What a great experience I had during my recent trip to the east coast. I returned to the school district where I began teaching and did an Author Experience with each of the fourth grade classes at the Thomas Conley School. Thomas Conley was once principal of the elementary school and was the man who hired me in 1974. He was a great guy to work with, and I had a lot of respect for him as an educator and a person.
The fourth graders I met with were curious and enthusiastic, the best kind of students (and writers). Happy writing!
We all know the best type of professional development is ongoing, but how many school districts actually offer that to its teachers? Not many! There are just too many reasons (excuses) not to. That’s why I feel honored to be working with the staff of the Pleasant Hill (OR) school district, which has decided writing instruction needs to be a higher priority, and is willing to put time, energy, and resources into it.
Already, the staff has created a writing Vision Statement to guide them and has agreed to use Six Traits as a common language from K-12. This will provide teachers and students a way to communicate about writing and to build upon strengths. Teachers are introducing the traits to students and engaging them in activities to provide a solid foundation. One grade level is preparing to launch Writers’ Workshop, a great way to differentiate learning and create a community of writers.
With this wonderful start, the strides that can be made this school year seem endless!
Man, were these kids ready! They had read the book and knew why everyone should know about A.C. Gilbert. Not only was he America’s most famous toymaker, he was a professional magician, Olympic champion, and the “Man who saved Christmas.” What a guy! And what a class!! I hope they all find their own magic.
A fun time working with Ms. Hicks’ fourth graders at Bohemia Elementary School in Cottage Grove, Oregon. They are A.C. Gilbert experts!
Another fun visit to Guy Lee Elementary School in Springfield, Oregon. Man, I like this place, and the kids, too!
We talked about the fabtastic A.C. Gilbert, inventor, toymaker, magician, Olympic champion…I could go on. As you know, I love questions, so here’s one for you G.L. fourth graders: What do you think the most important thing people should know about Mr. Gilbert? And, why do you think that? What’s your reason?
Also, if you have any questions about Mr. Gilbert, fire away. Click on the Comment box and write your questions there. I’ll do my best to answer them.
A.C. and Me
Visited my 4th grade friends in Mrs. Skoog’s class at Guy Lee Elementary today. We talked about writing and questions. Hey, I have one for you: Who was Guy Lee, and why was your school named after him? I want to know!
To see a photo of this cool class, follow the link below:
Taylor Worley, Youth Services Librarian at the Springfield (OR) Public Library recently reviewed Game Day with the Oregon Ducks. Here’s what she had to say about the book:
“Game Day with the Oregon Ducks” is a University of Oregon fan’s dream: a sneak peek into the lives of the players, coaches, staff, and volunteers that make Autzen Stadium come to life on game day. Author Robert Young presents the story from dawn to dusk, beginning with the clearing of Oregon’s morning fog and ending with the last recycling and locking of the gates. Photographer Jack Liu provides exceptional photographs from both well-known parts of the stadium and those secret rooms the public usually doesn’t see. A clean layout, balanced composition, and friendly narrative make this a good choice for children of many ages; even a precocious preschooler may sit to learn about why The Duck does push-ups so often! Fun bonus facts and trivia pepper the pages and compliment the extensive photography. While the appeal of such a title will be likely be limited to Duck’s fans, it is well worthy of their attention. “Game Day” provides an answer for a much-needed resource in local schools and libraries about this favorite team, while more seasoned fans will appreciate the nostalgia during off-season. Die-hard fans and budding enthusiasts will love this fun, informative, and endearing look into game day at Autzen Stadium. Go Ducks!
Okay, what’s more interesting: art made from chewing gum or a classic building toy?
That’s what these fourth graders were considering (and giving up their recesses!).
Fun times in Mr. Grassman’s class. Enjoy your Explorations!
Looking forward to meeting you. I’m especially excited to hear what questions you are going to be exploring. Questions are some of my very favorite things. They are the basis for both reading and writing. If you’d care to share your questions with me, feel free to add them as Comments to this post. I’m headed to San Diego this week, but will be back in time for our visit. See you soon!
Question: What do you think these signs are about? You’ll find out!!
Yahoo, I’m headed back to one of my favorite schools, Pleasant Hill Elementary, to work with third and fourth grade classes! With third graders, we’ll be exploring how writers work and how to help each other become better writers. I’d be interested in knowing from third graders what you like most about writing and what you like least. Also, what questions do you have for me? Feel free to add them as Comments to this post.
Make sure to read the info on the For Kids section of my website. This may answer some of your questions.