Author Visit Ideas please

Discussion in 'Elementary Education Archives' started by ReallyRachel, Jan 21, 2005.

  1. ReallyRachel

    ReallyRachel Rookie

    Joined:
    Jan 21, 2005
    Messages:
    5
    Likes Received:
    0

    Jan 21, 2005

    Hello,

    I have written several nonfiction children's books (the kind a 4th grader might use as a resource for a report). I would like to start doing Author Visits focusing on the process of writing nonfiction. What I would like to know is what kind of a talk/workshop would be especially helpful for you? What skills do you really need your kids to learn? I am a certified teacher, so I can put almost anything together - but what I really want to do is create something that is fun for the kids but also a really valuable resource. Any input would be greatly appreciated.

    Also, the first few I do will be free so if you are interested and live in Seattle or Portland, let me know!
     
  2.  
  3. Maxine

    Maxine Companion

    Joined:
    Aug 2, 2002
    Messages:
    168
    Likes Received:
    0

    Jan 22, 2005

    Dear ReallyRachel,
    I teach 4th grade in Massachusetts. My students begin learning research skills in my class. Often, when I send them off on explorations into the Encyclopedias or off on approved web sites, they are overwhelmed by the amount of words, type, and information. The shear volume of what they have to read is daunting. What I try to do is teach them to skim the pages for bold subheadings and then for key words that will tell them what area of the subject is being covered in the section or paragraph. Because we teach them to read one word at a time and then move them along to reading ahead and recognizing whole sight words to aid reading speed, they think they have to absorb or pronounce each word in their heads as they do with passages for which they will be asked comprehension questions. But, in researching non-fiction topics, they need to sort through the information, write down the important or relevant ideas, then organize those notes into a report. This is a complicated analytical skill. Some parents can take the time to help them learn how to skim. But, most just flounder along. With a class of 26, I am hampered in giving individual instruction and having them see the material I am skimming while listening to my thinking process to determine what is relevant. On the overhead projector, I get some results, if they all concentrate or even pay close attention. Perhaps some dynamic overheads and detailed instructions on what to tell them and in what order. I would appreciate the wording because it's often difficult to articulate what you already know so well. Break it down into steps on overheads. Give us projections of web pages so we can use what they actually see to direct their reading. Thanks for the concern. I wouldn't mind a list of your works... maxine
     
  4. ReallyRachel

    ReallyRachel Rookie

    Joined:
    Jan 21, 2005
    Messages:
    5
    Likes Received:
    0

    Jan 25, 2005

  5. ViolaSwamp

    ViolaSwamp Habitué

    Joined:
    Oct 26, 2004
    Messages:
    789
    Likes Received:
    0

    Jan 26, 2005

    It sounds like you've got a winning idea. I've worked in Spokane and South of Seattle. We had creative writing workshops, but I think that this is really where teachers need/want help! Since you are in WA and mentioned 4th grade, have you looked at the requirements for the WASL writing sections (for you non-Washingtonians that is the Washington Assessment of Student Learning)? I know it's not exactly the kind of writing you are looking at, but it may be a start. The EALRs (WA's Essential Academic Learning Requirements) and benchmarks/frameworks for each grade will be great for your workshops in WA, and you may find that they are pretty near to universal standards in many other states (I'd research a few likely targets). The WA OSPI (Office of Super. of Public Instruction) http://www.k12.wa.us/ has a wealth of stuff. This is one link I found to a section on writing including EALRs and frameworks. http://www.k12.wa.us/CurriculumInstruct/Writing/default.aspx

    Good luck! This is an area that teachers badly need help. I hope this project takes off!
     
  6. LABooks

    LABooks Rookie

    Joined:
    Dec 11, 2002
    Messages:
    92
    Likes Received:
    0

    Jan 27, 2005

    Hi Rachel,

    I looked at your books at Amazon. They are very interesting and I'm sure you will develop helpful presentations. Do you have a website?

    I'm an author and retired school psychologist / school counselor who wants to start doing school visits.

    I've written several books for 1-3 regular education some of which have been used in special education in upper grades. Some are about developing learning strategies and memory skills; some are about learning sight words; and one is a fictional story in poetic prose which is also available in Spanish.

    My first thoughts about school presentations were for me to present some learning strategies for the children. Several free lesson plans to improve memory are on my site.

    I've been advised to just focus on helping children enjoy reading and writing. I can do that easily in that I always work some humor into my stories.

    I hope visitors to this board will visit the school presentations' page on my site to see details and to offer suggestions.

    My books are available at many online stores as well as on my site with PayPal, purchase order, check, Amazon, and B&N. Excerpts are there also.

    One of my illustrators is also interested in visiting with me if the school requests it.

    Thanks,
    Betsy
     
    Last edited: Feb 4, 2007
  7. Upsadaisy

    Upsadaisy Moderator

    Joined:
    Aug 2, 2002
    Messages:
    18,938
    Likes Received:
    682

    Jan 27, 2005

    So true, Maxine, and also judging what is important info and what is minor. This is very tough for my kids.
     
  8. Maxine

    Maxine Companion

    Joined:
    Aug 2, 2002
    Messages:
    168
    Likes Received:
    0

    Jan 28, 2005

    Upsadaisy,
    How do you model, explain, or otherwise teach your 5th graders to take notes for a short report from an encyclopedia, magazine or web page? I know your methods and suggestions are the result of loving teaching, experience and thoughtful managment. thanks in advance. maxine
     

Share This Page

Members Online Now

  1. SharedAccountWith3,
  2. Missy,
  3. miss-m
Total: 219 (members: 3, guests: 201, robots: 15)
test