Thursday, May 19, 2016

Five Ways To Make Your School Visit Interactive

By Janie Reinart

I had a lovely time with the students from Immaculate Heart of Mary School with my program, Finding the Words. Writing poetry is a fail-safe way for students to improve confidence in their reading and writing ability. 

When planning your school visits, engage students by making your time together interactive.  Here are five ways to accomplish that goal.


1. Send a video to get the students excited for your visit!

I created a riddle and incorporated it into my presentation. The first student from each class, who answered correctly, chose a prize ranging from a new journal to stationery. 









 2.  "Catch" that thought

Use a beach ball and toss to students to encourage them to be part of the discussion. What is poetry?



3. Group participation

Use these props for students to do a choral reading. G is for girls. B is for boys. Held up together means everyone copies the line and how you say it. Each group stands separately or together and repeats the line.



4. Must have writing time! 

The eight graders were so quiet, all you could hear was the sound of their pencils as they wrote at the tables. Woohoo! Music to my ears! Share your writing with the students so that they will share their writing with you.




    This touching poem was written by Alayna to honor her little sister. The line "Your eyes never got old" is the most poignant to me. The detail of "brown eyes" placed before that line makes a direct connection with our hearts.

Where’d you go?
About 8 years old
Brown eyes so big
Your eyes never got old


About 8 years old
Why did you go?
Your eyes never got old
You’re more beautiful than gold


Why did you go?
I miss you so
You’re more beautiful than gold
Your laugh never got old


I miss you so
Brown eyes so big
Your laugh never got old
Where’d you go ?




5. Post workshop activity.

Make a graffiti wall from shelf paper for each class.  The "paper wall" is placed on a table or taped to the wall in the classroom. Students use the wall as a group journal. I wrote three prompts, answered each prompt and signed what I wrote. Students are encouraged to do the same. This quote is from Kai, a third grader.


"Poetry is like clay pottery, you set it out to dry and it hardens into history."


 Thank you to the charming students and wonderful staff at IHM . We had fun writing and "Finding the Words". Share how you interact with students for your school visits




 

24 comments:

  1. I love these ideas, Janie! School visits are so incredibly fun--almost as fun as the actual writing process.

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    1. Kirsti, I love the excitement and energy the students have.

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  2. Thanks for sharing your ideas! I especially like your video sent ahead of time!

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    1. Thanks, Tina. I had fun writing the riddle.

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  3. Wow, Janie, you've got some fabulous ideas here. This looks like a program the students loved. Thanks for sharing these teaching techniques!

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  4. Oh there is so much heart & sadness in that student poem. Appreciations to you for working with precious children & for sharing these gre8t tips, Janie.

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    1. Thanks, Jan. I love to help the children find their voice.

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  5. Excellent. I hadn't thought of sending a video ahead, terrific idea.

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    1. Thank you, Joanna. Helps build suspense.

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  6. Great ideas, Janie. You are a ball of fire. I know they enjoyed having you come and share your gifts with them.

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    1. Sherri it was a great workshop. The students were so much fun!

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  7. Thank you, Janie, for sharing these great ideas for school visits. You had a great impact and these children will always remember your poetry visit :)

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    1. Thank you Charlotte. Love spreading the word about poetry!

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  8. I love your idea of sending a video ahead of time! Some great ideas here (and the poem made me cry). Thank you for sharing.
    All the best, Clare.

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  9. Clare, The same thing happened to me with Alayna's poem. It is amazing to invite children to write what is on their hearts.

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  10. Great ideas, Janie! Your bubbly personality would get even the most reluctant child engaged!

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    1. Thanks Randi, It's all about playing with words!

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  11. Replies
    1. Thank you, Patricia. Always fun to see the students­čśä

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  12. Great ideas. I especially like the beach ball.
    I would modify the choral reading suggesting choose two colors, assigned randomly, to avoid reinforcing a boy/girl divide and also to make any transgender students who might be in the class comfortable.

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  13. KaraDan glad you liked the ideas.

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