I had a fine time last week at two elementary schools. The first was at Crest Ridge in Centerview, Missouri where I spoke to the student body seated on the bleachers in the gym: kindergartners at far left, 6th graders at far right. I got plenty of exercise hurrying back and forth keeping everyone interested and involved. My thanks to Angela Danley, Associate Professor, School of Teaching and Learning, University of Central Missouri, for writing the grant that got me there and speech teacher Donna Palmer for facilitating my family night appearance last December as well as this visit. It’s a good school with a wonderful culture. Kudos to the principal, teachers, and staff for all they do.
The second school was Leawood Elementary in Blue Valley, Kansas. My thanks to librarian Kathy Smith for writing that grant. In separate groups I spoke with 3rd, 4th, and 5th graders. The students are involved in a writing workshop called PBL (Project Based Learning) to learn how to write narrative stories that include a personal memory. I used some of the content from the book I’m now writing with Mary Jo Fresch so that was a timely coincidence. I even recruited 3rd grade teacher Sarah Ward to participate in our project by field testing some of our lesson with her kids and sharing the results.
Other school visits are coming up, scattered throughout the year far enough apart that I can enjoy being with kids but maintain a reasonable work schedule. For me that’s the best way. I applaud my friends who routinely visit dozens or schools each year. We’re all wound a little differently and I’m more of a home body.