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Authors in the Schools?


Authors in the Schools?

I'm curious, from an author's standpoint, what teachers and librarians hope for when an author comes to visit the classroom. Do you wish mostly for inspiration? Entertainment? Academic info?

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Latest Activity: Jun 5, 2012

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Comment by Josie Whitehead on October 24, 2011 at 3:48am
Margriet - Yes, it is great how skype can carry an author into classrooms across the world and I think the Chinese children would have been delighted to have met you.  When I was a child it would have been something from science fiction to even imagine such a thing, and yet today from my computer I'm off to Delaware and tomorrow to Costa Rica and children have learnt the words which I wrote at my computer and want to show me their performance.  My main problem is working out the time difference so that I'm not an hour late - - but that hasn't happened yet.  It is one thing reading a book, and another thing learning and performing a poem, but to also be able to show the writer what you can do is fantastic, particularly when you are demonstrating it in a language which is not your first.
Comment by Josie Whitehead on October 23, 2011 at 9:37am

I'm regularly asked to do skype visits and travel the world from my computer.  I write poetry for children of all ages and started by writing a poem a week for children in my local school.  Being a retired teacher, I know that poetry written with rhyme and rhythm helps develop phonemic awareness, a key literacy tool and so my poems are used in classrooms worldwide.  I have made a huge website where there are a great many poems available to teachers and children and the poems go into thousands of classrooms.  Written in this way the poems are excellent as performance poems and children who have learnt a poem and prepared it for performance, love me to go into their schools to see what they have done.  Usually it is the teachers who ask me how to write a poem, but I have to tell them that, as with being able to play the piano, to dance or whatever else, they need to know a bit about writing poetry themselves first of all.  On my website I explain very clearly what metre is, about the different rhythms you can create and help children step by step with writing poems.  So they are keen to show me what they have written also.  I have to tell you that the things which children say are quite often funny and keep me laughing for a long time after the visits, but I think my poems often make them laugh too, so it is a two way thing.  Hope this helps and if you'd like to see my website, Google JOSIE'S POEMS.  Come and say hello in my guestbook.

Comment by Maria Luisa Retana on March 19, 2010 at 9:07pm
I have been doing school visits since 1999 and everytime is a different experience. I just, along with one of my illustrators, Pat Pollock Rhoads, came back from Ca. after a week of school visits. We happily presented 17 workshops to at least 800 students and their teachers. Our participants range anywhere from 3 years old to our big six graders. It was a wonderful experience.
Comment by JAday Kennedy on October 19, 2009 at 3:56pm
My book will be out this winter. School visits give us the opportunity to meet who we write for. I can't wait and would love to learn what does & doesn't work.
J. Aday Kennedy
The Differently-Abled Children's Author
Coming this winter Klutzy Kantor
Comment by Barb Odanaka on July 11, 2009 at 11:30am
Hi all!

Thanks so much for your generous comments!

I have been traveling a LOT doing school visits as well as bookstore signings of my latest book, A Crazy Day At The Critter Cafe (Simon & Schuster/Margaret K. McElderry Books). The new book stars a skateboarding COW and I have been doing appearances in a cow costume. Pretty tricky to do skate tricks with a big nose covering your face!
Comment by L Samuels on May 3, 2009 at 6:05pm
I was very fortunate to work in an elementary school that had an author visit each year. The most powerful impact was in making the personal connection. The author's highlighted all the themes over the years~ writing process, style, collaboration with illustrators, creativity, personal experiences and entertainment. Generally, the authors that spent time reading their book aloud (with one dynamic duo exception) did not work as well because we prepped our students before the big day. The authors my students talk about many years later are also the ones who took time to express interest in student work. Schools may want a more tailored program if this is not something that is an annual event.
Comment by Nancy Meglio on March 30, 2009 at 7:59pm
Last year we had an author visit our school. She spend the entire day with our students - there were about four sessions for each of the grades. The author spoke about how she came to be a writer (she was formerly a school librarian), what she enjoys about writing, some of her rejections and books that are in the works. She also spent time with the sixth grade class giving them ideas/tips on how to write well.
Comment by Carole A. on March 29, 2009 at 3:22pm
The author's visits that my students and I have loved have involved things such as: how particular books by an author came to be, how an author stays motivated, stories about the rejection and re-write processes (shows the kids that even professionals face people with red ink pens), and how the simplest of ideas or inspirations can be turned into a story.

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