selected works

professional books for classroom teachers
In Writers ARE Readers, the mutually supportive roles of reading and writing are made visible through the idea of "flipsides": how reader's insights can be turned around to provide insights into his own writing, and vice versa. Lester and Reba's trademark engaging style is woven throughout chapters full of sample lessons, student writing samples, and recommended texts for maximizing the flipped concept across the year.
The 1970s' VW Beetle Owner's Manual found in the glove compartment of every Bug gave drivers security in knowing that whatever went wrong, there was always a quick fix to get them back on the road. The Writing Teacher's Troubleshooting Guide uses the same clear, concise format to offer practical ideas for helping students who may be out of gas, idling for too long,or just plain stuck in a rut. Lester and Reba first help you "notice and name" particular struggles that writers may have, identify possible causes, and then offer specific tools to nudge writers toward their next level of development. Their vast knowledge & appreciation for children's literature is showcased in the mentor texts they suggest to support your teaching. Don't let minor breakdowns stall your student's writing journey. With the Writing Teacher's Troubleshooting Guide in your back pocket, you'll always have a quick repair to keep them moving forward.
Professional books for classroom teachers
Bullying Hurts is not your same-old antibullying guide. Lester and Reba show how the read aloud, a familiar and proven instructional technique, can be used as a powerful way to neutralize bullying behaviors, create community in the classroom, and help you meet the Common Core State Standards all at the same time. Bullying Hurts does more than help children gain insights and language needed to confront and neutralize the behaviors of bullies. It convinces us that by working together, we really can prevent bullying.
Children's Literature
Review from Publishers Weekly: Three Hens and a Peacock Lester L. Laminack, illus. by Henry Cole, Peachtree, $15.95 (32p) ISBN 978-1-56145-564-5 What might have been an ordinary be-yourself story is enhanced by Laminack's (Snow Day!) surprisingly thoughtful storytelling. Three hens on the Tuckers' farm are sick with envy when a peacock shows up and attracts the attention of passersby, drawing customers and electrifying the farm's roadside stand business. Laminack characterizes the hens with a fine ear for their Golden Girls outrage; they sound quite human. "We do all the work around here," fumes one. "I'd like to see that peacock lay one single egg." "Exactly," agrees another. "He just struts around screaming." The hens trade places with the peacock, dressing up in beads and ribbons and trying to attract customers--with predictable results. The warmth of the story is a bit overshadowed by the goggle eyes of Cole's (One Pup's Up) barnyard characters; the illustrations go for big guffaws and slapstick instead, and largely succeed. The final spreads--which suggest further complications with the arrival of an ostrich--add a final touch of humor, effectively keeping the book from feeling message-heavy. Ages 4Ė8. (Mar.)
Just the possibility of a snow, the mere mention of snow in the forecast can send the imagination spinning. Children (of all ages) will delight in the anticipation of a day with lots and lots of snow and----NO SCHOOL!
The 100th Day of School is a BIG event for young children everywhere. And Jake, like most children has been working on his very special collection for a long time. But in the excitement of the big day Jake rushes out to catch the bus and leaves something very important behind. Find out how a very caring principal helps save the day.
A heartwarming tribute to the love of a grandmother and the importance of making memories.
"...tender depiction of a life well-lived, which speaks to the value of maintaining loving relationships, even when they are altered by Alzheimer's disease."
--Booklist
Although he is happy about having a loose tooth, Trevor worries when his classmates tell him some of the ways others might try to pull out the tooth.
Professional Books for Classroom Teachers
A close look at spelling instruction and assessment in the writing workshop
A thorough overview of establishing and maintaining the writing workshop in the K-6 classroom
Bringing picture books and read-aloud into the curriculum to build vocabulary and both broaden and deepen conceptual frameworks for units of study in the content areas.
You'll find 14 ready-to-use mini-lessons to introduce your students to techniques and literary elements. Carefully selected anchor texts provide inspiration for exploring each technique and element. In addition, a professional workshop to use on your own or with colleagues will deepen your own knowledge base. This "workshop-in-a-book," also perfect for literacy coaches and teacher leaders, demonstrates how to read like a writer, identify "craft moves," and form theories about why the moves were made. The DVD features Lester explaining how writers practice audible and visual craft, using "Satudays and Teacakes" to illustrated both. The DVD also includes downloadable forms that you can share with your students to explore author's craft and to monitor their evolving understanding. Use the DVD to have Lester talk directly to the class, or use the book to present the lessons yourself. Either method will help you teach your students to develop their own "craft moves," which will enliven and refine their writing.
A year long focus on poetry for the K-2 classroom. Includes a big book of original poetry and two guide books to create a poetry environment, a focus on reading poetry and a formal unit of study on writing poetry.
The premise is simple yet potent: you can make every read aloud intentional, so the book becomes the richest opportunity imaginable for not only inspiring your students with the magic of story but also stretching them instructionally. With Lester as your guide, you'll learn how to help your students observe and explore what the author did, how he or she did it and why.

Biography

Lester L. Laminack



Lester L. Laminack is Professor Emeritus from department of Birth-Kindergarten, Elementary and Middle Grades Education, at Western Carolina University in Cullowhee, North Carolina where he received two awards for excellence in teaching [the Botner Superior Teaching Award and the Chancellorís Distinguished Teaching Award]. Lester is now a full-time writer and consultant working with schools throughout the United States. He is an active member of the National Council of Teachers of English and served three years as co-editor of the NCTE journal Primary Voices and as editor of the Childrenís Book Review Department of the NCTE journal Language Arts (2003-2006). He also served as a teaching editor for the magazine Teaching K-8 and wrote the Parent Connection column (2000-2002). He is a former member of the Whole Language Umbrella Governing Board, a former member of the Governing Board and Secretary of the North Carolina Association for the Education of Young Children, and a former member of the Board of Directors for the Center for the Expansion of Language and Thinking. He served as the Basic Reading Consultant to Literacy Volunteers of America from 1987 through 2001. He is currently a member of the Board of Directors of Our Childrenís Place [www.ourchildrensplace.com].

His academic publications include several books including Learning with Zachary (Scholastic), Spelling in Use (NCTE), Volunteers Working with Young Readers (NCTE), and his contributions to The Writing Workshop: Working Through the Hard Parts (NCTE), Learning Under the Influence of Language and Literature (Heinemann) Reading Aloud Across the Curriculum (Heinemann, Cracking Open the Authorís Craft (Scholastic) and Unwrapping the Read Aloud (Scholastic). In addition he has several articles published in journals such as The Reading Teacher, Early Years, Science and Children, Language Arts, Teaching pre-K/​8, Primary Voices, and Young Children. Lester is also the author of six childrenís books: The Sunsets of Miss Olivia Wiggins, Trevorís Wiggly-Wobbly Tooth, Saturdays and Tea Cakes, Jakeís 100th Day of School, Snow Day! and most recently, Three Hens and a Peacock all from Peachtree Publishers.

Lester was born July 11, 1956 in Flint, Michigan. His mom and dad had left their families in Alabama and moved to Michigan where his dad, Jimmy, worked for GM. But Michigan is long way from Alabama when you have a two year old and a brand new baby. So, just two weeks after Lester was born his parents packed everything and moved back to their hometown, Heflin, Alabama. They wanted Lester and his brother Scott to grow up near grandparents, aunts and uncles and lots of cousins.

When Lester was 6 the family moved again. This time to Zachary, LA where Lester attended part of 1st and all of 2nd grade. Then they moved back to Heflin where he completed 3rd grade and 4th grade. In April of 1966, while he was in the 4th grade, Lester's sister, Amanada, was born. She was so little when they brought her home that he had to hold her on a pillow. Every day when he came home from school he held her and told her stories. Some people think that's why he is a writer. Lester and Amanda have always been very close even though he is 10 years older.

When Scott was in the 7th grade and Lester was in the 5th grade and Amanda was just one year old the family moved again. This time it was to Key West, FL. They lived there under a year before moving back to Alabama.

Lester finished high school back in Heflin and then earned a BS and MS in Elementary Education from Jacksonville State University, Jacksonville, AL. Then he earned an Ed.D. in Elementary Education and Reading from Auburn University, Auburn AL.

And now Lester lives downtown in Asheville, North Carolina. He starts every day with a cup of coffee, loves to listen to music and NPR. He plays saxophone and a Native American flute made from river cane. He reads a lot of children's books, Southern Fiction, poetry, and books on teaching reading and writing. He loves taking drives on the Blue Ridge Parkway and along the two-lane roads in the countryside.



**FAVORITES**
Favorite person: Zachary S. Laminack (his son)

Favorite color: blue (all hues)

Favorite time of year: fall (and second is spring)

Favorite thing to wear: blue jeans (Levi's 514), sweaters, t-shirts, sneakers

Favorite food: barbeque (but he's picky about it) and Italian food and quiche and dark chocolate and chicken salad and olives and almonds and...

Favorite places: Home in Asheville, NC. Home in Fruithurst, Alabama. The Outer Banks of NC, Charleston and Savannah and New Orleans. Key West and
San Francisco and New York. Paris and Venice and Florence.

Favorite place to write: At home in my office. In a coffee shop.