Pictures of me at David Harrison Elementary yesterday have already been posted on Facebook by others but I still want to say how much I enjoyed visiting with 4th grade teachers — Roxie McQuarry, Shannon Bossing, and Julie Vaughan — plus all three classes of 4th grade students.
The kids are into a poetry unit and one of my books, A PLACE TO START A FAMILY, is on their reading list this year. They wanted to know the differences in how an author prepares to write poetry, fiction, and nonfiction. They had a lot of excellent questions, always the sign of strong preparation in the classroom, and I enjoyed providing some answers. I’ll go back later to see how they’re doing so that will be another highlight of my year.
I had fun yesterday afternoon visiting the combined classes of 1st grade students at Rountree Elementary School in Springfield. The kids were familiar with three of my books and with teachers’ help had prepared questions to ask me. I got lots of hugs and bright smiles and excellent questions. A lovely way to spend a while and get the new year off to a good start. Sandy attended Rountree, our daughter Robin went there, too, and an aunt and uncle lived a block away, so I have a soft spot for that school.
Next week I’ll be at David Harrison Elementary talking to 4th graders. I sort of have a soft spot for that school too!
Yesterday Sandy and I attended an open house at David Harrison Elementary School (https://www.sps.org/Harrison) where I wallowed in the delight of getting hugged by kids who spotted me in the halls and waved at by busy teachers who were engaged in their visits with parents. I learned that one of my recent books, A PLACE TO START A FAMILY, is in a new 4th grade curriculum book and I was invited to come read from it to the kids. How’s that for a cool coincidence??
This was my first visit to Harrison Elementary this school year and I always look forward to being there. I met one new teacher this time and loved seeing principal Josh Holt and so many familiar faces among the teachers who have been there for a while, a few of them, including 4th grade teacher Roxie McQuarry, since the school opened ten years ago. Another wonderful teacher, Dawn Licata, has taught her 9-year career at Harrison. She and some of her 2nd graders appear in the book I did with Mary Jo Fresch, 7 KEYS TO RESEARCH FOR WRITING SUCCESS.
What could possibly be more fun than visiting with a bunch of 4th grade students about writing poetry? Visiting with a bunch of 4th grade students at David Harrison Elementary School. And that’s what I’ll be doing this afternoon.
Next week when AND THE BULLFROGS SING comes out from Holiday House I’ll pay a visit to the student body at Harrison for a while to hear kids read their own writing and read from the new book, but today I’ll have the three 4th grade classes all to myself in the cafeteria and we’ll talk about poetry. How sweet is that?