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Lisa Westbrook: How/why to spiral bind a book

Lisa Westbrook: How/why to spiral bind a book

Dear WinkWorld Readers,

Lisa Westbrook, a colleague and friend from TX, wrote to me about her Mystery Red Books Bookshelf.  I had no idea what we she was talking about and asked her to explain. However, I could see that my new book was no longer hard-bound, but rather it was bound with a RED spiral.  (See following photo.)

I asked her WHY and HOW she did this.


She spiral binds books, which she loves so that she can highlight and write more easily in the book.  Thank you, Lisa.  I had never thought of doing that with any of my fav books.

Lisa has been working on storytelling with her son, so that he can make sense of his Algebra class.  She found the following sentence buried deep within one of my paragraphs and said that it make sense to her to help her continue.

“The learners’ language, experience, and culture were the tools used to build literacy; talking and storytelling were central to the process” (p. 63). 

I have asked her to share their storytelling process, if she creates anything which really works for her son.


Lisa simply goes to a OfficeMax-type-store, and they take the binding off and put on a spiral.  This made me wonder if maybe some libraries and school districts might offer this same service.

I hope you will let us know if you have found other ways to add to your own Mystery Red Book Bookshelf.

I asked Lisa why she used the word, mystery, and it is because on this bookshelf it is a mystery, which book is which.  And, obviously all of the spirals are red.

If you create a spiral book, I’d love to have you share it with us. Thank you.

In answer to a couple of questions, previous WinkWorlds can be found at

WinkWorld News (button on the left of my main page)

January 26, 2018Read More
Reading For Meaning: The BEST 12 Minute Video of your Day

Reading For Meaning: The BEST 12 Minute Video of your Day

Dear WinkWorld Readers,

Please find 12 minutes to relax and watch this video from Debbie Stone Bruell.  She has taken a very large and complex body of literacy research and made it meaningful.  I promise you that you will understand so much more about reading and teaching reading after watching this compelling and delightful short video.

Debbie is a journalist, artist, public school advocate and former school board member living in Carbondale, Colorado. She is the mother of two daughters.

Debbie can be reached at

Thank you, Debbie!


January 22, 2018Read More
Display of Data or Doodles?

Display of Data or Doodles?

Dear WinkWorld Readers,

Recently, I posted a Steve Krashen (2005) article about what good writers (GWs) do, and what good academic writers (GAWs) do.  This triggered a discussion with friend/colleague, Dr. Le Putney of UNLV, as she noted that Krashen says that GAWs begin with some type of display of data and end with the introduction.  She has long believed this, and during the years, when some of her co-writers would be writing the initial introduction, she would dive into what she already knows (her data) and try to make some sense of what she has learned from the evidence already. 

“I fuss with the data first,” Le says.  Krashen says that this central table serves as a “center of gravity” for the study.

I have written with Le often through the years, and diving into the data is how we begin. For me, this usually involves a yellow legal pad, which I always considered my doodles: circles, arrows, images, numbers, etc. with words scribbled everywhere.  When we finally can hold on to what we think we know, either with a display of data or doodles, then we can write. 

If you can draw it, you can understand it, explain it, and write it.

However, when diving into the data, it often can feel like you are drowning under HEAPS of data.  You have to keep digging to find the COMPLEXES of all of the possible relationships buried in the heaps of data before you can ever get to the CONCEPTS. 

Eventually, we created our data table, which certainly has evolved into a center of gravity for various studies.


And, here is how we capture the circles with words.


CARMA, Critical Action Research Matrix Application is a  research method, which evolved from these doodles.  Le will again be using CARMA when teaching her graduate research class this semester.
Fussing” with what we already know really does provide a “center of gravity.”
In the image below, Le’s kitty was helping us with our HEAPS of data.
“You do know these HEAPS of data need more analysis, right?, Kitty says.
“I told you to use CARMA to get out of the HEAPS and over to the CONCEPTS,” the researcher replied.


Krashen: How how good writers, write.

Putney, L. G., Wink, J., & Perkins, P. (2006).  Teachers as researchers: Using the Critical Action Research Matrix Application for Reflexive Classroom Inquiry. Florida Journal of Teacher Education, Vol . IX, pp. 23-35.

Display of data red image purchased from Dreamstime.


January 17, 2018Read More
Jack Frost or Robert Frost?

Jack Frost or Robert Frost?

Dear WinkWorld Readers,

In December, I went to one of our local* rural schools on the prairies to read some stories. 

One book, which I took, was a gorgeous version of Robert Frost’s famed poem, “Stopping by the Woods on a Snowy Evening,” illustrated by Susan Jeffers.




I had purposely selected a poem to read, as I had been  so moved by the poetry, which the students had written in November in their monthly student-written and student-published newsletter, Prairie School Post.  It is only a matter of time before I begin sharing some of these treasured newsletters which evolved when the teacher, Missy Urbaniak, read my copies of Arizona’s Sister Bourne books and learned of  an earlier student-created newsletter, Little Cowpuncher.

“Robert Frost? Is he anything like Jack Frost?” one little guy asked, just as I was ready to read the gorgeous book. However, it was December on the cold SD northern plains, so his comment was not totally out of context. 

14 precious kids attend this rural school.

*50 miles away

January 15, 2018Read More
Krashen: How good writers, write.

Krashen: How good writers, write.

(pens/pencils from Dreamstime, 60890206)


Dear WinkWorld Readers,

Recently,  Steve Krashen reminded me of a paper he had published in 2005, and I liked it so much this time around, that I even printed it.   The paper focuses on how good writers write.  At the bottom of this WinkWorld, I am listing the citation and posting the PDF of the article for your convenience.

While I was reading the 2005 article, I thought I would write a little bullet-point summary for you, dear WinkWorld Readers.  However, when I got to the end of his paper, I discovered that “Steve-always-one-step-ahead-of-me-Krashen” had already created this for us.  Here it is.

I am using this paper to guide my thinking as I re-think, re-analyze previously collected data, and collect new data on library mapping.

What is library mapping?

Teaching Passionately – Library Mapping

Thanks, Steve.  I’ve said it before: You are a handy research assistant.

Steve Krashen’s words follow:

I present here a summary of the major hypotheses presented. Some should more properly
be labeled “conjectures” because they are based on so little empirical data. Nevertheless,
they provide a start at discovering the answer to an extremely important question: How
people use writing to solve problems and make themselves smarter.

GWs (Good Writers) understand that revision helps them come up with new ideas. They
do not confuse revision with editing, and regard their first drafts as tentative.

GWs have a plan before writing, but the plans are flexible.

GWs frequently reread what they have written.

GWs delay editing (formal aspects) until their ideas have been worked out.

GWs intersperse periods of relaxation with periods of intensive activity, to encourage problem-solving and loosen writers blocks.

GWs treat writing as a job, keep regular hours and/or have set goals, and write regularly. They do not engage in binge writing.

GWs delay considerations of audience until their ideas have been worked out.


GAWs (Good Academic Writers) work in a relaxed but focused manner. They ignore deadlines.

GAWs write out their ideas before “reviewing the literature.”

GAWs read narrowly, reading only what they need to read that applies to the problem they are working on now. They do not attempt to “keep up with the literature.”

GAWs return to their plan frequently while reading the research of others.

GAWs recognize the importance of secondary and meta-analysis and understand that primary research is only one way of doing research.

GAWs take advantage of existing sets of data, and try to do unobtrusive studies. They take full advantage of tools developed by other scholars.

GAWs delay consideration of where their work will be published until their ideas have been worked out.

Strategies for writing up empirical studies:

  1. There is one central table in every empirical study: GAWs consider the content of
    this table before gathering data.
  2. The first step in writing up the paper is constructing the central table, followed by
    the peripheral tables and the prose parts of the results section. The next step is to
    write up the procedure section.
  3. GAWs then write the conclusion.
  4. GAWs then write the introduction, which is not a “review of the literature” but is
    focused on the particular study.

GAWs deal with reviews, criticisms and rejections without delay. They understand that there is some arbitrariness in reviews, and that many journals are conservative, but GAWs usually succeed in getting their work published in appropriate places where the desired readership will see their work.

GAWs accept criticisms and comments that are helpful to them, and do not accept those that are not.


The Composing Process and the Academic Composing Process

Stephen Krashen

In Selected Papers from the Fourteenth Interntional Symposium on English Teaching.

English Teachers’ Association/ROC, Taipei. Taipei: Crane Publishing Company. pp.

66-77. 2005.

2005_composing_&_academic_process_krashen 2





January 2, 2018Read More
Krashen/McQuillan (2018). Should we encourage e-reading? (in press)

Krashen/McQuillan (2018). Should we encourage e-reading? (in press)

Dear WinkWorld Readers,

I am sharing this one with permission.  Happy Reading, Everyone.

Krashen 2018 Should we encourage e-reading?

This is the question I explore in “Into The Cloud” chapter 6 of my new book, “The Power of Story.”  Below,  I am posting a peak into this chapter.  Thank you, Katie Knox, for drawing the image to represent that question: Paper or pixel?

The Power of Story Chapter Six


December 28, 2017Read More
The Harvest of my Career: And, a Refugee from Chad

The Harvest of my Career: And, a Refugee from Chad

Dear WinkWorld Readers,

The harvest of my career: This is how I think of my time on the Board of Regents in South Dakota (BOR).  I am honored, and my new friends on the board know all sorts of things that I don’t know.  Recently, after a long series of BOR meetings with a very demanding agenda, we had the most unbelievably fabulous experience of meeting a young woman who is a refugee from Chad, deep in the heart of central Africa. Somehow she has made her way from her home in Chad to the University  Center (UC) of Sioux Falls, SD–no small feat!  Meeting Nadifa was truly a gift to us.

I am grateful that I could be there for this transformative moment in her life.  I hope that this will just be the beginning of the story of Nadifa.


After she  spoke to the gathering of legislators and regents, she and her mentor had to leave early, but three of us went back to visit with her a bit more with her.

As I approached Nadifa, I noticed that Barry Dunn, President of South Dakota State University was speaking quietly in the back of the room with Nadifa. He took off his SDSU lapel pin and gave it to her along with his card. He invited her to come to State and promised her that he would help her. Barry and Nadifa both had tears in their eyes. Next, I asked her if I could write about her; a few more little tears appears. Finally, one of the regents, Jim Thares, joined our little group. He offered her his business card, and whisper to her that he would pay her tuition.  A flood of tears.  

At this point, I know very little about Nadifa, but as she spoke with us I could hear that she has an important story to tell, and I hope to learn much more from her.


December 17, 2017Read More
A Creative Table of Contents: Missy and Susan

A Creative Table of Contents: Missy and Susan

Dear WinkWorld Readers,

As I mentioned in the previous WinkWorld, people begin to create amazing gifts to give to an author after her book is published.

For example, Missy Urbaniak, created a visual Table of Contents (TOC) for me during the long months when I was writing.  I have shared the chapter-by-chapter TOC previously.


Chapter One, Loving That Literacy

Chapter Two, Loving Those Stories 

Chapter Three, Animals and the Alphabet

Chapter Four, High-Stakes Stories 

Chapter Five, Of Immigrants and Imagination 

Chapter Six, Into the Cloud 

Chapter Seven, Patience and Fortitude: The Future 

Next, Susan of Susan Henley Design,  put all of these together for me on one PDF.  Incidentally, Missy lives in SD, and Susan in CA, and they have never met.  I know you cannot read the post below as it may be too small, but my PDF is very readable.

Being able to  glance at my visual TOC, while working on the book, has been very helpful.  Thank you, Missy and Susan.

Later, the publisher removed my 4-level TOC from the book, but I have placed it right here  for your convenience.  I am an avid TOC-user.

Last week I received a surprise package in the mail, and Susan had also created a large poster of the visual TOC as a gift for me.  Thank you so much Missy and Susan. I really love what the two of you created together – without ever meeting each other.

Have poster. Will travel.




December 9, 2017Read More
The Good and the Bad of Publishing a Book: My Mighty Marketing Team

The Good and the Bad of Publishing a Book: My Mighty Marketing Team

Dear WinkWorld Readers,

There is such joy in finishing a book and finally holding it in your hands. 

The good is that people do really nice things for you, and the bad is that the publisher wants you to get to work and market, market, market–if I have learned one thing through the years, it is that I am not a marketer.



So, I have decided to share with you some of the beautiful things which have happened in the last couple of week, and I will simply tell my publisher that these new stories are my marketing plan. 

First, let me introduce you to my surprise Mighty Marketers: Steve Krashen and Dawn Wink.  High praise, indeed. 

Steve Krashen surprised and thrilled me when he began to post on his Facebook pages some of my quotations .  I am humbled.  Dawn Wink then shared/tagged to my page so that my Facebook friends could read, too.  How kind is that! Thank you from the bottom of my heart and my hard drive.  

Below are some of the quotes, which Steve and Dawn posted.

“… summer reading … is not to be confused with a mandated summer book list, which can loom over any family’s less hectic months of the year. The summer reading, which I am encouraging, is self-selected.” (Joan Wink, The Power of Story, p. 24).

“ … language and literacy are free gifts buried inside of stories.” (Joan Wink, The Power of Story, p. 47).

“When you attend professional development, are you hoping to hear good stories …. or do you prefer death by PowerPoint?” (Joan Wink, The Power of Story, p. 58).

“… it can be so annoying for a writer to find that the world keeps spinning – even when she thought her writing was done for this manuscript.” (Joan Wink, The Power of Story, p. 130).

Thank you so much, Mighty Marketers.  And, as always, my thanks to Katie Knox for her charming images of readers.





December 4, 2017Read More
“The Power of Story” Is Now Available

“The Power of Story” Is Now Available

Dear WinkWorld Readers,

The birthing of a new book: There is just nothing quite like it.  After months/years of musing, walking around staring, procrastinating, and finally writing and agonizing privately over words, ideas, sentences, sections, paragraphs, images, permissions, citations, and sleepless nights, it all suddenly is worth it when a box of books arrives.


Through the past couple of years, I have periodically posted about my writing, and in this WinkWorld, I will do a couple of things: (a) tell you a little about the book; and (b) I will share (again) the visual Table of Contents (TOC). The real TOC can be found by clicking the icon of the new book on my webpages. See below.

The Power of Story

The book is now available on Amazon, my webpages (which is a re-direct to Amazon), and ABC-CLIO/Libraries Unlimited, my publisher.

First, this book is all about linking literacies through the power of stories, both oral and written.

This book is for anyone who loves reading, kids, and/or stories. 

Readers will discover that this book is not filled with data in the form of pie-charts, graphs, and arches; rather the truth of the research will be grounded in authentic stories which reflect, not only the interpretation of these data, but also the transformative nature of literacies and libraries.

Finally, in my life as a writer, I have finally been able to share some terrific images and photos.  Most of the images came from Katie Knox, who is now living in Japan.  I can only hope that my words say what her images capture so beautifully.  Here is one example.  Thank you, Katie!

Friends have shared photos with me, and I have used as many as I could.  Here is one example.  Thank you, Christy!

Second, I would like to share the visual Table of Contents, which I have previously shared.  Thank you, Missy.


The Power of Story: Chapter One


The Power of Story: Chapter Two


The Power of Story Chapter Three


The Power of Story Chapter Four


The Power of Story Chapter Five


The Power of Story Chapter Six


The Power of Story Chapter Seven

So, what do I want to write about next? These kids at a rural school, k-8.

November 27, 2017Read More