contest, writing

Contest: Win a Copy of Give This Book a Title!

One of my favorite book releases this year is from the brilliant and generous Jarrett Lerner, “Give this Book a Title” . Since the pandemic shut us down he has been a major giver, inspiring many to kickstart our creativity with drawing and writing prompts, confidence boosting lessons and ideas, and general awesomeness. As I shared on Instagram, I can’t get over the brilliance of this book.

This book begs to be used with kids (and adults) as we search for ways to help kids draw, write, inspire, and feel like they can add value to the world. With more than 100 activities, you are sure to find something that you can use with your students as we continue to engage with writing, drawing, and playing with words.

As the blurb says, “This collection of fun, open-ended writing and drawing prompts will challenge kids to think and create in new ways with every turn of a page. In the Finish This Comic section, young writers are inspired to write and illustrate a six-panel story. Following How to Draw instructions will encourage kids to find their own drawing styles. Every fun activity and silly prompt will keep young readers engaged and entertained!”

So imagine my surprise when a whole stack of these amazing books showed up at my house yesterday! Turns out Jarrett Lerner thought that perhaps the world could use a few more copies and I couldn’t agree more. So, I have five copies to give away of this incredible book four to educators in the US and one to the rest of the world (I am paying for shipping, thus the wonky numbers). All you have to do to enter is leave a comment (make sure you add your email when you enter it so I can contact you) and let me know what you would use this amazing book for. The contest will run from today to lille juleaften which for all you non-Danes is December 23rd at 8 PM CST.

I cannot wait for more amazing creations to happen because of this great new book but if you don’t win, you should order it!

being a teacher, contest, Reading

Win A Copy of Game Changer

Thank you to the more than 750 people who entered – the two winners were randomly drawn and have been notified.  I highly encourage you to purchase your own copy.


This morning as I stand in my kitchen making waffles for my four ravenous children, I have also been sneaking some reading in.  After all, isn’t this multitasking at its finest?  The book that keeps pulling me away from the wafflemaker?  It is the new book Game Changer! Book Access for All Kids by the fantastic Donalyn Miller and Colby Sharp.

With its inviting layout, straightforward language, and research-based best practices, this is a must add for any educator who works within literacy.  The book features tried and true fantastic ideas for increasing the access to books for all kids, and not just in the traditional sense of placing books in the hands of children, but also how to help students develop or maintain a positive relationship with reading.  As someone who spends much of my time immersed in the same world of advocacy, I love the realness of the book, its no holds barred advocacy for all kids to have meaningful and personal relationships with books, as well as all of the research cited.  (I geek out on research).

In order to celebrate its release, I am therefore giving away two copies of the book.  This contest is open to the world, so no matter where you are you can read the book.  All you have to do is enter on the form below.  I will pull a winner tomorrow night, Sunday the 11th of November.  If you do not win, please consider purchasing this book on your own, you won’t regret it.


Would You Like Your School Supply List Paid For? #Greatlist


Every year, toward spring, my team and I would sit down and look at the supply list for incoming 5th graders.  We knew how expensive it was, and yet, those things on the list were things we truly used, and things we didn’t have in our budgets to supply to the kids.  Yet passing that on to parents has never been easy.  Now as a parent myself, I am not looking forward to the day that I have all 4 of my children in school, because let’s face it; school supplies are expensive!  

I get contacted by a lot of companies asking me to share their campaigns with people who read my blog.  Mostly I say no thank you, after all, that is not what this blog is about at all.  But when Great Clips contacted me, I had to make an exception.  After all, as a parent, I would love to have Theadora’s school supplies paid for, so I am guessing a lot of you would to!

So here is how to win: Great Clips is running a contest right now for parents to have their school supply lists paid for and the best part is how simple it is to enter.  Simply go to this link and upload your school supply list.  And if you can’t upload it, you can type it up right there.  Yup, that’s it!  They are pulling winners every day and the contest runs until September 5th.  You can get up to $100 worth of supplies paid for.

I hope you all win.  I know I will be keeping my fingers crossed!  And yes, I just submitted Thea’s list as well.  I would not mind not having to pay for all of those supplies myself.

And while you are at, check out what Great Clips did for two high school teachers in their partnership with 

PS: I am sure you guessed it but this post is sponsored by Great Clips, so thanks to Great Clips for sponsoring today’s discussion.

I am a passionate  teacher in Wisconsin, USA,  who has taught 4, 5th, and 7th grade.  Proud techy geek, and mass consumer of incredible books. Creator of the Global Read Aloud Project, Co-founder of EdCamp MadWI, and believer in all children. I have no awards or accolades except for the lightbulbs that go off in my students’ heads every day.  First book “Passionate Learners – Giving Our Classrooms Back to Our Students” can be purchased now from Powerful Learning Press.   Second book“Empowered Schools, Empowered Students – Creating Connected and Invested Learners” can be pre-ordered from Corwin Press now.  Follow me on Twitter @PernilleRipp.

being a teacher, being me, communication, contest

We Are Only Human, Why Do We Forget That?

Being a blogger, a teacher, a person who exposes themselves to the world through their words and actions, our personalities sometimes get distorted.  We get boxed in, labeled, or categorized in some way, all so that others can get a better handle on who we are and what we stand for.

Strangers decide whether they like us or not on small acts, on assumptions that they create, on things we say, write, do and then spread that like or dislike to others, forever judging us based on perhaps one blog post, one idea of what we are, or some distorted image.  And sometimes others forget that we are humans too.  Parents send angry emails based on an assumption, anonymous commenters attack rather than discuss, and sometimes people you consider to be part of your support network drop you like you were yesterday’s news.  And it hurts, and our blogging, or our teaching interferes with the emotions we bring home and into our homes.  Our personal relationships suffer because of what happens outside of us, outside of our own realm of control, and we wonder why we put ourselves out there?

This school year, I was a top 10 finalist in a contest for good teachers.  While I had nothing to do with my own nomination, I used it as a way to show that having a non-traditional classroom in a public school setting was indeed possible.  And yet, no matter how noble my intentions,  the contest proved to be detrimental to me as an educator and as a person.  I said yes to continue on in the contest because if I won, I could get $10,000 and use it for something at my school; a new gym floor, working computers, more books.  And that was something bigger than me.  I knew there would be backlash but the magnitude of it still astounded me.  People who I thought would understand, perhaps not support, but understand, berated and tore me to shreds.  Educators whom I admire in my PLN decided that they would no longer follow me or have conversations with me, teachers whom I admire thought I did it as a way to show off, to elevate myself above the rest.  And it hurt.  And it confounded.  And even though you try not to take it personal, you do, because it is.  And even though you try to pick up the pieces, they just never fit back together the same way.  The people are gone, the communication is gone, the care is gone.

So I learned my lesson, don’t think you are anything special – perfect for a product of Janteloven – because others will disagree.  Others will tear you down.  How sad, how utterly contrary to what we stand for as educators, how eye opening.  And yet, I continue to congratulate others, to be excited about their success and I remind myself whenever I see someone within my realm of the world; whether global PLN or local community, that is being recognized that I should cheer for them.  That I should be happy whenever an educator is recognized for something good rather than some evil they have done.We are all just human, and words hurt more than we know, we should be each others biggest cheerleaders, there are enough people trying to tear us all down.


Appreciate a Teacher – Win a Gift Card Thanks to Adobe

I know teacher appreciation week is in full swing in many places, and I am sure feeling the appreciation here at school.  So the great people of Adobe thought they would pass on some appreciation as well to you and your favorite teachers.  It is actually quite simple; for the chance to win a $25 iTunes gift card, followers must tag @AdobeStudents and write a wall post about their favorite teacher/mentor and why on the Adobe Student Facebook page .  Write a story, post a quote, share a video/picture/give a shout out.  You can even win a $50 gift card if you create something with Photoshop or Illustrator and post that.

SoO get appreciating and maybe some good karma will come your way as well.

A $10,000 Opportunity

As some of you may know, a couple of weeks ago I was told I was one of 10 finalists in the Great American Teach Off.  This contest was created to highlight great elementary educators across the nation and I am frankly astounded to be part of the group.  Not only that but the grand prize in the contest is $10,000 for my classroom.  
The last two weeks I have been very busy creating videos highlighting my students and how we are innovative and making a difference and now I need your help.  The final part of the contest is a nationwide vote-off.  Every week they post a video and the lowest two vote-getters will be eliminated until finally one is left standing.  I do feel like I am on American Idol right now, but thankfully it is not my singing chops being evaluated but rather me as a teacher.
Voting starts on Monday at 1 PM at and you can vote once a day for the week.  If I survive the first week then I have to get people to vote the following week and so on.  
So if you have a moment, would you please consider voting for my classroom (on Monday)?  
These students work their hearts out, sharing their journeys with the world, and we try to be innovative within the very rigid public school framework.  I am proud of the accomplishments of my students, their eagerness to try and fail, and their willingness to share it all with the world. 
$10,000 for us would mean more books in our library, perhaps a new gym floor, or even carpet in our classroom so we could snuggle up with good books.  There are many deserving educators out there and I am one of many, thank you for considering.