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Articles by: Joan Wink

SUNY Oswego: WW Resources PART ONE

SUNY Oswego: WW Resources PART ONE

Dear WinkWorld Readers,

The purpose of my blog, WinkWorld, is to share resources which I generated during my life in schools, 50 plus years.  I no longer want to haul boxes of treasures from place to place–I try to post as much as possible on the internet so others can edit/adapt/use in their own contexts. I started doing this in 2002 (see WinkWorld Archive at the bottom of my first webpage), when WinkWorld was a newsletter only, but somewhere along the line I switched to a more interactive blog.

This particular WW might be of interest to teachers, and also for families who are so actively engaged with their own children’s learning now that we are living through COVID. 

However, WinkWorld also serves as a library–at least for me.  On my first webpage, BOTTOM RIGHT, there is a handy little search engine which really works well.  Just type in a concept, and if I have written about it, it will pop up for you.

Recently, I was reminded of this when I was asked to visit on ZOOM with students at State University of New York (SUNY) in Oswego. One of the advantages of being an author is you get invited to visit with interesting people who have read your writing.  The students in this class had just read Critical Pedagogy: Notes from the Real World, 4th edition from Pearson.  In addition, their  professor, Tania Ramalho had created a Treasure Hunt on WW, and the students shared their discoveries with each other and with me while we were on ZOOM.

Book:  Critical Pedagogy

I will share what they found during the WinkWorld Treasure Hunt. Help  yourself if you find something which works in your context. In keeping with my attempt to keep my blog short, I will make this PART ONE, and the following student contributions will be posted soon in PART TWO.

Meet Professor Tania Ramalho and some of the students in her class.

Professor Tania Ramalho

LIT 500 Critical Pedagogy and Literacy

EDU 500 Critical Pedagogy for the Master’s in Curriculum & Instruction

The Treasure Hunt: Specific Resources on WinkWorld

The following is a list of resources which the SUNY teachers-to-be shared during my time with them. The initials, preceding each citation, refer to the student’s name.

From MW:

The article that caught my attention most (and that has been added to my repertoire) is an article entitled Everyday Native. This page provides a few great links to the Everyday Native website where the web page managers upload photographs, music, stories, etc. to teach and reflect on the complex history of Native American livelihood. “The idea is to use an image and/or poetry to initiate a discussion, and we know that oral language is the path to literacy. These images and poetry can then lead to stories, that capture the culture and experiences of Native Students,” Wink writes.

In addition, here is Professor Tania Ramalho, in a previous WinkWorld. I found this gem of an article- featuring a guest celebrity.

JA chose to share information on Alma Flor Ada.

As I started learning the power of being bilingual and loving my first language which unfortunately has become my second. I started to think about ways I can share my love for learning another language with my students through read alouds. Reading about Alma Flor Ada,  was a huge inspiration to me because she also has a love for language and spreads it through her writing. Alma Flor has written many books that are written in both Spanish and English, but as Alma Flor mentions in her interview with ColorinColorado, she prefers writing in Spanish because the words rhythmically flow naturally. In her website, you can find useful information that is correlated with Wink’s description of the three perspectives of pedagogy, the transformative model. Under the transformative education link you can find many resources that give teachers ideas of how to get students to get out into the real world and participate in hands-on activities. For example, the Author Study link gives a great suggestion for teachers in how they can create a virtual author learning experience, so that students can actively explore different authors.  I would love to incorporate Ada’s bilingual picture books during my read alouds or transition times to not only teach about the Spanish language, but the customs and traditions as well. I definitely would be saving this website for my teacher’s “tool box.

JS found handy black-line masters to use in her classes.

The link Free-To-A-Good-Home (bottom of Joan’s first web pages) will lead you to a list of free worksheets available for download.  These worksheets cover a range of different topics.  There are four versions of the KWL chart and worksheets for a venn diagram, learning log, web, sequence of events, etc.  One of the most interesting worksheets I found was the Outcome Sentences writing activity.  I love the idea of having students fill out this form throughout a unit because it helps them take ownership over their own learning. There are even worksheets in here for teachers such as letters that can be sent home, a worksheet summarizing the educational philosophies, and summer homework packets to be given to the kids.  There are a plethora of resources on this page!

SG writes on Shadowing

I looked through the WinkWorld News and found this interesting method to learn more about a child’s language abilities. Shadowing can be used in many diverse contexts to create more empathy, to promote independence and to understand a student’s perspective. Some students do not read or write as well as he/she should, and the teacher needs more information about the student’s language abilities. A classroom teacher can request a colleague or someone else into the classroom to focus on one specific student to understand the student’s needs better. The shadow assistant sits to the side and takes ethnographic notes of the whole class while the classroom teacher carries on with planned instruction. The assistant can use various instruments to record as much as possible. 

Shadowing A Student: What, Why, How

M. O’B. Tells What She Found During the Treasure Hunt

Wink’s Animals & the Alphabet link in The Power of Story talked about different paths to literacy. It talked about how you can have students read to animals. Reading aloud to an “audience” can help students build confidence, increase their reading fluency and have fun. She talked about how one time hundreds of little kids from poor areas in town came off buses and quietly sat with a horse to read a book. She also included a photo of a young girl curled up with her dog at home, quietly reading a story outside.

Girl reading with her dog

If your school has a therapy dog, your students could read stories to him or her, or maybe write letters to their special friend. This could be a great way for your kids to open up and express their emotions. I work at a preschool and I have seen kids do this before. My kids loved to read to stuffed animals. They were so excited to have the animal “listen” to them. If no real animals are available, this is a great alternative.

Girl reading to calf

The remainder of the students’ sharing will be in PART TWO, coming to you very soon.



June 18, 2020Read More
Spin Doctors: Looking back with Denny Taylor and Stephen Krashen

Spin Doctors: Looking back with Denny Taylor and Stephen Krashen

Book:  Spin Doctors

Dear WinkWorld Readers,

Recently, I was included in a lengthy email dialog about literacy.  This spurred me to want to share a little from the pivotal writing of  Stephen Krashen (The Power of Reading, 1993) and Denny Taylor (Beginning to Read and the Spin Doctors of Science: An Excerpt).  This post is specifically for teachers and families who care about kids and literacy. In a sense, I am reaching back to share forward.

Many in the  world, including me,  believe that literacy is a human right.  Period.  Many international agreements affirm this as a guiding principle; several are listed in the article posted HERE.

Please note that this is about literacy, not phonics and  literacy.  Phonics is a tool, one of many, which teachers can use to help young readers, as they learn to decode.  Not all beginning readers need phonics–for example, sight readers are often confused and frustrated by phonics.  I remember one of our grandsons who, in the spring of second grade, was in a classroom, and the teacher believed in phonic–only phonics. She had no other pedagogical tools to help kids learn to read. One problem, our grandson just did not “get it,” although we knew he could read and read very well.  I will never forget the night at the kitchen table when he was supposed to read aloud to his family.

Painfully, he sounded out each letter correctly, yet he couldn’t put the sounds together to read the word, fight.  Try it, as he did.

f – /f/ (He made the sound of the letter, f.)

i – /i/

g – /g/

h – /h/

t – /t/

He knew the sounds that the letters made, but he could not put them together to say the word, ‘fight,’  Nor could I. I knew that he knew the word, fight, when reading it in a book.  We both sobbed.  The next day, his mom pulled him out of school, and he spent the rest of the year on the couch reading Harry Potter.  He returned in the fall to third grade, reading well above grade level. He continues to this day to read big, heavy books.

If you would like to know more about literacy, I think Krashen’s book, The Power of Reading, is a good place to begin.  Here is a summary of the chapters, written by Deb Harrison, a teacher in Wyoming.  Thank you, Deb.

(Click below, where it says Continue reading.)


Book by Stephen Krashen

The photo above is my copy of his 1993 edition–yes, I have been known to decorate book covers.

And, here is a fun Powtoons of The Power of Reading, which Deb Harrison also created for our understanding. Thanks again, Deb!

Below here I am posting a photo of Steve Krashen’s 2004 edition.

Book:  The Power of Reading


I believe that it might be helpful to understand the ideas in The Power of Reading before jumping into the real purpose of this blog post: literacy is a human right.  Be wary of anyone who wants to make you doubt it.

Denny Taylor wrote a pivotal book (Beginning to Read and the Spin Doctors of Science: The Political Campaign to Change America’s Mind about How Children Learn to Read (1998) published by The National Council of Teachers of English) about the struggle involved to keep literacy as a human right for all. Thank you, Denny and NCTE.  I have posted a photo of my copy at the beginning of this blog post. I did a search and found used copies of this book online.

If you do not have a copy, here is an excerpt which was previously published in Language Arts, thanks to David Taylor.  

Denny continues her contributions to us all.  See her recent podcast and webinar below.

A Walk in the Park–and, The Small Matter of Trying to Change the World (a podcast from NY Welsh)

Family Literacy in the Time of COVID-19

May 29, 2020

Literacy is dangerous (Moffett, 1989, p. 85).

Putting this WinkWorld together reminded me of one of my FAV quotes ever from James Moffett, and he said this in 1985.  

Literacy is dangerous and has always been so regarded.  It naturally breaks down barriers of time, space, and culture.  It threatens one’s original identity by broadening it through vicarious experiencing and the incorporation of somebody else’s heart and ethos.  So we feel profoundly ambiguous about literacy.  Looking at it as a means of transmitting our culture to our children, we give it priority in education, but recognizing the threat of its backfiring, we make it so tiresome and personally unrewarding that youngsters won’t want to do it on their own, which is, of course, when it becomes dangerous…. The net effect of this ambivalence is to give literacy with one hand and take it back with the other, in keeping with our contradictory wish for youngsters to learn to think but only about what we already have in mind for them (Wink, 2011, pp. 70-71). 

SUNY, Oswego, I promise you: You are next.


May 30, 2020Read More
Prairie School Post #17: COVID Edition

Prairie School Post #17: COVID Edition


Dear WinkWorld Readers,

As you know, I have written other blog posts about prairie pedagogy–and, particularly about a little one/two room school, Atall School on the isolated northern prairies of South Dakota.

Atall School

COVID is hard for all of us.  Like families everywhere, the Atall families this spring have been homeschooling. Missy Urbaniak, the teacher, has been ZOOMing with the kids/families to keep the learning alive.  It has been challenging on many levels for all. Recently,  I was feeling discouraged, and a message came from Missy, telling me that, even in this chaotic spring schedule, the students had completed their final student newsletter, Prairie School Post (PSP) of the academic year.  The students’ writing inspired me and brought a little tear of joy.  The writing of these students fills me with hope. When you click on the link below, the student newspaper will open.

Prairie School Post 17 SPRING 2020

Posted below is a previous blog post (1/17/2020),  where more Prairie School Posts are mentioned.

Prairie School Post (PSP): A Student Newsletter

Below here are some recent photos of the Aall students.

Here the students are celebrating 100 days of school (Feb.27, 2020), and they dressed as if they were 100 years old. Atall School Students 

And, in the photo below, the students did get to go skiing before school closed for COVID.

Atall School Ski Trip

Just had to post the most recent PSP–now back to the queue: SUNY, Oswego and “spin doctors.”

May 19, 2020Read More
Human Connections & MINES & More Ms. Dobras

Human Connections & MINES & More Ms. Dobras

Dear WinkWorld readers,

As  you know, WinkWorld tends to be whatever has my attention at the moment, and I have been thinking a lot about human connections.

Human Connections

I so remember the first time I read Jim Cummins’s sentence: Human relations are at the heart of schooling (Cummins, 1996, p. 1) in his Negotiating Identities: Education for Empowerment in a Diverse Society, published by California Association of Bilingual Education.  That sentence stopped me in my tracks, as it was so true based on my own experience.  Today, it is more true than ever, and I was reminded of this last week when I was invited to share with teacher education students in a class at  State University New York (SUNY), Oswego.  Hopefully, I will have a WinkWorld ready on that experience within a couple of weeks.

In addition, I am thinking of some sharing I can do based on the work of Denny Taylor, et al and Beginning to Read and the Spin Doctors of Science.  If you still have your own copy of that body of work, please reach out to me at

While I am thinking on these two fairly large topics, life continues out here on the prairies of South Dakota, and I have a couple of unrelated events to share.

First, South Dakota School of Mines and Technology (SDSMT) Virtual Graduation

One of the joys of being on the South Dakota Board of Regents (BOR) is that each year we are assigned to one of our six universities to represent the BOR at their graduation.  This semester, of course, each university had a virtual graduation, and I was happy to take part at SDSMT.  In the following video, my sharing begins about 7 minutes plus and lasts until about 10 minutes.  I have never seen an avatar of me, but I loved her.  One of our grandkids said that I made it to a retro 8 bit coin-op game.  Finally, a little street cred with the grands: Thank you, President Rankin and MINES.

Hope you enjoy this video and the various avatars.

Second, More Making with Ms. Dobras

If like Ms. Dobras’s making videos, as much as I do, you will need to sign up at her YouTube videos, however  here are a three more, which Amy just created.  Amy is on a roll, and I wish the same for you.

May 1, Better World Day, 10:50 min.

May, 3, Radial Symmetry (origami) Design, 14:51 min.

May 10, Mothers’ Day Origami Flowers, Día de las Madres, 12:41 minutes


May 12, 2020Read More
Making with Ms. Dobras on YouTube: PART THREE- More of Ms. Dobras

Making with Ms. Dobras on YouTube: PART THREE- More of Ms. Dobras

Roots, Joan

This is a story about roots–Ms. Dobras’s and mine. In the photo above, I am standing in the dry San Pedro riverbed, where this story flourished. 

Dear WinkWorld Readers,

This is the third blog on Making with Ms. Dobras, as seen on YouTube.  In PART ONE, I shared some examples of how Ms. Dobras does making with teachers K-12 and students. In PART TWO, I posted some resources on more general understandings of Making or Makerspaces.  Now, in PART THREE, I want to introduce you in more depth to Ms. Dobras, or Amy, as I know and love her. Sometimes my blog, WinkWorld,  is only professional, and sometimes it is very personal–like this issue.  The professionals posts, I guess, I do for you; the personal ones, I do for me.

Here is Ms. Dobras with her classroom rules.

Ms. Dobras's Rules

Ms. Dobras assured me that she usually doesn’t post pictures of herself topless, but that in this case, it is okay.  Ms. Dobras, the maker teacher, is right below Micky Mouse, on her mom’s t-shirt.  At this point, I had known Ms. Dobras for a few months.

Wink family and friendsA typical day at Cascabel ranch in the San Pedro River Valley, north of Benson, AZ. Left to Right: Bo, Joan, Dean, Mary Ann Dobras, Amy and Wendy, Dawn Elizabeth, who soon became Winkie and Dawn Elizabeth, who soon became, Dobie.

How did I meet Ms. Dobras?

It started simply on a very hot Sunday in Tucson in 1973, when I took our kids (Dawn, 6 and Bo, 2 1/2) and went looking for a church.  Somehow, I got lost and missed the church I was looking for, but we happened to pass Rincon UCC on Craycroft, and I remember saying, “Hey kids, here is a church, and there are even cars and people, so let’s stop here.  We walked to the front door of that church, and a woman (Mary Ann Dobras)  with her three little kids came outside to greet us.  Amy (Ms. Dobras of making fame) and her twin, Wendy, age 2 1/2, took Bo and ran off to pre-K class.  Mary Ann’s daughter, Dawn Elizabeth, age 6, grabbed our Dawn Elizabeth, age 6, and ran off to the first grade class.  Mary Ann and I went into the cool church for the service, and thus began a family friendship which has lasted 47 years.  Amy, Wendy, and Bo soon morphed into the ‘Lil Birds and the two Dawn Elizabeths became the Big Birds.

One of my favorite photos of the ‘Lil Birds (Amy, aka Ms. Dobras, Bo, and Wendy) is posted below.

Lil Birds

Below here is a collage of photos of the ‘Lil Birds  as they were growing up.

"Lil Birds photo collageAnd, here is a collage of the Big Birds as they were growing up.

Big Birds

The ‘Lil Birds and Big Birds spent many happy moments on the Cascabel ranch.

As you can see below, somehow through these 47 years of friendship, the treasured Cascabel mailbox made it back to us. And, do you see those two white teddy bears in the picture to the right of Dean’s head?  Those teddy bears were made for me by Diane Wessel Kindt of Mobridge, SD, who was my BFF from K-12.  She created these teddy bears from a mink jacket, which belonged to Grandma Mary.  That photo tells a lot about my own roots. Diane and I are still dear friends 70 years later.  Deep roots.

Cascabel Ranch Mailbox

These are the bluffs directly behind the house on the Cascabel ranch.

Bluffs behind Cascabel Ranch

I realize this story of personal roots does not matter to some of the WinkWorld readers, but to a few of us, these roots are requeteimportante.  (We don’t really have an English word, which captures ‘requete’ and ‘importante.’)

Thank you, Dobras family, for permission to share pictures.


May 7, 2020Read More
Making with Ms. Dobras on YouTube: PART TWO, What is making?

Making with Ms. Dobras on YouTube: PART TWO, What is making?

Sunny the dogSunny, you will meet her when you go to any of the Making with Ms. Dobras postings on YouTube.

Hi WinkWorld Readers,

This post is Part Two in a three-part series on Amy Dobras, as she shares her talents with “making” in the classroom.  In Part One, I shared a few specific examples of Making with Ms. Dobras on YouTube.  Since that posting, Ms. Dobras has posted  more videos on YouTube; all are listed at the bottom of this blog. 

In this issue of WinkWorld, I want to share what Making means  (generically) in a classroom.  Please bare with me on my definitions, because as you know, I am a languages & literacies person, and I am now dangerously close to science for the future.

Making or makerspace is just that: It is a space in schools where students make things with their hands, brains, and heart.  The thought of kindergarten kids using power tools catches my attention, but that is exactly what happens.  Ms. Dobras teaches making classes for elementary, middle, and high school teachers.  Her classes include art, design, prototype design, design thinking, taking creative risks, revising mistakes, and testing their own creations often.  For example, elementary students might learn to create mazes, and older students would extend this concept to designing mazes.  As elementary students move through the grades, makerspace classes tend to morph into STEM (science, technology, engineering, math) or STEAM (science, technology, engineering, art, and math) classes.

Think: integrated learning and creating. All content areas are experienced simultaneously. It may seem simple at first, but soon the students are coding and programming, as they build, make, create.

Makers think with their hands.

What is Makerspace?

What is a Makerspace?


What is making at Ms. Dobras’s school?

What is making? The following blog comes from Lighthouse Community, where Amy teaches.   In this blog, the schools provide the what/why/how of making.

Making with Ms. Dobras on YouTube

#1 Making with Ms. Dobras: 3D Sculptures

#2 Making with Ms. Dobras: Tetrahedrons

#3 Making with Ms. Dobras: Marble Mazes

#4 Making with Ms. Dobras: Origami Ninja Star

Subscribe to Making with Ms. Dobras–it is available on any of her pages.



May 2, 2020Read More
Making with Ms. Dobras on YouTube: PART ONE

Making with Ms. Dobras on YouTube: PART ONE

Dear WinkWorld Readers,

Meet my friend, Ms. Dobras, who has taught in San Francisco, and is now teaching Making to 250 K-4th grade students in Oakland.  I’m loving Ms. Dobras’s classroom rules.  To be honest, Ms. Dobras is that teacher we all want for our kids and grands.

Ms. Dobras's Rules

I know so many teachers and families, who are teaching online or from home, and all are trying to engage students with learning new ideas. Ms. Dobras decided she would share on YouTube, as it forced her to learn new information, also. This is the first of a three-part series on Making with Ms. Dobras.  In this first post, we will share a few fun examples of how you can be a maker, too.  Second, I’ll post a bit of information on making or makerspaces.  And, finally, I’ll tell you more about Ms. Dobras.

Ms. Dobras is a Maker teacher (more to come on what this means), but for now, enjoy a few examples.

Title on YouTube:
Making with Ms. Dobras. Making Project: 3D sculptures (with TP rolls)
April 11, 2020, 10 minute video
Mindful Moments (Ms. Dobras begins her lesson with a mindful moment.)
You will need empty toilet paper rolls or empty paper towel rolls; glue, paper clips, scissors or tape.

Title on YouTube:

Making with Ms. Dobras. Making Project #2: Making Tetrahedrons.

April 17, 2020, 9 minutes

A new guest: Sunny (a little ray of sunshine).  You will see her on the YouTube video.

Sunny the dog

What is a tetrahedron? 4 triangles which are put together to create one unit.  Think of a pyramid.
You might want to create a triangle pattern, as seen below.  Or, you can grab one online.
What is a Sierpinski’s pyramid?  When you put tetrahedrons together, you get a Sierpinski’s pyramid.  I have not heard that word since my geometry class (circa 1961) in Mobridge High school, with a fabulous teacher, Don Paulson. I believe that Sierpinski was also mentioned in my Ph. D. statistics class, but I have no idea why.
Sierpinski's pyramid(permission granted by Solkoll)
Sierpinski's pyramid by 1st GradersMs. Dobras’s first grade students created this Sierpinski’s pyramid.  If you want to try this, there are many, many examples and templates available on the web.  Think Pinterest. 
Ms. Dobras teaches 3rd grade, and I am humbled by what these students understand.  For example, these 3rd grade students know the names of the following shapes.
3D Gometric ShapesAll of this conversation with Ms. Dobras about tetrahedrons, Sierpinski’s pyramid, hexahedrons, octahedrons, dodecahedrons, and iconsahedrons made me mutter: Can fractals be far behind?  This caused Ms. Dobras to wax eloquently about her students and their understandings of fractals.
Fractals?Geometric shapes by 3rd Graders
What is a fractal and what does it have to do with Sierpinski’s pyramid?
The next issue of WinkWorld will provide more resources and generic understandings about makerspaces.  The following WinkWorld will have more information about how Ms. Dobras does Making.
Feel free to Subscribe to Making with Ms. Dobras near the bottom right of each her YouTube posts.





April 22, 2020Read More
Henry Loves “Junk Reading:” Horrors. Nope.

Henry Loves “Junk Reading:” Horrors. Nope.

Dear WinkWorld Readers,

First, the photo at the top is just our little reminder to ourselves…

Now, on to the content of this WinkWorld: As some of you know, I love the various forms of literacy and the multiple meanings of literacies.  Remember when we thought that literacy was reading and writing–well, it is that, but it is also much, much more.  The concept of literacy is now understood to be wider and deeper than what I used to think many years ago. For example, do  you know about “junk literacy?”

 Junk Reading

“Henry loves to read junk,” his mom told me.  “What will I do? 

“What is the junk that he reads?” I asked.

“He is constantly reading advertisements for tractor parts, new trucks, and big tires. He even reads the instruction books for our ranch vehicles.  He is always finding the seed or chemical catalogs to read.  He even loves to read credit card applications.  He loves to read junk,” Mom explained to me.

Henry is 5-years-old

Here he is with his junk literacy.

Below here Henry is reading more of his favorite junk reading.



This reminds me of another little boy and his junk reading: Pokéon and Captain Underpants–and, from there he went right to Harry Potter.  Dawn shared this story with me in The Power of Story.

Here is Wyatt today, and I see no evidence that his junk reading hurt him.

Wyatt today.


Krashen and Ujiie (2005) ask us to re-think our old ideas about light reading, or junk reading.  We all read junk, but we call it light reading.  I have light reading all over the house, and it doesn’t seem to hurt me. Light reading leads to more complex reading.  I can only read one or two fast, easy novels, and then I need something more.

With tongue firmly planted in my cheek, I have also written about junk literacy.

Junk Literacy: What?

The Power of Story, (2018, pp. 30-32)


For more on the various types of literacy, see below.


April 9, 2020Read More
Ann, a Pilgrim: “People Are Good.”

Ann, a Pilgrim: “People Are Good.”

Dear WinkWorld Readers,

As you know, my blog tends to capture (a) what is happening in my life and/or (b) ideas floating through my head.  Yesterday was a great example.  It was early evening Sunday after a very quiet day of self-isolation, when a woman walked down our gravel lane.  Turns out that she had walked 30 miles yesterday and needed a place to spend the night.  We scurried around and set her up in our Prairie Parlour (a.k.a., single-wide trailor).

Meet Ann Sieben:

Ann is a pilgrim connected with the Catholic church. As I now understand the concept of “pilgrim,” she is like a nun, only she walks. Daily.  And, I do mean, she walks.  So far, she has walked through 55 countries in 13 years. Previously, Ann was an engineer for 20 years; she took a sabbatical, and never returned to that career.  Instead, she took a vow of poverty and joined the Society of Servant Pilgrims. Click on the link below, where you can also register your email in order to receive stories from around the world.

Camino de Santiago de Compostela

The church at Santiago de Compostela, Spain is a well-known shrine which pilgrims visit every year.   For centuries people from all over the world walk for days to visit the church.  They carry a minimum of personal possessions and pass the nights in simple inns or churches along their way.   However, I was not aware that pilgrimages also take place in the US, too.

Click here to see a peak of Santiago de Compostela, Thank you, Britannica.

Ann is sometimes known as the Winter Pilgrim, as she enjoys cold and snow. If you click on her blogspot, you will find information about some of her walks, and you can read her many stories.  Over you the right side of her blog, she tells about herself.

Winter Pilgrim

So, what did I learn from this surprise blessing in the middle of the prairies on a quiet Sunday during the pandemic?  People are good.  When Ann tells stories, she always ends with “people are good.”    Seems like a good thing to learn and re-learn during these difficult days of Covid-19.

When I last saw her, she was headed South on Plainview Road. 


March 31, 2020Read More
Learning with Your Kids at Home: Some Resources

Learning with Your Kids at Home: Some Resources

Dear WinkWorld Readers, 

In what follows I will share a few resources, which you might want to use at home, while the schools are closed.  I will call your attention to stories, free e-books, free coloring books,  virtual field trips, and even a teacher, who you might find helpful.


If you simply type into Google, Storytime, you will find many, many locations for stories for all ages. Also, the website for your local library will certainly have stories and other resources for you.

School Library Journal (storytime pages) – just one of my favorites.

Donalyn Miller and Teri Lesesne often have many great resources on Facebook.

Many teachers are reading aloud for their individual classes now.  Patricia Polacco granted permission for teachers to read her stories (see her on Facebook).  I tend to search YouTube for an author reading her own story, as I did in the last WinkWorld with Mem Fox reading Wilfrid Gordon McDonald Partridge.

Here is Mem reading Good Night, Sleep Tight.

In the photo below, you can see that little Cora found her storytime without a computer.



The stories of Mem Fox often remind me of the stories of Alma Flor Ada (just Google her).  In this video below, Alma Flor talks about how she learned to read, when her grandmother wrote words in the dirt with a stick as they walk about their farm.   Hopefully, some of you, adults, will enjoy hearing Alma Flor’s  literacy story. 

Two more digital stories from Missy Urbaniak and me, which we created to share with the Atall students.

First, Missy and Crow Boy, a story which I just love. 

And, second, another story I love, If You Are Not From The Prairies.

Free e-Books

Your local library.

Scribid is free right now.

Redshelf has many free titles right now.

Free Coloring Books from Museums

Many museums have opened their collections and have created free coloring books which you can download.  More seem to becoming available daily.  This one below, I believe, is specific for Google docs.

Virtual Trips

Want to visit a farm?

Want to visit the San Diego Zoo and other amazing places?

A Teacher Offering His Services in Secondary Science and Math!

The last time I was with Darren Hayes, he was a teeny-bopper in one of my classes in Benson, AZ.  Since that time, he has gone on to have a wonderful career in TX as a secondary teacher. I noticed on Facebook that Darren offered to help families with secondary students working on science and math. Darren has had 22 years of teaching experience (Chemistry, Biology, Secondary Forensics, and Homebound Algebra 2 and Physics). Darren can be reached at:

Thank you, Darren!


Below you can see that Tinley, who lives on a neighboring ranch, is doing her “homework.”

March 18, 2020Read More