Author Visit at Rogers Elementary

I had three awesome school visits in February, and each one was a pleasure. But I’m going to share a few pictures from the last one, which was at Rogers Elementary School in Rogers, Minnesota.

Holly Dragisich, the media specialist and school librarian, organized my three-day visit. The unusual thing was that this visit was planned almost a year in advance, and my books were used throughout the school year last year and this year to help students prepare for my visit. During that time, students made science projects, art projects, writing projects… It was amazing! Here are a few pictures.


Right as I entered the school, I was greeted by a huge mural, created by a parent volunteer, Nicole Spencer Good. In this stunning display, she was able to working elements from so many of my books. She was inspired by the beautiful art created by these picture book illustrators, and it was so fun to see them represented in one place, with all the characters coming together. Can you spot all the different elements from my books?

Here I am with Holley Dragisich in front of that amazing bulletin board mural!

For I Love to Read Month, Holly invited classrooms to decorate their doors to the Reading Can Be… theme. She used my Can Be… books for last summer’s reading program theme and for I Love to Read Month. Holly and I toured the building to see how  different teachers and students interpreted the Reading Can Be… theme. There were so many cool doors, phrases, photos, and drawings. I loved it! It was a celebration of reading AND of sharing.
One of the I Love to Read doors
Love how this teacher worked social studies content into her reading door!
The students were so proud of this work of art celebrating reading :>)

And because the students I’ve been hearing my name and see if my books on a regular basis, they were so engaged. I felt like I got to really connect with the students in a different way.

Also, an entire hallway by the media center was full of beautiful pieces of art inspired by Water Can Be… So many lovely sea turtles and squids and coral formations.
Just a few of the aquatic art pieces inspired by Water Can Be…

Besides doing a large group presentation with each grade level…



…I also got to do some writing workshops. Yay! This is one of my favorite things to do at school visits, but I often only get to do large group presentations. Last week, I did workshops with selected second and third grade writers and with each and every fourth-grade class. So awesome!

In talking with and writing with the students, I got to see their creativity shine. They were brave in sharing their work and eager to try new ways of writing.
I always have fun writing equation poems with students.
In writing workshops, we always do a group practice poem before the students take on their own individual topics. This is Things to Do if You Are a Roller Coaster.
One group’s 15 Words or Less poem told a mysterious story.
I love Rename It poems for creative thinking and metaphor. Here, we looked at a photo of a football and we renamed it in different categories: holiday, food, animal, and game,


It was a delight signing books for these students I just felt so connected to.
Holly’s amazing preparation was gift enough, but she also gave me this adorable otter pin, representing Meet My Family and Water Can Be…


Not only was the reading love evident, but the entire school had a culture of kindness. It was demonstrated by the students and staff, and it was celebrated with many signs and sayings on the walls. I love seeing kindness being made a focus in schools. Thank you, Holly, Roxanne, Rogers Elementary staff and parents, and all you young readers and writers. You ROCK!

 

6 Responses

  1. Laura, I love everything about this! What a joy-filled visit! I am doing a workshop with littles for Earth Day and need an activity. I’d like to do the Things to Do poem but will not have time for them to write their own, but we could do one together. I wonder if there is a way to make a fill-in-the blank activity for it? I only have about 20 minutes. Any ideas?

    1. Thanks, Margaret–I just emailed you a handout that has a basic form you might adjust. I do TTDIYA poems in groups all the time. I usually give them a photo prompt and then I choose the first word of the line–always a verb–and ask for volunteers to finish the line. We do a bit of brainstorming first to warm up, too. This will be awesome! Here’s a link also to a ttdiya poem I haven’t shared here: https://laurasalas.com/wp-content/uploads/2019/12/Things-to-Do-if-You-Are-Spring2.pdf

  2. What an amazing school visit! As a former teacher, I love everything about this. I love the creativity of the children and teachers and the writing activities incorporated into the children’s experience. What fun!

  3. I’m so glad you loved the bulletin board/mural.. it was an honor to make it and share it with you 🙂

  4. Wow! That is so wonderful and amazing. What a fabulous experience for everyone.

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