New Plugged-in to Nonfiction website!

April 2, 2009 at 2:25 pm | Posted in PITNF | Leave a comment
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Check out the new Plugged-in to Nonfiction website! Let us know what you think!

Please edit your bookmarks – most of our blogging will now be done straight from the Plugged-in to Nonfiction site, so bookmark it and check back for updates, conference info, and Plugged-in information.



Welcome to the new blog!

November 25, 2008 at 10:17 am | Posted in News | Leave a comment
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Welcome to the new Plugged-in blog. Check back often for updates on Janet Allen and the Plugged-in programs, as well as tips and tricks for using Plugged-in programs in your classroom!

Please note that unfortunately a lot of the videos and slideshows did not migrate with the posts. If you’re looking for an old video that seems to be missing, it may still be over at

Look for some fun updates to this blog soon!

Plugged-in Reaches 1000th Unit Sold!

July 15, 2008 at 3:35 pm | Posted in Uncategorized | 1 Comment

Straight from the Teacher’s Mouth

June 17, 2008 at 5:52 pm | Posted in Uncategorized | Leave a comment

As I said in an earlier post, watching Rosanne’s class in Grand Rapids was truly inspiring. Want to hear about her experiences from her own perspective? Check out this clip from her classroom!

Plugged in to Reading: Testimonial from Matthew Cavnar on Vimeo.

Offering Choices in the Classroom

June 5, 2008 at 6:12 pm | Posted in Uncategorized | Leave a comment

Teacher Magazine published an article on May 28th called “Best Practices: The Miracle of Choices.” I was reminded of one of Janet’s sayings: “Choice isn’t choice if you don’t know what the options are.”

Here is an excerpt from the article:

How Does Choice Help Students?

Choice returns responsibility for learning to the student. Most of my students choose surprisingly well for themselves, selecting texts and assignments that follow their interests while meeting curricular objectives and pushing skills to the next level. The first year I offered a reading list, I was amazed to see how students gravitated to titles reflecting their cultures or family histories. The scientists, sports addicts, adventurers, and budding social scientists all found acceptable books they were willing to tackle.

Literature Circles in Grand Rapids, MI

June 2, 2008 at 3:27 pm | Posted in Uncategorized | 1 Comment

Last week, I went to visit Martin Luther King Jr. Leadership Academy in Grand Rapids, Michigan. My colleague from our NY studio, Matt, joined me there to film a class of 6th-grade students working together in literature circles. What I witnessed was amazing! First of all, EVERY student was on task. They worked in four groups. Three of the groups listened to the audio and followed along with the print. The fourth group read the book aloud. Then each group would stop and discuss their book using their role cards. I was so impressed by the discussions going on. I heard students say things like, “This book reminds me of another book …” or “What happened to that character was like something that happened to me.” They debated and they shared. These students were PLUGGED-IN! The teacher, Rosanne Wahl, was phenomenal. She told us that in the beginning, she was nervous about the literature circles because she liked to have control of the class. Once she got going, though, she was pleased to see that the literature circles allowed her time to focus on the needs of each student. She saw the progression of her students. They went from depending on the role sheets to being able to take on a role without even looking at their cards. She clearly taught these students “how to.” At the end of the class, Rosanne asked her students what strategies they were using. Hands shot up into the air! The answers were incredible: “I used text-to-text connections … I used text-to-world connections … We used compare and contrast … I used visualization.” I have no doubt that these students will go on to be life-long readers. What a great trip!

My Visit to Lombard Middle School

May 27, 2008 at 3:47 pm | Posted in Uncategorized | Leave a comment

Will and I had the pleasure of visiting Lombard Middle School in Baltimore, Maryland on May 21st. While there, we observed an 8th-grade classroom using Plugged-in to Reading. The teacher, Mrs. Stills, guided them in reading and writing about “The Skin I’m In.” We were happy to see that the students quietly listened and followed along with the text and stayed on task while discussing the character of Maleeka’s mother. Plus, they wrote creative observations about what Maleeka’s mother was like on the “outside” and on the “inside.” The principal, Valerie Hooper, worked hard to get Plugged-in to Reading into Mrs. Stills’ classroom. She has had great success in improving the quality of the education at Lombard Middle School. This classroom was a great example of how Plugged-in to Reading can truly make a difference. I hope you enjoy this photo story of my trip.

AEP Award Finalist!

May 13, 2008 at 7:30 pm | Posted in Uncategorized | Leave a comment

I am proud to announce that Dr. Janet Allen’s Plugged-in to Reading Level 3 has been selected as a finalist for the 2008 Association of Educational Publishers (AEP) Distinguished Achievement Award in the category of Reading Curriculum Packages for grades 9-12. The competing products are judged on the following categories: teacher instructions, editorial/design integration, educational value/objectives, originality/creativity, and audience interest. The winner will be announced on June 6th at the Annual AEP Awards Banquet and Gala.

Spring Ahead with Plugged-in to Reading

April 23, 2008 at 1:44 pm | Posted in Uncategorized | Leave a comment

Plugged-in to Nonfiction Is Here!

April 3, 2008 at 10:30 pm | Posted in Uncategorized | Leave a comment

At this year’s International Reading Association conference we will be launching Dr. Janet Allen’s Plugged-in to Nonfiction, a nonfiction reading program for middle and high schools that uses a collection of authentic, high-interest texts to teach reading and writing strategies. Just like Plugged-in to Reading, you get audio support and teacher resources including a wide selection of graphic organizers. I invite you to stop by booth #1320 to see a sample of Plugged-in to Nonfiction Level 2 for grades 7-9. If you have any questions, feel free to contact me or post your question on the blog.

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