It’s happening in Missouri

Hi everyone,

Sometime today the Fall 2015 issue of The Missouri Reader, Vol. 39, Issue 2 comes out, just in time for the Missouri Early Learning Conference. My thanks to the editors — Julie Bryant and Jennifer Fox from Southwest Baptist University in Bolivar –for including me as their featured author. I’m told that this should be available later in the day.
David from 417 Magazine
The organizers of this year’s conference at Tan-Tar-A are pleased that nearly 700 people have registered, an all-time high. Today Marc Brown gives the luncheon talk and I do the reception at 4:00. In the morning Tim Rasinski gives the keynote and I do the luncheon plus morning and afternoon presentations. I look forward to seeing friends and meeting new people.

One down . . . more or less

Hi everyone,

I spent much of this week working on the first talk for the conference next month. I decided to start with the 75-minute presentation for teachers of PreK-1 students. How many pages does it take to speak for one hour and fifteen minutes? I looked through various speeches on hand but didn’t see anything that long in my files.
David as bookends IMAG2753
No problem. I’m a pro. Been there done that. Been giving talks about one thing or another most of my life. I love an audience. I gathered my thoughts, made an outline, and began. The script grew as I developed my thesis, introduced cogent points, and seasoned with just the right touch of humor at strategic places. Feeling good. Doing it! I hadn’t worked up the slides for the power point yet but the main draft of the talk was finished and ready to read aloud to test for leaks. It looked good, felt right, and should weigh in very close to my time limit.

Wednesday afternoon the big moment came. Time to take my talk to the living room, sit in my favorite chair, turn on my stopwatch, and read to an enthusiastic audience of lamps and sofas. “Ladies and gentlemen! Thank you. Thank you. Oh please. Sit down. You’re embarrassing me!”

I read. Smiled. Chuckled appreciatively at the expected reactions. Finished with a flourish, and checked my stopwatch. I figured 70 – 80 minutes.

It said 47 minutes.

Yesterday was all about improving my talk by 28 more minutes. In the process I made 32 slides and chose my handouts. The time has come this morning to try it aloud again. Please hold your applause until I get back. This time it’s going to peg 75 minutes. I know it. I feel it! Heck yeah!

All I have to do is write three talks

Hi everyone,

I’m working on two presentations and a luncheon talk for next month at Tan-Tar-A during the Missouri Early Learning Conference. One presentation is for teachers of PreK-1 kids and the other is for grades 2-3. Each is slated for one hour and fifteen minutes. I’d hate to try holding a 4-year-old’s attention for seventy-five minutes but hopefully I can do better with the teachers. Here are the requested program descriptions that I supplied sometime back. Now all I need to do is write the talks!

Breakout Session #1 Title (PreK-1) 9:30-10:45
Getting Them Ready

Writers don’t become writers until they’re ready. We’ll talk about five important conditions that prepare young people to become writers. There are reasons why poetry makes a good teaching tool for pre- and emerging readers. Poems rely on the cadence, sounds, and rhythms of language, just as children do as they become more aware of and in control of the words they see on paper. Most poems are brief, the lines are short, and they’re humorous. I will demonstrate how you can start with the basic sounds of the English language – long vowels, short vowels, rimes, consonants, consonant blends, and digraphs – and create playful poems with your kids that will reinforce what they are learning and make it more fun. Focus is on PreK-1.

David at David Harrison Day

Author Luncheon Title:
I Practice Writing

My doctor practices medicine. My lawyer practices law. I practice writing. I’ve been practicing for 56 years. Some days I think I’ve learned something from all that practice. Other days I’m not so sure. Let me tell you, so you can tell your students, what it’s like to be a writer, to get up each day and face a blank sheet of paper and not give up. Every story has a story about what set me off on the long journey that turns an idea into a book. I promise you plenty to share with your kids. Please join me. I practice giving talks too.

Breakout Session #2 Title: (Grades 2-3) 2:30-3:45
The More They Write, the More They Write

When writing seems fun, fun writing happens. During this interactive session we identify seven methods that capture young writers’ interest. Speaking from experience, the author demonstrates how each strategy works as he leads attendees through easy exercises they can take straight to the classroom. Good research makes good writing so emphasis is placed on how to get ready to write. Attendees will have time to brainstorm and share successful ideas from their own classrooms. Be prepared to release your inner poet, share read-aloud partner poems, and leave with handouts that summarize the session. Focus is on grades 2-3.

A Monster is Coming!

Hi everyone,

I was just on YouTube looking for my Halloween video and found this. It’s two darling little girls presenting one of my books, A MONSTER IS COMING. Here’s the link:
A Monster is Coming
This came along at a perfect time as I pull my thoughts together for the author’s luncheon talk next month at Tan-Tar-A. The Missouri Early Learning Conference will focus on PreK-2 and these girls fit beautifully into the target group.

Just wanted to share the fun.


2015 Missouri Early Learning Conference

ANNOUNCEMENT: I’ve learned that the Drury University Alumni Convocation, 11:00 a.m., Thursday, October 8, 2015 in Stone Chapel, is open to the public. I’ve been given twenty minutes for my talk and I promise not to abuse the time. If you are in the area and would like to attend, I look forward to seeing you there.

Hi everyone,

I’ve mentioned this before but wanted to share this bulletin that I received yesterday from the conference. Hope some of you can be there.

2015 Missouri Early Learning Conference
Meet Our Author’s Luncheon Speakers!

If you’ve been reading our e-mails about the upcoming Missouri Early Learning Conference, you already know about some of the great speakers and sessions we have in store for you. But we have even more to offer!

You see, at the Missouri Early Learning Conference, we don’t believe in wasting time. Instead of simply telling everyone at lunch time that we will see them after lunch when sessions resume, we offer a fantastic “lunch & speaker combo” with our Author’s Luncheons, sponsored by the Missouri State Council of IRA.

This year, our author/speakers will be beloved children’s author Marc Brown and prolific Missouri children’s author David Harrison.
Marc Brown
Marc Brown is best known as the author and illustrator of the “Arthur” books. Marc has been working with the beloved aardvark for over 25 years. Born one night when Marc was telling a bedtime story to his son, “Arthur” soon evolved into the book Arthur’s Nose, published in 1976. Since then, Marc has written and illustrated more than 30 “Arthur” books, the latest of which is Arthur Locked in the Library!, and has illustrated many other books, including one with his wife, author, illustrator, and psychologist Laurie Krasny Brown. Marc will be our Thursday Author’s Luncheon speaker.
David from 417 Magazine
David Harrison, author and Poet Laureate of Drury University in Springfield, Missouri has published 90 books and received numerous awards for poetry, fiction, and nonfiction. His work has been anthologized in more than 185 books, translated into twelve languages, sandblasted into a library sidewalk in Arizona, painted on a bookmobile in Colorado, and presented on television, radio, podcast, and video stream. His poetry collection, Pirates, represented Missouri at the 2013 National Book Fair in Washington, D.C. He is currently at work on five professional books, four fiction picture books, one nonfiction picture book, one chap book, and five books of poetry. David will be our Friday Author’s Luncheon speaker.

We hope that, instead of going out to lunch during the conference, you decide to spend some time listening to these great authors. If you have not yet registered, go to the Registration Page on the conference website, and be sure to select the Author’s Luncheon option when you register.

See you at the conference!
Willy Wood
Missouri Early Learning Conference Coordinator

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