Dana Johansen

Screen Shot 2015-07-22 at 2.55.32 PMInspired by my grandmother, Nancy, a fourth grade teacher who worked in the Connecticut public schools for many years, I knew I wanted to teach. I wanted to bring creativity and enthusiasm to my classroom, just the way she did. I wanted to continue her legacy for making learning magical–through reading aloud! From The Witches by Roahl Dahl to Dear, Mr. Henshaw by Beverly Cleary, my grandmother loved to read aloud and discuss books. She knew what so many of us know– books can transform us.

Following in my grandmother’s footsteps, I taught fourth grade for almost ten years. I relished opportunities to read aloud to my students and soak in the magic that reading brings. Now, I teach English in middle school.

Sometimes I pause, turn to my students and say, “How lucky am? I get to teach reading and writing workshop with you all day!”

I am a full-time teacher, researcher and author, and I’m completing my doctorate in curriculum and teaching at Teachers College, Columbia University. Lucy Calkins is my mentor, doctoral advisor, and professor at TC. Dedicated to the use of technology in the classroom, I have presented at conferences on the use of iPads in the classroom, the SMARTBoard, and wikis and blogs. Passionate about this work, my first book, Teaching Interpretation: Using Text-Based Evidence to Construct Meaning, co-authored with Sonja Cherry-Paul, combines my love for digital resources with teaching reading.

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