About to finish one

Hi everyone,

Today I just might finish the book with TIM RASINSKI and LYNNE KULICH. I’m working on the 10th and last poem for Grade 5. The ten poems each for Grades 1, 2, 3, and 4 are complete. Tim and Lynne still need to make a final review of the body of work to make sure everything fits their needs, so I won’t be done until they do their evaluations, but at least I’m close to the end.

Our deadline for the manuscript is February 1. If I can finish my work this week, Tim and Lynne will have a month and a half to complete the rest of theirs. Hopefully, that’s enough time so they won’t be rushed. A lot has happened during the eleven+ months that I’ve been working on this book. Barring the unforeseen, we should see the book in print sometime in 2023 at roughly the same time as the book I’ve been working on with Tim and LAURA ROBB makes its debut.

Turning to other matters for a few days

Hi everyone,

I’m in 5th grade now! If I use three unpublished poems from the files, it leaves me only seven poems short of the fifty I need for the whole book. I’m thinking of taking a couple of days off to attend to other matters. LYNNE and TIM are working on 2nd grade so until they get into 3rd and 4th grade, I can afford to focus on other work for a while.

It has been weeks, maybe months, since I last worked on a new story. Maybe I’ll try that. I haven’t had any free time for so long that I hardly know what to do with it! (My thanks to Nathan Papes, Springfield News-Leader, for the picture.)

Pumpkin time

Hi everyone,

Yesterday TIM RASINSKI posted one of his famous quick lessons to support early reading efforts and he used a poem of mine called “Our Poem.” I tried to place it here but it wound up on my Facebook page so you might spot it there. I wrote the poem for a kindergarten teacher in Utah in 2019 and she sent me some darling pictures of her kids acting out the parts of the poem. I think I showed them to you then. The poem begins with a simple activity and each ensuing stanza adds to it. Like this.

Our Pumpkin!

Let’s dig a hole.
Get ready to plant a pumpkin.

Dig a hole
And pick a seed.
We’ll plant a perfect pumpkin.

Dig a hole,
Pick a seed,
And drop it in.
That’s how we plant a pumpkin.

Dig a hole,
Pick a seed,
Drop it in,
And pull a weed.
We must take care of our pumpkin.

(c) 2019 David L. Harrison

I love the pictures. The kids really got into it. I did another activities poems years ago for kids in Pittman Elementary School in Springfield. I ought to look for that again one of these days.

California Reading Conference

Hi everyone,

Tomorrow is opening day for California Reading Association’s 2022 virtual conference. Keynote speaker for the opening session is GEORGIA HEARD. The lineup of other speakers and topics is impressive as well.

I counted twenty videos that are available to those who are registered for the conference, include one by MARY JO FRESCH and LAURA ROBB and one by TIM RASINSKI and me. I look forward to feedback on those. Here are the program descriptions. If you know of someone who plans to attend the conference, I hope you will consider sharing the information.

David Harrison and Tim Raskinski … Why Poetry for Reading Instruction – Let us
Count the Ways! – Poetry for children is one of the least valued texts for teaching reading.
We will make the case that poetry offers such great potential for improving all aspects of
reading. Moreover, we argue that poetry is particularly beneficial for students who struggle
in reading.
Mary Jo Fresch and Laura Robb … Powerful Comprehension Tools: Three Reading
Strategies That Work – Fresch and Robb model and discuss how three strategies (visualizing,
comparing/contrasting, and inferring) engage and motivate K-8 students. The strategies trigger
students’ critical thinking for active and deep comprehension.

Presenting virtually is not anyone’s first choice but thank goodness it has become a viable option. The other conference I have in California this year is in person, next month in Anaheim. That’s for NCTE. I’ve mentioned it before but will get back to it before long. I’m working on my schedule now.

New ads for new books

Hi everyone,

Here’s a new ad that Scholastic is running in ILA’s Literacy Today (October issue). This is for the paired titles that MARY JO FRESCH, TIM RASINSKI, and I worked on together. They came out in February and are off to an excellent start.

This second ad will be used in other spots. I’m eager to see both of these put to use.