Now that Mary Jo Fresch and I are fully engaged in writing our new book, it’s time to identify some teachers who would like to participate by trying some specific activities with their students based on the book and sharing the results with us for potential publication. This time we’re writing about vocabulary development for students in grades 3-5.
Here’s how Mary Jo expressed it in a note to some of her teacher friends. “Hi! Thanks for considering helping out….we need field testing of the lessons and student samples. Any student samples you can provide (along with parental approval) could be included in the book. You and your students will be acknowledged in the book. We are thinking we will have something by end of March to send to you… If there are any other teachers in your building (or district) that you think would be interested, just let me know. You can invite them…copy me…or I can email them – whatever you think is best.”
I know already that Ken Slesarik in Arizona and Susan Hutchens in Colorado are on board. Please help me add to the list by letting me know of your interest and/or telling other teachers about the opportunity.
There is more to this issue of Missouri Reader but a large section of it is dedicated to poetry. My thanks again to Sam Bommarito and Glenda Nugent for all their work to create this special issue of the Missouri IRA journal.
To see the entire issue, click on this link. https://joom.ag/o1ta To turn pages, hit the arrows at either margin. To increase font size, roll the top of your mouse forward or backward. To move around the page, move your mouse where you want to be. In the poetry section you’ll find beautiful articles by Mary Jo Fresch, Tim Rasinski, Eric Litwin, Melissa Cheesman Smith, William Kerns, Betty Porter Walls, and Molly Ness. My article also highlights our friend Susan Hutchens, April Halpin Wayland, and Missouri poets Constance Levy and Peggy Archer. Together it’s a joyful tour of how poetry enriches the learning experience of students and it provides numerous ways for teachers to make it all happen.
I hope you will give this issue a read and share it with as many people as you can. It is highly unusual to dedicate so much of an entire journal to the subject of poetry. Sam and Glenda have done their part so now I’d like to see the link shared as widely as possible. I haven’t asked if the editors would allow articles from this issue to be reprinted in other reading journal across the country, but I feel confident they would be happy to discuss that possibility as well as other ways of getting out the word!
Mary Jo Fresch and I have just reached agreement with our publisher on the contract for a new education book to help students increase their vocabulary and understanding of our language. The picture, by the way, was taken of us in a sound booth in California the year Shell published our five-book series, LEARNING THROUGH POETRY.
The new book is to run 150-250 pages and will have lots of room for student samples provided by teachers who would like to be part of the project. We appreciate Ken Slesarik’s quick note to volunteer with his students and we will now be looking for others who would like to help. As we reach a point where we can issue clear messages about what activities we’ll need we will communicate directly with participating teachers to provide the details, but it isn’t too early to get your name on our list.
As for my role, I’ll write all the poems in the book, which will run into many dozens. As I think of it, Poet Heaven. Off we go. Yay!
Another step today toward a new book for teachers co-authored with Mary Jo Fresch. We received a form to complete and return to our editor, which will lead to an official contract being issued in the coming days.
This is another project that will call for student writing samples so after the first of the year we’ll be looking for teachers who would like to participate.
We’ve tentatively agreed to complete our work by next summer. The length is to be in the 150 page range.
After a wait of several months, Mary Jo Fresch and I have received a response to a proposal we made for a book for classroom teachers. The answer is yes and a contract is under way. Mary Jo and I reviewed the comments and suggestions that came with the notice of acceptance and now we’re eager to get started writing the rest of the book.
We haven’t set a schedule yet but I’d say we’ll shoot for late spring or early summer. We’ll be working with teachers and students so we need to finish those elements of the book before the end of the spring semester in 2019.
It feels good to become involved in a new project with Mary Jo! This will make our seventh book together. Of course this isn’t a done deal until we work out details of the contract and tie up other loose ends, but I have high hopes we’ll get those done before long. We also have a proposal at another publisher so we keep expecting word on that one any day.