img_0844.jpg    St. Louis based author Patricia McKissack, along with her husband and co-author, Fred McKissack, did her an Author Visit over Elluminate today (connecting with educators in the Clovis Unified School District- and her son- in California)!  This was their first experience using Elluminate.  As I showed her the ins-and-outs of the Elluminate program, I asked her if learning all of this reminded her of the first time she did a videoconference (nearly a decade ago!).  The answer?  YES!  There were mics and a camera to think about; the chat was a new aspect to her presentation, however, and she nailed it!  Pat shared with the audience… (remember, one she couldn’t see)… about her early childhood and listening to stories from her mother, meeting Fred, movingimg_0839.jpg to St. Louis and being a teacher. She also spoke about how she became an author, and her inspirations.  She had a stack her books that she was able to hold up to the camera to share with audience. Rob Darrow, our site coordinator in California, had uploaded illustrations from several of her books into a PowerPoint that both ends could clearly see.  What a great way to end the week!

img_0832.jpg img_0830.jpg

Students at Howitt Middle School connected with Pat today for a 1 hour videoconference (the third in the three part series)! Here are a couple snapshots of the workshop from our end. Howitt Middle, what were some of the topics you wrote about in this writing assignment?


March 26, 2008


Tomorrow we have the final videoconference between Patricia McKissack and Howitt Middle in New York. Students will share their historical fiction stories and/or biographies with Pat. Looking forward to it!!  In April, Pat and Arlene will connect to Rockwood South Middle for the last Fact v. Opinion videoconference.
Click on ‘comments’ to read Pat’s thoughts 
on the series with Howitt Middle school! 


From The Black Repertory of St. Louis website (  “The Black Rep offers Education and Community Programs to assist educators and community groups in efforts to provide academic experiences for young people and adults. A major component in these efforts are the performances of The Black Rep Touring Company. Each year, The Black Rep Touring Company performs more than 150 shows for schools, community centers, corporations, churches and other organizations in St. Louis and throughout the Midwest region. Touring shows compliment academic curriculum by illustrating history, teaching literature, and reinforcing morals.”  Included this year is author Patricia McKissack’s Porch Lies! For information on bringing this touring production to your elementary school, click here.

March 12 videoconferences

March 11, 2008

Unfortunately, Pat McKissack is unable to connect for her two scheduled videoconferences Wednesday, March 12. 

We’re working to reschedule! 

Students, keep up the good work – remember Mrs. McKissack’s writing & researching tips! 

We have a lot of great feedback coming from our schools participating in Pat’s videoconferences.  The students are working hard on their projects and excited to interact with a published author (and practicing attorney, for the To Establish Justice series).  Thanks to those who have taken the time to report back to let us know what they are working on!