Community Story

Nancy J. Kolodziej, Ed.D.

Cookeville, TN
Tennessee Tech. University
ReadWriteThink has not only had a positive impact on my teaching, but it has also positively affected many of my former students who are now teaching and using the website in their own classrooms.
Nancy J. Kolodziej, Ed.D.'s Story

ReadWriteThink: Ideal for College Classrooms, too!

Several years ago when I heard that the International Reading Association would be sponsoring a new website,, I knew that I wanted to become involved in this project. At the outset, I became a reviewer of potential lesson plans for the website. Subsequently, I wrote several lesson plans that are now published on the site and developed some of the printouts and crossword puzzles. I have found that ReadWriteThink (RWT) is an excellent resource for me and my students, and we refer to it often in my courses. For several of the courses I teach, my students must write lesson plans to be used in demonstration lessons and during practicum placements. In the past, I found that they do not always include as much detail in the plans as I would like. Consequently, I include the URL of one my lesson plans in the text of my syllabus so that they can see the amount of detail that should be contained in pre-service teachers’ lesson plans. Not only does this help convey my expectations, but it also helps them view me as a teacher who models expectations. RWT’s Student Interactives is one of my favorite features of the site. My students view tools such as the “Word Family Sort” when discussing phonics and the “Timeline” when focusing on comprehension. The end result is that many of my students incorporate RWT in their practicum and student teaching placements, and ultimately, in their future classrooms. I recently asked my current students about their viewpoints towards RWT, and Karen’s comment is indicative of the value they gain from its use: I have learned as a teacher candidate that an important characteristic in a profession is the sharing of ideas and information to help ensure the overall success of that profession. is a wonderful resource that allows teachers and prospective teachers to access information that will improve classroom instruction. I recently used a lesson idea on the site to help me create a demo lesson for my lit instruction class. The lesson went over well, and the suggested book to use with the lesson tied it together beautifully. I do plan to use this in the classroom if I ever have the opportunity. (Karen Griffith, March 26, 2010).

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Nancy Kolodziej taught grades K-8 for 12 years in California and Pennsylvania and holds a doctoral degree in elementary education from Lehigh University.

Nancy has been a member of the International Reading Association (IRA) since 1988 and is a member of its special interest group Professors of Reading Teacher Educators. Recent publications include her book, Learning Station Models for Middle Grades and articles in The Reading Professor and The Middle School Journal. Nancy serves as a member of The Reading Teacher's review board and has presented at numerous literacy conferences.

While teaching at the University of Scranton in 2004, she was named Teacher of the Year by the local Kappa Delta Pi chapter. In 2008, she was honored with Tennessee Reading Association's Distinguished Professor award. Currently, she is a faculty member at Tennessee Technological University where she teaches literacy and elementary methods courses.

Be sure to periodically browse the Interactive Tools so that you are aware of any new tools that may have been added or that meet a new need that you have in your classroom.

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Check out the new "Printouts" on the site!