Tuesdays for Teachers: The Inside Out Quiz

The Inside Out Quiz Author Skype Session

by Ashley Daniels

I am blessed with the opportunity to student teach twenty-six wonderful second graders. One goal I set for myself while finishing my degree was to bring technology into the classroom in a tangible way. With 21st century technology available, I decided to use Skype to present my students with opportunities that would not otherwise have been possible. After hearing about my mom’s class’s Skype session with Jean Reidy the previous year, I knew I could not pass up the opportunity to connect with her, myself. After emailing back and forth a few times, our session’s date and time were locked in place.

I decided to have my class complete an “Inside Out Quiz” during our session. The gist of the “Inside Out Quiz” is for students to ask Mrs. Reidy questions about her own books and website. She must then answer the questions. I chose this option as my students have been focused on asking thoughtful and insightful questions about texts all year long. This would give them an opportunity to continue to polish this skill while interacting with the author who created the material in question.

I began the series of corresponding lessons by first informing my students we would personally Skype with a children’s author. I explained that they would each have the opportunity to try to stump her on her own material by asking her thoughtful questions.  I read my students several of Mrs. Reidy’s books including Busy Builders, Busy Week!, Too Purpley!, All Through the Town, Light Up the Night, and Time Out for Monsters! over the weeks leading up to our session. While I read the books aloud, I would stop and have my students practice their thoughtful question asking. We would discuss the main idea of the text, illustrations, the different illustrators, and how the illustrations went with the text. The books were also available for students to read after completing their morning work. Students would check out the books and reread their favorites.

One week before our Skype session, I had the students work in small groups with me to explore Mrs. Reidy’s website. Students read her “All About Me” sections and then clicked on each of her books to read a little about what others had said about her books. Once they finished, I had each student choose one of Reidy’s books. They then had to browse through the book to come up with their thoughtful question. I challenged students to come up with at least two questions and the corresponding answer. They could be based on the book they chose or her website. All of my students came up with great questions to ask Mrs. Reidy. Once I had the questions, I typed them with my students’ names. I chose the most thoughtful question that each student asked. Now we just had to wait for Tuesday to roll around for our Skype visit.

Before the Skype call, I made sure each student had their questions in hand and had reread the question a few times to refresh their memories. Our Skype session went better than I could have ever planned. Mrs. Reidy is delightful and enjoyable. She began by introducing herself and explained that this was her first ever “Inside Out Quiz” with a class. She asked my students a few questions and then they took turns asking her their questions. Many of the students chose to ask questions about the illustrations. Some of the questions asked included: “What was in the boy’s pocket when he was in the corner in Time Out for Monsters?”, “On your website, what are the three ‘All About Me’ sections called?” and “In Busy Builders, Busy Week who was sticking their head out of the fence on Sunday?” As students asked the questions, Mrs. Reidy answered in an engaging, animated way. She incorporated extra facts about the books that the students asked about. She shared her experiences with the illustrators and captured the student’s attention. By the time all the students asked their questions, half of them really did stump her. The students loved when that happened.

Mrs. Reidy then took the time to answer a few additional questions my students had. After, she gave them encouraging words about the fractured fairy tales they are writing in class. Once the session was over, my class and I debriefed about how the session went. I asked several of the students what their favorite part was. Many of the answers varied including asking their question, hearing additional information about her books, and learning why so many of her books feature turtles. I had each of my students write down their favorite part and then turn the slip in. All in all, Skyping with Mrs. Reidy was a wonderful experience. All of my students enjoyed it and they loved that they were actually able to “meet” a real live author through the aid of Skype.

Ashley Daniels is currently a student teacher and will graduate with her Bachelor’s in Early Childhood Education from the University of Toledo in May.  As a future educator, she is passionate about integrating technology, whenever possible, into her lessons and units. She has always had a desire to teach young children. She is continuously looking for new and stimulating ways to incorporate out-of-the-box teaching ideas and methods to engage her students. She believes students learn best when they are interested in the material and can make personal connections to it. She cannot wait to officially begin her life-long career of teaching.

Interested in a virtual visit?

Check out my Time Out for Teachers page!

Appearances 2017

Posting new appearances every day!

2/2/17          Colorado Council International Reading Association – Presentation and  Book Signing

2/4/17          WriteOnCon Q&A Session on Picture Book Writing with Scholastic Editor Celia Lee

2/17/17         Mount Lebanon Montessori School Author Visit

3/2/17          Mercedes Benz International School, Pune, Maharashta, India, School Skype Visit

3/7/17          12×12 “Revise to Resonate” Picture Book Writing Webinar

3/9/17          Lake View Elementary, Huntington Beach, CA, School Skype Visit

3/9/17          Euclid Elementary School, Hasbrouck Heights, NJ, School Skype Visit

3/28/17        Stranahan Elementary School, Sylvania, Ohio, School Skype Visit

4/6/17          Chaparral Elementary, Albuquerque, NM, School Skype Visit

4/25/17        Jane Long Elementary School, Richmond, TX, School Skype Visit

5/2/17           Stellar Elementary, Thornton, CO, School Visit

5/4/17           Hunters Green Elementary, Tampa, FL, School Skype Visit

5/5/17           Centennial Expeditionary School, Denver, CO, School Visit

5/25/17         Lois Lenski Elementary, Centennial, CO, School Visit

 

My Own Little Piece of the Universe Nesting Boxes

Recently, at a bookstore signing event, I met an energetic and passionate Montessori teacher who shared with me her creative, hands-on Geography tool that also happens to be a perfect companion to my book Light Up the Night.  Please welcome Pauline Meert and her fabulous Universe Nesting Boxes!

I am a Montessori teacher to 20 amazing 3-6 year olds.

In my years of teaching I noticed how hard it can often be for children to understand the differences in the terms – city, state, country, continent and how often they are mixed up.

Within the Montessori materials we have many wonderful lessons we use to teach children these concepts. We use a globe to differentiate the continents. We have maps of each continent with every country of the world, and objects from all over the world. Yet even with these amazing materials, I still found children struggling.

After some time on Pinterest and racking my brain for a hands-on and concrete way to teach this concept, I created nesting boxes that began with the solar system, then to our planet, then the child’s continent, country, state, and city. In the final box I placed a mirror to show who lives in that city. The activity quickly became a hit in the classroom and it helped me teach the correct terminology more easily and concretely.

When I came upon Jean Reidy’s book Light Up the Night, I was blown away! Not only did it follow almost identically the nesting boxes I had made, but it clearly, beautifully, and concretely reinforced the concept of our “own little piece of the universe.” Light Up the Night is now a staple in our classroom and is often read aloud, looked at, and read by the older children. I was very excited to also find so many resources on Jean Reidy’s website to help take our learning even further!

 

Pauline was born in France and moved to the US with her family in 1999. She always had a great love for working with children. When she was sixteen a priest friend mentioned the word Montessori and the rest is history! She received her international Montessori diploma from Montessori Centre International in 2008. She later came across the Catechesis of the Good Shepherd and was deeply moved by the beauty of it all. She also completed her Master’s degree in Montessori education from St. Catherine University in 2014. Pauline has a deep passion for Montessori education and loves to share it with others. When she is not in the classroom or chatting Montessori, she enjoys swing dancing, sewing, reading, and spending her time with friends and family. You can find out more about her work at http://www.inspiremontessori.com/.

Interested in a virtual visit?

Check out my Time Out for Teachers page!

 

Story Universe Writing Prompt for Young Writers

15793136Recently in an interview about BUSY BUILDERS, BUSY WEEK! on the Mom Read It Blog I was asked  –

MRI: You’ve also written a book called ALL THROUGH MY TOWN that features animals as the main characters. Do you think these two books could take place in the same storytelling universe? Could the kids from All Through My Town come and play at the new playground built in Busy Builders, Busy Week?

And I answered –

JR: Oh my goodness! What a brilliant idea! I love unexpected connections, surprises and meta moments in storytelling. So let’s play that out. ALL THROUGH MY TOWN is loosely modeled after the Chicago suburb in which I grew up—a self-contained town with its own shops, library, gardens, fire department and only thirty miles from Chicago. The Chicago and Northwestern train line—now called the Metra—whistled through multiple times each day, taking commuters to and from the Windy City. BUSY BUILDERS, BUSY WEEK! takes place in an urban area where the characters transform an old empty lot. So yes, let’s have our town characters hop on their train and visit their city friends—all meeting up at that brand new playground. Bloomsbury, how ‘bout it? Readers, toss me a title! Let’s do this!

BusyBuilders_CvrHeck yes, this IS a brilliant story idea. But it would be much more fun coming from a classroom of young writers, wouldn’t it? So for all you teachers out there, consider this. Can your students write stories – and if they’re illustrated even better – somehow combining  or inspired by the characters or setting from ALL THROUGH MY TOWN with the characters or setting of BUSY BUILDERS, BUSY WEEK? Then how about a Skype date so that your students can read their stories to me? I promise to offer them my “What I love most!” critiques!

Ready to set up our Skype date? Everything you need to know – including other visit ideas – is right here on my Time Out for Teachers page. 

Hope to hear from you soon!

Engaging the Picture Book Crowd

img_1912Whether it’s through quiet, cuddle time, conversation or comic relief, engaging the picture book crowd is a delightful task. I like to tell young readers that when we read a picture book, we don’t just decipher the words. We talk about it. We explore it. We discover it. We relate to it. We might move to it. We might even make a little noise. Because picture books aren’t just about words on a page. They’re about sounds and rhythms and poetry and language and voice and life and … pictures!

I love to stress, with kids, the importance of reading the pictures. After all, the illustrations in a picture book tell over half of the story. It’s a skill that very young children can master and feel proud of. It’s also art appreciation 101. When you ask a group of young kids, “How many of you are artists?” almost every hand goes up.  So when they see picture book illustration as art, they’re introduced to the stories – including their own – that art can tell. I explore with kids the details of an illustration that might tell us more about the central story or a side story or, perhaps, even a different story, than the text reveals.

img_1910I rarely read a picture book straight through. I ask a lot of questions. I ask kids to predict what comes after a page turn. I ask them to look for clues as to how the story might end. And, most importantly, I ask them questions that might help them connect a book, in a personal way, to what they know, what they’ve experienced and the world they live in.

Young readers can feel empowered when they contribute to the conversation about a book. By showing them that I value their discoveries, they not only learn that reading a picture book is rewarding, but that they are valued as well.

BUSY BUILDERS, BUSY WEEK! Blog Tour Schedule

I’m thrilled to be featured on so many fabulous teacher, librarian and mommy blogs over the next two weeks. I hope you can stop by to say “hi” and to read reviews, news and interviews.

Mon, Aug 22 Cracking the Cover https://www.crackingthecover.com/
Tues, Aug 23 Literary Hoots http://www.literaryhoots.com/
Wed, Aug 24 NC Teacher Stuff http://ncteacherstuff.blogspot.com/
Thurs, Aug 25 Mom Read It https://momreadit.wordpress.com/
Fri, Aug 26 Unleashing Readers http://www.unleashingreaders.com/
Sat, Aug 27 Booking Mama http://www.bookingmama.net/
Mon, Aug 29 Bluestocking Thinking http://bluestockingthinking.blogspot.com/
Tues, Aug 30 Jean Little Library http://jeanlittlelibrary.blogspot.com/
Wed, Aug 31 Geo Librarian http://geolibrarian.blogspot.com/
Thurs, Sept 1 Mrs. O Reads Books http://www.msoreadsbooks.com/
Fri, Sept 2 Where Imagination Grows http://whereimaginationgrows.com/

The BUSY BUILDERS, BUSY WEEK! Winners!

BusyBuilders_CvrOh what a fun week it was! And as promised, today I’m excited to announce the winners from my BUSY BUILDERS, BUSY WEEK! Book Bash giveaways:

Sunday! Dream Day! – Kendra Minadeo wins an autographed copy of BUSY BUILDERS, BUSY WEEK!

Monday! ‘Doze it Day! – Cathy Mealey wins a picture book manuscript critique.

Tuesday! Mix Day! – Tammy Lozano wins a BUSY BUILDERS, BUSY WEEK! Bundle for her favorite classroom or teacher.

Wednesday! Load Day! – Cathy Ogren wins an autographed copy of BUSY BUILDERS, BUSY WEEK! for her favorite school or library.

Thursday! Fill It Day! – Sarah Azibo wins an autographed copy of BUSY BUILDERS, BUSY WEEK! and a Lego gift certificate for her favorite little builder.

Friday! Last Day! – Audrey Vernick wins a tree from the National Arbor Day Foundation.

Saturday! Hey! Hey! – Jennifer Bertman wins an autographed copy of BUSY BUILDERS, BUSY WEEK!

Hooray for all of you! Winners, please e-mail me at reidy.jean@gmail.com to claim your prizes!

Don’t forget to join me at The Tattered Cover Aspen Grove for a BUSY BUILDERS Family Friday Night on August 26th! And mark your calendars for the BUSY BUILDERS, BUSY WEEK! Blog Tour, 8/22 – 9/1. Tour stops will be listed and linked right here!

Finally, if you’d like to find out more about BUSY BUILDERS, BUSY WEEK! including reviews, activities, curriculum extensions, autographed stickers OR to purchase your copy, step this way to my book page! 

Thanks so much for spending last week with me!

Happy Reading!

Jean

Busy Builders, Busy Week! Book Bash Day 7

BusyBuilders_CvrWelcome, friends, to Day 7, the last day, of my BUSY BUILDERS, BUSY WEEK! Book Bash.

In my latest book, each day of the week features a colorful cast of animal characters and a different construction activity as the digging, dumping and ‘dozing lead up to one stupendous surprise!

So, it seemed only fitting that for a days-of-the-week book I celebrate with a week-long bash including –

TODAY!

Saturday! Hey! Hey! Smiles? Check! Step this way!

 It’s time to cap off our celebration with smiles. Lots of them!

Here’s your chance to help build a dream playground for some lucky school or community!

KaBOOM! works to bring balanced and active play into the daily lives of all children, particularly those growing up in poverty in America. We do this by creating great places to play, inspiring communities to promote and support play and driving the national discussion about the importance of play in fostering healthy and productive lives.” 

Today, for every blog comment, Tweet, Instagram, Facebook message or social media post with a link to my blog and the hashtag #BusyBuildersBusyWeek, I will donate $1 to KABOOM – helping build playgrounds for kids, schools and neighborhoods that need them – and YOU earn a chance to win an autographed copy of BUSY BUILDERS, BUSY WEEK!

Here are some tweets to get you started –

And here are some more exciting events to keep the party going!

BUSY BUILDERS, BUSY WEEK! Goodreads Giveaway 6/18 – 7/17

I’m giving away 5 copies of BUSY BUILDERS, BUSY WEEK! on Goodreads. The Giveaway runs from 6/18 – 7/17.  Here’s the link: https://www.goodreads.com/giveaway/show/191441-busy-builders-busy-week

BUSY BUILDERS, BUSY WEEK! Bookstore Events

Please join the live celebration and bring the kids for an interactive reading, a fun photo-opp, autographing, songs, and sur-PRIZES! I’m adding new bookstores every day!

July 16, 2016  – TODAY! – 10:30 am – 11:30 AM Second Star to the Right Bookstore in Denver.

August 26, 2016 – 6:00 PM – Tattered Cover Aspen Grove

BUSY BUILDERS, BUSY WEEK! Blog Tour, 8/22 – 9/1

Tour stops will be listed and linked right here!

Finally, if you’d like to find out more about BUSY BUILDERS, BUSY WEEK! including reviews, activities, curriculum extensions, autographed stickers OR to purchase your copy, step this way to my book page! 

Thanks so much for spending the week with me!

Happy Reading!

Jean

 

Busy Builders, Busy Week! Book Bash Day 6

BusyBuilders_CvrWelcome, friends, to Day 6 of my BUSY BUILDERS, BUSY WEEK! Book Bash.

In my latest book, each day of the week features a colorful cast of animal characters and a different construction activity as the digging, dumping and ‘dozing lead up to one stupendous surprise!

So, it seemed only fitting that for a days-of-the-week book I celebrate with a week-long bash including –

TODAY!

Friday! Last day! Pots and plants and grass day.

Hello fellow tree huggers. Today, we’re going GREEN! It’s a good day to roll in the grass, hunt for mushrooms, plant a garden or WIN A TREE!

Today, for every blog comment, Tweet, Instagram, Facebook message or social media post with a link to my blog and the hashtag #BusyBuildersBusyWeek, you’ll be entered for a chance to win a tree of your choice from The National Arbor Day Foundation. Mother Nature will love you.

Here are some tweets to get you started –

And here are some more exciting events to keep the party going!

BUSY BUILDERS, BUSY WEEK! Goodreads Giveaway 6/18 – 7/17

I’m giving away 5 copies of BUSY BUILDERS, BUSY WEEK! on Goodreads. The Giveaway runs from 6/18 – 7/17.  Here’s the link: https://www.goodreads.com/giveaway/show/191441-busy-builders-busy-week

BUSY BUILDERS, BUSY WEEK! Bookstore Events

Please join the live celebration and bring the kids for an interactive reading, a fun photo-opp, autographing, songs, and sur-PRIZES! I’m adding new bookstores every day!

July 16, 2016  – 10:30 am – 11:30 AM Second Star to the Right Bookstore in Denver.

August 26, 2016 – 6:00 PM – Tattered Cover Aspen Grove

BUSY BUILDERS, BUSY WEEK! Blog Tour, 8/22 – 9/1

Tour stops will be listed and linked right here!

Finally, if you’d like to find out more about BUSY BUILDERS, BUSY WEEK! including reviews, activities, curriculum extensions, autographed stickers OR to purchase your copy, step this way to my book page! 

Thanks for stopping by! Hope to see you tomorrow!

XO

Jean

P.S. All winners will be announced on July 18th!

 

Busy Builders, Busy Week! Book Bash Day 5

BusyBuilders_CvrWelcome, friends, to Day 5 of my BUSY BUILDERS, BUSY WEEK! Book Bash.

In my latest book, each day of the week features a colorful cast of animal characters and a different construction activity as the digging, dumping and ‘dozing lead up to one stupendous surprise!

So, it seemed only fitting that for a days-of-the-week book I celebrate with a week-long bash including –

TODAY!

Thursday! Fill it day! Build it, nail it, drill it day.

This is the day for the little busy builders in your life. Get out the blocks, boxes, toothpicks, marshmallows – all your favorite “construction” materials! – and build a tower, a house, a skyscraper, a bridge … or maybe even a PLAYGROUND.

You can find fun construction ideas on the web –https://www.pinterest.com/explore/construction-theme-preschool/

And even in my Curriculum Guide and Storytime Kit

https://jeanreidy.com/wp-content/uploads/2016/02/Busy-Builders-Guide-and-Kit.pdf

Or check out these cool construction coloring pages

http://www.coloring.ws/construction1.htm

Then, today, for every blog comment, Tweet, Instagram, Facebook message or social media post with a link to my blog and the hashtag #BusyBuildersBusyWeek, you’ll be entered for a chance to win an autographed copy of Busy Builders, Busy Week! and a Lego gift certificate for your favorite little builder.

Here are some tweets to get you started –

And here are some more exciting events to keep the party going!

BUSY BUILDERS, BUSY WEEK! Goodreads Giveaway 6/18 – 7/17

I’m giving away 5 copies of BUSY BUILDERS, BUSY WEEK! on Goodreads. The Giveaway runs from 6/18 – 7/17.  Here’s the link: https://www.goodreads.com/giveaway/show/191441-busy-builders-busy-week

BUSY BUILDERS, BUSY WEEK! Bookstore Events

Please join the live celebration and bring the kids for an interactive reading, a fun photo-opp, autographing, songs, and sur-PRIZES! I’m adding new bookstores every day!

July 16, 2016  – 10:30 am – 11:30 AM Second Star to the Right Bookstore in Denver.

August 26, 2016 – 6:00 PM – Tattered Cover Aspen Grove

BUSY BUILDERS, BUSY WEEK! Blog Tour, 8/22 – 9/1

Tour stops will be listed and linked right here!

Finally, if you’d like to find out more about BUSY BUILDERS, BUSY WEEK! including reviews, activities, curriculum extensions, autographed stickers OR to purchase your copy, step this way to my book page! 

Thanks for stopping by! Hope to see you tomorrow!

XO

Jean

P.S. All winners will be announced on July 18th! And here’s what’s in store for the rest of the week –

Friday – Last day! Pots and plants and grass day. – Hey all you tree huggers, we’re going GREEN. Mother Nature will love you and so will a young reader in your life.

Saturday – Hey! Hey! Smiles? Check! Step this way! – We’re wrapping up the “Dream.” And helping to bring a new playground to some lucky community in need.