Building Wings

Building Wings, an autobiography by Don Johnston, documents Don’s personal journey as a struggling reader in school.

About Building Wings

Don wrote this book to build student’s self-confidence using the valuable lessons he learned from his 8th grade teacher who inspired him to think and learn in different ways. Building Wings also reminds teachers and parents of the disguised behavior signs that children often use to hide their learning deficiencies.

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Building Wings Builds Students' Confidence

Don Johnston wrote Building Wings to build self-confidence and to share his personal journey as a struggling reader. In his new book, Don shares the valuable lessons he learned from his 8th grade teacher who inspired him to think and learn in different ways. Building Wings reminds teachers and parents of the disguised behavior signs that children often use to hide their learning deficiencies.

Since 1980, Don Johnston has designed supplemental instruction and intervention strategies to help students become successful readers, writers and thinkers. Building Wings is a perfect reading supplement and professional development resource. It is a must-read book for struggling learners, teachers, PTA, PTO and school board members. Share it with your school disability and community groups.

  1. Ideas to Use Building Wings in a Student Advocacy Program
  2. Inspire struggling learners to take action
  3. Remind teachers of “disguised” signs of struggle
  4. Build a student self-advocacy learning program
  5. Raise awareness throughout your community
  6. Use as a great fund-raising tool
  7. Lead professional development discussions
  8. Collaborate with school improvement teams
  9. Include with response to intervention model
  10. Begin a student book club or blog

Building Wings: Reader's Theater Showcase

View the winning presentations:

Highland Park Junior High School Wiki  |  Pomfret Community School Digital Storybook

Take your students on a journey of self-discovery now and download your copy of the Building Wings Reader’s Theater! These materials were developed by educators in Schaumburg School District 54, IL and are designed to help students explore different learning styles by acting out scenes from the book and documenting their feelings using compare and contrast worksheets and visualization charts.

Don Johnston’s auto-biography, Building Wings: How I Made It Through School, describes Don’s personal journey growing up as a struggling learner. Building Wings traces Don’s life through an incredible list of challenges, triumphs and real-world accomplishments to inspire other struggling readers. The book is written on a 3rd grade reading level and has stimulated hundreds of conversations among educators about the unfortunate practice of labeling struggling learners as behavior problems. This happens when students camouflage their learning disabilities rather than risk appearing ‘stupid’ in front of their peers.

Winning entries were selected based on a rubric involving creativity, originality, Web 2.0 multimedia and overall presentation quality. Each school received a Start-to-Finish™ Audio, Computer and Paperback Collection. No purchase was required to enter the 2008 Building Wings Reader’s Theater Contest.

 


Download the Building Wings Reader's Theater Toolkit

Building Wings has inspired thousands of students! Their heartfelt letters continue to encourage us to share new ideas that help you build confident learners and change their lives! This FREE Implementation Toolkit provides a lesson plan and supportive materials for you to design your own student self-advocacy learning model. Special thanks to educators at Schaumburg School District, IL who created this terrific Reader’s Theater to share with you!

Building Wings can help you raise awareness among people who work with and care about struggling learners! Over 1000 educators have requested Don’s book to share with colleagues, community members, teaching staffs and to use in professional leadership workshops.

Special thanks to educators Carron Gibbert and Margaret Lee from Schaumburg, Illinois


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