Thank you notes from kids are the best! Recently, I got three thank you envelopes in just a couple of days. I had so much fun reading through each note. Jen Britten’s 2nd graders at Warren E. Sooy, Jr. Elementary School in NJ sent a huge package of notes after I did a short Skype with them and read A Rock Can Be… and chatted with them a bit:
I often wonder how much connection I can make in a Skype visit, and while I know it’s not as personal as an in-person visit, it definitely still creates contact. The kids were (rightly) enthralled with Violeta Dabija’s art, and many of them talked about it in their notes. Others commented on other books of mine that they had read (or been read to), which was lovely. Others drew some pretty amazing scenes, like one from Caitlyn with different characters debating which Can Be… book they like best! Others thanked me for taking the time to talk with them, and it was clear the teacher had spoken with the kids about authors taking time to visit with classes (for free) via Skype. I was pretty impressed with the art and writing from these 2nd graders. But mostly, I was just warm-fuzzied all over from the time that the teachers and kids put into writing to me in such a personal way. And I’m looking forward to their A Tree Can Be… poems! Addendum: Look at this one Jen shared this week:?http://t.co/z7LlAFgwCD
Then I had a package from Marcie Flinchum-Atkins’ 4th graders at West Salem Elementary. Marcie wrote the teaching guide that’s in Riddle-ku: Poems for Very Close Reading. Many of the kids sent me their own? can be poems and riddle-ku, which were very clever and described action figures, books, buttons, and more. They thanked me for mentioning certain of their lines on Twitter, drew pictures to remind me what they looked like in case I didn’t remember them from seeing them on my computer, and wrote things like “Smell the paper!” when one student had used scented markers:>) How could you not love that? Ella asked me, “Do you ever get angry when you are writing a book” and do I put the book away for a while. Ella, I do! Maybe not angry, but impatient or frustrated. The words that come out on paper or my laptop screen are NEVER as wonderful as I imagined the book in my head. Luckily, I like to revise, so I know I can always make it better. But, still, I often will put a project away for a while (weeks or even months!) and work on other things. Then, when I come back to that first project, I sometimes have come up with a new way to make it better. Another student assured me that she “enjoyed the Skype so much when I am dead I will never forget it.” Thanks, Zella!
And finally, I got a lovely card and poem from a 5th-grade class I visited in person in International Falls, MN last month. Mrs. Wood, the teacher, sent me a card and poem the class wrote, and all the kids signed it. The poem was “How to Be Like Bando,” based on their class mascot, who I loved!
Here’s their poem:
How to Be Like Bando
Eat your own homework
Sharpen pencils for students
Look sharp in your MCA shirt
Be a good friend to 5th Graders
ROCK the MCA test!
Always plan a new surprise
Cheer on your class
Chew on pencils and retrieve them sharpened
Isn’t that fabulous? We did a Things to Do If… poem together while I was there, so they wrote another one after I left. Bando was sitting in a chair during our session together, and he kept startling me… he’s big! So then I would just pet him and scratch him behind the ears and move on. :>)
Thank you, ALL of you students and educators. Your notes and pictures and poems really helped fill the well of a tired writer:>)