Thursday, 13 December 2012

Getting the business from students at Perth Avenue Public

I thought I knew a lot about the book business. Then I met the kids at Perth Avenue School on December 13.
Where do I start?  There was Ana who asked what I liked most about Canada (and got a five minute answer), Isis who told me about PEI, Nolan told me about his love of forests and Josh talked about his love of parks. Amir asked me about my cancer and Michelle asked why I decided to be an author. But it took Ziad to calculate how much I made from M is for Maple.
I hope to return to Perth Avenue for a book fair. I had a great, great morning.
It reminds me of a poem.

I went to see the children of Perth
To spread some cheer and spread some mirth
Instead I heard from this brilliant bunch
That M is for Maple didn't make me much.





Wednesday, 12 December 2012

WHAT A WELCOME AT TECUMSEH IN BURLINGTON

I visited Tecumseh Public School, December 11 and the above sign was just the beginning of a great welcome.
I was met by my buddy Mark Goulet who is a teacher/librarian at Tecumseh. He is also a very good hockey player. I know this because Mark routinely blows by me in our Sunday night hockey games.
Three students in particular stick out for me.
First, there was my buddy Mohammad. When you're with Mohammad every moment is a joy. Just a lovely young man.
Awesome Shyanne reminded me how awesome she is, which by the way is pretty awesome. Last but not least, the wonderful Shamonique who had a question for every occasion.
I was able to spend a few moments with the senior kids and we talked about critical reading and writing.
Being able to visit a great school such as Tecumseh is the best part of my job as MLSE senior writer.
It all reminds me of a poem.

I went to Tecumseh, so I could see Tiger Pride in Action
I learned right away the Tecumseh way is to give a good reaction
I met Mohammad, Shyanne and Shamonique
They were great, they were smart, they were kind
I'd return in a moment to Tecumseh School
And those brilliant, curious minds.






Wednesday, 5 December 2012

Awesome questions at Kew Beach

What a great morning at Kew Beach school in Toronto.
Librarian Stephanie Dawson opened up her facility for the morning. Students from Mr. MacLean-Taylor, Mr. White and Ms.Nagel's classes came together for stories, questions and fun.
The kids were wonderful, attentive and curious. We talked about the writing process and the importance of having an editor who can improve your work. Eighty new friends. Kew Beach rocks!

Monday, 12 November 2012

The Red Circle of Doom at Charlottetown School

Had a riot with 150 great kids at Charlottetown Junior Public school on Thursday.
We hit on the idea of a Red Circle of Doom where the  kids couldn't sit, the better for me to roam around and tell stories about Canada.
I visited at the invitation of librarian Michelle Colaco who was interested in sharing advice about writing with the Grade 4, 5 and 6 students.
We talked about the need to re-write and plan. The kids liked seeing sketches Mel, the illustrator for M is for Maple, used to arrive at a finished painting..
Our takeaways were about integrity, the writing process and what it means to be in the Canadian family. It seems to me that Charlottetown has got it going. What an awesome bunch of learners.


Thursday, 4 October 2012

A great time at Oakridge junior public school


Is there someone here who is too big for school?

With the help of a six-foot-six bear, I met nearly 200 students at Oakridge, a junior public school in Scarborough.
We had a great time at the invitation of Ms. Papanastasiou who is doing her best to help students continue their reading despite the temporary loss of the school's library due to flooding.
My friend Carlton agrees: we have never seen more enthuastic, engaged students than the Oakridge bunch. We had two sessions in the gymnasium and Carlton was overrun by new friends.
Amidst all the excitement, two thumbs up from the bear.

We talked about integrity, doing a job well and how good writing requires a strong desire to make a good impression. I also showed the kids the storyboard we used for my book M is For Maple to illustrate the need to plan.

I have the greatest job in the world because I get to meet fantastic and eager learners such as the Grade 4s and 5s at Oakridge.




My employer, MLSE, places great value on making a difference in our community. Every employee is given three paid days to work for the benefit of others. 
If you think a teacher, librarian or principal you know would appreciate a visit from me, please forward this blog. There is no charge.
Let's Go Canada.

Mike.

Tuesday, 2 October 2012

M is for My Canada at D.A. Morrison


The luckiest guy I know with some of the amazing students at D. A. Morrison school.

Wow.
I visited D.A. Morrison Middle School in Toronto to meet the senior kids. I was amazed at their version of M is for Maple. It is called M is for My Canada and it is marvelous.



M is for multiculturalism
It's interesting and nice
Noodles, biryani, hotdogs and spice
Lots of different languages and cultures I see
Everyone is living cooperatively.
-Ammara.


T is for Toronto, it's a beautiful city
Traffic is good and the people are pretty
People in Toronto are really nice
In the winter, Lake Ontario has ice
-Dabin

P is for Poutine, so tasty and sweet
I eat it slowly, what a delightful treat
It is as messy as  my younger brother
Pizza may be great but poutine is so much better.

-Russel

We talked about how older siblings are no more part of our family than we are and how that applies to Canada. We talked about Terry Fox and Maurice Richard.

Thanks again, D.A. Morrison and in particular Mr. Barbeau, Ms. Nakamuira and Margaret Mulligan whose beautiful photos help make the book so wonderful.

One last note. My employer, MLSE, places great value on making a difference in our community. Every employee is given three paid days to work for the benefit of others. MLSE employees have been involved in countless arena and facility builds both here and in the Third World and have an extensive relationship with Habitat for Humanity.
If you think a teacher or principal you know would appreciate a visit from me, please forward this blog. There is no charge.
Let's Go Canada.



Mike



Wednesday, 19 September 2012

Fun with 100 new friends at George Webster School.

Today I visited George Webster School in East York on an invitation from Nancy Steinhauer, an award- winning principal and one of the best in the business.
I have known Nancy for years and enjoyed seeing her work her magic at George Webster, a beautiful sprawling school full of very, very cool kids.
Hugo, what a great help.
Ms. Walker turned her library over to me and we talked about integrity, passion, Terry Fox, Maurice Richard, Kim Campbell and how horses use their ears.  Hugo and Launa were wonderfully helpful in displaying M is for Maple. I spoke about critical reading and the process of writing with the Grade 5s.
Meeting the students who learn with Mr. Corke, Ms. Bakir, Ms. Webster, Ms. Whalley, Ms. Grounds, Mr. James, Ms. Cross, Mr. Moutadayne and Mrs. Kennedy is just more proof that I have....THE BEST JOB ON THE PLANET.
My friend Launa helped me out when we came to the Dion quintuplets.

One last note. My employer, MLSE, places great value on making a difference in our community. Every employee is given three paid days to work for the benefit of others. MLSE employees have been involved in countless arena and facility builds both here and in the Third World and have an extensive relationship with Habitat for Humanity.
If you think a teacher or principal you know would appreciate a visit from me, please forward this blog.
Let's Go Canada.


Mike




Thursday, 13 September 2012