Sometimes the most ordinary things can teach the most useful lessons.

That was one of the strategies shared recently with teachers and staff in the Northern Lehigh School District

Timothy Rasinski, a professor of literary education at Kent State University, gave a presentation as part of an in-service day held in the Northern Lehigh Middle School auditorium.

The program was about "Effective Teaching of Reading", at which time Rasinski focused on "The Important Book", which was originally authored by Margaret Wise Brown in 1949.

Rasinski said the book was published for the first time in 1999, five decades after Brown wrote it.

He said the book points out the important things about everyday objects and what makes them special.

"I believe this is the best first day of school book ever written," Rasinski said. "This book has been a godsend for teachers."

Rasinski has written over 150 articles and has authored, co-authored or edited over 15 books or curriculum programs on reading education.

He is co-author of the award winning fluency program called Fluency First, published by the Wright Group, while his scholarly interests include reading fluency and word study, reading in the elementary and middle grades, and readers who struggle.

His research on reading has been cited by the National Reading Panel, and has been published in journals such as Reading Research Quarterly, The Reading Teacher, Reading Psychology, and the Journal of Educational Research, as well as publishing numerous best selling books with Teacher Created Materials and Shell Education.

Rasinski recently served a three-year term on the board of directors of the International Reading Association, and from 1992-1999, was co-editor of The Reading Teacher, the world's most widely read journal of literacy education. He currently serves as co-editor of the Journal of Literacy Research.

He is also a past-president of the College Reading Association, and he has won the A.B. Herr Award from the College Reading Association for his scholarly contributions to literacy education.

Before coming to Kent State, Rasinski taught literacy education at the University of Georgia. He taught for several years as an elementary and middle school classroom and Title I teacher in rural Nebraska.