Some people love
Some people hate it.
And some people have mixed feelings.
Sure, it can be a time suck,
but it’s also a powerful tool for sharing ideas. I’ve learned so much from blog
posts written by educators, Twitter conversations with teachers and librarians,
and discussions within Facebook groups focused on literacy and education.
Social media has helped me understand what I can do to serve teachers and
librarians better. And I’m learning more all the time.
One topic that I see pop up
from time to time is what teachers are looking for in the curriculum guides
that accompany children’s books. There seems to be a disconnect between what
publishers recommend authors and illustrators include and what teachers say
It turns out most teachers
aren’t particularly interested in a list of questions to help them assess
student comprehension or basic activities related to the book’s content.
According to Colby Sharp, fifth grade teacher and co-founder of the Nerdy Book
Club, authors should “Create materials teachers can’t.”
Franki Sibberson, fifth grader
teacher and Past President of the National Council for Teachers of English,
need to see how you think through your work.”
And uber-dedicated third grade
teacher Erika Victor says, “I’m always searching for before and after images of a
first draft, what revisions look like, and comparing those to the final draft.”
In other words, educators
crave resources that offer a window into the minds of professional writers—something
that will help students understand how writers go about doing their work.
What’s our process? How do we
make decisions? What are our challenges and frustrations? And why do we find
writing so rewarding?
Keeping all these ideas in
mind, I revamped the educator section of my website over the summer, and I’ll
be blogging about some of the changes on Mondays this year.
On Wednesdays this fall, I’ll
provide posts that take an in-depth look at the process of creating my newest
Delightfully Disgusting Animal Dinners Dwellings and Defenses–from research to revision. (You can find a version that's perfect for sharing with students here.) In the spring, I’ll
do the same thing with one of my upcoming titles. As Erika suggested, I’ll be
sure to include screen shots of my drafts at various points in the process.
And on Fridays, I’ll be sharing a variety of useful posts on a variety of information. Later in the year, I'm hoping to
try something that requires your participation. It’s called “My Students’
Biggest Nonfiction Writing Roadblock.” Educators submit questions about their
students’ writing struggles, and I try to offer solutions. I have a feeling
I’ll be asking other nonfiction writers for their suggestions, too. After all,
we each have our own ways of solving problems.
Because I know the beginning of this school year is especially hectic, this is still in the planning stages. But if you have a question now, please send it along.
This is Year 11 for Celebrate
Science. I hope you’ll join me for the ride.