Pam Allyn
  • Female
  • Hastings On Hudson, NY
  • United States
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The Irony of Gratitude

Started this discussion. Last reply by Steve Hargadon Dec 2, 2008. 1 Reply


Pam Allyn's LitBlog

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About Me
I am the executive director of LitLife, a professional development organization specializing in the teaching of reading and writing, and LitWorld, which brings support to global school communities serving the world's most vulnerable children. I also founded a nationally recognized literacy initiative called Books for Boys, bringing books, readers and programming to at-risk kids in foster care. I've written several books on the teaching of reading and writing, and have one coming for parents this spring! I am really happy to be here on Classroom 2.0 and look forward to learning from everyone! I appreciate the opportunity to join in with you into this marvelous journey.

For more information please visit our website at and also our non-profit site

Pam Allyn's Blog

The Irony of Gratitude

Posted on November 30, 2008 at 11:51am 0 Comments

It's odd to me that we spend a day giving thanks for what is precious, and then the very next morning our culture is all set up for Black Friday (which sounds grim even though I guess it's not meant to be)....where we are all meant to rush out as early as we can and as maniacally as we can to BUY things. So we were grateful for one day, for all those intangibles, but then the very next day this American culture is telling us: better get ready to WANT all the things you don't have, that you wish… Continue

Book the Time

Posted on November 28, 2008 at 6:54am 3 Comments

I'd love to begin a movement that would culminate in the spring called the Book the Time Campaign: getting as many people as we can to read aloud to a child or many children. Then we could have one day, in March or April, that is the culmination of those efforts, with lots of celebration for the importance of reading aloud in a child's life. Would anyone be interested in joining in and figuring out how to make this happen? I love the idea of it being worldwide!!! I could ask my wonderful… Continue

Global Literacy

Posted on November 27, 2008 at 4:28am 2 Comments

This past summer, I traveled to Kenya and Liberia on behalf of my organization, LitWorld, to share teaching ideas and practices with teachers there. It was a deeply moving journey and I was honored to spend time with the teachers there (some class ratios: 120 kids to ONE teacher!). They are heroic for doing their work in such extreme conditions. We brought with us a software called Realebooks which gets kids publishing their own stories online. Now, schools here are sending kidmade books to… Continue

Comment Wall (9 comments)

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At 11:20pm on January 6, 2009, Robert Barker said…
I would love to meet you or someone from your team. While I am a fifth-year teacher, my school is only in its second year. The administration was given alot of latitude in hiring (unusual in LAUSD). As a result, over 60% of our faculty is from the UCLA teacher program. They are outstanding individuals. Highly motivated. And the administration is very open and progressive. One of the only downsides to this whole venture is that people like me have defaulted to the status of "veteran!"

I am a big fan of Accelerated Reader, though I am constantly tweaking its implementation and struggle with extrinsic rewards. My students are in 6th grade but our mean reading level is about 3.9. The students love AR and they love self-selecting material and getting instant feedback on quizzes via the computer. Access to the computers is inconsistent though, and students are somewhat "obsessed" with only reading books they know they can take a quiz on (an unfortunate byproduct which I am actively addressing this year with countermeasures).

But I digress. I was referring to my default veteran status. I'm also the biggest proponent of free reading and the building of class libraries at school. As I'm sure you know, California is at the bottom when it comes to school libraries and books per pupil. I want to be part of anything that
1) puts more books in our school and
2) promotes early reading to children before entering school.
As I alluded to in my previous communication with you, I'm frustrated by my knowledge about the critical importance of early development and how many of my students enter school on day one with disadvantaged that reach much more deeply than the mere facts of their economic circumstances.

So, what would your team do? What would support look like at our site? I'm open to acting as a conduit for anything, from a visit to speak to our staff to actively working with us on a project or goal.

I will do more reading of your website to make a more informed request. In the meantime, let me know if there are any west coast contacts or programs that you think my fit my school's profile. Ah, that profile: we are not Title I in a formal sense yet, but we fit the bill. We are 95% free lunch. The neighborhood has a lot of gang activity. Very large ESL population. Many parents moved from rural areas in Mexico where literacy rates in Spanish were low to begin with, before coming to the U.S. It is challenging for many of them to balance their work obligations and to overcome their language limitations when it comes to collaborating with the teachers in an effort to promote reading with their children (<-- please excuse that convoluted sentence).

I look forward to your response.

P.S. I'm interested in working internationally as well. If you are looking for individuals to help in that regard. Summers only! I love my job.
At 9:25pm on January 6, 2009, Robert Barker said…
Thank you for the work you are doing. As an inner city middle school teacher I am often frustrated and wish I could have "gotten to them sooner" with respect to introducing the students to reading. I have been deeply influenced by Jim Trelease, Krashen, and Geoffrey Canada and hope to do more community building and outreach at my school in LA. Does LitLife reach Southern California as yet?
At 1:37pm on November 30, 2008, Dr Fathallah Ghanem said…
Dear Pam, thanks for ur kind reply, I am working at Al-Quds Open University since 1994, earned my higer education from Manila - Philippines teaching Management Subjects, I am living in Jenin its in the border of Israel, I could say the situation is not too bad now adays, hope we can have a permanent peace.
Best wishes
At 9:02pm on November 29, 2008, Dr Fathallah Ghanem said…
Hello, its great to have you, I am a teaching management subjects here in Palestine
At 8:03pm on November 29, 2008, Daniel Bassill said…
Hi Pam,

I lead the Tutor/Mentor Connection, base in Chicago. Our work aims at helping volunteer-based tutor/mentor programs grow in high poverty areas, connecting inner city kids with tutors/mentors. I encourage you to add your links to the T/MC web site, and browse the articles on my blog to see how we're trying to connect private sector donors with programs all over the Chicago region.
At 11:29am on November 28, 2008, Anthony Lupo said…
Hi Pam,
Thanks for adding me as a friend. I'll check out your site over the weekend.
Talk to you soon,
At 6:20pm on November 27, 2008, Mark Cruthers said…
Hi Pam,

In your quest for world literacies, I recommend you take a look at Wiziq's web based virtual classroom. Its basic service is free and it is full of great features.

Another web 2.0 tool that might prove useful is authorstream. It is a web based power point presentation platform.
At 2:01pm on November 27, 2008, Anthony Lupo said…
Hello Pam,
Welcome to Classroom 2.0 and greetings from California!
Hope you're having a Happy Thanksgiving.
At 1:06pm on November 27, 2008, Hans Feldmeier said…
Hi Pam - my welcome from Germany! I´m involved at Ministry of Education in Bavaria as to Notebook-classes. My focus is on Web 2.0 apps in the classroom.
Additionally I´ve created the big group on CR 2.0 called DigiSkills with now 452 members - it´s about digital teaching methods. Would love if you decide to join.


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