Friday, October 19, 2012

Author Sharon Creech

Jennifer Reed is an enthusiastic and hardworking teacher-librarian, reader, and blogger. She loves using technology to capture the magic that happens "when reader and story connect." She connects her students with authors in person and on Skype. On September 21, 2012, Newbery Medalist Sharon Creech visited with Jennifer's well-prepared students. 

Jennifer dropped by Watch. Connect. Read. to discuss Sharon's epic visit. I wrote the words in red, and she wrote the words in black. Thank you, Jennifer!



*My students prepared for Sharon Creech’s author visit by reading her books independently. I purchased additional copies of the books (to supplement my library copies) and had the classroom teachers create a Sharon Creech book basket with the classroom copies, if they didn’t already exist.

*hearing a Sharon Creech book read aloud in their classrooms.  Each classroom teacher chose the book he or she wanted to read. Sharon Creech’s visit occurred on Day 13 of our school year. This all had to happen very quickly. The teachers were happy to put  aside their traditional first read aloud books, but it did require some rethinking on their part.

*visiting her Webpage and talking about her books when with me in the library. They loved seeing her new Webpage when it was hot off the press!

*reading the first part of Love That Dog with me and then watching the first part of the reader’s theatre performance on Teachingbooks.net. Hearing the students audible intake of breath when Walter Dean Myers begins to read Love That Boy and seeing the students enjoy the exchange between Sharon Creech and Walter Dean Myers as she reads the next entry never ceases to amaze me and was a highlight of this experiences.



*The Great Unexpected is wonderful. This story of friendship and family has gentle reminders about the importance of forgiveness and how the perceptions we carry can shift our outlook.

*engaging. Magical things are happening in the small town of Blackbird Tree, where Irish Folklore, family stories and a diverse cast of characters come together to demonstrate the interconnected nature of life.

*amazing. It has captured readers from both genders across multiple grades.



*My students are still talking about the writing strategies Sharon shared with them, such as: take a pause if you need, pay attention to life around you, and keep a list of character names.  

*the skits.  The students loved coming up and reading with Sharon and loved seeing their classmates.

*how friendly and funny she was.  The students were completely taken with Sharon.


*Sharon Creech is in a word.....*Amazing.  She is talented, interesting, genuine, lovely, awesome.  She is inspiring.


*I connect my students with authors because I think it enhances my students’ reading and writing experiences.  Bringing an author into the conversation through email, Skype or face-to-face visits inspires my students.  They read more and write more.  The assessments show that my students are more engaged in the reading experience and become better writers for the connection.   


*Reading is a doorway to enchantment, or so someone else said, but what I firmly believe.  I have always loved reading because it opened doors to ideas, places, times, and people.  I loved walking into my local library and hearing these words, “Jennifer, here’s a book I think you will love.”  These words, spoken by Judy Watkins, were almost always true.  I read voraciously and I read everything.   

*magical.  My mantra this year is that I have the best job because I get to hang out at the corner of reader and story.  This is a magical place.  Just today, a student that has struggled with reading came up to me and said, “do you know what my favorite part of this book is?”  She had become a reader.  Cool stuff.

*power.  We need to make sure all the information that resides in literature is accessible to everyone.  We need to promote a culture of reading and grow  a society of readers.



Mr. Schu, you should have asked me about the types of questions my students asked.  I always love the spectrum of questions, from the completely tangible “What is your favorite color” and “Do you have a pet?” to the strategic, “What do you do when you get stuck in the middle of a story?” and “How do come up with the titles of your books?”

Thanks for inviting me to join you! (No, thank you!)

Borrow Sharon's award-winning books from your school or public library. Whenever possible, please support independent bookshops

2 comments:

  1. What you both, Mr Schu and Ms. Reed, do as teacher-librarians is nothing short of remarkable. No, that is not a great enough word. Awesome is better. Brilliant. For me to meet you both and see you in action and be welcomed into your libraries - wow! - I wish every child could be in your schools or could have such dedicated, enthusiastic, talented teacher-librarians. I wish that those who cut libraries and librarian positions would be required to first spend a day in your schools. It was a privilege for me to be in both of them. Thank you, thank you, thank you. Your fan, Sharon Creech

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  2. Awwww....the feeling is mutual! It's the recipe that makes the experience so special: one part amazing author, two parts terrific teachers and three parts splendid students.

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