Significant events divide my timeline.
Life after marriage- “So I have TWO families!”
Life after son is born- “So my world happily revolves around THIS son.”
Life after divorce- “So THAT’S who I used to be.”
Life after meeting Significant Other – “So my world DIDN’T end!”
Life after retiring from teaching – “So I can use the bathroom ANYTIME I want?”
In addition to visiting the bathroom willy-nilly, retirement freed me to write and (when the urge to connect with youngsters struck) substitute teach. I thrived. Then I lost my balance down a Covid-19 timeline crevasse.
For months E-Learning replaced in class instruction. I didn’t substitute teach. Thankfully I had writing. Writing punctuated with bouts of cleaning whittled away the quarantine months and I carved out two books. Operation Hopper and Other Tales: Nature, Magic, and the Oakland Acres’ Kids (ISBN 9798646631108) which is a short story collection for kids ages 7-11 (give or take) and Operation Hopper and Other Tales: Nature, Magic, and the Oakland Acres’ Kids Discussion and Activity Guide. (ISBN 9798646638954) which is a guide to help teachers and parents get the most out of the short story collection.
So, while this project combined my writing with teaching, I missed the kids.
Then I received an invitation from a first/second grade teacher to join her class in a “Meet the Author” Zoom session.
I jumped on the opportunity!
I planned my classroom session as the veteran teacher I was:
“Peter Pelican’s Pouch” Short Story Read Aloud Lesson Plan
Goals: The Importance of recycling. Reinforce the writing process previously taught by their regular classroom teacher.
Anticipatory Set: Show the map of Oakland Acres. Point out Peter Pelican’s home and the beach that he walks. Discuss the inspiration for writing this story.
Direct Instruction: Read “Peter Pelican’s Pouch” aloud. Answer students’ questions about the story and the writing process.
Guided Practice: Demonstrate how I created my bottle lamp from a discarded bottle.
Closure: Challenge students to create their own project from their recycling bin.
As a rookie Zoomer I needed a reminder to unmute and speak clearly. (I believe that the occasional senator needed the same reminder during a Jerome Powell congressional hearing.)
During the question portion of the lesson one pigtailed blondie raised her hand. The teacher called on her to ask her question which was “I saw a lamb’s butt shake when it wagged its tail” which of course isn’t a question at all, but a pressing statement to be reported.
Another student asked if I had any pets. Since I was home and so was my rescue cockatiel, Squeaks, I brought him into the Zoom meeting. I explained that Squeaks liked to play with my earring when he perched on my shoulder. The kids watched for 30 seconds while Squeaks DIDN’T play with my earring. I was hoping Squeaks would one up the butt shaking lamb, but he fell short.
I demonstrated my recycled bottle project carefully holding the “before” item, an empty wine bottle, so the Malbec label didn’t show. Next I displayed the “after” item, a lighted bottle lamp. I challenged the kids to sift through their recycling bin and change something useless into something useful.
I enjoyed the “Meet the Author” Zoom session and am now, for a limited time, offering it free with a purchase of Operation Hopper and Other Tales: Nature, Magic, and the Oakland Acres’ Kids and the companion discussion and activity guide. Share this post with any teachers or homeschooling parents that you think might be interested.
Check out my books on the Amazon Author Page or my Facebook Author Page
Purchase and contact me (There’s a button on the banner.) to set up a “Meet the Author” session. Maybe we’ll get lucky and Squeaks will play with my earring.
4 thoughts on “Adventures in Writing: From Teaching to Writing to Zooming Teaching and Writing”
Very smart way to get your books out there, Anita!
Thanks for the encouragement!
Your writing makes me feel happy. Keep it up. 👏👍
Thanks for the encouragement!