  I loved these two novels.









After Krueger, I read  The Lincoln Highway by Towles, as it was a similar genre, young boys’ adventures and coming-of-age.
Two  great thriller novels followed with strong women heroines–just like in my WWII library books.








Somewhere during the 2 years of the pandemic, I also discovered the joy of fairy tales. Thank you, Kate DiCamillo and JK Rowling.


Lately, I have rediscovered Mary Pipher–another heroine.  I even found most of my Piphers which I had  previously read–still searching for “Reviving Olphelia.”  Pipher’s most recent is “A Life in Light,” in which she talks about the impermanence of aging.  I am feeling it.

My latest/greatest is Little and Often by Trent Preszler, who spent some of his childhood living north of Faith, South Dakota on a ranch.  It is a true story of an estranged father/son, a tough ranching life, searching for identity, a bag of tools, and carving a canoe from a tree.  These hand-made canoes now sell as works-of-art on the East coast.  Prairie People, this one is for you.

2023 – I look forward to reading all of the Banned Books, but I just could not wait any longer, so I have already started.







I see in the LA Times today that I am not the only one worried about book banning. I wish I could find our Captain Underpants books.

Here is a little piece on Captain Underpants which Dawn and I put together in the 3rd edition of Critical Pedagogy: Notes from the Real World.

You will need to scroll down a bit to “Captain Underpants to the Rescue.”

And, as another little treasure, here is Dawn’s latest Dewdrops in which she writing about running on our ranch.

October 2

The Road Less Traveled




October 2, 2022Read More
Homework? Time to rethink your long-held assumptions and Dawn’s Dewdrops

Homework? Time to rethink your long-held assumptions and Dawn’s Dewdrops

Dear WinkWorld Readers,

New learning can sometimes be a real pain in the neck.  For example, if this is new for you, you might struggle a bit with the information or with me.  Actually, this research has been on-going for years, but old assumptions die slowly.

The following is a Letter to the Editor, which Dr. Stephen Krashen submitted.  Steve, who is highly published (books and journals) in the academic world, is now encouraging all of us to write letters to the editors–because people read these. 

In his following letter, Steve is responding to “Susan.”

To the editor:

Susan has done her homework, and tells us “Why Some Parents & Teachers Are Taking a Stand Against Homework,” based on her interviews with parents and her study of the work of scholar Alfie Kohn, who has carefully studied and summarized research showing that homework has little or no effect on learning (The Homework Myth).

What does have a positive effect on learning is self-selected pleasure reading, which includes fiction. Those who read more write better, spell better, read better, and have larger vocabularies. They also know more about a wide variety of subjects, including history and science, and have a better understanding of others and how they are thinking. As radio journalist Terry Gross puts it, “ …. when you’re learning to read fiction … You’re learning to be somebody else, learning to see the world through their eyes.”

The implications are obvious: Provide more time for pleasure reading (reduce or eliminate homework), and more investment in libraries and school librarians.


Stephen Krashen

I think the following two images capture what Kohn’s research demonstrates. 







Thanks, Steve.  Thanks also to Katie Knox, who created the images for use in my book, The Power of Story.


Dawn Wink: Dewdrops
In addition, I want to share Dawn’s, most recent blog, which is a recent photo journal of the ranch September 2022.

Of course, we have to end with this little girl reading in front of that lion which leads into the New York City Public Library.  Oh, what a magical place. Thanks again, Katie Knox.





September 17, 2022Read More
Joan’s YouTube Language Acquisition Videos

Joan’s YouTube Language Acquisition Videos

Dear WinkWorld Readers,

This post is written primarily for my YouTube viewers and for those who are using the language acquisition resources on WinkWorld.  These two groups of people are quite distinct from each other: The WinkWorld readers tend to be from the US, and the YouTube viewers tend to be from many parts of the world.

This is the final post in this series on language acquisition resources. Certainly, it is not the final post on language acquisition, but only in this series for now, as I have other ideas to write about on WinkWorld also.

•Below here, I am reposting the videos from my YouTube channel.

Spiral of Literacy: 11 minutes

Krashen’s 5 Hypotheses: or, Mamas, Meaning, and Motivation: 11 minutes

3 Perspectives on Teaching and Learning: 7 minutes

Pedagogy Timeline: 15 minutes

The Ebb and Flow of the Big Ideas of Education

Bilingual Basics: 50 seconds

Principles of Bilingual Education: 11 minutes

•Below here, I am posting a new video, which encourages my viewers on YouTube to also take advantage of my materials on and on WinkWorld.  The search bar to the left on my webpage works very well.  If you have any problems finding materials on the search bar, just try another browser window.  Or, just ask me.  As we move into the future, my goal is to post as much as possible in one place, and that one place will be

August 28, 2022Read More
The Power of Story: A Book Talk in WY by Deb Harrison

The Power of Story: A Book Talk in WY by Deb Harrison

Hello WinkWorld Readers,

If you follow WinkWorld, you know that I have been featuring blog posts on language acquisition, until I broke that pattern to share photos and memories from our Yankton College reunion and my Mobridge High School reunion. 

In this issue of WinkWorld, I share a book talk which Deb Harrison, a teacher in WY, created for her colleagues in her school district. Thank you, Deb.

The Power of Story by Joan Wink

Deb began with the following slide:

The Power of Reading by Steve Krashen

Next, Deb shared this animated review of The Power of Reading which she had created several years ago for one of my  grad classes at Black Hills State University.  At that time, she did not add the audio, but she added it here. Please note that she posted this also on YouTube.

Then, Deb and the teacher/participants at the book talk discussed the content of the chapters in The Power of Story.  Previously, Missy Urbaniak had created the following visual Table of Contents as a surprise gift for me, and Deb used these to guide the discussion.  If you click on each of the chapter images, they will become large enough for you to read.

Thank you Deb and Missy!



August 21, 2022Read More
Two Class Reunions: July 2022

Two Class Reunions: July 2022

Dear WinkWorld Readers, the past few posts have focused directly on language acquisition/literacy development.  I do this so that others can use any of my resources.  It is clear to me that my readership is highly diverse:  language/literacy professionals; family and friends of many decades; and prairie people.  I try to share thoughts which might relate to one of these groups.  I confess to a strong bias towards books and kids, which hopefully is our connecting thread.

However, I am creating this present issue of WinkWorld for me.  I want to maintain the treasured memories of the two school reunions we attended in July of 2022.  First, I will share some photos from my 60th high school reunion, and this will be followed by  our undergrad college, Yankton College, reunion.  If I use any incorrect names, it is totally my fault. 

Mobridge High School Reunion Class of 1962

Most of the people in these photos have been friends for longer than 60 years, as most of us ran the streets of Mobridge throughout K-12.  It was a classic small town middle America experience.  As I remember our class, we were never very cliquish; we all just kind of were friends with everyone. Most days.  One of my fondest memories of this reunion is that pattern continued:  Everyone just kept moving so they could visit with everyone.  Diane Wessel Kindt and Bingo Kindt are the glue which holds us all together.  They hosted a picnic for all of us. 

L to R: Bev Nelson, Wayne Lott, Diane Kindt, Donna Brown, JoAnn Rundlett, me, Bertha Daniels, Don Hamann, Jim Steinwand, Larry Lekness, Penny Nesrud, Don Brown, Bingo Kindt, &  Darrel Smith.

Here we are at the dinner, after Wink finally corralled us into one place.




Friends: Penny, me, Tiny, Diane, and Runny.  Missed you, Toots and Caroline.

Class of 1961

The Class of 1961 joined us for most of the celebration.  I remember when we were kids, I used to stare at these older students with awe and wonder.  They were so cool!  We were not.  At least that was my perspective.

Here they are.

We had friends from other classes join us, too.  I was so happy to reconnect with Tiny, PJ, Bill, Jerry of the famed Brown family.

Human Connections Between The Two Reunions

I was reminded of all of the human connections between the Yankton College alums and the Mobridge high school alums.  Isn’t that right: Mel/Tammy, Fay Loll, Louise and Angie Borman, MJ, Grows/Mains, Nancy, Carol Sheehan, and others? It makes me muse on the impact of the Reverend Roger Grow, who was one of my mighy anchors when I was a teenager. Here are Louise and  Angie Bormann, who certainly represent the connections between Mobridge and Yankton.


Yankton College Reunion

For those who do not know, Wink and I met at a “mixer” at our first night at Yankton College, fall of 1962.  We “went together” for four years and married the day before graduation, as all of the family would be there anyway, and we didn’t want Grammie/Grampy to have to make a second trip.  We had a terrific classical humanities education  with excellent professors back  in the days when Yankton College was a beloved college–it is now a minimum security federal prison.

Here is Kingsbury Hall, “girls’ dorm,” where we met at that mixer, and where I lived for the first 3 years of undergrad.

Below see Wink’s two friends from our wedding: John Hughes, Best.Man.Ever, and Rod Schellpeper, groomsman and “roomie” before me.


Below, Joe Ward, the living legacy of YC, and Wink.

Mary Albrecht Fesenmaier, my MN Nordic friend, then and now.








Jan Bertsch and I have been friends through many chapters of life.

I even connected with our dear sweet Lori Youngberg, who babysat Dawn and Bo in the early 70s.

How many people are lucky enough to take their very own 96-year-old  “AngelMama”  to their 60th high school reunion?*


These reunions reminded me a lot of the book I am presently reading, A Life in Light: Meditations of Impermanence by an author I love, Mary Pipher.  Our reunions had me musing a lot on impermanence….



* a story which needs to be told



July 31, 2022Read More
Teaching As Mentoring: Language-as-a-problem, a-right, or a-resource?

Teaching As Mentoring: Language-as-a-problem, a-right, or a-resource?

Dear WinkWorld Readers,

We continue with our series on “the big picture” of language acquisition.  In this series, we are attempting to connect language acquisition–whether it be in a French class, a bilingual education class, an ESL class, a sign language class, or literacy development, etc.  I am attempting to get a lot of materials posted in one place for colleagues’ ease of use.   As I am retired, I do not want my treasured materials in  some dirty ol’ box out in the barn.  I prefer you take what you need and adapt it to fit the needs of your own context. A citation is always appreciated it.

I may have to eventually interrupt this series, as life goes on, and I have other thoughts to share.  For example this month we have been to my 60th high school class reunion and  also our undergraduate college reunion.  I must capture those memories and  try to share the magic.

In what follows, the 4th post in this series, I am sharing the work of Richard Ruíz.  Sadly, he left us way too early, but his ideas continue to inform language acquisition.  Do you think of language as a problem, a right, or a resource?  In addition, you can always count on Lev Vygotsky, a voice from the past, to lead us into the future.

Happy Reading, Writing, and Thinking!

Here it is in a  previous WinkWorld.

Teaching As  Mentoring

Teaching as Mentoring.

And, here it is in the original publication.

July 22, 2022Read More
Joan’s Video on Language Acquisition in a Bilingual Context

Joan’s Video on Language Acquisition in a Bilingual Context

Dear WinkWorld Readers,

This is the 3rd post in a series of language acquisition posts.  Feel free to use, if it serves a need for you.  In the first post of this series, we listened to Dr. Stephen Krashen with a  holistic look at the connections from language acquisition to ESL to foreign languages to bilingual classes to literacy, etc.  He even talked about a parrot’s language acquisition.  Next, we looked at Deb Harrison’s, a teacher in WYO, as she shared an animated video of her own learning when she read “The Power of Reading.”

In this 3rd blog of this series, I am sharing a holistic look at language acquisition as it  relates to bilingual learning.  I created  this video while I was still a full-time faculty in CA. The enclosed link was created with assistance of IT personnel from California State University, Stanislaus and Black Hills State University. Thank you.  The content has stood the test of time–me, I am not so sure. . .

Principles of Bilingual Education, 11 minutes – Please remember that these same principles apply to literacy development, foreign language classes, ESL classes, etc.


Below here, I summarize in 50 seconds.


Turns out that making meaning and feeling safe matter a lot when acquiring another language or developing literacy.  There are many ways to do this.

Thank you, Katie Knox, for this image of you making meaning with your Dad in a safe context.  And, thank you for allowing me to use your wonderful images in “The Power of Story” from Libraries Unlimited.

The Power of Story




June 30, 2022Read More
The Power of Reading by S. Krashen: A Powtoons by Deb Harrison

The Power of Reading by S. Krashen: A Powtoons by Deb Harrison

Hi WinkWorld Readers,

As you know, I started a series on language acquisition and literacy development in the previous WinkWorld. We began with a 25-minute video by Steve Krashen, who paints a broad picture of  language acquisition, literacy development, foreign language instruction, ESL/EAL, bilingual education, etc.  It is all about communication.

The video is like the story of my professional life–I started as a high school Spanish teacher (Philadelphia), moved to junior high language arts and then more high school Spanish to kids  who were already bilingual (Benson AZ), eventually  to pre-K Spanish immersion and bilingual programs (Davis, CA), and then teacher preparation and bilingual teacher preparation (TX A&M and CSUS), and I finally landed in literacy, the connecting thread throughout my entire career.

The Power of Reading by Steve Krashen is one of the books which really helped me understand all of this.  Deb Harrison, who was a student in one my classes at Black Hills State University, once turned in this Powtoons which captured some of these ideas.  Deb is now a high school teacher in Wyoming.  We hope you enjoy.  Thank you, Deb, for sharing.

There is no audio–just follow the writing with your own power of reading.

Somehow all of my treasured books  end up being redecorated.  Below, you will see an earlier edition of The Power of Reading.

Yes, that darling little boy in an Eagles football shirt really is Dean Austin Wink of the Wisconsin Winks.  He is now a geology student at the University of Wisconsin,White Water. I am thrilled to have another “rock hound” in our family.  I know my Grampy Dave would be happy, as he was our very own “pebble puppy.”










June 20, 2022Read More