Friday, May 17, 2013

Author Erin Dealey

Erin Dealey is a teacher, a presenter, and an author who loves to play with words. I do not recall a time when she was not a member of my personal learning network. I'm pretty sure she was one of the first authors I followed. 

Erin dropped by Watch. Connect. Read. to finish my sentences. I wrote the words in red, and she wrote the words in black. Thank you, Erin! 

Little Bo Peep Can’t Get to Sleep and Goldie Locks Has Chicken Pox changed my life. I'm thankful every day that once upon a slush pile, editor Caitlyn Dlouhy, now VP and Editorial Director at Atheneum/Simon & Schuster,  noticed Goldie. These books have introduced me to readers (and writers) all over the world, at school visits as far south as Brazil and as far north as Tok, Alaska. 

The Writer’s Rap isn't my first rap. When I was teaching high school, I wrote "The Christmas Wrap Rap" for my theater students to perform at a winter assembly. On a whim, I submitted it to Plays Magazine and it became my first official publication.  A few years ago, a group of 5th-6th graders helped me demo it at a school visit and one boy challenged me to write another rap. The result: The Writer's Rap, currently the grand finale of my upper grades assembly about hooking the reader--wherein I channel Mr. Schu and book-talk many shared favorites. And thanks to a suggestion from the fabulous aforementioned librarian, The Writer's Rap is available on TeacherTube & Youtube, so classes can have a mini author visit any time they want. : ) 

I think creative drama and theater can be the bridge to literacy. Theater is often overlooked in the classroom--or used only as a celebration of a unit--if and when teachers have time--(Time? Who has time?) The cool thing is theater doesn't have to be a huge production. Even the simplest theater games can help build fluency for all types of learners. (For example, try Dr. Know-It-All the next time you need a class to review any topic. 

School visits combine my theater and teaching backgrounds with my love of words, in a packed multi-purpose room brimming with smiles.  What a win-win-win!   

Words have always been fun for me--puns, jokes, notes to friends, song lyrics-- but I never thought I'd grow up to write children's books. Neither did my teachers! 
Picture books are theater. My upcoming book, DECK THE WALLS /Sleeping Bear Press/ Sept. 2013, also began as a skit for my high school students to perform. (I'm sensing a theme here!)  Picture books need to be auditorily pleasing, hook the audience so they don't leave at intermission, and (hopefully) sustain multiple readings/performances: "Again, again!" 

Reading is power. I repeat: Reading is POWER.

Mr. Schu, you should have asked me about...skyping with Brook Forest. : ) No really-- #TaTues , Thank a Teacher (or Librarian) Tuesday, a project I started several years ago. Who inspired you? Who nurtured your dreams and interests--or gave you the skills to pursue them yourself? Each Tuesday in May (and November) send a message--via Twitter, FB, snail mail, email, telephone, carrier pigeon, owl-- to a teacher or librarian who has made a difference in YOUR life.  

And since we're on the subject, THANK YOU MR. SCHU for all you do for kids and book lovers everywhere!  You definitely make a difference in our world.  

(Thank you! :) ) 

I am giving away a copy of Little Bo Peep Can't Get to Sleep and a copy of Goldie Locks Has Chicken Pox. 

Rules for the Giveaway

1. It will run from 5/17 to 11:59 P.M. on 5/19

2. You must be at least 13. 

3. Please pay it forward. 

1 comment:

  1. Thank you John! This was great fun. I am such a NerdyFan of yours!