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“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
Name Dropped from WinkWorld Readership

Name Dropped from WinkWorld Readership

Dear WinkWorld Readers,

I have recently learned that the software for WinkWorld dropped a few names from the readership.  I believe this to be a software glitch.  I use–not  

The reason I know this is because my name is one of those which was dropped.  

WinkWorld also goes out on some social media, in addition to being sent to those who sign up via email.  If you are on social media and see this post, you can check  @joanwink (Twitter)  and WinkWorld News to check to make sure you are receiving the blog post via email.  In addition, I usually post WinkWorld on my Facebook page, but I also post lots of other stuff there, so the blog posts are not all lined up in a nice chronological order.

If  you want to receive WinkWorld on your email,  just go to and sign up again (bottom right hand corner).






November 14, 2017Read More
The Price of Books

The Price of Books

Dear WinkWorld Readers,
Steve Krashen has warned us about pricing ourselves out of the market, if our books are long, boring, and too expensive.  I know  you all understand that we, academic writers, do not set our own book prices–the publishers build the books for us, and they control the income and outgo of dollars.
For example, my new book, “The Power of Story” will cost $45,
and Steve’s new book “Comprehensible and Compelling” will cost $35.  Please note that the complete title is “Comprehensible and Compelling: The Causes and Effects of Free Voluntary Reading” which he has co-authored with Sy-Ying Lee and Christy Lao.
I have all the confidence in the world that the Krashen/Lee/Lao book will be worth every penny.  My new book?  Only time will tell.  Both books are available for pre-order from Amazon right now and will be available November 30.
However, Steve’s warning about book prices sent me exploring on the internet, and I find you can get one of my old books (2011) “Critical Pedagogy: Notes from the Real World” for anywhere from $75 to $2000 on Amazon.  Now, I have to tell you that my “Notes from the Real World” is good–but, not THAT good!  I’m sure that this is what being priced out of the market means. 
Here is a screen shot of Amazon today, and if you look carefully, you can see the $2000 price at the very bottom.
I look forward to hearing any thoughts on why/how Amazon does this? And, if anyone should happen pay those crazy prices, who gets the money?  Sure is not me.
November 11, 2017Read More
A great trip to AZ and CA

A great trip to AZ and CA

Dear WinkWorld Readers,

I’ve been lucky to enjoy a couple of great trips the last month. First, I went to California State University, Stanislaus to cheer wildly while President Emerita Marvalene Hughes was honored when the reflecting pond entering the campus was named after her. It was wonderful to see lots of friends and colleagues from the Central Valley. I also snuck in some treasured days with friends/family in AZ.  I am posting photos  from some of these great experiences.

Mary Ann, Nancy, and I have been friends since the 70s.

Below,  Annie and I are walking our beloved San Pedro River.

Some of you will remember my special friend/colleague, Dr. Fay Shin.

I was happy to be invited to Literacy Connects, an amazing grass-roots group in Southern Arizona dedicated to promoting literacy from pre-K babes to adults.

Joan Sandin and I took a fabulous bike ride all over Tucson.

 When Joan and I were biking through the University of Arizona, we happened upon a group of people raising money to fight breast cancer.

 If you want to know more about Joan Sandin, you might like to check out this book–I love it for many reasons.

And, finally I found another night-blooming Cereus cactus, which blooms only ONE night.

Project GLAD(R): I was also so happy to be able to share with the wonderful teachers of Project GLAD(R) in Southern CA. I have previously written about them on WinkWorld, 

GLAD: Guided Language Acquisition Design

Finally, Happy Birthday, MJ.

October 22, 2017Read More
DSU: What does a cyber attack look like?

DSU: What does a cyber attack look like?

Dear WinkWorld Readers

Did you ever wonder what a cyber attack looks like? Dakota State University has an wall-sized monitor in a very large public room which captures visually where the attacks come from and where they go. The huge monitor is real-time, and it is mesmerizing to see it. Beacom College of Computer and Cyber Sciences of DSU is a leader in cyber security education.

Below, I am posting an 8 second video which captures a bit of the action. Next, I am posting one still photo of the wall monitor. Finally, I am posting a link to more information on the cyber security program.


Click HERE to learn more about the DSU cyber security programs.


October 16, 2017Read More
Linda Darling-Hammond to you from Diane Ravitch

Linda Darling-Hammond to you from Diane Ravitch

Dear WinkWorld Readers,

Diane Ravitch is generously sharing with all of us the opportunity to hear Linda Darling-Hammond, October 19, Thursday, 7:30 EST.  It will be live-streamed, and a video will be available after the presentation.

Below I am attaching Diane’s announcement and also a link to her page for more information.

Thank you, Diane Ravitch and Linda Darling-Hammond!

Diane’s announcement on her blog.



October 13, 2017Read More
Judith Green: Ethnography

Judith Green: Ethnography

Dear WinkWorld Readers,

I am still lucky enough to work with a few doc students, and this post is specifically for them. 

To those doc students (you know who you are), this post does not relate to your individual dissertation plans, but it is always good to hear to what Judith is saying.

Thank you, Dr. Green for sharing with us.



ethnography as intercultural work and interdisciplinary logics-of-inquiry.

October 10, 2017Read More
Prairie Pedagogy: The Scientific Method

Prairie Pedagogy: The Scientific Method

Dear WinkWorld Readers, 

The following story is about the Scientific Method and some of my pitiful house plants.  I realize that in some places in CA a blooming geranium is really not much more than an annoying weed, but not on the prairies.  For years, I have tried to get even one geranium in the house to bloom all winter.  No luck.  And, I apparently have also failed at getting my bromeliads to bloom. 

Suddenly, I had an idea:  Maybe if the Atall School kids had some of my plants this winter, they could get beautiful blooms.  So, off I went to this rural school–armed with the scientific method and some of my failing plants.

Below, you will find the Scientific Method, which students often use in school.  Next I am sharing a couple of photos of my plants, and finally I will make the connections between these seemingly two unrelated topics–the scientific method and my plants.   Learning is all about making connections.



Below here is a photo of my friend’s, Julie’s,  bromeliad plant, which blooms constantly.  You will see that one of the flowers is dead, and the other has just begun to bloom.  When the flower dies, Julie grabs the dead flower and throws it away, and then she cuts off the dying plant so that a new little “pup” can grow.  Each little “pup” grows very large and produces a gorgeous flower, which lasts months.

The photo below here are my plants which I took to Atall school kids.  Please note that my bromeliad has no blooms, and that the geranium looks rather puny.

My Scientific Method: Bromeliad and Geranium

I shared with the kids the following two processes:


Ask a question: Why won’t my bromeliad bloom?

My background research: For 5 years I have asked friends and plant specialists and studied the bromeliads online.

Construct a hypothesis: I have a hunch, er… okay, I hypothesize that the kids can get my bromeliad to bloom.

Test my hypothesis by doing an experiment: I drove to Atall and left my bromeliad with the kids.

Analyze their data: In the spring, I will check back in with the kids and share the results.

Report the results: Stay tuned for a WinkWorld in the spring.



Ask a question: How do I get a geranium to bloom all winter?  

My background research: Grandma Dora used to put her geraniums in the public library front window in Moville, Iowa, and they would grow to the ceiling and bloom like crazy.  In the spring, people would come and cut a small section and go home and root the plants for their own yards. I have tried this for decades without luck.

Construct a hypothesis: I hypothesize  (a.k.a., I have a hunch) that if I take my geranium to Atall School, the kids can get it to bloom all winter.

Test my hypothesis: I took the geranium to the kids.

Analyze their data: I will share the data in the spring.

Report the results: Stay tuned for a WinkWorld in the spring.

October 7, 2017Read More
Project GLAD(R): See you soon!

Project GLAD(R): See you soon!

Dear WinkWorld readers, soon I will be teaching/learning with a marvelous group of Project GLAD(R) teachers of Orange Country Office of Education, CA.

GLAD teachers, the images and words, which you generate with students are so amazing.  I hope you will share some of your projects with us.

Below, I am posting a handout and a powerpoint, which mostly resembles our planned time together.

The handout for GLAD teachers.

The power point which I plan to use.





September 29, 2017Read More
Prairie Pedagogy: Scones and Croquet

Prairie Pedagogy: Scones and Croquet

Dear WinkWorld Readers, if you follow this blog, you know that I love to visit Atall School, which is a rural school about 40 miles from our ranch. A few years ago, when I first started to visit, there was only one teacher, Missy Urbaniak, who was responsible for the content in all grades, K through 8.  Fortunately, the school now has two full-time teachers, as Luke Erfman came to teach the younger grades, and Missy now teaches 4-8.  Missy and Luke are a perfect fit with this school community.

Thank you to the teachers, paraprofessionals, and families who so generously share their children with me.  In addition, thank you to Lindsay Nelson Young, the photographer for sharing these photos with us. I think the pictures speak loudly of the joy of teaching and learning.  I hope you enjoy.

Annual FAll Photo

One of the mom’s of this school community has been in the United Kingdom for a horse and sheep event.  It was very exciting as she shared a lot of social media, and the students have been learning about the UK.  All of us were very happy for her and proud of her accomplishments.

One day last week, both classrooms learned something special about the UK. The K-3 students learned how to make scones. 

Here Luke is helping the students make their own scones.

Of course, the students had a proper British cup of tea with their scones.

During the tea party, Missy and the students of 4-8 learned how to play croquet, and the older kids taught the younger kids how to play.  And, we all know that a good way to learn something is to teach it.  I am sure that the United Kingdom is far more real now after this beautiful day of teaching and learning.

Thank you, Atall School Community!


September 25, 2017Read More