Skip to main content

Children's Literature Festival Trip






Mrs. Foust, myself, and 14 fifth graders traveled to Warrensburg, Missouri to attend the University of Central Missouri Children's Literature Festival. Each year we take our fifth grade readers who have made it into the MT Challenge Cycle. A big thank you goes out to our fifth grade teachers for supporting the MT program and our PTA for supporting the trip financially!
We saw four great authors and learned something about writing from each one.

Roland Smith shared his usual fabulous presentation focusing on the fact that anyone can be a writer...you have to be passionate about your topic and you have to up for a lot of revisions. He also talked about his new series, IQ. Many of the kids have read the first book in this series (Independence Hall) and were thrilled to hear the second book should be out next spring. To learn more about Roland Smith and the books he writes, visit his website at http://www.rolandsmith.com/

Lea Wait was the next author we visited. She talked briefly about her books (Worth and The Finest Kind)and then went right into questions from the kids. It was a bit difficult to keep the kids' attention with this format. To read more about Ms. Wait please visit her website at http://www.leawait.com/

Gloria Skurzynski blew the kids and adults away. She had a very informative PowerPoint on the Mysteries in our National Park series she writes with her daughter. She noted that in each book, an issue involving an animal from each park is highlighted. You could tell she was passionate about animals and doing all she could to protect them. She also shared a new non fiction book she has written about the space program. Read more about her at http://gloriabooks.com/. Some older readers may like the Virtual War Chronicles series she is writing.

Elisa Carbone was our last author of the day. She read from one of her books, had actual artifacts from her research locations that she let the kids pass around, and shared what she has learned about history from her research. The kids found it interesting that while researching Ms. Carbone reenacted what the characters may have been doing during the time period they lived. She really engaged the kids and encouraged them to become writers. Learn more at http://www.elisacarbone.com/

What our kids learned:
  • It takes longer to research a book than it takes to write a book.
  • Writing is revision!
  • You should write about what is important to you.
  • Go to the library to research.
  • Use a story board to "map" out your book.
  • Authors will not tell you their favorite book that they have written:)
  • Write a sloppy copy first.

Comments

Popular posts from this blog

Kindergarten Builders and Problem-Solvers

Mission:  Using the supplies provided, build a contraption to help the Little Red Hen carry flour. Supplies:  TinkerToys, Yarn, Bucket, 5 lb Bag of Flour Focus:  Creativity, Collaboration, Critical Thinking, Communication, and Fun



The Power of A Book

I recently finished the book, Appleblossom The Possum by Holly Goldberg Sloan (the author of Counting by 7's)  Let me start by saying I will read anything that H. G. Sloan writes.  What an amazing author!  Appleblossom is the sweetest little possum you ever did read about and she totally changed my feelings about possums.  They just don't seem quite so nasty anymore:).  Just look at that cute little possum waving to you on the cover below.  She was drawn by Holly Goldberg Sloan's husband, Gary A. Rosen.

I started reading this book on Monday and found myself headed back to school tonight (Wednesday) after dinner so I could find out what happened to sweet little Appleblossom in the "monster's house."  I have always thought that I didn't enjoy fictional animal books.  I may be the only person in the world who doesn't like Charlotte's Web.  I am beginning to wonder if it is because of the sadness I felt as a little girl when I read about Charlotte…

Fourth Grade Makers: Catapults

For the past couple of years, my 4th graders have started the year with a catapult inquiry project. Each time we work through this unit, I learn something new to improve my students learning.  This year we focused more on planning our ideas and building prototypes (they really just want to go in the MakerSpace and begin making) but we really talked about the benefit of planning.  Using the Launch Cycle Design Model, we are working through the steps to help us build a successful catapult.
We looked at the plans for our newest school addition to reinforce why the planning process is so important and the details that are required for a successful project.



The planning and design process was taken very seriously!

Working in the MakerSpace during the planning process to see what materials are available for their builds.  

A prototype and the plan!

This year I am being a stickler about requiring the kids to build from their plan and not veer off course.  Some tweaks may be necessary but they nee…