Illinois State Library

Illinois Center for the Book

Individual Author Record

General Information

Name:  Amy Louise Humphreys  

Pen Name: Amy Hamra, Amy Hamra Humphreys, Amy Humphreys

Genre: Non-Fiction Other

Audience: Adult; Children;

Born: 1961 in Havana, IL

-- Website --
-- Amy Louise Humphreys on WorldCat --

Illinois Connection

A life-long Illinois resident, I was born in Havana and completed all of my schooling - right through post-graduate level courses, here in the Prairie State. I have degrees from Western Illinois University and the University of Illinois. The very first time I was hired as a writer was at age 18th. Armed with nothing more than hope, I wandered through the main administration building at WIU knocking on doors and asking, "Do you hire student writers?" It paid off. After working all four years, the portfolio I developed enabled me to secure my first job after graduation as a writer for a Chicago advertising agency. Since then I've created materials for four publishers, and written everything from scripts and speeches to magazine articles.

Biographical and Professional Information

After several years in the business world, I earned my Ed.M. and worked for 15 years as a teacher and coordinator of gifted services for Pekin District 108. The need to teach my own students about Illinois history led to my first work in educational publishing. Starting 1995 I created 36 issues of "Illinois Windows" for Gibbs Smith Publishing. This tabloid-sized newspaper helped students in grades 3-5 meet Illinois State Learning Standards in social studies. Through stories, activities and images they learned about our state's political systems, economics, history, geography, culture and society. My first book for Pieces of Learning was "But I Only Have 45-Minutes!" which remains in print 15 years after its initial publication. It was followed in 2003 by "Making Literature Circles Come Alive." This books was developed specifically to empower students to independently explore picture books, novels and non-fiction materials using high-level thinking skills in a variety of game and artistic formats. Descriptions of my other publications can be found at or on my LinkedIn profile. In addition to being an author, I travel the country supporting teachers and administrators grappling with today's toughest educational challenges. In 2000 I was one of the 1st 100 Illinois educators to become a National Board Certified Teacher, credentials held by less than 2% of this country's educators. In 2009 I completed the rigorous renewal process. As if that doesn't keep me busy enough, I serve as Director of Marketing for Heartland Community College in Normal. This role offers daily opportunities to exercise very different writing chops.

Published Works Expand for more information

Titles At Your Library

Strategies for Writers Grade 7 Teacher Edition
ISBN: 0736772758

Zaner-Bloser. 2013

Strategies for Writers Grade 7 Teacher Edition By Rebecca Bowers Pipe, Julie Coiro, Amy Humphreys, Sara B. Kajder, Mark Overmeyer : Product Details: Strategies for Writers Grade 7 Teacher Edition Spiral Bound. ISBN-10: 0736772758 ISBN-13: 9780736772754

Anchor Challenges for the DI Classroom
ISBN: 1934358169

Pieces of Learning. 2009

8 Ready-to-Go Units for 4th 9th Grade

Q:What do I do with the students when they don t all finish activities at the same time? A: Anchor activities.

Anchor activities are meaningful learning tasks that students do independently .

Anchor Challenges for the DI Classroom are 8 Ready-to-go short units that provide learning challenges for your most capable students. These creative and critical thinking tasks look, feel, and are different than daily assignments they are learning opportunities that require students to stretch. These eight challenge units will keep capable students engaged on meaningful independent or small group activities for multiple class periods. NCTE, NCTM, NSES, and NCSS standards are addressed throughout the 8 units.

* Create charts and graphs to represent data * Research and use technology to track expenses, create brochures, and develop presentations * Engage in strategic planning, precise communication, sharp problem solving skills, and the ability to look at common items in new ways * Solve mental math riddles and decipher clues * Gather, evaluate, and synthesize data from a variety of sources * Tackle real-world challenges * Organize and design a schedule * Using creativity, apply essential math skills and accomplish work within a given budget

Making Literature Circles Come Alive: A Time-Saving Resource
ISBN: 1931334226

Pieces of Learning. 2003

Use literature circles to differentiate instruction using Novice, Developing, and Expert levels. To respond thoughtfully to top level questions, students must understand HOW to engage in high level thinking and questions. Making Literature Circles Come Alive lays a solid foundation and provides step-by-step plans and hands-on activities to directly teach students about high level thinking. Includes learning to recognize, develop, and classify high level questions using Bloom's Taxonomy 12 easy-to-use and easy-to-create Visual Tools, Drama Tools, Vocabulary Tools, and Discussion Tools and game providing 70 questions and challenges as examples of high level questions.

But I Only Have 45 Minutes
ISBN: 1880505428

Pieces of Learning. 1998

8 Ready-to-go problem solving units with substance and strong middle school student appeal. Individuals, groups, or whole classes use reproducibles in a classroom setting, pull-out program, or learning center. Even leave the easy to use units with substitute teachers.

Units are ready to use on a moment's notice, are highly engaging and attractive to students, and provide authentic, substantial challenges. Students can complete activities in just one or two class periods.

Enrichment and problem solving activities require no advance preparations by the teacher or student.

Speaking Engagements

Speaking Engagement Availability (Yes)

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