19 Mar 2015

Visiting Authors: Week Two is ELECTRIC!

Electricity is in the air -- excitement all around the school! You can't miss it. It is in the hallway as our students offer eager high-fives with John Coy. It is in the library where students stop by to give Linda Sue Park big hugs. It is in the gym where students are playing original rules basketball with John Coy. It is in our writing workshops, our small discussions about A Long Walk to Water. Teachers are writing with students. Students are checking out as many Park and Coy books as they can. Parents are joining in on our sessions. Our community is experiencing something truly special. Something that won't come to an end today - our last day of our visiting authors celebration. It's something that will stay with us always.

Our second week of visiting authors brought out even more excitement, more inspiration and more creativity. Our students K-12 engaged in a variety of writing and storytelling workshops with both Linda Sue Park and John Coy.

Linda Sue Park encouraged our elementary students to look for stories everywhere. Stories can come for unexpected places, an image, a simple set of rhyming words, Linda Sue says. Many students were inspired to illustrate and write during Linda Sue's after school storytelling workshop. We had 66 students and parents join in on the fun! We even got a sneak peek of her new concept book, Yaks Yak which comes out next year.

During John Coy's poetry writing workshops, students wrote animal and object poems in the first person. John shared his new experience of skydiving over Palm Island. He reminded students to apply real life experiences to their own writing. "Don't be afraid to jump out of a plane with your writing! Just jump right out there!"

Thanks to our ES Student Council, we culminated our One School, One Book initiative with a Water Walk this morning. Our upper grades paired up with lower grade classes to take a walk around the track. During the walk, our older students engaged the younger students in conversation about the book. Talking points and activity stations helped build empathy around the true story of A Long Walk to Water.

What an absolute privilege to host two authors who truly immersed themselves in our community of learners at ASD. We are thankful for the inspiration, for the charge-up about reading and writing. We are energized about BOOKS! And, we know we have made two special friends who we hope will keep in touch with our community.

What could be a more important message to our students - "Reading makes you smarter," Linda Sue says. "Reading makes your brain strong and powerful. Keep reading! Read as much as you can!"

12 Mar 2015

Visiting Authors: Week One is a SMASHING Success!

Our community of readers has been BUZZING with excitement this week! What an amazing start to our visiting authors celebration for 2015! 

Linda Sue Park and John Coy have thrilled our students from K1 right up through Middle School, as well as our teachers and parents.

Highlights from the week include the ES Assembly kick-off on Sunday, hosted by student council and the library, and our Talk Tuesday session with more than 80 parents. 

Our small group sessions with Linda Sue Park have been mesmerizing. Linda Sue dug in deep with our students in Grades 3-5 discussing A Long Walk to Water. Linda Sue brought Salva's journey to life with unforgettable images and anecdotes.

John Coy worked closely with our younger grades in workshops getting our students excited about writing their own stories. His message is clear, "You are never done as a writer!" We also had a turn out of more than 40 students for John Coy's after school basketball poetry session on Tuesday.

Don't miss the after school storytelling session with Linda Sue Park on Tuesday, March 17 from 3:15-4:00pm in the ES Library.

We can't wait for week two for more opportunities to work with these two inspiring authors.