New morning, new day, new week. Let’s do it.

Hi everyone,

Tim Rasinski and I did a 27-minute video Saturday morning to wrap up the Fairfax County Virginia project and this Thursday, Tim, Mary Jo Fresch, Laura Robb, and I are set to do a 60-minute webinar for California Reading. On Friday or December 1, Laura and I look forward to an interview by Missouri’s Sam Bommarito on his great blog. Guess I’d better get a haircut.

For now, it’s a new week. I’ve set out the trash, got the coffee going, and am settling down to work on a poem for the upcoming Laura/Tim/David book for Teacher Created Materials.

Timothy V. Rasinski, Ph.D. awarded high honor

Hi everyone,

I’m delighted to share the news that Tim Rasinski has been named as one of the top 2% of scholarly scientists in the world. Here’s the announcement.

Twenty-nine Kent State faculty members have been named to be in the top 2% of scientists in the world based on a recent study published by Stanford University scholars. The report, published in the PLOS Biology Journal, evaluated more than six million scientists across 22 different fields and 176 sub-fields from 1996 until 2019. The top 2% list is made up of more than 100,000 most-cited scientists who have authored at least five scientific papers.

Here are two of Tim’s responses to an interviewer’s questions.


I chose to study literacy acquisition and education as we have too many children and adults in the United States who struggle in reading. Moreover, as a country we have not made much progress over the last three decades to improve literacy outcomes for children, especially children who come from less advantaged backgrounds. My research is, in a larger sense, a matter of equity for all children. Literacy, I believe, is a right, and I have chosen to invest my research and scholarly work in helping all children achieve this fundamental and critically important right.


My area of research is literacy acquisition and literacy education – in particular my interest lies in students who struggle in learning to read. Research has shown that most children in the elementary grades who struggle experience difficulty in what we call the foundational reading skills –  the ability to understand and decode words in print, and the ability to read text fluently and with expression that reflects the meaning of the passage. My work has focused primarily on these areas. We have found remarkable success, through our experiences at the Kent State Reading Clinic (Camp Read-A-Lot) in helping many children achieve success in learning to read and in finding reading a valuable activity. 

 My congratulations to Tim. It’s a pleasure and privilege to know him and work with him on a growing number of books for classroom teachers, including the two upcoming titles from Scholastic, co-authored by another amazing and much honored professor (emeritus), The Ohio State’s Mary Jo Fresch.

Two new books posted on

Hi everyone,


These books were a three-way partnership of Harrison, Tim Rasinski, and Mary Jo Fresch. My contribution was to write the partner poems. Tim created word ladders for each, and Mary Jo wrote classroom lessons for each to reinforce the literacy skill being taught. It’s always great fun and an honor to work with Tim and Mary Jo. My thanks to our editor, Maria L. Chang, Editorial Director, Classroom Activities & Teachables, and Tara Welty, Senior Vice President & General Manager, Teaching Solutions, Education Solutions, Scholastic Inc.

A good week

Hi everyone,

A short week but a good one. We returned from Oregon on Tuesday after a great trip with Jeff and Jennifer that included Portland, Crater Lake, Sunriver, and Cannon Beach. Spectacular views, wonderful food, and loving company. Couldn’t ask for more or better.

I’m twenty work-days away from my Fairfax deadline and feel confident I can make it. A lot of things are going undone for now but it won’t be much longer before I can return to a more normal routine. This past week I agreed on terms for an old story of mine, “The Little Boy’s Secret,” to appear in a U.K. HarperCollins anthology for 7-year-olds. The story originally came out in THE BOOK OF GIANT STORIES, co-published by American Heritage Press in the U.S.A. and Jonathan Caple in England in 1972.

I’m set for a virtual return on October 30 to The BookMark in Neptune Beach, Florida. This time I’m introducing the new book, I WANT AN APPLE. I look forward to it.

I began sketching notes for a video I promised to make as part of the Fairfax project. I need to make it before the end of November. Mary Jo Fresch, Laura Robb, Tim Rasinski, and I made plans to rehearse a 60-minute webinar for California Reading Conference that will be broadcast live on November 18.

Next week I speak at American Association of School Librarians at its national conference in Salt Lake City. Kate Coombs and I will discuss science/nature-based poetry for young people. Our presentation, “Take a Walk on the Wild Side: Connecting Young Readers to Nature,” will be moderated by award winning librarian Amanda Jones from Louisiana. I’ll speak on the subject in general but with emphasis on THE DIRT BOOK.

Time to get to work.

Still on schedule

Hi everyone,

Yesterday I enjoyed making a 25-minute video with Mary Jo Fresch and Tim Rasinski that will be posted for the California Reading Association virtual conference, October 22-23. We presented aspects of a book we’re finishing for Scholastic, which will be published January 22, titled PARTNER POEMS & WORD LADDERS FOR BUILDING FOUNDATIONAL LITERACY SKILLS.

Starting today I’ll be away from the Fairfax project for twelve days, the longest hiatus since I started. When I return, I’ll have 19 work-days to write the final 15 poems. If all goes as planned, I should finish on time. By work days I mean weekdays between now and November 15 when I don’t have other commitments already on the schedule. Fingers crossed!