Tuesday, 19 November 2013

Repeat customers at Rockford School

It seems to me that I can't visit Rockford School often enough.
Today's trip was a return engagement and Ms. Seigel had another group of eager Grade 5 and 6 students including my friend Bluma, who is shown above.
Bluma is a born storyteller. She had me on the edge of my seat as she told me about her father's adventures. I also met Leo, who I called Liam and who I understand worked security detail for a recent book fair.
I met Rhusudan who is the most wonderful, chatty, spectacular girl.
Evra Trought-Pitters was my guest interview and she told an amazing story about her parents choosing her profession for her.
We had about 75 students in the library and we talked about the IPE or I write Perfect English formula.
IPE stands for Idea, Plan and Edit.
There were several young writers at Rockford and they had terrific questions. One student asked what to do when encountering writer's block.
My advice was to set the project aside. The mind is amazing:  it will solve problems for you while you think of something else. Mark Twain, a very famous writer, said every book he wrote aged a little in his dresser drawer.
I hope to return to Rockford next year. 

Tuesday, 12 November 2013

Great time at Kennedy School

Some of my new buddies at Kennedy
I made the drove to Markham today to meet with about 120 new friends at Kennedy School. The invitation came from librarian Khadijah Saleh who is in her second year at Kennedy.
We had two sessions, a mixed Grade 4 and 5 class and another group of Grade 5 and 6 students.
What a morning. We talked about one-room schoolhouses and summer camps, people who inspire us and how much fun it is to write compositions that make people laugh.
We learned how to find an idea, construct a plan and add detail to our idea.
"It has become a steady point of focus for me in my endeavours that the colour, usually known rouge, elicites nary a positive feeling. In fact, were I to be blunt, I find it offputting and unpleasant."
That means "I hate red."
Rachel So is the new record holder for fewest times it took to answer the world's hardest question. She got it two. Bright girl.
Teacher Jeff Hui told us a wonderful story about how he learned he wanted to be a teacher. Ms. Csombok told us about her early inflences: the one-room school in which her mother taught and how her dad would give her botany lessons in the garden.
The students at Kennnedy were great although the first group seemed to have a lot of trouble counting to three. I hope to return next year.